If Society Celebrates Winners, You Can’t Criticize the Method

Recently, a college student by the name of Jack Taylor, scored 138 points in a basketball game, the most points in a single college game.

Many people, the majority, marveled at the stats. He was money from the 3pt range and when given 108 chances to make a basket, chances are one is going to rack up the points.

After the initial shock of the shear amount of points and attempts went over those paying attention, the “holier than thou” commentators began to run their mouths.

None more than the author of the article linked above, Mr. Mills- an opinion contributor to CNN.

Mills is a recent author of a book that talks about America’s rise to superpower status. I haven’t read it, but if my studies of human psyche proves correct, then his argument against Mills must be similar to the American Superpower story.

Resources. Opportunity. Esteem.

Let’s face it: we live in an environment that celebrates winners and shuns losers. No matter if it is in business, love, friendships, boardgames, sports, politics, or otherwise, or society likes winners.

It is only a recent development that our society is beginning to care in which manner, winners win.

Fairness, in other words.

Let’s play a game. Let’s say that you were presented two options. The first one being that your team would win a game big, and you would be the primary reason why your team won. The second option being that your team won, but you were just a part of it. Neither option has a down side. You win either way. Which one would who choose?

It’s our nature to want to be the hero. And society reinforces it by celebrating unreal activities and deeds by individuals. So of course, if a talented young player has the opportunity to do something special, why wouldn’t he take the chance? For fairness sake? Please.

As people, athletes, authors, move around using their resources to be looked up at as heroes and experts, you cannot possibly expect me to criticize this kid for wanting to have a special night.

I’d blame society.

Social Anxiety Disorder: Why it Matters

Understanding the way people operate (or inability to) doesn’t not only help people in marketing and advertising. No, it also helps people understand how a culture or society interacts. Consumer (or in this case, social) behavior provides glances into our human psyche. It provides us a reasoning for the method behind the “madness”, meaning our seemingly predictable irrational behavior.

Like the saying, “the only thing you can predict is unpredictability”, the only thing we know for sure about common sense is that it is anything but common.

For example, as our society continues to become less face-to-face, we have dawned a new age of anxiety issues, off line and online. The latest (that I have seen) is called S.A.D., or Social Anxiety Disorder. Not to be confused with shyness, Internet Usage Disorder (IUD) or just being weird.

Obviously.

I stumbled onto this new disorder from a writer for Brain Magazine, where she talks about her plight with the social phobia.

The writer notes how “anxiety disorders are characterized by extreme mental discomfort with social settings.” And she goes into the technical parts of where in the brain scientists believe anxiety formulates. Most importantly, anxiety disorders disrupt and misinterpret information that impacts attention, memory, judgement and the ability to decipher information coming from oneself and others.

Basically, the ability to recall, and communicate.

This is serious. The ability to communicate thoughts and feelings is crucial to our social fabric. Those who do not and can not are dependent on those willing to help them, else they face de facto excommunication.

I’m not implying that the rise of online communities and social networks and gaming is the direct cause, but all of them are certainly elements.

Social Anxiety Disorder matters because it is proof that our society is losing its ability to communicate. As SAD develops, the more worried we should be.

Americans: Own Up

Tax

Tax (Photo credit: 401(K) 2012)

Let’s start with a story.

 

Imagine that you just moved into a house. It’s beautiful. It’s spacious. It’s warm. Inviting, even. Of course, there is a mortgage to pay. At first, the mortgage isn’t bad.

 

“This price for all of this? Fantastic!” you exclaim.

 

Then the mortgage begins to creep in on the things you like to do. No more vacations. No more gadgets. So what do you think to do? You borrow. As you borrow, you know, some day you will have to pay it back.

 

“Someday”, you say.

 

Then someday comes. The debt is huge. Should you pay it? Should you be responsible for the borrowed money? Of course, this will mean making your overall mortgage payment a little bit more, due to your usage, and the enjoyment of your usage.

 

Why is our story so different than the situation the U.S. finds itself in today?

 

The point: Ask Your Target Market (AYTM), an online research company, released a study saying that people would rather have higher debt than higher taxes.

 

Fiscal cliff? Puh-lease.

 

Fifty-Six (56%) of respondents said that they would rather have a higher national debt, and pay fewer taxes and have government programs. Only 42% said they would rather have a lower national debt, pay more taxes and have fewer government programs.

 

We have created a society that wants everything but refuses to pay for it. People want government programs, but low taxes. People want free access to information, but no advertising. Television with no commercials. Theaters without the expensive candy.

 

Conferences without the sales pitches.

 

The list goes on.

 

In a country where the phrase “no free rides” got popular, it seems that a free ride actually isn’t all that bad.

 

We cannot go on living in a nice house and refuse to pay for the furnishings. It doesn’t make sense.

 

Ah well, I guess we’ll see what happens.

 

 

 

A New Consequence of Blogging

Many of our generation (Millennial/GenY) have taught or been told about the dangers of placing and sharing information online. That is nothing new. On social network sites like Facebook, we must be careful about our privacy settings and what kind of information we are sharing about ourselves. On Pinterest, we must be wary about if the content and pictures we are sharing carry any copyright or content-sharing caveats we must abide by.

But blogging about news, topics, and goings-on around your community was usually safe.

At least, it was.

A fellow marketing professional was sued this year because of his sharing of information about a certain event in his neighborhood. He notes that he didn’t even comment on the actual event, but his emphasis was on how technology was incorporated and used in the situation.

The “victim” of the coverage wasn’t happy about the way they were portrayed by everyone who shared the information. I guess we’ll leave it at that.

The point is, and the point that the marketing pro was sharing, is that we have to be ever more careful about what we choose to share online. Not only do we live in a place where we can access information freely and quickly, but also a place where people can sue anyone for almost anything.

Yes, we now made it to the times where we must tiptoe around- even the internet- for fear we may hurt someone’s feelings to the point of being sued.

The future of the internet. Get excited.

 

What if Ten-Year Olds Ran Your Agency?

Grip Limited, an agency in Toronto is celebrating its 10-year anniversary in an unusual way. Instead of the party, the glitz and glam, and a roadmap predicting the next ten years for the shop, they decided to have some fun.

They brought in a group of ten-year olds to run their creative teams for the day.

Grip helped the teams set up, and asked them questions throughout the process. At the end of the takeover, the ten-year old troupes pitched their ideas to real Grip clients.

It is pretty cute.

The Charlotte Agency is turning 4 this coming January. I think we’ll have to wait a little longer before we pull something like this.

Web Marketers: The Silent Omniscient? [Infographic]

So you think you know yourself, don’t you? Think you can write down the last ten websites you visited today, without looking at your web history? Think you remember the sites and brand sites you visited last week?

Or how about online purchases? What were the last five products or services you purchased in the last 40 days?

What if I told you those sites and brands could not only tell you where you were online and when, but based on certain algorithms and trending those companies could probably predict what sites you would visit next or again, which ads you wouldn’t mind seeing, and if you would see the ads more on mobile versus a computer.

Crazy stuff, right?

The folks over at MBAOnline.com compiled the infographic you see below that looks at the outrageous profits and data these brands are bringing in.

Internet ad revenue eclipsed cable TV ad revenue for the first time in 2011. Though it still has a way to climb to beat broadcast, that should not take away from the growth of online advertising. And between 2010 and 2011, mobile advertising grew 149% to 1.6 Billion.

Ad folks are getting smarter with the data they are getting from consumers. Take a look at the infographic yourselves and tell me your thoughts.
Web Marketing

Created by: MBAOnline.com