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A Victim Of Marketing

Blog Date 27 January 2020

Marketing falls into 2 categories, pain and pleasure.

Category one - pain. This is the easiest sell because humans make far more effort and are readily prepared to spend money on solutions to our woes. Think funeral packages ("oh my, who will pay for my nice send off?") and washing powders ("oh no, this lovely t-shirt is ruined").  

The head of a screw that's been chiselled and chased out
The true definition of pain.

Category two - pleasure. If perchance we've any money left over after sorting a funeral and having whiter-than-white t-shirts then there's pleasure purchases. Think holidays ("I really do want to sit in the sun on that crisp clean beach") and booze ("that ice-cold beer looks nice in a swish bar filled with beautiful people").

Sharon smiles when she was learning to ride her motorcycle in 2013
The pleasure of learning to ride. 7 years ago folks, 7 years.

Once upon a time a motorcycle was a pain purchase - a solution to the problem of transportation. Today in the wealthy west for the vast majority it is a pleasure purchase, a plaything for warm sunny summer weekends. Because motorcycles are a pleasure purchase we are sold a dream, a notion of wonderful and fulfilling life that will be ours, just as long as we purchase THIS motorcycle. 

When I was a younger chap it was the desire to be the coolest man (yes, man) in town with the fastest, most powerful and most aggressive sports bike. You were obviously top dog because you had 4bhp more than the guys riding other bikes, your machine had just won this year's Superbike championship, your model had TSCC, DOHC and Anti-dive. The mere fact you owned this beast was proof enough of your manhood.

2 Moto Guzzi motorcycles and a sultry lady posing from the 80s
A different era. Yikes.

Today you may want to be a wild adventurer with a 1,000 metre stare, dust on your boots and a wily knowledge of how to get you and your 250kg bike and 100kg of luggage across a muddy, rock strewn mountain pass in the middle of an arctic winter. Or perhaps you're an on trend hipster with a classic style velocipede but without the classic issues of oil leaks and failed magnetos. You can still twiddle your beard (ladies too, we're all equal) with your open face helmet and Biggles goggles.

Soon enough we'll be told we're a sexy and attractive human that caresses butterflies and rescues stray kittens because we choose to purchase an eco friendly whisper quiet all electric two-wheeler. Imagine broad meadows in summer, green credentials all around and thoroughly decent yet slightly alternative gentlefolk sharing quinoa shakes in bio-degradable glasses.

Sharon smiling with pigtails,Ren in a hamster wheel
Are we ready for the future? One of us might be...

All this marketing bullpoop makes me seethe. I declare to myself "I am above marketing. I am a free thinking mortal capable of forming my own opinions and I am smart enough to buy that which suits me, not that which the marketeers tell me I want!" 

I can watch an advert featuring a cute puppy and a product that promises to leave my derriere squeaky clean but I'm perfectly happy with my cheap Aldi loo roll. I'll soon be eligible for an over 50's life plan but I have no dependants. Presently the notion of a Saga holiday scares the hell out of me although that may change with the passage of time.


While I don't quite fall into certain clichés completely I notice I own an adventure bike and I dream of being capable off road and I would like to travel. Oh dear, gosh darn it. What makes it even worse is I'm a wannabe adventure rider, I've barely ridden a gravel path and the furthest I've been is Spain. To be honest I shouldn't blame the marketeers entirely, they must be tapping into my pre-existing desires.

As a boy I was always on my bicycle. I liked splashing through muddy puddles and riding around the gravel tracks on the allotments. I enjoyed finding new routes to friend's houses across fields. Men don't grow up, their toys just get more expensive. I'm a 49 year old child who still wants to go out and play in the puddles on his big boy's bicycle. To sell me something I guess you need to appeal to that 6 year old Ren. That, dear reader, is a terrible realisation. I used to love playing with toy tractors too...

A vintage tractor looking smart and new in blue

Well nothing much is happening on two wheels due to lockdown. If anyone has any motorcycling news or wisdom to share - click here.

