Violin in the Subway Proves Marketing Matters

Ian Lurie Apr 13 2007

violinSeth Godin wrote about Joshua Bell. Bell is one of the most talented living violinists. He played in a Washington, DC subway to see if anyone would notice.

Almost no one noticed.

This doesn’t prove that people are uncultured.

It proves that marketing matters. I’ve rarely seen products or companies fail because they sucked. They fail because their marketing sucked.

People hurrying to their commute are worried about shopping lists, picking up their kids, making their house payment, and maybe global warming. They don’t have the mental bandwidth to notice an Avery Fisher prize winner playing violin 5 feet away. They also don’t have the bandwidth to notice that your product will improve their lives. You have to tell them: That’s what marketing is for.

tags : conversation marketing


  1. Chris


    The Shins did something similar for something called Take Away Shows. They played a couple songs on the street in Montmarte, Paris. A small crowd formed, but I doubt many knew it was The Shins playing. I would have killed to have been sitting at that cafe`…

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