Nothing Up My Sleeve

While perusing my Facebook feed, I saw a notice for a local event. The notice was promoting a marketing seminar by, and I quote directly, a former illusionist.

If you’re anything like me, you haven’t even gotten to this third sentence yet because you’re till pondering the second.

You have to believe one of three things about the person who posted the notice: (1) The person has a wonderful sense of humor. (2) The person has no sense of irony. (3) The person hasn’t a clue in the world about all of the possible implications of the notice, regardless of whether its ambiguity and all of its potential suggestions are witting or unwitting.

No matter what you believe, the short list of potential implications and inevitable questions has to include these:

  • Just as you’ve always suspected, marketing is a lange of hocus-pocus, voodoo, snake oil, and all manner of skulduggery, the sole aim of which is to separate you from your hard-earned cash.
  • No matter what the former illusionist presents, you’d better believe half of what you see, son, and none of what you hear.
  • The former illusionist decided that, after deceiving people for a living, marketing would be his next career move. That leaves it to us, of course, to determine the presence or absence of any connecting logic therein or rationale therefore.
  • The former illusionist leaves it to us to determine or decipher what techniques from his former occupation he’s bringing to his present one. If he was adept at the art of illusion, how will we know?

Upping the Ante

Considering the fact that most people and companies are inclined to view marketing as an expense, rather than an investment, marketing has a tough enough row to hoe without appearing to affirm suspicions that it’s bogus to boot. Maybe the folks who put on the event are among those who believe marketing is nothing more than chimerical anyway.

So, why not position a former illusionist as a marketer? And why not create the illusion that marketing and prestidigitation are one, the same, and interchangeable?

The only thing our former illusionist could do to muddy the waters even more is to introduce himself like this: “Hi. I used to be a liar.”

Image by lauris, courtesy of