Direct Marketing.

Why is there a clown on a bus?

The clown is working. Earning his daily bread. Putting food on the table. He is a mobile busker of sorts. He is taking his product straight to his audience. Advertisers would call it direct marketing, and the passengers on the bus are a captive audience.

The clown performed his 3 piece set for the passengers before we set off for our intended destination, and asked for ‘propinas’, or tips, in return for the few moments of entertainment. He livened up a very boring and monotonous aspect of travel and distracted his audience from the chaotic, smelly, noisy and ugly bus terminal in which they sat.

The clown is just one of the many salespeople who ply their trade on inter-city buses throughout Latin America in an attempt to earn a living in a region in which employment is precarious.

Comida y bebidas

Salespeople will board buses at terminals and offer their products or services to passengers who can choose to make a small payment. Some people will sell staples such as food and drink at a standard price and will rush up and down the crowded aisles trying to entice every passenger in to making a purchase before scurrying on to the next bus and the next one.

Some vendors might stay on the bus. Their sales require more time. They might be said to invest more with their audience. Thus, they will remain on the bus as it pulls out of the terminal and continue their journey until the bus stops at the pick up point on the outskirts of town. At this point, they will thank the driver, alight, and connect with another bus heading back to the terminal and attempt to market their products directly to a new audience.

A Blessing

Other salespeople are not selling a specific product. They instead offer items to passengers. Many of them will place in the hands of each passenger a card with a blessing, a positive affirmation or a religious image imprinted upon it. Once they have given every passenger a blessing, they will walk back down the aisle and collect the cards from those who don’t wish to keep them, or accept money from those who wish to hold on to the blessing.

How much do they earn?

It depends. They usually earn a few coins per card. It might also depend on whether the food and beverage vendor is also prowling the aisle at the same time – it can get quite crowded.

Capitalists call this competition. The free market.

The Pen Salesman

The best sales pitch I ever encountered during my many bus journeys was the pen salesman in Guatemala. He gave the most impressive spiel about pens that I have ever heard. He awarded his pens a value more precious than gold and more vital than water.

What did he say?

I can’t repeat his pitch here. It would be a breach of copyright. At least, I hope he has copyright on his pitch. He should.

Did I need a pen?

No

Did I already have a pen?

Yes

Did I want a pen?

No

Did I buy a pen?

Yes

Advertising gurus will tell you that the best marketing convinces people that they need something that they don’t actually need. I didn’t need a pen, but I bought a handful because the salesman convinced me that I needed a pen.

Not just any pen.

Not just one pen.

I needed a handful of his pens.

Australian Students to Study Nothing but Marketing.

The Australian government’s attempt to de-clutter the school curriculum will see Australian school students study nothing but marketing from 2021.

The move comes at the behest of the current Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, and has won support from coalition members from every Australian state and territory.

“Marketing is all one needs to know in order to succeed in this country,” announced a press release from federal Minister for Education Dan Tehan.

“Look at the prime minster. He rose to the highest office in the land through nothing but public relations spin, and was only inserted into the role when our party re-branded itself after the Turnbull era.”

“Such is his reliance upon marketing spin that he earned the nickname ‘Scotty from Marketing’. Of course, he prefers his official nickname, ScoMo. In fact, assigning nicknames is one of the first modules students study under this exciting new curriculum, before they delve into ‘The Art of the Slogan’.”

State and territory governments traditionally set the specific curriculum for their jurisdiction in Australia, but the massive overhaul will see the introduction of a national curriculum. Conservative ministers believe the new curriculum will de-clutter and simplify teaching programs and allow teachers to get ‘back to basics’.

The Back to Basics call is made before every major election and allows politicians to pretend they will improve students literacy, numeracy and thinking skills through the explicit teaching of times tables, spelling, punctuation and grammar. This time, politicians can promise to instil in young Australians the one life skill through which the Liberal National Party survives.

As a result of the changes, students will no longer study traditional subjects such as Maths, English Literature, Physics, Geography and Biology.

“The current government has proven that accurate scientific knowledge is simply redundant in the modern age,” explained Tehan, before outlining more details.

“Humanities subjects such as History will be wiped from the curriculum, because this subject breeds bleeding heart, black armband lefties who insist on re-writing history.”

“Environmental education will certainly be scrapped, because our current policies will ensure Australia has no natural environment to study in 20 years time.”

Students will be provided with world-leading instruction on public relations and will learn to devise and use slogans such as:

“Less activism, more marketing”

“Spin to win”

“Rort your Sport”

“Manage the mainstream media”

“Dictator Dan”

“Murdoch and Me”

“Deny and Deflect”

“Bogans love Slogans”

Some elements of the old curriculum will surface in the new marketing curriculum, however. Creative writing is necessary for the creation of slogans, press releases, policy announcements and speech writing, while artists are needed to create the ‘look’ and ‘sound’ of any re-branding exercise.

“Mathematical knowledge helps us to doctor figures which highlight the failures of our party, and to blame any economic failure on Labor.”

“Sport and physical education subjects will remain, because politicians gain enormous public relations benefits from pretending to support sporting teams. Furthermore, the promotion of militarism cannot continue at its current pace without fit, healthy young Australians to join the defence force.”

Furthermore, every school in the country will study Christianity, regardless of whether students or families adhere to a different faith or no faith at all.

“We’re sure the students will love the rock music during church services,” affirmed Tehan.

Image: Element5Digital

Scott Morrison: The Kardashian of International Politics.

