Marketing as a Share of GDP

dollar-eye Nobody knows for sure what percentage of overall (so-called) economic activity now goes into marketing. As reported in The Consumer Trap book, experts in the early 1990s guesstimated that it was something like 1/7. Because even that probably didn’t including the share of expenses of actual production that are explained by marketing considerations, that, stunning a number as it was, was probably a severe under-statement.

In any event, here is some new data from Gartner, Inc. on this important topic:

Marketing leaders surveyed estimate their budgets, on average, total 12% of revenue, marking the third consecutive year of increases in Gartner’s CMO Spend Survey results. Larger companies tend to spend a higher proportion of their revenue on marketing — 13% at companies with more than $5 billion in annual revenue versus 10% at smaller companies that have $250 million to $500 million in annual revenue.

This, again, doesn’t count the costs of marketing’s penetration into production. But, generally speaking, it corroborates the idea that a huge chunk of corporate capitalism’s output is marketing/social engineering/economic waste.

Pure Propaganda

Teads.tv, aptly near in several senses to Turds.tv, has the chutzpah to vocalize corporate capitalist dogma without a shred of shame. According to these hawkers, not only is the present content of the mass media in the United States “great,” but only through the current system of advertising-based production and distribution could we get any content at all. Take a look:

Beneath this amazing video, Teads tries to complain about public ignorance and ingratitude:

According to Teads research, 68% of consumers underestimate the amount of revenue that advertising contributes to media sites. The tendency to devalue the significance of ads might relate to the fact that many display and video units are designed without regard for the user-experience. Such units are interruptive to online activities, and too many of them can severely compromise a website’s look and appeal. To avoid these types of ads, many users have installed ad blockers—a move that removes frustrating online ads, but also cuts off the revenue that online content producers need to keep publishing great content.

Of course, the other way to read that 68% number is as evidence of overclass success at keeping the nature of its totalitarianism out of the public eye. Are folks ungrateful for capitalism’s great media gifts, or do capitalists want nothing to do with public consideration and supervision of basic media policies and practices? When people learn the facts about “the significance of ads,” do they get happy, or pissed off?

TCT suggests that the Teadsters may have swallowed their own bullshit a bit too deeply. As more seasoned and mature overclass forces know all too well, when it comes to the core institutional facts about big business marketing, an informed public would be an irate public.

As for the supposedly advertiser-desired open and honest debate of how our media works and the universe of alternatives, TCT says bring it on.

And while we’re at it, anybody want to make the video for “Imagine the Future if Advertisers Continue to Rule”? It ain’t a pretty picture.

The Future of Schools

In market-totalitarian America, everything must serve the overclass, and increasingly so. Hence, the latest marketing platform? The institution known as school. Per Ad Age:

Kleenex (an ecocidal marketing/waste endeavor of Kimberly-Clark Worldwide, Inc.) had approached Studiocom with an interesting challenge: create a back-to-school push promoting the brand’s “stronger, more absorbent tissues.” Problem was, “No one cares when a brand says something like this,” said Creative Director Todd Slutzky. “It’s basically a meaningless statement like ‘new and improved.'” So the Studiocom team decided to put the brand to the ultimate test–in the hands of some science savvy kids. The agency went out to the top 100 science elementary and middle schools around the U.S. and asked them to come up with creative ideas to test the strength of the new tissues.

Ten of the schools took part, each backed by $5,000 funding from Kleenex. The Studiocom team then captured the most creative and compelling “Xperiments” on film.

Here’s the smarm and teacher prostitution that “positions” this appalling trick:

Gosh, I wonder how Kleenexes would do in a strength test against the cloth handkerchieves they are designed to obscure. Science anybody?

Shamelessness

This overclass is so dominant, so safe from criticism, they increasingly just directly tell you what to do, despite your own obvious conflicting interests:

Without delving into cell phones’ ruinous effects on the cognitive and behavioral dimensions of the social fabric, contrast that spot with the work of Chris Jordan.

jordan

Vance Packard* is spinning in his grave.
_________

*Note also the typically insipid book description from Amazon:

The Waste Makers was the first book to probe the increasing commercialization of American life—the development of consumption for consumption’s sake.

“Consumption for consumption’s sake”? Um, no. Consumption for profit’s sake. It continues to amaze TCT how thoroughly the great sacred “consumption” doctrines remain safe from the slightest mental effort.

And how sad is it that the “progressive” publisher assigned the modern introduction to Packard’s classic to somebody unable or unwilling to mention the powers-that-be, let alone explain the basics of capitalism, i.e. the new Don Quixote [or is it catspaw?] known as Bill McKibben?

Imperial Decline

The New York Times today features a piece on the design of the workspace at the ?What If! [note: a fine nominee for the most annoying agency name ever] marketing agency, which “works to expand the markets of businesses like PepsiCo, Pfizer and Virgin.”

The theme is postmodern playground:

work-booths

The new interiors recall the whimsies of larger creative campuses like Google. There are “stimulation” shelves for employees to display objects; white boards in the elevators (“Smiths or Cure?” read one line of graffiti the other day); a “library” with no books (just wallpaper that looks like books); and vintage stereo components that play vinyl.

Can you guess what the building housing all this behavior-engineering “play” on behalf of corporate sugar water and other forms of cash-farming used to be? Yep, a free-care hospital and a lending library.

For the umpteenth time, Orwell couldn’t make this stuff up.

The Ultimate Form of Waste

dump Waste, these days, is alleged to be a creature of public, not private, enterprise.

The suppressed fact, of course, is that this is a huge case of excessive protestation.  Corporate capitalism, with its scattered McMansions and its 95 percent idle 4,000-pound grocery fetching machines and its omnipresent packaging-for-marketing efforts, is 2/3 waste.

And the waste isn’t confined to the use of materials and space, either.  In a nation of billowing, softening, clogging bodies, with vast fields of work needed in reconstructing towns and rehabilitating ecosystems, how sick is this?:

108.616 million people in America are either unemployed, underemployed or “Not in the labor force”. This represents 45.5% of working age Americans.

If you count the “Part time employed for non-economic reasons”, you get 126.8 million Americans who are unemployed, underemployed, working part time or “Not in the labor force”. That represents 53% of working age Americans.

Hat-tip: Doug Pressman