Friday, April 27, 2007

I'd Rather Go Barefoot - In the Snow

Zappos, the overpriced online shoe retailer, is trying very desperately to make us all think of Zappos as a verb. It's not working.

A brand name becomes a verb on its own. When you force it on us, we reject it. And it has only happened naturally twice that I can think of: Xerox and Google. Maybe FedEx gets credit in this category to a degree. Yahoo! tried (and failed) when it asked us, "Do You Yahoo!?" Nevermind that the question ends with an exclamation point and a question mark, it's a stupid question. (Interesting note: the Zappos logo includes a footprint that doubles as an exclamation point. Wow. Original.)

So here comes Zappos with the most annoying, pandering to every demo out there campaign. I've seen the old lady ad, the executive high roller ad and others, all telling us how they "zappos." Here's the dumbest in the bunch. Idiot stoner college punk who looks blearily into the camera and asks "Why go to class?" I can hear the chortles between the bong hits. He's so cool with his not-very-long hair matted into pretend dreadlocks. (And as James H points out in the comments, he's filthy.) This is the kid who needs Alec Baldwin for a father, someone to "fly out there next week and straighten your ass out, you rude thoughtless pig." Nothing against stupid college stoner punks, but I prefer stupid college stoner punks who still go to class, rather than sit in the dorm room spending Mom and Dad's money shopping online for overpriced shoes. Can you say "Backfire," Zappos? That's a verb. I'd like to find ONE person who bought shoes at Zappos because of this ad. "Dude, I wonder if they have hemp Vans?"

  • Free shipping both ways (Translation: we handle TONS of returns)
  • Piece o' cake return policy (Translation: we handle tons of returns AND we are so hip because we said "piece O' cake")
  • "Massive selection" huh? Straight out of your early 80's surf lexicon?
I think I've just decided never to shop at Zappos. I was in need of some Chuck Taylors, but now I'm going to the mall where I can actually try them on first.

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