*** 20th Anniversary: 2003 to 2023 ***

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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