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So You've Been Publicly Shamed by Jon Ronson
Case studies from famous public shamings and insight into how the affect the psyche.
Great insights into public relations pickles and strategies; fascinating case studies and learnable warnings to always think before speaking... or tweeting.
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Dear Advertisers: PLEASE STOP YELLING AT ME
It was somewhere between three and four in the morning, I was sound asleep. I woke up realizing that two men were having a conversation in my living room.
In a hushed panic, I frantically woke my husband up and told him that there were strange men talking right outside our bedroom door. He grudgingly woke up and I watched his face change from “I am so annoyed that you are waking me up for probably nothing” to “Oh my word- there are really two men talking in our living room” to “I really don’t want to go out there and find two men in our living room…. but… I guess since I’m the man of the house…. I must fulfill my husband duties….”
I laid in bed contemplating whether I should hide under the blankets, holding my phone in case I needed to call 9-1-1. My husband came back a few moments later and informed me that the two men were coming from my computer, trying to sell us something. An ad had decided to auto play at three in the morning.
As an advertiser, I love ads. I’m that rare person who actually hushes people to watch when ads come up on Hulu or cable. I am constantly looking at print ads and I actually fast forward through the Big Game* and just have Big Game Commercial parties. However, as a human, I have little patience for noise.
Advertising is meant to be a means to a message. It’s a form of starting a dialogue on a more global level. “I have ‘x’, and you might want/like/need ‘x’, so if you do, here’s how you can get it.” Too often marketing becomes nothing more than a shouting match. Like any communication, the abrasive “Look at me!” approach will rarely win you a follow through. Ads that block my content, hide their exit, follow me, or worst of all shout at me from some hidden page that I have to search for to mute, leave a bad taste in my mouth. In fact, yelling at me is a sure way for me to never engage with your brand. I know I am not alone in this.
Rather than waste your ad dollars adding to the noise pollution, spend some time thinking about your message. What is it that you want to say and who do you think would want to hear it? Don’t jump on a marketing platform because you think you have to. Whether it’s social media, tv, outdoor, print, etc… you’ll find substantially better success if you dialogue rather than diatribe.