CODEBREAKING: How to Use Content Marketing to Sell Xenophobia to Liberals


The ROI on this content marketing campaign will be insane.

You should have learned after #OWS that anything that mixes politics and hashtags is either:

a) a scam
b) masturbatory
c) basically phatic and directionless, or
d) all of the above.

But you didn’t, and that’s why we’ere here. To begin, a quick primer on the basic principles of the content marketing revolution.

One day, Bill Gates said three magical words. “Content is king,” and everyone else said, “what is content?” The answer was, at the time, “stuff brands put on the internet.” The definition of content, as of the last time I checked AdAge, is stuff a brand puts on the internet that is meant to add value to the lives of individuals within the business’s target market. Because people tend to network with people who share their interests, beliefs, and problems, content that is useful to often gets shared by the user, to other users, who themselves are more likely to do the same than some other person selected from a random sample of, say two million people.

Why do people share useful, value-adding content?

Because it adds value to their own personal brand within their own micro-market niche.

“Heh, I don’t have a personal brand.”

You have an ego, that’s your brand. I’m not going to argue with you about this. It’s true. Take it or take it.

That being said, I’d really like you to share this article on Facebook and Twitter with anyone who says something good about the SnoreStop ad.

CONTENT MARKETING 101: Calls to Action

If you want your user to do a specific action, you almost always have to ask them directly in the copy.

Listen to me; listen to me, closely:

SnoreStop doesn’t care about right or wrong, (read: Right or Left (read: wrong or wrong)). SnoreStop just cares about you. And you don’t care about right or wrong, either, but you do care about right or left. But you don’t really care about the truth or falsity of the basic tenants of any ideological as much as you care about the other side being wrong (read: not as smart as you, who simply believes the facts, the figures, the Real stuff.)

Therefore, SnoreStop cares primarily about what you think about yourself what you want your friends to think about you (multiplied by a factor of however many other marks you have in your social network).

Full transparency:
All I care about is making you as jaded as I try to be. I think it’s a defense mechanism gone awry. I think it stems from my repressed mommy issues, but I enjoy my symptoms.

The natural conclusion you should draw from this information, and what you now know about content marketing, is this ad with the war veteran and the half-Iranian woman embracing isn’t intended to make the world a better place.

It’s intended to convince you to try to convince your friends that you are making the world a better place.

That being said, I want you to imagine how you would feel if the male in the ad were dressed like a Saudi Prince.

Would that change your perception of the ad?

Maybe you’d be less turned on by it. Maybe you’d just think Arabs had snoring problems. If you identify with Middle Eastern images, you may be pleased that a brand took the initiative to speak to your demo, or somewhere between confused and outraged as to why the individuals were dressed that way.

Either way, we’re not talking about anything worthy of network news coverage–let alone your Facebook wall. Only really important world events make it there. Yes, like cats, your lunch, and my articles.

Let’s go a bit deeper down the rabbit hole, until we find gold.

What if it was an Arab man, dressed like the man pictured above, and the woman were a blonde in traditional Los Angelan garb (i.e. a bikini and an immaculately tanned body)?

No one–literally no one— would be happy about this.

Ask yourself why.

Hint: It has to do with imperialism and orientalism.

Another exercise:

Does the model actually wear a burka in real life? Ask yourself why or why not.

Hint: She is half-Persian, born in America to an immigrant who probably left Iran at a particularly burka-friendly time in Iranian history.

Another Exercise:

In the ad, her left hand is intentionally made visible, to show off her wedding ring. Why do you think this is? What if she were not married?

Hint: It has to do with imperialism and orientalism.

Hint: This is another snore stop ad. Why aren’t they married? I thought this was a progressive company.

Arch along Curetes Way

Last Exercise:

Why do either have to be dressed that way for this ad to work?

Ask yourself: Who would actually be shocked by a couple in which one of the individuals was a veteran, and the other, a Muslim? Would you be put off by this? If so, there’s something wrong with you.

This ad NEEDS the models to be dressed this way for it to work. The scenario on the billboard is absurd because it reduces individuals to their roles within a warped ideological fantasy in which Muslim = Enemy of America, and American Veteran = America, in order to play with your emotions.

It actually forces you to think like a xenophobe in order to appreciate the ad.

I’m drunk.

Good night.


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