Bad Examples

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Jacob and United Airlines

By Tom Ruwitch

I got a call last month from my son, Jacob, who declared, “I’m never flying United Airlines again!” Here’s why he was so upset… Jacob was at the Denver airport, at one of those self-serve check-in kiosks. It was crowded and hectic. There was a long line to get through security. He was frazzled. He…

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Job Seeker Nukes Urine

By Tom Ruwitch

WARNING: You may never microwave a convenience store burrito again after reading this kinda-gross, but kinda-funny(?) story!!! A job-seeker in Aurora, CO prepped for an interview and drug test by taking a cup of urine to a 7-11 near her prospective employer’s office. She popped the urine in the oven, set it to “High,” pressed start…

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Lots of Women’s Emails From Nordstrom’s

By Tom Ruwitch

This is a tale about how to annoy email subscribers and encourage them to opt-out. I signed up for Nordstrom Rack’s email list last year after I bought a couple of shirts from them. Men’s shirts (I’m a man). Since then, I’ve received almost-daily emails from Nordstrom’s. Eighty percent of the emails peddle women’s products.…

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Borrowing Email Lists Greitens Etc.

By Tom Ruwitch

The meeting went off the rails when I asked, “How are you going to build your email list?” The nonprofit executive director replied, “We’re going to borrow lists from some other nonprofits we partner with.” “I recommend against that,” I said. “But we do that all the time with direct (postal) mail,” she said. I…

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Girlfriend Flowers

By Tom Ruwitch

Back in high school, I had a crush on Amanda, but she had a boyfriend named Cam. A few days before her 16th birthday, she was flirting with me, bad-mouthing Cam, hinting that he was toast. So I made my move.  During the birthday party at her house, I snuck up to her room with…

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Pedestrian Bridge Marketing Failure

By Tom Ruwitch

The following story discusses one company’s marketing failure related to the pedestrian bridge collapse in Florida. I hesitated before sharing this story. I didn’t want to make light of the tragedy or dishonor the six people who died in Florida. I’ve chosen to proceed with the email because I think it contains a valuable marketing…

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Dude Checks Gas Leak With Match

By Tom Ruwitch

I ran across an article the other day about a dumb dude in Michigan who smelled gas coming from his newly installed water heater. He checked for the leak by lighting a match. He shoulda died, but he got off easy… …with singed eyebrows. Mixing fire and gas leak — that wasn’t his first mistake. …

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Ketchup and Hardcore Porn

By Tom Ruwitch

Did you hear the one about the ketchup bottle and the hardcore pornography site? Whoh! Settle down now. It’s not what you think. This is a G-rated story that is super-pertinent for anyone marketing a business. Turns out that the good folks at Heinz sold ketchup bottles in Germany that promoted a contest website. But…

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Groundhog Day

By Tom Ruwitch

I hope you had a joyous Groundhog Day! (It was last Tuesday, in case you missed it). Truth be told, I can live without the holiday. But I love the movie. Weatherman Phil Connor (Bill Murray) wakes each morning in Punxsutawney, PA for a Groundhog Day do-over.  On each of these days, Phil runs into an…

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Dump the Grammar Guide

By Tom Ruwitch

Back in high school I had a basketball coach who didn’t win any spelling bees or grammar contests. Once, after we failed to run the play he called during practice, he stormed onto the court, screaming: “Jeez, yous guys! Don’t you know the American language!?” Smart-ass kids that we were, we used to mock Coach…

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