And a cheery good morning to you, sir!
First off, I love the look and the tone you've got going -- truly, nothing quite says clear spiritual divinity like looking like a longshoreman and crack-of-dawn hectoring -- but I've got a few bones to pick with you.
First off, do you have any idea what kind of marketing gold that you've struck, bellowing as you do to hundreds of New York commuters every 20 minutes, and probably for a good couple of hours, assuming that my train is not the only one that's favored by your oratory?
I work in marketing, sir, and the amount of attention and eyeballs that you've grudgingly received is impressive, especially considering the prime zip codes that you are, um, servicing. By the time you are done with your morning pastime, you've probably reached well over two thousand of us, judging by the size of the parking lot. If you were to purchase that audience with direct mail, you'd spend a few bucks; radio, a few more. Prime time television on a hot show via local cable could up the ante a bit more. Pretty soon, we're talking real dollars. Even more than ad-supported blogs!
But what you do, with full sound and video, no fast-forward or skipping, and the only way to really avoid the message is to have an MP3 player, a strong ability to ignore the outside world or the sense to wait for the station in the warmth of the station, rather than out in the cold? That's got to be worth more. Much more.
And that's really the crux of the matter, isn't it? You're hitting us with a decidedly downmarket message. While it's true that we may in fact go to our eternal damnation before the end of the day if we don't open our hearts to whatever flavor of Messiah you happen to be peddling today... and your ability, perhaps, to inform us of the same point tomorrow or whenever else you come to favor us with a visit... well, it's just not playing to this area. That's why you stand on the other side of the platform, isn't it -- so that you have some distance from the cruel indifference that your art is subject to?
And I have to tell you, that's going to get worse. By not varying the message, the production values or the seasonality of your pitch, you are risking creative wearout. If you really want us to perk up our ears in the few minutes before the train shows up, maybe you should open with a joke. Here, I've got one for you, free of charge:
"Why did the commuters ignore the ranting lunatic across the train track?"
"To get to a spiritual place where they felt at peace with their souls and their maker, rather than becoming beholden to the random, ugly and mean-spirited gibberish that was on the other side."
Yeah, I know, probably too long. I'll punch it up later and re-post. How about this...
"What chance do the Giants have at going into Lambeau and beating the Packers for their third straight road playoff win?"
"The same chance that a person who seems to be homeless, self-medicated and lacking any sense of shame or self-consciousness has of being the true Voice of God."
That one's better, but my area is pretty split among Eagles and Giants fans, so we might have to talk about the presidential elections.
Anyway, I need to wrap this up before my readers tune me out from not getting something uplifting about the sporting life, but let me close with just one more suggestion -- advertising. I'm serious about that market penetration thing you've got going here. Would you consider wearing some article of clothing, perhaps, that shows that you're not just a bullying bellicose unpleasantry that the transit police should probably treat like your average hobo, but also a fan of, say, Timberland(R) or The North Face winter apparel? Maybe a mention or two about it. Or, given your predilection for the flames, some mention of how even Coppertone or Neutrogena sunblock won't save us from painful chafing and cracked and broken skin in the fires below. That kind of brand awareness is solid gold, baby!
(And if you'd prefer to keep it organic and local, I'd be more than happy to talk to you about wearing a Five Tool Tool T-shirt, and maybe treating your commuting audience to the latest that the site has to offer. Heck, I'd do it myself, but I've got, you know, I'm too close to the brand. It'd be like writing your own PR.)
Thank you, and happy pilgrimming!
Wednesday, January 16, 2008
And a cheery good morning to you, sir!