The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]


The Sound Of Shit …
January 13, 2014, 6:10 am
Filed under: Comment

So today is the first ‘proper’ week back at work.

Yes, I know for most of us, we all started back last Monday – but don’t try and tell me it was a productive week. You probably spent most of your time moaning and trying to work out how you could retire but still have enough cash to buy food, booze and gadgets.

Anyway, to celebrate this horrendous occasion, I thought I’d start off with a product that has – quite frankly – one of the most ridiculous product differentiators I’ve ever seen.

Ladies and gentleman, boys and girls … I give you this moment of product development mentalness from Philips:

Look at that headline, ‘THEY LOOK LIKE JEANS’.

No they don’t, they look like headphones.

Bad headphones.

And besides, who the hell would even want some that look like jeans.

Scrap that, who the hell would even want some that have denim on them?

What the hell were Philips thinking????

Actually, that’s probably the problem … they’re not thinking, because if they were, they’d know this sort of thing was utterly ridiculous – even more ridiculous than that grenade bluetooth speaker? I wrote about last year.

Everything about this product smacks of a company just going through the motions.

There’s no reason for them, no benefit to them … they’re just adding to the noise – and I would bet the reason for this is because the headphone division of Philips had a KPI to launch 3 new products this season and this is ensuring they don’t get told off in their annual review.

They wouldn’t be the first organisation to ‘output for self interest’ reasons, but it still doesn’t make it any better.

When you look at the success of BEATS and countless others, you can see there are ways to make an impact on almost any market, however shoving a piece of denim on a pair of headphones and running an ad that say’s, ‘They Look Like Denim, They Sound Like Awesome Headphones’ is not one of them.

My heart goes out to the creative team that had to put this together. I’m fairly certain it will never, ever, ever feature in their portfolio, just like I doubt those headphones will never, ever, ever feature on a pair of ears that are owned by someone over the age of 7.

And that ad has the nerve to use a tag line that says, “You Need To Hear This”.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

Seriously, the last thing anyone wants to do is draw attention to either that product or that ad.

An ad, I hasten to add, that has a background image that is one of the best bits of terrible cliche I’ve seen in a long, long time.

So to the lovely folks at Philips … you used to say you were about sense and simplicity, well it seems you’re only 50% of that statement these days, so may I suggest you get your act together before you end up looking like Nokia.


30 Comments so far
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It appears with this post, you’re back on form very quickly Robert. Good assessment of a terrible product and ad.

Comment by Lee Hill

Goodness, I’m first to comment. 2014 is the year for dramatic change.

Comment by Lee Hill

Does this mean you’ve accomplished your new year resolution already Lee? Congratulations, but I think you should aim higher next year.

Comment by DH

My commiserations Lee. I hope your career can withstand the shame.

Comment by Rob

Beats must be shitting themselves.

Comment by Billy Whizz

I’ll ignore those headphones because they haven’t got a single redeeming feature about them. But the problem with beats is that they their loudness comes from how they look, not how they sound and they sound shit.

Comment by DH

That is the best articulation about Beats that I have heard.

Comment by George

And the creatives who did that ad will be shitting themselves more than Beats. If their name gets out, they’re finished.

Comment by DH

I feel sorry for Philips. They make all manner of good quality, reliable and well bought out products but undermine themselves by communicating beige blandness or cliched cool that turn people off in equal measure. They feel like an organization struggling to define who they are even though from a product perspective, they appear fairly consistent. Jean headphones aside.

Comment by George

I like Philips too, but they are a company who definitely could benefit remembering ‘less is more’.

Comment by Rob

And the problem is, when they do come out with something great – their Hue lights for example – too many people will ignore it because the company doesn’t command an image that makes you think they push boundaries, but that they simply make simple things and do them well. There’s nothing wrong with that – and they embraced it with their ‘sense and simplicity’ positioning a while back, but I genuinely believe they are much better than that and they need to stop being bland and have a real point of view that people re-frame the brand in their mind. But then I would say that wouldn’t I.

Comment by Rob

Philips have a history of meaningful innovation but it is now getting lost in a sea of meaningless launches that achieve nothing except undermine their legacy and potential. It’s a great shame.

Comment by Pete

You’re only as good as your last work. It seems too many companies [and agencies] are happy to live on legacies created by previous generations of talented people.

But then, when we live in a corporate world where you’re rewarded for keeping things on the straight and narrow, what do you expect.

Comment by Rob

Two questions. What’s “real denim fabric” and given that it’s the “first ‘proper’ week back at work” can we assume that you’e on holiday next week?

Comment by John

Judging by Philips taste, I’m surprised their real denim fabric isn’t stonewashed.

Comment by Bazza

Wait for the rhinestone limited edition.

Scarily, this might not be a joke.

Comment by Rob

Philips cars would have been a better idea
A terrible dad dancing at wedding example- replete with white mans over bite

Comment by Northern

Why are you commenting at this time Northern? Children temper-tantrum issues? An annoyed wife? A dodgy curry? Or the realisation this blog means more to you than life itself. Ahem.

Comment by Rob

Insomnia, I needed something to help me sleep

Comment by northern

Sadly that is a genius response. Damn you.

Comment by Rob

A unique value proposition that can be copied by anyone with a piece of fabric and some velcro.

Nice one Philips, but should have gone corduroy or paisley if you were in it to win it.

Comment by Shackleford Hurtmore

I’m just surprised they didn’t put rivets in it. Or do a joint promotion with a jean company. A bad jean company of course.

Comment by Rob

Philips is out of time and touch. In sharp contrast to Beats or Sol Republic who have a “sound” philosophy – one based on respect for the musician.

Sol’s philosophy:
“We believe musicians are modern day storytellers. Their songs unite a nation, ignite a revolution and move mankind. Their Songs Deserve Respect. Their music deserves great sound.

Comment by patrick dsouza

Philips seem to be creating products using the same process that they use to test their communication. That is not a compliment. By the way, don’t you work with Beats Rob?

Comment by Pete

Yes I do. I’ll leave it there before the abuse starts. Ha.

Comment by Rob

Oh, and for the record, I/we don’t do ads for them – at least not yet – we’re focused on product design/development. No Beats car though. At least not yet, ha.

Comment by Rob

what the fuck can you do for beats? i bet thats the best fucking news every competitor has heard in years. i know hip replacement pensioners who are hipper than you and i bet all the shit 80/90s pop stars you played with are wetting their panties thinking youre going to bring them back for a dre produced album. poor fuckers, still havent realised theyre n the “where are they now” bucket because of you. the worlds gone mad. fucking mad.

Comment by andy@cynic

Do hookers over index on headphones?

Comment by northern

On behalf of former Philips Team members including working on in-ear headphones that were supposed to be like jewelry. ..they have so missed the plot for so long I don’t know if it’s them or their agency…

Comment by krisinamsterdam

So they went from headphones trying to look like jewelry to headphones that look like jeans. Maybe they should try headphones that look like headphones.

Comment by DH




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