Thursday, September 19, 2013

Ask The Question

"For over a thousand years, Roman conquerors returning from the wars enjoyed the honor of a triumph - a tumultuous parade. In the procession came trumpeters and musicians and strange animals from the conquered territories, together with carts laden with treasure and captured armaments. The conqueror rode in a triumphal chariot, the dazed prisoners walking in chains before him. Sometimes his children, robed in white, stood with him in the chariot, or rode the trace horses. A slave stood behind the conqueror, holding a golden crown, and whispering in his ear a warning: 'that all glory is fleeting.'"
Those are the last lines from Patton and they remind me of something.  When you have powerful men who trust each other in positions of power to make stupid decisions, there needs to be person in the room empowered to say "No, wait, stop, are you sure this is a good idea?"
Lisa: "What's so special about this game anyway? It's just another chapter in the pointless rivalry between Springfield and Shelbyville. They built a mini-mall, so we built a bigger mini-mall. They made the world's largest pizza, so we burnt down their city hall."
Homer: "Heh, heh, heh. Yeah, they swore they'd get us back by spiking our water supply. But they didn't have the guts."
Marge: (drinks the tap water) "Ooooh. The walls are melting again."

"Homer Loves Flanders" Season 5, Episode 16

I don't have a degree or background in marketing, so someone is going to need to explain to me how skywriting over a rival school's stadium, during a home game for that school, is positive marketing for your program?  Are you going to convince anyone in attendance "Wait, I'm here when I could be a Michigan game?  What the hell am I thinking?  Thank you skywriting.  Thank you!"   You've now made the airspace over Michigan Stadium fair game, no?  Didn't the FAA and Homeland Security say that was a no no?  Are you relying on that to prevent retaliation? All you've done is give your rivals the high ground on this one (especially when they very cleverly turned it into a cancer fundraiser) and pissed off a lot of people in your own fan base wondering why you're spending that kind of money, whatever it is that you spent.  This is where someone needs to be able to ask the question: "What's the goal here?  Is it worth it?  Are we okay with the potential blowback here?"

(Oh, and really, GOBLUE?  That was your plan?  Seriously, not Δ258?  That would have been a mystery and would have at least qualified as clever.  But no.)
"Uh, hi, Mr. Meyers. I've been doing some thinking, and I've got some ideas to improve the show. I got it right here.  One, Poochie needs to be louder, angrier, and have access to a time machine. Two, whenever Poochie's not onscreen, all the other characters should be asking 'Where's Poochie'?"
"The Itchy and Scratchy and Poochie Show", Season Eight, Episode 14.

Why, exactly, does Michigan need to market itself?  I suppose the fact that Akron was the first non-sell out crowd in over a decade answers my question, but for all of the good things that the Athletic Department's marketing arm does (and let's be clear, they do a lot of things very well, starting with their social media presence), it also does stuff where you just scratch your head and yell at people about it.  Stick to what has worked for Michigan, try not to piss off your loyal customers while searching for new ones, and for goodness sakes, do not buy the old line that any publicity is good publicity.

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