Above the Noise

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" ... how do you get heard? How does your company connect with the consumer?

You need a Big Bang."

... and Linda Kaplan Thaler is out to show just how to achieve that in her new book, Bang! Getting Your Message Heard in a Noisy World. Linda is CEO of the Kaplan Thaler Group, a self-proclaimed "small band of renegade advertising professionals," so she knows of what she speaks. In fact, Bang! emerged from her group's efforts to identify what was working in the ad world and why it was working.

Follow that link above - it's not the Amazon entry for her book. It's a blog-esque site dedicated to Bang!. I'm not sure if this is intended to be an ongoing blog or just a short-term promo, but what is out there so far is fascinating stuff.

I do have to take time out to quarrel with one part of her recent entry on sweatshop-free apparel companies American Apparel and No Sweat:
"... these companies are providing a “living wage” and healthcare benefits to their mostly immigrant work force. American Apparel’s factory is made in the U.S. and No Sweat – which is union-made in a factory in Indonesia – provides consumers of its logo-less Converse-like sneaker with a leaflet in every shoebox underscoring all the workers’ benefits.

Is the message working? A resounding yes.

American Apparel now has 2,000 employees producing a million garments a week, with sales of $80 million last year. In the past year, it has opened 13 retail stores and projects that its revenue will nearly double."

I'm pleased with all the success that these two companies are having, but the fact that droves of consumers are buying their product doesn't mean that the consumers are driven by, or for that matter, even aware of the companies' sweat-free worker-friendly posture. To follow Thaler's logic, this would mean that the millions who buy Nike are big fans of sweat-shops and opressed workers.

That doesn't change the fact that this is interesting stuff. I mean, "how to be heard in a noisy world?" ... How many times have we beat our heads against that wall!? Bang! has vaulted to the top of my "to read" list.
By the way, Kaplan Thaler will be one of the judges on the soon-to-air, Making it Big, an Apprentice-ish reality show. Thanks to AdPulp for the pointer.


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