When distributors get funny

 - 
08/28/2008
I'm a little bit frightened. ScanSource is trying to get all viral with its promotion of its ImpactNow event, coming Nov. 10 to Orlando, and the videos are actually kind of funny. Find the latest one here. I'd embed it, but I can't figure out how at the moment. So go watch it. ... Done yet? Okay, good. I wanted to think it was inane and unfunny, because I like my security companies like I like my music - no funny involved - but I was sort of smirking despite myself. The whole "punch you in the mustache" riff isn't bad and might even be improvised, which I like more. It's pretty clear ScanSource actually hired professional actors and stuff. This is a scary level of media sophistication for a security industry where many manufacturers still snail mail press releases. Well done by ScanSource on at least one level. However (maybe I should have written "HOWEVER," since this is a big however), is it really true that ScanSource believes the target candidates for its ImpactNow event are jamokes who sit on their couch together, calling one another "dude" and "bro," playing Wii and obsessing over Danica Patrick? I understand they're going for ironic, but isn't this the exact image of the industry many people are trying to dispel? Hey, high-level IT guys, come work in the security industry, where we all have southern accents, wear ballcaps, and obsess about meeting mildly attractive female racecar drivers! Cuz we're all guys! And guys play video games and objectify women! Ha! Are the guys on that couch the same guys who are coming to ImpactNow to see ex-Apple exec Steve Wozniak this year, or the ones who were impressed by this presentation from Jack Welch last year? It seems unlikely. The ImpactNow events have real content that's worthwhile. Why not have nerdy computer type obsession about seeing their idol, Wozniak, who invented their favorite all-time operating system or something? For those people trying to professionalize the industry, appeals like, "win this car," or "come see this babe," are simply counterproductive. When you go to journalism conferences, I can assure you there aren't any appeals along the lines of, "learn how to write an effective lede after you get an autograph from hottie softballer Jennie Finch!" When my wife evaluates audiology conferences (as female-dominated an industry as I've ever witnessed), she isn't enticed to attend with, "fit hearing aids the way Tom Brady fits into his Levi Jeans." So, good for ScanSource being creative and entertaining, but let's not forget we're trying to elevate our game here a little.