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July 7, 2005

'The alpha male is on a never–ending journey of dissatisfaction'

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A London–based unit of Interpublic's McCann Erickson advertising agency has just issued a provocative new report which essentially accuses the world's luxury good makers of failing to recognize how dramatically business life — and those at the very apex of the financial food chain — have changed in recent decades.

So wrote Gary Silverman in his Financial Times column of this past Tuesday.

    More:

    They are the "alpha males" — the leaders of the financial pack.

    They are rich, they are relentless and they are misunderstood.

    Many of the world's leading advertising agencies are trying to adjust to what could be called the post–metrosexual era.

    McCann's study found that today's successful man is a haunted character — not unlike Willy Loman, the uneasy hero of Arthur Miller's landmark play about business, "The Death of a Salesman."

    But unlike Willy Loman, who was ultimately destroyed by his circumstances, these men use their sense of unease as jet fuel, propelling them to greater heights.

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    The alpha male, McCann says, is "on a never–ending journey of dissatisfaction."

    To survive his long, strange trip, the study says, the alpha male becomes a "talented chameleon," willing to spend big money on the packaging that will help him look good, keep fit and stand out from the competition.

    He is a connoisseur of "luxury alpha drugs" such as racing, flash cars, boating, private aircraft, gambling and risk, cocaine and a "fast lifestyle."

    "He is never going to be happy with anything — even his relationships," says Dawn Coulter, managing director of a McCann unit called Luxury Box.

    "This is a big opportunity," she says. "There is no bible of the alpha male."

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    Marian Salzman, an expert on business trends, said, "The more successful a man is, the more likely he is to embrace 'deep hobbies' that will make him seem more interesting to others."

No bible of the alpha male?

You mean this isn't it?

Where did I go wrong? But I digress.

The problem with "seeming" interesting is that the veneer is rather thin and shatters easily, exposing the fiberboard underneath.

Not a good approach, that one.

And I suppose if Mr. Alpha's going to spend "big money on the packaging" that mean's he's going to have to also spend a lot more than 30 minutes a day in the bathroom wrapping his package — as it were — before presenting it to his fawning, adoring world.

No, it's just not gonna work for me.

To me "luxury drugs" are time, love, books, music and a sense of wonder.

They don't cost much in terms of money but boy do they get me high.

July 7, 2005 at 12:01 PM | Permalink


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