If You’re in Marketing, Kill Yourself! Or, Fish & Chips & Prejudice.

28 Sep

It has been said that direct marketing doesn’t really work anymore, and hasn’t since the 1950’s. People won’t respond if you tell them something is good, even if it’s factually correct. Marketing now survives by generating a general sense of desire which you come to associate visually with a certain product ( brand recognition), or by having your product appear near something people already like  (product association).  Kraft foods must have some brilliant strategy to  make money by associating their product with white-hot rage.

According to one of the many delightful special features on the Lord Of The Rings: The Two Towers Special Extended Edition DVD Peter Jackson used a soundbite from an All Blacks rugby match to create the sound of the Uruk-Hai, the terrible orc/goblin hybrid designed by Saruman in the fires of Mordor. Were you to take the grand final crowd’s reaction upon hearing the new name for their Vegemite/cream cheese hybrid as a soundbite, the only comparable anger would be the people of Broadmedows if goon ceased production.

I find it difficult to believe that anyone thought isnack 2.0 was a good idea, and I’m beginning to side with those who are convinced that the entire affair is some New Coke– esque conspiracy to make people despise a new product so they’ll buy more of the old- and if that’s the case they’ve done incredibly well. One of the things that makes a conspiracy theory a conspiracy theory and not a well-hidden fact is that most of them rely on the Powers That Be behaving in a complex and incredibly intelligent manner, which always seems unlikely.

On an unrelated side note, I would be happy if this blog in some small way could stamp out institutionalised racism. So in that vein, I ask this: has anyone noticed how a lot of people are under the impression that Chinese people can’t make Fish and Chips?

If pressed, people will say that the Greek fish and chip shops have been open the longest and have more experience, thus better food. But there is the lingering implication that making good fish and chips requires some sort of alchemy that Asians are totally incapable of figuring out.  I think it’s more likely that a lot of the Chinese shops are using healthier oil in an effort to save the cholesterol-ridden people of Kilsyth. They needn’t bother really.


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