A Total Win/Lose

This ad may have worked a 80 years ago, but not now. The drinks are way too small.

This ad may have worked 80 years ago, but not now. The drinks are way too small.

In the world of marketing, you can tell pretty much tell what’s going to sell well if you know your target audience, cultural and economic trends, and the future. Plus, you have to be creative with your “pitch.”

I’ve watched enough of Madmen to know this. And this is basically all I know about marketing.

Well, maybe I know a little more.

What you want is a win/win where the product sells like tickets for the Rolling Stones before they roll into a nursing home (win for the company) and the customer is slap-happy with the product (win for the customer).

See how happy everyone is?

See how happy everyone is?

What you don’t want is a lose/lose product–one that is so unpopular that no one wants it so sales are sink-city (lose for the company) and customers hate it (lose for the suckers who wasted their money on the product).

Who put the vegetables in my Jello? The green Jello isn't lemon/lime, it tastes like celery. And the red should be cherry, not tomato.

Who put the vegetables in my Jello? The green Jello isn’t lemon/lime, it tastes like celery. And the red should be cherry, not tomato.

But I think I found an anomaly. Only time (and maybe you) will tell.

Here it is.

Do not be fooled. Even on a non-emaciated person, this devise is large.

Do not be fooled. Even on a non-emaciated person, this device is roomy.

First, do you know what it is?

I’ll give you some choices:

1. The newest cure for migraine headaches/neck pain. You can either refrigerate or microwave the pouch (depending on your comfort preference) and rest your head as it is supported in cooled or heated comfort. This device also blocks out noise, always a nuisance to headache sufferers. They are working on an accompanying device to go over the eyes for a total black-out experience.

2. The newest innovation in thermal protection for very cold climates. The exterior is made of windproof and waterproof material. Multiple layers of air and fabric similar to the exterior layer insure that frigid exterior temperatures stay on the outside. The interior is lined with a fabric that absorbs/reflects your own body/head heat, creating a cozy bubble around your head even in the most arctic circles.

3. The latest design in protective head-gear for your avid cyclists (a.k.a. a bike helmet). It’s inflatable, so just blow and go. If you tip over with enough force, the helmet may have enough bounce to set you upright. The aerodynamics, however, are all on the inside protecting your noggin. So wearing this helmet may slow you down, but you’ll arrive at the Finish Line with your brain safely inside your skull, unless an opponent pops your helmet with a pin, which is really poor sportsmanship. But those cyclists will do anything to win a race.

Which one do you think it is?

Why am I thinking so hard? I know which one it is...

Why am I thinking so hard? I know which one it is…

It’s a bike helmet.

Don’t blame me. The Swedes came up with the design. My heritage is Finnish. We came up with the sauna, Angrybirds, and Santa Claus. I’m sure they are related in some way.

But, I digress…

Actually, it’s called “The Invisible Bike Helmet.”  

I bet you're thinking what I'm thinking, "I can see that helmet."

I bet you’re thinking what I’m thinking, “I can see that helmet.”

Am I right?

Here’s the deal. These Swedes were thinking about the major problem of “helmet hair” that keep a lot of would-be champions off their bikes. So they designed an “air bag for bikes.”

This was one of their first designs, but they thought it might be too cumbersome, especially for children.

This was one of their first designs, but they thought it might be too cumbersome, especially for children and people who were right-handed.

The gizmo straps round your neck while you ride, your hair free to blow in the wind. If it senses a collision (maybe it has a scream/cuss word-recognition system), the bubble helmet “deploys” before you hit the ground/tree/person/dog/vending machine/building/lake/car/train/tricycle/parade float. You’re on your own getting the helmet back in the neck brace/cuff/cowl.

I call this a win/lose because I can see the company selling these helmets to sports AND hair enthusiasts–both big buyers of products who seem to have lots of money to spend on their enthusiasms.

And yet I don’t see these customers totally happy with their helmets.

The sports people seem to want the aerodynamic and color-coordinated “edge” that the more traditional helmet provides. Plus should the thing have to deploy, the air resistance would really be a drag.

Do you see how important a helmet can be to aerodynamics? These bikers need all the help they can get to fight wind (and other forms of) drag.

