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An Open Letter to Qwikster
By: Shawn Paul Wood
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Dear Qwikster,

Before I crawl on top of this ruddy, old soapbox, allow me to compliment you on your prophetic surname. Your life on this fabled planet of ours was indeed a "Qwik" one. Let's be honest — like you had a chance of getting past your six-week birthday. Certainly, the nimrod in charge of all those Netflix mishaps would understand that the sound outside his or her office door was a rather large (and in dire need of a cleaning) toilet bowl swirling and waiting to meet the old man and the sea. Apparently, said dolt heard the flush of that once-reliable paycheck and showed you the door.

A couple of weeks ago, I scribed an open letter to your now ex lambasting Netflix for this move, so blame me. I'm sure that was it. However, I write this memorandum to you as a friend, a confidant, a muse for higher aspirations. Nevermind the fanfare and ballyhoo when you were excommunicated from the video retail industry. And don't get your feelings hurt when the dopes...eh, savvy investors who cheered upon Netflix's stock rising quicker than Matthew McConaughey from a slumber at the scent of certain brownies.

Be comforted. You will probably get some good PR out of this because your name is sure to be in the news for at least another millennium anytime this question comes up in an advertising or marketing class: "Can someone name the most tragic branding collapses of all time?" I mean, you are right up there with the Betamax, New Coke and Windows Vista. That's some sweet company, bro. (I just assume Qwikster is male because he's never asked for directions out of this mess. Much like Netflix's CEO Reed Hastings. Ba-dum-bum-CHING!)

In a recent statement Netflix said Monday that it had decided to keep its DVD-by-mail and online streaming services together under one name and one website, which allowed us all to first learn of your name, Mr. -Ster.

The company, which will keep a recent 60 percent price increase in place, declared that it had moved too fast when it tried to spin-off the old-fashioned DVD service into a new company called Qwikster, angering many subscribers. “We underestimated the appeal of the single Web site and a single service,” Steve Swasey, a Netflix spokesman, said in an interview, before quickly adding: “We greatly underestimated it.”

Think about it, Qwikster. This isn't back to the drawing board for that bitter woman of yours. It's not a complete 180. More like a 270. That price hike and past PR inadequacies have left quite the stinkface on the once-hallowed brand. Take solace in knowing that Netflix has lost an estimated one million customers. Maybe even more. There's this earnings call on October 24 that I'm sure you'll want to eavesdrop and glean. If your ego wasn't so bruised, you would agree that quitting you was the best thing Netflix has done since partnering with video game consoles.

Still, life is not a rose garden for your once beloved. Apparently, the library won't get past Spongebob Squarepants and anything with the Swamp Creature in it until 2013 when her deal with Dreamworks Animation comes into play. But honestly, how much of "Wallace & Gromit" can one person watch? Hopefully, no hard feelings? With an approval rating like this, Netflix is bound to run for Congress and that usually has an unhappy ending anyway.

So don't feel bad. Her underestimations and ineptitude opened a door for future opportunities for you in the men's sexual aid industry. With a name like that, someone's bound to take notice looking for the next big E.D. brand, right? Buck up, little camper. Your day will be here soon enough.

XO,
Glad I Could Help



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About the Author
Shawn Paul Wood is a hack-turned-flack with more than 20 years of collective journalism, copywriting and marketing communications experience. Shawn Paul is founder of Woodworks Communications in Dallas, Texas. If you need him, ping him here or follow him on Twitter @ShawnPaulWood
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