What’s murketing? One answer in two parts

Posted by Rob Walker on April 17, 2008
Posted Under: Buying In (the book),Murketing

Murketing, a driving theme of Buying In, is derived from the words murky and marketing. The term refers to the blurring of the line that used to separate commercial persuasion and everyday life. That plays out in a number of ways (thus it takes a book to really spell it out) but here are a couple of recent examples that have crossed my desk that suggest at least one aspect of what I mean by “murketing.”

1. Friend of Murketing.com loud paper recently dropped me a note with the picture at right, which she snapped near Port Authority. At first, she suggests, she thought maybe this was an art project, playing with the form of the missing-person/lost pet flier.

Ah, but no. It says: “Last seen while waiting for Claritin to start working.” And if you note the number on the pull-off tags along the bottom: the 800 number ends in ZYRTEC. That, of course, turns out to be a rival allergy-fighting drug.

So that’s one example.

2. This morning, other friend of Murketing.com (and I think friend of loudpaper, if I remember right) Braulio sent along this LiveScience item about a company called Flogos. The Flogos site is pretty blunt. It’s two “inventors” who “wondered what would happen if we made clouds into shapes,” and then apparently made the leap to: “What if we can make logos?” Well, then you might just get paid, that’s what!

These clouds are actually a mixture of soap-based foams and lighter-than-air gases such as helium, something like what you’d get if you married helium balloons with the solutions that kids use to blow bubbles from plastic wands.

The company uses re-purposed artificial snow machines to generate the floating ads and messages, dubbed Flogos. The machines can pop one Flogo out every 15 seconds, flooding the air with foamy peace signs or whatever shape a client desires. Renting the machine for a day starts out at a cost of about $2,500.

So that’s an other example. If you’re curious what the real after-effects of the consumer-“empowering” DVR revolution will be, well, my guess is it’s a whole lot more stuff like this.

A whole lot more murketing.

[Thanks loud paper & Braulio — I hope it wasn’t presumptuous to call you “friends” of Murketing.com!]

Further diversion may be found at MKTG Tumblr, and the Consumed Facebook page.

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