Kittens Do Not, In Fact, Die When Marketing Wins
Jared Spool makes a “witty” comment at An Event Apart that gets rebroadcast by Jeffrey Zeldman and retweeted by dozens of others and I get all riled up because the comment — and the thinking behind it — is totally stupid.
Kittens die when marketing people win.
There’s a lot of people who would laugh at that. On the surface, it has the appearance of wit. Marketing people iz stoopid. Those knuckle-dragging liberal arts mouth-breathers always want starbursts and they ruined Twitter and did you see that funny thing about Microsoft
But really, the comment is shallow, and predictable, and hypocritical.
Marketing is a necessary function of business. To take a cheap shot at the millions who work in the industry is half-baked. It’s unfortunate this low-brow opinion comes up all the time in circles of web development; programmers and functional experts inexplicably think their work is somehow separate or above those that are “in marketing”. These knee-slapping hee-haw zingers are as common as Rackspace-hosted after parties. My guess is the crowd got a good laugh.
Most hysterical is that these moldy slices of dull, unfunny thinking are rebroadcast and retweeted by scores of web developers and designers. These are people who work for in-house teams or agencies — groups whose core function is marketing. Last time I checked, we were all on the same team, and we were all trying to win together.
Encouraging bipartisan thinking seems counter-productive. But what the fuck do I know; I’m just in marketing.
1 Some might argue that I’m taking the comment out of context — I was not in the room after all. Fair enough. But Zeldman (who quoted Jared) has over 260k followers. At best, only 0.1% of his Twitter audience was in the room, and this does not even take into account the thousands more reached through retweets. I argue that Jared’s comment was designed to be taken out of context, designed to be a standalone joke, designed to be the perfect packaging length of a tweet, and designed to incite a reaction.