What Mythology and Reality TV bring to Marketing


providing insights, background, data, recommendations, analysisClassical Mythology, Reality TV, and Marketing

Three concepts that are not typically thought of together. Marketing and Reality TV definitely go hand and hand, but where does Classical Mythology fit in?

Content Marketing

One of my major concentrations in college was Classical Mythology. I did not become obsessed with the normal fantasy science fiction that most attribute to that interest. Nor did I become attached to Greek Art and Architecture. I was engrossed by the stories, the words.

For instance, today we use the word Narcissist as an insult, but the story Narcissus, foundation story for Narcissistsof Narcissus conveys the context of his self-love, the sadness in his existence, and the role the mother played. We understand he had no choice, as he had no interactions with others and did not know he was falling in love with himself.

In an attempt to give invulnerability the one weakness becomes sought outWe know the term Achilles Heel is a weakness, typically a single weak point that can destroy a presumed powerful individual, but the story of Achilles tells us why this came about, how this one weakness, this vulnerability was left open. It also explains how his power, while effective, was instilled by Thetis, and not earned by his skill or prowess. It did, however, give him confidence and dedication to continue and get gain more skills. It is the epitome of the quote that we often hear:

What would you attempt if you knew you could not fail?

But this story of Achilles also demonstrates that this very recognition, this very shield that made him renowned, and the ensuing fame and ego, is what really lead to his downfall, as his opponents sought out his weakness.

These words that we use, then aren’t just words, they are stories. They have personalities, histories, and lessons all packed in the middle of a sentence. Imagine my surprise, delight, and continued amazement as the perfect naming of the database company providing tools, insights, data, recommendations, information, and more to what we do: Oracle!

The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug.  ~Mark Twain

Realty TV logos, Real Housewives, Project Runway, Jersey Shore, Jon and Kate plus Eight, Sister Wives, Big BrotherReality TV is the same. If you don’t watch Reality TV then you don’t understand that these people who have become mini celebrities and part of our pop culture are not portrayed as perfect. They have visible weaknesses, vulnerabilities, strengths and histories. The mention of the names brings up their stories in the minds of viewers.

It’s not surprising Reality TV personalities sell other products and services, and do well. Consumers relate to their stories, not just their names.

So how does this align with marketing? Should you focus on using words from Mythology, and hoping people are familiar with these and connect with the story? Do you tie your marketing into Reality TV and other famous personalities? You can, but the story behind this is just that, stories. Snookie’s value to advertisers is not in her name or her drunken escapades on a beach, it’s in her vulnerabilities, her personality, and her story.

Both of these are about Content Marketing. Classical Marketing, connecting with the audience on a personal level. The power of the words is based on a story, the power of the celebrity is based on a history. Do not underestimate the power of affinity, the connection to a concept, idea or story.

Words – so innocent and powerless as they are, as standing in a dictionary, how potent for good and evil they become in the hands of one who knows how to combine them.  ~Nathaniel Hawthorne

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