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Posts tagged marketing


Religion | Now churches are getting into market research, hiring consultants as “mystery worshippers” to show up on Sunday and evaluate “everything from the cleanliness of the bathrooms to the strength of the sermon.” It used to be that one mysterious presence to keep an eye on things was enough. [Wall Street Journal]

from "Portraits of Our Economic Meltdown #1 - KraftMaid," by David Michael Bruno, David Michael Bruno, 16 October 2008

KraftMaid makes cabinetry for various rooms of your house. I found an advertisement for their products in Southern Living magazine. The advertisement read, “Everyone has a personality. Shouldn’t your kitchen have one too?” You can see the TV commercial for this advertising campaign on their site.

Let’s shelve the moral question: Is it ever right to spend overindulgent amounts of money on a home kitchen? Instead let’s ask about the cost of any of the kitchens shown in the KraftMaid advertisements.

Of course, if we are honest, we should not only ask about the cost of the cabinetry, but also inquire into the cost of the whole package. The kitchens are “personalities” that reflect the personality (lifestyle) of the people featured in the ads. That hot woman in the skimpy dress eating that huge bowl of ice cream, well, obviously she has an expensive gym membership. And notice how she has enough fancy plates to serve everyone in her home owners association. The other couples are much the same. . . .

The cost of the kitchen cabinetry alone is beyond the financial means of most poor, middle class, and upper middle class Americans. But the cost of the lifestyle associated with the cost of the kitchen cabinetry - the whole cost of the “personality” - is beyond the financial means of pretty much all Americans, with the exception of a fraction of a percent of ultra wealthy individuals. And let me assure you, those ultra rich Americans who can afford these KraftMaid kitchens, trust me, they don’t read Southern Living.

excerpt Murketing
from 'Buying In,' by Rob Walker - Review, by Farhad Manjoo,, 27 July 2008

Pabst’s campaign was designed to push beer without appearing to push it. To the extent that it conveyed any branding message at all, it was, Hey, we don’t care if you drink the stuff. To people sick of beer companies that did look as if they cared — don’t Super Bowl ads smack of desperation? — Pabst’s attitude seemed refreshing and inspired deep passion in its fans. Many customers did more than just buy the beer. Walker speaks to one who tattooed a foot-square Pabst logo on his back. Pabst’s low-fi marketing is “not insulting you,” the fellow tells Walker.
. . . . . .

Walker doesn’t always pin down how much these marketing efforts contribute to the coffers of the companies that employ them. What he makes clear, however, is how thoroughly such campaigns invade the culture, especially youth culture. Members of a hyper-aware generation often hailed for their imperviousness to marketing are actually turning to brands to define themselves. Want to protest a “corporate” beer? Well, get a Pabst tattoo!

In reality, Pabst Blue Ribbon’s anticapitalist ethos is, as Walker puts it, “a sham.” The company long ago closed its Milwaukee brewery and now outsources its operations to Miller. Its entire corporate staff is devoted to marketing and sales, not brewing. “You really couldn’t do much worse in picking a symbol of resistance to phony branding,” Walker writes. But P.B.R.’s fans don’t care. In the new era of murketing, image is everything.