One of the oldest marketing tricks in the book is to make something seem bigger than it really is by positioning it against something that everyone knows is really really big. Usually the presenter starts with the phrase "to put that in perspective, if you…" and then proceeds to lay a big non sequitur on the unsuspecting audience. For instance, when Microsoft launched the MS-DOS 6 Upgrade in 1993, we said something like "MS-DOS is on so many PC's that if you stacked all the boxes end to end, they'd stretch to the moon and back". We even had a cute graphic of the boxes going out and circling the moon and coming back in the powerpoint deck.
Multimedia Mobile Phone Shipments Surpass TV Shipments in 2008
MultiMedia Intelligence reports the worldwide unit shipments of multimedia feature rich mobile phones will exceed 300 million units in 2008, outnumbering shipments of TV sets. For the purposes of the report – multimedia phones have at least 1 megapixal image capture, MP3 audio, video Playback, Java, USB, Bluetooth, 16-bit screen color, QVGA resolution, WAP and MMS.
Can you imagine the marketers back at Multimedia Intelligence plotting this one out… "yeah, yeah… TV's big… we'll use that!!!"… and finally realizing that the only way they would make their claim stick is by comparing television to some seriously underpowered 1 megapixel phone. They'll probably need to get a little more real intelligence around the table, rather than that suspect multimedia variety before they publish their next report. Otherwise they'll be telling us something obvious again, like the fact that more cellular phones are sold than televisions.