Pimp Pimp Hooray!

4:00 PM -- The latest marketing gimmick from VOIP provider Vonage (theme song: "911 Is a Joke") is certainly worth a gawk:

Vonage Marketing, a subsidiary of Vonage Holdings Corp… is giving ordinary home telephones a designer appeal with 'Pimp That Phone' -- a contest derived from the wildly popular technology craze called case modding. Case modding -- the art of decking out the CPU of your personal computer to give it a personal touch -- is now moving to the telephone through the use of electric colors, dazzling jewels, and a heavy dose of imagination to make them truly one of a kind.

I never did understand case modding. Why bother "decking out" a CPU? It's not as though we're all parking our PCs side by side at the Piggly Wiggly, totally unable to tell them apart save a beach side mural, a glittery racing stripe, or a bolt-on spoiler.

So Vonage's call to arms to "pimp" a phone makes no sense at all in my tragically unhip noggin. That is, not until it sank in that this isn't an open contest -- it's more of a reality show where the unwashed masses stand by watching professional phone pimpers, as it were, practice their craft. The contestants are named in the Vonage news release:

Joshua Driggs hails from Austin, Texas, and describes himself as a self-proclaimed "tech head" and has already won numerous awards from Tech TV for past projects.

Would anyone who's ever kissed a girl proclaim himself a "tech head"? Just asking. Also, is Tech TV still on the air? Was it ever? But enough about Mr. Self-Proclaimer. This competition also features:

Montana Quinn Cherney, the dark-eyed temptress from Washington, D.C., is an expert in graphic design and sculpture, which she claims may give her a slight advantage.

Oh, goody. A temptress. Who decorates phones. She sounds like quite the society gal.

But why the dark eyes? Are they an unmentionable color? Did the temptress gouge out her peepers with a mascara brush while driving and grooming? Don't sculpt an answer just yet. You still have to meet her four-eyed nemesis:

Bonzangeo is known as the master PC moder by his friends and family in Gainesville, GA. He also believes his ticket to winning this competition will be his trademark goggles.

His trademark goggles are also the ticket to keeping the hedges tidy, doing some light welding, and dozens of other odd summer jobs. If you think his credentials are paper thin, wait until you read that:

Lastly, Christopher Dol says that, 'Most mod makers say they like to think outside the box. I don't even have a box. I mod on a feeling.'

This guy will win, for sure. Folk who are so conceptual that they don't have a box to think outside of can usually talk their way out of just about anything short of the laws of nature.

The final contest will be an interesting one. Driggs will proclaim himself the winner, but the judges won't agree. Cherney, wearing a veil, will seduce several judges with her angular lines and other drawing talents. The be-goggled Bonzangeo will be disqualified for not having a surname. Finally, Dol will walk away with the prize after telling the judges he doesn't have a phone, he just acts on the vibrations he feels coming from the world outside his loft.

But the real winner is Vonage, which proves again that VOIP service is a marketing game, and no attempt to get attention can go too far.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to sew a new leather skirt for my refrigerator, and my toaster's mustache needs trimming. I'm actually relieved that I don't have to clutter the schedule even more by gluing sequins to my handset. Where do these phone pimps find the time?

— Phil Harvey, Beat Down Phone Daddy Editor, Light Reading

paolo.franzoi 12/5/2012 | 3:06:40 AM
re: Pimp Pimp Hooray!

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