It’s not just a mint - it’s a really bad campaign
Alongside PowerPoint slide design, I think I have a fetish for iPhone applications. Last week I was doing my usual browse through iTunes looking at some of the latest apps when I excitedly discovered one recently released by Tic Tac. I vaguely recalled reading an article about it and how they were apparently one of the leading brands in the digital space.
So I quickly downloaded it, synced it and opened it. And it was shit. So much so that I actually wanted to punch somebody. For those who haven’t seen it, which apparently isn’t many of you because it was downloaded a whole 3000 times in the first week, it’s perhaps the most useless app of all time.
Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with a useless iPhone app. Or even a gimmicky one. Perhaps my favourite app of all time falls into both those categories; iPint (see above video). Released by beer brand Carling, the app appears as a glass full of beer that as you tilt slowly it empties, as though you are drinking it. Yes it’s gimmicky and yes it’s useless. But it’s awesome.
I’ve shown at least twenty three people and it’s always the first thing I bring out with someone unfamiliar with the iPhone’s capabilities. Another of my favourites is the Zippo Lighter, where you can flick on a lighter and wave it around. The flame even flickers when you blow on it. How many people do reckon will hold up their iPhones with this app open next time they’re at a concert?
So what went wrong with the Tic Tac app? Well, you open it and the screen turns into a Tic Tac container. You can tilt the screen and the mints inside fall and make a rattling sound. Which is cool. For about four seconds. Until you realise how much you’d prefer to be holding a sharpened grey lead against your eye while riding on Melbourne’s public transport system.
While there’s a few other things you can play with, this is pretty much the extent of it. Nothing remarkable about it, and definitely not something I’m going to show my mates. Of the 2737 ratings on iTunes, the average ranking is two and half. And no matter what statistic the Brand Manager throws out claiming success based on the number of downloads in the first week, it shouldn’t count if you delete it two minutes later just as I did.
But what annoyed me the most was Brand Manager’s statement following the app’s release. “Our strategy encourages consumers to interact with and share the playful Tic Tac experience”, she stated. I’m sorry, but I do not want to interact with a fucking mint. Unless you’re giving me free shit.
And this is where I have a problem. It’s not just the people at Tic Tac, but it seems like marketers everywhere have suddenly realised that Internet fad isn’t going to fade and decided it is crucial to jump on the bandwagon immediately. And that’s when you end up with rubbish like this app. How many thousands could have been saved had the people behind this campaign simply asked their fifteen year old daughter if they thought the idea was cool or not?
We all know the best thing about Tic Tac’s is when you get two of them stuck together in the top of the lid. Surely there’s an idea behind that somewhere worth executing? Although they’ve just released a new larger sized container to replace the old one, which means I’ll never get two TicTacs stuck together again. Next time I eat a dirty garlic kabab after one too many Jägerbombs I’m having a piece of Extra.
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