The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy defines the marketing division of the Sirius Cybernetics Corporation as 'a bunch of
mindless jerks who'll be the first against the wall when the revolution comes.'
In last week's edition of the Post, we began our adventures in marketing by asking our readers to read a brief description of a common product's packaging and a selected bit of prose penned by a marketing executive touting the product's attributes.
While it may seem that I have a lot of ill feelings toward marketing professionals, nothing can be farther from the truth. There is a part of me that secretly wishes I had the ability to pen a clever slogan that would entice someone to buy an otherwise ordinary product.
During my career in newspapers, I often wrote editorials urging my readers to take action against some small, localised injustice. Rarely were my efforts effective. But a marketing executive gets paid (usually rather well) to cause people to take action and buy their product instead of the competition's.
There must be a certain feeling of power in getting a complete stranger to do what you want. So I guess in addition to receiving more pay than me, they also get job satisfaction!
Is it any wonder that Douglas Adams penned the text which appears at the top and bottom of this column? As a struggling writer, I'm sure that he looked at smug, well-dressed marketing executives and felt a bit of frustrated rage. I think I can understand his feelings!
But enough of my gibbering. Last week we asked you to identify a product based upon the following description:
This week's product comes in a red box so it really catches the eye as it sits on the shelf. Among the descriptors for this invaluable product are the following:
Chisel pointed for extra penetrating power
Well, the product in question was Bostich-brand staples.
Pretty powerful marketing for ordinary staples right? All those powerful 'P' words really make you think that any other company's staples just won't cut the mustard. I mean 'chisel pointed for extra penetrating power....' who can top that!?!
And if you think that bit of marketing genius is something just wait until this week's effort.
This week's product comes in a box featuring a hero of the American Revolutionary War to make it really stand out as it sits on the shelf among similar products. Among the descriptors for this invaluable product are the following:
Using only the highest quality materials, the PRODUCT NAME has been securing freedom for your thoughts for generations.
Again, this is a common type of product that is not very different from any other brand. But reading that packaging, it makes you realize that this is the one brand that you simply must buy.
'Curiously enough, an edition of the Encyclopaedia Galactica that had the good fortune to fall through a time warp from a thousand years in the future defined the marketing division of the Sirius Cybernetics Corporation as 'a bunch of mindless jerks who were the first against the wall when the revolution came.'