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Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Endless drivel about branding from the intellectually impoverished

The other day I read two things whose almost ludicrous contrast was so revealing I had to write to you about it.

The first was a paper by an Italian surgeon about some highly complex heart operations. The second was a piece in a Malaysian marketing publication announcing that somebody or other had been appointed "brand ambassador" for something or other.

What a vast gap there is between the extremely demanding and worthwhile things some people are doing and the world in which most marketers operate, where the absurdly trivial is imagined to be important.

I was reading the surgeon’s paper because I had been asked to make sure the English in it was correct, and I am now something of an expert on various pieces of technical language about heart surgery, none of which I understood more than vaguely.

What I did understand was what he was doing was extremely difficult and required a high degree of intelligence and hard work. Compare that with someone who when asked at a cocktail party what he does for a living replies, "I’m the ambassador for Poopo's toilet tissue or Farto's haemorrhoids relief".

Don't laugh. I once met a man who had a job defined on his visiting card as Being Volkswagen. Better than Being Tampax, I guess. What do you think?

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