Consumer Vocab Note

marx According to the quasi-official English version of Karl Marx’s essay, “The 18th Brumaire of Louis Napoleon” hosted at marxists.org, Marx is supposed to have written this sentence:

“Each individual peasant family is almost self-sufficient, directly produces most of its consumer needs, and thus acquires its means of life more through an exchange with nature than in intercourse with society.”

Here, however, is what Marx actually wrote, auf Deutsch:

“Jede einzelne Bauernfamilie genügt beinahe sich selbst, produziert unmittelbar selbst den größten Teil ihres Konsums und gewinnt so ihr Lebensmaterial mehr im Austausche mit der Natur als im Verkehr mit der Gesellschaft.”

Properly translated, “ihres Konsums” means “its consumption,” not “its consumer needs.”

If TCT is right that “consumer” is a capitalist bias that ruins clear thinking about reality, then this little over- and mis-translation is of some importance, despite its obscurity.

The translator responsible was Saul K. Padover, by the way.

The “18th Brumaire,” by the way, is the source of one of the most classic (and itself poorly translated) statements of sociology’s hard-won first insight:

People make their own history, but they make it not however they want, not under self-selected circumstances, but out of the actual given and transmitted situation.

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Directors of Empathy

This, per Advertising Age, exists:

Scott Madden is senior partner-director of empathy and evolution at Boston-based Connelly Partners.

It gets even better. Here’s the promise from said agency:

At Connelly Partners, we believe in the undeniable power of empathy. So we weave it into every piece of communications we create. We call it Empathy Engineering. It’s what helps our work resonate with your target in a more powerful and memorable fashion. It’s not rocket science. It’s marketing science.

Empathy engineering. Nuff said.

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Pokemon Go and the Frontiers of Corporate Spying

pokemon logo Advertising Age today includes a typically comico-chilling observation from an ad industry worker. Speaking about big business marketers’ growing ability to gather data about cell phone users’ movements, locations, and behaviors, here’s what “Kirsten McMullen, chief privacy officer at mobile ad firm 4Info” tells AdAge:

Marketers and consumers have both become “way more comfortable with location data being used,” Ms. McMullen said.

The punchline and payload?:

[S]he also added, “Consumers remain largely unaware of it.

Of course they do, but it doesn’t stop the professional DoubeThink required for Ms. McMullen to keep doing her job.

Meanwhile, as its design ensures, corporate capitalism continues its bold march toward stronger and better market-totalitarian behavioral engineering:

While 4Info argues that using store visit data to gauge ad effectiveness is less relevant than measuring actual purchase transactions, which the company does for most of its packaged-goods advertiser clients, Mr. Moxley acknowledged the value of mobile location data for measuring mobile ad campaigns.

“The key to the mobile device is it goes everywhere,” he said. “Nobody carries their TV into the store.”

Quite so, and, as TCT always says, history’s state totalitarians must be looking up from Hades purple-faced, jealous over this deniable system’s ability to keep on rolling. Soviet citizens in 1982 would never have blithely walked around with little Brezhnev boxes in their pockets, or would at least have known who they were serving by doing so. Here, it’s “freedom.”

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Ad Age Worried About Killary Losing California

hillary-clinton Hillary Clinton, who looks authentic responding to charges of corruption and sitting in on war crimes but looks like the cat who swallowed the canary in front of actual working class people and groups, might lose the upcoming California primary.

Among the many reasons to hope that happens is the fact that Advertising Age magazine, the flagship of the big business marketing press and the enterprise that named the war-criminal architect of Romneycare’s passage its 2008 Marketer of the Year, fears that Killary losing California might “cause a fatal chain reaction.”

Fascinating and telling that the prospective failure to sell the long-sponsored Klinton show might be such a huge blow to our existing system of “election” via political marketing…

This system is a mile wide and endowed with trillions, but remains a mere inch deep.

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What is Spotify?

“According to its most recent publicly-available measure, Spotify has 45 million active users that can receive ads, and another 30 million subscribers.” So reports Advertising Age today.

What is the purpose?

“With Spotify and Krux working together, we have access to first-party data allowing us to better target specific people and user groups such as those looking for auto insurance and commuters,” said Cyndie Beckwith, VP-marketing at Esurance. “For this initiative, we wanted to add on some similar targeting approaches that we’ve been leveraging across desktops to streaming audio, and in particular mobile streaming audio.”

Listening to playlists is an increasingly common experience on Spotify, and the company is investing in analyzing such listening data and enhancing it with third-party demographic information — some of which Krux provides, such as education status and household income. The company tracks when specific users listen to playlists, for example when someone starts a “running” playlist around the same time most mornings, it can be used to determine that that person is actually running during those times.

Spotify has grown to use such data as a proxy for determining user activities and moods, said Brian Benedik, global head of sales at Spotify. An adult activating a playlist of kids’ music is likely a parent, for example.

Data harvesting and real-time marketing are the purpose. Spotify is overclass spyware.

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