Friday, October 31, 2008

What Do You Advertise?

After a two year furlough, I'm finally back to blogging. I must admit that it is primarily for my own personal interests, specifically fighting a horrible case of writer's block. Being a grad student requires a horrific amount of reading and equally as much writing. For me to be faced with the difficulty of finding the right words is unacceptable. For this reason, my goal is to regain my scribal proficiency and hopefully, in the process, share a little learning and experience from my meager adventures. Let's begin.

Everyone is in the marketing business. Everyone advertises. It is a global industry, not just championed by those with marketing degrees or MBAs. Take a look at your clothes. You're advertising something, whether it's a brand name, sports team, or even just a color. A stadium full of fans is one huge advertisement, marketing everything from the team they support, to its sponsors, to whatever colors the team happens to wear. The fans collectively shout in their silent voices, "we support ______! And you should too!" But marketing doesn't just stop at businesses and sports--no way. We go above and beyond to market our morals, our political views, our systems of belief, and even our worldview. If you don't believe me, take a drive down mainstreet, USA during election time. Candidates aren't just vying for support, they're being marketed by their supporters. Wars-yes, literal, violent, bloodshedding wars-have been fought over opposing marketing campaigns. Marketing can be a dangerous thing, and it comes with great potential as well as significant responsibilities.

Therefore, the question must be asked, what (or WHO) do you advertise? Personally, I find it hard to advertise anything I don't believe in. However, I think there are billions of people around the globe who are walking billboards and never realize it. They don't care what message they send. They don't care who or what they support. Or worse, they do care, and as a result, they support the most extreme, culturally, politically, and morally repulsive things they can find, just because they want to be seen.

Why do that? Why advertise the popular thing or the most polarizing thing? That seems, in my view, to be just asking for trouble. Instead, why not look for the most stable, absolutely true and sure thing, and advertise it? Advertise the dependable thing that you believe in. Why not let people see THAT as something you market? Put that on your tshirts and jelly bracelets. If I'm gonna have something written with Sharpie on my forehead, I want it to be on my terms, not what someone else tells me should be there.


Michael Bowen said...

nice post kile. happenin.

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