The Marketing Thought Process

  It is but a fine line that separates brilliant marketing masterpieces from disguised marketing scams, and this ,unfortunately, happens much too often for comfort . While most of these could be dismissed given the luxury of a conceptual or executional misinterpretation, not all strategies are as innocent in that regard. Given the behavioral shortcomings of our species as a whole, it comes as no surprise that a group would indulge in malpractices to further their cause.

  A fool proof method of identifying fraudulent activity in the marketing scenario does not exist as such. All we could do is probe deeper into what might seemingly have loose ends tying up a story. If you suspect we are onto something you would be correct, all this build up was to finally land on the topic of a marketing strategy recently adopted by the Bank of America(click this link to see full story) aiming to gain its share of goodwill and finally slip into oblivion when its time came. Although we would prefer to stay clear of direct accusations, we would like to pose a few questions which at least some of you would want to ponder on.

  Let’s look at the facts here BofA in association with the band U2 would willingly let people download the song ‘Invisible’ , their latest single, from their website on specified dates. This would come as a great source of joy to U2 fans, which we realize are a dying breed, and minds that are not corrupted by piracy. Given the fact that it was Bono himself who proposed the idea of creating a campaign as such for the bank, it comes into question who the real beneficiary of the campaign is.

  Now let us explain why we think that way. BofA was, according to Bono, wasting money on unnecessary ads for the Superbowl, and something of a more CSR oriented approach was what they really needed. We do understand and share this point of view but this is where he lost us, the charity organization that BofA was to support was in fact one co-founded by Bono himself. Besides the fact that the bank had already donated a sum of 10 million USD to the charity, they were to donate 1$ every time the song was downloaded. Even the fact that Red, the charity for raising awareness against AIDS was owned by Bono could have been overlooked if U2 was indeed doing good in the music industry. It’s not news that U2 havn’t had a hit album in sometime now and they were desperate for a boost.

 With the many words synonymous to charity and love strongly etched upon human hearts - do we take a moment to think if the money we so gladly donated goes to the right person? Does there exists an independent structure monitoring the flow of money? Even if there exists one, are they effective in their functioning?

  The true beneficiary of the campaign would still remain unknown to us. Would BofA be successful in their marketing endeavors? Would Red generate enough to support its cause? It seems these questions are better left to time, but it has been kind enough to provide us with knowledge that there is one group reaping all the benefits from the campaign and they are, you guessed it, U2. Be it the considerable millions donated to their charity or the single that is being marketed at BofA’s expense, it seems the only group who would get guaranteed returns is the band itself.

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