Sometimes I Don’t Get Marketing
Now I’ll be the first to admit that there are some things I just don’t get.
For example I don’t get most things that have to do with home decorating. When Christmas rolls around my wife will take some classy looking ornaments and, say, arrange them on a side table over a snazzy table cloth with some glass bead strings snaked around the table.
It looks great! But I never would have thought to do that on my own. To my way of thinking ornaments belonged on a tree. Arranging them festively on a table would never have occurred to me.
This sort of thing has become a running joke in our marriage. We’ll see something along those lines and she will turn to me. Do you get that? You don’t get that do you?
It looks great and all. But that someone would have taken the time and effort? Don’t get it.
I’m really OK with not getting some things.
I get most things about business. But there are some things about the whole marketing thing that I just make me shake my head. Nope. Don’t get that either.
Marketing to Travelers
I had to take a plane trip recently. It was a quick out-and-in to Dallas for some meetings.
While I was on my flight out I picked up the airline’s sky mall catalog for a little in flight entertainment. I wasn’t disappointed.
Now I understand that folks sitting on an airplane are a captive audience, even if they aren’t on JetBlue. Advertisers like a captive audience.
I suppose it makes sense. Spend your advertising dollars in places where there will be a high probability large numbers of folks will see your ad. Isn’t that one of the maxims of advertising? (Does advertising have maxims?)
But I couldn’t seem to turn off the running commentary in my head as I flipped through the catalog.
Does anyone really buy this stuff when they are on an airplane?
And that quickly turned into imagining scenarios that people would be in, what they were thinking, that might cause them to actually pull the airphone from the seatback in front of them, swipe their credit card through it and buy the things in that catalog.
First of all I can see where someone who was travelling might be inclined to buy A Nice Wrist Watch for $250. “Man I almost missed this flight. I could really use that watch to be more on time!”
Trying to sell luggage to travelers makes sense to me too. “You know. Going through security just now was a real pain. Emptying my pockets, getting the laptop out of the shoulder carry bag with all it’s flaps and zippers, taking my shoes off…” A new roll behind luggage organizer might really be helpful in that case. (punny, I know. 🙄 ) “And $95 is right in my budget!”
But what about this one.
“Man these airline seats are cramped! I can’t believe I took this middle seat. That lady in front of me has her seat so far back I’m staring at the top of her head. How do they expect me to put the tray table down to hold my 7 pretzels? Why is it I keep getting stuck between two armrest hogs? Buddy you got a window seat. If you wanted to get into the overhead compartment every 15 minutes sit on the aisle! Oh if I ever get off this plane I want a massage. Ooohh! Look at this massage chair. And it’s only $2,000! Just what I need. I’ll take three!”
Am I the only one who thinks that a strange thing to be advertising to folks on airplanes? What do the marketing folks think when they place these ads?
“Ok, Marty. We need to be marketing our reproduction WW-I Sopwith Airplane Propeller (only $150) to aviation buffs. Where are there more aviation enthusiasts than on a passanger plane? Let’s place our ad there!”
Are people so concerned with safety on airplanes that they are inclined to buy a Safety Net For Their Kid’s Trampoline ($130)?
Are they so focused on getting healthy that they’d swing their charge cards into action for one of these Strange Looking Torture Devices ($60)?
I’m almost ashamed to say it. But I did see one thing that really piqued my interest.If it really works, this Laser Virtual Keyboard looks totally cool. And it’s only $170!
Where’s my credit card?
Chris Cree is a regular contributor here at Successful-Blog and he helps businesses fuel growth through blogging with his consulting business, SuccessCREEations.
Those catalogs aren’t for people to buy things. They’re there to keep rubes like us gawking for as long as they possibly can. C’mon. Add up the minutes you spent looking at the thing, multiply by the % of passengers that flip through the thing each flight, then multiply that times the number of flights in a month, and you’ve got a boatload of ‘time not spent pestering airline employees’.
Nobody really buys any of that stuff. In fact, you don’t see those items in other catalogs because they’re fakes. Out-of-work Seinfeld screenwriters create the entire catalog, and they restrict you from using cell phones on planes to insure you don’t try to place an order!
That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it!
Chris Cree says
😆 ROTFL! Mike, I think your on to something!
[in his best fake French accent] Eet ees aih clevarh rhooose!
Great! Now I have chai tea all over my keyboard!! Nice one, Chris.
Robert Hruzek says
Actually, it’s the same folks who make up the Sharper Image catalog…
But I gave up on catalogs since they stopped making those Ginsu knives.
What? You could buy Ginsu knives from a catalog? I thought you had to watch late night TV until the commercial came on. Doh!
Chris Cree says
“It Slices! It Dices!
How much would you pay? But Wait! There’s More!“
🙂 Yep. I knew it was time for bed when I saw the Ginsu ad.
I’ve actually used that “How much would you pay? But Wait! ThereÃ¢â¬â¢s More!” line in sales pitches; it kills!
Chris @ Martial Development says
You forgot to mention the SkyMaul catalog!
Chris Cree says
Oh, that’s just wrong…. Talk about someone having way too much time on their hands. 🙂
I needs me a llamacycle!
But WAIT… if you call in the next ten minutes; we’ll throw in the Vegemetaic, it slices, dices, makes the best coleslaw you ever saw:)
but i digress.. i’m back now.. the catalogue non-catalogues marketing – either .. marketing peace among the pilots OR they maybe just maybe think, you’ll go to their “real” website when you de-plane in “peace and quiet”
GP In Montana
Chris Cree says
All I know GP is that I just don’t get it…