X-Message-Number: 13182
From: "Joseph One" <>
Subject: Promotion of Cryonics (long)
Date: Wed, 2 Feb 2000 10:19:14 -0500

Forgive me for conflating responses from three posts into one. Hopefully
I'll make it all make sense!

Daniel Ust <> said in reference to marketing:

> Perhaps what could happen is this.  The broad spectrum promotional
> activities (e.g., informing the populace about cryonics) could be
> from the narrow spectrum ones (e.g., getting people to buy cryonics
> services).  With the former, there's no need for each cryonics
> to have its broad spectrum public relations campaign.  Instead, all such
> organizations could pool efforts.

This is more the direction I was going with my post from the other day. I
think we're talking about two different types of promotion here. First there
is the "broad spectrum" to convince potential customers that cryonics is a
viable alternative to getting stuffed in the ground, even though
resuccitation is as-yet untried. I think that such a campaign is vital and
should not be limited to the efforts of a single company (as Daniel noted
above). Perhaps those companies involved could form an industry group of
some sort whose mission would be to coordinate and implement such a

Once the necessary groundwork had been laid, then the individual companies
would have a field in which to compete for customers (the "narrow spectrum"
that Daniel referred to). But until the viability of cryonics (or at least
the notion that cryonics isn't junk science) has been established, the pool
of potential customers is way too small to establish any sort of economy of
scale. And I believe that's essential to making the cryonics industry as a
whole more than a fringe group.

Daniel Ust <> said in reference to promotion at science
fiction conventions:

> In this case, which SF Convention was it?  What was the response? What was
> done to promote cryonics there?  A booth?  Pamphlets?  Hawking the
> How did the [cryonics] people handle themselves?  Was there an "post
> on what happened - or was the low response something just mentioned in
> passing and the idea of ever doing this again trashed?

Coming from a "fan" background myself, I might be able to shed some light on
things. Science fiction fans are not, as a rule, an affluent group. They are
certainly not among the core demographic for potential customers; potential
interested parties, sure, but interest doesn't pay the liquid nitrogen

Daniel Ust <> said in reference to promotion at college

> This is the idea!  However, one minor criticism.  I'd say start out by
> setting up such things in campuses where it is convenient to cryonics
> organizations and such so as to keep costs low.  For instance, the Boston
> area not only has lots of colleges but lots of transhumanists and
> technology-oriented people.  I think that would be a good area to start -
> opposed to trying to start up a (costly) road show or cover each and every
> event that happens anywhere on the planet.

I think here we face the same problem as above; college students represent a
possible pool of interest, but they're hardly in a position to actually
commit to freezing. (Not to mention that most 20 year olds aren't exactly
thinking about their own mortality.) Good targets for the "broad spectrum"
publicity campaign mentioned above, but miserable candidates if you're
looking for hard cash-paying customers.

I think the key here is to identify the target audience. For the "broad
spectrum" campaign (necessary in my opinion to create the potential client
base in the first place) we seem to have the right idea; people who are open
to new ideas and who are generally pro-technology. However, that is a
completely different pool than the "narrow spectrum" campaign should be
targeting; affluent people who are beginning to think about the prospects of
their own mortality. It may sound odd, but that pool is the same as people
who buy life insurance.

Has anyone given any thought to purchasing a life insurance company's
mailing list and targeting them with literature?

Up until now it seems that cryogenics companies have been miss-targeting
their message; finding the people who might be open to the idea of cryonics,
but pitching them with the message of buying services, which they're not
necessarily able to do.

Stephen W. Bridge <> wrote about cryonics

<snip some very useful data on the actual budget and expenditures of Alcor>

> Our best efforts have been not ads but television interviews and
> appearances on programs like the Phil Donahue Show (watched by millions,
> responses for information still under 2,000, new memberships under 20.)

I think this example demonstrates my words about targeting the proper
audience. Does the Phil Donahue Show really have an audience that is able
(even if they may be willing) to plunk down tens of thousands of dollars to
sign up for suspension? At the risk of sounding elitist, I think not.

I would say that such appearances shouldn't be done with the expectation of
enlisting hordes of new sign-ups. They do lay the groundwork for influencing
public perceptions of cryonics (spreading the "cryonics is viable" meme, if
you will), but they are not targeting the right audience. I'd say you were
lucky to pick up 20 members from such an appearance.

<snip some good stuff about the unproven nature of cryonics and the
difficulty that poses in marketing>

> It's a marketing nightmare.

As it's been handled today, I agree. Because the right message is being sent
to the wrong people, and vice versa. The cryonics industry has two distinct
messages to distribute and two distinct target audiences to hit:

Message #1: "Cryonics is a viable alternative to irrevocable death."
Message #2: "You should sign up to be suspended today."

Audience #1: Young, pro-technology, open to new ideas, often poor.
Audience #2: Older, affluent, thinking about their own mortality, "life
insurance customers".

To date, message #1 has been shotgunned to the whole population, where it
seems to have gotten lost in the static. Message #2 has been targeted to
audience #1, who don't have the means to act on it. Audience #3 has been
targeted only spottily it seems, and has to take the initiative to learn
about cryonics.

I think message #1 is best distributed to audience #1 by an association of
cryonics companies; an industry group if you will. Once that groundwork as
been lain, message #2 should be spread by individual companies as they
compete for customers to audience #2. Essentially, hit the right audience
with the right message, and your advertising dollars will be much more

Sorry to take so long, but hopefully my amateur analysis may prove helpful,
or at least spur discussion.

Joseph One
NeoHuman Combine

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