Saturday, 29 December 2007

The Game

I’ve just finished reading Neill Strauss’s ‘The Game’ which is a book in essence about the techniques employed by a secret group of guys to pick up girls who they would have originally considered out of their league.

I won’t ruin the story for you if you’re ever planning on reading it, but during the book, the author goes from becoming a geeky nobody with very little self esteem to a mPUA (Master Pick Up Artist) and then finally turns into somebody who realises the fakeness of what his life has become. As you can imagine, the core aspect of the book is how a man can boost his confidence and develop his communication and attention seeking skills in such a way that he can not only approach some of the most beautiful women, but also go on to take them home.

The protagonist however, after learning the skills and becoming a leader within the PUA community, suddenly realises that the people he is surrounding himself with and the activity he is doing are in essence wholly fake and shallow and he has an epiphany when, after chatting to a girl for an extended period of time (using all the tricks and methods he’s learnt) suddenly finds himself running out of material and starts to panic as he might have to talk to this girl as himself and all that self doubt that surrounded him before he learnt the techniques returns.

When I was reading this I couldn’t help but draw comparisons with advertising especially digital advertising with the way it is becoming increasingly social in it’s approach. Obviously there are basics to advertising which are apparent in everything that we do in order to raise the profile of our products and services or those of our clients.

However without theorising too much over this, I think the biggest thing to come out of reading about these techniques and methods and how effective they were, was that there is a need to get back to basics. There is far too much time being spent on trying to analyse consumer behaviour and interest focus which normally results in over complicating plans of execution and creative. That's not to say there is not a lot of excellent simplistic and highly effective creative out there but there is also a lot of overly wordy creative that either turns the consumer off or leaves them wondering what the hell they are on about. (ok this example isn't from the UK but it illustrates what could happen and it make me laugh)

So yeah, even if you are a mPUA of the advertising world with all the tricks up your sleeve, (good chat, expensive clothes, good aftershave), if your brand integrity (personality) is somewhat lacking, and you can't allow yourself to be judged on your core merits than no amount of attention grabbing techniques are going to save you. There is far too much information out there for the online community to access for a brand to be anything else but true to themselves and the people they are offering a product to.

Ok, I appreciate I might be a being a little bit utopian here and I'm not advocating a world of free love and mutual respect but if brands still think they can be anything but honest with their consumers, they're wrong.

No comments:

Fly Thomas Cook Weather Widget