Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Saturday, December 12, 2021

The marketing war-of-words between AT&T and Verizon Wireless has been notably high-profile, thanks to the litigious route it took. More recently, I’ve noticed the beginnings of another aggressively-competitive campaign between big brands:

A case in point is a company that has been the object of a competitor’s recent less-than “on-brand” marketing behavior. For several years, Lexus has used an iconic big red bow to help promote its “December to Remember” campaign, created to make it easier for those with the means to surprise a loved one with the perfect gift, purchased at a merrily lower than usual price…

Feeling the intense pressure wrought by the economy, BMW, the competitor of note, is taking some sardonic swipes at its automotive colleague through an advertising campaign not quite in keeping with its cool and cordial brand character. Long known and recognized as a car brand of good breeding and exceptional engineering, BMW, from my point of view, is allowing the economic pinch to get the better of its good manners. While many consumers may find the Lexus big red bow annoying given the size of the average wallet, my belief is that BMW’s holiday campaign tactics are uncharacteristically below the belt, even one less tightened.

Additionally, it seems like Target is going “off-brand” from its traditional brand messaging, apparently in response to market-share loss to competitors like Kohl’s and Walmart.

All’s fair in love and retail, and it seems silly to criticize businesses for going after customers with added brio. But these are highly-polished brands that are supposedly operating on a perceptional plateau that obviates the need for bad-mouthing Brand X. That they’re engaging in a race to the bottom hints that the Great Recession has really taken a toll.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sat 12/12/2021 07:34 PM
Category: Advert./Mktg., Business, TV
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I thought it was generally understood that friendships and “friending-ships” were two distinctly different things. I guess not, if the recent ruling by the Florida Judicial Ethics Advisory Committee is a societal gauge: Judges and lawyers are being strongly discouraged from listing one other as Facebook friends.

It’s hard to argue with the logic:

Even though some members of the Committee dissented from the ruling on the grounds that a social networking friend is really more like “a contact or acquaintance,” the general feeling was that it was important to avoid even the appearance of a conflict of interest.

Judge Thomas McGrady, the chief of Florida’s 6th judicial circuit, told the Associated Press, “We as judges can still be good judges and still have friends… But others in the public who see judges listing a lawyer as a friend on Facebook, they may think that because they are your friend, they will be treated differently.”

No one’s naive enough to think that judges and lawyers don’t develop relationships. But having those linkages formalized as a written record — even a record as fluid as a social-networking site — makes them somehow more of an issue. It’s like anything else: Enshrining any type of communication in a referential form gives it a gravity that unwritten knowledge doesn’t carry.

This also boils down to semantics. How much less of an issue would this be if Facebook was calling its peer-to-peer listings “contacts” (or “peers”, even)? In that sense, “friend” becomes a loaded word. Thus the idea of lawyers and judges being too buddy-buddy, even if it’s only online.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sat 12/12/2021 05:31 PM
Category: Florida Livin', Social Media Online, True Crime
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