Thursday 27 June 2024

Body Parts


I’ve spent the last quarter-century blabbing on to whoever will listen about the expression “the consumer” - here, here and here (and there’s plenty more). It’s dehumanising, depersonalising and creates a notion of “other” that we don’t need.

Unfortunately, I have no record of my valiant attempt around the turn of the century to convince P&G otherwise. Although this slide does survive from that Powerpoint of long ago:

I can still feel the disdain in those inverted commas.

It particularly annoys me when pronounced “the consoomer”. But that’s just me being pernickety and a bit of a bore.

This depersonalisation becomes even more yukky when “the poor consoomer” is dissected into various body parts. And pounced upon by over-avaricious marketers:

“Owning more hearts and minds.”

“Increasing our share of stomach.”

And with social media, and the focus on Attention as a metric, there’s a very nasty expression that conjures up even more grisly images:

“Capturing eyeballs.”

I shudder to think what new KPIs marketers for period products, condoms or loo roll have these days.

A couple of years ago, I heard mutterings about “The Ear Economy”, but that seems to have gone rather quiet now. Or I’m going deaf.

Yes, yes, yes. It’s only words and a figure of speech.

Does it really matter?

Probably. If only because each of us is far, far more than the sum of our body parts. 

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