Thursday, May 05, 2011

The Brennan JB7

Update - November 2014 - The Brennan has ceased production and Martin Brennan is working on a new product

The Brennan JB7 is a digital music player.  You load your CDs in, and then you can then easily search through and play your collection, without the hassle of having to put your CDs in a CD player.

As it says on the website:

"The Brennan JB7 is simply a better way to enjoy your music.

JB7 holds your entire CD collection on a hard disk to give you instant access to any of your music and play unbroken music for as long as you want.
You can choose and play an album or track without getting out of your chair.
You get to see what is playing from across a room.
One button plays your entire music collection at random - another turns it off - its what you need when its late and you just want to unwind.
JB7 will re-awaken your passion for music. It will make you feel like a teenager again."

It's been advertised in every issue of Private Eye for the past 2 years or so (see pics) and they're clearly selling quite a few of them because the ads have now started to appear in more mainstream media, for example The Guardian's Weekend magazine.  This ad below uses copy taken from a Ciao review written by Les Floon in July last year.  People seem to love their Brennans.

However...  I just don't get it at all.  I don't get why anyone would buy one.

The ads talk about how you've loaded all your music onto a computer, but you never want to play music from your computer.  Surely that's what an iPod is for?  (Other MP3 players are available)  I have all of my music on my computer, but I never play it from my computer.  I synch it with my iPod, then connect my iPod to different systems in different rooms.  I can take my iPod on the train, on holiday and so on - and I can also fill it with stuff I've downloaded.  So why would I want to bother with the Brennan JB7?  Oh - and the cheapest one costs £366.  It's not a cheap option.

I think it must be a generational thing.  (See the line about 'it will make you feel like a teenager again'.)  I think the Brennan must be an example of a product that no one under the age of 40 (50?) would buy.  I'm guessing that the media that the ads appear in reflects this, but that they're trying to go a bit younger with The Guardian.

Am I wrong?  Tell me if I am.  Clearly I'm not in the target market for this, and it's a bit sad people slagging off things that aren't meant for them, like when Bill Bryson moaned about computer games.  I'll admit that it seems to be selling, and there's nothing wrong with targeting an older market.  If you've got one and it's great tell me what I'm missing...

Anyway, I'm glad I've got that off my chest after 2 years of seeing the ads in Private Eye!

Update - 14th August 2011

Brennan are now advertising in the Financial Times Weekend Magazine, and have co-opted Jools Holland as their new brand spokesman:

& there's a TV ad too:

Update - 10th January 2012

The new ad in Private Eye has the heading "MP3 player or Brennan?  I'll have both thanks" so at least they now acknowledge that MP3 players exist, and are more portable.  Now they've shifted their focus onto the higher audio quality of the Brennan.  So, a slight shift in strategy.  I still wonder who's buying them though!


Unknown said...

agreed! We have had a shared rant about this - I'm yet to meet anyone who does use it, but like you say it obviously meets the needs of some very well.

James said...

I think it's a spot on analysis - I don't get why people have an iPhone (can forgive other smart phones with poorer sound) and an iPod to carry (I get having one in the house to an extent). One device to rule them all... It is a generational thing and something that is never going to change.

In twenty years time 84% of our contemporaries will be using outdated products simply because they don't like change... hey ho I'll be attending a hologrpahic Glastonbury from my holiday home etc.

Good post

Nik said...

It's absolutely a "generational" thing.

What irks me about Brennan is the sliminess of his business plan. Put a simple UI and high price-tag on a folksy looking MP3 player and market it as somehow unique and amazing to a demographic unlikely to research it or its alternatives. It's a rip.

And bollocks, I might add, do Les Floon's spawn look at him with "renewed respect" unless they seriously have no clue about Brennans, the trivial job they're doing, or even basic expectations of a home computer since, like, 1996. Perhaps he's kept them in a box.

If Les Floon is to have any legacy, I hope it's not for shifting shitty Brennans but rather as a byword for smug, clueless user. E.g. "Jeez, only a total Les Floon would buy that." :)

Anonymous said...

I found your blog by Googling the name Les Floon. If you were going to make up a name for a pseudo-review what copywriter would choose Les Floon?!

Anyway, I once received the Advertising pack sent out by the Eye and, if I remember correctly, it says the average reader is male and in his 50s.

Anonymous said...

This is a poor quality product for anyone with a serious interest in music. The 192k import default setting is way below compression required for eg classical music or electronica. Increase the bit rate and storage is vastly reduced. Little attention has been paid to sound quality.

Related Posts with Thumbnails