Reader's Comments

Bogger said :-
There are adverts in all their form absolutely everywhere. I know they drive me and most other people crazy. I've said before that I mainly watch youtube. Being fed up with the mainstream media. I can watch what I want, when I want. But Youtube is now riddled with ads.
I mostly wait for the five seconds, then press the 'skip' the ads button. Obviously the ad makers try and get your attention in the first five seconds.
I don't really feel susceptible to this marketing bombardment. Over the past, say, 3 months, I've only watched an ad for more than twenty seconds on a couple of occasions. I have no idea what they were trying to sell.
I have, however, been frequenting the Honda UK site quite a lot recently and have my eye on a new scooter that shall be bringing into the Bogger stable.
So have I been duped by their marketing skill? do I have too much money? (definitely not), do I really need this scooter? (no) do I want it. Oh yes please.
27/01/2021 21:34:57 UTC
Borsuk said :-
Naval gazing.

I hope it is ships you have been looking at and not hairy arsed seamen.

Should I be worried if next time we meet you start gazing at me.
27/01/2021 21:49:01 UTC
Upt'North said :-
Just try to do what makes you and yours content, but stay away from sailors. No good will come of it.
Nice Fordson.
27/01/2021 23:58:57 UTC
Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
Which scooter has caught your eye Bogger? Do share. I daresay 99.9% of marketing is wasted on each individual. I'm sure a man of you calibre has no requirement or interest in pay-day loans or designer blinds in your conservatory, so these are ignored as annoying interruptions to your viewing/reading. And then you notice a shiny now tool or a trick new scoot and marketing suddenly becomes interesting for a brief moment.

Damn, yes, Naval versus Navel. I shall leave the spelling error in honour of your humorous comments.

Once upon a time as a very young child we were holidaying somewhere naval, Portsmouth maybe, could have been Plymouth? Dad was happily taking family snaps with the camera, you know, with real film inside. We were on a rise overlooking the harbour. After a short while a large, very polite but very serious naval gentleman and his equally large and serious friend politely asked father to remove the film from the camera and give it to him. Cold war see. The gentlemen were perfectly kind and understanding but were not taking "no" for an answer.
28/01/2021 08:48:52 UTC
Upt'North said :-
Not marketing......or was it?
You see you never know.
Digital photography versus film. I bought my first digital camera from Clitheroe in about 2008,a lovely Sony x 12 Bridge camera. For someone raised on Zenith SLR's this was a revelation. Although it's never taken pictures of sailors or any hoes in Plymouth.
Since then I've had four camera's in total, so one every three years, but I still don't think it's marketing as much as design and the relentless advancement of technology.
I don't seek out the latest tech in any field but it's hard to resist affordable advancement which goes on to enhance your pleasure.
My latest Sony is about a third of the size of my original and does an awful lot more for less money. This little beaut is now my bike camera and I've sold two on at a good price, I keep another one as a just incase.
So motorbikes/scooters, why doesn't it attract me in the same way, why aren't I drawn to TCS, ABS, CBS, CABS, ESA, Ride Modes etc, I haven't got a clue. I can get relatively animated when I find a new feature on a camera but I really am not pulled towards technology on vehicles. I would probably say the technology reduces my interest in new vehicles rather than anything more positive.
Why, dunno, technology doesn't scare me. After all you just turn it off and back on to fix it and that latest vehicle can be driven for £? per month and handed back after 36 months.
Folks are strange, me included. But why hasn't the marketing pulled me in?

28/01/2021 09:43:49 UTC
Ian Soady said :-
Upt' seems to have hit the nail on the head again. I too revel in the ease and cheapness of digital photography - my £100 or so Fuji compact does just as well if not better than my collection of Pentax SLRs and lenses did 20 years ago. But then I'm not a "serious" photographer.

One reason I ride bikes - and particularly older ones - is that they are engaging and reward acquired skills so the ride is an active and enjoyable experience - well, till its starts bucketing down anyway. I have a relatively recent car which has automatic gearbox, ABS, traction control, terrain response etc etc and while I quite enjoy driving it it's essentially a means to an end, ie getting from A to B. My motorcycling is more getting from A to A with an interesting time in between.

