How to go to market

or: if marketing was regulated in certain industries.

From Seth Godin, who shows both his innate genius for marketing and his ability for conversation starting punditry!

During the first week of swine flu vaccines in New York, most parents (more than half!) chose to keep their kids out of the program.

Interviewed parents said things like, "I’m not sure it’s safe," and "I wanted to see if it affected other kids…"

No mention of longitudinal studies or long-term side effects. No science at all, really, just rumors and hunches and gut instincts.

So what?

The news here is not that people are irrational, giving too much credence to the dramatic and the local and the short-term (that’s not news), but that people have added a veneer of scientific rationality to their irrational decisions. Armed with Zagats or internet data or some rumor off Snopes, we act as though now we’re supremely rational choicemakers.

And the pay off is:

If I was marketing the swine flu vaccine, I’d name it after a kid who died last season and put her picture on the release form.

Its a genius idea but not one I think would (ever) be approved by a regulatory body. Pharmaceutical marketers from around the globe can chime in in the comments section below!

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