The 9 Circles of Marketing Hell: Where Will You Spend Eternity?

“We’ve all committed marketing offenses. Hopefully nothing bad enough to get yer arse canned, but you know, people mess up. But sometimes there are offenses so egregious, so blasphemous, so INCREDIBLY REPREHENSIBLE that we just can’t help but … make a content visualization about it.

“Whatever, we’re marketers, that’s what we do.

“To put these marketing sins into perspective, we organized them into the 9 circles of marketing hell — our own little spin-off of the literary classic, Dante’s Divine Comedy, better known as Dante’s Inferno. Muaaahahaha. Take a look at the 9 marketing sins that could land any of us in an eternity of fire and brimstone, and most importantly, the tedious, sometimes torturous punishments that we’ll have to endure for committing these sins!” [. . .]    –Corey Wainwright, HubSpot, January 17, 2013.

Read the full list of marketing sins here.

Australian Metal Band, Abandon All Hope

abandon-all-hope-band-2005Abandon All Hope is a metal band out of Adelaide, Australia that was formed in 2005. The band had 5 members – Micah Leinonen as vocals, Jarrod Kennett on bass guitar, Chris Whitbread on drums, and Jake Battista and Shaan Kelly on guitars. The Metal Archives list the band’s lyrical themes as “Hate, Anger, Life, [and] Relationships.” The band split up in 2013.

Their discography consisted of 3 albums – Where Life and Death Meet (2007), A Havoc Command (2010), and Prowler (2011).

Hilbert’s Inferno

hilbert-inferno-omni-magazine“Hell may be the most interesting part of Dante’s famous poem, but its physical existence has always been a topic of debate among philosophers and theologians. If either space or time is finite—a distinct possibility in our current theories of cosmology—how can there be room for a potentially infinite number of sinners for eternity? In what he admits is a speculative proposal, University of Edinburgh philosopher Alasdair Richmond suggests that a hell large enough for an infinite number of the damned could be contained within the boundaries of a finite space, and could provide infinitely-long punishment, even if time itself is finite—but only with the help of time travel. The quite literally devilish trick is a kind of time loop, but not an exact loop. (That would mean that the damned merely suffer through the same experience over and over, without any awareness of the eternal nature of their plight—which is not suffering enough for the traditional idea of Hell.) If the loop shifts and the gap shrinks just the tiniest bit each time around, you end up with an ever-tightening time spiral. You can fit an infinite number of spirals in a tiny amount of space the same way an infinite number of points lie between any two other points on a line. This hell, which Richmond calls ‘Hilbert’s Inferno’ (for pioneering mathematician David Hilbert), might deliver truly eternal torment to an infinite population of sufferers, while the non-suffering and temporally finite universe moves steadily onward, toward its own non-judgmental doom.” — Omni Magazine (December 12, 2017)

Richmond’s 2013 paper can be accessed in the Wiley Online Library (institutional login required).

Annamaria Testa, “Dante Alighieri e la pubblicità, tra pop e kitsch”

dante-pubblicita-kitsch-pop-acqua“Proponete a chiunque questo indovinello: ha un gran naso e uno strano copricapo rosso, è un protagonista della letteratura mondiale, è toscano. Chi è?

“Qualche spiritoso potrebbe deviare su Pinocchio che, a suo modo, coincide, ma tutti gli altri vi risponderanno Dante Alighieri o, più facilmente, Dante e basta.

[…]olivetti-dante-pubblicita-pop-kitsch

“Un motivo in apparenza marginale, ma in realtà non così irrilevante del radicarsi della figura di Dante nell’immaginario collettivo sta proprio nel suo essere sempre e perfettamente riconoscibile quando viene rappresentato. L’abito e il copricapo rossi, la corona d’alloro, il gran naso: bastano pochi tratti, e Dante è Dante. È come se tutti i pittori che lo rappresentano avessero, nei secoli, lavorato sotto lo stretto controllo di un occhiutissimo ufficio marketing, attento a impedire qualsiasi minuscola deviazione dalle caratteristiche stabilite in una ideale Bibbia del Marchio.

