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The grinding reality of marketing blogs

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I came across this gem earlier today and a classic example of what Jackie and I call ‘re-inventing the bandwagon’…

Eight O’Clock Coffee Co. is energizing coffee drinkers and its brand with a new blog that invites customers to share their gripes and thoughts about life, work and coffee.

The blog, called The Grind, follows the storyline of a working mother of two who writes about her daily life, and invites visitors to share their own experiences. The first blog entry begins with a quick recap of the weekend and talks about the blogger’s boss, nicknamed "Snobicus," and asks advice on how the blogger can break the ice with the chilly boss.

The goal is to connect consumers to the brand in an interactive format, said Jeff Maloy, Eight O’Clock senior brand manager. The blog will run for six to eight weeks.

This is so bad. How shall I count the ways?

  • Working mother of two – what’s her name or is this just a target demographic that came highest? Doubt it so please, enlighten us… Hang on, I got it. Her name is Eight O’Clock Coffee, it sayz on the blog – posted by Eight O’clock Coffee.
  • Interactive format – comments are good, but no need to asnwer every crank in the comments section, especially it is the first comment on the first post and the answer is the second post on the blog. Or is it someone from the agency who set up the blog trying to ‘crank up’ (sorry) the new interactive engine of the Eight O’Clock Coffee Co? Oh way, I can download a coupon and watch two TV spots. I take it all back…
  • What’s with the used as blogging platform? It sucks. Really. The worst comments facility ever, even some more benighted users use Haloscan to get away from indigenous comments (dis)functionality. But I digress.
  • The blog will run 6-8 weeks? That’s marketing-campaign mindset talking. Sigh.

Perhaps time to be constructive? A coffee blog I want to see tells me about coffee, its history, flavours, pictures, coffee-making tips (OK, there are some on the Grind blog buried at the bottom in small print), baristas, growers, geeky facts about espresso machines etc etc  – themes and topics abound.

And then there is the Ristretto Roasters weblog, set up by Jackie Danicki and run by Nancy Rommelmann, the founder of Ristretto Roasters, an artisanal coffee roasting company with its own café in Portland, OR. I know which blog I’d rather read.

Update: Just noticed that the article in PROMO magazine says that Eight O’ Clock handles the Web site and blog in-house. I take a shot at the imaginary agency back. It still leaves plenty to gripe about… :)

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2 Responses to “The grinding reality of marketing blogs”

  1. Ben Metcalfe
    on Aug 5th, 2006
    @ 17:20 pm

    It’s clearly not a real person – it’s another ‘blog persona’/whatever you want to call it. I’m happy to call them out on that.

    (did you notice the first post was posted at 8:00 am- I wish that was really funny. Sadly it isn’t.)

    The first (and only) comment was posted at the end of the day of the first post – perhaps they got bored waiting for ‘real commenters’? Oh and it begins “I’m sitting here sipping on a cup of coffee” – you can’t make it up.

    Well I guess you gotta give ‘em something for trying it.

  2. Lusiphur
    on Aug 8th, 2006
    @ 20:42 pm

    This kind of marketing is becoming more and more common. I suppose it was only a matter of time.

    An amusing example of it can be found at -

    which is just a viral ad for CourtTV (although a well done one).

    Expose ..

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