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got clay? - considerations of 'marketing' and of the

updated sun 13 jul 03


pdp1@EARTHLINK.NET on sat 12 jul 03

'product' and their relations to one-another...


Hi Wendy!

Happy happy happy...

Amid ( below)...

----- Original Message -----
From: "Wendy Peck"

> Phil,
> Marketing "gurus" with less than honourable intentions
have been able to
> "baffle with BS" exactly because of what you are asking.
It is a complicated
> field, and we are so inundated with marketing messages
that it can be
> impossible to sort through and find the threads of logic
in marketing
> campaigns.

Brave Girl (Woman)...!

You have charmed me...


If not 'impossible', then liable to discernments...

> Think of beer ads. They are not selling beer. If there is
a mention of
> taste, or even the fact that it is wet, it is a side
issue. Beer companies
> sell lifestyle. They put pretty people, having a wonderful
time beside the
> image of their beer. If we see that often enough, it
starts to creep into
> our mind that maybe, maybe, if we only drank Coors, we
would not have
> furrowed brows over how to pay the light bill, but would
instead be one of
> the beautiful people on the beach laughing while playing
volleyball. Same
> product for an older crowd may show the icy beer can on
the seat of a boat
> in the middle of the most perfect fishing scene. .

"Fishing" indeed...

...or 'Late Pay Total'...that's what I do. That or the
bastards 'pull-the-plug'...(sigh)...

Yes...they sell allusions of satisfaction's
recourse...Sex...positive mirroring...implicit acceptance by
peer-others...'Horses' as well as 'pull' the Wagon maybe.

The 'Horse' as 'pull' the 'Wagon' is the mythologies we
lack, whose allusion they shall sell we may still
lack it. We piss it away, one might say...

The camera may not dwell on the path the Horse hath
trod...nor ours...

> Look at car ads in different magazines. I get two consumer
magazines every
> month: Backpacker and Cooking Light. The ads are often for
the same
> products, SUVs especially. But the focus is completely
different. In Cooking
> Light, you see either the elegant side (though dropping an
SUV off at valet
> parking is an image that still mystifies me ) or with
kids piling out in
> soccer gear. In Backpacker, the vehicles are often dirty,
and always in the
> middle of nowhere - never a kid or gown in sight.

It is all the 'same' product...

Yes...'happy' monkeys with consensually conceeded of
desireable zoo territories are shown eating this or that
'grub' or root...we know their poop falls from 'there'.
...thus instructeth their fellows of their station, or, the
height of the 'branch' accorded them on the denuded or
defoliated 'Tree' in the zoo...the heirarchy thereof. The
occupancy of which 'branch' as may or may not precipitate
eostrus or moch oestrus, or other 'rewards' of one's

Blood runs from the 'chin'...

> What good marketing sells is solutions to problems, not

I think they sell us...the 'problem'...'we' are the 'problem
personified...the transaction is predicated on (faith in)
existant loss (or threat) seeking consolation, not as is
interested in 'solution' in other terms. The 'solution'
being 'sold' is an appeasement of anxieties necessary for
the transaction to occur at all in these 'contexts' as
such...every such concession is a 'offering' and response to
the monkey as sits higher, or layers of 'to' keep
down (in these politics) what is 'below', for that...the
'below' looks 'up'...

I say...we do best to go around all this...

> If your
> problem is a dull, uninspiring life, the beer companies
are telling you they
> have a solution.

One may sit in on an "A.A." meeting...and see some of 'how'
that solution doth 'work'...every city has 'em...some more
than others...'meetings' paople struggleing to figure out
'what' happenned, or, struggleing to keep it that way.

> If your problem is that you want to look good in your car,

(I allways do! - and for me, it is not...a 'problem'...)

> then an SUV will solve that problem.

Not for me...I think they look best 'burning' as in those
backround shots of 'cee-en-en' or something...all that thick
black smoke and all...people standing around dirty short
sleeve shirts and sandals, looking half 'interested' is
'charming' in it's way, AND 'Shiva' approved, too...(but
then, so is a lot else, I suppose...sigh...)

I have her feetprints on my pumpkin head...right 'here' (
points to the spot...)

> Agree or disagree with the intent, but
> it has proven to be a very effective method for increasing
or maintaining
> market share for a huge number of products (Of course most
thinking humans
> don't "believe" what the ads imply is true, but the image
is planted, the
> name in your mind, which does influence buying decisions.) is only too 'true'...

> The Got Milk campaign promotes drinking milk a "hip"

...see 'Adel Davis'...just for fun...(old news but fun...she
hated them thirty years ago...Pasteur would too...)

> Maybe the
> producers discovered that people knew they should drink
milk for health
> reasons, but it just wasn't cool enough, or nothing made
it stand out when
> they were choosing what to drink.

Helps liquidity of HMOs too...or rather, their

> (As a lifetime milk drinker, I can attest
> to raised eyebrows when a forty-something woman drinks
milk with most meals. is not 'good' for you...

Try 'Coffee" the choice of eye-talian Monks at one time,
when the Renaisance were still 'fresh'...and they knew a
thing or two, too...

Coffee and 'Pall Malls' or 'Lucky Strikes' ( they're
'Toasted') ...

