Marketing, ad campaigns, Dow Chemical, time management, The Simpsons, true friendship and other topics of earth-shattering importance are covered by Scott G in a quick-and-easy Q & A format.

Q: Can anything be marketed?

A: Sure. I’ll prove it with one example: Weight-loss cream you apply to your thighs.

Q: Isn’t that just a fluke?

A: I don’t think so. There are successful marketing campaigns for all sorts of products that don’t do anything or are quite bad for you.

Q: Let’s discuss the marketing of ideas. Any success stories in the past?

A: In the 1970s, the United Technologies campaign used a long series of all-type ads that helped them be perceived as a company of ideas.

Q: I read some of those as homework years ago.

A: Or look at the current campaign by Dow Chemical. It’s called the Human Element. I’ve seen it in print and video. Really beautifully done. It makes people think of Dow not as the makers of napalm and Agent Orange during the Vietnam war era but as a humane and people-focused company, one that cares about the earth and the human beings on it.

Q: You’re praising and damning in the same sentence.

A: Okay, here’s praise only: the current Dow marketing is brilliant. Their Human Element campaign is magnificent advertising, and it will work because it touches a need people have to feel a part of something big and important. Something scientific yet non-threatening. Something in which they think they see a part of themselves.

Q: But you just reminded everyone of their war chemical production.

A: Everyone? Only marketing people read this column. And if it wasn’t for the story of their Vietnam activities on Wikipedia, I wouldn’t have known what residual issues they had to overcome for the baby boomer generation. Next step in that campaign will be hiring Moby or me to write some anthem-like music for their new spots. Well, not me, now that I’ve been so negative.

Q: You’re in marketing and music. Seems like they both take a lot of time. How do you get everything done?

A: There’s an episode of The Simpsons in which Montgomery Burns, the owner of the nuclear plant and the richest man in town, is asked to talk about success at Springfield Elementary School. He stands in front of the kids and says, “Friends, family, religion: these are the three demons you must slay to be a success in business.”

Q: You think that’s true?

A: I’ll talk to you privately about family and religion, but people spend too much time with friends.

Q: You can’t mean that.

A: I do. Just take time for your true friends, not the regular friends.

Q: What’s the difference between regular friends and true friends?

A: True friends get it when you say you need some time to compose a song, write an article, work on your book, paint a picture, or whatever. Hell, they’ll even ask if there’s anything they can do to help.

Q: That’s how you discover your true friends?

A: Well, it goes somewhat deeper than that.

Q: Yes?

A: A true friend is someone you can wake up at 3:30 in the morning and they’re still glad to see you even when the first words out of your mouth are “I need an alibi.”

[tags]G-Man, Scott G, Communication Nation, advertising, marketing, ad rants[/tags]