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'[OT] Marketing sucks, and Advertizing is useless'
2009\02\12@163134 by Vitaliy

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Gerhard Fiedler wrote:
>>> This is correct, but it doesn't mean that it isn't horribly inefficient
>>> when you look at what this does on a larger scale (marketing etc.) --
>>> and that occasionally ranting against it may help increase our
>>> collective efficiency and make us -- in the long run, and collectively
>>> -- richer.
>>
>> You could say the same thing about advertizing (I mean, think how many
>> billions are wasted!) ...
>
> I do.
>
>> ... -- and be just as wrong.
>
> Just because you don't agree with me doesn't mean that I'm wrong.

Marketing and advertizing serve an important function in a free market: they
connect sellers with buyers. A capitalist economy cannot function without
advertizing -- I hope you're not going to argue the opposite?

Next, in a free market, the market forces determine just how much
advertizing is "enough". Spending too much on advertizing hurts a company's
bottom line, so the process is self-correcting.


>> There's nothing wrong with shipping a little popcorn with a PCB order.
>> Your PCBs would not cost any less, without the popcorn. Get over it.
>> :)
>
> Maybe not. But don't they say they are buying popcorn by the pallet? At
> the source, it's not one popcorn bag wasted, it's a lot of popcorn bags
> wasted.

Gerhard, put it in context. We're talking about one pallet of popcorn,
purchased by a company that ships thousands of orders each month. And the
overwhelming majority of its customers enjoy the popcorn. I know that we
don't throw it away -- it gets eaten.


> This is not only about the money, this is also about waste. (Of
> course I know that some call wasting material and energy a way of life,
> but I happen not to agree with it -- which is a matter of opinion, I
> think, and therefore can't be wrong or right.)

No, quite the opposite. I am against waste, too -- so I think our interests
are aligned.

Planned economies, where advertizing doesn't play much of a role, are the
ones that are great at wasting resources. Some bureaucrat decides what gets
produced and where, and how to get it from place A to place B. So you have
carloads full off stuff that nobody wants, criss-crossing the country,
wasting fuel.

I prefer the capitalist way.

Vitaliy

2009\02\12@195650 by Tony Smith

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> >> You could say the same thing about advertizing (I mean, think how many
> >> billions are wasted!) ...
> >
> > I do.
> >
> >> ... -- and be just as wrong.
> >
> > Just because you don't agree with me doesn't mean that I'm wrong.
>
> Marketing and advertizing serve an important function in a free market:
they
> connect sellers with buyers. A capitalist economy cannot function without
> advertizing -- I hope you're not going to argue the opposite?
>
> Next, in a free market, the market forces determine just how much
> advertizing is "enough". Spending too much on advertizing hurts a
company's
> bottom line, so the process is self-correcting.


And when the economy tanks, you should start sending your customers TWO bags
of microwave popcorn.

Tony

(actually, microwave popcorn is horrible stuff - it smells like I'd imagine
Satan's rear end does after a meal of beans, I assume the taste is worse.
FWIW, I prefer little bags of red frogs)

2009\02\12@213605 by Vitaliy

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"Tony Smith" wrote:
> And when the economy tanks, you should start sending your customers TWO
> bags
> of microwave popcorn.

Hey, if it helps you sell PCBs, why not? :)

Vitaliy

2009\02\12@230045 by Tony Smith

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> > And when the economy tanks, you should start sending your customers TWO
> > bags
> > of microwave popcorn.
>
> Hey, if it helps you sell PCBs, why not? :)


Actually, send them a 'deluxe' bag and take out a full page magazine ad,
instead on the 1/2.

You said the right thing in your initial post - "Marketing and advertizing
serve an important function in a free market: they connect sellers with
buyers", but followed it up with the wrong - "the market forces determine
just how much advertizing is "enough". Spending too much on advertizing
hurts a company's bottom line, so the process is self-correcting."

Advertising is the first thing to drop when the economy does, but you've
lost your way of connecting with your customers.  Crazy!  When the economy
goes down, spend more (or at least the same) on advertising.  No one else
is, so at least the ad rates will be cheap.

Also remember the price/quality balance goes haywire, people buy less but
don't necessarily spend less - they look for a quality item (especially
'luxury' items).  For example, if you're a jewellery shop who's been selling
heaps of cheap stuff, the market is going to ignore that, and go upmarket.
Instead of buying 5 cheap bracelets, people will wait and buy one 'really
nice' one (and maybe a cheap one too, but not five).  Weird, but so are
people.  Stuff still gets sold, you just need to pick the 'right' stuff.

So, start sending out those 'deluxe' bag of popcorn now.  Deluxe means it's
actually edible.

Tony

2009\02\13@014119 by Vitaliy

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Tony Smith wrote:
> You said the right thing in your initial post - "Marketing and advertizing
> serve an important function in a free market: they connect sellers with
> buyers", but followed it up with the wrong - "the market forces determine
> just how much advertizing is "enough". Spending too much on advertizing
> hurts a company's bottom line, so the process is self-correcting."
>
> Advertising is the first thing to drop when the economy does, but you've
> lost your way of connecting with your customers.  Crazy!  When the economy
> goes down, spend more (or at least the same) on advertising.  No one else
> is, so at least the ad rates will be cheap.

I wish it worked this way. The problem is, when people stop spending, the
efficiency of ads goes down (same number of impressions gets you fewer
sales). And as far as I can tell, the ad rates aren't any cheaper than they
were last year. Circuit Cellar charges as much as they did in 2008.

Vitaliy

2009\02\13@144443 by Gerhard Fiedler

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Vitaliy wrote:

{Quote hidden}

Not the opposite, and what you wrote in the subject doesn't reflect my
opinion. If you read my quote above, I was talking about efficiency, not
about what sucks and what is useless (for whom?).

Whether or not a Capitalist economy can function without advertising
doesn't really matter to me. I think it is horribly inefficient,
globally seen (and by "globally" I don't mean necessarily the whole
globe, but more than a single company). Most of the efforts put into
marketing do not produce value for the community. I hope you're not
going to argue this?

When responding, please note that I wrote "most", not "all". I'm not
talking about the nice little ads in targeted magazines that have more
information per area than many editorial pages. I'm talking about the
bulk of advertising in TV, major print media etc. Informational value
approaches zero for most of this. Do you really think there is value in
yet another brand of soap, where the only difference to legions of
others before is some new color in the packaging, a few new buzzwords
and a different "profile"?


> Next, in a free market, the market forces determine just how much
> advertizing is "enough". Spending too much on advertizing hurts a
> company's bottom line, so the process is self-correcting.

This may be or may not be, but "self-correcting" is not the same as
"maximizing efficiency". "Correcting" towards what direction? Check out
the discussions about C and imperial units in the USA. There is little
argument that there could be a better common language for embedded
systems, small processors and operational systems. I also don't doubt
that if all the top guys in the area got together, let aside their egos
and thought of the greater good, they'd come up with a language that
might even satisfy Olin. I also think that if all the companies that use
C now looked at the long-term benefits, a majority might switch. But
this won't happen, because for most the "local optimum" is just good
enough. Same thing with using imperial units in mechanics. It's only
prolonging the painful, inevitable dead. I'm just as sure as I'm about
the C issue that if people looked at the "greater good", they'd have
switched by now. But just as with the C issue, many are in a "local
optimum" and won't move.

I understand both, from their individual point of view. Many of my
decisions are not different. But I still think that these decisions are
not optimal in a global sense (global as above, including more than the
single individual or entity). I think it's pretty obvious that we, as a
species, have a hard time making decisions that benefit the community if
the decision doesn't benefit us as individuals at the same time. This
seems to be different from some other species. (That some of these
decisions are considered "heroic" and held in high regard doesn't refute
this argument, it supports it: if they weren't so rare, there'd be
nothing heroic about it, it'd just be plain normal.)

While marketing may make sense for an entity, in that it helps it gain
advantages over other, competing entities, most of it is a waste in the
sense that it doesn't produce value for the community as a whole. This
is not a value assessment (I'm not saying "marketing is evil"), it is a
factual assessment (there is no value produced for the community; more
sales for a company because of more or better marketing doesn't make the
product better).


In a way, the process /is/ self-correcting: As long as sales can be
increased by more marketing efforts and that is cheaper than efforts in
improving the product, the efforts will be spent on marketing (which is
basically wasted) instead of improving the product. There is a balance,
but it's still (mostly) wasted.


> Gerhard, put it in context. We're talking about one pallet of popcorn,
> purchased by a company that ships thousands of orders each month. And
> the overwhelming majority of its customers enjoy the popcorn. I know
> that we don't throw it away -- it gets eaten.

