You know, it’s funny… I am all for using controversy to drum up press. If you want to be evocative in order to generate buzz and maybe get your product some free advertising, then sure… more power to you. It takes about two seconds of knowing me or reading anything I write to see that I don’t really have a problem with being offensive.
But the problem is, you have to actually have a business plan in place to turn that buzz into sales. Otherwise you’re generating negative press for pretty much no reason.
That’s where I think these people are. A Florida Company created a set of plugins for Photoshop called The Hanging Tree. Yeah, seriously?!?!? So normally I would make fun of them and say “how did no one in marketing say ‘you know, people might get the wrong idea from this Bob,’ and boot Bob right out the door.” But then I looked at graphic that they use for their ad (a noose hanging from a tree in a desolate forest) and it clearly isn’t an oversight. Someone actually said “Bob, you want to sell our new software by creating an association with hanging niggers?!?!? You’re a fucking genius, Bob! Why don’t you take the corner office with the window. You’re going places, Bob!”
Reading their defense of the name and the ad pretty much confirms this. They did to push the envelope. Again, I’m kinda ok with that. But you need an endgame or why bother? Clearly you’re going to offend a lot of black people, so that market segment is right out the door. Sometimes you can start an offensive ad slogan and depend on countercultural hipsters to support you because they’re weird like that. For instance, I’m a big fan of T-Shirt Hell. Sometimes it’s kind of fun to do something offensive ironically, even if it pissed people off.
But did they really think there were people out there photo editing ironically? They clearly couldn’t have. If they did, then Bob and the other guys in marketing need to be replaced by a team of 7 year olds. They have better sense.
So my only assumption is the guys in marketing sat Bob down and said “you know, the whole Adobe Photoshop action market is seriously crowded. We need a niche to go after. Something that distinguishes us. What untapped market can we go after?” And Bob said, “it’s obvious, the digital photo processing arm of the KKK!”
So maybe I’m wrong. Maybe Bob is brilliant after all. Let’s run the numbers. The Klan has an estimated 5000 members today… We know that like 2% of the world’s population has a photoshop license. If we assume the Klan is standard in that respect and double that to account for piracy we’re at 100 members… I figure at best 5% of photoshop users are willing to buy aftermarket plugins, so we’re down to 5 people, but because of the stellar marketing directed right at the Klan, I’ll double that too… So lets call it 10. If we set the price tag at a standard rate of $5-20…
Wow, I stand corrected… clearly they stand to make tens if not twenties of dollars! Who’s the idiot now. You go Bob!!!