Marketing Hype

by Albert E.

Example of asymptotic approach

Example of asymptotic approach

As a mathematician, I have a word or two to think about in the context of differentating marketing from hype. That's "hyperbola". In math, this shape describes the curve of a function which, in essence, shoots off infinitely in one direction without really getting anywhere (in the other direction). That is, there is a straight line (blue, called an asymptote) that this red curve never approaches. Think of this simple example:


No matter how big you make that "x", the value of this expression will get closer to, but will never actually reach zero.

Very similar to marketing hype: no matter how strongly you shoot off in one direction (through exaggeration), you can never bring a rational listener to that line (true conviction in this case).

Barry's Response - Thank you very much. Interesting analogy.

I'll try to clear things up with a few definitions I found on the net.

HYPE - advertising, promotion. Almost exaggerated in its enthusiasm for the product's or service's purported benefits. Commonly known as public relations, zealous announcement, broadcasting or hoopla.

I suspect it's short for HYPERBOLE - exaggeration, amplification, big talk, embellishment, laying it on thick, overstatement. Maybe even stating that you're from Heaven.

A HYPERBOLA is a curve, like the red ones in the sketch above. A rounded line or object, concavity, contour, curvature, half-moon, roughly similar in shape to a parabola, trajectory.

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Thank you to my research and writing assistants, ChatGPT and WordTune, as well as Wombo and others for the images.

GPT-4, OpenAI's large-scale language generation model (and others provided by Google and Meta), helped generate this text.  As soon as draft language is generated, the author reviews, edits, and revises it to their own liking and is responsible for the content.