RE: It's an ad, ad, ad world

From: Vincent Campbell (
Date: Tue Jul 10 2001 - 11:00:12 BST

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    From: Vincent Campbell <>
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    Subject: RE: It's an ad, ad, ad world
    Date: Tue, 10 Jul 2001 11:00:12 +0100
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    I was watching an economics programme last night, and the topic was branded
    goods (like Levi's), and the war in the UK between the brands and discount
    retailers (like supermarkets) who are trying to sell these branded goods at
    prices a bit more like the rest of Europe and the US, rather than the
    woefully expensive prices we're used in the UK.

    Anyway, the programme talked a bit about marketing, with all these
    desperately sad people, clearly who love their jobs, going on about how
    brands make us what we are and that's why levi's should cost 50 a pair etc.

    The only point they made which is one of the few aspects of advertising that
    works, and indeed may be the only genuine memetic aspect of advertising is
    what marketers call association, better known as endorsements. I don't have
    any problem with notion, that we like to copy the famous, successful etc.
    But, there are limitations. For all but the stalkers of this world,
    celebrity endorsements I think only really work in that celebrity's field of
    expertise- so when Andre Agassi promotes Head tennis racquets, I see no
    problem with people thinking 'he's good at tennis, that's the racquet he
    uses, so if I use that racquet I'll be good too'. But when Agassi starts
    promoting razors, coz he shaves his head, I don't really think the majority
    of people then go and buy razors on his say so.

    Another reasonable advertising idea, which you point to here, is raising
    brand awareness. When people are looking for a product, and don't
    necessarily have a particular preference, then awareness of a brand can
    help. My issue with this, based on the article you posted, is that if
    awareness-raising was such a powerful tool, then how come TV, billboards and
    newspapers and so on are not enough for these people that we now have to
    have ads on everything?

    Maybe there's something memetic about the increasing ubiquity of
    advertising- it's extent outweighs its (demonstrable) impact so what's
    driving its spread?


    > ----------
    > From: Wade T.Smith
    > Reply To:
    > Sent: Monday, July 9, 2001 5:25 pm
    > To: Memetics Discussion List
    > Subject: RE: It's an ad, ad, ad world
    > Hi Vincent Campbell -
    > >Of course all these desperate efforts from advertisers to gain our
    > attention
    > >is simply more evidence that advertising doesn't work the way they'd like
    > to
    > >believe it does.
    > Not that it don't work at all- simply knowing that something new is
    > available for a need that the old versions and brands didn't fill too
    > well is why I find myself trying recently introduced and advertised
    > things.
    > (Of course, I also have, and have always had, thanks be to my sainted
    > mum, who many years ago warned me of the evils of advertising, a strict
    > rule to boycott, in my individual and paltry way, any product whose
    > advertising is false, ugly, or annoying. Plus, due to sheer economic
    > reasons, I tend to purchase generics....)
    > Thus, if I'm dissatisfied with the performance of a product, I'm in
    > 'search' mode for a replacement, and at this point, advertising will
    > affect me. And, tangentially, if I'm happy with a product, I might try a
    > variation of it- like a new version of a favorite cereal. But, in almost
    > all instances, I'm in a 'search' mode for these items.
    > And once found and enjoyed, a product becomes an object of loyalty. I
    > will look very carefully for a bottle of Moxie in a store, a product
    > which, in this day, has no advertising at all. And when I smoked
    > cigarettes, I waded through (yeah, I use that word as a non-name
    > sometimes too...) a myriad of cigarette advertising every minute of every
    > day, oblivious to all of them, because I would walk a mile for a Camel.
    > All of this meandering, while attempting to underscore Vincent's point,
    > may also point out that perhaps I am not your typical consumer.
    > - Wade
    > ===============================================================
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    > Journal of Memetics - Evolutionary Models of Information Transmission
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