A High Value Flirt is Not The Same as Cheating

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Timothy Tore Hebb wrote an article in today’s DN Söndag about “…the advertising- and pr-people’s new ways of reaching out”. Even though I like that people write about these things in mainstream media, I really think Timothy should think through this puppy one more time.

The angle of the story is that this type of “new advertising” is about cheating people. In the interview with Nils Enlund for example, Nils claims that we have to become more careful and cynical in our view of media. Why is that Nils? “We have to think about who the information is beneficial for” he continues. Again, why is that? The reason that I ask is that we are heading into a world of volontary media forms now, where nobody is forced to watch or interact with anything. We will pick and choose the bits that we find valuable. And if we do, why would we want to be careful and cynical? It’s real value, isn’t it?

In my mind, this mindset is a product of viewing the new landscape with the old goggles. In the new landscape we don’t separate value from sales pitch like we did in the old days. We view the entire brand as a personality which can now be entertaining, useful, or valuable in some other way, while also providing excellent shampoo or whatever the brand happens to sell. It’s all part of the brand persona, and if we like the persona, why be cynical? It’s a matter of give and take. The brand gives us real value and we might start considering a relationship with the brand. You can think of it like flirting. But just like with flirting, it has to be a quality flirt. Not a cheesy pick up line. Sandra Beijer, a brilliant copywriter who is also interviewed in the article has obviously realized this when she points out the importance of high quality execution.

The key here is honesty. But don’t confuse honesty with lacking humor, mystery, or playfulness. Because then you’re just boring.

And by the way Timothy, if you want to talk about “new advertising” you might want to reconsider your use of an example from April 2006.


4 Responses to "A High Value Flirt is Not The Same as Cheating"
  1. Please note that comments containing profanity (such as “Go fuck yourself, you piece of shit!!”) will be deemed spam on this blog and removed.

    This blog is very liberal and welcomes critical comments, but please dispense of mean comments and profanity.

    Kind regards,

  2. Matthieu says:

    We, as consumers, citizens, individuals, make no distinction anymore between the way we experience the marketing of a brand and the experience that the product delivers.
    Cynically lying about your brand or product is like trying to take the consumer as hostage against his/her will. It’s just as smart as shooting yourself in the foot. It’s not only going morally bankrupt, it’s also counterproductive, even so in the very short term.
    Anything that is not bringing any real value should be eliminated. It’s as simple as that. Basic. And if you don’t agree, well… hard times ahead for you, dumbo.

    Mon cher Walter, i agree with you, as usual. This is even getting kind of boring. Can’t we find any subject of disagreement, to make the discussion a bit more spicy?

  3. In an interesting twist, Nils Enlund appears to have been misquoted by DN (on the issue of whether last year’s campaign against the Signals Surveillance Act was created by a PR firm) to such a degree that Enlund himself objects and claims he holds a view diametrically opposed to the one ascribed to him in the DN article.

    As a result of this revelation, anonymous comments appear on a few critical blogs claiming people are misreading the article. Now, regardless of whether the critics can read or not, shouldn’t at least the objections of the interviewee himself be given some merit? If he was misquoted to prove a point, can the point still be proven by resorting to a discussion of semantics (like whether some PR firm may have been at least partially behind the campaign)?

    My immediate impression is that I’m witnessing a small astroturf campaign, trying to cover up an obvious error (even if the error was unintentional). How ironic, when the article itself aims to illustrate similar tactics.

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This blog is written by Walter Naeslund and has been around since 2007. The blog is about the journey of starting an advertising agency and a sneak peek behind the scenes of what goes on at the Honesty HQ in SoFo, Södermalm. It is also a blog about communication & technology. The blog has gathered almost a thousand posts over the years with several longer and shorter breaks. Welcome and enjoy.
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