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January 14, 2011 8:58 AM   Subscribe

Things Real People Don't Say About Advertising.
posted by The Whelk (77 comments total) 48 users marked this as a favorite

 
ok, lets not advertise.
posted by clavdivs at 9:01 AM on January 14, 2011


I despise advertising in general. Love this - thanks for posting.
posted by sundrop at 9:02 AM on January 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


Hmm, I've actually had similar thoughts to many of those. I guess I'll go to the bathroom and rank my demographic.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:05 AM on January 14, 2011 [6 favorites]


I just went to the new Kleenex website. It's fucking amazing.
posted by philip-random at 9:06 AM on January 14, 2011


This engaged my aspirations on a subconscious level but there was nowhere to click through so the brand promise wasn't fulfilled.
posted by George_Spiggott at 9:07 AM on January 14, 2011 [19 favorites]


I was all "meh" until I got to the one about "that dancing lady makes me want to go back to school" and then I nearly laughed out loud which is bad because I'm at work and shouldn't even be here but there you go.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:09 AM on January 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


I just finished a class on branding, and am doing advertising design now. Turned in a two-page logo analysis just last night. I'm pleased to see, however, that I'm still a real person.
posted by SMPA at 9:10 AM on January 14, 2011


Brother Bill, how I miss you.
posted by anarch at 9:11 AM on January 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


This made me smile.
posted by OmieWise at 9:13 AM on January 14, 2011


Reminds me of Never said about restaurant websites, though their choice in stock photography moved me from early stage exploration to long-term commitment.
posted by Gary at 9:13 AM on January 14, 2011 [6 favorites]


Wow, that witty tumbler makes me want to offer the author a book deal!
posted by leotrotsky at 9:14 AM on January 14, 2011 [17 favorites]


This site is quite brilliant.

"I wonder if my favorite brand of kitchen roll has a Twitter stream I can follow."

You know, and I say this completely without irony and sarcasm, but turning a supposition on its head like that really does illustrate how silly some social media is. Every marketer in the world will tell you that every Twitter stream has a net positive ROI, and it's just not true. A dead, fallow Twitter stream is worse than no Twitter stream at all.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 9:15 AM on January 14, 2011 [11 favorites]


I just finished a class on branding, and am doing advertising design now. Turned in a two-page logo analysis just last night. I'm pleased to see, however, that I'm still a real person.

It saddens me to hear that. You should put more effort into your schoolwork!
posted by clorox at 9:16 AM on January 14, 2011 [3 favorites]


I think I have a crush on Kleenex guy.
posted by phunniemee at 9:16 AM on January 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


A dead, fallow Twitter stream is worse than no Twitter stream at all.

Untrue. I often look at who subscribes to ridiculous "services" like this so that I turn to my wife and say "boy, people sure are stupid."
posted by DU at 9:17 AM on January 14, 2011


That reminded me of this:

Is there a Mrs. Peanut?

"I don't know," Yale says. "John, is he single?"

"He is single," confirms John Barrows, senior manager of marketing communications. "There is no Mrs. Peanut. There will never be a Mrs. Peanut."

Why not?

"He's a cosmopolitan guy," Barrows says. "He's busy."

posted by The Card Cheat at 9:19 AM on January 14, 2011 [12 favorites]


I've said a few of these things.

"If only the font was a big bigger, I would have bought it!": Regarding the display on a digital alarm clock. I need jumbo numbers because of my poor eyesight.

"What this really needs is a loyalty program.": Regarding businesses I already patronize frequently, so I feel like I deserve a little something extra.

"If only this solution was more scalable...": Regarding my own website, when I realized that hand-customizing the HTML for every single page just wasn't going to work, and that I needed to switch over to a real content management system. I went with WordPress.

Oh, well. I never claimed to be a real person, anyway.
posted by Faint of Butt at 9:25 AM on January 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


You know, and I say this completely without irony and sarcasm, but turning a supposition on its head like that really does illustrate how silly some social media is. Every marketer in the world will tell you that every Twitter stream has a net positive ROI, and it's just not true.

I think it's a growing-pain for a relatively new media force, however. Back in the late 90's, a company I worked for had a bigger corporation as a parent company -- and I remember the bigger company annoucing their Brand! New! Homepage! with much fanfare when it came out.

