Since 1952, when Wiebe first asked whether we could sell brotherhood like we sell soap, the application of social marketing has grown to infinity and beyond. But the marketing process requires that we modify certain attributes of our cause to make it more valuable to stakeholders.
Using the strongest social movement in Europe at the moment (with 30,000 volunteers and 150,000 likes on Facebook) and public demonstrations as a best practice, let’s innovate to create value in the international media: let’s market Catalan pride.
In this marketing effort, our cause is up against fierce competition – they harp on the concept of the “silent majority”; they insinuate a “shock-and-awe” ideological terror campaign about the effects of independence, while standing behind a leader who only mentions “openness to dialogue”; a member of the Spanish Constitutional Court declares that “any political event in Catalonia involves acts of onanism”; and the CNI – the Spanish spy agency – have a plan to be ready when the shit hits the fan.
The Catalan Way is a best practice in social marketing. Let’s use the Baltic Way project as a benchmark: a physical human chain spanning Catalonia. Let’s add extra value by drawing on a historical concept like ancient Rome’s Via Augusta – the road to follow. Let’s use visible, easily identifiable colours and combine them with surprisingly integrated Sikh and Samoan citizens. Let’s adopt the principle, espoused by the Catalan National Assembly, that “whoever comes will be counted as an independence supporter; if you don’t want to be counted, stay at home” – a classic nugget of public demonstration management. And let’s embellish it with modern tools – we’ll measure it using digital traces such as Twitter to obtain an innovative digital effect of the 400,000 people it took to span 400 kilometres. And we’ll track references to Spanish prisoners in the New York Times to give meaning to the human chain – the latest and most dramatic expression ever seen of a powerful social movement marketing itself to international stakeholders.
Any recommendations for the next public demonstration in 2014?