Filed under: Advertising [Planning] School On The Web, Crap Marketing Ideas From History!
I have a lot of respect for the criminal fraternity.
Well, not all of them, but definitely the conmen.
Maybe it’s because I admire their ingenuity.
Maybe it’s because I admire their balls.
Maybe it’s because they remind me of 90% of adland.
Whatever, the intelligent conman is someone to respect and learn from because they know far more about influencing human behaviour than pretty much every planner and researcher out there.
But somethings happened to their profession as of late – at least in regards to the low level internet scammer – because it seems they have decided to go the same way as much of the marketing fraternity and that is to try and appeal to people’s lowest common denominator: flattery.
Couple of points …
1. To be fair, I hear that the amount of revenue they manage to get out of people is still – on a global basis – in the hundreds of millions so their ‘technique’ can’t be all bad.
2. I appreciate most of mankind is flattery operated, so there’s method to the madness.
However what bothers me is that we now are seeing a decided lack of flair, imagination and sheer chutzpah.
Gone are the days where you were randomly contacted by some African General’s cousin who promised you untold millions for simply “helping them get their money out of their countries soon-to-be-frozen bank accounts” and instead, we are faced with the sort of sycophantic ramblings last seen by Oprah.
“Hello there! Do you use Twitter? I’d like to follow you if that would be ok. I’m absolutely enjoying your blog, your topics about female viagra samples are amazing and look forward to new posts. “
“I accidentally came across your blog and I think it’s really good. If you’re not already a famous writer, you should be. I have a friend in the publishing industry so if you write to me, I will connect you up. Look forward to reading more from you.”
Seriously, even the most low self esteemed of low self esteemed would be able to tell this is a scam which has got me thinking, maybe I should set this as the A[P]SOTW instead?
Get planners to write a strategy on how to get people to part with their cash for something they don’t want.
Mind you, many people would argue that’s what they do anyway. Oh well.
Talking of A[P]SOTW, it’s almost done … finally have the brief sorted out … I just need to talk to 2 more people and then we can get it up and running.
Sorry for the delay, been a bit mad recently and no, it’s not because of free holidays thank you very much Andy, Doddsy and every other bugger out there who takes great delight in slagging me off.
Anyway, while I was joking that adland and the criminal fraternity are related, I was being genuine when I said that the art of the con can teach you a lot about human behaviour so next time you’re thinking of buying a book on strategy or insight or some other term the planning community like to bang on about, buy one of these books instead [1, 2, 3] … just focus on how they did it – and why people went along with it – not what they did, because I don’t want to be blamed when you’re in court charged with theft.
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