A pallet wasted is a pallet wasted. It doesn't matter whether it is
"just" a pallet. Whether it is an overwhelming majority that enjoys the
popcorn is questionable (do you really know this?), but let's just let
it be. But whether it gets eaten or not has not much to do with whether
it's wasted or not. If the people who eat it wouldn't have eaten it if
it didn't come in the package, it's wasted. Can you make a convincing
point that all these people would have bought a bag of microwave popcorn
if it didn't come in that company's packages?


>> This is not only about the money, this is also about waste. [...]
>
> No, quite the opposite. I am against waste, too -- so I think our
> interests are aligned.
>
> Planned economies, [...]

I'm not talking about planned economies; so that's a genuine strawman.
I'm talking about efficiency and waste, independently of any ideology.

Gerhard

2009\02\16@052815 by Vitaliy

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Gerhard Fiedler wrote:
> Whether or not a Capitalist economy can function without advertising
> doesn't really matter to me.

You may not care, but it sure does matter.


I think it is horribly inefficient,
> globally seen (and by "globally" I don't mean necessarily the whole
> globe, but more than a single company). Most of the efforts put into
> marketing do not produce value for the community. I hope you're not
> going to argue this?

While there is some waste, and it's not 100% efficient, it's the best thing
we've got. Same goes for capitalism in general, and democracy.


> When responding, please note that I wrote "most", not "all". I'm not
> talking about the nice little ads in targeted magazines that have more
> information per area than many editorial pages. I'm talking about the
> bulk of advertising in TV, major print media etc. Informational value
> approaches zero for most of this. Do you really think there is value in
> yet another brand of soap, where the only difference to legions of
> others before is some new color in the packaging, a few new buzzwords
> and a different "profile"?

Most people say they are not influenced by advertizing. Studies show the
opposite.

What is "useless" to you may be quite valuable to someone else. Many
products are sold based on their emotional appeal, and I don't see anything
wrong with that. Flowers have zero utilitarian value.


>> Next, in a free market, the market forces determine just how much
>> advertizing is "enough". Spending too much on advertizing hurts a
>> company's bottom line, so the process is self-correcting.
>
> This may be or may not be, but "self-correcting" is not the same as
> "maximizing efficiency". "Correcting" towards what direction?

As long as advertizing produces value for the company, it continues
advertizing. In a free economy, every transaction is a win-win (nobody is
holding a gun to your head), so it follows that it produces value for the
consumers, too.


> Check out
> the discussions about C and imperial units in the USA.

I think this is really off-topic, but OK.

- I think C is still dominant because the benefit of switching to a new
language is less than the cost.
- I'm all for switching to the metric system, however again I believe it
hasn't happened yet because the short-term cost will be very high. US opted
for a more gradual approach, to spread out this cost.

Most textbooks still use the conventional current flow, same reason.


> I think it's pretty obvious that we, as a
> species, have a hard time making decisions that benefit the community if
> the decision doesn't benefit us as individuals at the same time. This
> seems to be different from some other species. (That some of these
> decisions are considered "heroic" and held in high regard doesn't refute
> this argument, it supports it: if they weren't so rare, there'd be
> nothing heroic about it, it'd just be plain normal.)

I think that's what makes the Invisible Hand such a great concept: people
act out of self-interest, yet contribute to the greater good. While I
concede that it would be great if people were more altruistic, it pays to
keep this basic fact in mind.


> While marketing may make sense for an entity, in that it helps it gain
> advantages over other, competing entities, most of it is a waste in the
> sense that it doesn't produce value for the community as a whole. This
> is not a value assessment (I'm not saying "marketing is evil"), it is a
> factual assessment (there is no value produced for the community; more
> sales for a company because of more or better marketing doesn't make the
> product better).

As I said above, in a free market every sale benefits both the company, and
the consumer -- so it produces value for the company, and the consumer.

Keep in mind that "value" is subjective; it may not be valuable to *you*.


> In a way, the process /is/ self-correcting: As long as sales can be
> increased by more marketing efforts and that is cheaper than efforts in
> improving the product, the efforts will be spent on marketing (which is
> basically wasted) instead of improving the product. There is a balance,
> but it's still (mostly) wasted.

You are way behind the times. :) Have you read "The Blue Ocean Strategy"?

It's not an entirely new concept, so I think you really need to read up on
what marketing really is. It's not all about advertizing, in large part it
is about finding out what people want.


> A pallet wasted is a pallet wasted. It doesn't matter whether it is
> "just" a pallet. Whether it is an overwhelming majority that enjoys the
> popcorn is questionable (do you really know this?), but let's just let
> it be. But whether it gets eaten or not has not much to do with whether
> it's wasted or not. If the people who eat it wouldn't have eaten it if
> it didn't come in the package, it's wasted. Can you make a convincing
> point that all these people would have bought a bag of microwave popcorn
> if it didn't come in that company's packages?

I think the only thing that's wasted, is our time (and a tiny bit of
bandwidth). :-)

Regarding your last point, there is value in the product being more
accessible. That's why people pay $3 for an ice cream they buy from a street
vendor, when they can buy the same ice cream for $1 at the supermarket.
There's also value in the product being "free". :)


>>> This is not only about the money, this is also about waste. [...]
>>
>> No, quite the opposite. I am against waste, too -- so I think our
>> interests are aligned.
>>
>> Planned economies, [...]
>
> I'm not talking about planned economies; so that's a genuine strawman.
> I'm talking about efficiency and waste, independently of any ideology.

What exactly are you trying to accomplish?

Vitaliy

2009\02\16@121322 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
Vitaliy wrote:

> Gerhard Fiedler wrote:
>> Whether or not a Capitalist economy can function without advertising
>> doesn't really matter to me.
>
> You may not care, but it sure does matter.

Why does it matter for the question of how efficient advertising is? The
economic ideology a person believes in is irrelevant for this.


>> I think it is horribly inefficient, globally seen (and by "globally"
>> I don't mean necessarily the whole globe, but more than a single
>> company). Most of the efforts put into marketing do not produce
>> value for the community. I hope you're not going to argue this?
>
> While there is some waste, and it's not 100% efficient, it's the best
> thing we've got. Same goes for capitalism in general, and democracy.

This is completely besides my point. I was not talking about a specific
alternative, I was talking about efficiency. I can talk about the
efficiency of a gasoline engine without talking about a revolution
against the current petrol based economy. In the same manner I can talk
about the efficiency of advertising without talking about a revolution
against the current political-economical system.


> What is "useless" to you may be quite valuable to someone else. Many
> products are sold based on their emotional appeal, and I don't see
> anything wrong with that. Flowers have zero utilitarian value.

I'm not talking about the value or usefulness of any product; I'm
talking about the value generated (or lack thereof) by advertising. This
has no relationship to the utilitarian value of flowers. (IMO they do
have an utilitarian value, but that's besides the point.)


{Quote hidden}

I think you just don't consider what I meant with "global" or
"community". "Win-win" only considers the two parties directly involved
in a transaction. My view of efficiency considers everybody affected.
There is a big difference.


> - I'm all for switching to the metric system, however again I believe
> it hasn't happened yet because the short-term cost will be very high.
> US opted for a more gradual approach, to spread out this cost.

Right. Compare this to the cost this switch has created in the
technologically advanced European nations: a short time (mostly
pre-WWII, some shortly afterwards), and they got it over with. There are
no studies I know of that try to assess the cost of "spreading" this
switch out over probably a century (maybe more?), but my guess is it's
huge. You need to consider that with every day you wait, you add more
technology that needs to be switched later. Early on, the cost would
have been a tiny fraction of what has been spent since, say, WWII
because of not switching back then. (BTW, this is /very/ similar to the
refactoring question, where you seem to tend towards the opposite
stance.)

But again, I'm not criticizing the individuals' decisions. It's just a
good example of how we as individuals are not really capable of making
decisions that consider the benefit for the community. It's a species
thing IMO.


{Quote hidden}

This "invisible hand" and it working towards a "greater good" is an
axiom -- and I think an unrealistic one. A Capitalist market structure
of course has its built-in regulation mechanisms, but whether or not
there is anything working towards a "greater good" is just a postulate,
a hope, nothing more. It's not any more proven than somebody claiming
that in a Muslim society (or any other... just an example) things would
work towards the "greater good".

BTW, there doesn't seem to be a clear correlation between amount of
advertising and happiness. If there is one, it seems to be that the more
advertising there is, the less happiness there is. That's one efficiency
point...

And to repeat: I'm not arguing for or against or about Capitalism, so
all this talking about it is completely missing my point. I'm talking
about efficiency and value created by advertising.


{Quote hidden}

As I wrote before: my notion of "value" and "efficiency" includes much
more than the vendor and the buyer. They are not the only ones affected
by a sale.

> Keep in mind that "value" is subjective; it may not be valuable to
> *you*.

That's irrelevant in the context of efficiency of advertising. This is
not about individual values or needs, but about what advertising does to
satisfy them. (Note that I'm not disputing the efficiency of advertising
in /creating/ needs, but in /satisfying/ them. It's not the creation of
needs that creates value, it's their satisfaction that does.)


{Quote hidden}

Do I?

> It's not all about advertizing, in large part it is about finding out
> what people want.

If this is the great news, it's not that new at all. The thing is that
while advertisers may try to find out what people want, the reason they
do is not to be able to give them what they want -- it is about how to
efficiently make something /appear/ to be what people want. It is not
about creating value; it is about creating the illusion of value.


> Regarding your last point, there is value in the product being more
> accessible. That's why people pay $3 for an ice cream they buy from a
> street vendor, when they can buy the same ice cream for $1 at the
> supermarket.

Of course; this vendor creates value. But he didn't create it through
advertising; he created it by buying the product ahead of time,
transporting it to the point of need (or desire) and making it available
there. There is also some minor advertising involved, but I wrote
already that I'm not talking about /all/ advertising; I'm talking about
the 90% I consider excessive :)

You seem to try really hard to put up all kinds of straw men rather than
address the issue I am talking about -- and explain how you disagree
with it (which seems to be the purpose why you created this thread).

Almost nothing you wrote here had anything to do with the (global)
efficiency (repeating: by "global" I mean considering all affected, not
only the vendor and the buyer) and the value created by advertising. It
rather seems you are trying to defend the Capitalist theory against some
attack -- but there has never been one.


> What exactly are you trying to accomplish?

You created this thread, using a number of quotes of mine and based on
what seems to be a misunderstanding of an opinion of mine. (The
misunderstanding is, among others, expressed in the subject line.) I
responded, because I thought that by creating this thread you expressed
a desire to discuss the issue. But somehow I get the feeling that you
don't really want this -- twice in your first response in this thread
you indicated that you think this thread is a waste of time. This leads
me to the question: what exactly did you mean to accomplish when you
created this thread? Did you expect that I wouldn't respond? If so, why?

Gerhard

2009\02\20@033252 by Artem Zezyulinskiy

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Vitaliy a écrit :
> Planned economies, where advertizing doesn't play much of a role, are the
> ones that are great at wasting resources. Some bureaucrat decides what gets
> produced and where, and how to get it from place A to place B. So you have
> carloads full off stuff that nobody wants, criss-crossing the country,
> wasting fuel.
>
> I prefer the capitalist way.
>  
I know what you talking about, but the capitalist way is not the optimal
one. Right?

--
Artem ZEZYULINSKIY

2009\02\20@040041 by Artem Zezyulinskiy

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> I know what you talking about, but the capitalist way is not the optimal
> one. Right?
>  
Ok, forget about this.
Have a good day. :)

2009\02\23@044238 by Vitaliy

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Artem Zezyulinskiy wrote:
> Planned economies, where advertizing doesn't play much of a role, are the
> ones that are great at wasting resources. Some bureaucrat decides what
> gets
> produced and where, and how to get it from place A to place B. So you have
> carloads full off stuff that nobody wants, criss-crossing the country,
> wasting fuel.
>
> I prefer the capitalist way.
>
> I know what you talking about, but the capitalist way is not the optimal
> one. Right?

Depends on whose perspective you have in mind. From a consumer's POV,
capitalist way is as optimal as it gets.

Vitaliy


2009\02\23@054441 by Vitaliy

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Gerhard Fiedler wrote:
>>> I think it is horribly inefficient, globally seen (and by "globally"
>>> I don't mean necessarily the whole globe, but more than a single
>>> company). Most of the efforts put into marketing do not produce
>>> value for the community. I hope you're not going to argue this?
>>
>> While there is some waste, and it's not 100% efficient, it's the best
>> thing we've got. Same goes for capitalism in general, and democracy.
>
> This is completely besides my point. I was not talking about a specific
> alternative, I was talking about efficiency. I can talk about the
> efficiency of a gasoline engine without talking about a revolution
> against the current petrol based economy. In the same manner I can talk
> about the efficiency of advertising without talking about a revolution
> against the current political-economical system.

I have no idea what you mean when you use the term "efficiency" as applied
to advertizing. What units of measurement do you measure it in?


>> What is "useless" to you may be quite valuable to someone else. Many
>> products are sold based on their emotional appeal, and I don't see
>> anything wrong with that. Flowers have zero utilitarian value.
>
> I'm not talking about the value or usefulness of any product; I'm
> talking about the value generated (or lack thereof) by advertising. This
> has no relationship to the utilitarian value of flowers. (IMO they do
> have an utilitarian value, but that's besides the point.)

What's the difference between flowers, and new packaging for a product --  
which you said has no value?


{Quote hidden}

I fail to see your point. Are you saying that advertizing is wasteful,
because it forces them to buy what they don't need? If not, what are you
saying?


{Quote hidden}

I think it's pointless to argue this point. Neither you nor I have any idea
what the cost of not switching amounts to, or what the cost of switching
could have been, 60 years ago.


> But again, I'm not criticizing the individuals' decisions. It's just a
> good example of how we as individuals are not really capable of making
> decisions that consider the benefit for the community. It's a species
> thing IMO.

This is getting way too speculative. Next, we will start talking about the
genetic tendency of some people to use Assembler. :)


{Quote hidden}

Gerhard, I am astonished, this is Economics 101. Consider the following:

- The food you eat
- The clothes you wear
- The car you drive
- Your college education

Now tell me, did the farmer grow the wheat for your toast, out of kindness?
Or maybe someone gave you the car, out of the goodness of their heart? Or
maybe your professor was an altruist, and taught all his students for free?

The answer is of course "no", all the good things above that people did to
you, they did out of self interest. And yet everybody (including you)
benefitted. Wouldn't you say that the society is better off when you have
your clothes on, and have a college education? :)


> BTW, there doesn't seem to be a clear correlation between amount of
> advertising and happiness. If there is one, it seems to be that the more
> advertising there is, the less happiness there is. That's one efficiency
> point...

Another myth that I hear repeated over and over ("average Cuban is happier
than an average US citizen", etc). I know that I'm happier when I don't have
to stand in a line for hours. I'm happier when I have access to the goods I
need. You don't see droves of Americans fleeing to Cuba on fishing boats.

In my experience, people tend to move from places with less advertizing, to
places with more advertizing. I'm sure that if you and I went to North
Korea, and asked people on the street if they're happy, all of them would
say "yes". Does it mean that they're happier than Americans?


> And to repeat: I'm not arguing for or against or about Capitalism, so
> all this talking about it is completely missing my point. I'm talking
> about efficiency and value created by advertising.

Advertizing is necessary in order for capitalism to function. If you concede
that capitalism is superior to other economic systems, then you have to
accept that advertizing has value. It is how we as consumers get the
information we need to make purchasing decisions. In a planned economy,
someone else decides what you eat and wear, so advertizing has no value
there.


{Quote hidden}

If your neighbor buys a bag of fertilizer, flower seeds, and a shovel, and
uses them to grow a beautiful flower bed -- doesn't the community benefit? I
can come up with dozens of similar examples, will you continue to assert
that "there is no value produced for the community"?


> That's irrelevant in the context of efficiency of advertising. This is
> not about individual values or needs, but about what advertising does to
> satisfy them. (Note that I'm not disputing the efficiency of advertising
> in /creating/ needs, but in /satisfying/ them. It's not the creation of
> needs that creates value, it's their satisfaction that does.)

This is total baloney. If there is no advertizing, how would you know that a
product (any product) exists? How can a product satisfy your need, if you
don't know about it?


{Quote hidden}

Only if you want to have an intelligent conversation about it. :)


> You seem to try really hard to put up all kinds of straw men rather than
> address the issue I am talking about -- and explain how you disagree
> with it (which seems to be the purpose why you created this thread).

I'm doing my best. Some of your statements (about advertizing having no
value, for example) are difficult to misinterpret, and are clearly wrong.


> Almost nothing you wrote here had anything to do with the (global)
> efficiency (repeating: by "global" I mean considering all affected, not
> only the vendor and the buyer) and the value created by advertising.

I hope I did a better job this time around.


>> What exactly are you trying to accomplish?
>
> You created this thread, using a number of quotes of mine and based on
> what seems to be a misunderstanding of an opinion of mine. (The
> misunderstanding is, among others, expressed in the subject line.)

You said on several occasions, that marketing and advertizing have no value
("no *global* value", in your words). What am I misunderstanding?


> I
> responded, because I thought that by creating this thread you expressed
> a desire to discuss the issue. But somehow I get the feeling that you
> don't really want this -- twice in your first response in this thread
> you indicated that you think this thread is a waste of time.

You have to look at what I said, in context. I said that talking about the
bag of popcorn is a waste of time, because it won't change anything -- it's
up to Advanced Circuits to decide whether they want to continue shipping
customers free popcorn.


> This leads
> me to the question: what exactly did you mean to accomplish when you
> created this thread?

I had several aims, first was to take this conversation out of another
thread (in order not to clutter it). Second, I am a believer in the
"marketplace of ideas", so when you've made a statement I disagree with, I
felt the need to "restore the balance", so to speak. :)


> Did you expect that I wouldn't respond? If so, why?

No, actually I was pretty sure that you would respond. :)

VItaliy

2009\02\23@061203 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
Vitaliy wrote:

>> I know what you talking about, but the capitalist way is not the
>> optimal one. Right?
>
> Depends on whose perspective you have in mind. From a consumer's POV,
> capitalist way is as optimal as it gets.

I don't know what your "a consumer" is, but from /this/ consumer's POV,
things could be tremendously improved. I don't know how (yet?), but I
know it's not optimal.

(FWIW, "as optimal as it gets" seems to be a contradiction in terms...
it's different from "as good as it gets". "Optimal" is not a more or
less quality, it's either optimal or it isn't.)

Gerhard

2009\02\23@073513 by Tony Smith

flavicon
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{Quote hidden}

idea
> what the cost of not switching amounts to, or what the cost of switching
> could have been, 60 years ago.
>
> <War & Peace snipped>


The old joke in advertising was made by some ad guru (Google'll find him)
who said 'half of my advertising works, I wish I knew which half'.  So there
you go, the efficiency of advertising is 50%.  Right, thread over.

You can break advertising into a few areas:

- New products, you see this on PicList.  Generally we like that sort.
- Generic, you've got the same crap as your competitor, but you're trying to
convince us that yours is better.  Coke v Pepsi.
- Branding, overlaps with generic.  If we stop advertising, people buy
something else.  Anyone who thinks branding doesn't work is brain dead.
- Buy our crap, you don't need it but we'll yell at you until you think you
do.  Infomercials.

In theory keep option 1, and ditch the rest.  Or ditch then all and let the
consumer find you.  How efficient is that?

Packaging works.  Proper presentation can increase sales by a third.  Why do
you think people write XTREME!!!!! on everything.

Olin may grumble about people giving away bags of popcorn or pens, and calls
the recipients 'chumps' for falling for it.  Of course he does exactly the
thing in giving away his code library.  Presumably the underlying message is
'you chumps won't be able to handle it anyway, so give me a ring.'  His
messages are always tagged, so that's advertising & branding in one,
complete with a 'we're better than the others' included.  Sure Olin,
advertising is for chumps.

And the USA is metric, they just don't care to admit it.  I was looking at a
box of American-made powder coat a while back, and pondering who'd choose to
make it weigh 44 pounds.  Oh right, 20 kilograms, but just you just keep on
calling it 'standard'.

Tony




2009\02\23@124247 by Michael Algernon

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face
Vitaliy, I think you are a genius.
I understand your correspondence with Gerhard in the following way.....
Gerhard believes that he can identify an optimal production--> seller  
--> buyer sequence that will work for EVERYONE
Vitaliy supports a system that mysteriously takes many, many, many  
peoples preferences into account.
Guess which one I prefer......
MA

>


 WFT Electronics
Denver, CO   720 222 1309
" dent the UNIVERSE "

All ideas, text, drawings and audio , that are originated by WFT  
Electronics ( and it's principals ),  that are included with this  
signature text are to be deemed to be released to the public domain as  
of the date of this communication .

2009\02\24@093711 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
Michael Algernon wrote:

> Gerhard believes that he can identify an optimal production--> seller
> --> buyer sequence that will work for EVERYONE

FWIW, this is not what I believe, and if you can read, you shouldn't
have any trouble to find that I never wrote anything like this.

Gerhard

2009\02\24@103055 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
Vitaliy wrote:

> Gerhard Fiedler wrote:
>>>> I think it is horribly inefficient, globally seen (and by "globally"
>>>> I don't mean necessarily the whole globe, but more than a single
>>>> company). Most of the efforts put into marketing do not produce
>>>> value for the community. I hope you're not going to argue this?
>>>
>>> While there is some waste, and it's not 100% efficient, it's the best
>>> thing we've got. Same goes for capitalism in general, and democracy.
>>
>> This is completely besides my point. I was not talking about a specific
>> alternative, I was talking about efficiency. I can talk about the
>> efficiency of a gasoline engine without talking about a revolution
>> against the current petrol based economy. In the same manner I can talk
>> about the efficiency of advertising without talking about a revolution
>> against the current political-economical system.
>
> I have no idea what you mean when you use the term "efficiency" as
> applied to advertizing. What units of measurement do you measure it
> in?

Use of resources vs satisfaction provided.


{Quote hidden}

I didn't say it doesn't have value. But the thing is when I have to
spend millions in advertising to /create/ the (monetary) value because
there is no (actual) value, then that's inefficient. It's using a lot of
resources without increasing the end result of satisfaction.


{Quote hidden}

I never said that anybody is forced to buy anything. But since in most
cases most people are not at all aware of all the (mostly hidden)
consequences of a buying decision, the premise of the "invisible hand"
doesn't work -- it's in almost all cases not a conscious choice of all
the consequences, for a variety of reasons.


{Quote hidden}

I never went to a US school, and maybe this is not a bad thing :)

{Quote hidden}

Could you please stop treating me in this condescending way? It doesn't
help if you want to understand what I mean. If you don't, just say so,
and I'm perfectly capable of ending this conversation.

> The answer is of course "no", all the good things above that people
> did to you, they did out of self interest. And yet everybody
> (including you) benefitted. Wouldn't you say that the society is
> better off when you have your clothes on, and have a college
> education?

What has this to do with what I wrote? There is no relationship. Also,
given the recent economic events, it's not really clear whether the
invisible hand is doing much good. There seem to be lots of wasteful
things going on, like ways to make much money giving people loans that
shouldn't have any. The "rewards" are not always structured to point
towards the "greater good". For example, the "invisible hand" has proven
to be completely incapable of maintaining a reasonable healthy
environment, because there is no cost in destroying it, at least not
when it's done in a way that the real cost appears elsewhere (in time or
space, in any case in "pocketbook"). The "invisible hand" with a stroke
of a finger spreads externalities out, but lets the profit stay. This is
not working towards increasing efficiency (as defined above).


> In my experience, people tend to move from places with less
> advertizing, to places with more advertizing.

Could it be that your experience is limited? Note that your choice of
examples (Cuba, North Korea) says more about your angle here than the
issue itself.


> Advertizing is necessary in order for capitalism to function.

Is this an axiom? Or somehow proven? Is it also necessary for it to
create excesses?

> If you concede that capitalism is superior to other economic systems,

Superior to some, but not really that good. I'm in good company with
this -- there is not one pure capitalist society in the world. If you
believe in the "invisible hand", this is a clear indicator that it's not
good, isn't it?

> then you have to accept that advertizing has value.

Why? Could it be, in this context, a "necessary evil" rather than a
value?

> It is how we as consumers get the information we need to make
> purchasing decisions.

Now come on... Most of the money and resources spent on advertising has
nothing to do with spreading information. Besides, I for one don't
usually get the information for my purchasing decisions from the usual
marketing material, I usually get it from what typically is considered
support material (manuals, datasheets etc.)

> In a planned economy, someone else decides what you eat and wear, so
> advertizing has no value there.

You always seem to come back to the planned economy. Could you please
leave this out? It has nothing to do with the question of efficiency of
marketing. (FWIW, there is lots of marketing in most planned economies.)
This is not an ideological question of capitalism vs planned economies.
(And FWIW, there are other economic models than the two, but this also
has nothing to do with the efficiency of marketing.)


>> As I wrote before: my notion of "value" and "efficiency" includes
>> much more than the vendor and the buyer. They are not the only ones
>> affected by a sale.
>
> If your neighbor buys a bag of fertilizer, flower seeds, and a
> shovel, and uses them to grow a beautiful flower bed -- doesn't the
> community benefit? I can come up with dozens of similar examples,
> will you continue to assert that "there is no value produced for the
> community"?

