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Darwinian brand marketing: it helps to be stunned

Here’s my latest Deprogram from Salvo, a magazine you should support. The stuff you are about to split a gut laughing while reading is all true:

FIT FOR A ZOMBIE
Evolutionary Brand Marketing for Your Survival[ ... ]

Hogshead is a brand marketing specialist; she helps executives persuade us to pay more for their brands. She has even formulated a theory, developed from the study of apes and neuroscience: to sell is to cast a spell, and the best strategy for casting a spell is to “fascinate” people. She has identified seven Darwinian triggers for successful sales spells.

These triggers are not the fundamental reasons why we buy things, of course. We buy shoes to protect our feet, but brand marketers get some people to pay $800 a pair for what is otherwise a market-price commodity. And Hogshead offers some revealing insights into the clog-eat-clog world of weaving lucrative illusions around a shoe brand.

She begins by disposing of free will. The person to be fascinated (manipulated) into buying something is a “zombie,” and the marketers must discover and trigger the knobs that control it. Yes, yes, we used to call this sort of thing the occult, but Darwin’s crack troops rode swiftly to the rescue, rebranding it as “science.”

Hogshead must fight nascent rationality in her customer, which she does by invoking lust: “Lust conquers the rational evaluation process, freeing us to stop thinking and start feeling.” But then we get down ‘n’ dirty into promoting vice. Yes, vice: “A little vice goes a long way, so customize your message by using it in combination with other triggers.”

Go here for more.

You may not laugh so hard when you see what effect Darwinian marketing concepts have on the historically successful American business model.

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One Response to Darwinian brand marketing: it helps to be stunned

  1. It’s reminiscent of Vance Packard’s The Hidden Persuaders which is (in part) about the arrival of “depth” psychologists promising to apply Freudian techniques to US advertising in the late ’50s.

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