In a Station of the Metro… a case study in marketing?

posted by Brendan Hodgson

Ryan at the New PR points to a fascinating Washington Post article that, although not specifically about PR and marketing, speaks volumes – albeit implicitly - about the challenges and realities facing, well, PR and marketing.

First, some context (from the WP): No one knew it, but the fiddler standing against a bare wall outside the Metro in an indoor arcade at the top of the escalators was one of the finest classical musicians in the world, playing some of the most elegant music ever written on one of the most valuable violins ever made. His performance was arranged by The Washington Post as an experiment in context, perception and priorities — as well as an unblinking assessment of public taste: In a banal setting at an inconvenient time, would beauty transcend?

Why should marketers take note?

  1. It speaks to challenge marketers face to capture the attention of audiences already struggling with the realities of their day-to-day lives; to rise above the noise.
  2. It speaks to the notion that although content is king (even more so now in this user-generated world) we cannot ignore the importance of the context in which that content is delivered, and the appropriateness of the channel used to deliver it. Without such context, the ability to interrupt specific behaviours and perceptions is virtually impossible.
  3. It speaks to the notion that technology is as much a filter as it is an enabler.
  4. And, it shows the impact when a meaningful connection is actually made when Bell is finally recognized by a solitary individual: the difference between $17.17 for a 43 minute solo performance and $37.17.

You can listen to the full metro-station performance here.



Ryan Anderson

It’s strange how something as simple as someone playing the violin can teach us so much about ourselves.  Another example about how being a good marketer means being in touch with what makes us human.

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