Consumer Theater!

In the least surprising news possible, there’s a new form of marketing research. It is Consumer Theater, a new way of doing focus groups that is “a proprietary Firefly and Second City methodology.”

First off, a major Hicks Dictum Award to the moribund corporate-comedy shithouse, Second City.

Meanwhile, take a look. This is what “co-creating with the consumer” looks like. The role of “the consumer,” as always? To divulge more.

consumer theater

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Behind the Internet of Things

Nothing excites the MSM like capitalist techno-fantasies. The so-called “internet of things” is one such orgasmic delusion. But, in our our market totalitarian society, where profit is priority #1 by a wide mile and marketing is the main cultural engine, what, really, is this “internet of things,” to the extent it’s anything at all?

robot factory The latest issue of Advertising Age reveals the extremely sordid and predictable truth: It’s yet another way of making a still-unconquered dimension of personal life into a big business marketing platform:

The Internet of Things has promised to turn our everyday interactions with stuff into data for logistical and marketing applications.

But now that more and more corporations, including Diageo and Mondelez, have tested actual web-connected products in the market, the industry is approaching the next stage of connected appliances and food packaging. That means figuring out where all that information will go and how it will be used. IoT platform company Evrythng sees a home for data generated by connected thermostats, bottles of booze, designer handbags and washing machines in first-party marketing databases. The firm is partnering with Trueffect, a digital ad firm specializing in first-party data targeting, to work towards devising ways marketers can use data gathered when consumers use their products. The firms hope to directly communicate with those consumers and, yes, perhaps target ad messages to them.

Interestingly, one of the first to deploy the new data-scraping method is corporate booze peddler Diageo:

The spirits brand introduced its “Smart Bottles” of Johnnie Walker Blue Label, which feature electronic sensors, at the Mobile World Congress in March in Barcelona. In addition to helping the firm track whether bottles have been opened and where they are in the supply chain, they could be used for targeted marketing. “For instance, Diageo could upload promotional offers while the bottle is in the shop but change that information to cocktail recipes when the sensors show the bottle has been opened at home,” noted the company in a press statement.

All this is the other side of the ongoing, but virtually undiscussed in the mainstream, second robot revolution, by the way. That, in turn, is capitalism 101 at this point, a fact unmentionable in this society, despite its dire consequences.

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Lather, Rinse, Repeat

Killary Klinton

Killary Klinton

Politics in the United States is marketing. Nothing more, nothing less.

So, here comes Killary, as reported by The Washington Post:

Is Hillary Rodham Clinton a McDonald’s Big Mac or a Chipotle burrito bowl? A can of Bud or a bottle of Blue Moon? JCPenney or J. Crew? As she readies her second presidential campaign, Clinton has recruited consumer marketing specialists onto her team of trusted political advisers. Their job is to help imagine Hillary 5.0 — the rebranding of a first lady turned senator turned failed presidential candidate turned secretary of state turned likely 2016 Democratic presidential nominee. Clinton and her image-makers are sketching ways to refresh the well-established brand for tomorrow’s marketplace. In their mission to present voters with a winning picture of the likely candidate, no detail is too big or too small — from her economic opportunity agenda to the design of the “H” in her future campaign logo.

“It’s exactly the same as selling an iPhone or a soft drink or a cereal,” said Peter Sealey, a longtime corporate marketing strategist.

As always, spending will reach new heights, and choices and democratic responsiveness will be even closer to zero.

It’s going to be a long winter, friends.

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Automatrix

Sarah Mandato As “content marketing” devours the talent and space that once was journalism, its architects include the likes of Sarah Mandato (what a name for an overclass mind-molder!), “director of content solutions at Nativo, a native advertising company.” As shown at Advertising Age, here is how our dear pixie-bot thinks and talks, as she labors to get her victims to “consume” her tricks on her clients’ sites, as “brand content served within publisher editorial streams, matched to the look and feel of each publication”:

How can brands ensure they’re optimizing content?

Optimization opportunities are similar to having a focus group providing real-time feedback about what does and doesn’t appeal to readers. With today’s robust ad tech ecosystem, marketers have expanded tools to apply A/B tests and optimizations on campaigns. It’s no different with content — marketers can test their branded content’s various components, such as headlines and images. By not taking advantage of this, brands are turning down the chance to listen to consumers and gain actionable insights around messaging that best resonates with users.

Yes, “listen to.” That’s “listen to” in the mode of BB and Winston Smith, of course.

Lovely stuff, isn’t it?

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Verizon Must Go

guillotine Verizon, the mega-corporation that told its employee David Strayer to stop telling it about the massively homicidal nature of encouraging people to use cell phones inside automobiles, now has this to say about the simple, long-overdue idea of ruling that internet access is, like snail-mail, broadcast airspace, and transportation, a public utility:

“The FCC can address any harmful behavior without taking this radical step,” Michael Glover, senior VP at Verizon Communications Inc., said in an e-mailed statement. “It is counterproductive because heavy regulation of the Internet will create uncertainty and chill investment.” [Source: Advertising Age, February 4, 2015]

First off: ROFL about that “investment” trope. Verizon and its partners-in-crime are blatant organized theft on the biggest scale, and, as such, are huge, very active obstacles to the proper, economical investment in and distribution of modern communications infrastructure, activities that are the natural and Constitutionally-mandated endeavors of the United States Postal Service.

Secondly:

O corporate death penalty, where art thou?

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