Always read the (marketing) label

March 3, 2009

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We all know the human brain (particularly those of marketers) work in mysterious ways, but I’m starting to wonder if we have gone just a wee bit too far. We can apparently choose from about 170,000 words according to the Oxford English Dictionary. However we have successfully managed to shorten our vocabulary so it fits on a single sheet of A4 paper using Rockwell font, size 36.

If I had a dollar for every word that we marketers use these days, I’d be piss poor quite frankly. I’m not sure why we have slowly reached this horrifying state of affairs. But we need to start articulating exactly what needs to be done.

Since reading this article and sitting in meetings it’s scary how accurate these observations are;

1 # Labels create a binary wor(l)d view. A case of either / or. After all, you must believe in something – and of course everything is definable.

E.g
New media vs traditional media
Brand vs Direct Response
Push vs Pull

2 # Social language has become a very powerful form of propaganda. It is social engineering unveiled very clearly, sitting in broad daylight – yet few actually even notice it.

E.g
Viral
Social media

3 # Labels appeal to the Ego, because of its desire to stand out and “Be Different”, the Ego needs to believe “It’s the Real Thing”.

E.g
Social media consultant

4 # Catch-phrases that allow people to run on auto-pilot 24/7.

E.g The majority of us who work in marketing

The human and semi human marketing mind does indeed move in mysterious ways. My advice, always read the label.