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« No Customer Service = No Customer | Main | PowerBlog Review: Decent Marketing »

March 17, 2005


Big Pic Guy

There is a cosmic-sized chasm between Cindy Crawford (celebrity) and my dear Aunt Clara (not a celebrity, though she is celebrating her 80th birthday). Yes, they both eat Special K. They both wear leg warmers, though Cindy’s have to do with Pilates and Aunt Clara with varicose veins. Cindy has that magnificent mole; Aunt Clara, in fact, has three.

After that, however, in mind and body, they begin to diverge. Actually, Aunt Clara’s mind diverges quite a bit. Cindy was married to Richard Gere. The only gears in my Aunt Clara’s life she got from her third husband (who, come to think of it, was a dick, too). Cindy is the face on Nice ‘N Easy. Aunt Clara is old school and says nothin’s easy. But the biggest difference between the two is that Aunt Clara lives next door, while Cindy lives in my imagination.

That’s the thing about celebrities: they live in our imaginations. It’s a kind of Neverland: once captured, they can never leave. They can never grow old. They are always what we think they are and not what we read in the tabloids or we see in the celluloids. We may titter at the trash, but it matters not, unless we decide to let it. Celebrities cannot be reached by us; they cannot be touched by us. But they do reach and touch us.

And for faceless companies with alphabet soup names, this makes them the perfect spokespersons.

Yes, I agree we cannot share personal experiences with them. They cannot materially or emotionally impact our lives. They are flatlanders in a 3-D world. They are stolen moments in the continuum of life. But they are the stuff of dreams. They are the ideals that we would imagine ourselves to be…or, at least, be with.

And rightly or wrongly, the right celebrity spokesperson talking up the right product to the right demographic works. I am not denigrating experiential marketing. Far from it. But the fact my Aunt Clara makes a mean Rice Krispy square doesn’t mean a heckuva lot to most people. Cindy? Well…

I would like to invite you and your readers to visit You won’t find either Aunt Clara or Cindy there, but you will encounter some very interesting people (from General Ledger to Pfluffy to Cowboy Bob) working in a significant but dysfunctional company. There are intriguing discussions of strategic planning, sales and marketing, human resources, and management in general. You get to see how, with a shortage of imagination and a surfeit of fear, experienced people can manage to consistently do the wrong things. While you will shake your heads, you will likely find it great fun to follow.

Big Picture Guy

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