Let me clarify, what I am discussing in this article is a technique of marketing that is being widely used by those promoting so called “conspiracy theories”, as a way of promoting their products and services.
The term “conspiracy theory” is relatively meaningless, but for the purposes of this article it will mean: the presentation of information that is divergent from the majority or establishment view and is controversial and perhaps inflammatory. Furthermore, those presenting “conspiracy theories” really do not care whether they are true or not, since that is irrelevant to their primary purpose which is to drive attention to themselves and hence drive sales of their products and/or services.
This marketing technique is further enhanced by creating a cadre of loyal followers who believe that the individual presenting the “conspiracy theory” is providing an essential service (by opposing establishment views) and of course standing up for freedom of speech and other freedoms.
By creating, this cadre of loyalists, the marketer now has the perfect group, pre-selected for the purchase of products and services, or in the case of those running for public office, the perfect donor class.
I have written about Brian Rose, in a previous article, who operates a business in London, England to sell courses offered online and in person to promote business development.
To promote his business he operates a YouTube channel called “London Real” where he interviews a wide variety of individuals, some who promote various “conspiracy theories”.
What has worked so well for Rose, is that some of his more controversial videos have been banned by YouTube. This may seem like it is a bad thing for Rose, but in fact it is a gift that allows him to posture as an injured party, who is being discriminated against, and furthermore, allows him to identify as a free speech advocate who is standing up for all of us. The brilliance of this move is that it drives a lot of buzz and attention and of course sales of his courses. Rose has become a master conspiracy theory marketer.
A tip of the hat to his latest maneuver, where as part of his election campaign for the Mayor of London he deliberately violated local pandemic response protocols. He was fined 200 British pounds for his transgressions.
For an investment of 200 pounds (the fine), he got a massive amount of publicity where he could claim discrimination on political grounds and drive donations for his campaign and of course sales of his courses. This is the big payoff for this technique, since it is relatively inexpensive to generate a huge amount of publicity and it solidifies support from those who believe he is standing up for them, rather than just filling his own pockets.
Unfortunately, what this means from a broader perspective, is that morally repugnant behavior can have a huge payoff. It is both reasonable and valuable to question authority, however this marketing technique does not offer rational critiques of governments or other authorities since its primary purpose is to drive sales by stirring up emotions.
We now have a significant group who have thrown their moral compass in the garbage can because this technique works so well for them. Their social consciousnesses are non-existent and their bank accounts are swelling.
A perfect example of this technique was executed by Donald Trump and his loyal sycophants. The “Stop the Steal” campaign, which promoted completely bogus claims of election fraud, garnered hundreds of millions of dollars in a matter of weeks, making it one of the biggest and most successful grifts in American history. The fact that this campaign provided the disinformation that helped spark an insurrection is the repugnant side-effect of this marketing technique.
My reason for writing this article is to throw up a very red flag about “Conspiracy Theory Marketing”. I would encourage all of those who may be susceptible to these techniques to take a hard look at the motivations behind them.
Ask the question: “Who does this serve?”.
If it is merely self-serving behavior that drives sales and social discord, do not open your wallet! Additionally, do not share social media that is designed for this purpose, since this will just make you a “useful idiot” in someone else’s marketing campaign.