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Branding / Marketing issues

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Helios71, Sep 16, 2014.

  1. Helios71

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    Hello all,

    I'm a very new and excited member of the Phantom family and I have to start by saying how darn excited I am to be a Phantom owner. I dream of flying this thing daily. I can't get enough of this new and exciting hobby.

    Wanted to jump on this forum to discuss a little issue that seems to be a big topic of discussion. Lots of people are talking about FAA, laws, restrictions and outward 'fear' of these things. Some legit, most of them not.

    I think our Hobby/Profession has a branding issue.

    I am and have been in the Marketing world professionally for 25 years. I recognize that words are important and peoples perceptions are easily plied by the way things are talked about.

    Personally, I think we should collectively eradicate the word 'Drone' from our lexicon. It evokes fear, has a deep and exciting history rooted in the military, and overall scares the bejesus out of people.

    I've heard - 'How easy would it be to strap a brick of C4 onto one of those things and fly it into a stadium?'

    I respond - 'a lot harder than filling a truck with homemade explosives and setting it off in the midtown tunnel. Lightweight, high explosives are much much harder to acquire...'

    I hope I'm getting my point across.

    This hobby is insanely fun. It's pure joy getting shots from perspectives one never dreamed imaginable. The moment 'Drone' comes out of my mouth people get scared.

    Any thoughts on this? I've been researching the hell out of this and notice the big manufactures do not use the word 'Drone' at all.

    But press releases, hobbyist and pros alike, are using this word maybe a bit too much.

    I seriously don't want to sound like the 'thought police' but want to start a discussion that will serve our love of these awesome flying machines more than freak the hell out of others.

    Thanks for you thoughts!
     
  2. ProfessorStein

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    Nope, have to disagree.

    It's not what it's called, it's what it can do. You can call it a drone (which these are, by the current definition of the word), you can call it a quadcopter/multi-rotor copter, whatever. But the fact that it can carry a camera into the sky is what scares people and puts people off.

    Case and point, the media around me has begun to use "Phantom" a lot. The use it like "Kleenex" or "Band-aid". Even though they accompany stories with video and photos of drones that are clearly not Phantoms, they're labelled as such as if it were a generic term.

    You can call it whatever you want. You could call it a "fairy godmother" even... but as long as it's got that camera, it won't matter. People will still be scared. And as long as there are pilots who fly them recklessly or without common sense (and there always will), they are always going to be in the news with disparaging headlines. And guess what, even if we were successful in creating a shift in terms, from "drone" to whatever, the media would just start using that term and we'd be right back where we started.

    A "drone" did not start out as a bad thing, either. At one time, the chase plane that followed and recorded NASA's experiments was called a drone. And people saw them as "helpers".

    I also disagree somewhat with your contention that loading a drone with explosives is a lot harder than filling a truck. High explosives are not all that difficult to acquire for those who operate in those circles. Namely the well-organized terrorist groups who are the very groups that would try to use drones for such things.

    I'm pretty sure, someday, we will see an "incident" occur with a UAV loaded with explosives.

    What the media will call the drone, by then, is anybody's guess.
     
  3. Meta4

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    I suspect that the train has left the station regarding the word drone.
    It's in the language and it's what people use already.

    As for the fear of multicopters, I suspect that is a mostly USA phenomenon.
    Away from the USA we don't get regular news reports of death-dealing drones and the paranoia about privacy or government doesn't exist. The usual response to a Phantom is - wow .. that's really cool.
     
  4. ProfessorStein

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    You get that in the US, too :D

    I'd say it's probably 98% "wow... that's really cool" and 2% "if that flies over my yard I'm shooting it down with a shotgun"
     
  5. derrickduff

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    With few exceptions, languages just happen. It'd be a much easier task to promote the positive uses of drone technology than focusing on changing the word. There's absolutely no way you're going to stop the press from using it. It's such a hot word to attract eyeballs.

