Tuesday, January 30, 2007

The Secret Steal

Leo Benedictus provides evidence for my own suspicion that conventional advertising is dead, killed by fatigue among both advertisers and their audience. Much as one would like to celebrate this, there is a serious downside. The new fashion is for 'stealth' and 'buzz' marketing, all of which is basically deception. 'Ethical,' says Graham Goodkind of the Sneeze marketing agency, 'is a funny word.' How very true. Meanwhile, we are to have a 'Las Vegas-style super-casino' in Manchester. The thing about pure gambling of the type involved in this joint - not skill games like poker - is that it is an elaborate attempt to conceal from the punter one glaringly obvious truth. He is bound to lose. It is, in other words, another form of stealth marketing. The conspiracy to conceal the real takes many forms, not that one would notice.


  1. There is a sane approach to casinos: it is to budget, accept that you will lose your budget, but to think of it not as losses but the price you are willing to pay for getting to pretend you're James Bond for an evening.

  2. Evolution started it. Making members of the opposite sex appear attractive is a means of concealing the fact that they are, most probably, dull, vain, greedy, small-minded, self-centred, and irritating.

    I hanker again for the days when rhyme and repetition ruled the world of advertising. Remember classics of the genre such as Ted Moult's "Choose the best: Everest"? Or the Murray Walker-devised slogan: "An only budgie is a lonely budgie!"

  3. Once the evil geniuses of the 'lying industry' get their thinking caps on, this whole stealth business could become quite insidiuous, exploitative and irritating. While I can probably look after myself, my bullshit-detection apparatus in fairly good shape, twitching away each day as I go about my business, children, however, are extremely vulnerable. If I ever catch someone engaging in this activity to influence my children I will not be happy (to put it very, very mildly).