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Friday, July 29, 2005

Dreaming of Peace, Diving for Cheese


Is it mere coincidence that the morning after finishing Stanley Bing's Sun Tzu Was a Sissy, a hilarious take on corporate warfare that ends in an incongruous call for peaceful international relations, that I wake up to read that the IRA is laying down arms? I don't think so, but that's probably because I'm guilty of innumeracy.

Now this guy knows how to create a great story. He dumps ten tons of his cheese into the freezing cold waters of a fjord in northern Quebec, claiming that putting cheese under pressure will make it ripen better. Now he's sending divers down for the cheese, and that brought TV cameras. First time around, they didn't come up with it, which now makes it elusive, scarce cheese. And a government agency is taking issue at the method, which makes it the elusive, scarce cheese they didn't want you to have. Points for style... it beats bribing grocery conglomerate executives.

Speaking of artificially constructed scarcity: what's the deal on the idea that the Gillette Mach III, and only the Gillette Mach III (turbo and non-turbo editions), is so likely to be shoplifted that they need to keep it behind a counter, or worse, construct some elaborate security shelving to prevent it being thieved? Am I the only one who thinks that Gillette must be paying drugstores and grocery stores to continue erecting these ludicrous barriers to purchase by way of defending the ever-mounting price of Gillette's best? As if these are the only items in a drugstore anyone would think of shoplifting. What's next, Gillette Mach III Rx Edition -- Ask Your Pharmacist?

I suspect that in the great rock-paper-scissors game of marketing, a great story more often than not trumps usability. Sometimes, they go hand in hand, but not always. Hard to get sometimes works.

Posted by Andrew Goodman




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