I’m not a doctor….. but I play one on TV

For me probably the best show on CBC radio is The Age of Persuasion.   No other show crystallizes the role of marketing in society today as does this one.

I was thinking about that show when I heard Guy Kawasaki the other night at the NBIF.  The first point of his presentation was “do not try to make money, try to make meaning”. Nike isn’t selling shoes, it is selling the liberation of women.  Disney isn’t about theme parks and movies – it’s about making people happy.

Maybe I don’t quite get the subtleties here but sometimes a shoe is just a shoe, a kiss is just a kiss and a burger at Wendy’s is just a burger.  Maybe if we spent a little more time on the steak and a little less time on the sizzle…

3 thoughts on “I’m not a doctor….. but I play one on TV

  1. They talk about that often in marketing, but I’m not quite convinced. There’s a reason the only people that are ‘sold’ on Disneyland are little children. Nike flourishes mainly due to cheap slave labour. Cola is marketed to eight year olds because cola companies know taste is developed early and habits are hard to break. Beer is marketed to 18 year olds and mainly feature parties because they aren’t even allowed to show beer consumption in a commercial.
    Marketing is addressed to misery. If you are unhappy, you may be dumb enough to believe a roller coaster will make you forget your troubles, just like when I was young and unemployed I used to read through the ‘small opportunities’ magazines, and perhaps if I had SOME money, I would have even tried gambling or the lottery.
    I don’t know if you were just talking about business, but in politics this is even more true. Like in the US, the content isn’t there, but the ‘sizzle’ is, although not like in the US.

  2. The first point of his presentation was “do not try to make money, try to make meaning.

    Very true. It’s no different when trying to sell a political message or policy, in that, you need to be able to sell a story that is compelling to the masses. Remember, Sergei Eisenstein, with the help of just a camera and his very creative instincts, was able to persuade the Russian people to embrace Bolshevism and thereby change the world.

    Which is why I believe facts are important (as you would probably agree) but appealing to people through the power of the word is much more effective when trying to bring masses of “miserable” (as mikel said) and “frightened” people over to your side. It worked in the French revolution when revolutionaries attempted to bring people over to their side and it has worked here, in New Brunswick, when citizens took it upon themselves to oppose and rally the masses (without a heck of a lot of data) against a power deal.

    lets just say a good story can go half way around the world before hard numbers (and sometimes the truth) have a chance to get its boots on.

  3. I for one am somewhat perplexed that we give these Silicon Valley venture types godlike status. Many of these guys drove the bubble of 1998-2000, made their millions and now we grant them rockstar status.

    I’d rather listen to Malcolm Gladwell talk about circumstance and what really drives success.

    I want to hear from the guy/gal that found a niche, created a company from scratch, built it up, expanded its markets, created jobs and oh yeah, got rich doing it.

    Someone like Bruce Poontip of GAP Adventures, that’s an entreprenuer.

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