Let The Games Begin…

The Hunger Game’s ravenous fans are flocking to theaters this week.  The story has been told before (1984, Fahrenheit 451, The Running Man, The Giver among many others) and the appeal is timeless.  The question – is mindless entertainment a substitute for human connection? – is worth asking. The Games are distracting.  That’s the point.  The Games simplify overwhelmingly complex issues and reduce them to “Him v. Her ” and sizzle-y sound bites… “May the odds be ever in your favor.” Consider Reality TV, and our obsession with The Games.  I love feel-good programs that show case talent and improving skills.  I love discovering back stories of courage and turnaround.  Agreed, not all Reality TV is inspirational.  (I’m talking to you, Jersey Shore and Mob Wives!)  And, unfortunately, the format is slipping into other aspects of our lives. More Reality TV:  The presidential election season is now open. The contestants are being selected.  The tag lines are sounding.  The teams are forming, for one candidate or another. […]

Old Fashioned New Media

Once upon a time, the best marketing you could get was one customer chatting with a friend or a colleague over a cup of coffee. It’s called “word of mouth” marketing. Here’s what Wikipedia has to say about the origin of the term… George Silverman, a mathematician and statistician, pioneered word-of-mouth marketing when he created what he called “teleconferenced peer influence groups” in order to engage physicians in dialogue about new pharmaceutical products. Silverman noticed an interesting phenomenon while conducting focus groups with physicians in the early 1970s. “One or two physicians who were having good experiences with a drug would sway an entire group of skeptics. They would even sway a dissatisfied group of ex-prescribers who had had negative experiences!” Businesses and empires have been built on that kind marketing. The problem was that it took too long. So, mass media emerged and we leapt on the radio, TV, billboard, postcard mailing bandwagons. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t and it all gets pretty pricey. […]