Marketing the Obvious
Posted by aogMonday, 29 June 2009 at 10:24 TrackBack Ping URL

Despite the putative credit crunch, I still get many unsolicited credit card offers, despite being effectively unemployed for the last three years. Some are more amusing than others, but I was tickled by one last week for the VISA Black Card (which advertises as “the world’s most exclusive card” which seems difficult to believe if they are trying to get me to have one). Anyway, it’s got a cool black theme going on (apparently taking design tips from this very website) but the best bit was this —

The Black Card is not just another piece of plastic. Made with carbon, it is the ultimate buying tool. [emphasis added]

I hate to disillusion any prospective owners, but all plastic is made with carbon. It’s part of that whole “petro-chemical” thing. I am left wondering if any one in the advertising agency or the Black Card management knows that, or thinks no one else does.

P.S. It’s also not the “ultimate buying tool” — Bill Gates’ fortune, that is the ultimate tool. A credit card, not so much.

Comments — Formatting by Textile
AVeryRoughRoadAhead Monday, 29 June 2009 at 14:02

Maybe they mean that they’ve mixed carbon black with the plastic to tint it.

Harry Eagar Monday, 29 June 2009 at 16:05

Capital One is down to soliciting me only about 50 times a year, compared with 200+ in 2007.

Market discipline at work, I suppose.

Annoying Old Guy Monday, 29 June 2009 at 16:20

Mr. Eagar;

The word on the street is that’s a cost cutting measure, not a credit issue. Anecdotally, we have also seen a marked decrease in mailings from other non-credit companies which supports that view.

Annoying Old Guy Tuesday, 30 June 2009 at 09:53

Haha, I have to add this quote from our President —

At a time of great fiscal challenges, this legislation is paid for by the polluters who currently emit the dangerous carbon emissions that contaminate the water we drink and pollute the air that we breathe. It also provides assistance to businesses and communities as they make the gradual transition to clean energy technologies.

Carbon emissions contaminating our water and polluting our air, eh? I sure hope he doesn’t drink anything other than distilled water and avoids nasty carbon pollution like C12H22O11.

Can I go pedantic on his sentence construction? The “this legislation is paid for by …” is normally used to indicate the (financial) sponsorship for legislation which does not seem to be the intended meaning. I suspect it would have been more accurate as “the costs of this legislation …”. But when you have a guy with the intellectual capacity of Obama, there are limits to what even the TOTUS can do.

Harry Eagar Tuesday, 30 June 2009 at 12:36

If plants could vote, carbon dioxide wouldn’t be a pollutant.

erp Tuesday, 30 June 2009 at 16:18

If I remember my lessons correctly, the big guy in the sky or Darwin (I can never remember which) designed things really well.

Animals need oxygen and expel carbon dioxide while plants need carbon dioxide and expel oxygen. It’s a beautiful pas a deux that requires no federal subsidy.

Jeesh. Didn’t these guys ever go to school?

BTW wasn’t it carbon monoxide that was the toxic stuff that we needed catalytic converters, scrubbers and what not to counteract? Has that changed?

Annoying Old Guy Tuesday, 30 June 2009 at 17:12

Carbon monoxide was one of the things the catalytic converters help eliminate. Carbon monoxide is in fact a poisonous gas. However, the context of Obama’s statement shows that he is clearly talking about carbon dioxide because that is what is regulated by the legislation.

erp Tuesday, 30 June 2009 at 21:03

AOG, I forgot the s/off.

My point is why are we trying to regulate carbon dioxide when it’s required for plants to live?

Annoying Old Guy Wednesday, 01 July 2009 at 10:47

Because there’s a whole lot of money and power in it for the proponents.

Harry Eagar Wednesday, 01 July 2009 at 13:04

Maybe not so much money. I thought the argument was that cap-and-trade had already failed in Europe.

The enthusiasts might want to track the history of fuel cell and ethanol stocks.

Annoying Old Guy Wednesday, 01 July 2009 at 13:24

Cap and trade failed in its putative goals (reducing emissions, creating a trading system in emission credits) but it succeeded very well in rewarding its proponents monetarily and politically, as I noted earlier. It’s possible that industry here in the USA won’t be stupid enough to buy in to the credits, given the example of what happened to companies that did that in Europe, but I suspect quite a few will because of stupidity or because they think they’ll be able to unload the costs on taxpayers via tax chicanery.

Harry Eagar Thursday, 02 July 2009 at 13:34

Well, if stupidity is the criterion, American business can compete with anybody.

When a door closes, a window opens.

I thought innovation in financial markets was supposed to be the engine of prosperity?

Annoying Old Guy Thursday, 02 July 2009 at 13:48

No, more like the road. Finance can make prosperity easier or harder to achieve, but does nothing in that regard by itself.

Harry Eagar Thursday, 02 July 2009 at 16:21

I ‘eard diff’rent.

Harry Eagar Friday, 03 July 2009 at 12:23

And am still hearing different. Mark Gilbert has a hilarious roundup here

Annoying Old Guy Saturday, 04 July 2009 at 08:27

Hilarious round up of what? I don’t see anything in that article that’s relevant to this discussion, and what might be possibly relevant supports my view (e.g., the “to steer capital toward the most promising innovations” quote). I think you are once again letting your Narrative read articles for you instead of looking at what’s actually on the page.

Harry Eagar Saturday, 04 July 2009 at 12:52

I agree with you about finance being a better road than an engine. You and I, though, are being disregarded. Those guys are saying it’s an engine.

And, as we see, the current setup is incapable of steering capital to the most promising innovations.

Annoying Old Guy Saturday, 04 July 2009 at 20:10

“Those guys”? Who “those guys”? I read your linked article and I didn’t see any of “those guys” making that claim. In fact, the one semi-relevant quote I found (which I cited above) is closer to the “road” metaphor.

I am at least heartened that it’s not just me you read for Narrative over content.

Annoying Old Guy Sunday, 05 July 2009 at 08:20

Actually, never mind. I was too caught up in arguing. I am happy that we have found at least one point of agreement, and frankly being disregarded is my natural state so that doesn’t bother me.

Harry Eagar Sunday, 05 July 2009 at 14:32

Watch carefully while I put the $5,000,000,000,000 under one of the three walnut shells. You’re watching, right? OK, I am going to move the shells around. You’re watching the one with the $5,000,000,000,000? Don’t let it out of your sight.

OK, which one is it? This one? You’re sure I put it under this one? OK. Let’s see. O, sorry, you picked the wrong shell.

Want to try again? Same rules? O-KAYYY!

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