Yup, but the moment he buys a bag of herbicides and uses them in his
garden, they may very well spread out into my garden. And I may have my
garden there because I don't want them. They may also spread into our
water supply underground.

Or his buying decision may support a factory where people are dying
around it because it is spreading dangerous waste. Or maybe not now, but
the area will be a dangerous place for a century afterwards. It could
even be that if he knew about this, he'd not buy that fertilizer -- but
he doesn't know, as we don't know so many things about the products we
buy and their production chain. Partly it's this not knowing that makes
the "invisible hand" not working well, and also partly it's the not
paying for it that makes it not working well.

The basic premise that you pay for what you get is not true. This is a
simple fact, because of the many externalities. Are you really arguing
against externalities of pretty much everything we do? I thought that
/this/ was part of Economics 101... but maybe this is 201 :)


>>> It's not an entirely new concept, so I think you really need to read
>>> up on what marketing really is.
>>
>> Do I?
>
> Only if you want to have an intelligent conversation about it. :)

What makes you think that you can, or that I can't? Do you really think
you're so much more intelligent? Well-read? That you know what I have to
read to be able to intelligently discuss with you?


> Some of your statements (about advertizing having no value, for
> example) are difficult to misinterpret, and are clearly wrong.

Just because you /think/ they are wrong doesn't make them necessarily
wrong. What do you mean with "value" here?

>> Almost nothing you wrote here had anything to do with the (global)
>> efficiency (repeating: by "global" I mean considering all affected,
>> not only the vendor and the buyer) and the value created by
>> advertising.
>
> I hope I did a better job this time around.

No. You don't seem to understand the concept of efficiency (as applied
to humans) and of externalities (as applied to our mostly capitalist
economy).


>>> What exactly are you trying to accomplish?
>>
>> You created this thread, using a number of quotes of mine and based
>> on what seems to be a misunderstanding of an opinion of mine. (The
>> misunderstanding is, among others, expressed in the subject line.)
>
> You said on several occasions, that marketing and advertizing have no
> value ("no *global* value", in your words). What am I
> misunderstanding?

Most of it, it seems. What is the (global) value created by a big
billboard with an ad for a Nivea sunscreen that doesn't contain any
information other than that there is a sunscreen from Nivea (which
almost everybody already knew before)?


> You have to look at what I said, in context. I said that talking about
> the bag of popcorn is a waste of time, because it won't change
> anything -- it's up to Advanced Circuits to decide whether they want
> to continue shipping customers free popcorn.

I don't really disagree with this. If you think talking about it is a
waste of time, I think you shouldn't talk about it. Seriously.


>> This leads me to the question: what exactly did you mean to
>> accomplish when you created this thread? Did you expect that I
>> wouldn't respond? If so, why?
>
> No, actually I was pretty sure that you would respond. :)

So... why the question about what I am trying to accomplish -- if you
wanted me to respond?

Gerhard

2009\02\25@032537 by Vitaliy

flavicon
face
Gerhard Fiedler
>> I have no idea what you mean when you use the term "efficiency" as
>> applied to advertizing. What units of measurement do you measure it
>> in?
>
> Use of resources vs satisfaction provided.

Can you guess what my next question will be? :)


> I never went to a US school, and maybe this is not a bad thing :)

Now, think what it would sound like if I said that "maybe it's a good thing
I never went to a Brazilian, or a German school."  People would scoff,
"typical arrogant American".

I owe much of what I know about economics to a professor who immigrated to
the United States from Mexico. He was of mixed German/Swedish ancestry.


> Could you please stop treating me in this condescending way? It doesn't
> help if you want to understand what I mean. If you don't, just say so,
> and I'm perfectly capable of ending this conversation.

I had no intention to offend you. I will take you up on your offer to
terminate this conversation.

Vitaliy

2009\02\25@034323 by Vitaliy

flavicon
face
Michael Algernon wrote:
> Vitaliy, I think you are a genius.

Michael, I don't know whether you're joking or not, but I know I'm far from
what one would call a "genius". I was shocked when I first realized that
there are people who are smarter than me, but eventually I worked my way
through the grief cycle, and have long since accepted this sad fact.

If you had to label me in some way, "stubborn" would be a good choice.


> I understand your correspondence with Gerhard in the following way.....
> Gerhard believes that he can identify an optimal production--> seller
> --> buyer sequence that will work for EVERYONE
> Vitaliy supports a system that mysteriously takes many, many, many
> peoples preferences into account.
> Guess which one I prefer......

I think the trouble with economics (psychology also comes to mind) is that
most people feel it is something they understand intuitively, and are
therefore qualified to make sweeping statements about it. Exact sciences are
different in this regard, it's easy to prove something one way or another.

There are many people like Gerhard who take the current economic situation
as an opportunity to gloat -- "where's your magic Invisible Hand now?"

They have a point, of course. What they don't seem to realize, however, is
that the alternative is much worse.

Vitaliy

2009\02\25@063048 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
Vitaliy wrote:

> Gerhard Fiedler
>>> I have no idea what you mean when you use the term "efficiency" as
>>> applied to advertizing. What units of measurement do you measure it
>>> in?
>>
>> Use of resources vs satisfaction provided.
>
> Can you guess what my next question will be? :)

No, I can't. I thought this was understood and obvious -- what else are
economic theories about?


>>> Gerhard, I am astonished, this is Economics 101.
>>
>> I never went to a US school, and maybe this is not a bad thing :)
>
> Now, think what it would sound like if I said that "maybe it's a good
> thing I never went to a Brazilian, or a German school."  People would
> scoff, "typical arrogant American".

It was you who brought in the condescending reference to "Economics
101". This is a term taken from the US school system. I wouldn't (and
didn't) say "typical arrogant American", but it was arrogant IMO. If you
think the reference to the US school system was out of place, you
shouldn't have made it.

Gerhard

2009\02\25@063635 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
Vitaliy wrote:

> There are many people like Gerhard who take the current economic
> situation as an opportunity to gloat -- "where's your magic Invisible
> Hand now?"

It seems you may be able to remember that I have brought up problems
with the "invisible hand" way before the current economic situation. And
also some problems with it that are in no way related to the current
economic situation, but rather systemic. Some of them right in this
thread. Of course you never really address these.

> They have a point, of course. What they don't seem to realize,
> however, is that the alternative is much worse.

There is no "the alternative". It's about acknowledging and analyzing
flaws. This is what brings us forward, even if we can't imagine anything
that would address these. It will come, though. Just thinking that this
is as good as it gets means giving up on any possible improvements. This
is probably what people in monarchies used to say; they just couldn't
imagine anything different that could work, because it wasn't yet
"imagined". But gladly a few kept insisting that things weren't as good
as they could be. I think this hasn't come to an end yet, and I think it
never will.

Gerhard

2009\02\25@082352 by Tony Smith

flavicon
face
> I think the trouble with economics (psychology also comes to mind) is that
> most people feel it is something they understand intuitively, and are
> therefore qualified to make sweeping statements about it. Exact sciences
are
> different in this regard, it's easy to prove something one way or another.
>
> There are many people like Gerhard who take the current economic situation
> as an opportunity to gloat -- "where's your magic Invisible Hand now?"
>
> They have a point, of course. What they don't seem to realize, however, is
> that the alternative is much worse.


So the invisible hand occasionally give you a slap for being stupid.  Still
works.

Tony

2009\02\25@085748 by Russell McMahon

face
flavicon
face
>> There are many people like Gerhard who take the current economic
>> situation
>> as an opportunity to gloat -- "where's your magic Invisible Hand now?"

>> They have a point, of course. What they don't seem to realize, however,
>> is
>> that the alternative is much worse.

> So the invisible hand occasionally give you a slap for being stupid.
> Still
> works.

I'm sure Gerhard will feel misrepresented :-).

But the slapping is indeed part of the hand at work - it rewards greed
appropriately in due course. On average at least. And rewarded greed is what
we are seeing at present. Alas, those who reap the reward may not be those
who had the greed. The hand is not averse to allowing luck to sneak through.

One cannot in fact argue that the hand doesn't work, because what the model
it represents really says is 'what works works'. By definition it cannot be
falsified*. Whether it does the most good (TMG) for the total population is
necessarly debateable. Necessarily because what constitutes TMG is debated
and there are many opinions of what TMG is in any given situation. As even
the great hand [TM] cannot optimise all or even many TMGs at once it doesn't
try or care. It just does what it does and those who like what it typically
does say THIS is TMG for me and, of course, MUST [TM} therefore be TMG for
everyone else, so the hand must be marvellous. And, for them, it is.

