Posts tagged “cookie”

Bringing the reframe to cookies

It’s time for a cookie post, isn’t it? Grab yourself one or two and settle in.

This video is brilliant. It takes the familiar trope of the manufacturing-process video, plays it backwards, and then constructs an overarching narrative that makes sense of what we’re seeing.

The Oblique Strategies offer a set of provocations that can help with a creative or problem-solving block. This video shows an effective use of one of them: reverse.

ChittahChattah Quickies

  • This isn’t the page of a magazine, this is my desktop [Reddit] – (With link to screenshot of PC desktop at http://imgur.com/QIhqe.jpg) The tv plays youtube, the middle speaker controls volume while the one on the left and right open up Rhythmbox and VLC, the cabinets are notepads, the trashbin is clearly a widget, the clock and alarm clock actually work, the books also serve as launchers, the top bar with the date lets me know of future events. I created the desktop for fun, but don't really recommend it as screenlets seem to use a lot of RAM.
  • Bob and Beyond: A Microsoft Insider Remembers [Technologizer] – [Tandy Trower relates several – ultimately unsuccessful – attempts at Microsoft to ship a UI that leverages key research from Nass and Reeves about the social interactions people have with any technology. In his view, there is tremendous value if it's done right and it wasn't ever done right.] The Office team picked up Microsoft Agent for their next release, but opted not to use the characters I had created as they preferred their own unique ones. To avoid the past user-reported annoyances, they gave users more control over when the character would appear, but did little to reform its behavior when it was present. So, you still had the same cognitive disconnect between the character’s reaction to your actions in the application’s primary interface. The character just became a sugar coating for the Help interface, which, if it failed to come up with useful results, left the user unimpressed and thinking that the character was not very useful.
  • Japanese Food Companies Seek Growth Abroad [NYTimes.com] – [What will this mean to collectors/fans of Foreign Groceries 🙂 ] Ichiro Nakamura, spokesman for Lotte in Japan, said that the 400 versions of Koala’s March cookies — some smile and some cry, some hold musical instruments and some play sports — are much more challenging to manufacture than people might think. “We have a special technology that puffs up the koala-shaped cookies so there is hollow space inside where soft chocolate can be injected later,” Mr. Nakamura said. “And unless you have the right technology, the cookies are going to break easily when packed into boxes.”

Cookie Monsters

nocookie.jpg
I was taken aback when reading this NYT piece on Starbucks loyalty card

Jeffrey D. Lipp, president and chief executive of Chockstone. His company helps customers, including some Starbucks competitors, build and run their own loyalty programs.

What he has found is that it doesn’t take a lot to get diners, for example, to do what restaurants want. One Chockstone gambit involves using the customer’s receipt to make an offer. Return within 10 days, perhaps, and you can get a free dessert, the slip says.

“It’s amazing this stuff works so well,” Mr. Lipp said. “What we’ve found is that people can be bought for a cookie.”

Pardon? You’re an expert in loyalty, but you refer to people being bought? It’s such a Winston Smith moment when the word loyalty – in the context of companies inducing you to return – has no connection with the actual meaning of the word “A feeling or attitude of devoted attachment and affection.” I guess brand and loyalty are completely divorced in the modern corporation.

Note: the picture above comes from our local Safeway store where I have developed an almost Pavlovian association with their free cookie box, which has sat behind the bakery counter to be reached into by slightly sneaky customers. Avoiding sweets most of the time has really pumped up the anticipation I feel when I head to Safeway to pick up groceries or visit the ATM.

So I was stunned to see the sign and realize the free ride was over. If they’ve got me making such a powerful emotional/gustatory association with visiting their store, isn’t that worth a few boxes of cookies per day?

And so, am I being bought for a cookie? I don’t know, really. But the timing of the outrageous quote in the article and the outrageous sign at Safeway suggest some dystopian cookie Happening may be upon us. I’ll keep you all posted.

Series

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