Update: Minimalist villains!
If you remember the comics magazine Cracked from back in the day (it was similar to Mad Magazine), you may be surprised to see that Cracked.com is completely different. The internet-age incarnation now lampoons strange and unusual facts.
For instance, this recent article (NSFW) reveals that there's not much to common "high tech" products except good marketing:
HeadOn, as it turns out, is almost completely made from wax, with a small amount of extra crap--small as in parts per trillion--added in. That means it is, effectively, just wax.
This comic blog is a recent find for me. If you're in the marketing and design biz, you'll recognize some all-too-familiar frustrations here.
If these are some of your favorite sayings or ideas, you just might be a marketer.
Forgive the spammy nature of this post, but these are some pretty good juxtapositions (some NSFW). It's funny to see two strong marketing messages, oblivious of context, crash and burn together.
Geeks don't take holidays. Despite the fact that yesterday was Labor Day, the internet buzzed with the news that Google was soon to release its own browser, Chrome. Everyone knew this because Google mailed a press release --in the form of a comic book-- over the weekend.
Some blogs seemed to get a chuckle out of the gesture ("No Joke: Google Introduces the Chrome Browser with a Cartoon"), but I think Google played this one well.
First off, who better to make the comic than Scott McCloud himself? The man literally wrote the book on comics as visual communication. He takes what could have easily been a rather dull presentation and makes it lively and accessible.
But accessible to whom? Who is the audience for this comic? There are some topics, like process management, that seem geared towards the technical crowd. But then what developer needs to have open source explained to them?
Perhaps Google believes that its users --not just its developers-- should know these details about the software and its politics. Maybe your dad should know how plugin security works. If the new browser is to succeed, Google needs to appeal to more than just surface features (i.e. chrome).
It shows a lot of respect for the audience to actually try to teach them something rather than try to gloss over it with buzzwords or fancy effects. If Google can educate its audience about what is important in a browser, it will make them critical consumers.
If users are smarter because of their efforts, it raises the bar for everyone who makes a browser-- which, presumably, puts Google in a good position. In that sense, the comic is a form of pedagogical marketing.