Before we get to today's indisputable proof that I am a complete idiot we have a long way to go, so stay focused.
First we start with Oath. As you may know, Oath is the new name of Yahoo's parent company. Yahoo's parent company used to be called Yahoo, but when Yahoo sold off everything it owned that was worth anything the remaining dregs were branded "Oath."
Only marketing people could come up with a name as alarmingly dumb, but we'll save that for another day.
Oath now owns Yahoo, AOL, and a bunch of other rotting media carcasses.
Working at Oath is a guy named David Shing. Shing is known as "Shingy" in certain circles. Shingy's title at Oath is "Digital Prophet" the same modest title he held at AOL for many years.
I love Shingy. He is so monumentally full of shit that he makes bozos like me seem sensible in comparison. He also has amazing balls. Not just the little dimpled Titleist kind of balls, but big inflatable multi-colored beach ball kind of balls. Anyone who can get up in front of audiences and get away with the incomprehensible horseshit he spouts is my kinda guy.
Plus he has the greatest hair-do on the planet. Somewhere Between Jackie Kennedy and Phyllis Diller.
With that as background, I was reading a piece in The Drum a few days ago that was sent to me by the great Claudia Caplan. It had me very confused. It was an article entitled "‘Brand love must be core to the DNA of the brand’: Oath launches new video series exploring emotional connections"
The article stated that the video series was a group of "in-depth conversations" by Shingy with "industry prodigies" to "explore the nuanced aspects of what drives brand love..."
As you can imagine, within seconds I was strenuously exercising my gag reflex. Just for starters...
- Are there 2 companies anywhere in the world that have destroyed their brands more thoroughly than Yahoo and AOL? In what bizarre universe do they have the balls to lecture anyone on "brand love?"
- Is there a more profitless prophet anywhere on the planet than the fabulous Shingy? What have his brilliant futuristic insights done that have created a nickel's worth of value for AOL?
But what really blew me away was the fawning, gee-whiz nature of the article.
- Shingy was referred to as a "digital prophet" without a hint of irony, as if he really was one.
- It posed the question, "what can brands do to make their customers fall in love with them?" as if "brand love" was a recognized fact instead of a steaming pile of marketing droppings.
- It promoted the participants in this festival of horseshit as "some of the most respected and interesting minds in media, marketing, and entertainment" who were offering "one-of-a-kind insights and rare perspectives on how brands can make that crucial emotional connection with the consumer."
What kind of journalism is this?
What the fuck is going on here? I asked myself.
And then I saw it. Greyed out, near the name of the so-called "reporter", were the words "Sponsored by: Oath." The whole thing was a fucking ad masquerading as journalism.
You'd think a cynical old fox like me wouldn't be fooled by the despicable, corrupt games the online media are playing. But I was.
Is it any wonder that nobody trusts a fucking word they read from online "news" sites.
Except, of course, from bloggers.