Wednesday, October 15, 2008


A few more random thoughts on marketing paintball. How cynical and contrived is an anti-establishment rebel marketing scheme when perpetrated by what passes for the paintball establishment? It's so laughably superficial a real paintball rebel would have to join the Boy Scouts and help little old ladies across the street. (Kinda like HK trying to cash in on their rep with hordes of internet clones. Which is cool with me but please don't try to sell me on the legitimacy of the us versus them bad boy bovine excrement after selling out. I know it's the American Way but we're not all tools. Or fools.) None of that is really important however. Advertising is frequently cynical and superficial because--let's be honest--it works. As has famously been said nobody ever lost money underestimating the intelligence of the public. But there's always a trade-off, a price to be paid, if you will.
Trade off number one is image. (I was tempted to say integrity but who am I kidding?) But seriously, it's one thing to sell the dark side on the down low and another thing altogether to push everybody's face in it. [If you missed the Clockwork Orange post check the archives or just go down a few posts.] Sure, football can be brutal and violent but you don't see the NFL announcing the fact in flashing neon lights, do you?
Trade off number two is the transitory nature of such a campaign. It gets old fast and so does the target market. When the gimmick is to push-the-envelope of pseudo outlaw cred everybody plays the one up game. Let's call it Madonna Syndrome. She's started her career playing teeny bopper streetwalker and had to constantly up the ante once everybody got used to the old provocations. Eventually she's getting crucified nightly on stage and everyone yawns. It's not a sustainable strategy. The other thing is the target group changes even faster. Even with delayed (or extended) adolescence the teenage male demographic isn't exactly renowned for its attention span or brand loyalty. It's nearly enough to make you think a good sized chunk of Paintball is get rich quick scam artists looking to turn a fast buck.
Okay, that topic is officially done to death.
Is it agg yet?

No comments: