A grumpy, old marketer
Older, wiser, and grumpier...I Like It!
Stephen Brown has been in the marketing industry for years now. As a seasoned marketing veteran, he's learned a few things. Particularly, what he likes and what he doesn't like. Here's some insight on what grinds his gears.
Stephen Brown, President, FUSE
Today, I was told that I need “progressive lenses”. As those darts of wind gushed into my pupils, followed by the reading of the alphabet on the light wall behind my optometrist’s head, I came to terms that I’ve crossed yet another aging milestone. The last one was a few weeks ago in Mykonos when I couldn’t keep up with my friends (they party like we did in our 20’s). The milestone prior was realizing the boots I wanted to buy were too hip for someone in his mid 40’s (even though I live in one of Vogue’s top 15 coolest neighbourhoods). And of course, the worst of them all was going for that ever-so-special medical treatment earlier this year because I’m at the age where they start checking those things out.
And yes, this translates into marketing. Here’s my list of “I’m too old for that” marketing rants.
- Door knockers and Chuggers interrupting you to ask for money: When did charities decide to take over for the Jehovah Witness set? I get they need to raise money, and I’m as Machiavellian as the next marketer, but this has gotten way out of hand and leaves an incredibly poor brand impression. Last night, upon hearing I already support my local hospital, the dynamic duo from Sick Kids wouldn’t accept my polite decline without two very strong appeals. Outsourced and aggressive sales people are not the brand that Sick Kids portrays elsewhere… and not the brand experience that I expect from Sick Kids.
- TD Bank’s viral "Automated Thanking Machine": It didn’t make me cry or give me goosebumps… despite its intent. The line between “acted” and “completely spontaneous (real)” should be very clear… but I can’t find it in this video. Real actors are skinny, pretty and styled. I get confused when real people (or “looking-like-real people”) get thrown in front of me. I’m left with the same feeling I get when I watch not-so-real Reality TV. But it got 11.5 million views, so apparently I’m a loner in this rant.
- #everything and #thinkitsfunny: It’s not funny… use it as a smart Twitter handle or lose it. It’s tired and truly #notfunny.
- Toronto traffic: “What does this have to do with marketing,” you ask? Well, the smart powers that be at City Hall are now making it virtually impossible for me not to overanalyze outdoor advertising (I literally have enough time on Adelaide to determine which font’s being used). I love OOH… but can’t believe how poorly constructed many campaigns are in big, bold print. Reduce your copy, focus on one key take-away…and entertain me. Right now, you really have my attention.
- CLR ads: Yes, that miracle cleaner really offends my intellect with its fake dirt, sprayed-on stains and irritating voiceovers (did they hire Kermit the Frog?). The 70’s called and want their genre back!!! PS: It didn’t clean my tiles like they promised.
There you have it: the progressive-lensed, aging marketer has rambled on long enough. Next week, I’ll entertain you with my Marketing Likes… because most of the time, my cup of tea is half full.
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