A relatively new startup out of San Jose just released a Beta version of its instant voicemail service delivered to any of your eMail contact lists. The company, PINGER (not the river in Thailand), is exclusively funded by Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers.

Considered to be an “early adapter” I tapped into the site, registered and was up and running with several hundred contacts in just three minutes. The first voicemail was placed to my own eMail account at Gmail from my cellphone. The interface proved simple and easy to navigate. The pick-up on the other end was just as smooth with no prompting required by the recipient. Voice quality was surprisingly good.

Cost for the service, at least for now, is free. I suspect support in the form of text advertising will keep the service free for the most part with few, if any, complaints. Volume users will also be charged a fee for excess messages.

For now, it’s a novel way to send voice messages to a contact that might not otherwise want to be bothered by phone messages. Down the road, I can see its integration with a host of business applications. It can also be a boon to the visually impaired and those individuals that don’t have easy access to a PC.

Take Pinger for a spin …. …. and PING! me with your comments.


The versatility of the common egg, touted as a perfect food in a perfect package, was bound to hit Madison Avenue sooner or later.

A Boulder Colorado company, Egg Fusion, perfected a method to laser-etch the egg surface with expiration dates and, yes, marketing messages.

The CBS network will be among the first to use the technology to promote its Fall line-up. CSI – “Crack The Case”, The Amazing Race – “Scramble To Win On CBS” are but a hint of what we can “eggspect” this Fall.

Has Mad-ison Avenue gone too far? As a consumer, I resent the use of a food product that I purchased, with an “in-your-face” commercial message on it. If you want to place an ad on my property, then pay me for it --- or reduce the cost of the product. I can draw a close analogy to cookies placed on my hard-drive. Don’t put them there unless there is some kind of return or benefit in it for me….and ask me first.

The implied benefit in this instance is the ability to recognize an expiration date, etched in alongside the ad message. No thanks. Every carton carries that information on its side – I don’t need to be reminded twelve times.

The consumer will, ultimately decide if this is a passing fad. I trust the consumer.
As for CBS, it’s the perfect package -- Created By Sperm.


She's famous for her thin-lipped smile, hiding a secret only her creator knew. Today, it's no secret that Sandra Bernhard has no secrets.

When scheduled to board a plane post the recent security measures banning liquids, gels and, yes, lipsticks, she declared "try to take away my MAC PlushGlass and it's World War III!".

MAC brilliantly jumped on this to distribute a 2-minute video rant by Bernhard on the topic of lips. Who better?!


this is an audio post - click to play

As the pitch for the Subway Sandwich business moves forward, took a bold step forward in an attempt to let Subway's management peek under its covers and watch how an agency pulls its pitch team together.

It's a big gamble and likely a bigger mistake.

In a nine-plus minute video posted on YouTube, the agency serves up nothing more than a lame comedy routine a bunch of teens could have come up with. Getting behind the counter, serving up sandwiches as sandwich artists, the pitch team makes the process appear simple minded and non-professional. It's high school all over again.

The video itself proves to be boring, uneventful, complete with innuendos and insults. The management at Subway, in a smart move, made "no comment".

The seeming lack of organization on the part of to put its best foot forward can only help its competition. Wow me with consumer insights and buzz, research, and marketing prowess. Tell me about my competition. Show me how to leverage the dynamic shift in consumer marketing channels. Give me examples of success in my category. And create brilliant communications that embody these principles.

At the end of the day, did more to generate awareness of itself across tens of thousands of viewers. That's what they may have expected .... Ironically, it was attention drawn to a lousy execution.

Here's the video if you can stand it for nine minutes .... be patient while it loads.