    There's just so much Fox news in these statements. It is extremely difficult even for a highly organized terrorist group to obtain high grade explosives. The kind with a weight to explosive ratio that would make flying explosives with an electric drone possible. As far as I know there has not been any type of terrorist bombing in the US with any such explosive. There was the shoe bomber and underwear bomber. Which to me indicate even with well organized attempts the training and knowledge to use such explosives is very poor among these groups. For the real devastating attacks on US soil it's all been homemade black powder and nitrogen fertilizer type bombs. The most disastrous bombing in US history have been with simple store bought materials. So yes, if we look at history it is much more likely the next such bombing will be very similar.

    In war zones left over munitions are typically used for bombs. Pressure plate mines daisy chained to artillery shells. Again, not something that can be carried with even the most expensive drones out there today.

    Not to take away from our intelligence community. I have no doubt they are the primary reason we don't see these types of explosives going off on a regular basis on US soil. I just don't buy the doom and gloom being shoved down our throats by the media.
     
  6. ProfessorStein

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    Bite your tongue. I've never watched Fox News a day in my life. :)

    No, it really isn't that difficult. In fact, the US provided C4 to bin Laden when he was fighting the Soviets. While there have been few bombings involving plastic explosives in the US, there have been many against US interests; the USS Cole was attacked by bin Laden, likely using the very C4 that the CIA provided him a decade earlier, as well as the US military complex in Saudi Arabia, and it's also been used countless times by the insurgency in Iraq. Even without bin Laden's deep coffers, al-Qaeda and it's splinter groups are exceedingly well-funded. And there is very little that money can not buy when it comes to military assets. It's certainly difficult for average citizens to procure C-4, but for the underground, not so much.

    I'm not saying this to instill paranoia, or fear, or state some sort of conspiracy theory. I'm just trying to clarify that it's easier than you think.

    Look... is someone going to blow up a high-profile asset tomorrow with C-4 packed in a UAV? No, probably not. In fact, the "incident" I spoke of could very well be the CIA and FBI catching a terrorist group who simply had plans to use a UAV packed with explosives. But even then, the word "drone" will permeate through the media ad nauseam. And then people will be even more afraid of hobby drones (no matter what we try to call them).
     
  7. GoodnNuff

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    I call my quadcopters drones. They are what they are. If I mount my camera to one of my fixed wing RC planes, I'll refer to it a drone as well. I used to avoid the term, but I've come to embrace it. Nobody knows what a UAV Is, but everyone is familiar with the term "drone."
    So if people ask if I'm flying a drone, I tell them yes. I also offer the other names and brief explanations of those terms.

    A couple of interesting opinions on what to call these things:

    http://www.defensenews.com/article/2013 ... t-Call-UAV
    and;
    https://www.aclu.org/blog/technology-an ... es-or-uavs
    and;
    http://www.nbcnews.com/tech/innovation/ ... f1C8857699
     
  8. Helios71

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    Hey guys, Thanks for jumping on this issue. For me, it's not even about what one can or cannot do with this thing as much as we, as a community, need to think about its perception to others. I sure as hell know its a 'drone' and am fine calling it a 'drone' (you are correct to say 'it is what it is', I'm so not arguing the point) . But, I'm talking about outside perceptions.

    Yeah, the media will go for the darkest word out there as soon as one dumbass does something incredibly stupid with one of these things.

    I'm suggesting we figure out how to change perceptions instead letting the outsiders write all these future laws on the docket.

    We're all going to get pretty screwed should the momentum of fear take hold over people. It's bad enough we can't even shoot in National Parks here in the states. I also just heard someone was recently arrested 'flying a drone' near the Space Needle in Seattle. I wonder if people reading that article would thought more (or less) of it if the headline said 'man arrested for aerial photography of Space Needle'????
     
  9. ProfessorStein

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    I don't think it was so much that he flew NEAR it, but that he crashed INTO it. That was my understanding.
     
  10. Buckaye

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    The "crash" part didn't happen.... He wasn't arrested... He was questioned... The only law they thought could have applied was flying over 400ft...but they weren't able to be sure about that either

    http://mashable.com/2014/07/25/amazon-d ... ce-needle/

    In general... The people who are here are usually responsible hobbyists. It isn't going to be people who care about this hobby that are going to make it more difficult... It's gonna be an idiot like the amazon guy who buys it on a whim.. Flies it out of his hotel window and crashes it into a crowd below and kills someone.
     
