Apr 10

In search of Nook’s elusive award

It’s always annoying when the truth gets in the way of a perfectly good marketing plan.

On Friday, I received an email hyping the “Award-Winning” Nook e-reader from Barnes & Noble. (Snippet above.) I couldn’t help but wonder what award the Nook has won. Since there were no clues in the email, I clicked through to the Nook page.

This is where I found the line to the right. It didn’t exactly clear things up. Is “best of the best” a quote from CES, or is the whole line a quote from CES?

As I would soon discover, the answer is: neither.

I found a CES 2010 wrap-up at Financial Times naming the big winners. Nook was noticeably absent. I visited the official CES 2010 site. Nook isn’t on the winners list, or even the nominees list. PC World highlighted the best of CES 2010, “from genuine 3D technology to slick new e-readers” — but those slick new e-readers didn’t include Nook.

This was starting to feel like the best hidden award in history. Still not ready to toss in the towel, I went back to where I started: the Nook home page. This time I clicked on Reviews. Silly me. It was there all along, right at the top of the list:

“Best of the Best” — 2010 Consumer Electronics Show

The quote is attributed to CES just as all the other quotes on the page are attributed to their respective magazines or sites. But this turns out to be beyond misleading, and just plain sleazy. Click on this quote and you get a snippet from the third-rate website G4. In their opinion, Nook was one of the “best of the best” from CES 2010. Apparently, they are the exclusive holders of this opinion — and it is clearly not an award.

But wait! There is one lone award on this page after all. Nook won “Best New Gadget of 2009” at the TechCrunch Crunchies awards. Okay, not exactly a biggie. But technically enough to let them call Nook an “award-winning” device — and help foster the illusion that it’s also won big at the CES show.

A hearty shame-on-you to Barnes & Noble, its agency and anyone else who has a hand in this CES “best of the best” skullduggery. Nice work dragging our industry down a few more notches.

Meanwhile, if anyone out there has actually given the Nook an award, please identify yourself. Nook could use a little help.

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  • Unreal. I’m totally going to mention this trickery on my award-winning blog.

  • Chris

    I’d love to say the Nook is the Best of the Best, but when tried to use one at my local B&N, I couldn’t even log on..or turn it on…or whatever it is you’re supposed to do to get the thing to work.

  • John Naitove
  • Nook : your newspaper, just the way you remember it!

    Nook : we made them, shouldn’t you buy them?

    just some thoughts … saw them in the wild, at a local B&N, they’re cute and the cases come in nice colors, but for $300? to only read? seems like a bit of a stretch that one …

  • neilw

    I heard Imus promoting the Nook this morning, and indeed he called the “award-winning Nook”. I winced.

  • hey ken, any chance of moving that “share” button over to the right? every time i go to hit the comment button and roll over it, the drop down drops down and gets in the way …

    i know, i’m lazy SOB …

  • ken segall

    Just checked, and unfortunately you’ll have to live with that until I try a different share plug-in one day. It’s not that customizable. Sorry!