Friday, September 23, 2011

we are all weird

You know the Dylan line from Tangled up in Blue?

'...Pouring off of every page like it was written in my soul..'

As a serial contrarian and willful misfit in this business of advertising, to say Seth Godin's latest manifesto 'We Are All Weird' resonated is the understatement of the year.

It's a slight return to marketing critique theme for Seth, following the more personal empowerment focus of Linchpin and even Poke The Box.

Seth's vitriol is aimed firmly at the notion of mass as the engine of culture.

'If your work revolves around finding the masses, creating for the masses or selling to the masses [the change] is very threatening'

'Since each market is now a market of one and a market of now, the marketer has no choice but to surrender all pretence to mass'.

We've talked about the notion of embracing divergence over convergence in these pages before.

The thrust of Seth's argument challenges the education system - that which services industry by producing compliant workers - through to government - again perpetrating wholesale compliance - with Ken Robinson-esque pointyness.

'And so the factory-for-the-production-of-normal works overtime to sanitise and corporatise and discipline our kids in to normalcy'

Seth argues that up-close, normal disappears. There is, in fact, no blob of normal, no centre of the curve, just millions of individuals, ad hoc groups and communities that learn differently, think differently and dream differently.

For the marketer? Looking for mass is missing the point. A better idea is to look for the opportunities to co-market with the parts of the market that are most engaged and connected.


We Are All Weird is the latest in the Domino Project series. A limited edition physical print run, with unlimited digital edition.

I hadn't noticed it happen but I've actually purchased just about every one of the Domino releases.

I'm regressing to my dj trainspotter days! Back in the day as a club dj I had several labels, Relief (from Chicago), Dance Mania (ditto) and Strictly Rhythm (NY) which qualified as automatic purchase material regardless of artist.

New Strictlys? 3 of 'em? Straight in the bag.

The Domino Project is heading that way too. Pressfield? In the bag. Sivers? in the bag.

And as if by magic, We Are All Weird has also been manufactured as a limited edition (of 250) LP (weirdness, natch) in red and black mottled vinyl.

Not for sale unfortunately.

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