Thursday, September 12, 2013

Stupid press release: dating site donates HUNDREDS of dollars

Sometimes press releases drive me nuts. Okay, often. Here's one I just received and I was compelled to write back. Names redacted to protect the stupid. All grammatical and spelling errors are left in tact.
"(Owners of dating service)  are extending their mission beyong the real romance in online dating through their charitable donations to orphanage organization, educational institution, medical group, and different foundations. 
With members coming from thirty different countries, to be a true force for change and integrity is part of the mission of (dating site, who McAfee says is dangerous and I shouldn't click, and whose female dates are Christian and Asian).
They have magnanimously donated hundreds of dollars to community groups to help less fortunate individuals improve their lives.
They would be happy to set up an exclusive interview with you as someone who has showned interest in the human side of the dating industry." 
Man, it's so bad they're tempting me like this. I haven't had a good rant in awhile. so I let loose and emailed them this. I made sure to copy both the company press contact, and the PR agency who wrote it. Let's see if they respond! (follow up note - they didn't)
My response:
(PR person whose name is on the press release): maybe you can advise your clients that instead of just donating hundreds of dollars to the less fortunate ("magnanimously donated hundreds of dollars to community groups to help less fortunate individuals improve their lives") they can use the money they spend on PR to help others instead. It's a little silly to send out a press release about a company donating HUNDREDS of dollars - especially magnanimously. Is there another way to give other than trying to be kind and helpful?

It's great to donate money, but divide hundreds of dollars by the number of recipients (medical institutions, orphanages, educational institutions and other foundations), the money doesn't go too far. Any donations are good. They just don't all merit a press release. That's not magnanimous, that's just self-interested.

And for the record, I'm not "someone who has showned interest in the human side of the dating industry." Perhaps you have my work mixed up with someone else's. I don't write about the dating industry. 

Also, given the number of typos and incorrect grammatical statements in your press release, your client should consider firing you.

All the best, Debbie

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Stupid Product: Poo-Pourri

Sometimes a product comes along that may be effective, but its name is so awful one can't imagine actually purchasing it or having it in the house. That product is Poo-Pourri. Yes, its onomatopoeia - its name effectively tells you what it is without you having to look it up.

But look it up you do. With a no-follow link. No link juice for you Poo-Pourri!

They MUST have a sense of humor, because their products have names like "Sh*ttin Pretty," "Party Pooper," "Secret Santa," "Potty Mouth," "Deja Poo," "Crap Shooter," "Poo-Tonium," "Trap a Crap," "No. 2," "Call of the Wild," and the list goes on. And on. And on. Like some really long poops after you've had a lot of fiber.

Many of my blogging friends have been inundated with annoying and persistent emails glorious offers to conduct a giveaway. What, Poo-Pourri, no offers for Stupid Products? Oh yeah, we don't do giveaways.

Given the relentless number of emails the bloggers have been receiving, "I had this image of this recent college grad, marketing major, hitting "send all" and then going right to to look for a new job," said Vacation Gal Jen Miner (that's a "do follow" link, by the way).

Jen sent me the press release from her email's trash bin. "I call that scent Fecal Attraction," she said, possibly earning herself an interview to be their new scent namer.

These bloggers may be passing up a great opportunity, though. Reviews on the website often come with quotes from people with actual names and cities. Do these people not know about their internet history living on FOREVER? They really want to go on the record talking about how their shit no longer smells?

"You have changed my life! I am no longer uncomfortable using a public bathroom." Nicole Tomlinson, Jacksonville Beach, FL

"I love and live for your products!" -Serena Hickes

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Stupid product: pet paint

I know what you're thinking. Wow! I've always wondered how I could paint my dog so he wouldn't have to wear a stupid costume. But Home Depot spray paint is permanent! Your problems are solved by your friends at Pet Paint.

You're probably also saying that you're not artistic enough to come up with these great designs for your dog. Lucky for you, Pet Paint also sells stencils! Just get your dog to sit still while you paint him.

Here's one of their tips for painting: "Spray patterns can be adjusted with distance from animal. Use stencils for nice detailed edges, shapes nad (sic) symbols. Use your dog's natural color patterns to accent your design. For brilliant color on dark animals spray white first then your final color over the white base."

I know you're also wondering how you can bond with your dog some more, because that morning walk, afternoon hike and fetch in the yard isn't doing it. You realize you're growing apart and not connecting in meaningful ways. Well Paint Paint is the answer.

"PetPAint is a quickly expanding color spray line for dogs built on creating a lasting relationship between dogs and their owners." 

If you're not sure when you should use Pet Paint, you can use it for
  • Changing your dog’s wardrobe
  • Or just a little something for the Fashionista in us all

Thursday, May 23, 2013

How not to write a press release

Hello, I hope your day is going well. If you have a quick moment, I wanted to bring this great infographic to your attention that may be worth sharing on Frisco Kids. Of course, you'll be the judge of that when yout (SIC) take a look at the infographic.

It's "The History of Roller Skates" an infographic about how roller skates were developed over the years: (I deleted link)
I’d really like to know what you think; your feedback would be greatly appreciated. And of course, feel free to share it on your site if you think it’s a good fit and/or that your readers could get some good info from it. Anyways, (SIC) thank you for taking a look and I hope you have a great day.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Stupid Product: Baby "Itty Wig"

This came through the email today:

"I wanted to run some information by you for a fun product for parents with infants, toddlers and small kids. Itty Wigs Baby Headbands."

