Ew, put that thing back in your pants!: The Assault of Masturbatory Marketing

[Originally posted on NewCommBiz]

We’ve all seen it.  The website that proudly proclaims the awesomeness of the new product, the brand, the campaign.  The one that wants to give you a chance to be a part of the awesomeness! The one who invites you to submit your email address to get updates about awesome new things happening around this awesome product!

The tone-deaf “we love ourselves, so you must love us” content that makes a lot of us cringe as we are assumed to be a member of a mindless ever loyal, interested and open-walleted army known as “our consumers”.

I’ve figured out what makes it so uncomfortable to experience.

It’s marketing masturbation.

It’s a selfish, indulgent, isolating, base  activity acted upon purely for the benefit of oneself.  It’s based on the toxic myth of ‘us vs them’.

Basically, you’re unwillingly watching a company jerk off.

If you drop trou and do that in front of a subway car full of people, you get arrested. It’s an assault. You’re forcing unwilling and non-consenting individuals to be involved in your own self-centered fetish.

Do it in an ad campaign or a website, however, and you get featured in Ad Age.

Yuck.  Put that thing back in your pants, dude.

Jeremy Meyers is an Engagement Strategist at Waggener Edstrom and also blogs at JeremyMeyers.com. He does not like potato chips.