Saturday, February 24, 2007

Marketing New Economic Hybrids

I’ve seen many third-rate products gain almost universal acclaim due to great marketing campaigns. You can probably think of a few billion of such instances yourself. One of the lamest and most offensive product endorsements you will ever be bombarded with is the marketing of a child by that child’s progenitor.

No matter how good your product is no one will appreciate it without some sort of marketing. One of the best forms of marketing is word-of-mouth. Word-of-mouth is usually much more effective than other types of advertising because it generally comes from a friend, colleague or other familiar source. Word-of-mouth is also generally delivered with a great amount of enthusiasm because the person WANTS to talk about the product or service. They aren’t being paid or coerced to do it. They often don’t even have a clue that they are advertising. They are just talking about what they believe in.

I believe this is so with most parents, they believe in the product. They have to believe in it because it comes from their “factory”. They don’t want others to think they churn out shoddy progeny. There hasn’t been enough real-world testing to know whether the child will be capable of any appreciable tenure on the world scene, receive any acclaim or notoriety, or even assimilate into the proletariat cog-pool. So the parent starts an ad campaign early on to convince people that their flatulent little poo-ball has intrinsic worth beyond what appears to the “untrained” eye.

This is accomplished by parading the “outpouring of ones loins” around proudly so everyone can see. If the “loin-fruit” is more of a rotten apple, then photos are proudly displayed while horrific tales of anguish, perversion and sadism are refashioned into charming post-traumatic retrospectives in which the antihero is portrayed as truth incarnate. The facts are not fully glossed over, most of the gut-wrenching detail is on display. The parent/marketer does cover things up, but they need to keep the product real, so it is mostly the presentation that is altered, not the facts.

A common way to “happy things up” is to cap it all off with a colloquial buzzphrase such as, “boys will be boys”, “we just love him to death,” “he’s my joy”, “we were all kids once”, “if you had kids you’d understand”, “you did the same thing when you were a kid”, and “well, lets just see what your kids turn out like!!!”

Of course, you don’t have to let people know you have such a bad product. In fact, you could go back to the drawing board and figure out if you really should be in marketing. Maybe you’d be better served (as would all of us) if you just spent more time improving the product before you tell us all how great it is.

I realize that I truncated this analysis rather abruptly, but does anyone really have time to dissect and catalogue the intricacies of a collective irrational mind? Besides, you wouldn’t read it.

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