Shockingly it did not come to my Stupid Products email address. Would you put this thing on your innocent daughter?
The "Cam Bow Wig"

I don't know which is scarier - the plastic model, or the hair pieces.
The even scary thing about the kid below, is that she's wearing another item featured on Stupid Products - the Baby Belly stickers!

In case you were wondering, these "wigs" are around $9 each. You can check out their photo gallery featuring real children here.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Women's Urinal

I don't even know where to start with this item. Uh, the name? Lady Elegance P EZ Female Urinal.
I saw this item on Groupon Goods where it will only be for a few more days, so I'll point you toward Amazon instead (disclosure, I get a small commission if you buy one).

As always, Groupon had an awesome write-up. "After it's sanitized, the hygienic accessory can be stored discreetly within a bag or conspicuously atop one's head." They also note that it doubles as an emergency lacrosse basket. I love Groupon.

It actually got a few good reviews here as well as on Amazon, where reviewers noted how great it is to direct the pee into a bottle (like if you're sailing and there's no bathroom) or for those who are camping/hiking and don't want to lower their hoo hoo into a bush.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Product: Mascara Shield

For those of you who get mascara all over yourself when applying it, there's a company waiting to take your money. Each mascara shield will last a whole month (and it doubles as an eyelash curler). Now if they can just get Kim Kardashian to promote it...

Read this convincing testimonialThis is exactly what my mom needs! She's been complaining that she can no longer see her eyelashes well enough to apply her mascara. I can't wait to tell her about the NOSMUDGEE.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Ghost Pony

Admittedly, I missed the Cabbage Patch Kid craze. And still don't get the Beanie Baby thing. Didn't see that one coming. Silly Bands is a bandwagon I wished I jumped on (for a short time). But the Ghost Pony? Yeah, not going there.

The toy designer is doing a Kickstarter campaign, and has almost reached the amount of funding requested. I will say that her other stuffed "horribly adorable baby" toys are kind of cute - in a vampire way. With more than 95,000 Facebook likes (which is uh, a few thousand more than I have) I guess she's on to something.

Contest: Toilet Paper Wedding Dress

My friend Hilary posted on Facebook her response to a press release question: "Can we interest you in sharing the news about this years official toilet paper wedding dress contest? Please let us know if you would like some photos and are interested in being notified of this years winners."

Her answer was "NO!"

Of course I had to see the press release. And the photos of last year's winner:

OMG! These dresses look real! Is there no fabric whatsoever? There are more dresses here. (And some tips from a video - don't have a pickle jar head in the photo. And don't be drunk in the photo. they can tell. No "bride of Chuckie" dolls. That's too scary.)

The 2011 winner used only 4 rolls of toilet paper, hot glue and packing tape. The really pouffy one at the bottom used 20 rolls of toilet paper and various types of glue (including modge podge).

Not that I'll be entering, but...
The rules:

• You must use (a certain brand) toilet paper, tape, glue and/or needle and thread.
• The dress must be able to be worn by a human and be able to be taken on and off.
• DO NOT use zippers, Velcro, clasps, snaps, buttons, or any other material that is not fashioned of Toilet Paper, Tape, and/or Glue

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Boob Tattoos

Okay, I'm going to leave this up to the readers to decide. What do YOU think?

These are "temporary tattoos for your ta-tas" - by ta ta toos and according to the press release, they've sold "hundreds of thousands."

In case you're wondering, they're $9.95 with free shipping.

I volunteer to try them out if the company wants to send me a "pair." I don't promise to post pictures, though.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Stupid Ad: Staples

I'm looking forward to making my trip to Staples this week to see how many chairs and pieces of furniture I can stuff into this bag for my 20% savings.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Stupid Products: Sky Mall Catalog

While flying over the winter break, we had the chance to pore over the Sky Mall catalog. WAY too many stupid products in there. Thought I'd share:

Now if you have an awesome Halloween haunted house every year (paging Jody), this may be a good purchase for you. But $100 for a life size zombie, "captured in quality designer resin with meticulous detail and finished so realistically that you'll swear you can hear him groaning!" Assemble it yourself - it arrives in 3 pieces.

You too can own your own roach clip dental napkin holder for only $8. "Ideal for dining out." Uh huh. If you're at a lobster restaurant. Or an old age home.

Because everyone needs their own Garden Yeti. Lifesize is only $2,250. "Sorry, flag not included." That made me spit out my coffee. "Our nearly six foot tall Garden Yeti will have guests doing a double-take as they admire your creative home or garden style!" Yeah, they'll be doing a double-take, knowing they will never again come to your house, because you're wiped off their social list.

Get your own 4 foot tall Countdown to Christmas Santa, for only $300. That on-board microchip will be able to keep track even if you lose power or have to plug him in somewhere else!

I have to admit this one is kind of funny. For $20 you can have fake hair in your visor. The bonus is SPF coverage of your bald pate!

I couldn't decide which of these was the worst. You have the Armadillo beverage holder for $20. I guess for those times you don't want to get beer rings on the wood table. It's "fully hand-painted one piece at a time." That job would suck.

Then there's the "Bigfoot, the Bashful Yeti Tree Sculpture." For $70 it can scare off the racoons. Yeah, probably not.

And your very own copy of the Belgian Manneken Pis sculpture. I'm so cultured I've actually seen the original. Though not dressed up in Judo attire, as you can see on this link. While an awesome conversation piece, this definitely does tie in with the Armadillo beer holder. You can "display this delightful sculpture in your gallery" - your GALLERY? Whoever buys this would definitely not have a gallery.

What are your favorite items from the Sky Mall catalog?