Sunday, January 27, 2002

I *will* have your respect and your consideration or there will be NO SALE! Now, you may well conclude that I'm the lone voice of whatever, lunacy or reason, take your pick. But like I say, I'm at least fucked up enough to think I ain't so different from anyone else out there.

No, you're not different from anyone else out there. In fact, you're pretty much the same as everyone else out there. Everybody hates most advertising. No surprises there.

What I don't think you grok is about the companies selling bleach (or beer, or rice, or socks, or...) is that the don't care about you, and in particular, they don't care whether they sell to _you_ or not. They only care that they make _a_ sale, and the miracle of the market is that anybody else's money is as good as yours.

People here are going on as if telling the truth about advertising will cause the whole edifice to crumble, but the people who do it for a living have you beat in the 'understanding what works and what doesn't' department. Direct Marketing has an average response rate of around ~2%, or, put in Gonzo terms, they have a failure rate of 98%. And this is success. If your ad is only ineffective for 49 people out of 50, you're doing good. So they go to work every day knowing that most advertising doesn't work.

And you know what? They make crazy money doing it, because the cost is so low that 2% efficiency makes them like baleen whales. They don't concentrate on the the big hunt, they just swim around in the seas of the mass market, sucking up krill. If you can get enough throughput, 2% efficiency at low cost beats 50% efficiency at high cost.

So your rant, while amusing, is a poor predictor of a change in the way those companies do business. The fact that you demand some sort of "considersation" before you buy a roll of toilet paper just makes you too expensive to service as a customer for a large category of goods.


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