“Insomma: se Dante fosse un brand (e stiamo parlando di un brand con una storia  plurisecolare), potrebbe vantare una coerenza di segni che neanche la Coca Cola.” –Annamaria Testa, “Dante Alighieri e la pubblicità, tra pop e kitsch,” Nuovo e utile (2013)

Contributed by Davida Gavioli

Tim Dedopulos, “Dante’s Infernal Puzzle Collection” (2013)

91tu0J59qyL“Abandon all hope, all ye who enter here… Dante’s Infernal Puzzle Collection is a superb, original book filled with riddles, conundrums and brainteasers inspired by the epic poem the ‘Divine Comedy’. The reader must pit their wits against Satan himself on their quest to make it through all nine circles of Hell to Paradise! More than 100 extremely challenging puzzles are included, all themed and illustrated with superb line art, making this book all you need to get to puzzle Paradise…”    —Amazon

“Rap God” Video by Eminem

A few Dante-related images flash through the music video for Eminem’s song “Rap God.” The video shows several of Gustave Doré’s illustrations of Purgatorio and Paradiso, as well as a quick shot of the spine of a book that reads Inferno:

Eminem-Rap-God-Inferno-Book-Spine

Contributor Hunter Sherry writes, “As this image is shown the lyrics in the song are ‘I want to make sure somewhere in this chicken scratch I scribble and doodle enough rhymes, to maybe try to get some people through tough times’ and I think this is a reference to Dante’s Divine Comedy rhyming in its original Italian version. The song is also about the divinity of Eminem with respect to rap and hip hop so a Dante reference would make sense in the context of the song.”

Watch the full video on YouTube here.

Contributed by Hunter Sherry (University of Delaware)

Zander Cannon, Heck (2013)

HeckZander Cannon‘s graphic novel Heck narrates the journey of two travelers through nine circles of the underworld.

“After the funeral of his estranged father, faded hometown hero Hector ‘Heck’ Hammarskjöld finds himself the new owner of the old man’s house… and inside it, a portal to the underworld! With few other prospects on the horizon, Heck goes into business settling inheritance disputes by contacting the recently deceased, accompanied by his faithful sidekick Elliot. But when an old flame knocks on their door with an important message for her late husband, Heck and Elliot embark on a terrifying journey down into the nine circles, braving the horrors of Hell for an assignment that will reveal more than they ever imagined.”    — Top Shelf Productions

Contributed by Jacob de Heer-Erpelding (Bowdoin, ’15)

Ai Weiwei, The Divine Comedy (2013)

Ai Weiwei

“BEIJING, June 22, 2013 – The Ai Weiwei Studio released Ai Weiwei’s first music album, The Divine Comedy, today to commemorate the second anniversary of his release from an 81-day secret detention.

“The single ‘Dumbass,’ premiered last month along with its music video, is included in the album. The Divine Comedy features six tracks with vocals and lyrics by Ai Weiwei, and music by Zuoxiao Zuzhou. Each song is a different take of Ai’s newfound channel for expression through music. The album includes commentaries on current events (‘Just Climb the Wall,’ ‘Hotel USA’), documentations of real dialogues (‘Chaoyang Park,’ ‘Laoma Tihua‘), and personal reflections (‘Give Tomorrow Back to Me,’ ‘Dumbass’). The full album crosses musical genres with influences from pop, rock, punk and heavy metal, and takes us on a journey through Ai’s experience with the conditions of China.”    —Ai Weiwei’s website

Visit this page to listen to the album.

Contributed by Greg Watkins

Dante’s Inferno Bicycle Playing Card Deck

Bicycle Dante's Inferno“The Inferno is a customized 56 card black and metallic ink playing card deck printed by USPCC and inspired by Dante Alighieri’s literary classic The Divine Comedy.

“Three months in the making, each of the Jacks, Queens, and Kings represents a major figure from The Inferno.

“Each completely original character was designed as a modern interpretation that is true to the text and framed after the most famous ‘Inferno’ Illustrations created by renowned artist Gustave Dore in the 19th Century.  Staying true to that vision, we have created images utilizing he original Dore plates for our backgrounds.”    —Bicycle Inferno Kickstarter

View images of some of the cards here.

Contributed by Iris McComb (Bowdoin College ’14)

Nathaniel Rich, Odds Against Tomorrow (2013)

Odds Against TomorrowMitchell Zukor, the protagonist of Nathaniel Rich’s Odds Against Tomorrow, suffers from panic attacks and often uses phrases like “going to a deeper circle in hell.”

Rich’s website describes the novel:

“New York City, the near future: Mitchell Zukor, a gifted young mathematician, is hired by a mysterious new financial consulting firm, FutureWorld. The business operates out of an empty office in the Empire State Building; Mitchell is employee number two. [. . .]

“As Mitchell immerses himself in the mathematics of catastrophe–ecological collapse, war games, natural disasters–he becomes obsessed by a culture’s fears. [. . .]

“Then, just as Mitchell’s predictions reach a nightmarish crescendo, an actual worst-case scenario overtakes Manhattan. [. . .]

“At once an all-too plausible literary thriller, an unexpected love story, and a philosophically searching inquiry into the nature of fear, Nathaniel Rich’s Odds Against Tomorrow poses the ultimate questions of imagination and civilization. The future is not quite what it used to be.”    —Nathaniel Rich’s Website

 

Contributed by Thomas Jonkergouw, Universiteit Utrecht