Marketing. Much maligned, and often unfairly so. But sometimes, I admit, accurately so, and never was there a better example of shady, nasty, downright dirty dishonest marketing than Australian company hypnomarketing.
Some people think that marketing manipulates people into buying something they ordinarily wouldnâ€™t. This is largely untrue and a bit daft when you think about it. Can an advert really overpower your free will? No, although it can push a few buttons to get you thinking about the taste of cola or what your life would be like if you owned an iPod. But the idea that you can brainwash someone into buying or even liking your product is a dafter idea than Cadburyâ€™s recent racist chewing gum campaign.
So when I see something like hypnomarketing, I see red. They are claiming that they â€œhave found ways to speed up the brainwashing processâ€ for marketing purposes.
They donâ€™t tell us how they achieve this, other than â€œthrough a processâ€, but a quick look at their launch event photos shows us that itâ€™s apparently achieved by making young men remove their jeans.
Ignoring the pre-school standard of web design and typos, the hypnomarketing website goes on to claim â€œin one afternoon we induce subjects into a hypnotic state and then whilst in this condition we attempt to make themâ€¦positively love your brand. This may forgo the need for expensive advertisingâ€ Now Iâ€™m really mad. Hereâ€™s why…
I run a marketing business. That means I am an expert in effective marketing; if I wasnâ€™t then my clients would sue me for misleading them and Iâ€™d be broke. And I can assure you from the bottom of my repeat-business list that if the claims made by hypnomarketing were true, they would not only be unethical, but illegal.
Another claim is â€œFor to long marketers and advertisers have been using blunt ineffective tools such as advertising, cheap promotions, and expensive packaging design.â€
Ineffective? Sure, thatâ€™s why advertising, promotions and packaging design is a multi-billion dollar industry. Itâ€™s not like alternative medicine, where people buy it despite a lack of evidence, itâ€™s the exact opposite. Advertising, promotions and packaging have been researched, tested, exhaustively analysed and there is conclusive, definite, absolute evidence that if done properly, they work. The economy depends on that fact, too. If you canâ€™t differentiate through marketing, you arenâ€™t going to sell a thing.
That little detail aside, the hypnomarketers have demonstrated their lack of marketing knowledge with a simple oversight. Any company with a large budget to spend on one afternoon of marketing is going to demand two things: 1) proof of effectiveness and 2) return on investment. In other words, what is hypnomarketing offering me in return for my money?
â€œThe costs of a session are approximately between $20,000 and $100,000 (AUD). However, compared to advertising this is obviously extremely cost effective. At the end of every session expect there maybe at least 10 people who are newfound brand loyalists.â€ TEN people. For a $100,000 investment. Thatâ€™s $10,000 per â€˜brand loyalistâ€™. This is cost-effective? Compared to â€˜expensive advertisingâ€™, itâ€™s a joke. For the same money you can get your brand in front of millions.
Itâ€™s also noteworthy that they offer zero proof for the effectiveness of hypnomarketing. Their â€˜satisfied clientâ€™ list is empty and they have no case studies, no measurement studies, no effectiveness research to back them up. I wonder why.
But for all their bashing of traditional marketing methods, itâ€™s fascinating that the hypnomarketing event they are so keen to promote on their website offers â€œfree beer, wine and food on the night, as well as stacks of free Golf Punk clothes to give away.â€
Butâ€¦butâ€¦those are traditional marketing methods proven to increase brand loyalty! Thatâ€™s right, they are getting people drunk and full of food, giving them free clothes, providing some raucous fun in the form of a stage show, and then claiming any increase in brand loyalty is as a result of the hypnotism.
Iâ€™d almost admire their cheek but Iâ€™m too busy reporting them to the Australian Advertising Standards Authority.