Rupert Goodwins' Diary

Wednesday 28/06/2006 Hard work and no play — a most unusual set of circumstances, best avoided — prevent me from attending the "Pipex Beach Party" that's being thrown this evening on the roof terrace of a hotel in Soho. Accounts come back of extreme cheese.

Wednesday 28/06/2006

Hard work and no play — a most unusual set of circumstances, best avoided — prevent me from attending the "Pipex Beach Party" that's being thrown this evening on the roof terrace of a hotel in Soho.

Accounts come back of extreme cheese. There were "Baywatch-style babes", which I think means young women in danger of hypothermia even on a summer's day, meeting people. The Cuban Brothers were laying down the dope beats — you may have forgotten them, in which case you won't thank me for reminding you that they were responsible for the Hamster Dance. And the star of the evening — well, one hour out of the three the party ran — was David Hasselhoff, who is now the Face of Pipex.

Quite how this is supposed to help Pipex — which currently leads the pack of second-tier ISPs with around 300k subscribers — isn't clear. The company isn't revealing the Hoffcost, but as the man is worth around an astounding $100 million we can assume he'll have held out for more than two packets of Rolos and an old ISDN terminal adaptor. The economics of tier 2 ISPs preclude massive spends on both marketing and engineering — are more people likely to subscribe because of that nice Mr Hasselhoff's smile than would sign up because Pipex had a better reputation for reliability and value than it does now?

True, David Hasselhoff is a popular figure among the youth. Pipex says that among 16-24-year-olds, he's the "most revered celebrity entertainer on the Internet" and thus the perfect choice for its new campaign. I'm not sure how many 16-24-year-olds pay for their own broadband: will Pipex include membership of the Hoffclub, or give new subscribers the chance to win an evening out with the man himself?

I'd rather have a few more megabits per second. But then, I never did understand marketing — and I'm no longer 16-24.

Or 16+24. Ah well.

 

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