It’s been a week of large-scale crises, with the three big stories being the renewal of the global financial crisis, the riots in England, and the cost of All Black jerseys in New Zealand.
All Black jerseys? Indeed, this is thing that seems to be worrying most Kiwis! Seeing the media coverage it’s getting here is the sort of thing that makes political and media commentators roll their eyes and ask, despairingly, “So much for our small-town priorities!”
And yet there is good reason for us ordinary folk to blog and tweet and facebook about Adidas’s pricing policy. It’s something we feel we can actually do something about.
Most of us are swamped intellectually if not emotionally when trying to get a picture of what’s going wrong with global finances and the inexorable rise in social anarchy (and the extent to which they are related). We’re as disconnected from those emerging realities as are the people rioting in Britain are from community participation and wellbeing.
What we can understand is the global marketplace for pop-culture goods such as All Blacks clothing (and branded clothing in general), and we can see how global marketers such as (in this case) Adidas can try to manipulate consumers.
And just as we understand that, so we also know how to hit back, using global IT media to force the marketers to think again, to see how attempts to manipulate can backfire and do more economic damage than the gains from charging premium prices.
And I may be wrong, but it’s entirely possible that the power of global corporate marketing may even be one cause of the other two big issues of the day.