Isolated and full of wind
Have you ever been to Perth? (The Australian city, I mean, not the Scottish one.)
If you have, you’ll know that it’s, well, different.
Being from Perth myself, I shouldn’t be too disparaging about it. Not least because I’ll get in trouble with my family and friends there.
But even its most ardent admirers usually admit that Perth is not quite the same as other cities.
For a start, it’s the most isolated capital city in the world. (Actually, that’s not quite true, but by God it feels like it.)
And it’s bloody windy, for another thing.
But Perth’s idiosyncrasies also extend to its inhabitants.
When you live in Perth, you tend to develop a certain mindset.
You think it’s perfectly reasonable for a single person to require a four-bedroom house on a half-acre block.
You consider ‘medium density’ development to be the work of the devil himself.
And you believe that certain things simply shouldn’t happen after 9pm. Sound, for example. Or fun.
So when people from Perth travel to other places, it tends to come as a bit of a shock that the ratio of people to bedrooms in a household can be higher than 1:4.
And the concept of ‘nightlife’ can take a bit of getting used to.
Once the shock has subsided, though, some of these travellers embrace such differences and decide to up sticks. (Ahem.)
All of which is a rather roundabout way of saying that Perth is a bit like the marketing industry.
Modern marketers exist in a place that is isolated from the rest of the world. Well, a lot of them do, at least.
And they have some peculiar ideas.
They think that people fall in love with brands, for example.
They are convinced that people care about the ‘higher purpose’ of their sanitary pad brand, or their burger chain, or their otherwise utterly unscrupulous bank.
And perhaps most damning of all, they assume – as Bob Hoffman has said – that everyone thinks like they do.
The reality is that people in marketing (and those in ad agencies, even more so) represent a small sub-section of the population. And it seems they have lost touch with the rest of it.
Some marketers need to get out there and experience the wider world.
Hell, they might even decide to move there.
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