Monday, November 1, 2010

Marketing in commercials vs truth in advertising

On one of my lists, we just had a pretty interesting discourse around today's marketing efforts in commercials.

When you watch a commercial, should you believe what you see? Or are you being asked by the product's company to suspend belief and refrain from having your expectations firmly set?

While I love my BMWs, car and bike, BMW has also fallen prey to the existing trend. If you read my red-chip post below, you'll know why it's in their best interests to be one of the pack.

When they're way over the top, it's easy to seperate fact from fiction.

What prompted our discussion was the ad for the S1000RR where it pulls a tablecloth out from under a table, replete with 24 place settings.

Aprilia seems to be a bit threatened by the new S1000RR, and responded with their own video. It is a little snarky and fun to watch. :)

Mythbusters did an episode on it, using a Buell. I think Buells are cool, in general, and I'm sure they're better in corners than my long K1200S. But they're not known for power or acceleration. They feel they proved it couldn't be done.

I generally like Mythbusters until they totally blow trying to prove a myth. I wouldn't say they blew this one, but they could have picked some better hardware. :)

It turns out some Germans figured out how BMW did it. I don't speak German, but I got the point from watching the video. You will too! (I did skip around, I won't lie). But the folks who crafted the BMW commercial definitely knew a few things about pulling the cloth over our eyes... err, out from under place settings!

I didn't see this BMW video until recently. And I'm glad, because it's definitely geared towards people I'm not. Oh, not the burnouts, the hooting and hollering. >:) It's a silly commercial in the end, but at the beginning, the bike doesn't even strain to break that rear tire loose. That speaks volumes.

Back when I was a kid, I used to watch the Jeeps plow through hood-deep mud and couldn't wait to buy one. If you do that today, you can probably expect your warranty to be null and void. If you bought the lifetime drivetrain warranty, it's practically a given.

At the end of the day, don't believe what you see on TV commercials, they're just trying to get you hooked. Or get a great lawyer, buy it, treat it the same, then sue when the company tries to back away from it. After all, it is America where that's the name of the game!

Oracle support... Sev 1 has a one hour response time, you say?

It's 2AM as I write this, and I've been on a support call since around 10AM this morning for one of our systems which is being recalcitrant about quarter-end close.

I may not be very lucid. :) I'm also a bit grumpy as it's Halloween and my team and I had our personal plans significantly disrupted.

Anyone who has worked with Oracle support has experienced what "one hour" response time means. That first contact in less than an hour is to ask you to do some work for them to diagnose the problem.

Some things I've learned is that, for a true Sev 1, escalate it to the Duty Manager (aka Escalation Manager) as soon as you file it.

  1. Escalations are not the same as increasing the severity of an issue.
  2. Call the 800# and ask for the Duty Mgr. 
  3. Specify your Service Request#, and that you would like to speak to and receive a callback from the Escalation Manager. They should call you back in less than 30 minutes. If they do not, call back and escalate again, preferably to a higher level manager (Sr Manager, Director, and so on)
  4. At this point, you want to know the plan to success, who you spoke with, and any timelines. 
  5. Always get timelines and commitments. "Soon" is not a timeline.
  6. Always get the name of whomever you're speaking with
  7. Always take notes and track the timeline of conversations. 
  8. Be polite. Don't confuse nice with polite, though. My business is very serious about meeting our SLAs, and that sometimes means holding someone accountable, and holding their feet to the fire. Just do it politely, but with an iron will. 

This is a good read from an internal Oracle team member on the Oracle Support Escalation Process