Do People Hate Marketing?

Seth’s blog post got me thinking about this today…

When I worked on PBR, we focused most of our efforts on word of mouth or “buzz marketing.”  Mostly because we didn’t have any money, but also because the young adult, hipster consumer resisted mainstream mainstream marketing and embraced brands that didn’t market.  The hipsters were the ones rediscovering, reinventing and advocating the brand.

Believe it or not, the concept of hipsters drinking PBR was a hard idea to sell internally back in 2001-2003.  You gotta remember that the brand was living on middle-aged, blue collar men who drank it because it was cheap.  It wasn’t sold on-premise and it was a forgotten brand.  So when it came to convincing all of the big shots that this brand had a chance with a new consumer base, we rationalized it by telling them that it was being embraced because these consumers resisted mainstream marketing.

Is that true?  Do even the most fickle and anti-establishment of consumers “hate” marketing?  Here we are, six years later and I say that it is totally false.  I think consumers LOVE marketing.  BUT, they only love it when it’s authentic and meaningful to them.  If it’s fake, consumers, whether they are cynical hipsters or not will REJECT it.

That’s the beauty of social media, sampling and experiential marketing programs.  All of these tactics are real because the consumer is interacting and having a conversation with a real person.

Coincedentally, when we scaled up the PBR program, we hired more people to go out there and have conversations.  Even the hipsters knew that these people were there to MARKET to them.  But they were totally fine with it. Why? Because it was REAL.

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