Saturday, September 14, 2013

Dispatches from Marketer World: Part 4— Tablets

Tablet PCs. Those things that are like laptops but don't have a keyboard or a proper operating system or any proper applications— just limited cut-down stuff they have to call "apps" for legal reasons. Or maybe they're mobiles you can't actually make calls on. They have some use, but you could invariably buy a laptop that does all of the same things as a tablet and more, but is also cheaper. Unless, of course, you get a knockoff tablet like the Shenzhen Haina Haipad, which barely works. I've mentioned tablets before (scroll down), and NO, I didn't sacrifice my principles at the same alter as when I bought the smartphone.

Apparently tablet PCs are all the rage among the easily swayed, to the point that they've effectively cannibalised the netbook market, although admittedly that's only because Apple doesn't make a netbook and people will rush out to buy anything Apple makes because they're mad.

Well apparently, as of the market research survey I took the other day, tablets are now something marketers simply assume that you own. In exchange for enough money to buy a tank of petrol for my three-inch-long model car, I provided my opinions on various brands (and it's always brands, innit) of electronic and whether I owned them and whether I'd consider buying them and similar drivel.

In this survey, it was simply assumed that I owned a tablet, and that I would buy another tablet when it broke or got stolen or couldn't run the latest update to "Where's the Rope's Angry Fruit" or a marketer told me it was obsolete or out of fashion or whatever.

They made a point of asking me whether I'd heard of Samsung and Motorola, in case I lived on the moon and wasn't at least familiar with the existence of major multinational corporations with advertising budgets bigger than the GDP of Namibia, but that I owned a tablet was simply assumed since even people who live on the moon own tablets because it's required by law.

Maybe it's because the names "Samsung" and "Motorola" are brands and marketers' obsession with brands makes them perpetually anxious that you won't have heard of theirs or won't emotionally connect with theirs, while the idea that you may not want their product because it's useless and expensive and the label has nothing to do with it never crosses their minds.

So yes. In marketer world, that you own an entirely redundant wad of electronics is simply assumed, but that you're at least dimly aware of the existence of Samsung and Motorola must be carefully ascertained because many people have never heard of massive multinational Japanese and Indian tech companies respectively. (That's what those are, right?)

At this point, clever people will have noticed that in the first paragraph I referred to a sacrificial location as an "alter" and, being clever, they got the joke in that I was sacrificing my principles and thus "altering" them. If you are observant but not clever, and thus noticed the "incorrect" term but didn't understand why it was used, then please refrain from commenting. It will only embarrass us both.

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