Remember the good old days when you read a blog and considered it to be, well, just reading a blog? Not any more – you are no longer permitted to be a mere external consumer of content, you are now participating in an “reading experience”.
The fairly recent surge in this latest marketing buzzword was dumped in my face this morning when an advert on a blogging website came with the following message: “Once the ad ends you’ll be returned to your LiveJournal experience”
It’s an insidious buzzword that I am seeing more frequently now as the evil demons of marketing land try to persuade us that doing something is more than simply doing it, and that we get a wider appreciation of their wares because we experience them instead.
Just now I have had a debate on Twitter with someone who insisted on describing buying a cup of coffee as an experience. Nope, I just wanted to pop in and grab a coffee, not have an experience in a caffeinated beverage establishment.
We no long buy things, we have shopping experiences, because an experience is seen as a better thing to have than simply trying to navigate a cramped supermarket corridor with a basket to get to the orange juice.
I don’t tediously commute to work in the car – I have a driving experience – presumably followed by a speeding ticket experience and a parking fine experience?
Ladies wont strip the hairs from their legs, they have a waxing experience, followed by a pain experience.
American government employees don’t use a mobile phone, they experience its user interface. Which sounds too close to Star Trek’s Borg for comfort.
And the reward for press release mumbo-jumbo goes to this “fashion forward” company offering a retail experience after bringing in consultants to “strategize on how to reinvigorate the brand”
…and those are the few I found the morning.
The difficulty with marketing — and most industries — is that it adopts a herd mentality too often. If a particular word or phrase becomes popular with an industry guru, then everyone leaps onto it, and as a result, floods us recipients of their wisdom with the same line of text, time and time again.
Marketing and PR people are saying the same things at the same time as everyone else. Which seems a bit weird for an industry that should excel in differentiating its products from the competitors.
So, can we add experience, solutions and curate as buzzwords that are long overdue a visit to the marketing knackers yard?