communication is essential to business making and it involves more than the ability to name your product, write a tag line or a press release. It's an intricate, rational and scalable effort and, let's face it, not anyone can do it.

8/23/2008

"Subgroups" and "subcultures"

I had an interesting - if mildly annoyed time at AdFel today (yes, Costin, you did piss me off) because we talked, TRANSIENTLY :), about the use of special-interest groups in advertising. Sometimes referred to as subcultures or subgroups or niche groups, these include anything from emos, artisans, goths, skaters, ravers, hippies, Vamaiotzi, you name it.
And one thing that did get me thinking was the idea that there are a number of subcultures which are simply off-limits for communication because they are deemed "inferior". Anyone listening to manele is part of a group which advertisers won't touch unless to poke fun at. Equally mockable but uninteresting for communications are the Romanian nouveau riche (recognizable by their white SUVs, all black suits and propensity for Armani, D&G and Cavalli) or the yet-unnamed huge number of people watching Romania's crazy tabloid TV station OTV.
The reason behind this hands-off attitude is, as always, fear: fear that the animosity mainstream Romanians feel towards these groups will affect brand equity and sales. Brand managers assume all their consumers are decent, elegant and nice, and fear the day when they will have to slum it with subcultures.
BUT, OTV is among the highest rated TV stations in Romania: fact. Hi5, with specially designed Cavalli wallpaper pages by 14 yos from Popesti Leordeni (that's the equivalent of a small white trash town in the US) beats Facebook: fact. People who are willing to slash out on 100k white cars probably are more likely to buy higher margin products: learned assumption.
So, what do we do? Do we hang on to an elitist and somewhat narrow minded understanding of what is culturally acceptable or do we try to capitalize on these so-called subcultures?
[and in case everyone is worried we will damage our cultural heritage, please remember this is not culture as in arts and sciences but popular culture, much harder to control and sway by institutional means].

16 comments:

iulian said...

you rule!

Bogdana Butnar said...

ummmm....okay. da' ce-am zis frate asa de tare?
sau, stai, e la misto...
ummm.... okay. da' ce-am zis frate asa de nasol?
:D

iulian said...

nu. chiar vorbeam serios. mai rar analize din astea. bine puse la punct. si in engleza! fain!

Felipov said...

woord!

Bogdana Butnar said...

felipov, la tine STIU ca e la misto :-P!!! Tell Karakiri I said hi :-)

Sebastiano said...

Me totally agrees, iar Senzationescu a capitalizat involuntar, zic eu, in businessul lui existenta paramecilor astora bipezi-low-IQ.

Sunt asa niste figuri Nouveau Riche-ii astia, cum le zici tu. Dintotdeauna m-au amuzat, mai ales ca in Bistrita, my hometown, sunt inepuizabili. „Adevaratii” intorsi din sclavagism in Spein, Italy, Irlanda. Tot ce face sens pentru astia e vizibilitatea sociala. Orice item purtator de status, ca sa transfere imagine asupra nulitatilor de ei. Eu ii zic „sindromul iesirii din saracie”, sunt exact ca niggerii din state, care si-ar pune spinnere si la prajitorul de paine.

Teoria formelor fara fond. Ambalaj versus substanta.
Sa-i targetam, asadar, sa le luam bani, ca-s simple lucrurile.

Bye.

Bogdana Butnar said...

Sebastiano, sa stii ca e pe bune o dilema. Chiar in we am vorbit cu niste oameni care se codeau sa propuna o strategie pe HI5 ptr ca, ziceau ei, exista riscul inlocuirii de target, insemnand ca daca brandul devenea placut HI5-istilor, cu siguranta avea sa scada in ochii alora seriosi si intelectuali care nu se dau pe HI5. problema noastra este ca nu avem branduri cu nuante si nicio o tara suficient de mare ca USA unde sa nu se auda imediat peste tot daca cineva a indraznit sa iasa din mainstream. :-)
desi, cazuri gen Unirea si Delaco demonstreaza ca daca e facut cu cap genul asta de marketing catre "indezirabili" - si sa stii ca aici nu sunt atat de vehementa impotriva lor cum esti tu, ba chiar din contra - poate functiona in ambele directii.

Anonymous said...

you gotta be kiddin' me daca tu spui "in passing" "in trecere" in contextul asta. eu zic sa renunti la engleza pe blog. Ai o exprimare rigida.....de turist...

Bogdana Butnar said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bogdana Butnar said...

anonymous, commentul tau este binevenit. am sa modific ptr o mai "lina" exprimare in limba lui shakespeare; also aici http://beeker.typepad.com, un blog scris in engleza excelenta in caz ca asta cautai. asta e un blog despre comunicare al unui roman so...it comes with ups and downs :-)
plus, check this
"Adv. 1. in passing - incidentally; in the course of doing something else; "he made this remark in passing"
en passant" from here http://www.thefreedictionary.com/in+passing
;P

Anonymous said...

nu spune nimeni ca "in passing" nu s-ar traduce in trecere....dar se putea ceva mai uzual..ceva mai native way... mai lejer....aici este problema...am mai observat astfel de traduceri cam mot a mot si o constructie tipic romaneasca a propozitiei.

Anonymous said...

uite...iar..."if mildly" poate vroiai sa spui "yet mildly" sau "but mildly" pentru ca era in antiteza cu "interesting" ceva gen "am avut o experienta interesant dar usor deranjanta la adfel" cam asta ai vrut sa spui....in cazul in care foloseai "yet"....:)

Sebastiano said...

Bine, anonimosule, multumim pentru invataturile tale, tocmai te declar academician. Acum tacere.

Anonymous said...

nu vorbeam cu tine,nu e blogul tau astfel incat sa-mi spui cand pot sa tac, nu am cerut recunoastere academica din partea nimanui cu atat mai putin a ta. ok? nu am vrut sa ma dau superior am vrut sa fac observatii folositoare, constatari. Have a good one

Bogdana Butnar said...

@sebastiano and @anonymous, io va invit in sabii sa va taietzi si in buzdugane sa va izbiti un curtea castelului :-). Multam anonymous dar deep down tot romanca sunt, multam sebastiano, you're the knight in shining armour. dau cafea :-)

Sebastiano said...

Si poate va mai luati careva de Bogdana ^^
Lasati niste burice de degete talentate sa ne tasteze aici lucruri interesante. Ca voi astia 'dashteptzi' nu aveti nimic de spus, asa ca dati-va jos de pe internet, consumi internetu' cu CGC-ul tau.