And Now For Something Completely Different

“It was only by going to Princeton that I realized that no one understands The Wasteland. That James Joyce was unintelligible, even to my professors. And, that graduates like Donald Rumsfeld, don’t know how to fight a war. So –”

“No, no, no no, sir. They don’t know how to *win* a war. There’s a difference.”

“You’re right, you’re right.”

“We wouldn’t have the war without that man.”

“A lot of my classmates were on the board of Lehman Brothers too. I wouldn’t consider them overeducated. Loaning money too people who don’t have any. It’s very possible to be undereducated.”

– An exchange between Walter Kirn and Stephen Colbert on May 19th. Kirn, promoting his new book “Lost in the Meritocracy: The Undereducation of an Overachiever”

Back when I was young, spry, full of piss and vinegar. I wanted to go here: University of Beppu, the plan was eventually to go for a Masters in Marketing, come back home, fully cultured and ready to use my education to manipulate the masses into buying whatever product my employer hired me to push on my fellow man.

The school was exotic and renown on the Asian side of the Pacific rim, at the time I had a keen interest in Japanese culture and was learning to speak the language. Fortunately (or unfortunately, depending on how you look at it) my interest in Japanese culture was horribly thrashed by little Otaku Fan Girls who overused the term “Kawaii”, wore over-whored schoolgirl uniforms, feverishly loved horrible versions of the Final Fantasy series and had an unhealthy addiction for Bubble Tea. I have a theory that Bubble Tea is prepping young women for lives of sexual deviance, but this isn’t the place or time. And I couldn’t reasonably afford to go to this illustrious school without a boat load of scholarships and student loans to cover tuition. Oh yeah, not to mention the Passport requirements, Student Visa and balancing of overall living costs. I don’t think a few of my grades were high enough either. I was a great Arts/English/Computer student, but force me to do complex mathematics and I’ll fail quicker than the Maginot Line. I realize that’s odd to hear from a person who has worked a bank and has an interest in finance, but for some reason financial numbers make sense to me. All and all, not going made a lot more sense than going.

Since, what could be dubbed, “the good old days” I’ve taken an interest in marketing and how products are sold to the general public. There are people who have built careers around peddling products to a society who doesn’t necessarily need ’em. I find that fascinating, if only because of the wild divide between quality advertising and absolute crap.

Originally, this blog was going to be a place to sit all those horrible little advertisements down and ask them a few questions, for example:

Dear Apple,

Why do you feel the need to blast Windows Vista for being unreliable? Do you really need to depict a PC user transporting himself ahead in time to see if they’ve fixed Vista’s freezing problems? Or show legal text every time a PC user claims that a PC is flawless. Yes, they made a bad operating system. Move on. Apple, do you even remember the 90’s? You know, that decade of fuck up after fuck up? Remember the iMac G3? The computer without a fan. Remember every operating system before Mac OSX?

The continual attack ads against windows, no matter how simple and cute, comes across as horribly smug. Yes, at the moment you make a wonderful product. You have your chief competition on its heels and failing to copy your products. But what’s going to happen when Windows 7 comes charging through the door and kicks the hell out of your Operating System? Is the marketing strategy going to become all about the history of perseverance and loyalty? Are you going to continue comparing apples and oranges until you no longer feel you have this fictitious upper hand?

Suggestion; let Justin Long go back to his acting career and bring out a new ad campaign that highlights the superior features of the computer, instead of trying to mindlessly shit on the competition.

– Jack.

Basically open ended letters to companies picking apart their commercials and questioning the message they’re paying top dollar to push on the consumer. I actually have a load of companies I want to write letters too. I might end up doing that for a while. Who knows, I may even mail off a couple of them and hope for a reply.

Why mention this now? I received a piece of feedback that talking hockey all the time was a little boring. Or, ‘dry’. (Thanks Dad) Plus, with the NHL off-season on its way, I’m going to need to focus on blogging about something else between Free Agency and The Draft.

Not to mention it’ll be good practice to break free from the sports mould and write about other things.

~J

Advice Content: Apple Inc, stop with the “I’m a Mac” ads, before something horrible happens and suddenly the ‘smug middle class market’ finds something else to be smug about and forgets your product.

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