Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Temper Tantrum Tuesday: Onions vs. Tennis Balls

In marketing anything you have to reduce it down to its simplest form, that’s where the phrase “Kiss – Keep It Simple Salesman” comes from. With a good product it’s like an Onion, you see the outer layer and when you peel it back there are more layers underneath. With bad products it’s like a tennis ball, you see the outer layer and when you peel it back there is only air inside.

In our short attention span world we are hit constantly by marketing of the simplest form, and it becomes nearly impossible to figure out beforehand what is things have layers and you’re only seeing the outer layer, and what is just the tennis ball with great marketing wrapped around nothing.

With blogs I’ve seen one that scored incredible pageranks and hundreds of followers and the writing was complete gibberish, jokes run through babblefish so they make no sense. On the flip side one of my favorite blogs Bad News from Outer Space where the author spends a lot of time making highly crafted reviews of bad movies and barely beats out reviews of his site on google.

With blogs that would be fine, I don’t mind being beaten out by someone who puts all their effort into marketing their blog and not on content. But it is rampant in all aspects of the media.

In politics we have Sarah Palin who complains about gotcha interviews if asked to say anything beyond catchphrases because if she’s asked to think she looks like an idiot. She’s the tennis ball of politics, you peel back the outer layer and find there is nothing inside.

We recently lost Billy Mays the TV pitchman for any crappy product you care to name. He had one great skill, the ability to present a great 30 second demonstration. Somehow people took his endorsement as something they could trust when he made no claims to be anything other than a good pitchman.

I don’t have any answers as to how to have people look beyond the surface and see if they are looking at an onion with many layers or a tennis ball with nothing inside but air, but I personally try to look at everything being presented to me and hope to catch a glimpse beneath the surface before trusting anything.


Stephanie B said...

I have learned to ask questions and do my own digging. After a while, I feel like my nose can sniff out hot air vs. home cooking, if you know what I mean.

The more empassioned the plea, the more they go after heartstrings or try to stir up my anger or fear, the more carefully I scrutinize. In my experience, people hoping for an emotional response are doing so because they can't win me over intellectually.

But, as advertising becomes even more important, that may stop being true. If people think that no one can be won over intellectually, they may all be going after the emotional response. More's the pity! How much harder it will be to find the kernels of truth in that circumstance!

Tina T said...

I like your imagery with the onion and the tennis ball. I think that most people believe that they are "too busy" to look beyond the surface whether it is what they are viewing in the media or even evaluating people that they meet in real life.

As far as those spam blogs that say nothing but rank well, I have to believe that they have found a way to manipulate the system. I guess I just have too much faith in people to think that there could be that many idiots who truly follow that cr*p.