* Very like another current paradigm whose hallowed name I must not
breather, even in OT, for fear of bringing forth howls of protest. Said
paradigm essentially says that the most successful succeed. Definition of
'successful' is not required when you have such a tautology to turn to.


    Russell

2009\02\25@090422 by Alexandros Nipirakis

picon face
>
>
> Advertizing is necessary in order for capitalism to function. If you
> concede
> that capitalism is superior to other economic systems, then you have to
> accept that advertizing has value. It is how we as consumers get the
> information we need to make purchasing decisions. In a planned economy,
> someone else decides what you eat and wear, so advertizing has no value
> there.
>
>
> I don't think that most advertising would be classified as neccessary.  As
Gerhard eluded to, and I will flat just say it, most advertising is just
very targeted propaganda-- that's it.  Paraphrasing Doctor Noam Chomsky,
Advertising doesn't come out and give you the properties of the product to
help you make an informed decision about what you want to buy, but rather
uses psychologically driven propaganda to make you think that their product
(which most often than not is exactly the same as the competitors) is
somehow superior to same competitors product.  Why do you think there are
entire magazines devoted to comparing consumer products?  Is it perhaps
because the information brought out by the producer is somewhat useless?  If
advertising was so great, then why is there this huge industry of magazines
and books that centres on what the actual differences are of everything.

As for your illustration that somehow in a capitalist economy that without
advertising everyone would be walking around nude and hugry, I am not so
sure.  Most of the products I buy are not heavily advertised.  People would
still buy stuff even if it wasn't advertised.  Think back a couple hundred
years ago when advertising was not as prevalent as today, when branding
didn't exist in the same way it does today, did our predicessors have no way
of knowing what existed.  Sure telling people you are selling something is
important, but I think the multi-billion dollar industry based on targeted
propaganda serves no useful purpose, it does not (as you are saying) connect
buyers with sellers, and is about as useful as burning your money.
Advertising is a way of brainwashing people into buying your product.  Its
complete nonsense and is a perfect illustration of why capitalism is not the
best system (capitalism-- afterall-- created this wonderful multi-billion
dollar industry).

I also find it odd that you keep bringing up planned economies.  Each
example you brought up was arguably worse off before (with the exception of
North Korea which is a little special from the others) their planned economy
came into force.  More cubans are educated now than they were under the
Batista ragime.  People actually have food to eat.  There is a decent public
health system.  Are they still a third world country?  Yes.  But heres the
question that every person who yells about capitalism being so great never
answers--- do you honestly believe that capitalism would do them any
better?  If so, why?  Is the average Russian citizen better now than under
Communism?  I really don't know the answer to that, but its a valid
question.  What about the average Chineese (they are for all intents and
purposes a market economy now)?

An absolute lunatic way of looking at an economic system, you take a country
that is (for all intents and purposes) already developed and compare it with
a country that isn't.  Perhaps the economic system isn't the only deciding
factor here. I dare you to find a developed nation that has really tried a
different system other than capitalism.

Well, anyways, the goodness of capitalism vs. planned economies (err---
marxism?) is not the discussiion here.  Although your subject line was
probably created in jest, I fully agree with it.  Advertising (at least in
its current form) is absolutely useless.  and Marketing sucks.

For what its worth, I grew up in the United States, went to American schools
and am currently in College in (you guessed it) an American college.   It
should be blatently obvious to anyone who isn't insane that there are some
serious challenges with American capitalism.  One great challenge is how you
add billions of dollars of cost onto the nations production which adds
nothing to the value of an item.  Hence advertising.

Thank you for listening to my rant,

Aleksei

2009\02\25@133816 by Michael Algernon

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{Quote hidden}

Yes, yes, yes, yes !  A thousand times yes.
MA


2009\02\25@134705 by Michael Algernon

flavicon
face
{Quote hidden}

I take your dare.   Try the USA.   They have moved from capitalism  
toward socialism and central control.  Check out the results.  It is  
all there to see.
MA

{Quote hidden}

Since I realize that I am in no position to know what is best for  
other folks, I choose a free market system that emphasizes personal  
liberties.  Central planning always favors the "good old boys" over  
everyone else.
MA


 WFT Electronics
Denver, CO   720 222 1309
" dent the UNIVERSE "

All ideas, text, drawings and audio , that are originated by WFT  
Electronics ( and it's principals ),  that are included with this  
signature text are to be deemed to be released to the public domain as  
of the date of this communication .

2009\02\25@143400 by Alexandros Nipirakis

picon face
>
> I take your dare.   Try the USA.   They have moved from capitalism
> toward socialism and central control.  Check out the results.  It is
> all there to see.
> MA
>

You are absolutely right.  It has been known for a long time that the
largest employers are the government (the military and "defense").  The
government is now having to intercede into the market.  I am not sure if I
would see eye to eye on you as to the correctness or morality of this move,
but it is what it is.


> Since I realize that I am in no position to know what is best for
> other folks, I choose a free market system that emphasizes personal
> liberties.  Central planning always favors the "good old boys" over
> everyone else.
> MA
>

I rather like this comment.  I think its one that eludes many in this
country.  What is good for the US is not necessarily what is good for
someone else.  I am not sure if central planning does what you are saying,
but I think to each his own.   It should be up to each person to decide how
they want to run their house.

Thanks for the reply :)

Aleksei

2009\02\25@191626 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
Michael Algernon wrote:

> Since I realize that I am in no position to know what is best for
> other folks, I choose a free market system that emphasizes personal
> liberties.  

I basically agree with you on this, if this is the question. In another
mail you said that I thought otherwise, and I have no idea how you
reached that conclusion.

However, I don't see any connection between this statement and the
question of efficiency of marketing. Analyzing the efficiency of
marketing (which happens both in market economies and planned economies)
is rather independent of the specific economic or political ideology.

Just because people have the right to do something inefficient doesn't
make it efficient.

Gerhard

2009\02\25@193754 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
Russell McMahon wrote:

> I'm sure Gerhard will feel misrepresented :-).

I didn't see me represented, so not misrepresented either :)

> One cannot in fact argue that the hand doesn't work, because what the
> model it represents really says is 'what works works'.

Is that really so? The model, AIUI, assumes that it is possible for
people to act in their best self-interest. I don't think that this is
given. All the far-reaching consequences of a single choice are rarely
easily known, and nobody has the time and resources to research the
consequences of the many choices we necessarily make. Without being able
to take into account the consequences, the assumption that the actions
will be in the best self-interest is not really true anymore. Which then
means that the outcome is more arbitrary than the result of any
"invisible hand".

> Whether it does the most good (TMG) for the total population is
> necessarly debateable.

To see the limitation of the "invisible hand" concept, it is not
necessary to think about TMG, it is not even necessary that such a thing
exists.

Gerhard

2009\02\26@020111 by Michael Algernon

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face
I guess we can measure the efficiency of advertizing or it's  
replacement by comparing it to a perfect system.  That would be one  
product with no documentation that was the only thing you could buy.  
No labeling would be required as there is only one product.  No  
information need be provided to the customer as they really have no  
choice.  I guess you would have to list a price.  So the cost of  
advertizing would be low.

Except how would the customer figure how units of this product to  
buy ?   Beats me.

MA


 WFT Electronics
Denver, CO   720 222 1309
" dent the UNIVERSE "

All ideas, text, drawings and audio , that are originated by WFT  
Electronics ( and it's principals ),  that are included with this  
signature text are to be deemed to be released to the public domain as  
of the date of this communication .

2009\02\26@030118 by Tony Smith

flavicon
face
> I guess we can measure the efficiency of advertizing or it's
> replacement by comparing it to a perfect system.  That would be one
> product with no documentation that was the only thing you could buy.
> No labeling would be required as there is only one product.  No
> information need be provided to the customer as they really have no
> choice.  I guess you would have to list a price.  So the cost of
> advertizing would be low.
>
> Except how would the customer figure how units of this product to
> buy ?   Beats me.


What customers?

The Ministry of Plenty knows what you need, and will let you know when to
come & collect it.

Tony

2009\02\26@055836 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
Michael Algernon wrote:

> I guess we can measure the efficiency of advertizing or it's
> replacement by comparing it to a perfect system.  

That's one way. Another would be to think about, then define what
"efficiency" means in this context, best done (in the spirit of
efficiency) before trying to measure it.

Going with your approach, however, how to define a perfect system?

> That would be one product with no documentation that was the only
> thing you could buy.  

Why do you think having "one product with no documentation" is perfect
-- in this context that probably should mean "perfectly efficient"? It's
definitely not perfect for me. I guess we have quite different opinions
about what "efficient" means, and how to increase efficiency. Removing
documentation from products and competing, often slightly or more than
slightly different products from the market doesn't seem to increase
efficiency. What exactly do you think would be more efficient in this
case?

