Girls are Dumb

If you’re reading this, I’ve already won. You clicked on the link, not to see my argument, but to berate me for my ignorance. No, girls aren’t dumb, I don’t know any rational person whom believes that, but they are easy to manipulate.

Say, for example, you’re a large retail outlet, with so-so sales and practically no word of mouth in a down economy. How are you going to grab attention for your back to school sale? You could throw money you don’t have into tv ads, which people will fast forward through; you could buy some net space, which people will ad-block; or you can create a stupid, sexist t-shirt that’s bound to create consumer backlash.

Ultimately, you will have to pull the t-shirt and release your pre-written apology, but that is not until after you’ve leaked the story to the press through a back-channel, and the collective anger button has been pushed. Sure you’ll lose some initial sales while the anger is still hot, but anger fades quickly, and name recognition remains.

Maybe you’ll get lucky and some esoteric blogger will write an article in favor of your stupid shirt, keeping the buzz alive an extra day. He (most likely a he) could argue for free speech. He could argue for ironic hipster fashion. He could argue it’s sexist to assume that a female is voicing the abjured line, which would ultimately fall apart if the shirt was found only in the girls section, and he’d have to shift focus to the Oedipal implications of the statement instead… Or, he could go all out and take the object d’art route, where he suggests that the debate itself elevates the shirt to the status of art, which too may be lost on target market (tweens).

How ever it plays out, rage based guerrilla marketing is a hell of a lot cheaper than proper advertising, and can be much more effective – proper ads have practically zero chance at going viral/trending, not when Harry is about to wet the bed.


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