The democratized dumbing down of media (it was always dumb, now more individuals can take credit, and this makes it a lot more fun!) took another step downward as a major national newspaper, a national television news network, conferencing bloggers, and automated spam-blogs (journalistic equality among them implied in this instance) promoted a completely stupid idea that's probably a hoax or goofy viral marketing scheme. We refer to the unfettered fawning over the "BusinessBib" - a so-called halfsuit for men to wear at home during a videoconference. Their website states: "Nothing speaks to freedom more than a halfsuit." Eye arch, anyone? On Friday we posted a link to it, as we didn't fact check it and can't prove it's a hoax, but it's just so stupid and obvious. However, some others have bought into this sham of a product - hook, line and sinker.
None other than the New York Times, always the last place to find anything fashion-forward, introduced the BusinessBib on September 17 and had this to say: "The BusinessBib — an all-in-one jacket, shirt and tie with a Velcro fastening at the back — takes you from slob to suit in seconds, providing necessary coverage for above-the-shoulders videoconferencing." See the New York Times article here.
The happy-head team led by
the insufferable Diane Sawyer of ABC's Good Morning America had co-host Sam Champion raving about the BusinessBib. "This is so great! ..."You could be sitting there in your boxer shorts for your meeting." ..."How cool is this?" ..."One could really be on the beach and tanning your legs at the same time." See the ABC Good Morning America YouTube video .
With his term "must-have accessory" webinar consultant Ken Molay starts off his blog entry with "Oh, baby... I love this" explaining that you "Throw it on over your T-shirt and look confidently into that camera... secure in the knowledge that the audience thinks you're a stone cold business pro even though you know you're not wearing any pants." And then "having a thing like the Businessbib might make me throw all that good advice [about webcam presentations] out the window, just to have more opportunities to use it!" Read the glowing review here.
On the assumption the BusinessBib isn't a hoax, (we believe it is, even if they intend to sell a few real BusinessBibs from some liquidation play) here's what Conferencing News says: Who the hell would buy this? Only morons and weirdos. The main product photos on the website are Photoshopped - totally fake. The phony-reading press release and the "company" information and buying process are sketchy. The "company's" entirely suggest they are executing a viral marketing scheme/scam, trying to provide authenticity to a startup operation. They even captured images early on of their instant messages when conceiving the product. Yeah right. Really lame and transparent, and it's all fake. Even their videos on YouTube have been to reflect a "September 26" Good Morning America feature, even though it happened a week ago. The product's design, of course, is incredibly stupid, not allowing you to raise your arms, talk with your hands, or be seen for a second below the chest. And the product itself, "tailored" only for men is so off base: Knowing you're home, why would the audience expect you to wear a full business suit? And who wears a full suit and tie anymore besides middle management grunts in dying industries?
The BusinessBib Project: A viral media marketing ploy to attain positive reviews for a really dumb idea. We'd applaud it if it were a better ruse. We'd guess that the only person who will be wearing a BusinessBib anytime soon is the SightSpeed Guy to give some stone cold politico pro looks to his daily cubiclecast. He's probably the only person who could derive value in the BusinessBib - as a gag - and not look like a loser for getting one. C'mon SightSpeed guy, wear one on your newscast!
Oh, one last thing: Check out the BusinessBib website and the product "showroom" section. There are no "sizes" to order for this garmet. We'd suggest one size fits all and call it "S" for Suckers.
September 25, 2006