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Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Homo Motivatious


I'm not here to be average. I'm here to be awesome.

— Anonymous

Unless you're from Alabama, you know other human species besides Homo Sapiens evolved from the the apes, including Homo Heidelbergensis, Homo Erectus, Homo Abilis and Homo Neanderthals; and that none of these other species survived various climate changes.

What you may not know is that a new species has evolved since the late 20th century.

While physically identical to Homo Sapiens, Homo Motivatious are distinguishable by their incessant chirpiness, vapid vocabularies, and eagerness to self-aggrandize.

Members of the species are most often observed in gatherings at conventions and near social media streams (their preferred hunting grounds).

They can be readily identified by their continuous excretion of bromides such as "Work hard, dream big," "Create your own sunshine" and "Failure is a bruise, not a tattoo."

Scientists studying Homo Motivatious have found strong evidence to support the theory that the species developed immunity to normal human emotions such as boredom, jealousy and resentment. But scientists remain uncertain as to the reason the mutation was favored.

One scientist who examined the skull of a species member has concluded Homo Motivatious evolved not as the result of abrupt climate change, but abrupt economic change.

Her conclusion is consistent with statistical data gathered over the past 50 years.

The data show the earth's population of Homo Motivatious rises during periods of job decline, and falls during periods of job growth.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Prediction: In 2018, Resistance Will Become a Competitive Advantage


In May, I suggested more brands would seek to differentiate themselves by publicly resisting Trump.

I'm going on record to predict that, in 2018, hundreds of brands
large and smallwill do so.

From among the many issues at stake in the culture wars—economic justice, gender equality, racial equality, access to healthcare, access to education, immigration, globalization, global warming, diversity, privacy, and incivility—each brand will choose the issue most closely aligned with its essence. 

That's simply Marketing 101.

What's not Marketing 101 is the wisdom resistance will take.

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Perrenials

Now every man may be his own statue.

– Jeremy Bentham

We hear much about Millennials; little about Perrenials.

That's about to change.

The perrenial "auto-icon" of 18th-century British philosopher Jeremy Bentham will travel next spring from London to New York for an exhibition at The Met Breuer.

Ten years before his death, in Auto-Icon; Or, Farther Uses of the Dead to the Living, Bentham suggested that mummified corpses (which he called "auto-icons') could serve as "statuary" for anyone with a big ego, but a small pocketbook.

Auto-iconism, Betham said, was the thrifty way to be honored in death. You'd spare your heirs both the cost of a funeral and a statue. They could decorate the garden with you.

"For many a year this subject has been a favorite one at my table," the philosopher said.


"My body I give to my dear friend Doctor Southwood Smith, to be disposed of in a manner hereinafter mentioned, and I direct he will take my body under his charge and take the requisite and appropriate measures for the disposal and preservation of the several parts of my bodily frame in the manner expressed in the paper annexed to this my will and at the top of which I have written 'Auto-Icon.' The skeleton he will cause to be put together in such a manner as that the whole figure may be seated in a chair usually occupied by me when living, in the attitude in which I am sitting when engaged in thought in the course of time employed in writing."

Bentham's final instructions were followed to a tee; and since his death, in 1832, Bentham's auto-icon has filled a cupboard at the University College London.

And now it's traveling to New York.

Bentham's head, alas, won't make the trip. It will remain behind, on display at the collegeA wax substitute, made by Bentham's doctor in 1832, will ship with the body.



Friday, December 8, 2017

Ads Need Instant Meaning to Register




If a sign is not necessary, then it is meaningless.

— Ludwig Wittgenstein

A fundamental law of advertising—a law too often ignored—goes:

The more you try to say, the less you get across.

How many times have you seen mind-boggling ads like this?


What's the advertiser promoting, you wonder. 

A family of ales? A bar? A restaurant? 

None of the above.

It's a trade show. 

But is it the cloud computing industry's "premier show?" Or is it the cloud computing industry's "global show?" You decide. The advertiser can't.

Confusing ads never register with readers.

"Ads need to have 'instant meaning' to stand a chance," says a recent report from brand consultancy Kantar Millward Brown.

"When developing ads based on an idea or feeling you want to communicate, make sure these can easily be grasped," the report says.

"An idea or impression has a better chance of landing, and influencing, what are often superficial future purchase decisions."

Thursday, December 7, 2017

More on James' Hierarchy


A colleague asked me to rate his organization's events on the 5-point scale I proposed earlier this week.

The events are among the most important, prestigious and successful in the market they serve.

That understood, I gave them a single star.

To recap the rating system I proposed: 
  • 1-star events focus on everyday needs, satisfying attendees' needs to navigate without stress through physical space; meet other people and chat; acquire useful information; and talk business.
  • 2-star events cater to fantasy, satisfying attendees' needs to lessen anxiety and escape reality.
  • 3-star events provide cheap thrills, satisfying attendees’ needs to be wowed and titillated.
  • 4-star events provide genuine thrills, satisfying attendees’ needs to be awed by proof of human ingenuity and displays of daring.
  • 5-star events focus on melioration, satisfying attendees’ needs to improve not only themselves, but to better the lives of others.
If you are honest about your own event and can at best award it one star, remember that to earn a 1-star rating from Michelin, a restaurant has to represent, “A good place to stop on your journey, indicating a very good restaurant in its category, offering cuisine prepared to a consistently high standard.”

Even celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay’s restaurants all don’t have a Michelin 1-star rating.
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