Geico Real Savings

Geico (big auto insurance company in the US) is an endless source of my “design fail” inspiration. Looks like they have some internal branding issues and desperately choose between “cave man” and “wet talking lizard with attitude” (ok, ok, “Geko”) approaches. Both fail, IMO.

I took this picture on the road last week and made some quick Photoshop on it:

Real savings

Real savings

Shadow: an imitation of something” (Dictionary and Thesaurus – Merriam-Webster)

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Design Fail Weekend

Pepsi's branding issues

Pepsi's branding issues

I don’t care if regular “Pepsi” now branded as “Diet Coca” or even “Clorox” as long the price is “as advertised”. I do not like surprises at the register like “Oops! Your Pepsi is $8.99; $7.99 is the price for Diet Coke”.

This toy could be useful for some dads with some special fantasies:

Dad's toy

Some dads could play with it too

Not too much fail here, however I found the toy’s positioning amusing:

Nice positioning

Nice positioning

Obvious “design fail” on gene level. Instead of driving one more block and make a safe right turn, the guy (or girl?) prefers to do this:

Design Fail on gene level

Design Fail on gene level

And finally, this weekend my favorite: portable HDD drive. I am the potential customer (I am taking lots of digital photos, videos, I have huge legal music archive, I am doing tons of coding and graphics), so I could speak out.

Espresso coffee maker or HDD?

Espresso coffee maker or HDD?

So here it is: marketing idea sucks big times. It is dumb to position pretty much technical devices (HDD drive, flash memory and similar) as an everyday consumer gadget (like MP3 player, portable game console or so). The dancing in extase, iPod-plugged human silhouette works perfectly fine to advertise Apple’s mp3 players. But I cannot imagine the same silhouette dancing with HDD drive in it’s hand.
What’s really important to me, if I be shopping for external HDD right now, are it’s capacity, type (IDE, SATA, SCSI), shock resistance, if it supports FireWare as well as USB2, and if it not comes with another stupid USB cord. I really do not care about it’s color: I am not going to carry HDD on the neck strap (or pants belt) on a full-time.
When I see the box from a few feet distance for a couple of seconds (there are thousands of other goods in the store, I cannot read every box’s micro text), the composition of “Espresso” word and a coffee bean leaves me the impression that this is some kind of USB-powered coffee maker. Actually, this coffee bean and a box togeather look like a car seat. In this case model name “Espresso” makes sense: color is important in advertising car seats cover.

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I can not “Enroll Now”: I am driving

Yet another dumb application of web-like advertisement to the road ad billboards. Check this out: “Enroll Now”:

Enroll now

Enroll now

My first impression was: “damn, I can not enroll now, even if I wish to enroll. I am driving”.

I took the picture from the best visible spot of the billboard. The billboard stands in a place from which only “Enroll Now” is visible. In a matter of a second or two I could read this stupid invitation to immediate enrollement and then concentrate on the road: I do not want to be smashed by dumptrucks entering this part of the highway (680 near Benicia).

I have a better design idea for designers of this ingenious ad: “Click Here to Enroll Now!” followed by License Agreement, restriction policy, discount coupon code and Terms of Service. Yeah, and do not forget to include top management’s bios with “business smile” photos.

Guys, highway billboards are good only for well established brands and/or for very, very short texts. People who are driving 65 mph will not read your micro text even if they wish to.

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Microsoft: no Walls, just Windows

This Microsoft’s billboard stands in San Francisco downtown, right at the entrance of Bay Bridge (Hwy 80 East):

Life without Walls

Life without Walls

Actually I personally have issues with living “without walls”: I do not want my naked ass to be exposed to the entire neighborhood when I am in the shower. I like my privacy, I need my walls.

IMO, Apple definitely should respond with something like this:
Apple

The rest of the story is here

Chevron’s Advertisement: Bad Taste!

Chevron's ad

Chevron advertisement

Hello? Who’s talking? Are those (Chevron) who were selling me gasoline at $4.25/gallon just recently (San Francisco, California)? Sure we will be using less gas! Like in the old anecdote where the kid came to his alcoholic father and asks him: “Dad, I’ve heard they rise prices for liquor. Does it mean you will be drinking less?” Dad says: “No son. That means that you will be eating less“. But back to the subject.

