Saturday, October 18, 2008

Consumers beware of scary marketing

Journalism can sometimes sound really terrifying and kinda miss the point. It's like so many Republican spin masters and commentators being interviewed on AC 360 recently who are making these pronouncements like the US Congress needs a thorough evaluation, constituent by constituent to determine who is pro-American and who is anti-American.

Really....?...REALLY.......? This matters now?

Now, I like CityNews. I think it's a good local news platform and the broadcast is definitely exciting, entertaining, and hopefully relatively unbiased and informative. It's always had sensationalist news stories, 'Find out which foods you're eating right now are killing you...after the break!' or 'Is the TTC killing you?' or 'Why Ontario's education system wants to kill your kids!' - I just made these up, but are they really too far-fetched? lol.

However, a recent piece on the website by Michael Talbot, 'Have advertisers gone too far?', makes it clear to me now that their online platform has wholly mirrored their television broadcast for devoting attention to eye-catching but paper-thin news stories.

Citing examples of obnoxious, out-of-home, experiential advertising (including Boston's video box scandal and SMS campaigns coinciding with the launch of Dexter's new season), Talbot asserts that advertisers (no Michael, they're marketers who dreamed these up...) have "delved into shady realms" and are engaging in sinister tactics to "pry your hard earned money away."


So I'm in this profession because I like to sell people things they don't need and I want to impoverish them?

Of course what's not being emphasized is the considerable new value that consumers are realizing in marcoms that are relevant and meaningful to them - value derived from new technology that can touch the consumer on a one-to-one basis. And consumers are responding! There's a reason why viral, P2P, guerrilla, and SMS are done - it's because (if done well) they are effective platforms for creating buzz and awareness. The interactive forms are also strong mediums to enhance consumer relationships with brands. So why is this so scary?

Evaluate the news a little more critically - that goes for you too Michael Talbot.

(i just think this is a funny picture!)

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