Do you see how important a helmet can be to aerodynamics? These bikers need all the help they can get to fight wind (and other forms of) drag.

As for the hair enthusiasts, most who I know would rather go down in glamour than to suffer the embarrassment of being rescued by possible hot EMT guys while having what looks like a really full diaper around their heads. They are the cyclists not likely to wear helmets anyway.

Polly knew she wanted to be a professional cyclist, so she made sure her hair would fit the helmet. Most girls her age weren't as committed to their sports.

Polly was as committed to her cycling as she was to her hair. She was a rarity. 

I hope you enjoyed this post. I’ll be kind of scarce around here until my novel’s first draft is finished. My next post will be one that announces my success in that goal. It will take me as long as it takes me.

Until then, I wish you all the best of health and happiness throughout the holidays.

I’m leaving you with a better picture of me and my blasted braces. When I looked at the post where I revealed them, I got scared.

Better? I think so...

Better? I think so…

~ by Lorna's Voice on December 4, 2013.

42 Responses to “A Total Win/Lose”

  1. Same to you, Izzy!

  2. Some crazy stuff out there, huh?

  3. And Happy New Year to you, Andro!

  4. I’ll have to watch the series again, then. Now I have 2 books to market–well, almost 2. Happy New Year!

  5. Hi Lorna

    Madmen is actually a good substitute for a Marketing degree

    Merry Xmas!

  6. Merry Christmas my sweet friend 🙂 😉

    Andro xxxx

  7. I was sure it was a migraine contraption. While my butt problems prohibit me from riding a bike, I don’t think I would be caught dead in one of those helmets.

  8. Thanks, Izzy. And I hope that all good things come your way, too! 🙂

  9. Funny … funny … funny!!! I’m happy I don’t ride a bike. I might be tempted to purchase one. LOL

    Good wishes for a successful writing time out.

    HAPPY HOLIDAYS to you and Phil … May your New Year be filled with an overflowing amount of good health, wealth and love.

    Abrazos y Carino de tu amiga …
    Isadora xoxo

  10. Same to you, Vanessa–the happy holiday thing, I mean. I don’t think you are working on novel, although it wouldn’t surprise me! 🙂

  11. You look cute in those braces!

    Happy novel finishing, and happy holidays Lorna! 🙂

  12. 🙂 Chuckle. Hyper-marketing mode… I like it.

  13. That’s a good target to aim for! All the best to you, too, my friend!

  14. Thanks for asking about Scrappy. I think he buried those antlers. He has his standards… 😉

  15. Yeah, I confuse the two as well. 😉 No problem!

  16. You’re so sweet. And life makes these posts easy–I couldn’t make this zany stuff up if I tried! Have a great holiday, dahling!

  17. Oh, you’ll know! I’ll have to get into hyper-marketing mode–not my favorite thing, but it has to be done.

  18. Thanks so much, Sara! Glad you enjoyed the post. Happy Holidays my friend!

  19. Oh Lorna, you’ve done it again. I love the fashionable (?) bike helmet, but I’m much more drawn to ads that promote lard and drinking. I guess the market I belong to is a dying breed.

    I hope your novel is coming along well. I’m rooting for you and looking forward to its release!

  20. Great. It sounds just like my kind of book. I can’t wait to read it! Let me know the minute it’s available. 🙂 Thanks!

  21. They eat lard and drink from tiny glasses! Constantly surprised you don’t make this stuff up, Lorna 🙂

    Happy Christmas. May Santa deliver you a beautiful bouncing first draft. Thanks for all the laughs this year xxx

  22. Swedes, sorry, not the Swiss. Dang it!

  23. It looks too poofy to be a helmet. Maybe it’s designed in mind for those who commute close to a river or bay or some large body of water, so in the likelihood of being dislodged from the bike the inflatable helmet thingy with keep their heads above water. Ingenious, but I’m concerned about the wind resistance but this is the Swiss, I don’t believe they half-arse anything. Wishes of a happy and peaceful and disaster-free holidays to you and yours, Lorna! By the way, how’s Scrappy doing? Will he be sporting cute little antlers this year?

