Tuesday, February 15, 2005

in which i do some charity ad copywriting on sociology's behalf

The American Sociological Association leaves no potential stone of revenue unturned. Here's an ad from the ASA's official newsletter:

"Have you thought about subscribing to your favorite magazine but you were reluctant to pay the newsstand price?" I mean, come on! What kind of economic imbeciles would sociologists have to be to actually languish under such a torment!

Despite whatever misgivings I may have about sociology, I do not believe that there are any sociologists who are, in anything approximating a clinical sense, idiots. Understand, moreover, that because no one starts college as a sociology major, everybody is already some years past buying their first magazines by the time they join ASA. Consequently, I don't understand how anyone can reach even the lower-bound age and literacy of an entry-level ASA member and not already know that, if you are going to subscribe to a magazine, you should be able to find a better rate than the newsstand price.

So, it will be obvious to every member who reads this ad that ASA is not actually offering them anything special when it says it can get them magazine subscriptions at below newsstand prices. Why pretend otherwise? Rather than making some weird and inept pitch that makes the ASA sound not just overcommercialized but incompetently overcommercialized, why not just try leveling with members? Why not offer an ad that says something like:
Whenever you subscribe to a magazine, somebody makes money. Why not have it be ASA? Do the discipline a favor. Besides, it won't cost you anything, because if you can find a price lower than what's listed on our service, we can match it.


Anonymous said...

Deflem lambasts the ASA too. It's been a couple of weeks since I visited his site. Recently he spoofed them about selling some kind of teddy bear, or maybe it was a t-shirt. I wonder how many Freshmen who have declared a major in Sociology know what the ASA is?
Teddy bears and dumb discount Ads don't help I suppose. The Soc. Profs I remember from so many, many years ago were very engaging, challengning folks and tried hard to demand critical thought. Nope, no bears and t-shirts and nit-wit Ads from those guys, that's for sure. It's late and Betty is mad at me for using her name in a Blog. Stay single for a while, well, at least that is my advice for right now anyway.

Goesh said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Goesh said...

The preceding comment should bear the name of Tentatively Esther instead of Claire. The Claire who Blogs using that name may well be a paid member of the ASA and might take issue with what I said. As a tentative Esther, I stand by my comment. Being a non-Sociologist, I note that there is a bit of Public sentiment that says Sociologists are arcane type folks, given to pouring over reams of demographic data in musty basements of Court houses and other such Public buildings. I'm sorry to tell you this, but it's true. Head counters,folks that tally numbers and have secret grips and signals to convey their knowledge to the initiated, and are able to do some soothsaying that may or may not have some direct bearing of the collective well being. Commoners are a bit mystified and though not fearful of you folks, they tend to not readily engage with you. Well? When is the last time someone came up to you and said, "hey buddy, you look like a Sociologist". M. Deflem and Jeremy are right in their assessments of the ASA. Hawking t-shirts and teddy bears and running nit-wit Ads does not help the cause. M. Deflem goes way beyond the hawking part, but since I don't know the secret grip of his Blog, I haven't fathomed the full import of what he is saying.
Tentatively Esther (goesh)