Adverts? I never see them on the web as I use adblock (and also Ghostery to prevent tracking). On the TV I always record programmes then watch them later so I can skip the ads. I loathe commercial radio stations with their endless gabble of terms and conditions so generally stick to BBC.
28/01/2021 10:43:00 UTC
Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
I recall (once again) a time when using the telephone was expensive. Mother would tower over me, tapping her watch pensively as I called a friend "Are you in... OK see you in 10, bye!" I can now talk for endless hours all within my "package". But now calling is cheap I no longer answer the landline, it goes straight to answerphone without ringing. I don't believe my internet is hacked, I don't have an Amazon Prime account that's been hacked, I don't want to answer your survey and no I did not express an interest in your loans.

The internet is cheap too. You browse this site freely, Google will try to guide you on how to remove the farkle valve and forums will befuddle and/or anger you with a vast array of opinions, all for naught. Yet all this must be paid for and presently advertising seems to be the only option. I can live with a banner add or side box suggesting Machine Mart or Halfords may have the tool I require but there are some sites where finding the content betwixt the adverts is nigh-on impossible.

As for tech, I seldom buy for buying's sake or keeping up with the Jones'. My current camera, Canon Powershot A810, is getting past it's best now with cracked case and sticking lens mechanism. The only cause I have to replace it is I want one with USB charging, which means I can charge it out on the road (subject to Covid presently). A quick Google search suggests it hails from 2013 so I've had my use of it. I require a simple point and click, not trillions of megapixels, I'm far more concerned with colour quality that pixel count. Suggestions?

Regarding tech on bikes. EFI is OK now I have a cursory understanding of how it works, ABS is a sensible legal requirement. Other than that multiple modes, TCS, Stability control? Much like a camera I'm far more concerned with quality, reliability and suitability than features.

28/01/2021 15:03:38 UTC
Upt'North said :-
I don't think you will find better for the money.
The optically adjustable viewfinder is a thing of wonderment and tiny considering what it will do.
I also believe Sony are to cameras what Honda are to motorcycles.
28/01/2021 15:28:28 UTC
Upt'North said :-
Yes, yes, yes, thank you for that Ian.
At last I understand. Although I'm still not sure it has anything to do with marketing?
When I bought my new camera about two years ago there were real advantages from the new tech. So I was enthused to research and buy a good replacement. Right, that's clear.
Also at about the same time I bought a new mobile, again I was enthused because the extra memory would make occasional navigation on the road possible and would future proof me for a few years, which it has, all for less than the price of a sat nav. Still clear.
But, Ian and now Ed have pointed out why we are not so enthused about new tech on bikes, what is the perceived advantage? Is their any advantage? If I see no perceived advantage then why would I be jumping up and down with excitement at the thought of adjusting my suspension electronically when I have no need to adjust the settings. Why would I be enthused about traction control when I cannot remember the last time I experienced a slipping wheel. When did I last lock a wheel under braking, probably riding off road when I intended it to happen to enable direction change.
Eureka, the world makes sense, well except for the pandemic, wars, famine, BoJo's hairstyle and Ed's fascination with anything naval.
But it's a start.
Thanks chaps.

28/01/2021 15:42:40 UTC
Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
£269.99... £269.99... £269.99... £269.99... £269.99... FOR A CAMERA!!!! I presume you were 'avin a larf. You ought not do this to me, I almost passed out and right now it NOT the time to be requiring medical assistance. If you believe Sony make good sturdy cameras then I could go for...
28/01/2021 19:28:01 UTC
nab301 said :-
" I'm far more concerned with colour quality that pixel count. Suggestions?".
There's a bimmer forum I'm on that used to be a little more active than it is now and one of the admin was a seriously good photographer . This was back in 2015 and maybe technology has advanced but he obtained a 35mm scanner and a decent 35mm (film camera/lens) as a means of improving colour quality over digital . Just develop negatives from your film camera and reproduce digitally from there . The results were truly amazing at the time.
Ren I don't have one myself but I would have thought a tecnophile like yourelf would have and most half decent ( not necessarily expensive ) smart phones have decent cameras....
28/01/2021 21:06:55 UTC
Bogger said :-
Ah but that ones got a Sony lens. The other has a Zeiss.