Said Brand! New! Homepage! was just a single screen announcing the name and location of the company, a brief bio of the founder, and then...a short essay on effective search engine use. I could tell that the only reason it existed was because the Board Of Directors had decided that they should get one of these new-fangled Interweb Pages everyone was talking about so they wouldn't be left out, and then they gave it to one of their underlings or an admin to just "make something".

I get the same feeling about a lot of companies who set up Twitter Feeds for their napkins or something.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:26 AM on January 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


I just went to the new Kleenex website. It's fucking amazing.

Made me laugh aloud. Good site thanks.
posted by therubettes at 9:26 AM on January 14, 2011


"He's a cosmopolitan guy," Barrows says. "He's busy."

::adds "cosmopolitan" to list of euphemisms for "gay"::
posted by Faint of Butt at 9:26 AM on January 14, 2011 [7 favorites]


I despise advertising in general.

Advertising allows me to access all kinds of information and entertainment without paying for it directly.
Seriously, what's not to love?
posted by rocket88 at 9:28 AM on January 14, 2011 [4 favorites]


::adds "cosmopolitan" to list of euphemisms for "gay"::

I took it to mean something more along the lines of serial killer or sex trafficker (outside shot: organ harvester), but now that I think about it, that makes more sense.
posted by clorox at 9:33 AM on January 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


::adds "cosmopolitan" to list of euphemisms for "gay"::



Rootless cosmopolitan

posted by The Whelk at 9:33 AM on January 14, 2011


I can't remember what product this is for or what it does... but THERE'S THIS [insert anthropomorphic creature] IN IT!
posted by Debaser626 at 9:38 AM on January 14, 2011


even though, as a mere blue collar tweeker, much of the dialogue is over my head, I still find it funny. What's up with that?
posted by Redhush at 9:45 AM on January 14, 2011


I wonder if my favorite brand of kitchen roll has a Twitter stream I can follow.

I think I have said this sort of thing before, but I think it was also dripping with sarcasm.
posted by shakespeherian at 9:45 AM on January 14, 2011


(outside shot: organ harvester)

I'll have you know organ harvesting is an up-and-coming profession with high growth potential, excellent bennies (in the, *ahem* traditional sense of "benny"), and fantastic travel opportunities.

It's a very popular career choice among my younger minions. If you haven't considered it, you really should. A few short weeks of training, and you can be on your way to the job of your dreams!

(note: failure to complete training will result in your being used as training material for the next class. All graduates will receive scalpel-concealing cane, apron-concealing tophat, and surgical monocle.)
posted by aramaic at 9:47 AM on January 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


This may not be the best place for it, but it relates to advertising and I would like to express it.

I really hate the contemporary use of the word "content" as a catch-all term for media. Video is content, text is content, music is content. Publishers are "content providers" and artists are "content creators." Blogging platforms are "Content managment systems" The word has infiltrated the niches of game programming, XNA dosen't have asset managment (for textures, 3D models, sound files etc) but "content managment". The latest version of the Unreal engine has a "Content Browser" to find all the assets needed to build a game, even though it could be called the "Asset Browser" and not lose any meaning in the translation. Why the overuse?

It's a buzzword, that can be loosely applied to anything, which explains it's proliferation to an extent (someone smarter than me would probably have a more definitive answer). I'm not sure if it's being used as a way to appear more up to date, or people don't know what they're doing.

Whatever the use, it's doublespeak to me. It cheapens the value of whatever it's describing for the tradeoff of not having to acknowledge what "it" is. Is it a video? text? a picture? a flash game? music? It's content, it goes in the middle of the page, squeezed between google text ads, banner ads, and more ads. We don't view video, we don't read text, and we don't listen to music. We consume content via content consumption devices. I am imagining the souls of the internet, lining up at a great feeding trough to consume content. Colloquialisms are invented to accommodate the use of the word "content" into them.

Maybe I wouldn't feel so bad if I didn't feel so helpless about it. It's a minor shift in the English language, perhaps permanent. I feel like it's created a mindset that cheapens the value of the stuff that we make, to the point where people won't bother to create at all. Just consuming.

That's all, thank you for reading.
posted by hellojed at 9:51 AM on January 14, 2011 [19 favorites]


Damn blue collar tweakers are the backbone of this town.
posted by Mister_A at 9:51 AM on January 14, 2011 [3 favorites]


A dead, fallow Twitter stream is worse than no Twitter stream at all.

Well, yeah, because so many marketers forget one of the principle rules of marketing things: Selflessness.

