Saturday, August 04, 2007



I've come randomly onto this topic. but it's important for me to have analyzed it at some point. it's seems I always hear "presentation is everything..." - but, wow, I really don't believe it's everything. which could be a problem, because presentation is my job.

so in pursuing this thought further, I've come up with a list of things that are often shrouded in hype/look/sound/visuals/etc and don't always deliver:

outdoor rock/pop concerts
wedding cakes
mongolian barbecues
free printers w/ purchase of laptop
all forms of rebates
anything that says "best in the world"
credit cards
plastic surgery
low-cost airlines
emo/indie/goth culture

and a list of things that often are poorly/moderately marketed or presented - frankly, because the content can be so good that it doesn't need any extra hype to win it's market:

fresh bread
good sound systems
national geographic
honest doctors
apple computers
herb gardens
fresh chips (NFLD version)
costco/sam's club
a truly good guitarist

alright, so not a complete list - and biased to say the least.

I know there are varying planes in this debate. On one level, would I try something that looks disgusting? I say yes. Does this mean I'm more optimistic and hopeful than I am doubtful? I say yes. I guess I'd rather be happily surprised than disappointed. Things that don't live up to their hype leave a sour taste in my mouth.

But another aspect - is there a level of presentation that an item has to exceed for one to even try the item? That's certainly in the lap of the beholder - what their life experience tells them, what their friends tell them, what their mood is, etc.

Marketers are notorious for telling people what they want. I recently watched this PBS documentary, and one section featured this business guru who was basically decoding human psychology to aid the marketing of luxury brands. It made great sense - tap the foundations of human desire, convert them to needs, and increase sales. Doesn't it sound sneaky?

but let's be honest, it happens everywhere. lemonade stands, cutco salespeople, car dealerships. I know I'm not impervious to marketing, but I'd like to think that I'm responsible with my purchases - analyzing need versus cost.

And in how I present myself? Well, I'd like to think that people are happily surprised and the content is good.


Zaak said...

I just heard a podcast on this very topic in regards to Christian seminars. Great stuff (find it in iTunes: Nuclearity episode: Overworkbooked)

Actually, it delves into cut and dry answers in the last half, but the first half is all about empty presentation. It resonated with me.

wordhabit said...

is presentation limited to the advertising? i think of it as not just the ad but in the case of a concert it's also the performer's stage presence. for a restaurant it's not just the ad it's the way the food looks when it comes out, it's the atmosphere, the table settings...

so presentation is everything leading up to that final product--the sound of the music, the taste of the food...

"the lap of the beholder"...nice language!