[FOUNTAIN]Winning by losing

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[FOUNTAIN]Winning by losing

There are several degrees of likes and dislikes. In general, goodwill describes a favorable feeling. It reaches the level of love when one really likes something and desires it. The opposite of goodwill is ill will. It is a feeling of dislike. One step further from ill will is hatred ― not simply disliking something but also hating it.
Recently, a new level has developed between goodwill and ill will, which is “no-goodwill.” There is no goodwill toward the object but there is no hate or dislike toward it, either. It’s just not your taste. Some time ago, celebrities started using this expression to describe themselves and emphasize their weak spots, highlighting their negative image on purpose. Now it’s on everyone’s lips. These celebrities are gaining popularity through expressions and actions that would have been taboo in broadcasting in previous times by making attributes stand out that are generally not attractive to the public. These days, rather than gorgeous people who seem to be look-alike sculptures, ordinary-looking and edgy characters that stand out appeal to the public. Exceptions and reverse concepts have won the game.
No-goodwill is even used in the marketing strategies of companies. There is just one goal of marketing: to give a strong impression of the product and service to customers. It can no longer gain attention through general advertisements. So, the no-goodwill advertising was launched. It intends to leave a strong impression of a product and service by giving the customers a negative feeling.
According to an LG Economic Research Institute report on how to build up a strong word-of-mouth promotional capacity for a company, scientific analysis has shown that “negative content remains longer in the minds of customers and has a stronger influence.”
It seems like President Roh Moo-hyun has used the typical no-goodwill marketing by appearing on a 100-minute debate program of MBC.
Contrary to people’s expectations, he made comments that were offbeat or chose to remark on things that were likely to inspire rejection. It was a strategy to develop no-goodwill toward him through exceptions, reverse thinking, self-righteousness and an indomitable spirit. If it was meant to plant a strong negative impression on the public, the strategy was a big success. President Roh’s approval rating is only 10 percent and the viewer rating of the 100-minute debate was less than 5 percent. It is worrisome; no-goodwill may have gone too far and will develop into ill will or hatred.


by Kim Jong-soo

The writer is an editorial writer of the JoongAng Ilbo.

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