Most people appreciated when the United States Postal Service started marketing the “priceless” Forever Stamp in 1997. This was a great “do the right thing” moment, tacitly acknowledging that if you don’t use a stamp for a year or five, the Postal Service has still had the use of your money for that time and shouldn’t charge you extra to use it. It seems only fair that a First Class stamp should always cover the postage for a First Class letter.
The compromise was that the Forever stamp was usually pretty generic, such as the American flag stamp. If you wanted a commemorative stamp (such as a Christmas stamp, or one that featured someone important to American culture, such as Rosa Parks), it was going to depreciate like any other stamp.
Let’s consider the marketing for two products you have bought. The first is your latest car. How did that automaker market to you? You probably saw TV commercials, newspaper ads, maybe online ads as well. In other words, likely a very ‘traditional’ marketing model was used by this automaker to connect with you and get your attention.
Now recall the marketing that was used to promote the latest CD or song you bought on iTunes. How did that artist promote themselves to you? Did they use commercials? Probably not. Newspaper ads? Nope. Direct mail? Be serious.
And yet, you bought the rock star’s product, despite the fact that they did little to no direct marketing to you.
The reason why rock stars can sell their products despite the fact that they do little to no ‘traditional’ marketing represents a fundamental difference in the ways that rock stars and most brands market their products.
It’s been said that “any publicity is good publicity.” The corollary, “there’s no such thing as bad publicity,” is in good company with other variations. Some TV ads during the Super Bowl stretched that concept, perhaps to the breaking point.
Why the Super Bowl?
The Super Bowl is perhaps unique in sports in that many people watching the game on TV don’t even like football. They actually ignore the game and focus on the commercials. Between the football lovers and the ad lovers, there is an enormous audience available to advertisers who are willing to spend an enormous amount of money to make a quick pitch. (In 2013, “enormous money” meant nearly $4 Million per ad.)
It seems it wasn’t that long ago when I posted tweet number 1000. In fact, number 100, wasn’t that long ago. I opened my Twitter account (JoeBugBuster) in 2008, on September 11, but I hardy touched it for several years.
Back then I followed very few people on Twitter, and very few followed me, but they were all people I knew personally. I prided myself that all my followers were “real people – no bots.” I’m still particular who I follow, but anyone is welcome to follow me – even bots and other computer programs. I used to just tweet with people I knew IRL (In Real Life), but now I chat with people across the country and around the world.
Some things are easy to predict. Some are hard. I’ll try to include some of each kind.
Just for the record, I’m not giving myself any credit for things that have already happened or been announced prior to the actual start of 2013. Of course some of those things certainly might give us a bit of a head start of figuring out what’s coming.
Years ago I recognized that TV news had become primarily entertainment.
For decades, editors have said that “If it Bleeds, It Leads,” meaning that the most traumatic story would lead the newscast (even if it wasn’t the most relevant to viewers). That is all the more true in this age of round-the-clock reporting on TV, online, and social media.
After seeing all of the media attention toward multiple-victim shootings, I was reminded that the media essentially rewards violence, perhaps to the point of encouraging impressionable people to “just do it”:
Clearly, to go out in a big way you should make a very public attack: The media will immortalize you.