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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 1999 > Jan > Jan 20

Firmage's Manuscript - The Word Is 'Marketing'

From: Wendy Christensen <christensen@catlas.mv.com>
Date: Wed, 20 Jan 1999 11:21:23 -0500
Fwd Date: Wed, 20 Jan 1999 12:01:09 -0500
Subject: Firmage's Manuscript - The Word Is 'Marketing'

Hello, List...

Anyone who has slogged through the 240+ pages of the "short
version" of Firmages's compendium now knows that "The Word" is

Firmage did not become a zillionaire by being a dummy. He knows
what is required to cut through the noise in the marketplace
(especially the overhyped internet marketplace) and how far one
needs to go to get attention. Thus, his clever, if somewhat
overwrought, "pre-launch" announcement of his e-commerce
website, due to begin operations "sometime next year." Indeed,
this attention-garnering pre-launch appears to be the entire
purpose of his current enterprise.

Firmage cleverly weaves together in his text elements of
traditional religion, folklore, new-age ideas of various
pedigrees, ufology, dramatic sightings and encounters, aliens
and angels, pop culture, philosophy, millenarian zealotry and
history (real and otherwise). There is nothing new here, either
in the form or the content. Firmage offers tantalizing hints
about his own mysterious "paranormal experience," while refusing

to characterize it as aliens, angels, ghosts, ascended masters,
whatever -- while leaving open the interpretation to his
readers. This is an old maketing ploy - let your tales be
appropriately dramatic yet sufficiently vague so as to
accommodate the needs, wishes and beliefs (whatever those may
be) of your target market.

Only very late in the manuscript, and then only in passing, as
if an afterthought, does Firmage mention his upcoming website
launch. This is a masterful use of understatement, of making the

biggest psychological impression by whispering the real news
while bellowing the hype to the rooftops.

By calling out all these fascinating pop-culture elements, and
by visibly and noisily quitting his lucrative CEO job, Firmage
has garnered an enormous amount of free publicity. Before this,
he was a rich guy; now he is a rich celebrity, and, better yet,
one wearing the aura of one of 'the chosen', endowed with some
sort of special connection to 'higher knowledge' or 'higher
spirituality'. This, of course, is veritable catnip to the
upscale, affluent, technologically savvy but
spiritually-yearning online buyers he is hoping to hook.

Firmage thinks he has a new idea: providing a "one-stop
shopping" online commerce site where buyers can direct profits
from their purchases to their favorite charities. (i-give and
others are doing this already.) Time will tell if the hype,
publicity and personal aura he has assumed will bring him
success in this new venture. The stock market, the pundits, the
talk-show hosts, etc., now know who he is. He is a personality,
a celebrity, an enigma (if only self-defined). How many people
trying to launch e-commerce sites can claim anywhere near that
status and level of visibility? Very clever. Well, done, Mr.

I am not criticizing Firmage's approach; from a marketing
standpoint it is masterful. But is would be a mistake to take
this whole "WordIsTruth" phenomenon for more than it is: a
clever, unusually elaborate (he's rich; he can afford it!)
pre-launch for a website. Just remember: "The Word is

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