So Tired Of Hype

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beeleePrior to CES I can tell that it’s coming, with the increased volume of press releases spamming my inbox. During CES, the spam reaches a fever pitch, and after, I feel what can only be described as “numb” to the barrage of PR flacks clamoring for attention.

What I’m especially tired of is PR people bragging about how much “buzz” their client’s products got at CES. When did we start using “buzz” as an indicator of value? Oh, that’s right, we didn’t.

Let me tell you a secret, getting “Buzz” at CES is a leading indicator of only one thing: That the PR flacks that brand hired worked extra hard for their money. It doesn’t mean anything else.

I say that with the full confidence of my experience wading through press releases, trying to find something actually newsworthy. Skim through enough CES press releases and you will feel like you’re drinking from a fire hose that shoots superlative adjectives.

According to the breathless, hyperactive folks who write shot-out-of-a-cannon press releases every company is “best in class” or “industry-leading” and every technology is “ground-breaking” and “innovative.”

To be fair, this kind of hyperbole goes on year-round, but CES is the annual epicenter of hype in the technology channels. It’s the biggest and loudest dog and pony show of the year.

With the noise of CES drowning out the signal, brands pay extra for their PR flacks to bring out the big megaphone to shout louder than anyone else.

Nobody at CES, especially the press, cares about where things are made, or by whom, or what the overall strategic impact will be. All anyone cares about is that something is shiny, new and cool looking. But you cannot predict future success based on media hype. If that were true, Blu-ray market penetration wouldn’t be so embarrassingly low, and 3DTV would demonstrably be a commercial success.

Now if you’ll excuse me I have to go decompress.