Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘Harold Camping

A marketing lesson from the apocalypse

It is strange but true: Almost all apocalyptic predicators in the last four decades are generated in the USA, with rare exceptions.

The American evangelist Harold Camping, 80 year-old, was baffled that his prediction of the second coming of Jesus failed in May 21:  He had spent $140,000 on distributing panels all over the world.  Harold, the telepredicator, is unphased: “My fresh computations are reporting the event to October 5.” 

A follower of Camping, Keith Bauer, travelled 4,830 kilometers to California, to join Harold on a mountaintop, for the great expected trip to paradize!

Do you recall the Davidian followers who died in Waco (Texas)?  They gathered to wait for David Kuraich’s prediction of the coming of Jesus.  Members of another cult drank poison in California to reaching heaven on a predicted date.  Almost 900 members of an American cult were found dead in Brazil, in anticipation of the date of the second coming… and on.

Two years ago, members of Russian cult deliberately confined themselves in caves for 6 months, expecting the coming:  They ran out of food and water and had to emerge to the daylight.  Their guru didn’t join their craziness, but the Russian government sent him to an asylum facility.  I am wondering:  Why the US is failing to send all their doomsday predicators to prison?  Is predicting a second coming part of freedom of expression or predicators are eligible to doing profitable business out of the candid fright of the cult members?

Seth wrote: “How does one market the end of the world? After all, you don’t have a big ad budget. Your “product” is something that has been marketed again and again through the ages and it has never worked. There are significant peer pressures not to buy it…

And yet, every time, naive people succumb. They sell their belongings, stop paying into their kid’s college fund and create tension and despair.

Here’s the simple lesson:

Sell a story that some people want to believe. In fact, sell a story they already believe.

The story has to be integrated into your product. The iPad, for example, wasn’t something that people were clamoring for… but the story of it, the magic tablet, the universal book, the ticket to the fashion-geek tribe…there was a line out the door for that. The same way that every year, we see a new music sensation, a new fashion superstar. That’s not an accident. That story is just waiting for someone to wear it.

And the some part is vital. Not everyone wants to believe in the end of the world, but some people (fortunately, just a few) really do. To reach them, you don’t need much of a hard sell at all.

Too often marketers take a product and try to invent a campaign. Much more effective is to find a tribe, find a story and make a product that resonates, one that makes the story work.

That’s the whole thing. A story that resonates and a tribe that’s tight and small and eager.  I hope you can dream up something more productive than the end of the world, though.”

No need to breath freely: We still have to cross safely the doomsday prophesy of 2012.  There is no need to despair:  It cannot resolve the climatic changes and the poisons in Earth fresh water rivers, or the dwindly of fresh water supplies.  Mankind needs to get his collective intelligence together and unite against the elite oliogarchies around the world.




March 2023

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