“Let our rigorous testing and reviews be your guidelines to A/V equipment – not marketing slogans”
Facebook Youtube Twitter instagram pinterest

Marketing's Influence on the Government: An Example

by Steve DellaSala August 29, 2004

Yes, it's true, marketing can even influence our own government. The following story will disclose this very fact. Nothing contained herein is considered classified information, but you can be assured that our government does not want everyone to know about this embarrassment. The names were modified some to avoid the wrath of Lawyers. The reader is required to draw their own conclusion about who this famous Speaker Manufacturer is that is involved with this story.

Noise Cancelling Headsets: A Real-World Example

Research has determined that engine noise produced by large Aircraft during flight can damage the hearing of the crew when continuously exposed to this sound on a regular basis. About a year or so ago, our government set forth for bids on new headsets for Military Flight crews of large Cargo Airplanes. These headsets were to contain Electronics that actively monitor the noise frequency generated by the Aircraft engines during flight, and produce an identical signal that is 180 degrees out of phase. The end result will, theoretically, cancel out the engine noise in the headsets and protect the hearing of the crew. With the reduction of this noise, it is also believed that crew communications will be made easier and clearer.

Three companies were asked to bid on development of these headsets. Two of the companies are well known, and the other is very well known. This very well known Company will be named Booze. The bids submitted by the two other companies were on the order of about $1million for the development phase, not including the price of the hardware. Booze's bid for development was for about $5 million dollars, not including the price of the hardware. During the bid process, the government unofficially told the two Companies that the chances of them winning this contract were very slim. Both of these companies filed protest to the government regarding the award of this contract, claiming that it was unfair (and who can argue that). They were ignored, and the government awarded the contract to the more expensive bidder, Booze. The reasoning used by the government is mainly based on their name and reputation, but the truth is that there is no more reason other then the marketing of their popular name.

Since then, Booze has been delivering these headsets on the order of hundreds per month. The price tag for each of these headsets is believed to be about $1,000 or more each. As the headsets began to come in by the crate load, it was noticed that the Interface connector did not match the mating connector on the Aircraft. Upon further investigation, it was also found that the connector that Booze chose was not even commercially available, but instead a custom connector that was no longer in production. Instead of our mighty government sending back the $1,000 each headsets to Booze with a "shove it where the sun don't shine" letter, they decided that they would go out for bid to redesign the Aircraft's Joystick Controls and cable assemblies that are to interface with these headsets. There are a total of 3 to 5 cable assemblies and Joysticks requiring redesign, depending on the Model, and the same number of headsets used on each Aircraft. An Aerospace contractor was awarded part of this contract to redesign these Assemblies with this custom connector that can interface to the Booze headsets. Part of the problem is that since this connector is custom and no longer in production, a great deal of money is being spent to reproduce it. Booze must have had these connectors in stock for years and decided to pawn it off on the government. What else can explain this? The contract was worth Millions of $$ to an Aerospace contractor for this redesign, of which all comes out of our taxes.

The Dismal Conclusion

So far, the government was only able to test a limited number of these headsets due to the interface issue. They now have a Warehouse full of these $1,000 headsets, and to date, the few that were tested have not shown any significant sign of engine noise reduction to the Flight crews whom tested them.

I need help to figure out why the marketing of a name can have such a dramatic influence on the Population. Our own government will not admit to the fact that the entire project is a joke and that awarding it to Booze may have been a mistake. Instead they believe that Booze's trade name and Reputation says it all, and are even willing to continue to throw Millions of our tax $$ away in an attempt to make it work. Wake up America!!! A Name alone does not produce a quality product. This is the entire purpose and basis for the development of this Internet site. Facts in Audio without the influence of marketing. It is a weak mind that is so easily Persuaded by simplistic nonsense and can not see the truth that is before them. Don't continue to be fooled. Buy what is better, not what has a better name.