IMO, to write something over someone’s face looks good only in case of law enforcement creativity like “FBI Wanted Fugitive. Captured”. But when it comes to civilian design this approach sucks because:

  • Human face is not an even surface like whiteboard; To write something over a non-even surface in thin light font results hard to read;
  • It looks like graffiti;
  • You kinda disrespect the person by placing advertisement over his face.

Actually I was unable to read Chevron’s message until I photographed the banner when I was driving by. Guys, for the money you sucked out from our pockets you could come up with something better than you are exposing now.

Design Fail Factor: 9 (out of 10)

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Where is the Catch?

Ingenious idea to find those greedy idiots who will be cleaning out your construction debris for free thinking they are getting “free stuff”:

Where the catch is

Where the catch is

Another funny thing about this “Dirt for Free” is that it was recently listed as “For Lease”! Poor flippers!

Oops happened

Oops happened


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Bib, Bowl and a poor Toddler

all-in-one

Bib-n-Bowl: All-in-one

I like this nice combination: Bib with Bowl for toddlers. The idea direction is great, but I think the company stopped half way with their invention. So here is the initial design:

Bib-n-Bowl

Bib-n-Bowl (draft)

But they definitely should be going further:

Bib and toddler's tableware

Bib and toddler's tableware set

..or:

Another Bib idea

Another Bib idea

Comparing to soft warm and light old fashion bibs, this combination is too much, I think.
Who likes to eat with big cold sheet of rubber hanging on your neck with feeding bowl attached on the other end?
If I be the feedee, I will give a finger to my feeder right at the feeding spot.

Update: I was so inspired with Bib-n-Bowl “combination” idea, so I came up with my own:

Shirt-n-Bag

Shirt-n-Disposed Diapers Bag


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Don’t Ask.com me, please!

Looks like advertisement these days is not an “engine for commerce” any more, it became a tool for commerce blackmailing.
Today I was installing Trillian Messenger software. So here it is: You have to agree with License Agreement (I agree) AND have to install 3rd party crap like Ask.com toolbar (WTF? I disagree!). They do not give me an option to choose not to install stuff which I do not need:

Don't Ask.com me, please

Do not Ask.com me, please

Ok, since the acceptance of just “license agreement” is not enough, no Trillian Messenger for me today.
How about Vuze (also known as Azureus torrent client) for legal sharing of HD videos? Same story: I have to accept license agreement AND install their toolbar:

Do not Vuze.com me, please

Do not Vuze.com me, please

However in case of Vuze it is funny that if you do not check :”I accept license agreement..” check box, it will let you go further anyway, install and use the software. Does it mean that I found a bug in their Install Shiled script?

Guys, I do not need your toolbars, seriously. I already have bunch of disabled toolbars which I do not use. Let me choose what to install and what not to install on my computer. I understand your need to make money but think about me also, please: I have a web browser, not a junk ads storage after all. This pushy “consume our Ads or we make your web browsing experience miserable” approach may have opposite effect like old telemarketers calls.

And No, thank you, I prefer to have something else as a “default home page” rather than Ask.com, etc. And I do not need toolbars for: “daily calories calculation” (I am slim enough w/out any brutal diets), “weather” (weather predictions suck 100%, a random number generator predicts better), “search for local singles” (most of them are ugly as a halloween nightmare), etc. And I use Google to search stuff online.
And yes, I do not have too much browser window real estate left.


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A Physically Handicapped Cat as a Creamer

Here is another sample of “made in china” brutal tableware creativity: a physically handicapped cat with tear off paw to serve you as a creamer.

Physically handicapped Cat as a Creamer

Physically handicapped Cat as a Creamer

Design Fail factor: 9 (out of 10)

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Washington Mutual Logo transformation and their possible future

Re-branding of “Washington Mutual” into “WaMu” should have serious reasons. One of the reasons perhaps could be that most of the bank’s mortgage clients (who “no qualifying: OK, no credit history: OK, bankruptcy: OK”) could hardly read and pronounce “Washington Mutual” in English. The word “WaMu” of course is easier to read and remember.

The next logical step will be to do re-branding into “WM”:

WaMu logo transformation

WaMu logo transformation

Logo shrinkage follows the bank financial situation (check out the ticker symbol – they are actually traded as “WM”):

WaMu chart

WaMu chart

Links:
Washington Mutual, Bank (www.wamu.com)
Waste Management, Garbage company (www.wastemanagement.com)

WM truck

WM truck

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