07 September 2009

Possession makes the heart beat faster?

International enrollments in business and advertising schools are up, spurred by the economic downturn and shows like HBO's oil-slick that coats advertising as a livelihood— not empty-souled salaryman grey—but newgrey, a rivetting shade of soul that is gloriously unprincipled and narcissistic, nihilistic black. The curriculum is business as usual, even in Harvard and Columbia, those training grounds of so many MBAs who as CEOs now, have been bailed out by the great mug public.

With spending down in so many sectors, the level of desperation to catch customers is high. So, just as in any war, new strategies and campaigns are called for, and campaigns to catch campaigns.

Buick ad in Fortune Magazine, May 1934

"Don't believe the hype"
warns Advertising Age, though that caveat is only meant to apply when the hype is not for profit.
WHEN Target boss Launa Inman was in London last December, she picked up a Coach handbag and was just about to buy it when she stopped herself. "I told myself: be sensible," she says. "I asked myself: do I really need another handbag? Given the tough economic times, I put it down and walked away." Today the boss of the homewares and apparel chain still carries a Coach bag, but it is at least a year old.

Inman, who shops for work and pleasure, could well afford the new handbag. It was simply politically incorrect to keep adding to her collection of luxury bags and shoes... While she is confident the Government's second economic stimulus will tempt more customers through Target's doors, she shares the worries of other retailers.

"The issue here is how to entice women to spend on themselves, their children, their husband and their home in a downturn," Inman says...

"The idea is to encourage women shoppers to make that impulse buy."
- from Retailer on target under new boss Launa Inman by Teresa Ooi, The Australian, May 04, 2009
KMart's price promise translated:
You do the work to compare prices and we'll match some of them but not all, and certainly not clearance, online or warehouse offers. And this promise says only that we'll match, not beat
, though we've got the buying power to outcompete. And we think this is such a good promise that we're spending $$s on TV ads to tell you. Oh, we love the part where some big-eyed chick talks of promises being politically incorrect. You're with us, hey hey wink?! Cuz you can trust us like your fave sister, the one you pinch stilettos from.

"The only reliable, durable and perpetual guarantor of independence is profit."
James Murdoch, September 2009

On the Trail of Their Campaigns

He's sold Death life insurance
"Cuz ya never know," he said.
"You live like you're immortal, man,
but so did all your dead."
"And who else has ever thought of you?"

They've skimmed the scum off pickled tongue
(a gloop of phlegmish green)
and everywhere that buyers come
they buy their Enerkreme—
"An elite force in a bottle"

It was she who sold to Cupid
a dose to make him "bigger"
and bigger Cupid got, all right,
this baby with an arrow-holder.
"Targetted solutions. It's both our specialities."

"As thick as thieves," they like to laugh.
"We, on the other hand, sell.
In a lineup of thieves and two by fours,
which has the brains, pray tell?"
"Risk management today, for all your tomorrows"

Possession . . . is the first stage of ennui
as Casanova, Imelda Marcos, Napoleon,
William Randolph Hearst, and the Murdochs all could have told from their experience. But there are other ways to make the heart beat faster.

"I knew the precise moment that you saw it because through that microphone, which was on your chest, the radio microphone, I could hear your heart beat. And it suddenly doubled its speed."
— the sound recordist, when David Attenborough spotted a certain bird of paradise they were looking for, to film.

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