Sunday, November 25th, 2007
Introducing BBM Asshole #2: Chuck Brymer, President and CEO of multinational advertising agency DDB Worldwide.
Chuckie won his new mega-overpaid job atop DDB by promoting “swarm theory,” a new concept by which big business marketers are trying to get “consumers” to glom onto their products like “flocks of birds and schools of fish.” (To marketing planners, “consumers” are always some kind of animal — frogs, mice, dogs, monkeys, fish, birds.)
Planning ways to add new layers of behavioral control to the already stunningly expensive and ubiquitous BBM juggernaut is, of course, a logical part of corporate capitalism. As I explain in The Consumer Trap, big business normalcy generates a constantly growing marketing race between its constituent firms/unaccountable private tyrannies.
Brymer’s “swarm” marketing strategy, for which he is now being promoted and rewarded, is to go beyond merely configuring “consumer” environments to profitably reshape “consumer behavior.” Now, Brymer is teaching the overclass how to use things like Facebook, Myspace, and the booming field of “word-of-mouth marketing” to make people themselves into marketing vectors. In other words, the concept is to get the lab mice to apply the chosen stimuli amongst themselves, rather than merely relying on the indirect method of controlling mazes and levers and chemical implants.
Brymer explains this neo-Orwellian move to Advertising Age:
“I increasingly see people as media.”