As frequent Spend Matters readers know, I'm one of the former "B2B" dot commers who had the fortune -- or misfortune, as some might argue -- of being front and center during the technology boom and bust period. Over on E-Sourcing Forum, David Bush's reminiscence of Purchase Pro's advertising at the time conjured up memories of my own experiences. David writes, "One of the funniest things I have ever seen a company in eSourcing do, was when PurchasePro launched a TV ad campaign. I will always remember standing in my kitchen with CNN on and the ad came on. It had a bunch of goofy actors standing in a room (looking like they just hit the lottery) and one was standing at a podium with an auctioneers gavel. During the 30 second spot, PPRO put our industry’s credibility back 5 years and it looked like the ad was filmed with a camcorder in a one day shoot. It is one of the WORST commercials ever made."
Today's Purchase Pro's IP lives on -- at least somewhere -- buried deep in Perfect's product suite. For all of us, I reckon it's a good thing Perfect and other vendors in the sector will not have the advertising budget to tackle television anytime soon. But if you do get the TV bug and you're on a shoestring, I'm sure Kevin Brooks and his "Best Practices Network" would be happy to knock on your door. If you're curious about the "BPN", it was Kevin's brainchild at Ariba a few years back. He essentially fabricated a fake a television network as part of a marketing campaign. Surprisingly, it worked, and fooled a number of observers in the sector who could not believe he pulled it off. If you're curious about bringing the BPN out of retirement, drop me a line and I'll give you Kevin's new coordinates.