May 21, 2012

Attack Of The Global Enjoyment Hydrators

Marketing people just refuse to leave shit alone. Somewhere they got the idea that everything they see needs to be changed and everything they change is an improvement.

Mr. Obama's campaign slogan notwithstanding, most change is for the worse. If you've ever heard a cover of a favorite song, or gotten a new boss, this should come as no surprise.

The first thing every marketing person does when he gets a new job is to change everything. If it's red he makes it blue. If it's blue he makes it red.

Whenever I read in the trades that a successful advertiser has hired a new CMO, I know a festival of laughter is on the way. They always say the same thing: 
"X Corp has been very successful. I am not here to change that. My focus is just on making sure that we ______."
Amazingly, making sure that they ________ always seems to require that they change everything.

A couple of years ago I got fired by a client. They had been a client for 20 years. We had done excellent work for 15 years and they were remarkably successful. Then the ceo and the head of marketing retired. In the ensuing 5 years they had 6 different CMOs. Every one of them had to change everything. Every change was for the worse. Naturally, it was our fault.

A wonderful example of this is my favorite marketing freak show -- Pepsi. Recently, Jim Edwards at Business Insider had a startling recap of the changes that have gone on during the past few years in Pepsi's marketing leadership. Edwards said:
"The appropriate reaction to the news that PepsiCo has reshuffled its senior marketing management—again—is laughter.

The number of recent reorganizations at the beverage and snack group is now beyond a joke. At least 26 senior marketing managers have left Pepsi since 2008..."
According to Edwards, Pepsi has people running around headquarters with titles like "president-global enjoyment" and "global chief marketing officer-hydration." These titles are so thoroughly preposterous that you need to be George Orwell to satirize them adequately.
DAD: Son, what would you like to be when you grow up?
SON: I think I'd like to be president of global enjoyment.
DAD: It's a tough job, son. But I think you can do it!
The result of all this bureaucratic nonsense has been a new strategy every half hour, and a series of increasingly dumb advertising initiatives.

The trend toward escalating bureaucracy in marketing departments, and the concomitant absurdity of titles and overlapping of authority, gives these ninnies the idea that they're supposed to do something.

And when global enjoyment hydrators start doing something, look out.

I'm still trying to get a new commenting system going without losing 5 years of previous comments. Sorry, but nothing's easy in web world.


sallan3 said...

I wonder if they have an opening for "Manager of Global Carbonation"?

johnthebrand said...

They must be trying to live that whole 'Next Generation' thing. And, you know, these days, the next generation of anything just happens faster and faster. Marketing Team 3.0. Marketing Team 4.0. Marketing Team 4.1. When seen like this, the answer is deliciously simple. In order to change their marketing problems, they just to need to change their marketing.