Tuesday, May 23, 2006

It's all about marketing

The homeless veteran who sits on milk crates at the Madison Street Bridge changes his small cardboard sign more often than you’d think.

Today it read: “This Memorial week please help a homeless vet. Thank you!”

Nice tie-in with the holiday. Good marketing.
Yesterday I walked by the Other Homeless Guy who stands and sways outside the far East entrance to the mall at Ogilvy train station. He was wearing shiny new headphones – those tiny ear bud thingies that Currently Cool But Futurely Deaf People of the World are cramming into their heads these days.

If you’re gonna beg people for money at least have enough sense to look mildly homeless. Bad marketing.
Well you’re not just a bitch, Heather, you’re a snob, too.

So what if the homeless dude wears new headphones? Maybe they were a gift. Who are you to deny him that tiny bit of comfort in his otherwise tattered existence?

I’m not saying he shouldn’t have the headphones. I’m saying he shouldn’t wear them whilst begging for money.

It’s all perception.

Say I’m a tourist fresh off the train from Iowa or Nebraska or some other charming, sans-homeless state: Do I give my hard-earned money to the sign-sporting vet or the swaying and decidedly stinky dude with the spiffy new headset?

Good marketing wins every time.
I am reading: And writing content for the new web site
I am listening to: Three Days Grace – Animal I Have Become
And I am: Surly