Friday, 24 April 2015

Heroic Marketing

Recently, I had a most illuminating conversation with The Boys From Marketing, mostly about politics. As you may already know, The Boys have been working with me on my stage show, my online presence and my attitude, with remarkable results.
They’re really great lads, you know, very sharp. Over a cocktail or two, we got talking about the upcoming election, and they insisted that the real problem in politics, and particularly the widespread disengagement from mainstream party politics, is one of marketing.
After a few more drinks, we got to talking about heroes, when one of The Boys asked me about mine. I replied I didn’t really have any, other than certain people very close to me. I made a point about putting people on pedestals, how there’s only really one place to go from there (ie, down, knocked off that pedestal) and that I reserved the right to criticise people I admire, and/or change my mind about them, based on their actions, and my own developing ideas and changing perspectives….
The Lads were a bit taken aback (one of them had apparently assumed Lenin would be a hero of mine, for some reason – we had a right good laugh about it). Then they ordered another round of shots and I have vague memories of neon lights and white powder and naked women dancing and limousines….
By the time we parted company, as the sun rose over The Shard, I had (apparently) agreed to give this week’s blog over to The Boys to tell you about their heroes, in their own words, one at a time….so, take it away, Boys.

"Earl" James Gray:
Thanks to ClayDog for inviting me to share my thoughts with you on his very own personal forum, on which I suppose he usually tries to spread the kind of radical, pie-in-the-sky student politics that have made him a local Brizzle celebrity. We aim to harness that energy to make him a real star, yeah?
Using Marketing.
And if I had a hero, in Marketing, it’s President Barack Hussein Obama.
Because, Barry-O, my god…he’s just such a fucking legend, ok?
Think about this: In a redneck, right-wing, white-dominated, aggressive country with a long history of slavery, religious fundamentalism, violent racism and police brutality, a mixed-race man got himself elected.
Think about THAT.
A mixed-race man with a black African father.
A man whose middle name is Hussein, for fuck sakes!
How did he do that?
Genius marketing.
I don’t know if you remember the 2008 Presidential campaign, but Barry was absolutely blank canvas, you could just project onto him whatever suited you. Those posters with his face on, that just said “Hope”….perfect marketing. I mean, it’s completely content-free!
He actually won a Marketing Award for the campaign, and deservedly so. Plebs all over America pledged small amounts to make it seem all grass-rootsy and cuddly, and the Big Boys weighed in with the real cashola, the mega-bucks, yeah?
What a hero.

Adam “Hologram” Hollow-gramme:
Thanks to ClayDilla for this opportunity to tell you about my hero.
And, if I have a hero, in Marketing, it’s Nigel Farage.
Because, you know, Nige looks like just one of the guys, in the pub, enjoying a pint of bitter and a bag of salt ‘n’ vinegar crisps – and a fag – and why the bloody hell not? You know, just an ordinary blokey bloke. A Blokey-Bloke Bloke Bloke. A ruddy man, yeah?
A bloke who, like all ordinary blokes, is distrustful of foreigners, and likes the simple things in life.
Like certainty. Like having a bloody pint and a fag, ok? Normal shit. A guy who looks into a camera like, sure, I look and sound like a twat but I’m so much better educated than you, so it doesn’t matter does it? I conjure statistics out of the sky with the best of them. Now roll over and I’ll tickle your bellies with some populist anti-immigration rhetoric.
A bloke who, in a lookalike contest, up against Ed Miliband, with both of them going as Beaker from the Muppets, might lose – but only narrowly.
A bloke who has to wear a suit for his job as a sort of Zeitgeist For Middle England Politician, but would be more at home in a Rugby shirt, at Twickers. Or, you know, the Oval, with, god, I don’t know, a can of lager.
And, of course, the funny thing is, he’s actually the Earl of Leicester! And the Arch-Bishop of York! He’s the second cousin of the Duke of Wessex! Trust me, I know, my father knew him at Eton.
And he’s a teetotal non-smoker! And he’s married to a German – actually, a German man! Who is a bonafide tree-hugging MEP for The German Green Party.
And yet he’s managed to package himself as an ordinary, honest-to-goodness, working-class bloke down the pub who doesn’t like the EU or foreigners or gays.
And, even while getting all this media attention, he’s managed to come across as a bumbling fool who doesn’t deserve all this coverage, who reads the normal papers, doesn’t like anyone different to him, hates the metropolitan, politically-correct North-London Oxbridge liberal mafia that run politics and the media – but he’s actually got a Master’s Degree in Digital Media from Christ College!
It’s amazing, really.
Brilliant marketing, absolutely inspired. Honestly, a shining beacon to us all in this industry that we love.

Charles Montague-Forskwith Smythe OBE:
Cheers to Clay-Money for asking for us to inject some sorely-needed business sense into his blog.
So, my hero?
Well, actually: My Heroine – how about that, guys? Yeah?
It’s only a bloody woman, isn’t it?
Yeah. Left-field, I know.
My heroine is Margaret Thatcher…yeah, I know that won’t be popular with Clayton’s anarchist mates, with their dirty clothes and terrible hair, but there you go (what those dudes need is a bloody Marketing make-over, yeah?)
Anyway, Thatch is a bloody hero because she managed to build a political career, as a woman, right, in an old-fashioned, stuck-in-the-mud, establishment party, full of old-world posh men – and lead the party to victory – and she was a woman! A working-class woman! From the NORTH! I mean, her Dad, like, ran a Butcher’s Shop or something, so they were pretty poor.
Not only that, she worked jolly hard on her appearance and her voice and everything, to make herself acceptable to the top rung of the Conservative ladder, as well as the hoi polloi voters. And she did it all in the service of the financial services industry, while selling the image of a small-town, “normal” housewife who just wants to balance the books and keep her husband in the golf club and her kids in the local grammar.
Clever, clever girl, Thatch. And dashed pretty, to boot.
Ha ha ha, only joking.
Honestly, the Marketing department is such a laugh…
And the best part is, all the left-wing feminists screaming for more women in politics got exactly what they wanted – and it turned out to be their worst nightmare – and they couldn’t say anything – because she was a woman! That’s like judo, yeah? Using their own aggression against them.
Classic Marketing strategy.
Also, while we’re talking Marketing heroes, I absolutely must give an honourable mention to Tony Blair, an Eton-educated toff (like me, yeah?), who managed to bring down the Labour party from within. And got himself elected as the Right Wing alternative to the Tories! Genius, that guy. What a fucking ledge. Put THAT in your lifepipes and smoke it, Commies!

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