Etikettarkiv: Public Relations

The Unique Selling Point – The Reality Behind Mad Men

Adam Curtis - stickin' it to the Man

I have long hoped for a comment (or even better – a film) of some sorts on the vastly poular series Mad Men from the guy who gave us The Century of The Self, arguably the most stunning peice of 20th century social analysis I have witnessed on television. Finally, my long wait is no more, because on his blog he recently shared some great insights on the protaginists of Mad Men:

The story begins at the end of the 1950s. There were two distinct camps on Madison Avenue. And they loathed each other.

One group was led by Rosser Reeves who ran the Ted Bates agency. Reeves had invented the idea of the USP – the unique selling point. You found a phrase that summed up your product and you repeated it millions and millions of times on all media so it ”penetrated” the minds of the consumers.

His favourite was Lucky Strike’s ”It’s Toasted”.He laid this all out, with diagrams, in his ”bible” – called Reality in Advertising.

Trust me - I'm a doctor


The other camp were known as ”the depth boys”. They believed the opposite. That you penetrated the consumer’s mind by using all sorts of subtle psychological techniques to find out what they really wanted. These were feelings the consumer often didn’t even consciously realise themselves. It was called ‘Motivational Research’.

Read on and watch some never before seen footage by Curtis that further explains the goings on at Madison Avanue in the 50’s and 60’s.

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How Spinmeisters are Taking Over Science

We try to be critical in our daily lives, but the ownership of criticality is a constant bargaining. The NY Times reported recently that a pharmaceutical company paid to have a review article written by a consulting company, and got a well-known scientist to agree to sign on as the “author”. These ”ghost writers” produced a total of 26 scientific papers backing the use of hormone replacement therapy in women, ”suggesting that the level of hidden industry influence on medical literature is broader than previously known.”


How the s*** goes down even within science

Never in history have we seen a bigger need for media criticism and scrutiny of our public and semi-public institutions. As DN reported today, many patient organizations receive hefty sums of money from the pharmaceutical industry. Of course the moneygrabbers deny that any influence is taken place from the big companies. But a look into their political engagement proves that they are somewhat aligned with a more liberal approach to big business and the drugs industry.

From the perspective of PR, the spinmeister himself, Edward Bernays, used similar takes in the beggning of the century in order to sell Lucky Strikes and other canceroids. One writer have commented this kind of (un)scientific spin as ”the science of ballyhoo”. Lets beware of the this science. I suggest everyone starts by reading Unscientific America, about a populace that do not really belive in reality.

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