More grubby marketing strategies

- July 2, 2012 2 MIN READ

My last post struck a chord with plenty of you, with commenters chiming in with their own observations of lowbrow marketing tactics. And in a ‘look and you see it everywhere’ way, I’ve found yet more cause for complaint.

Do any of these seem familiar?

Charities coming the heavy

Last time I talked about ‘chugging’ (charity mugging), which many agreed was distasteful. But my friend has experienced worse from charities. She bought raffle tickets from her kids’ school only to have the supported charity call her and press assertively for a regular donation. Luckily she stayed firm but those who find it hard to say no could easily succumb to such pressure.

Charities using this approach are playing a very risky game. Burned by her experience, my friend will not support other charities in this way, fearing it’s a lead in. Small donations should not have strings attached.

Purple prose makes me see red!

Since when have big-budget films become “the movie event of the year”? Sorry, Hollywood, but a movie’s a movie; it’s not an event. In a more comedic example of overblown oratory I heard a new reality series advertised with screen-filling font and urgent voiceover shouting, “All-new event bigness.”

Consumers, did you get that message or did you need it rammed further down your oesophagus? It was the nail in commercial TV’s coffin for me. I miss subtlety.

Want more articles like this? Check out the sales strategies section.

Eggs ain’t eggs

“Free to roam” and “farm range” are examples of language producers of non-free-range eggs routinely use. Clearly the aim is to mislead the consumer and, by way of extra insult, hike up the price. While there is no legislation preventing this to date, there is a bill working its way through Parliament right now. I hope it succeeds.

Bait and switch

Popular with daily-deal sites, they lure you in with the promise of a ridiculously priced product that everyone wants, but when you head there five minutes after the deal goes live they’ve sold out and replaced it with a substandard product.

I have to stop, now, or the vein in my forehead will never stop throbbing. Perhaps I should quit this Flying Solo lark and get a job with Choice or the ACCC.

So, with my chest suitably relieved, please tell me once more what marketing tactics get your goat?