You, amplified (a poem about marketing)


is not yelling.

It is not even selling.

It is not bears
dancing around a cereal box
or yellow highlighter pixels
on top of BUY ME NOW pixels
or naked juggling smash-cut ladies on fiery unicycles.

It is not taglines or jingles,
one-sheets or tri-folds,
slide decks
special offers
or branding branding branding.

is offering.

It is talking to people
with words
and sounds
and gestures
and pictures
specially chosen
so that the people who need to hear
what you have to share
and clearly.

is the truth of you,
into the language of them:
in the room
on the page
over the air.

It is you
giving of yourself
to the people
who are ready to receive.

And that thing you say
that hand you shake
that ad
that tag
that special bonus extra
is really you, amplified.

Loud enough so they can hear
soft enough so they can hear themselves think
and feel themselves feeling
and find themselves connecting
with you.

It is a thing
of poetry
not a practice
to abuse.

Express yourself
with love
and no fear
and you will find yourself
surrounded by the best
the world has to offer:

Your “them.”

Drawn to you
for what they need
and not what you are trying to make them want.

You, amplified,
do this.

At just the right level
in just the right time
with truth
and honor
and love
and fun
and heat
and light
and fart jokes,


Image by Jared Goralnick (@technotheory) via Flickr, used under a Creative Commons license.

Referral Friday is on hiatus this week, being replaced by Poetry Thursday, which is a little late, but which I’m still thinking of as “Poetry Thursday.” Feel free to browse, shop or otherwise support any of the fine people and businesses mentioned here on other Referral Fridays, or just go out and buy a book at your local bookstore or a cuppa from your locally-owned, neighborhood coffee shop. Or hey! Support me by signing up for my newsletter or tweeting/Facebook-ing/whatever-ing this. Or double-hey! Just leave a swell comment below. I love comments!


  1. I’ve been reading your blog for a while now and I have never commented on any of your posts (even the one about your knockers which I adored) but this poem got to me soul-wise and I had to say this poem contains the naked truth about just about everything summed up in a marketing poem.

    If everyone could just do what this poem suggests what an interesting, lively and real group of people we’d all be.

  2. We don’t need to know and apply more than what you have in your poem! Really it’s a road map for any marketer whant to make it big online.

    The problem most of people are in rush to make money online quickly. They don’t take the needed time to guive before they can take.

    Thank you for making the main marketing rools easy for most of us anderstend and remember.

  3. Hear, hear!

    This is the best poem about marketing I’ve ever read. (It’s also the only poem about marketing I’ve ever read, but I think it will stand the test of time.)

  4. Amazing…thank you. I want to write like you even though I think you’d tell me that I need to write like me. Right?

  5. Kind of amazing how we’ve arrived at the same metaphor for something from totally different angles. This poem would be everything it is even if it had nothing to do with marketing…and yet, with marketing, it reminds us of who we forget to be when we meet people in certain contexts–that is, we forget to be ourselves.

    But even more, it reminds us of how much power there can be when we create the right setting and offer the right message. Sparks fly, products sell, kisses linger. Our message can be such a powerful thing.

    Thank you for this. And for sharing the photo ; ).

  6. Yaaaaaaaaay.

    You have NO idea of how scary it was to write a “poem” about marketing. (Or maybe you can, since I still can’t take the quotation marks off of the word.)

    Thank you, thank you, thank you. Too kind, too generous.

    I love you all and wish for you happiness and truth in all your communications.

  7. My favorite part?

    Express yourself
    with love
    and no fear
    and you will find yourself
    surrounded by the best
    the world has to offer:

    So true! Enough marketing with fear already! I took a vow 3 years ago to eliminate fear-based messages entirely from my work. And it has only made me happier (and richer)!

  8. Colleen, thanks for this gorgeous poem! About marketing as poetry, no less . . . I love these lines, which say it all, for me:

    is the truth of you,
    into the language of them:”

    Beautiful! Thank you!

    xo Hiro

  9. I really resonated with

    is the truth of you,
    into the language of them:
    in the room
    on the page
    over the air.

    I am mindful of this when I teach my social media classes , especially for the un- or underemployed Baby Boomer.

  10. You continually rock my world, but I have to give it to you today: not only is my world rocked, but I can’t find my socks since you knocked ’em off so hard.

    I love the goofy picture of you, and like so many others, I have to say that the following line is profound in its majestic simplicity:

    is the truth of you,
    into the language of them.

    Wow. Thank you. I have nothing left to say, and that’s rare. :p

  11. It is all about “us”. We wouldn’t want to be yelled at, whacked over the head, or tricked (well, most of us wouldn’t); the golden rule applies in marketing, too. Thanks for expressing the sentiment so eloquently.

    I came here via a tweet from @bigbrightbulb. I’m glad I clicked the link.

  12. Having grown up in a home where the only discussion every night was infomercials, considering my parents became some of the foremost entreprenuers in that field, I can honestly say that I love your poem. So many do abuse marketing and thus loose their reputation, their respect, their honor and their voice. Like the kid in class who never shuts up, like the boy who cried wolf, same principle as any branding – no one wants to hear it after a while. Same story we’ve seen a million times. Tell me something new…something I haven’t seen in that way before…even if you are rearranging something that has been done before to make it look new then that’s great! It’s different… it’s not the same message because it’s artistic and unique. I think it’s essential to stay real. I loved your poem. :)

Comments are closed.