Not putting up billboards, sending out TV ads etc. that show a bunch of
people smiling professionally without conveying any useful information
may reduce the use of resources that brings nobody increased
satisfaction, though.

Why is it that you seem to consistently confuse a discussion about
efficiency of marketing with a discussion about the benefits of the
market economy? Marketing is not limited to market economies and has
nothing to do with the economic or political system.

Gerhard

2009\02\26@080346 by Chris Smolinski

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>Why is it that you seem to consistently confuse a discussion about
>efficiency of marketing with a discussion about the benefits of the
>market economy? Marketing is not limited to market economies and has
>nothing to do with the economic or political system.

I can't remember back that far, were there ads and marketing
campaigns in the Soviet Union to inform citizens of the vast array of
products available?

--

---
Chris Smolinski
Black Cat Systems
http://www.blackcatsystems.com

2009\02\26@082245 by Artem Zezyulinskiy

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> I can't remember back that far, were there ads and marketing
> campaigns in the Soviet Union to inform citizens of the vast array of
> products available?
>  
Possibly you not, but I remember that it was exist. Not very massively,
but exist. Often in the form of external ads.

--
Artem ZEZYULINSKIY


2009\02\26@084805 by Chris Smolinski

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>  > I can't remember back that far, were there ads and marketing
>>  campaigns in the Soviet Union to inform citizens of the vast array of
>>  products available?
>>  
>Possibly you not, but I remember that it was exist. Not very massively,
>but exist. Often in the form of external ads.

Ads published outside the USSR, to provide the
illusion of the availability of consumer goods?

--

---
Chris Smolinski
Black Cat Systems
http://www.blackcatsystems.com

2009\02\26@113109 by Artem Zezyulinskiy

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> Ads published outside the USSR, to provide the
> illusion of the availability of consumer goods?
>  
No, internal to the USSR, to promote certain services available from big
company (ex: "fly with Aeroflot", insurance from Ingosstrah, etc).

--
Artem ZEZYULINSKIY
SEDATELEC, Chemin des Mûriers
Irigny, 69540, FRANCE
Tel : +33 [0] 472 663 322

2009\02\26@115150 by Bob Blick

face
flavicon
face

On Thu, 26 Feb 2009 18:57:48 +1100, "Tony Smith" <spam_OUTajsmithTakeThisOuTspambeagle.com.au>
said:

>
> The Ministry of Plenty knows what you need, and will let you know when to
> come & collect it.

Sounds like Apple. (or Microsoft, with Vista)

-Bob

--
http://www.fastmail.fm - Same, same, but different...

2009\02\26@170458 by Vitaliy

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Alexandros Nipirakis wrote:
[snip]
> As for your illustration that somehow in a capitalist economy that without
> advertising everyone would be walking around nude and hugry, I am not so
> sure.

Without advertizing in any sort of free market economy, that is exactly what
would happen (or worse). If you don't know that something is out there, you
either have to make/grow it yourself, or do without.


> Most of the products I buy are not heavily advertised.  People would
> still buy stuff even if it wasn't advertised.

Sorry Aleksei, it is difficult for me to argue something that seems so
blatantly obvious. I'll be talking at a very basic level, please don't get
offended. Gerhard already accused me of talking down to him, while the fact
is that I just don't know how else to explain it.

If something is not advertized, nobody will buy it, period. If you are
selling a product, you have to somehow inform your potential customers about
what you have. Information about a product, is advertizing.

If you're a barber, you should at least put a sign in the window, that says
"Haircuts".

If you're a shopkeeper, you should put up a sign that says "Groceries", and
put the products on the shelves (not hide them in your warehouse), and you
better put price labels on everything you sell.

If you run a restaraunt, you better make it look like a restaraunt, so
people don't confuse it with a public restroom. And you must have menus.

And so on. All of the above, is different forms advertizing.


> Think back a couple hundred
> years ago when advertising was not as prevalent as today, when branding
> didn't exist in the same way it does today, did our predicessors have no
> way
> of knowing what existed.

Advertizing goes back thousands of years, it existed probably even before
writing was invented. At least in Europe, hundreds of years ago there were
universally recognized signs for pubs, boot-makers, and barbers. There were
country fairs and city markets where people advertized their merchandise.
Those places were very loud, with sellers yelling their verbal ads at the
passers-by. So I would argue that advertizing has become *less* obnoxious, I
can buy stuff from Amazon or eBay from the quiet privacy of my home. :-)


> Sure telling people you are selling something is
> important, but I think the multi-billion dollar industry based on targeted
> propaganda serves no useful purpose, it does not (as you are saying)
> connect
> buyers with sellers, and is about as useful as burning your money.

You may not like it, but it sure does. Advertizing's purpose is not only to
connect buyers with sellers (which it does), it is also to help you
differentiate between products.

Think about how you shop: how would you make decisions about what kind of
laptop or shoes to buy, and where to buy them? How would you decide which
restaraunt you want to eat out at?

If there's a super-duper laptop that performs better than the competition,
and costs half as much, how can you take advantage of the deal, if you don't
even know it exists?


> Advertising is a way of brainwashing people into buying your product.

I hear this all the time. Please, answer me: does advertizing brainwash YOU
into buying anything? If not, then whom does it brainwash? And if
advertizing is indeed so powerful and evil, why don't we see droves of women
buying beard trimmers, or men rushing to buy bras?


>  Its
> complete nonsense and is a perfect illustration of why capitalism is not
> the
> best system

It's the best *available* system. If you disagree with me, show me a better
alternative.


> I also find it odd that you keep bringing up planned economies.

I don't understand why you find it odd. Why would I want to contrast
economies of, say, New Zealand and Singapore, to prove my point -- when
they're both based on free markets, and both heavily rely on advertizing?


> Each
> example you brought up was arguably worse off before (with the exception
> of
> North Korea which is a little special from the others) their planned
> economy
> came into force.

One reason the example of North Korea is useful, is because there used to be
just one Korea, where everybody was poor. And today there are two: one free
and prosperous, and another Korea where people have to eat grass to survive.


> More cubans are educated now than they were under the
> Batista ragime.  People actually have food to eat.  There is a decent
> public
> health system.

Wait, Aleksei. Let me get this straight: are you saying that Cubans are
better off under Communism, than they would be under capitalism? If that is
what you are arguing, I will throw in the towel, because I consider this an
utterly ridiculous (and religious) argument.


> Is the average Russian citizen better now than under
> Communism?

Yes. There is a minority that is nostalgic, and wants to have Stalin back,
but the majority are better off. The economy is not free by Western
standards, but the standard of living is many times higher than it was under
USSR.


> I really don't know the answer to that, but its a valid
> question.  What about the average Chineese (they are for all intents and
> purposes a market economy now)?

Unfortunately, China is not a free market economy. But yes, the Chinese
people as a whole, are better off now that the state has loosened its grip
on the economy. They have more opportunities, and per capita income has been
steadily rising.


> An absolute lunatic way of looking at an economic system, you take a
> country
> that is (for all intents and purposes) already developed and compare it
> with
> a country that isn't.  Perhaps the economic system isn't the only deciding
> factor here. I dare you to find a developed nation that has really tried a
> different system other than capitalism.

One answer would be that no country in its right mind would switch from a
free market system, to a planned economy.

However, there are plenty of examples. FRG and GDR is one, the Baltic
states, I can provide more if you want. Even Russia in 1914 was more or less
"developed" (industrialized).


> Well, anyways, the goodness of capitalism vs. planned economies (err---
> marxism?) is not the discussiion here.  Although your subject line was
> probably created in jest, I fully agree with it.  Advertising (at least in
> its current form) is absolutely useless.  and Marketing sucks.

Then stop advertizing your opinions in this marketplace of ideas. :)


> For what its worth, I grew up in the United States, went to American
> schools
> and am currently in College in (you guessed it) an American college.   It
> should be blatently obvious to anyone who isn't insane that there are some
> serious challenges with American capitalism.  One great challenge is how
> you
> add billions of dollars of cost onto the nations production which adds
> nothing to the value of an item.  Hence advertising.

I never argued that capitalism is perfect, but it is the best system we've
got. Maybe you should go live in Cuba for a few years, I hear they've got
plenty of food, and a great healthcare system. :)

Vitaliy

2009\02\26@170721 by Vitaliy

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face
Chris Smolinski wrote:
> >Why is it that you seem to consistently confuse a discussion about
>>efficiency of marketing with a discussion about the benefits of the
>>market economy? Marketing is not limited to market economies and has
>>nothing to do with the economic or political system.
>
> I can't remember back that far, were there ads and marketing
> campaigns in the Soviet Union to inform citizens of the vast array of
> products available?

