Thursday, March 27, 2014

Euvoluntary Marketing Part 3 of 4: Promotion

As I mentioned in Part 1 of this series, "marketing" is often synonymous with "advertising". But even in the 4 P's of marketing, advertising is still only a portion of promotion.

Because promotions are the visible part of the marketing world, this tends to be the bit that attracts pop analysis. I don't think there's a good EE angle on most ordinary day-to-day promotions. Clipping coupons is standard price discrimination, and your grandma does it, so it can't be that objectionable. But there are some examples of promotion either gone wrong or gone very right. And maybe I'm off the mark, but it occurs to me that great advertising can inadvertently produce horrible rubbish.

You've seen videos like this before, I presume:

That's a T-Mobile advert. Pretty cute, huh? Well, marginal advertisers have to compete with this kind of thing, so every now and again, Buzzfeed will share some hack copywriter's "augmented reality" video where they scare the pants off of little kids or harass folks out on the street to hawk a crap movie that you'd swear up and down that the studio is intentionally trying to torpedo for tax purposes. And trying to compete with the best print ads money can buy? Shocking the audience or draping a mostly-nude model over the placebo you're peddling is the death of art.

Freedom of speech, I suppose.

I often say that of all the "criminals" I admire the most, smugglers tend to top my list. But a close second would have to be street artists. Particularly the ones who deface public space advertising. Yes, I know they're committing property rights violations, and their jokes and commentary are often lewd, offensive, or spiteful. But give me a million Shepard Faireys over even one anemic FCC content bureau. Policing commercial drek is straight out of Aristotle. Even though it's fueled by chaos, having the courage to stick your thumb in the eye of tasteless purveyors of vapid commercial barking is eudaimonia through and through.

nb: we here at Euvoluntary Exchange do not advocate the commission of any crime, even one as cool and fun as repurposing flatulent corporate billboards.

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Do you have suggestions on where we could find more examples of this phenomenon?