Tuesday, November 9, 2010

These outrageously overpriced products should come as no surprise to students.

According to MSN Money, these products share a singular trait - "their markups are astronomical." It's a mystery why consumers continue to pay the inflated prices (in some cases its required.) (Source)

Here are six of the most horrifyingly priced items:

1.  Movie popcorn. The last time I plopped down an extra $20 for two drinks and a bag of popcorn I made the mental note to stop the madness during my next movie outing. The average markup of movie theater popcorn is 1,275%. Just say no.

2. Greeting cards. My mom is single-handily responsible for the success of Hallmark Cards. She has spent her very long life being a heavy user of their card-for-every-occasion marketing plan. Because of her, I'm a card giver but I look for the dollar cards. I admit that when it comes to sending my mom a greeting, I'm willing to shell out $5 for a "folded-up piece of paper" with nice graphics and a message written by someone else. I guess they got me at "when you care enough..."

3.  College textbooks.  The prices of college textbooks have risen 186% since 1986 and the cost of textbooks accounts for a large portion of the overall cost of attending college.

4.  Bottled water. $1-$5 for water that comes free from municipal taps and is sold in logo-stamped bottles. If a time traveler from the early 1900s popped in for a visit today, I bet this consumer-led phenomenon would be one of the most unbelievable.

5.  Printer ink. You know you're being had when the cost of the printer is significantly less than the cost of toner replacement.

6.  Brand-name fashion. Brand name clothes are often marked up 500% to 1,000% of their off-brand counterparts. Yet American consumers seem to feel that buying a major fashion brand is worth every penny.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Another product design that will make our life better - and tastier


Wage Inflation in Japan? Dominos pays $31,000 per hour.

One person will win the opportunity to work one hour at a Dominos in Tokyo and be paid $31,000 for the experience.

The contest is open to anyone over the age of 18 and is generating a lot of buzz for the celebration of Domino's 25th anniversary of entering the Japanese market. (Source)

Hourly pay for part-time jobs in Japan averages $12.41 per hour.

We shouldn't get too excited about this hourly rate of pay. Last year, Oprah Winfrey earned an approximate $115,5000 per hour. (Source)

Reduce your stress by staring at this!


Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Will consumers reward this company for its sexist selling tactics?

A Dutch menswear company pulls out all the stops in depicting the role of their suits in empowering men who lack self confidence to sexually dominate their willing partners. The campaign is labeled, "Shameless."  I disagree with their use of this adjective.

This makes the Diesel campaign look tame by comparison. I can only shake my head in disgust, knowing that I am not a member of the intended target market.

For more examples that I won't publish on this site, click here.

When infomercials go bad

Remember Richard Heene? He's the guy that launched the balloon spaceship and told the media that he thought his young son was aboard.  Richard thought that the scheme would be an effective shortcut to landing a reality TV show.

Hope must spring eternal because now, Richard is hoping to score big with the sale of his patent-pending invention, the Bear Scratch. I'm guessing that Richard's song writing talents are also on display via the video's catchy theme song. This man can do it all.

Is this video so bad that its good? You decide. One thing is for sure, Ron Popeil he isn't.

In other product redesign news...

With a big splash, Kimberly Clark announced its eco-friendly tube-free version of its Scott-brand toilet paper.

Is this some type of ecological victory that provides relief from a planet overwhelmed with left-over tp tubes?  Is this the right product at the right time? Will all other brands go tubeless? The added value of this product is astounding. Think of the impact this product will make, on generations to come.

A world map depicted in words

German designer, Dirk Sch├Ąchter, provides a new perspective in world geography. For more details and ordering information, click here. 

I guess English is a world language.

I'd buy this because of the package

Following the announcement of a greatly improved package design for individual ketchup, comes this idea for a greatly improved tool for spreading the cheese from individualized containers. I didn't know I needed this.

Kudos to the designer, Yeongkeun Jeong.   (Source)