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Sunday, 12 June 2011

New marketing jargon to mystify your friends, a regret - and some laughs for Sunday

Yesterday someone wrote asking if I could recommend a book about "brand activation".

"WTF is that?" I asked myself, with my uncanny mastery of internet lingo. So I replied suggesting my friend James Hammond's book - but asking "what is brand activation?"

My correspondent helpfully informed me it is "the marketing process of bringing a brand to life through creating brand experience with ATL and BTL activities. It usually consists of consumer engagement."

The phrase "consumer engagement" makes me breathe fire, and I responded, "Ah! Another load of pretentious marketing jargon designed to impress." This was true, but doesn't go far enough. Pretentious jargon not only impresses the gullible - no shortage in marketing - it also convinces them to shell out more cash.

Anyhow, I went on to say that I am chairman of a firm that does that, only we call it experiential marketing. It is nothing new - just getting people to use the product. For instance, we do work for a big car firm that includes driving lessons for children. Actually, over the last twelve years we've run this sort of thing for most of the big car marques everywhere from California to Lapland.

Whatever you call it, the best way to sell is to get people to try stuff. Every salesman knows that; nothing is more convincing. What's more, people tell their friends, and more products are bought through personal recommendation than in any other way. So your customers become an unpaid sales force. My Managing Director has a plethora of statistics that show why this works better than almost any other marketing investment.


I'm flying back to London tonight. That's a shame, as I've been invited to a celebration of what would have been David Ogilvy's 100th birthday tomorrow here in New York. One thing you can bet on: if anyone had asked him about brand activation he would have given the phrase short shrift.


From those thoughts to something a friend in Singapore - well, a client, really - just sent me this morning. You sophisticates may find it childish, but I got a few laughs. It's a selection of bloopers from church bulletins and announcements:

The Fasting & Prayer Conference includes meals.

The sermon this morning: 'Jesus Walks on the Water.' The sermon tonight: 'Searching for Jesus.'

Ladies, don't forget the rummage sale. It's a chance to get rid of those things not worth keeping around the house. Bring your husbands.

Remember in prayer the many who are sick of our community. Smile at someone who is hard to love. Say 'Hell' to someone who doesn't care much about you.

Don't let worry kill you off - let the Church help.

Miss Charlene Mason sang 'I will not pass this way again,' giving obvious pleasure to the congregation.

For those of you who have children and don't know it, we have a nursery downstairs.

Next Thursday there will be tryouts for the choir. They need all the help they can get.

Irving Benson and Jessie Carter were married on October 24 in the church. So ends a friendship that began in their school days.

A bean supper will be held on Tuesday evening in the church hall. Music will follow.

At the evening service tonight, the sermon topic will be 'What Is Hell?' Come early and listen to our choir practice.

Eight new choir robes are currently needed due to the addition of several new members and to the deterioration of some older ones.

Scouts are saving aluminum cans, bottles and other items to be recycled. Proceeds will be used to cripple children.

Please place your donation in the envelope along with the deceased person you want remembered.

The church will host an evening of fine dining, super entertainment and gracious hostility.

Potluck supper Sunday at 5:00 PM - prayer and medication to follow.

The ladies of the Church have cast off clothing of every kind. They may be seen in the basement on Friday afternoon.

This evening at 7 PM there will be a hymn singing in the park across from the Church. Bring a blanket and come prepared to sin.

Ladies Bible Study will be held Thursday morning at 10 AM . All ladies are invited to lunch in the Fellowship Hall after the B. S. Is done.

The pastor would appreciate it if the ladies of the Congregation would lend him their electric girdles for the pancake breakfast next Sunday.

Low Self Esteem Support Group will meet Thursday at 7 PM. Please use the back door.

The eighth-graders will be presenting Shakespeare's Hamlet in the Church basement Friday at 7 PM . The congregation is invited to attend this tragedy.

Weight Watchers will meet at 7 PM at the First Presbyterian Church. Please use large double door at the side entrance.

The Associate Minister unveiled the church's new campaign slogan last Sunday: 'I Upped My Pledge - Up Yours.

P. S. My jokes are rarely that good, but if anyone's still ruminating on whether they should come to Bristol, there are 5 places left.

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