The Sunday, October 14, 2007 edition of the New York Times ran an article (free registration required) about Nike spending relatively less on traditional media and more on “connecting with consumers.”

Honestly, there isn’t anything in the article that’s news to anybody in the business. But the piece did manage to jar loose a bit of brain gristle that I gnaw upon like so much mental cud from time to time.

Nice image, eh?

Anyway, my query is this: Do marketers ever bother to ponder how much is too much when it comes to connecting with their consumers? In the never-ending quest to get their message across, do they ever stop to think maybe, just maybe, their efforts will ever be – or maybe already are – too invasive?

I mean, I understand the need to move beyond trying to grab someone’s attention away from the pictures of Shiloh and Shiloh and Sean Preston in OK! Magazine, but come on. Not every aspect of life needs to be sponsored, co-opted and stamped with a logo.

Maybe it’s just me. After all, I don’t really care if the coffee cup in my hand has a Starbucks mermaid or a McDonald’s arch or if it’s just a plain, white eco-bomb of Styrofoam. I love my Macbook Pro, but I don’t have an Apple logo sticker on my car. Nor do I feel the need to interface with more Macness. And I pray I never look down at my roll of toilet paper to see the imprint “How’s that BM treating ya? Concerned, The Charmin Bears.”

I might love some products, but I only like brands. I suspect a lot of people are that way. But unless marketers realize it, I fear we may just end up like this.



P.S. No, I don’t actually read the Times, except for the crosswords. Thanks to James and Bill for pointing out this article.