When I'm selling you something, I am thinking as little as possible about myself. I'm thinking about you. When are you going to see this? What other things are you seeing? What kind of mood are you in? What the hell is making you unhappy, and can the thing that I'm selling possibly in any way bring you joy?

I'm not going to care about pretty much anything a toilet paper company has to Tweet. New toilet paper business announcements? Fuck off and die. Toilet paper coupons? Do you know how much EFFORT that takes? Yech yech yech.

Advertisers are idiots. I say this as an advertising major. For a job that pretends to emphasize innovation and thinking outside the box you'd be interested how often "outside the box" means "chapter 3 of this book I bought for class". Their problem with Twitter, I'm convinced, is that they still think they're advertising on TV. So they treat Twitter like they're pushing out content to a passive audience, rather than an active one, and they push repetitive content to try and imprint your brain, rather than actually engaging with the people who've chosen to follow them.

The awesome thing about Twitter/Facebook is that suddenly anybody has an equal right to sell stuff in this as major companies pushing major products do, and that it costs nothing to use it. If you're a local coffeeshop, you can get a Twitter account, amass followers, and use them to stage community events. If you're a band you can release demos of songs you might never even release, because they'll never have a place on an actual album. If you're selling toilet paper you can ask your followers to wrap an entire room in toilet paper, or teach them how to make lassos out of toilet paper. If you're interesting enough to make somebody who's bored on a Friday afternoon want to pay attention to whatever you're saying, then it doesn't matter if you're my friend or a small business or Skittles, I'm still potentially engaged.

Fuck TV ads and print ads and radio ads and online ads. It's all bullshit that advertisers resorted to because there weren't any really effective ways to globally spread a brand. Now we have a lot of incredible mediums that let advertisers do genuine, fun stuff, make people happier, be goofy, act like young children — and 99% of advertisers find that they've lost the ability to be fun. That or they never had it in the first place.

Oh, well. I won't complain. It means I'll never have trouble looking for a job.
posted by Rory Marinich at 9:51 AM on January 14, 2011 [13 favorites]


That was some nice content hellojed.
posted by modernnomad at 9:52 AM on January 14, 2011


I disagree, I think content is an excellent catch-all term for the various things you can see and do on a website. People understand that text content is not identical to video or music, but it's all still content. Content is what you go to the web for! It's an intentionally broad term.
posted by Mister_A at 9:55 AM on January 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


The Twitter one is my favorite, both because of what Cool Papa Bell said and because I checked, and my favorite kitchen roll does have a Twitter stream I can follow. I'm really looking forward to having a stronger relationship with the brand now.
posted by aaronetc at 9:56 AM on January 14, 2011


I really hate the contemporary use of the word "content" as a catch-all term for media.

I've had that same reaction, especially in the context that a "content provider" is less valuable or less glamorous than the method of delivery. The methods of delivery got so good that there were more people creating content, so content became commodified.

In other words, "content" became a bad word when it became cooler to create the tools to make the furniture than the furniture itself.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 10:01 AM on January 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


I've been telling clients that their best use of Social Media, unless they want to roll out something huge and expensive like Old Spice Man, is to announce deals and coupons. That's 50% of what people go to brand websites for anyway.

They get mad and use jargon, and I say, "people don't care about a 9% improvement in some meaningless feature! THey want coupons!"
posted by Mister_A at 10:02 AM on January 14, 2011 [6 favorites]


hellojed, please consider breaking your content into smaller chunks with scannable subheads. Also perhaps throw in a bulleted list! Users love lists! And work on your keyword density.
posted by Mister_A at 10:05 AM on January 14, 2011 [4 favorites]


"If only this solution was more scalable..."

yeah, actually people say this all the time. people who manage computer networks anyway.
posted by GuyZero at 10:15 AM on January 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


Briefly worked at [HUGE AD FIRM] and worked a pinch on [ONLINE SITCOM] starring [POPULAR TV ACTRESS] and [THE CLIENT'S BRANDS]. Thanks for this.

Utterly godawful job but free beer and ice cream
posted by jtron at 10:41 AM on January 14, 2011


"If only this solution was more scalable..."

yeah, actually people say this all the time. people who manage computer networks anyway.


