Monday, December 26, 2011

Marketing for Dummies (or Should that Be "to Dummies?")

Christmas is essentially over. Uncle P has one more gift exchange with my three closest friends tomorrow and today was a Boxing Day gift exchange and Chinese smorgasbord with dear friends from college. I think everyone was and will be quite pleased with their gifts. 

Sadly, it's the gifts that seem to be the focus of Christmas, these days (though honestly, with my friends, it's the chance to spend time together). And yes, that's an old complaint. As far back as (and probably well before) 1965's "A Charlie Brown Christmas," Charles Schultz was bemoaning the commercialization of the holiday. Of course, we all have Mr. Charles Dickens to thank for it. Before the publication of A Christmas Carol, Christmas was a minor Christian holiday, far surpassed by Easter, which is the basis for the entire religion. And it was only after the Catholics co-opted the pagan holiday of Winter Solstice that the birth of Jesus was celebrated in December. Historical accounts place the actual birth in March or April, depending on which calendar is being used. And please don't get me wrong; I have no doubt that Jesus of Nazareth existed. There are plenty of documents other than the New Testament to verify that. It's the rest of it I have a problem with. 

But none of that has anything to do with this post. And I'm sure by now you must be wondering what any of this has to with Marketing and the new NBC musical "Smash." Well, I'll tell you.

I came across this first video on Facebook, posted by three friends whose only connection is yours truly. Riley is an amazingly perceptive young lady, who goes on a gender-biased marketing rant in her local Toys-R-Us. I hope she maintains her amazing acuity as she gets older.

I see a Gender Studies Major in the making, here.

And then on Towleroad, I came across the  promotional clip for the aforementioned "Smash" below. Produced by Steven Spielberg and starring Deborah Messing; Angelica Huston; Megan Hilty; Jack Devenport and "American Idol" winner Katharine McPhee, "Smash" is a story about the mounting of a Broadway musical, from inception to opening night curtain. The musical in question is a biography of Marilyn Monroe and from what I can gather, it focuses on the making of a 'star.' 

Now that's how you market a new show.

Spielberg admits that he is clueless about how a Broadway show comes to fruition, so it will be interesting to see if he has put together the right team to pull off a show like "Smash." Having cut my teeth on musical theatre and about to start rehearsals for what I'm pretty sure will be my last musical theatre performance, I am intrigued by and excited for "Smash." I hope it lives up to its hype.

I hope I made all the connections, here. We're all targets, folks. Just look at the ads on you Facebook walls. Hell, look at the ads Google places on my blog. Buy this! Watch that! Spend your money here! It doesn't take a genius to see what the Madmen are doing. The real joke is, they're making money by telling you where and how to spend yours. It makes my head hurt...

More, anon.