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Monday
Jul142008

Dead Sea Scrolls, a Butane Worker and Me


Can you match the email with a photo of the person who sent it? I created this exercise for communication workshop and it never fails to uncover the ways we judge people. 


Even those of us who try very hard not to judge.

As marketers we need to decide who our audience is and deliver products and communication that targets that group. But people are complicated.  

I learned this a long time ago slingin’ drinks in Malibu’s Moonshadows, the place now famous for Mel Gibson’s alcoholic meltdown. The dirty guy in the board shorts leaves the $100 tip and the “producer” in the suit calls you at home to ask you what color of panties you’re wearing.

When I was in college I was livid when the ROTC guys [I think they were all guys then] woke me with their cadence-chanting jogs past my dorm. To say that I didn't "get" anyone who had anything to do with the military is an understatement. Now I have a son who chose, yes chose, the most military-centric college in the country and streamed military cadences from YouTube on his Christmas vacation.

But wait. It gets better. Momma Humanities and Military Joe Bob went to see the Dead Sea Scroll exhibit at San Francisco’s Legion of Honor yesterday. A friend called (son’s not mom’s) and decided to come along. Who was this 19-year-old male, but a union refinery worker, apparently passionate about the Dead Sea Scrolls when he isn’t blending butane. AND his foreman encouraged him to see the exhibit. 

Yes, people are complicated,  totaling more than their demographic and psychographic profiles. 

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