FROM GRIEF TO GRAVY: A LESSON IN BAD TASTE MARKETING


A few days ago, my 11 year-old granddaughter spotted a copy of Alive Magazine kicking around the living room. She opened it up to page 120 something and asked whether I wrote it.

“Yes I did,” I said as I watched her skim the piece. I hoped she wasn’t going to ask me anything about it as I’d forgotten what it was about.

“Can you teach me to write?” she asked.

“I don’t know,” I said, breathing a sigh of relief. “Writing is mostly practice. The more you write, the better you get. Bring me something you need to write for school and I’ll have a go at ripping it to shreds for you.”

“OK,” she said.

The next day she came over and sat down at the computer and wrote a piece about what she did on her summer holidays. She spent the first few paragraphs writing about the scenery, and the last few describing her swimming. It was almost perfect. In between, she wrote a couple of lines listing people in a family. “What are you going to do with these guys,” I asked.

“Nothing,” she said.

“But you can’t just leave them there,” I said. “You can’t dump someone in the middle of a story because they’re pretty. They have to add to the story. Can’t you say that they were boring so you ditched them and went to smoke crack with Mayor Rob Ford of Toronto,

She couldn’t stop laughing. She’s probably still laughing. I was amazed that Rob Ford would find himself in the thoughts and minds  11 year-old girl. Maybe he will get elected for another term.   

Ford wasn’t the only one who  missed the mark in marketing this week – except in this case I believe the guy who put his foot in his mouth then bent over to tie his laces is going to reap big profits.

Chip Wilson, the founder of Lululemon Athletica – the Yoga apparel founder responded to complaints tat his duds were not being made of the right stuff. People were complaining of then meing so thin you could spit peas through them. They were tired of the splitting from arse to breakfast every time the went into the downward facing dog pose. Here’s what Chip had to say about that: http://globalnews.ca/news/950626/lululemon-founder-says-their-pants-do-not-work-for-some-womens-bodies/

I brought this up at my 9:00 AM Circuit Training Class this morning as a during “The last laugh “ – a  segment I include to bring a civic event belly laugh at the end of each class. Everyone heard of the clip, and they thought it was disgusting how Wilson could bite the hand that feeds. He alienated his market.

“On the contrary,”   I said. “You don’t understand the fitness industry.”

A silence came over the room.

“The fitness industry is one built on insecurity.  And Wilson is deliberately capitalizing in it. Nobody in a yoga class is going to admit that their clothes are pilling up because of their thunderous thighs. Instead, they’ll buy more. Every time they go to the gym they’ll be wearing a new outfit. Wilson’s stock will soar above Twitter before the end of next week – all because of bad taste marketing. The next thing you know, Chip will me making his Yoga gear out of toilet paper ” I ranted.

Mike Broderick , a one- time archaeologist, is a Vocational Rehabilitation Counsellor with the Fraser Health Authority in Port Coquitlam where he helps people with mental health disabilities find and keep full or part time employment .

He WAS the Employment Specialist for the Neil Squire Society in Burnaby where he found employment for people with physical disabilities, A Supported Employment Coordinator at THEO BC (now the Open Door Group), and a case manager at Community Fisheries Development Centre where he helped people move from the fishing industry to something else because there, “Aint no fish.” This means he is VERY familiar with how a modern day resume should look.

He is an active ambassador with the Vancouver Board of Trade and a member of the Labour Task Force of the Burnaby Board of Trade He does some work as a field Archaeologist, is a fitness instructor and frequent contributor of fitness humour articles to Alive Magazine. He is always saying, “If you can’t be fit, you can at least be funny.”

He lives in Port Coquitlam with his spouse Cecelia. You can reach him at home at michael_broderick@telus.net or at 604-464-4105. If you’re looking for a career change, he is the Spin Doctor and can give you a resume makeover at competitive rates.

 

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