Mind Market


I love Apple. Their products, in my mind, are far superior than most, if not all, PC makers.

It’s not as though I didn’t give PCs a try. Starting back in the DOS days 20 years ago, I used PCs and several operating systems including, but not limited to, Windows, Linux, Unix, etc.

Then I used Macintosh. It never crashed. It always worked. It was easy to use. In short, it was just a better product.

This was all before the advent of Mac’s trendy marketing campaign. I mean way before it, like when the Apple logo was rainbow-colored. I came to Apple honestly.

Fast forward to today. Thanks to the iPod, iPhone and various other forms of “i”s Apple went from near bankruptcy to the most profitable company in the world.

Apple fans are accused of being drones, slaves to the product and suckers for the clever, hipster marketing techniques.

This is a problem in today’s world with how we view brands. People, particularly progressives, are leery of products with strong marketing campaigns. Whether it’s baby formula, fast food, vaccines or even politics, some feel that we are being force-fed goods that are no good for us. They think that we’re victims of manipulative marketing.

Three years ago the Supreme Court issued it’s “Citizen’s United” decision where they determined that corporations can pour as much money into political propaganda as they want. Critics cried foul because they felt that secretive marketing would somehow taint the election process and corrupt our political system.

Right, because it wasn’t corrupt before.

Do political actions committees, fast food companies, beer brewers and marketing firms use unscrupulous tactics to make us want their products? Of course. They sneak in sexual innuendo. They make exaggerated claims. They use cartoon characters to sell cigarettes. They study cult behavior to determine how people get hooked on a feeling. They try to make you feel irresponsible if you don’t buy a five-star crash rating car or purchase supplemental life insurance. The T&A, my Lord, they use T&A to sell everything.

People cry foul. I used to agree but I don’t anymore.

Why? Because at the end of the day, we still make a choice. Marketing is exactly that— it’s marketing not mind control. All told, I still have to line up and get my Apple fix. People still choose to smoke, drink beer, buy organic or drive a Ford.

As the guy said in the PBS Frontline special on Citizens United, it’s about the message. PACs can spend as much as they want on a candidate but at the end of the day, the voter still decides whether to buy the message and vote for the candidate.

If you want to weigh marketing dollar for dollar, success doesn’t correlate to the amount of money you spend on marketing. John Kerry had more political donations than George W. Bush in 2004. Bush still won. Mitt Romney spent more than Barack Obama in battleground states. Obama still won. The marketing upper hand doesn’t automatically mean a win. Just ask Karl Rove.

No matter how much we point the finger at those who try to fool us, it’s still mind over marketing. The process is a two-way street and a mutual decision.

If you want to buy something, ask yourself if you really need it or want it. Then DO RESEARCH and figure out if the advertiser’s claims are true. THEN decide.

I have just about every make of Apple Computer including the Apple IIc, the iPad, MacBook Pro, G3 Powerbook and a IIGS. Hell, I even own an Apple Newton. But ironically, I’m sticking with my Android phone though. I’ve read the iPhone is not actually a good cell phone despite it’s innovative apps.

When I was considering whether to buy an iPad, my wife tried to dissuade me from it saying she didn’t see why I needed it.

“You know what? I just want one,” I told her.

Nope, Apple doesn’t control me.

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