Earl Gray

Earl Gray
"You can argue with me but, in the end, you'll have to face that fact that you're arguing with a squirrel." - Earl Gray

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

The Hype/Value Ratio

 Earl the Squirrel's Rule #35
    One of the most fundamental laws of marketing is the Hype/Value ratio:  the amount of [time, effort and] money needed to promote something compared to its market (as opposed to intrinsic) value.  For example, an unknown garage band will require significant bolstering, based on a speculative estimation of its commercial appeal.  By contrast, we need only announce that Justin Bieber--who embodies the difference between intrinsic and market value--has another album out and the cash starts rolling in. 

    The bad news is that poetry has no market and, therefore, no market value.  Not surprisingly, larger commercial publishers see no point in hyping it.  What promotional efforts there are amount to blurbing verse without much regard to its artistic merit.  Thus, poetry's effective Hype/Value Ratio is 0/0, a mathematically irrational endeavor.

    Here's a thought:  perhaps we shouldn't be promoting poetry.  Perhaps poetry should be doing the promoting.

"It Couldn't Be Done" - New Audi Commercial based on an Edgar Guest poem

"Oh, Pioneers" - Levi's Commercial based on a Walt Whitman poem

    Or perhaps we should let poetry do the talking:  dramatizing or telling stories, jokes, perspectives, whatever.

    It's not like anyone promotes prose in toto.  Or television in toto.  Or communication in toto.

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