SanDisk launches ‘iDon’t’ anti-iPod campaign | iLounge News

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SanDisk launches ‘iDon’t’ anti-iPod campaign

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By LC Angell

Contributing Editor
Published: Monday, May 22, 2006
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SanDisk, the No. 2 seller of digital music players in the U.S., has drastically stepped up its efforts to take on the iPod with a new Guerrilla marketing campaign. The company’s “iDon’t” campaign, launched over the weekend, consists mainly of an anti-iPod website, but also includes paid foot soldiers at university campuses. The “iDon’t” website’s main purpose is to promote SanDisk’s Sansa e200 music player by communicating to consumers that owning an iPod is unoriginal and that iPod users are followers.

“Calling all free thinkers, contrarians, and malcontents. The time has come to rise up against the iTatorship,” the site’s manifesto reads. “To resist the monotony of white earbuds and reject the oppressive forces of cultural conformity. Now is the time to break free from restrictive formats and a single source for music. Its time for choice, for freedom, for self expression—and for independent spirits to stand up and say ‘iDon’t’. You don’t need to follow. There is now an alternative.”

The “iDon’t” website proudly links to anti-iPod websites like Cyber Rodent, Anything But iPod, and iPod’s Dirty Secret. SanDisk is also selling T-shirts and offering free downloadable posters and desktop pictures featuring artwork such as iSheep, iChimp, iFollow, iHerd, iSchackle, iDroid, and iPuppet.

The SanDisk campaign is being handled by Grey Direct, which calls itself “a world-leading direct marketing agency with a focus on maximizing return on investment.” A news entry on the site by “Eric (a.k.a. Da Sheep Herder)” reads: “This site and the iDon’t campaign are the creation of several of us renegades behind the new Sansa player, from SanDisk. And this is our playful way of saying “Enough! Yeah, we’re just fed up with the ever-expanding flock of iSheep swarming through our cities. You’ve seen them. They’re everywhere. Every bus, train and city sidewalk is a mass of white headphones. Blindly they’ve bought into the hype without ever realizing there are other mp3 players out there.”

iLounge has received at least one report of an “iDon’t” representative approaching college students on campus offering free T-shirts. An iLounger reports that he was handed a black tee featuring an illustration of a chimp wearing Apple’s popular white earbuds (shown below). “So today, when I came out of my Monday morning lecture at university, putting my earphones on I notice this girl coming up to with a T-shirt,” he says. “At first I thought she was one of those annoying survey people, but I noticed there was more of them and then when I pulled my ear phone off she said ‘It’s iDont.com!’ staring at the T-Shirt realizing that there is an ape with white earphones. She gave it to me because I have black earphones.”

SanDisk’s director of consumer product marketing, Eric Bone, said in February that the company wants to be “a strong No. 2 in the MP3 space,” adding that “there are people who, no matter what, will buy an iPod. All I want is for people to think there is an alternative.” SanDisk, which began selling digital music players in November 2004, used its weight in the flash memory industry and strong presence at American retailers to sell one million players during this past year’s holiday quarter, putting it in a distant second place to Apple.

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Comments

21

Hmm. Does it play .aac files? If it does, woo. I love the idea of having a removable battery, and removable flash storage (would make upgrading very cheap indeed)

Posted by Liam on May 22, 2006 at 1:56 PM (PDT)

22

The “buy this, it’s not an iPod” campaign might attract a few high-schoolers who are struggling to understand conformity, but I don’t think I’m overly optimistic in saying that most people are a little smarter than that. If they wanted to effectively slam the iPod and draw in some intelligent customers, the least they could do is come up with a better interface and offer something truly innovative. I’m waiting. :O

Posted by urrr on May 22, 2006 at 2:07 PM (PDT)

23

I’m all for competition, but I hate companies whose main focus of marketing is to smear the competition (Miller Brew, Pepsi).  Sell YOUR product.

Posted by bim on May 22, 2006 at 2:13 PM (PDT)

24

Well it looks like the Apple fanboys are all over this topic. I wonder if they all emailed one another and said “Hey lets go bash SanDisk for coming up with an advertisement campaign that threatens our beloved Apple.”

the SanDisk campaign has to be one of the most different advertisement I’ve seen in a long time. and I like! companies that keep doing the same type of advertising campaign are a dime a dozen and you can not distinguish between the companies.

and to all you frakin idiots that think SanDisk is going to the grave, do some frakin research and dont make off the handle comments. SanDisk is the biggest supplier of flash memory cards for digital cameras. thats where SanDisk’s money comes from. not their mp3 division.

Posted by Joe on May 22, 2006 at 2:14 PM (PDT)

25

quoting icon:
“Didn’t Apple have that big ‘anti-IBM’ advtert campaign a few decades ago? And that whole ‘think different’ one around 5 years ago? It’s always easier to go after the 800 pound gorilla.”

Exactly what I was talking about.

Good points, icon.  Name recognition goes a long way to make people chose one product over another, even if that other one is better.

I still stand by the notion that there is no such thing as “bad” publicity.

@ The Raven:
If I said “What I think is so great about Microsoft is that they don’t NEED an incentive to improve Windows, they do it by nature.  They want to make the end user experience the best it can be, ” would you believe that?

