On working for the NIGAZ. Another marketing blunder

nigaz I know I might wake up a bit late, but after thinking that Microsoft Poland’s advertising savvy was one of the worse ever, I just heard of Russia’s Gazprom and Nigeria’s NNPC joint venture. The baby’s name? NIGAZ.

Unbelievable, you may say, but thinking heads of two continents couldn’t even get this straight.

I just finished James Dyson’s great autobiography (Against the Odds), and he moans and bitches about the advertising, PR and marketing community all along. He may have a point… I remember choosing marketing as major out of not knowing what to do with my life. I even got a Masters degree in market research and despised the idea of “creating needs to the customers” (what translated to me as selling people things that they don’t need by making them think that they do.)

It was interesting to learn how they trick us, but the NIGAZ thing is at least, hilarious. Did anyone get paid to come up with the name? I bet so. I have no doubt that Russia’s far right would have loved to do the prank, but I don’t think of them as a cheeky comedians who kill journalist for a laugh.

In any case, Nigger is nothing but a derivation of the Latin word niger, meaning colour black. Instead of finding the term offensive, black people could call us Albus, the Latin word for white. Both true and ingenious, but I am pretty sure that some Caucasians would be offended by that too.

After all, “It ain’t what they call you, it’s what you answer to.”



On what not to do with your customers: Post Office and sales pushing

Hobbes, I just came back from the post office. Like an American supermarket, an English Post Office is a cathedral to human nature, although in this case, a cathedral to lack of custumer service and savvie.

Have you notice they sell travel insurance, phone cards, credit cards and many other things? Well, they do. Nothing wrong with it, other than the fact that you should have seen the face of the lady who just wanted to send a letter 2nd class, special delivery… that’s what she wanted, but due to some bizzarre twist of fate, she ended up being pushed to hear everything he had and wanted to offer her. Continue reading

On observations on the weirdness of human behaviour: flipping small cars

Hobbes, I am a big man, 1m87 (6’2ish on a good day) and always felt like a sardine in a tin in little urban cars (trying to get out of my friend’s 2-door Clio is a bit of a mission, and enjoying a trip on the rear seat, a utopia). However, I understand the practicality and economy of owning one of these little fellas.

In my case, size matters, but that is just a design problem that car manufacturers don’t seem to be interested any time soon (I tried to stretch my legs in a Smart and I almost had to get out of the car due to a near panic attack). But that’s the everyday story of the below and above-average beings.

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On observations on the weirdness of human behaviour: the spitting street cleaner

You can call me old fashioned, you are probably right, age is starting to take its toll, but I saw something yesterday that got me thinking…

I was in Belgrave Square, the embassy capital of the British capital where countries like Germany, Austria, Turkey, Syria, Norway, Brunei, Portugal, Ghana, Spain, Belgium, Serbia and many more have made their or their ambassador’s home in London. It is true that Westminster keeps an eye on the place and perhaps because of special care, perhaps because fewer residents and businesses, the place is kept nice and tidy.

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