The most expensive word


A hair lock is usually worn
by some over an eye
by some till nose,
but there is one blond lock
imagine where?
– In my head.

This is how one of the most famous, most tender and most beautiful poems by Miroslav Antic “A blond lock” begins. Who knows how many times some of the verses from this poem ended up in a high school memorial or on a birthday card, embedded in a bouquet of roses or attached to beautifully wrapped candy bar. And from my personal experience, I know that these verses by Mika work very well when they are handwritten on a piece of scraped paper and then put secretly it into a notebook or in a pocket of somebody’s coat.

Since recently, I know that the whole poem “A Blond Lock” costs exactly 2,011.56 dinars. At least that’s what Google “Ads Keyword Planner” says. But wait, there is more… This program offers you a good suggestion that you can use the verses of this song to advertise your ophthalmology clinic, especially when you want to inform potential clients that you perform cataract surgeries, eye pressure tests and general eye and vision examinations.

Judging by the same Google, the price of “A Blond Lock” isn’t even so bad at all if compared to the prices of the other two poems by Miroslav Antic. Thus, his “Secret”, according to Google, costs only 451.66 dinars and works well for advertising sites or dating agencies, primarily serious ones, where your intentions are to seek only true love and a partner for marriage. I personally thought that his “The Most Affectionate Song” would be the most expensive, but the price of the word barely reached 830.37 dinars and Google’s recommendation is to use this poem for promoting prophesying the future by analyzing the zodiac signs.

All these examples were recently presented lucidly and marvellously at the TEDx conference in Mokrin by a young PhD Uros Krcadinac, lecturer at the Belgrade Faculty of Media and Communications and expert associate at the Research Centre Petnica. Among other things, Uros deals with this topic in his work in which he interconnects experiences from the field of visualization of data, computer science, animation, literature, as well as interactive art and design.

These examples are just another proof that any radical technological revolution necessarily requires the change of existing business, political and cultural models of the functioning of a society. And we still live in the time in which we, as witnesses and actors, face the effects and consequences of the IT revolution which is still trying to incorporate into the existing rules and principles of social organization by force in order to preserve the existing relations and distribution of power.

The marketing industry is just another protagonist. Perhaps this is best seen in the case of media agencies that, since the emergence of mass media, are engaged in renting the media. If they used to buy advertising space in newspapers and on billboards, seconds and minutes on the radio and television, then why don’t they buy words on the Internet today because that’s what matters now. If we look from their perspective, it’s all the same, only the subject of the purchase has changed, so why would they change their business model? Especially because we can definitely expect additional innovations in the existing “adwords” model.

For example, maybe the existing model of bidding and buying keywords used for advertising a program, service, brand or something else on the Internet will soon sell words per kilo or meter, offered by “specialists” in special packages with special discounts. I can already see a modern media planner or marketing manager in one of the remaining advertising agencies offering the client words packed in thematic packages. For example, the word “safe old age”, “eternal youth”, “happy childhood”, “nostalgia & digital age”, “saving the planet”, “clean and comfortable house”, “effortless travel”, “eternal love” “healthy and fit” and packages in the similar style. And I believe that there will be special offers “if you call now” marketing strategy. For example, I would offer “lawyer services” as a bonus package to those who need a perfect marriage package because, in reality, these two packages often go hand in hand and it’s likely that both will be of use for the same product.

In a world in which each of us is a medium, renting the media space is already an outdated model, even if you buy words. This does not mean that it doesn’t have certain effects and it won’t last. But it is already past. New models will emerge as a result of building confidence in the source of information, and this confidence is built through interaction and dialogue, and these examples of media communications already exist. Modern information technology will enable this dialogue to go faster and with fewer obstacles, but it will still take time to gain confidence that can’t be shortened by reselling and trading the words we use most often in this dialogue. It is because the word isn’t a universal metric unit of measure as centimetre, second or minute. The word before is as important as the word behind, and this is the thing algorithm and machine can’t get.

That’s why I am not worried about Mika’s verses. They will be whispered and written in hand, they will be hidden in a place where only the right person can find them and feel their value with the whole heart. It’s priceless.

So what?
You’ll see what – when some day
a lock of someone else’s hair
gets inside your head a bit.


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