28/01/2021 21:08:12 UTC
Upt'North said :-
Ed, me o'd mucka.
If you can live with the x 5 zoom and no viewfinder it seems an absolute steal.
I wanted one camera to replace my Sony x 3 ancient compact and a useless Panasonic multi zoom bridge camera. But if your eyes are good and you don't want the ability to zoom in x 30 then go for it.
Sony make good cameras, just like their tele's, can't be beaten for the price IMO.
28/01/2021 23:49:36 UTC
Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
nab301 - I use Argos' cheapest mobile phones. I currently have a MotoRola base model something-or-other that cost me about £65. The images are, well, acceptable but not exactly good. Why do I run a cheap phone? A) I'm tight and B) I don't need fancy dancy terahertz speeds or 256 gig of ram to make a call, send a text or check BBC's weather.

Considering a phone runs at £70 say and a middling point-n-squirt camera say £80 that's a combined cost of £150. It would make sense to find a phone in that range that has a good camera on it though, and it's one less bit of kit to carry around. As and when I might see what's out there. Speaking of which Sharon's phone is a Sony and the camera on that is pretty darn good.
30/01/2021 14:07:31 UTC
nab301 said :-
I can't say I was ever knowingly swayed by marketing( I currently tend to shop in the German supermarkets , apart from the value it's more about the lack or choice ,lack of music being played over the p a and do I really need 50 brands of cheddar to choose from ) but as a school boy I used to drool over Em Zeds at the local importer and even bought one when I was 16 despite being lambasted by my contemporaries. That's not to say at the time I wouldn't have preferred an RS125 Yamaha, or a CG125 , and later on maybe a CB250Rs Honda , it was purely practical . I could afford a new MZ but the Yamaha for example from memory was 3 times the price of a 125 MZ. Later on there were adverts in the local press for Morini and I phoned up for my copy of a brochure on the 350 V twin which I still have , although unfortunately the importer never materialised. Maybe it's more about not going mainstream for me?
Fast forward to '89 and having never owned a camera I purchased a Praktica MTL50 SLR ( you can see a theme developing here!) My life used to revolve around waiting for a roll of film to be developed to see if that action shot I took turned out well. Then when I acquired a home PC in the early noughties and joined a few bike forums I realised how useful a digital camera could be for posting photos on forums and also you could take hundreds of photos and see the results instantly . The first and only DSLR I purchased was in 2008 , a D40 (kit) Nikon which I still have and use today. I've generally stopped carrying it on the bike but my current pocket camera is a Samsung WB36F which is physically tiny and great for macro and general workshop photography, but can handle landscapes.
This thread has prompted me to read lots of camera reviews but I haven't been tempted...
I have read old reviews of my current cameras and been prompted to re read the user manuals because there are features mentioned that I seem to have forgotten about.....
Hand held macro in the nasturtium forest.(samsung)
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30/01/2021 15:40:36 UTC
nab301 said :-
Wildlife in the front garden , D40 Nikon (female sparrowhawk)

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30/01/2021 15:45:02 UTC
Upt'North said :-
Nice pictures Nigel.
I do love a nice bird of prey.
October 2018 we saw a Sea Eagle up close off Gairloch on the NC500 route.
No chance for a photo though, it's 8 ft wingspan was magnificent.

30/01/2021 16:10:12 UTC
Ian Soady said :-
Nice photos. My contribution using a Canon SX610 - cheap compact around £80 IIRC. It's now taken something like 6,000 photos. Would have cost a fortune in 35mm.
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30/01/2021 16:32:55 UTC
Upt'North said :-
If you can't beat em.........With the Sony.

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30/01/2021 18:48:07 UTC
Upt'North said :-

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30/01/2021 18:49:56 UTC
Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
Well aren't you lot the artists! Some mighty fine pictures there gentlefolks, you can colour me impressed.
31/01/2021 18:36:01 UTC

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