Palm, which is hemorrhaging money, recently decided to part ways with its ad agency Modernista. Modernista was behind some of the Palm Pre’s more interesting advertisements, and truth be told, Palm’s advertising efforts with the Pre were pretty weak and were universally lambasted and laughed at when they first hit the airwaves.
In light of Palm’s financial difficulties, Palm CEO Jon Rubinstein wrote a letter to Palm employees wherein he blamed some of Palm’s woes, in part, on deficient marketing, which he promised would improve going forward. Now it appears that part of that plan includes a new ad agency altogether. On that note, Palm is reportedly already in talks with a number of ad agencies about handling Palm’s upcoming initiatives.
One commenter at Advertising Age, though, put an equal share of the blame on Palm executives:
Palm executives participated very actively in the infamous Palm ad campaign last year. Even Jeff Zwerner, Marketing SVP participated actively as a consultant during the campaign development phase. Sure, Modernista recommendations were not appropriate (and they deserve to be fired) but the Palm marketing executives did not push back when needed. Ultimately, the vision was provided by Palm and that was the first mistake. Palm execs including Zwerner were stupid and developed a brand campaign (inspired by Apple) that reflected a mature brand (like Apple). The failure of the campaign truly reflected the arrogance of the Palm execs who thought that Palm was already the new Apple. The campaign should have focused on functionality and not on weird, aspirational, subjective stuff – as in last year’s campaign. Let’s be clear – the problem with Palm was (is?)the arrogance of his executives – this was fully reflected in all their mistakes (advertising, POS training, etc, etc) – sadly, many of these executives still remain at Palm…
Here’s one of Palm’s creepy Palm Pre commercials. Yeah, we don’t get it either.