There’s no escape!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

22 06 2010

Are you suffering from tense, nervous headaches? Are you plagued by an insistent ache in your sinuses. Do you feel as though you can’t face the world? If the answer is yes to any of these you’re probably suffering from world cup fever. We prescribe a bag of crisps;

If they run out don’t worry, other cures are everywhere!

You never see signs in health food shops do you? – “SUPPORT ENGLAND WITH VITAMIN C TABLETS!!!!!!!”

We spent the month before the world cup trying to prepare for it. We tried to gird out loins, we stopped watching ITV and Sky Sports News, we even tried to warn everybody.  We thought we were ready for the assault of hyperbole but the preparation didn’t help, the brouhaha has surpassed even our expectations.

Being social animals the Jet Set couldn’t countenance self-imposed house arrest, after venturing into Llandudno’s public space we feel cast adrift in an ocean of frenzy, the World Cup is everywhere. It’s in the Pubs and cafes, it’s in the newsagents and mobile phone shops, it’s in the supermarkets and evangelical drop-in centres specifically for youngsters.

We were going to cheer ourselves up by inviting our acquaintances around to watch a few games but you’re not allowed to do that any more. You have to throw a “World Cup Party”. If we change our mind it’s good job we live near ASDA, ASDA is the only officially licensed supplier for “FIFA World Cup Parties”.

Anyway, last week we were in Bangor. We were waiting for a train in the Regency, the pub across the road from the station. A magazine on the next seat caught our eye. The words “England Expects” featured prominently, being masochists with time to kill we flicked through it. 

At first glance it appeared to be one of those free magazines full of adverts for local businesses. Then we found the articles, we’d actually stumbled upon a secret marketing handbook. The more we read the more it felt like industrial espionage. After reading the explosive contents we have the conclusive proof we’ve always needed, we know how the man wants to use “the footy”.

The magazine was called Preview and it’s produced by Sky. If you didn’t know their position on business in football before you would after reading Preview. They are evangelists for the message “Use Football to make you rich”. Well Football helped to turn Sky TV around, if it worked for them it could work for you!!

They are quite brazen about it all;

“Preview is a must read for all licensees who are looking to use the top class live sport heading their way this June to entice customers through the door”.

“Punch Taverns hails Profit Through Sport pub initiative”.

There’s a warning (to fulfil their public service remit). Watch out for the crowds this summer!

“…..with both fans and neutrals heading to their local pub”.(Of course the local pub is the natural destination of people interested in the footy)

According to page 31 (no journalist takes credit) the world cup is unquestionably the reason people will go down the pub this summer. (People don’t go to pubs to meet their friends anymore). Just give the people a big match atmosphere and they’ll return!!!! How should you create this? Get a marquee, provide tickets and hire photographers. 

We return to the theme of retaining customers on the last page. It contains the thoughts of internet guru, Robin Bratell. He tells publicans that they should consider targeting their clientele using social networking site to publicise their world cup party. Robin prefers to think of Social networking as talking with your customers through the internet, it’s as if letting them be is a crime.

Stop, stop, STOP! World Cup Parties, not again!!!!, what is it with these bloody things? “Big match atmosphere” in a pub? They can’t be talking about loudmouths in an enclosed space. In the Jet Set’s experience there is a chasm between watching a match in pub and watching one in a football ground, why do they continue perpetuating this fallacy? Probably because it’s in their interest to hype themselves up. You have to gasp at the staggering arrogance of these people; their spiel is automatically correct because it comes from their mouths.

The worst part of the magazine, and most illuminating, was the interview with David Scott, Carlsberg’s director of customer marketing. The interview highlights the approach of marketers in sport. The piece starts by claiming that “….England’s success is as important to Carlsberg as it is to any of the fans..”, before going on to state that they have been building up to the tournament since last August. Along the way. he patronises the hospitality industry; Get your rotas right! Make sure people can see the screen!, Here’s a DVD telling you how to do it!!. One word, Cunt.

How the hell can a football match be as important to a commercial entity as it is to a fan? Surely the commercial entity puts logic and hard-nosed business acumen into their decisions whereas the fan invests a little bit more emotion. If someone thinks people can begin to get as much joy from a coldly logical business deal as the Jet Set did from the Welsh Cup final this tells you a lot about our society.

After reading that interview you start to appreciate why these companies go to town with their advertising campaigns, it’s all about the money. If you think about this in a less charitable way it shows the moral bankruptcy of our society. It’s staggering to think the amount of effort and human creativity that will have gone into that 10 month-long process. What’s all that planning for? To put it in basic terms, they are planning how to part us from our money in order to swell their coffers. When you consider the health and social issues connected to the overconsumption of alcoholic drinks this idea begins to look abhorrent. The worst thing about this is everybody in the retail sector is at it, as you can see from the photos.

So what do you call 1000 marketing professionals at the bottom of the sea? A Good Start!!!!!!!!  The minds of marketing professionals are trapped in a circular thought process;

 This idea makes my company money → Therefore it makes me money →  If it makes me money then it’s a good idea for you ( I don’t care if you don’t want it, have I told you about our special offers by the way?) → But the idea makes my company money so it must be good  → This idea makes my company money

We may not know the exact feelings we’ll have when we reach ripe old age, probably countless regrets but hopefully lots of cherished memories. We know one thing for certain,  we’ll be able to look at ourselves in the mirror with a clear conscience. We’ll know that we haven’t spent our lives  trying to make rich people even richer. We won’t have tried to convince ordinary people that the system works for them too. One hopes these people will shudder when the realisation of what their empty shell of an existence has added to the world’s civilisation finally hits them. Don’t even start to give us all that guff about everybody needing a job

Their self-centred, parasitical “it must be good for you, if it’s good for me” existence props up this amoral system. Their bloody money for performing their role (lackeys of the powerful) is a thin veneer of material progress; flash cars and Hugo Boss suits. Even though they represent the inherent corruption within our society they don’t suffer vilification, they enjoy tolerance. They really put you off your World Cup Party too.

In terms of football, it’s no use hoping for change because unfortunately FIFA actively encourage the use of football in this way, and they have done for roughly 36 years ago. Mind you, you shouldn’t blame them totally, their thinking was just a product of wider forces. FIFA’s rationale is the logic of capitalism;  “Accumulation uber alles”. 




One response

23 06 2010

It was nice to see Jesus coming out in support of England in that cultish cenre on Madoc Street. As long as he is distracted by the World Cup us sinners might just be able to avoid Judgment Day.

Sky are also taking the job of missing Sky Sports News out of your hands by removing it from Freeview, they don’t want to give it away for free anymore.

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