I just came in to say exactly this. I wonder if maybe there's an alternate definition of scalable that they're mocking.
posted by breath at 10:47 AM on January 14, 2011


The disconnect, breath, is the mistaken presumption that network sysadmins are real people.
posted by Mister_A at 10:50 AM on January 14, 2011


"If only this solution was more scalable..."
yeah, actually people say this all the time. people who manage computer networks anyway.


Funny, I took that to mean, "You don't need to mention your solution's scalability to people that know and care about such things. You either are scalable or not, and should therefore promote some other aspect of your service to truly differentiate yourself."

Saying your solution is scalable is kind of like a restaurant saying, "You will leave our premises less hungry than you were before."
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 10:54 AM on January 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


Things real people don't say about their cars.

"I should set up an axle puller by sliding a brake drum onto the wheel studs to offer momentum for removing this axle so I can fix this differential leak"

My new tumblr will totally put those assholes in the service dept. down at Overlake Toyota in their place.
posted by billyfleetwood at 11:08 AM on January 14, 2011


billy, the difference is this:

If you don't use your expertise to repair or replace the axle: Mechanical failure, injury, death

If you don't use your expertise to make a logo 7% larger: ???

Not to say that there isn't real skill involved in creating advertising, but people do spend a lot of time talking about inside baseball stuff. Like Rory M. says, they sometimes forget what the end user/consumer/audience cares about, and spin their wheels over useless minutiae. That's why this is funny to some of this in the field.
posted by Mister_A at 11:19 AM on January 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


Saying your solution is scalable is kind of like a restaurant saying, "You will leave our premises less hungry than you were before."

I'm pretty sure that's an actual line from a Carl's Jr ad.
posted by GuyZero at 11:22 AM on January 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


As long as I keep making two-thirds of my living from advertising agencies, I'll keep smiling, nodding and cranking out storyboards. Advertising is GREAT! (at paying my bills)

But damn that site cracked me up after spending time around agency people. :D
posted by zoogleplex at 11:23 AM on January 14, 2011


OK, I was about to get all grumpy and "GAH another stupid tumblr page" but these are pretty awesome, especially because I work in web marketing and spend half of my working life trying to convince management that the products we sell don't lend themselves to a super-active social media presence. It's in the "shit you have to buy" category. I mean, who wants to have an active social media engagement with the company they buy rock salt from?*

*Not actually the business I'm in, but you get the idea.
posted by rollbiz at 11:23 AM on January 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


Okay, I work in advertising! Is that a crime?! What's happening to this country?!

(I don't actually work in advertising.)
posted by Jahaza at 11:25 AM on January 14, 2011


Did anyone see that clip anarch linked to? Who is that brave young man? This clip deserves much greater exposure on the internet than it has received. I think it would be appropriate to post a link to that clip in any thread that is directly or tangentially tied to advertising. Maybe pb can create a script so that it is appended automatically to every comment in every thread bearing appropriate tags.
posted by Mister_A at 11:31 AM on January 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


I've said many of those things (under my breath, sarcastically, while making requested revisions to commercials I was editing for major agencies) and I am a real person. I thought it was funny then and, by golly, it's funny now.
posted by DaddyNewt at 11:32 AM on January 14, 2011


Faint of Butt: "I've said a few of these things.

"If only this solution was more scalable...": Regarding my own website, when I realized that hand-customizing the HTML for every single page just wasn't going to work, and that I needed to switch over to a real content management system. I went with WordPress.

Oh, well. I never claimed to be a real person, anyway.
"

The thing is, wordpress doesn't advertise itself with the word "scalable," a word that's too vague to describe anything useful. Your use indicates generating a lot of HTML with a single person, while my use of the word usually describes serving more users by adding more hardware.

In either case, the simple use of the word scalable does not make a product so. And that's what this is about. Not designing alarm clocks with bigger displays, but promoting them with bigger fonts.
posted by pwnguin at 11:33 AM on January 14, 2011


Not to say that there isn't real skill involved in creating advertising, but people do spend a lot of time talking about inside baseball stuff.

I worked in Advertising for 15 years. I've rolled my eyes at useless marketing jargon as much as anyone. Now that I no longer work in advertising, I now choose to roll my eyes at snarky Tumblr sites.
posted by billyfleetwood at 11:43 AM on January 14, 2011


Roll on, sir!
posted by Mister_A at 11:48 AM on January 14, 2011


Oh yeah? Well I actually went to the Kleenex site. Here is what I found. Judge for yourselves.

