Samson versus Goliath or how to drag a butt to the water

Posted: Dec 16, 2009 09:13 pm EST

Consumers' exodus from mainstream media makes them less easily targeted by advertisers and studies show that especially the young are readily abandoning name brands.

As marketers struggle to sneak up on our Facebook pages; the question is how desperate they are and if it's the right strategy.

The outdoor leadership dinner

This is bigger than facing down a bully in the school yard, said 18 year old Jimmy Winkelmann, founder of The South Butt, sued by The North Face, a billion dollar powerhouse.

Big outdoor brand companies are infamous for putting small players in the community last on their prio lists and payrolls. Still we were amazed by their arrogance at an outdoor business leadership dinner a few months ago.

Slapping backs, they mused about how close knit they have become since the 80s.

But when a girl, apparently a small outdoor gear manufacturer, courageously rose and asked about local inventions taken abroad for knock-off production if they performed well in their stores, speakers on stage shifted legs and pointed to each other for an answer.

"Aw, that's competition ya know sweetie," someone finally shrugged shoulders and the ballroom laughed with relief.

The media satellites

One of ExWeb's earliest stories was that of Barrabes, a small mountain town based internet start-up. Barrabes orders placed to brand companies were rejected and the guys were refused ads in related media because it was decided they were undercutting prices.

Orbiting the manufacturers are the mags held in place by advertising money. Entangled are the awards, festivals and selected athletes. Funds buy power and loyalty goes before achievement.

Goliath's fall

Empires don't go down with a bang but with a whisper and the murmur is already there. Readers are abandoning old media and kids are fleeing name brands due to lack of trust and (the right) messages. Gaining altitude are small companies often run by skilled adventurers making products not only locally but with a far bigger know-how than that of any San-Fran based marketer.

The South Butt movement is a sign of the times and outdoor execs should take notice.

Samson versus Goliath adapted in part from the Simpsons Bible Stories aired on April 4, 1999, where Bart - in a dream picturing himself as the young David - manages to kill Goliath's son but much to his shock is sent to jail as the townspeople claim that Goliath was the best King they ever had, building roads, libraries and hospitals.

Find the plot here.

Editorial by Tina Sjogren.


As marketers struggle to sneak up on our Facebook pages; the question is how desperate they are. Image by ExplorersWeb (click to enlarge).

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