This is a grumpy contrarian blog post

by Tom Albrighton 10 February 2011 Digital and social

This is a grumpy contrarian blog post about some aspect of marketing or advertising.

In the first paragraph, I’ll set up the straw man I want to demolish. I’ll use rhetorical devices like ‘it is generally believed’ and ‘many now think’ to create the impression that I’m challenging the general orthodoxy, rather than responding to a blog post I read yesterday.

'Thus, what is of supreme importance in war is to attack the enemy's strategy.'

In the second paragraph, I’ll position everyone else as naïve, credulous and inexperienced. Often, I’ll achieve this by recounting an isolated incident from my own career, taking care to ensure it happened at least 25 years ago. Getting my excuses in early, I’ll be careful to position this as the embodiment of a universal or eternal truth, rather than an irrelevant anecdote from someone who misses the 80s.

To build superiority over the flimsy commentators I’m attacking, I’ll devote at least one paragraph to selectively citing some statistics that back up my argument. An astonishing 85% of my statistics will be positioned as surprising or eye-opening in some way, again using carefully deployed rhetorical devices.

To add weight to my argument, I’ll be careful to include a quotation from someone even more grumpy and contrarian than myself, chosen on the basis of my subject. For marketing, David Ogilvy. For digital, Seth Godin. If all else fails, I’ll fall back on a historical grumpy old sod like Sun Tzu or Machiavelli.

Throughout the post, I’ll use the most ridiculously bombastic, combative language, as if my opponents were criminals of the very lowest kind, and indeed as if the topic at hand were actually important in some way.

Finally, perhaps aware that my argument didn’t turn out as strong as I’d hoped, I’ll invite my reader to beef up my pitifully thin content by commenting.

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