A collection of short stories and journalistic commentaries depicting my simple life
and how I fit in with the modern day universe of our times


As you might very correctly imagine, I’m on a hell of a lot of mailing lists these days, partly because I’m totally enthralled by all the tricks of the marketing trade (yes I’m that sad), and partly because I’m a sucker for anything that costs far more than it really should do. And it was for the latter reason, that I recently received an email (my inbox probably resembles most people’s spam folder) the other day about a new Porsche that’s been released.

And now, for your edification and delight, I’ve reproduced most of the email below, but cut it off at the point where the sending dealership is revealed because I suspect this is most likely a promotion filtered down from head office, and that the dealer was probably already embarrassed enough to be sending it, without me adding to his woes. Anyway, here’s the email…

Dear Mr Robinson

Life, intensified – the new Porsche Macan.

How can you engineer intensity? How do you create it, capture it and instil it in everything you do? At Porsche, it’s a question we ask ourselves constantly, and today we have a new answer.

With the new Macan we’ve not only built a compact SUV, but also the first sports car in its class; a genuine Porsche. From the athletic design and range of powerful engines, to details such as the centrally positioned rev counter and steering wheel inspired by the 918 Spyder, this is our Porsche DNA. Born of a philosophy that has endured through more than 65 years of sports car engineering: in the wind tunnel, on the racetrack, and in our hearts.

The new Macan is a sports car that is practical, yet far from ordinary. That takes us to the heart of the action, and closer to our hearts’ desires. A car that gives us what we’ve always been looking for: the feeling of being truly alive.

If you’re hungry for more, visit www.porsche.co.uk/macan to find more detailed information and reports relating to the development of the new Macan. Alternatively, please contact us on…

Imagine now, the theme of the conversation in Porsche's head office in Stuttgart on an average Monday morning…

“So did you have ze good veekend Klaus?

“I did indeed Wolfgang, thank you very much for asking… and you?

“Excellent Klaus… excellent. But enough of ze pleasantries. We must now return to ze question ve are constantly asking ourselves…. ze one vee ver wrestling wiz on Friday afternoon, and every day for as long as I can remember. Just how can you engineer intensity? Not only zat Klaus, but how do vee capture it and instil it in everything vee do?”

“I’m buggered if I know, Wolfgang. To be honest, I still don’t understand ze bloody question. Vi can’t vee just try to make ze cars better like everybody else?"

Now what’s that I hear you say? You can’t imagine that? Well that’s because a conversation like that would never ever take place. In fact never in the history of human endeavour has anyone ever asked the question,”How can you engineer intensity? How do you create it, capture it and instil it in everything you do?” Not even once, let alone constantly.

It’s just an example of what I’m going to call (for the sake of a better term) ‘Advertising Agency Bollocks’… if you’ll pardon my French (which I’m guessing you gratefully will do after just enduring my German).

They get away with it for one very simple reason – nobody bothers or indeed needs to measure what they do, or compare it with something better. The cars sell of course because… well they’re excellent cars… and so the people creating ridiculous promotions like this will always get away with it – their contribution is never measured or properly assessed.

You and I on the other hand, don’t have that kind of luxury. We don’t have endless TV shows, newspapers, magazines and thousands of online sources telling the world how great our product is for us. We don’t have over half a century’s worth of manufacturing and racing heritage. And so for the most part, we stand or fall on the marketing we do today.

And when you’re in a hole like that, I hope you don’t open up a promotion with ‘Life Intensified’. I mean, have you ever felt the need to have your life intensified, by the way? No, me neither. It’s just meaningless arty farty drivel which does absolutely nothing to move a prospective customer any closer to making a purchase. And any advertising or marketing which doesn’t at the very least do that... is in my book; money down the drain.

Do you reckon you’d be reaching for your credit card any faster if you read ‘Life Intensified – A new room setting by Localad Services? I didn’t think so! (But if you do... nudge nudge wink wink).

If asked how to create a successful advertisement, sales letter or promotion, the first thing I’d suggest is to avoid copying the ‘big boys’ because they have budgets way beyond our comprehension, and no real way of measuring how effectively they’re spending them. We will all go broke very quickly, creating the kind of ad’s which Porsche turn out. So what should we do instead?

Well it’s a huge subject, but for now you could do a lot worse than follow a very simple three step formula I read once, which has always stuck in my mind and works really well considering how low tech and cheap it is to implement. It goes like this:

1. Tell ‘em what you’ve got

2. Tell ‘em what it will do for them

3. Tell ‘em how to get it.

Sounds ridiculously simple I know, but if you start analysing the myriad advertisements and promotions you’re exposed to on a daily basis, you’ll quickly realise that very few of them fulfil even these three basic requirements.

All anyone really wants to know is what’s in it for them. How will their life become better by owning or using what you have to sell? Follow the three step approach, and answer these questions convincingly and compellingly, then add how easily they can get their hands on it, and believe me, you will make sales.

Obviously by using the above three step formula, you can be certain you won’t be getting a job writing any meaningless promotions for Porsche and the like, but do it right and you might just make enough money to buy yourself one.

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Its my own fault really, its all about what I see in the world, and how it all translates for me.

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