“United We Stand”…
Just as we predicted one year ago, the latest airline merger is way off course. We figured United’s perennial last-place ranking in the American Customer Satisfaction Index would pull Continental down with it, rather than Continental pulling United up.
We were right.
According to the DOT’s latest report (April 2012), United dropped one spot to 14, out of 15 airlines, in on-time performance. Its mishandled bag rate made it the worst of the major airlines. And it had far and away the most passenger complaints in April, accounting for a full 33% of the industry’s total.
We cannot wait to see how United’s new advertising agency of record, mcgarrybowen, will perfume this flying pig.
Nickel & Diming Penney
When we reviewed J.C. Penney’s quarterly disaster with you on May 13, we said this:
“…execs don’t seem to feel they need anything…to…replace lost weekend traffic. Expect to see them revisit that misconception soon.”
How’s 13 days for “soon”? On May 30, J.C. Penney leaked that it would add five "Best Price Friday" events, including one on post-Thanksgiving "Black Friday."
They can thank us later.
Hope That HFCS Can Ketchup
No sooner had the ink gone dry on our post this week about the Corn Refiners Association’s futile years-long campaign to convince the public high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is good for y’all, we come across this news:
“ConAgra has reverted back to using HFCS in its Hunt’s ketchup less than two years after replacing the much-maligned sweetener with sugar.”
Why? According to the company: “Consumer demand for the HFCS-free ketchup was not as strong as expected."
Like we said – it’s not about the science. The Hunt’s reversal should convince the CRA to do as we suggested and focus on helping food manufacturers drive more sweet demand.
Stuart, Stuart, Dear Stuart
The New York Times “star” advertising columnist, Stuart Elliott, has been working overtime lately to provide us enough material to make him a permanent part of our Fast Follow-up Friday series.
First as a reminder, the Stuart Elliott template: Review nothing but the most derivative of ad campaigns. Begin each column with a reference to something circa 1950, and close it with an unfunny pun.
An article last week might be his best (worst) ever. In a story about JetBlue’s new online game show, Elliott began with this:
“For decades, advertisers were as closely associated with game shows as slick hosts eager to give away prizes.”
Think “quiz show scandals.” Circa 1950.
We get a bonus old-time reference a few paragraphs later, when, referring to JetBlue's faux game-show host, Elliott writes:
“The Hammerberg character, whose name winks at classic game-host names like Wink Martindale, will be as eager to give away prizes as quiz masters like Bob Barker, Richard Dawson and Monty Hall once were.”
Bob Barker is 89. Monty Hall is 91. Richard Dawson is dead. He passed just two days before Elliott’s column was published. Dear Stuart still might not be aware.
Finally, a trifecta of sorts. The final paragraph. A completely unfunny pun; a mash-up of products and old, OLD game shows:
“If [JetBlue’s new game show] catches on, what could be next? ‘The Priceline Is Right’? ‘ABC Family Cable Channel Feud’? ‘You Bet Your Life Cereal’? ”
You should not be surprised to know when You Bet Your Life debuted on TV.