Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Anyone sending an AYPFC? message to Tele2 Latvia?

An AYPFC message is one that starts with " Are you people fucking crazy??" Maybe it should be sent to Tele2, Latvia's biggest mobile operator (it claims) in terms of customer numbers. It was Tele2 that organized the "meteorite falls in Latvia" stunt that got the country its 15 minutes (or more) of underserved international fame. As if a meteor strike on top of a devastating economic crisis was something positive. It was certainly not something that Latvia "caused" by its own activity.
The publicity stunt, which caused underpaid Latvian firemen, police and soldiers to rush to a huge smoking crater outside Mazsalaca, a kind of Latvian Podunk, certainly had no message about mobile telecoms services. It had the unintended and black humor effect of causing some totally batshit* local lady (reputedly a local town councilor, where they don't check if you are batshit or not) to stand in a road selling tickets for 1 LVL apiece to curiousity seekers.
I am beginning to wonder whether Tele2's marketing director Jānis Spoģis has gone off the deep end. Maybe not, because the previous goon-show style Tele2 commercial, with adults skateboarding off rooftops into swimming pools and doing burnouts on a kitchen floor with a motorscooter reputedly came from Sweden, where the Tele2 group is headquartered. So the Vikings are back to eating those mushrooms again...
By contrast, the local Latvian commercials for the Zelta Zivtiņa (Golden Fish) prepaid cards have been charming even when bizarre, such as when the cow Gauja moves into the "Friends" - style apartment with the usual characters. Or when one of the characters sews a huge crocodile for "nothing" -- the price of calls to a circle of friends on the Tele2 network.
Apparently this is not the end of the Viking mescalero (people who chew hallucinogenic cacti) campaign. We will probably see fake sea (lake) monsters rising from a Latvian lake or perhaps UFO-style balloons floating high in the sky (we'll see if Tele2 will be as ready to pay for scrambling NATO F-16s as it was to compensate the fire department). Well, the balloon thing was already done by a family of wackos in America.
I am in Las Vegas as I write, the capital of "unreal" in the US, though at a a very real IBM Information on Demand (IOD2009) conference and the whole meteorite incident seems even beyond building a second Eiffel Tower (where you can get married) which the Vegas folks have done.

* from the urban dictionary :)

batshit insane

When someone has crossed into extreme insanity.


Alise said...

Dear Mr. Kaža, how did you enjoy LMT leather-suited bikers crashing the office TV commercial?

The Ubiquitous Mr. Lovegroove said...

What is totally batshit is how people in government react to this. There is an explosion at a site, firemen come, see that nothing is burning and leave.
Time wasted - 20 man hours. A Civil defense guy comes with a Geiger counter, measures radioactivity - normal and leaves. Time spent max 5h.
Scientists come, quickly discover hoax, leave. Time spent - 10 man hours.
Total necessary time waste: 40 man-hours. Maximum cost in time - 3000 EUR + expenses.

Tele2 promised to repay. I don't see what's the problem. Oh wait, I do see - inadequate reaction to pranks. "How about we send a squadron of police, firemen, ministry of interior officials to stand around the hole and act stupid?" must have been the great idea.

Wannabe Sorosieši said...

Slight edit "There is an explosion at a site, firemen come, fireman is hurt responding." or Police officer dies in wreck while speeding to scene of supposed meteor.

That is what is wrong. We should all be pissed that Tele2 is so cavalier with the lives of the police, fire etc. Not to mention the fact that Tele2 is using OUR govt infrastructure to cause THEIR publicity. Fuck em.

Udzi & Mx said...

Nja tas mobilio reklamas nu tadas divainas !

Anonymous said...

One of the rare positive things which have occured recently. It makes some people smile.

Ou yee I forgot redtapists who calculate all the money, because money is so important that our life is money, and it costs so much, and cirsis and, crisis, me unhappy, and you unhappy, why laugh when sad sad sad.

Ha ha, I like to move it. Because its really funny when you think about it and it so serious. I start to like TELE2 more and more. I will definetly become their client. With Love. Mr life is good

Baron Tornakalns said...

What really surprises is that Tele2, Stendzenieks et al. genuinely seem to believe that any publicity is good publicity.
No doubt the "creatives" sat around waxing lyrical about viral marketing etc etc blah blah before this juvenile exploit.
But no-one has been able to explain what the actual point of this was other than vague guff about "putting a smile on people's faces" etc.
Is getting coverage an end in itself, regardless of the content? No, not if the only real result is to help consolidate Latvia's position as the European capital of hapless wannabe comic curiosities, a sort of Ruritania for the MTV generation.
If all these ad execs, marketing specialists etc want is to get noticed, they'd be better off just dropping their pants at the freedom monument and inserting root vegetables into any available orifice.