Kardashian

Scott Morrison is the Kardashian of international politics. He is not a leader. He is nothing but marketing.

Re-branding

Scott Morrison is a Liberal National Party re-branding exercise. He is not a genuine leader. Morrison became leader of the Liberal National Party (LNP)  after he challenged the former leader, and former PM, Malcolm Turnbull. Turnbull was regarded as aloof, wealthy, overly sophisticated and arrogant, especially by the new supporter base of the LNP, tradesmen and construction workers. Insiders also believe that Turnbull was too outspoken in favour of action on climate change and that this did not align with the opinion of the true leaders of the LNP, mining magnates and media moguls. From his inception, Morrison has never been a leader, he himself is a marketing exercise, in the same way that every Kardashian (and partner) is themselves nothing but marketing.

Nickname

Scott Morrison and his PR team refer to the Prime Minister as ScoMo. The carefully-cultivated nickname fits neatly into the Australian tradition of awarding everyone a nickname, and creates an image of Morrison as an approachable and friendly person to whom everyone can relate. So successful has this deliberate marketing strategy been that even the watered-down mainstream Australian media commonly refer to the PM as ScoMo.

Beer and football

Extending the image of a regular Aussie bloke is Morrison’s appearance at rugby league games. Enjoying a beer at many of the home games of the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks enables Morrison to pretend that he cares about the people of his electorate in the Sutherland Shire. Ironically, Morrison did not grow up in The Shire, but in another region of Sydney, and has only lived in The Shire since winning pre-selection for the safe Liberal seat after a dirty tricks campaign against his main opponent. Shire residents, however, don’t seem to know or care about his pre-selection tactics – they have fallen for the PR spin.

scomocraiggreenhill

Slogans

Morrison does not formulate policies – he formulates slogans. A study of his announcements and press releases reveals an archive of empty slogans designed to impress unthinking Australians and to provide headlines and media snippets aimed at people with short attention spans.

How good is…

“How good is…” has become a universal catch phrase for Morrison, ever since he opened his federal election victory speech with “How good is Australia” The slogan is not actually a question, it is posed as an affirmative statement.

Interestingly, the phrase How good/ How good is seems to have crept into everyday lexicon, even in TV advertisements or football commentary. Again, Morrison has mastered the art of marketing to his demographic, uneducated and unthinking Australians.

Meet and beat

This is Australia’s environmental policy. Apparently, the minister who carried a lump of coal into Parliament question time before he became PM believes Australia will meet and beat its Paris climate targets with a simple slogan, instead of constructive action.

Quiet Australians

Quiet Australians are what Morrison would like all Australians to be. They don’t debate policies, don’t call him and his party to account, and they accept his actions and his marketing spin. This is another slogan Morrison coined in order to subdue everyday Australians.

There’s not much difference between a Quiet Australian and a Belieber.

Survive and thrive, leaners and lifters and back in black are more empty slogans which found their way into news articles throughout the country during Morrison’s reign, especially in the Murdoch press.

Have a go to get a go

What does this mean?

What does it matter?

Morrison’s slogans don’t need to mean anything or provide any substance. They are short, easily-digested phrases which impress small-minded people – and they are working.

Patriotism

Team Australia is another of Morrison’s slogans and it promoted overt patriotism and described the members of his political party, who all started wearing Australian flag lapels. Patriotism, like Morrison’s leadership, is an idea, a notion without substance. Morrison’s ascendancy has also coincided with a rise in Australian patriotism which intelligent people can see is exclusive and not inclusive of anyone who is not Caucasian, Christian, heterosexual and born in Australia. Ironically, the most salient recent manifestation of this exclusive racism was the Cronulla riot, a massive brawl between Caucasian patriots and Australians of middle-eastern descent. The riots took place on Cronulla beach, in the heart of Morrison’s electorate. Appeals to patriotism replace sensible policy in Morrison’s government.

Exclusive patriotism and a desire to appeal to bigoted Australians created another famous slogan of the LNP. Stop the Boats encapsulated Australia’s immigration policies, which drew widespread international condemnation for contravening basic human rights laws.

The backlash

Some Australians see through the spin. They know Morrison is the Kardashian of international politics. Unfortunately, they are a minority, or at least their measured voices are drowned out by the ignorant loudmouths who dominate social discourse in Australia.

Scotty from Marketing is a nickname which gained traction in response to Morrison’s reliance upon PR.

The Liar from The Shire emerged in response to his dishonesty and that of his party, incorporating the name of his electorate which is known as ‘The Shire’

SlowMo is sometimes used to counteract the name ScoMo.

Popularity

Yes, Scott Morrison is popular, just as the Kardashians are popular. People in Australia and the rest of the world are so gullible, impressionable and stupid that they fall for the marketing of the Kardashians, and they watch their TV shows, buy their branded products and in some cases genuinely admire the famous family. Conversely, many Australians have fallen for Scotty’s marketing spin and believe that Morrison is actually an approachable, down to earth, friendly everyday person. During the recent COVID-19 crisis, his public approval rating has actually risen. The marketing is working.

Dumb and dumber

Did Morrison contribute to the dumbing down of Australia society, or did his rise simply coincide with this era in Australian history? Did the Kardashians contribute to the dumbing down of society, or simply profit from it?

Ultimately, the only real difference between Scott Morrison and Kim Kardashian is that Morrison did not rise to fame courtesy of a sex tape – and thank goodness for that.

Image – Morrison – Craig Greenhill

Image – Kim Kardashian – Instagram/Kanye West