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Kroika! Ad Three: A Kroika Friendship   (February 1, 2006)

The Kroika Marketing crew felt my first two ads had overly negative subtexts, so Ad Number Three is on a suitably marketable topic: friendship.

I suppose some might think that the Politburo trial of a Gang of Four member and a tense cold war showdown were inappropriate subtexts for the bright levity of a Kroika ad; and so while I retain full editorial and creative control of this site, I'm certainly willing to listen to differing points of view.

So here we have a subtext of a warm friendship growing despite huge differences in ideology, temperament and nuclear capabilities. What could be warmer or fuzzier? And how do new good pals celebrate? With a crisp Kroika cookie, of course! And who magically appears to transform a warm moment into a truly special Kroika Moment? The Kroika Lady and her Very Special Gong, of course.

Unbeknownst to the marketing mavens over in Xiangxi, all my Kroika ads are very carefully designed to build an irresistable "brand identity" for Kroika. As you probably know, thousands upon thousands of extremely bright and talented people toil away in large marketing and advertising agencies around the globe, trying to subtlely coerce you into identifying wonderful, uplifting, happy feelings with various products.

For instance, Apple Computer's logo, a brightly striped apple, has a bite taken out of it, suggesting a rebellious, or even subversive "breaking all the rules" attitude. (Never mind what happened to Eve, who actually took the first bite of the knowledge of good and evil; cast out of Eden indeed!) Then there was Apple's "think different" campaign (even the questionable grammar was part of that rebellious "think differently" Apple archetype): the ads said, if you buy an Apple, then you're identifying with the wild geniuses pictured in the ads. Heck, you're probably a wild, undiscovered genius yourself! Wow. who wouldn't plop down a mere $2,000 in order to join the ranks of Gandhi, Feynman, Ansel Adams or the other greats depicted in the campaign.

As an Apple owner since 1985, I have to admit I've fallen for their slick marketing from the very start. Yes, they had a vastly superior product, too, but we all paid a huge premium for that quality. I recall reading that Apple was netting a thousand bucks a Mac back in the good old days--back when $1,000 was real money--the equivalent of $1,800 in today's money. Never mind that once you enter the cult of Mac ownership, the software and hardware upgrades are both expensive and endless, and your previously favorite programs no longer work on your new Apple. The bottom line is that brilliant marketing makes you feel awfully good and awfully special every time you turn on your Mac, and as a result you gladly pay a truly enormous premium (otherwise known as pure profit) for the privilege of owning a Mac.

(Note: I have resisted the iPod Podpeople ads, and the siren's song of the new Macs. I work a lot on my cheapo WinXP machine because it's so much quicker than my old Mac.)

Here's one hint about the secret workings of my Kroika ads: the primitve, slapped-together "look and feel" is entirely calculated to give the ads a rough-hewn, almost child-like authenticity. You don't feel conned by such an unslick, amateurish ad. Looking at Kroika ads is a guilty pleasure in and of itself because they're so bad and so hokey.

There are all sorts of other secret messages embedded in each simple little Kroika ad, but I'm not going to reveal any more of the inner workings at the moment. Just enjoy the ads as brief little primitive movies. And don't you wish you had a crunchy Kroika in your hot ltitle hands right now?

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copyright © 2006 Charles Hugh Smith. All rights reserved in all media.

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