Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Qwikster, Branding Hell for Netflix

Netflix has made a series of mistakes lately. One can agree or disagree with Netflix's decision to raise their prices, divorce themselves from the DVD market, force some of their customers to have two accounts (one for the streaming video and the other for DVDs). In fact a good case can be made for Netflix to go entirely to streaming video (provided their library includes all their current DVDs) and even for them to raise their prices but there is no excuse, none whatsoever, for them to not research their trademarked name.

The Board of Directors at Netflix approved the unimaginable: they approved the name of their spinoff company without checking to see if the twitter handle was taken. It was.

Say hello to Qwikster

And here's one of the last tweets from qwikster:

Bored as shyt wanna blaze but at the same time I don't ugh fuck it where's the bowl at spark me up lls

What a public relations nightmare. How is it possible that a tech company allowed this to happen? Here's a few paragraphs from a less than complimentary article:

If there is one downside of Netflix's decision to cancel Qwikster, it is that Jason Castillo, the semi-coherent, weed-curious high-schooler who owned the Twitter handle @Qwikster, never got to extort Reed Hastings and his company for all the money that he could. The single bright side in the monumentally stupid Qwikster fiasco was the existence of @Qwikster; there was an unspoken hope that the totally undeserving, totally unprepared and likely totally blazed owner of that Twitter handle would somehow stumble into a large financial payday from Netflix, which would have represented some kind of victory-by-proxy for all of those customers stupefied by Netflix's stupefying decision to split the services in the first place.

Qwikster was a dumb idea. Dumb, dumb, dumb. It should certainly be a first ballot entrant into the Bad Decision Hall of Fame, enshrined next to New Coke, Prohibition and that time Garth Brooks dyed his hair black and played rock music under the name Chris Gaines. Better choices have been made at 24/7 Las Vegas chapels after too many Limoncello shots.

I agree. Better decisions have been made by drunken fools partying away their life savings in Las Vegas.

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