It's been a minute since the last one of these, but the latest machinations in Watch Town reminded me that the more things change, there seems a persistent unwillingness to learn from the past.
Fair warning, this is going to get a little "blue", so you might want to send the kids out of the room.
1. The only difference between a paid sycophant and "sponsored/partner content" is semantics.
2. The default position of most brand owners and managers is to "play not to lose" rather than "play to win". I will refer back to that great treatise on luxury brand mismanagement, Moneyball:
“The inability to envision a certain kind of person doing a certain kind of thing because you've never seen someone who looks like him do it before is not just a vice. It's a luxury. What begins as a failure of the imagination ends as a market inefficiency: when you rule out an entire class of people from doing a job simply by their appearance, you are less likely to find the best person for the job.”
― Michael Lewis, Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game
The Transfer Window is open again, and as it is prime hiring and firing season, and as is often the case, already a few people have been cast into Cuisinart and popped out wearing new jerseys. And we haven't even gotten to Christmas ; )
Oh, and Citichamp? I know the guy you need to hire to fix Eterna. Shoot me an email, I won't even charge you a finder's fee ; )
3. Exclusive Partnership is about as Exclusive as the relationship between a "professional companion" and their regular Thursday night appointment. The only real difference is that the sex worker will make the client wear a condom.
4. A stiff dick has no conscience. Yes watch brand, we were happy to cover you, but that fee you paid was just for that one time.
Or to quote Mickey Haller as played by Matthew McConaughey in The Lincoln Lawyer:
A. "I don't get paid, I don't work."
B. "All you need to know is that we had a deal. It's time to refill the tank."
I've said it before, and I'll say it again - brands paying for coverage is like lonely people paying for "companionship". It shows a lack of effort and imagination, and the coverage will only continue if you keep filling up the tank. Pretty Woman was a movie, not real life.
5. There is always someone ready to sell you a nickel for a dime.