Lady Gaga iPad Giveaway at Ground Zero

By Edward Cone  |  Posted Tuesday, October 05, 2010 18:10 PM

This blog post has nothing to do with Lady Gaga, iPads, or the politics of downtown Manhattan real estate.

It's about attention, which is said to be the most valuable commodity in the new economy. With so much information available, breaking through the clutter is harder than ever.

One way of grabbing the spotlight is to piggyback on something that's actually popular -- hence our bait-and-switch headline.

One of my least favorite examples of this tactic is the common X Devours Y Hours of Worktime! report, where X = a major sporting event (NCAA basketball tourney, Super Bowl] and Y = a really big number.

The numbers always seem to be soft, based on a series of if/then scenarios that don't account for the time we all waste in the office anyway, which routine time-wasting may be displaced, not originated by, seasonal sports activity.

Anyway, the impetus for this post is a press release from none other than Challenger, Gray & Christmas -- a major purveyor of the aforementioned iffy claims -- with the all-caps headline SURVEY FINDS THAT FANTASY FOOTBALL IS NOT SAPPING PRODUCTIVITY.

Brilliant, in a way -- hype a story, then help deflate the same story. It's like marketing judo.

But once someone has grabbed your attention with a gimmick, you may be slow to click to the next attempt to snare you -- if they don't deliver the goods, they may lose the audience they got so cheaply.

So here's Poker Face, just so you don't go away feeling used.