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Why the web isn’t taken seriously

The Danish appliance retailer, Punkt 1, has just released an ad that sums up the problems of the online industry in 31 seconds and two boobs (or four, depending on how you define “boob”).

Summary: Are you confused by the offers for cheap appliances? Look here. Pris = Price (i.e. low price). Prut = Haggle (name your own price). WWW = WWW.

“Confused? I know what you’re feeling. Come down to Punkt 1, we make sure you go home with the right product at the right price.”

Curiously, after having characterized competing media/techniques as something from a cheap sideshow, Punkt 1 immediately offers vacuum cleaners at a 20% discount (Spar = Save). Uh…and you claim you don’t belong to ANY of these groups? Hypocrites! 

But there are three more serious problems. All of them relate to the portrayal of the web as an air-headed bimbo.

First, the clear suggestion is that the web is merely a sexually driven con game, which it certainly is not. Searches on Google for business-to-business and business-to-consumer information now outnumber searches for porn. 

Second, the advertising agency that produced this crap apparently believes this (and the Punkt 1 marketing team bought into this goofy concept). In general, ad agencies steadfastly refuse to accept the dynamics of online communication and do their best to twist electronic media until it looks like print. Sorry, things don’t work that way.

Third, the Danish business community continues to ignore the fact that the WWW is now the number one source of business intelligence. Stick that in your marketing mix and smoke it.

Two days ago, I heard from a well-rounded business executive that “we see our website as our subsidiary in cyberspace.” Yikes. I wrote this 11 years ago in Practical Information Architecture. This notion has been out of date for at least six years. Today, your website needs to be an integral part of your business plan. Think, are your telephones your subsidiary in the communications infrastructure? Hardly!

Punkt 1, you should be ashamed of yourselves for promoting these various myths. You are harming your business (when I bought my expensive dishwasher a few months ago, I didn’t even visit Punkt 1 because your site was so lousy).  By espousing this uninformed attitude, you are actually harming Denmark’s GNP (Gross National Product). And I won’t even go into the matter of sexism.

Friends of the user-experience community: we will never grow and mature until our potential clients understand that crap like this particular advertisement are ultimately not in anyone’s interest.

Punkt 1, for what it cost you to produce this abomination, you could have put together a website that actually built your brand and contributed actively to your bottom line. Rethink your strategy. There is money to be made.
Source: Old site feed