Surprisingly, yes! :)

http://www.davno.ru/soviet-posters/soviet-ads/

I bet you will never guess what the first ad is about. :-))))

Vitaliy

2009\02\26@173433 by Jinx

face picon face
> I bet you will never guess what the first ad is about. :-))))

Are you the laughing stock of your collective ? Trouble finding
a date for the Tractor Ball ?

Make facial hair misery a thing of the past with Uncle Joe's
Moustache Wax And Conditioner

It's revolutionary Comrade !!

Buy some now

Or else

2009\02\26@180359 by Jinx

face picon face
> If something is not advertized, nobody will buy it

Well, yes and no. Some retailers are very competitive, for example
big-name electronic goods chains. TV ads for Harvey Norman, Dick
Smith, Bond And Bond etc, all advertise (seemingly ad nauseum) the
latest deal on plasma TVs, cell phones, computers etc. The consumer
is of course aware of these products so the advertising is to tempt them
towards a particular retailer

There's one very direct one on at the moment. The Mad Butcher shows
the meat package and price offered by Chrisco and then shows the exact
same package from his store at a couple of hundred dollars less. Most
unusual to see one retailer specifically compare like that. However he would
be on safe ground because the Chrisco package is contracted. The ad says
nothing about quality though. I know people who don't reckon The Mad
Butcher's meat at all and would never shop there

> If you run a restaraunt, you better make it look like a restaraunt, so
> people don't confuse it with a public restroom

I've seen some places on the local Health Inspectors program that show
how blurry a line that can be ;-)

2009\02\26@183515 by Rolf

face picon face
I thought you were playing some joke on us, because when I visited that
page there were *no* posters.

Thn, after Jinx replied I want back again using explorer instead of
firefox, and I saw the posters... go figure.

So, what does the first one advertize?

Cigarette holders?

Rolf


Vitaliy wrote:
{Quote hidden}

2009\02\26@184425 by Jinx

face picon face
> So, what does the first one advertize?

Piano keys - tastier than they look

2009\02\26@192119 by Rolf

face picon face
Jinx wrote:
>> So, what does the first one advertize?
>>    
>
> Piano keys - tastier than they look
>
>  
Are we looking at the same thing? Weird psychedelic green/red/black
abstract person with black things jammed in mouth?

Rolf

2009\02\26@194112 by Jinx

face picon face
> > Piano keys - tastier than they look
> >
> >  
> Are we looking at the same thing? Weird psychedelic green/red/black
> abstract person with black things jammed in mouth?

Yes. Bottom right says "Piano", top left says "Cocoa"

Yum

2009\02\26@200826 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
Chris Smolinski wrote:

>> Why is it that you seem to consistently confuse a discussion about
>> efficiency of marketing with a discussion about the benefits of the
>> market economy? Marketing is not limited to market economies and has
>> nothing to do with the economic or political system.
>
> I can't remember back that far, were there ads and marketing
> campaigns in the Soviet Union to inform citizens of the vast array of
> products available?

Not much, AFAIK, but they had their share of political marketing. That's
not essentially different, and not more efficient either.

Gerhard

2009\02\26@203354 by Vitaliy

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face
Jinx wrote:
>> If something is not advertized, nobody will buy it
>
> Well, yes and no. Some retailers are very competitive, for example
> big-name electronic goods chains. TV ads for Harvey Norman, Dick
> Smith, Bond And Bond etc, all advertise (seemingly ad nauseum) the
> latest deal on plasma TVs, cell phones, computers etc. The consumer
> is of course aware of these products so the advertising is to tempt them
> towards a particular retailer
>
> There's one very direct one on at the moment. The Mad Butcher shows
> the meat package and price offered by Chrisco and then shows the exact
> same package from his store at a couple of hundred dollars less. Most
> unusual to see one retailer specifically compare like that. However he
> would
> be on safe ground because the Chrisco package is contracted. The ad says
> nothing about quality though. I know people who don't reckon The Mad
> Butcher's meat at all and would never shop there

Sorry Jinx, I must be missing something here. How does the above invalidate
the original statement?


>> If you run a restaraunt, you better make it look like a restaraunt, so
>> people don't confuse it with a public restroom
>
> I've seen some places on the local Health Inspectors program that show
> how blurry a line that can be ;-)

Yeah, it was a bad example. :)  I should have compared it to a shoe store,
or a government building, something along those lines.

Vitaliy

2009\02\26@205610 by Vitaliy

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Alexandros Nipirakis wrote:
> I rather like this comment.  I think its one that eludes many in this
> country.  What is good for the US is not necessarily what is good for
> someone else.  I am not sure if central planning does what you are saying,
> but I think to each his own.   It should be up to each person to decide
> how
> they want to run their house.

Taken literally, your last sentence is exactly what MA and I have been
saying.

Government has no business deciding what goods I can buy, or how much I
should pay for them.

Vitaliy

P.S. OT-> I understand what you are saying, the context is clear. I am NOT
saying that anyone (UN, US, or whomever) should go to war to impose
democracy on other countries, but I strongly disagree with the notion that
dictatorship/single party rule/etc is what people of any given country want.
How many countries can you name, where people that once enjoyed a democratic
government, voted away their right to vote? Passive tolerance is not the
same as support for the government.

Note that most democracies have relatively few government controls imposed
on the free market, and vice versa: countries where political freedom is
suppressed, have rigid economies controlled by the government. Think
Zimbabwe.

2009\02\26@210004 by Jinx

face picon face
> >> If something is not advertized, nobody will buy it
> >
> > Well, yes and no
>
> Sorry Jinx, I must be missing something here. How does the above
> invalidate the original statement?

I didn't intend to do that. I thought you were talking in general terms,
for example

"If you don't know that something is out there, you either have to
make/grow it yourself, or do without"

Obviously most people would be aware of the product called a
computer, but they wouldn't know the buying choices if it weren't
for advertising. I've heard it said that advertising is the last thing
you should cut back on, and I'd not doubt there's truth in that

Like many people here I could build many things that are, but often
aren't, advertised. In which case advertising is fairly irrelevant. OTOH
there are things just too impractical to make/grow for oneself, and
then you do have to pay attention

2009\02\26@210313 by Vitaliy

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Michael Algernon wrote:
>> So the invisible hand occasionally give you a slap for being
>> stupid.  Still
>> works.
>>
>> Tony
>
> Yes, yes, yes, yes !  A thousand times yes.
> MA

As Russell has explained, it is not always only the stupid people paying the
price. Even those people that did everything right, are suffering from the
current recession.

Planned economies, however, are in a _permanent_ state of recession. You
can't cut the economic pie into equal pieces, and have the same size pie.

Vitaliy

2009\02\26@220716 by Tony Smith

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> >> So the invisible hand occasionally give you a slap for being
> >> stupid.  Still
> >> works.
> >>
> >> Tony
> >
> > Yes, yes, yes, yes !  A thousand times yes.
> > MA
>
> As Russell has explained, it is not always only the stupid people paying
the
> price. Even those people that did everything right, are suffering from the
> current recession.


Collateral damage.

Tony

2009\02\27@023454 by Artem Zezyulinskiy

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Rolf a écrit :
> I thought you were playing some joke on us, because when I visited that
> page there were *no* posters.
>
> Thn, after Jinx replied I want back again using explorer instead of
> firefox, and I saw the posters... go figure.

Do you use Adblock ? Is filter the ads by their adress, and posters have
_ad_ in the link => filtered

2009\02\27@061542 by Artem Zezyulinskiy

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face

> Note that most democracies have relatively few government controls imposed
> on the free market, and vice versa: countries where political freedom is
> suppressed, have rigid economies controlled by the government. Think
> Zimbabwe.
>  
Governement can buy certains goods for recell them in the future. The purpose is to maintain the offer, that way the price of goods is controlled. I think is in the rules of the free market.

By this way the russians control the price over the cereals for bread.

--
Artem ZEZYULINSKIY


2009\02\27@080851 by Rolf

face picon face
Artem Zezyulinskiy wrote:
> Rolf a écrit :
>  
>> I thought you were playing some joke on us, because when I visited that
>> page there were *no* posters.
>>
>> Thn, after Jinx replied I want back again using explorer instead of
>> firefox, and I saw the posters... go figure.
>>    
>
> Do you use Adblock ? Is filter the ads by their adress, and posters have
> _ad_ in the link => filtered
>  
That will be it ;-)

Thanks

Rolf

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