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Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Frontline Online
PBS' Frontline Documentaries
available for online viewing

Two excellent programs on trend manufacturing and persuasion marketing are now available for online viewing (free!) --

The Persuaders
Synopsis: Each year, legions of ad people, copywriters, market researchers, pollsters, consultants, and even linguists—most of whom work for one of six giant companies—spend billions of dollars and millions of man-hours trying to determine how to persuade consumers what to buy, whom to trust, and what to think. Increasingly, these techniques are migrating to the high-stakes arena of politics, shaping policy and influencing how Americans choose their leaders.

In "The Persuaders," FRONTLINE explores how the cultures of marketing and advertising have come to influence not only what Americans buy, but also how they view themselves and the world around them. The 90-minute documentary draws on a range of experts and observers of the advertising/marketing world, to examine how, in the words of one on-camera commentator, "the principal of democracy yields to the practice of demography," as highly customized messages are delivered to a smaller segment of the market.

Merchants of Cool
Synopsis: They spend their days sifting through reams of market research data. They conduct endless surveys and focus groups. They comb the streets, the schools, and the malls, hot on the trail of the "next big thing" that will snare the attention of their prey--a market segment worth an estimated $150 billion a year.

They are the merchants of cool: creators and sellers of popular culture who have made teenagers the hottest consumer demographic in America. But are they simply reflecting teen desires or have they begun to manufacture those desires in a bid to secure this lucrative market? And have they gone too far in their attempts to reach the hearts--and wallets--of America's youth?

Good stuff!


Blogger johnmoore (from Brand Autopsy); said...

Good stuff doesn’t extol the virtues of these two documentaries on the social influence of marketing enough.

If you are a consumer (and that means everybody) … you should ‘consume’ both of these documentaries. You’ll learn another side to how the marketing industry views their power to influence your purchase decisions.

As a marketer, I found myself not liking my chosen profession as much after watching these documentaries.

11:31 AM  
Blogger Don The Idea Guy; said...

I know how you felt!
Although the 'weasel-factor' WAS a bit sickening, it helps to illuminate a more noble marketing path -- one where you simply create cool stuff that gets people talking.

11:49 AM  

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