Monday, October 15, 2007

Wild Coincidence on "Jedi Mind Tricks"

Disclaimer: this post does not reflect on the excellent service of VerticalResponse.com. This is a post about how marketing is used. We are glad for VerticalResponse and recommend it as much as we can for it's value... now on to my post...


Okay, so my book was released in early August. If you've read it, you'll know how I talk about marketing in the first chapter and how consumer businesses play "Jedi Mind Tricks" on us to get us to buy. I hadn't yet seen anybody talk about marketing in this way--until today.

We use Vertical Response for Soulation emails. As part of their new integration program for customers to reach customers, they add this little paragraph:

Ever wished you could read peoples’ minds? Contrary to some reports, VerticalResponse staffers aren’t (yet) able to share their mind-reading superpowers. However, our latest integration with Google Analytics is a step in the right direction toward mastering Jedi mind tricks for email marketing, without needing seven years of training.

Well, doesn't that just confirm what we've known all along?! Part of marketing is not just to make us aware of products (I wish that's all it was). Rather, it is also designed to build corporate business by putting hard-earned money into the pockets of businesses for things we never knew we wanted but are made to feel we need to make life a little more meaningful.

Hogwash.

4 comments:

janine said...

Hi Dale

Not sure I understand what you're saying. We're just trying to inject a bit of humor into our copy so that it doesn't sound boring. The integration is actually free and will help you track response. Sorry if we put you off.

Janine Popick - CEO

Dale Fincher said...

Janine,

Thanks for posting. I have to say, right off, I very much like VerticalResponse. I'm glad to find a reliable pay-as-you-go email marketing that also provides value to non-profits.

My comments are not in a reaction to being 'put off.' Actually, they are in reference to something I talk about in the first chapter of my book, "Living with Questions." In it, I spell out how marketing in general Western culture plays Jedi Mind Tricks on people for sales. But marketing, especially the most savvy kind, tells us we need an object to be fulfilled and up-to-date person... and companies will use celebrity spokespeople to push the point even further giving a not-so-subtle idea that if you wear a certain kind of sunglasses or carry a certain kind of handbag or wear these kinds of clothes you'll be as cool, as beautiful, and as carefree as those celebrities that are hunted by the cameras and important people.

And we know that's all hogwash, yet the mind tricks are still there for the weak.

So when I posted my blog for my audience, it was in reference to that. And seeing the Star Wars reference used in relation to marketing only made me laugh at the coincidence and further validate my point.

Your Star Wars reference was humorous and casual and I thought it very fitting for the topic of marketing.

I want my reading audience to build up enough self-awareness and self-reflection and a savvy about the culture to see through marketing campaigns and not be falsely swayed for things they do not need and ultimately do not satisfy.

Dale Fincher said...

I forgot to mention, see Sept 23 post for a real example of this in a Visa ad. :)

janine said...

Ahhhh! Now I must pick up the book!

Cheers and thanks for the kind words.

jp