Looks like the girls found the Ecstasy-laced Kleenex brand tissues.
posted by Xoebe at 12:39 PM on January 14, 2011


Congratulations, you are visitor number 6 at Kleenex.com!
posted by Mister_A at 12:54 PM on January 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


Oh yeah? Well I actually went to the Kleenex site. Here is what I found.

I'm tempted to register and sign in just to figure out why I would ever want to do that.
posted by Gary at 1:00 PM on January 14, 2011


I loathe the advertising industry, primarily for its lack of diversity and inability to really get in touch with real experience outside of their own. This story on This American Life wasn't really very eye-opening, because it's just about what I expected from all the pretty, shiny folks on Madison Avenue and their casual racism:

ACT TWO. AMERICA, THE AD CAMPAIGN.
The New York advertising agency where Shalom Auslander works got an assignment from the State Department back in 2001: Sell American values to the Muslim world. Now they just have to figure out exactly what to say to millions of people they know absolutely nothing about.


I've gotten to the point where if something has an ad or is trying to leverage historical reputation, I just assume they're making worse products and trying to fool me into thinking they really are still quality products. I want to see companies actually try harder at making better products instead of spending so much money on advertising. I care too much about my money to buy anything that overspends on advertising how good it is.
posted by anniecat at 1:05 PM on January 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


It's a buzzword, that can be loosely applied to anything, which explains it's proliferation to an extent

No it's not: mechanism is not content; presentation is not content - lots of other things are also not content. It's useful to be able to talk about such things separately.
posted by Dr Dracator at 1:17 PM on January 14, 2011


As laughable as some of these are, I feel like some are missing the point. Take the one that says "The name ends in a vowel. That's a prescription I can trust!" OK, it's true that no one says this. That doesn't show that the person who says "people tend to regard medications as more trustworthy when they end in vowels" is wrong. It just shows that any such influence (if it exists) is unconscious. People have all sorts of irrational prejudices, and we're only aware of some of them. Advertisers try to identify them and use them to manipulate us. When we're aware of the specifics of what they're doing, like the woman in that picture, we're less likely to be influenced.

In short, a lot of the things on this site are like pointing out that no one says "Hey, I'm up in the air and unsupported -- I think I'll move downward!"
posted by baf at 3:09 PM on January 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


Do you ever get that not-so-fresh feeling?

I actually was talking about tampons at a party recently (bemoaning the death of the OB Ultra, as documented here) and somebody said, "Wow, did you ever expect to say 'Wow, did you ever expect to be discussing feminine hygiene at a party?'?"

Which, as some of you might recall, was a famous and much-parodied (US) TV ad Back In Ye Olde Daye.
posted by Sidhedevil at 3:17 PM on January 14, 2011


Thanks, baf, that's exactly what I was thinking. For example: "I love the copy, but it feels off-brand." No one says that, but many people will notice if an ad does not jibe/is inconsistent with previous advertising.
posted by anthropoid at 3:59 PM on January 14, 2011


I feel like content is the new widget which was once a thing that was it.
posted by iamkimiam at 5:16 PM on January 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


"If only this solution was more scalable..."

yeah, actually people say this all the time.


It's funny, most people here seem to be taking issue with the "scalable" part of this...my pet peeve has been the use of the word "solutions" since I first started hearing it in ads. I just did a Google search of "solutions", and one of the first results is "IRON Solutions - Used Tractor Sales." I'm picturing some farmers sitting around scratching their heads saying "What are we gonna do about this lack-of-used-tractor problem? We need to find a company that offers solutions, dammit!"
posted by Hoopo at 6:54 PM on January 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


"your twitter stream is dead!"
that's what my baby said
our love was like a brand
that just could not withstand
some other guy's campaign
commitment down the drain
our value proposition
a victim of transition
my life's a downward spiral
hope my misery goes viral
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:12 PM on January 14, 2011


From this thread I have learned that 'kitchen roll' is apparently used by some people to refer to paper towels.
posted by trip and a half at 8:15 PM on January 14, 2011 [5 favorites]


I can haz loladz.
posted by ~Sushma~ at 9:10 PM on January 14, 2011


It just shows that any such influence (if it exists) is unconscious.

