Monday, May 07, 2007

Stupid Marketing

I recently saw a news story about a Chicago-based billboard advertisement that was raising some eyebrows. The billboard shows two scantily-clad people—a male on one side, a female on the other—with the headlines in the middle of them, reading, "Life is short. Get a divorce."

Many people are bothered not only by the inappropriateness of an outdoor advertisement like this, but by the terrible message it sends as well. It promotes divorce as a great thing.

Of course the
divorce attorney, Corri Fetman, defends herself saying that the advertisement did it's job in getting attention. And it doesn't really promote divorce because only people already thinking about getting a divorce will be prompted to act on it. These people will think of her when they do.

This brings up a logical fallocy concerning marketing: awareness is the goal. NOT! Loyal customers, good reputation, support, etc. is the goal. Awareness is only a means to that end. Forget that, and you may make a fool of yourself. Like Jim Schmidt, a creative partner with the advertising firm Downtown Partners was quoted as saying:
"It's kind of the equivalent of wearing a clown suit to a funeral—you get everybody's attention, but to what end?"

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