  24. You have happy healthy holidays also, Lorna. And hopefully, we will both finish those rough drafts about the same time.

  25. Well, home stretch, first inning… I’ll get there if I stop playing around here! 😉

  26. That air bag= hilarious! Sounds like you’re heading into the home stretch with your novel. Exciting! 🙂

  27. Thanks so much, Hope! The minute I saw that picture, I knew I had to create some kind of post around it–it is too funny! 🙂 Take care!

  28. Same to you, Gerry! 🙂

  29. I wish I felt sixteen…

  30. I was dreaming of all the goodies the UPS guy brings to me… 😉

  31. Sexy maids? I think that bike helmet erased all points they get for sexy maids. And yes, you shmoozed real good this time, Al. I can see how you stayed happily married for so long! 🙂

  32. Thanks, Rob. The last few chapters have been hanging over my head for too long. Plus I need to go over the whole thing and get it ready for an editor. It’s time.

    I just have too much darned fun on this blog, so I have to go “cold turkey” or else I’ll never get to it! 😉 I’ll miss you, too.

  33. George, as usual, you are much too kind. 🙂

    The novel is a change of pace (and voice) for me. It’s not at all funny. I hope that doesn’t disappoint you too much. It’s based on the real life events of my grandmother–an unhappy woman who had much about which to be miserable. But her story is so darned interesting that my family insists it must be told. Alas, there is little room for humor since I’m writing it from her perspective…

  34. I hear that is perfect timing for a book release. People tend to get gift cards for the holidays to places like Amazon and other places books are likely to be! Keep me posted, okay? 🙂

  35. Very best of luck with the novel. I wish you every success. As for the bike helmet, I’m glad I don’t have one. Marketing remains something which I know is important, but struggle to understand. let us hope I get the basics in time for my books publication ( early Jan )

  36. Lordy, Lorna, you’re just too fun. What? A camel dog? Hysterical. They eat lard about made me choke on my morning iced coffee (with so much real cream that it could be described as lard coffee…) You are impossibly clever but you must be a real bitch to live with in the mornings before that poor guy gets his day feet. Chuckle… Reminds me of my disgustingly happy husband who had the audacity to sing in the shower!

    A book full of this creative genius might send me to the nursing home with a terminally busted gut. Heck, if you gotta go it might as well be laughing.

    The braces only reflect the sparkle in the eyes. Blindingly. and beautifully. Hurry up with the book! Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and see you with the Easter Bunny! 🙂

  37. That’s a bike helmet.??? Yikees I would rather see those bare arsed men with some kind of protection over the exposed portions than that on the head of a cyclist.. most men would brag about the drag from a long john hanging in the wind, I would be worried about it getting caught in the chain… Love this post, had a good laugh as usual… best of luck with the first draft, may it be a good win/win for you… I’ll miss you though,,,

  38. Don’t forget Sweden’s most important contribution to society….sexy maids.

    Love that last braces picture. It should be the dental poster for how braces can make you look even more beautiful. (Did this make up for my other remark?….didn’t think so.)

  39. I thought it was a space helmet from a Sci-Fi movie. The model’s clothing did not indicate to me that it was for cold weather.

    What were you looking at when you took the last picture? The UPS guy?

    Funny post. I love the Cola Advertisement

  40. Bike helmet? Yikes!
    Braces? Nice! You look sixteen!

  41. Years ago when the UK mad it law to wear a helmet on motor bikes, the turban clad army of Indians protested, [abide by our laws or dont ride bikes] this would have been ideal for their cause, fit it over their turbans and get another blow. But i suppose maybe a turban shaped crash helmet might be better. But everyone could have a laugh… I did love the post by the way.. and if not speak before then you also have a great Christmas time etc, or happy holidays I believe is the politically correct phrase in the States.. Uk tried to get us to say the same,, but I wont say the outcome to this survey…
    Merry Xmas…
    ps: a big thank you…

  42. That helmet looks like a giants glove clasping the back of the model’s head 🙂 Thanks for the smiles Lorna 🙂 Love your picture.

Silence can be just what the doctor ordered. You know I'm a doctor, right?

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