Nice work if you can get it


Hey, denizens of Quebec City: how about you pay some flouncy-haired, self-styled “marketing guru” $300 grand to tell you that you are depressed, masochistic, reptilian brained carriers of water?

Ah, you already did! Lordy, you really are masochistic.

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Nice work if you can get it

  1. What moron decided to hire THIS guy??

  2. Régis Labeaume: Mayor of Québec City

  3. Regina just paid a Winnipeg consultant to come with up new "brand" — but Mayor Pat says we aren't throwing out his ingenious, innovative, never heard before I LOVE (HEART) Regina, but rather just adding to it.

    New brand: Infinite Horizons.

    Cost: $320,00 that flowed out of the province…

  4. "He now detects marketing trends by tapping into the "reptilian brain" – or primal instincts – of his subjects. That gave him a role in designing Chrysler's PT Cruiser…"

    I hope he doesn't put this on his resume.

    "…and recommending that Jeep keep its headlights round, because the "code" for a Jeep is "horse," and round headlights attract buyers who, deep down, really want a horse."

    I get the impression that the writer was having trouble keeping a straight face while interviewing this gent.

    • Translation: He watched an episode of The Mentalist.

    • I think the PT Cruiser is butt ugly, sucks gas and is poorly engineered. However, more than 1,000,000 people in the US alone disagree with me. After winning Car of the Year, it remained in production for a decade.

  5. Clotaire Rapaille is a bit of a dandy and cuts quite a controversial figure in the branding and advertising world. However, the outrage over Quebec City spending $300,000 on a branding project is a bit out of line with reality. Even the snarky journalist notes that this is a three month project involving interviews of 300 people in 10 focus groups. Then a report will be written and submitted. Behind the scenes, Rapaille's staff and researchers are likely logging hours, too.

    $300K is not out of line with any of the branding projects I've been involved with over the years. A quarter million US $ is a frequent baseline reference for large scale brand projects, where a brand has to be applied across the many divisions and activities of a large, diversified organization. That cost might cover only the basic research and rationale, positioning copy, foundational graphics and a branding guide.

    One may quibble with the choice of the consultant, their methodology and especially the work product and recommendations ultimately delivered … but the costs mentioned in the article aren't at all out of the ordinary. If Quebec City ends up with the equivalent of "Virginia is for Lovers" or "Texas, a whole other country" – brand positions that lasted for many years – they may even be getting it on the cheap.

    • What is the worst possible outcome if the gov't said "we don't cover research (use your own or just come up with something nice off the top of your head) and we can make up our own usage guide. And we'll pay you $75,000.

    • Was the project put out to tender or sole-sourced?

      • Sorry. I don't now. It's a good question, though not every type of service selection is improved by tendering. There are certainly enough branding specialists in the world to warrant a request for submissions. There's even a newly thriving sub-discipline of place/location-branding.

  6. Here's an entertaining takedown of Rapaille and his methodology:

    I am writing this because Rapaille is a con man. Rapaille is, near as I can tell, one of the most accomplished, audacious and ambitious con men alive today. He has woven a tapestry of pre-existing ideas into something he claims is radically new—and he's convinced the many of the most powerful people in the world that he's right.


    • Rapaille is, like Donald Trump, most successful at branding himself.

    • And he's worth every cent he can get, if only because he's convinced his clients his services are worth the money.

  7. Hilarious, and yet akin to setting fire to a stack of money ($300,00 worth).

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