You'll be much better off...

> It's almost like it is a contradiction to being an
adventurous cook/diner.)

It can have it's 'moments'...

> The solution: Show people who have been raised to a level
of definable
> coolness (actors, star athletes, musicians) drinking milk.
Voila ... you are
> cool if you drink milk.

These famous-people-product-personas...if we pinned a Dollar
to their lapel, would get us a Cup-of-coffee at "7-11" and
that's about all they are 'worth' in my book...if that...on
a good day.

> Bring the concepts to recent clay ads. The last couple of
Ceramic Monthly
> magazines have shown Tony Winchester (one of my personal
clay heroes, but
> that's beside the point ) surrounded my masses of
trimmings, using the
> Giffen Grip.

I am happy for him to have found such satisfactions for
himself...or, for others as may be.

> Common sense may say that an ad for this tool should be
> with the great things it can do - how brilliantly it
works, how much time it
> saves, etc.

I should rather 'make' a (wet or dry) 'Chuck' thank you ,
and leave Pacific Rim sweat shops to their own lookouts.
As well that I should rather make a 'chuck' as something I
may do as is not a plastic gee-gaw to conflict conspicously,
painfully, contradictively with what otherwise might be the
integrity of my work and of 'how' I do it.

I'd rather respect that.

> But in my short time in the clay world, I have picked up
> rumblings that some worry it is not what "professionals"
would consider
> using. So, I think wisely, the ad is almost filled with
the image of a
> professional, studio potter using the tool. The pile of
trimmings is perfect
> ... this man is really getting somewhere.

What old (or not old yet) Werner Erhardt (nee something or
other) observed of 'business'...what he so loved about
it...was that it was 'only' concerned with 'results'...

He did not elaborate so far as I recall on what qualifies
'results' other than someone's idea of what they were after
I guess...

They (ads, and mock-people or personas therebue in them)
wish to be...a 'teacher'.
The 'product' is politics...and the 'product' is the
dispensation or distribution ( for a 'price') of
'authority', or an appearance of it in some way...the
beelief in an appearance of those who lack it for

> The problem for the potential buyers of the Giffen Grip
may not necessarily
> be wondering if it works. It may be more whether it is

It is not in my view 'cheating ( which is not the subject
here, sorry!) bit it is...a matter-of-taste as may apply to
the aesthstics we have for our work and how we do it. It
works well for what it is intended to do. There is nothing
'wrong' with it if it is consistant with one's
sense-of-one's Work and methods.

> Does a
> "real" potter use this tool?

Certainly ( Oh...sorry! I am tangenting...)

> Showing the image of a studio pro committed to
> the product is an age old way to overcome that problem. In
fact, check a lot
> of the ads in CM and you will see the same thing.

Senior ( read 'authority' dispensator or figurative
expedient allusional icon thereof) monkey branch occupancies
of (how) 'high'...

I never 'read' Ceramics Monthly or any other magazine as is
'in' the 'ad' business with 'content' as a pretext or

I read nothing...scan the odd book sometimes...

I read 'Clayart'...

I look around while in line at the gro-sree-store...see the
cosmo girl cover...see the people 'in' line...

> Does it stand up to a
> logic examination that Tom Coleman uses this, so you
should buy it?

I better not go there right now...(el-oh-elling...)

> The
> answer is really no, because there are too many other
factors that can lead
> to whether a certain brand or model is right for each
potter, but we pay
> attention anyway.

If only we did! ( But you do Wendy, and that pleases me no

> (And that's not to take away from Tony, or Tom or anyone
> else who believes in a product - they've worked through
what is effective
> with years of hard work, and pass on that knowledge in
many ways.)

(blank space)

> You asked whether it matters. The answer is an unqualified
yes. For anyone
> who spends a dollar, or even an hour in lieu of dollars,
promoting their
> products, it matters a lot. If you don't know the problem
you can solve for
> your potential customer, you stand less than a sporting
chance to have your
> investment pay off. On the other hand, when you spend the
time to figure out
> what problem you can solve for your potential customers,
and let them know
> you have the solution ... magic can happen. And even
better than making the
> sale under these circumstances is that your customers are
likely to be much
> more satisfied over the long haul with their purchase.
They didn't buy hype
> ... they solved a real problem with your product.


> You've made (let) me hop onto my soap box for marketing

You 'hop' nicely!

> Actually,
> this is a perfect chance to get across my somewhat unusual
belief that
> marketing for small business can, and should be the
opposite to sleazy,
> misleading and greedy. is among the last bastion of 'hope' in some
ways...of independance, for honest assertion ans ingenue,
style and fun, without one resort to a 'life' of 'crime' tho' that might be...

> Small business marketing should help customers to
> make good decisions on purchasing. Done perfectly, only
those who will truly
> benefit from your products buy them.

Yes...and one may have the interest to find out too...'how'
the damned thing IS 'working' out...

I do...

Matters may be only as happy or wholsesome as the 'who' as
is doing them.

Business as 'transactions' of
('positive') Life, or as 'less'...sometimes much less,

Tenses of the word 'business'...exponents, or the varied
deferences it may assume...

Thanks Wendy!

...what fun!

Best wishes..


> Wendy