Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Jitterbugged: a little out of synch

In the latest Atlantic Monthly, I saw an add for a simple cell phone that does nothing more than be itself: a simple cell phone. The phone cum service is called Jitterbug, and I posted on it over at Pink Slip yesterday.

The phone looks like a very nifty idea, especially for the parents of aging Boomers. The simplicity, elder-conscious design, and price point will definitely appeal to Boomers worried about their parents, if not (yet) the Boomers themselves.

A tag line at the bottom of the ad read "Jitterbug: brought to you by firstSTREET...for Boomers and Beyond."

Well, even though they didn't give their URL, the first thing I did - as would any curious Boomer - after reading this ad was boogie on over to firstSTREET. (Naturally, firstSTREET's url was not (which took me to a mortgage refinancing site), but The least you can do if you don't list your url is have it be the same as the name you use!)

At firstSTREET I saw all kinds of help-you-along products for Boomers and their parents, including those must-have-by-the-time-you-pass-45 spectrum lamps, as well as nostalgic stuff like retro clocks and record players. Given how many catalog lists I'm on, it's just amazing that I'm not on theirs.

But I had to look twice -with my rapidly aging eyes -  to see any Home Page reference to the Jitterbug. There it was, a small picture in the corner of a guy holding a Jitterbug under the small headline "Best Sellers." And when you click on Best Sellers, it's not even the featured item. (At least it wasn't the day I looked. The featured item was one of the famous spectrum lamps.)

Maybe firstSTREET runs so many ads that they can't possible feature all the advertised products on their home page.

But I'm guessing that they don't. And I'm also guessing that a 2/3's page, full color ad in The Atlantic Monthly - whether paid for by Jitterbug or not - is pretty darned expensive. Maybe they're assuming that the old fogeys who subscribe to The Atlantic aren't web savvy enough to go to the web. (So insult me some more, why don't you?) It strikes me as a squandered opportunity on their part, however. In my book, one of the first things I would have seen on their web site was the Jitterbug.

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