Please do not be so naiive as to think that Apple has the best interests of consumers in mind whenever they sit down to design the next iPod.  If it wasn’t for the competition, we’d still be using 1st Gen iPods with 5 gig hard drives.

Posted by Chahk on May 22, 2006 at 2:16 PM (PDT)

26

This is the height of cheapness! It’s only an MP3 player, there’s no need to think so deeply into to it. I mean I love my iPod and couldn’t live without it, and I would imagine that the majority of millions of other people are happy with their iPods too, that doesn’t make them sheep!!!!!!

Posted by connor on May 22, 2006 at 2:18 PM (PDT)

27

The iDont website is fun and if it gets Sandisk sales then well done.
The player they are promoting looks good with nice graphics and is probably more than capable. The one thing that will let it down is the range of accessories available. This alone is the reason I switched from iRiver to iPod, the mass number of accessories available for iPods is in my opinion one of it’s major selling points.

Posted by Jason on May 22, 2006 at 2:24 PM (PDT)

28

So many people on their knees. How do you keep it up Steve?!?! Don’t you get sore?

Posted by Mark on May 22, 2006 at 2:34 PM (PDT)

29

Check out the Apple’s Dirty Secret clip.  Claims the unreplaceable iPod battery will be dead for good in 18 months.  Yah, maybe if your iPod is ON continuously for 18 months!

Posted by icantpod on May 22, 2006 at 2:38 PM (PDT)

30

why not put some inverted crosses while they are at it!

Posted by slayer on May 22, 2006 at 2:48 PM (PDT)

31

I think it’s a little ironic the site theme is ‘think for yourself’ and ‘resist conformity’ when the design of the e200 shown borrows a lot from the ipod.

Posted by jblakeh1 on May 22, 2006 at 2:59 PM (PDT)

32

The first thought is that by critizing iPod users for being “followers” they’re alienating a whole group of people, but with further though one realizes that after one buys an iPod switching to a different brand probably isn’t likely, so, go after people how have not yet chosen, a special few.  They are, after all, special smile

Posted by kaioslider on May 22, 2006 at 3:13 PM (PDT)

33

Apple definitely needs some competition. There is still no gapless playback or real-time equalizer. Not even that fading feature iTunes has made it on the iPod…

I’m also sick of everyone having an iPod…some people don’t even listen to music that much, they just use it for fashion…redicules…

Posted by tom on May 22, 2006 at 4:01 PM (PDT)

34

My sister has a Sandisk and it sucks. After a few months of using it, there are problems with the songs freezing. And she has never dropped it or caused heavy damage to it. I’ve had my Nano for about the same time and I’ve treated it the same as my sister with her Sandisk and mine runs perfectly fine. Now I know this is only me and not a problem with all Sandisk players.

By Sandisk doing this, they’re making fun of what?, 20, 30 million iPod users? If they make fun of their customers, why would anyone want to switch to Sandisk? Pretty dumb if you ask me.

Posted by Sam on May 22, 2006 at 4:18 PM (PDT)

35

“Apple definitely needs some competition. There is still no gapless playback or real-time equalizer. Not even that fading feature iTunes has made it on the iPod…”

Rockbox!

Gapless, and crossfade. On the iPod.

Josh

Posted by Josh Powell in VA on May 22, 2006 at 4:24 PM (PDT)

36

“Please do not be so naiive as to think that Apple has the best interests of consumers in mind whenever they sit down to design the next iPod.”

If you knew anything about Apple at all, you’d see that you are wrong.

Posted by The Raven in USA on May 22, 2006 at 4:28 PM (PDT)

37

The Raven says:

“If you knew anything about Apple at all, you’d see that you are wrong. “

Then why do they continue to sell a product with no user replaceable battery?

Kudos to Sandisk for that.

Posted by Brian Lindsay on May 22, 2006 at 4:35 PM (PDT)

38

36 (this being 37) posts in a matter of hours on an iPod website, all talking about an ad campaign, apparently Sandisk’s agency hit this one out of the ballpark. This is the entire point, to get everyone talking about their campaign, which will inevitably lead to sales.

Funny that all of the “Apple is above this” talk is going on in the midst of the largest campaign Apple has run in years, which is based solely on slamming the Windows machine. That they are pointing out a few of the many flaws in a horrible OS is beside the point, it is still a mudslinging campaign that is far less creative and probably just as successful as Sandisk’s.

Posted by divigation on May 22, 2006 at 4:38 PM (PDT)

39

How ridiculous is this!?  For an actual company to attack another company just because they are second.  Furthermore, people do not buy iPods just because they are “cool” and everyone else has them…iPods are of the utmost quality, have a sexy design, and it comes from the most trusted name in computers and computer hardware and software.  Furthermore, iPod breaks the mold when it comes to mp3 players.  They come out with an idea first then others just jump on the bandwagon.  It is pathetic that companies resort to this, which truly only confirms that I will never buy an mp3 player from this company.

Posted by Daniel on May 22, 2006 at 4:38 PM (PDT)

40

divigation (38), you are so wrong.

Who here will now switch to or simply buy a Sandisk product after reading this article? Certainly not me.

Posted by Joe on May 22, 2006 at 4:49 PM (PDT)

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