The key word there is "if". Is there any evidence for such an influence? Because it seems to me that a lot of what passes for conventional wisdom in advertising is merely copying what's been done before, without checking to see if the original idea was based on research or just what the boss thought sounded cool that day.
posted by harriet vane at 1:55 AM on January 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


"your twitter stream is dead!"
that's what my baby said
our love was like a brand
that just could not withstand
some other guy's campaign
commitment down the drain
our value proposition
a victim of transition
my life's a downward spiral
hope my misery goes viral


You should record that. By which I mean that reinforcing the current promotional campaign with new content will raise brand awareness and customer loyalty and offer solutions in a competitive customer-focused environment, donchaknow.
posted by ersatz at 4:06 AM on January 15, 2011


trip and a half: "From this thread I have learned that 'kitchen roll' is apparently used by some people to refer to paper towels."

I think it's a British thing. Kitchen roll, toilet roll.
posted by Gordafarin at 6:25 AM on January 15, 2011


Made me laugh.
posted by Trochanter at 8:37 AM on January 15, 2011


Ethnicity assuages my faux-guilt.
posted by wallstreet1929 at 9:04 AM on January 15, 2011


Because it seems to me that a lot of what passes for conventional wisdom in advertising is merely copying what's been done before, without checking to see if the original idea was based on research or just what the boss thought sounded cool that day.

One of the problems in doing research on advertising success is that almost *any* advertising will result in more sales then no ads at all. Even if they're marketing a product people can't buy.
posted by The Whelk at 9:50 AM on January 15, 2011


That Tumblr is quite fun, and I'll follow it.

But...

Whether real people notice or talk about any of these things is not really the point is it? That's about as relevant as whether iron filings talk about magnetic fields.
posted by philipy at 10:41 AM on January 15, 2011


I hear this stuff every single day, said seriously and without irony, by people who really believe that this lady exists.

This is my life.
posted by TochterAusElysium at 4:46 PM on January 15, 2011


The Whelk, that makes me think of ads here for a clothing store that prides itself on quality basics for a low price. (Rivers, for any other Aussies). The models could be the owner's friends or family, just standing there wearing the product. Sometimes it's just a picture of the product. They show maybe 10 products currently available then state the price, in a near-monotone. "T-shirts, ten dollars; polo shirts, twelve dollars; button-up shirts, eighteen dollars". If there's a sale on, they add "...down from twenty dollars". No shouting or gimmicks like many cheap stores, no fancy or prestige elements either though.

As far as I can tell, they're doing very well. It might be the result of an incredibly subtle marketing campaign masterminded by the best in the game. But it seems more like they decided that if they just kept telling people what they have and how much it costs, they'd make a name for themselves. I bet they do very well through a recession, because their ads are cheap and easy to make and therefore it's easy to keep their name in the public eye.
posted by harriet vane at 1:09 AM on January 16, 2011


...They show maybe 10 products currently available then state the price, in a near-monotone. "T-shirts, ten dollars; polo shirts, twelve dollars; button-up shirts, eighteen dollars". If there's a sale on, they add "...down from twenty dollars".

Is the voiceover done by the Red Letter Media guy? If it isn't, it should.
posted by Dr Dracator at 3:31 AM on January 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


I work in technology and am constantly talking about content. I am the only person talking about it. Everyone else is talking about means of delivery instead of what is being delivered (as was already pointed out upthread). Let's have a video, they cry. Let's have a blog! Because I come from a writing/editorial background and not an IT one, I seem to be the only person there who asks "What are we showing with the video? What are we writing on the blog?" Duh, this is not rocket science, but it's extraordinary how, even this far in to the Internet era, people are distracted by the bright shiny tools and forget that the tools are just there to build things. The word content is extremely helpful to me because it snaps people back to reality. All you have to do is say "ok, what content are we going to deliver?" and the whole vanity website/video/social media effort gets shelved and you get to go back to reading metafilter. Thank you, content!
posted by staggering termagant at 4:43 AM on January 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


I am a bread brand on Facebook and Twitter. Yes I am. It's true.

I also use the word 'content' a lot, because at certain points in a marketing campaign you don't know what the 'content' is going to be - article, video, slideshare, blog post, whatever - so you say the 'content' to make it clear to your superiors that they need some.

The type of content and its timing/tone is shaped by the campaign and by the delivery mechanism, which is why everyone has to talk to each other and respect each others' areas of expertise, which unfortunately doesn't happen often enough in marketing.

And no, real people don't talk in marketing jargon, but that doesn't stop them reacting to the campaign in the way the marketers want them to. Having said that, this was still funny.
posted by Summer at 7:20 AM on January 16, 2011


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