  11. ProfessorStein

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    There you go. Shows how easily we get misinformation.
     
  12. Buckaye

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    :) no harm no foul... I had just happened to read that article a couple days ago!
     
  13. GoodnNuff

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    The Amazon employee didn't crash his drone, err Phantom, into the Space Needle. Nor was he arrested. He just flew foolishly in an area he shouldn't have. But you can see from his own video that he was well above the top of the Space Needle and the observation deck is at 520 ft. So he clearly exceeded 400 ft altitude limit the FAA recommends.

    Just a week or so before this incident a woman in Seattle's Belltown neighborhood looked out her 26th floor window at 6:30 am to see a UAV/drone/quadcopter with "several cameras" from her bedroom window. She snapped several photos with her cellphone before calling the police:
    http://www.komonews.com/news/crime/Seat ... l?mobile=y

    The drone pilot turned out to be affiliated with the construction company and was filming the high rise that the company was working on. Again, no arrests.
     
  14. Meta4

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    In that Seattle spy-drone case ... She said the drone was hovering near the top of a crane about a block away from her building. Concerned the drone was spying on her she reported it.

    It's a block away, in an inner city area but she knew it was spying on her rather than the hundreds of other people that could have been closer.

    "Now I kind of understand how violating it can feel when you're standing in your apartment and you don't even know who's there or potentially taking pictures of you," Pleiss said. She lives in a hi-rise apartment on the 26th floor and has no worries about other hi-rise dwellers looking out of their window towards hers .. but a drone a block away ... whoah that's scary!!!!

    Too much paranoia, fear and ignorance with a dash of an inflated sense of self importance.
     
  15. GoodnNuff

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    The local media didn't report it as though "she knew" it was she the drone was spying on, but I think her reaction was not surprising. If I didn't fly RC toys and my limited knowledge of drones was derived from the media (which unfortunately is our reality) and I saw some odd drone thing outside my window, even a block away, with a camera strapped to it, yeah, I'd call the police and question what it was doing as well. And if you've seen her photos, this wasn't a little Phantom or Blade 350, it was a large commercial mulitrotor.

    When you live on the 26th floor of an urban fortress, you have a certain expectation of privacy that can only be broached by voyeurs some distance away with telescopes. When that "voyeur" is now hovering outside your window, or your neighbor's window, I expect people feel as though their privacy is being violated on a whole different level. I think as pilots of these amazing technology loaded toys, we need to be empathetic and understanding of the public's concerns. I assume that is why this contractor was filming so early in the morning as well, to try and avoid the public.

    I don't think calling these aerial crafts 'UAVs' instead of 'drones' is going to allay people's fears and concerns as much as educating the public and the media on the versatility and usefulness of this growing technology. As I see it, drones are going to be an inevitable part of all of our futures.
     
  16. HarryT

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    "What’s in a name? that which we call a rose
    By any other name would smell as sweet;"

    -- Bill Shakespeare.

    Wise chap, old Bill.
     
  17. Helios71

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    Yeah, but what Billy Shakespeare couldn't imagine was a quote like 'Death Tax' or 'Probable Cause'.

    Lawyers have taken over modern civilization for some time now. WE, have to be the change we seek. We can, if united in our cause, have profound influence on how the conversation moves forward. We're in the infancy of our hobby. The big laws have yet to be written. Right now is the time to start changing the conversation before the fear mongers hijack the conversation.

    We're smart, geeky, nerdy and artistic types that get their rocks off flying magical devices in the air. In a way we're pioneers. We have to set the tone of the conversation when it comes to legislation. In TWO years from now we'll be essentially 'grounded' if we don't start now.

    Not saying I know exactly what to do. Just looking for ideas...

    One idea I have is to start populating either a YouTube or Facebook web site with nothing but awesome aerial footage. Footage that captures everyone's imagination. Let's get more people to want one versus a 'what the ****?' reaction...
     
  18. GoodnNuff

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    Have you joined the AMA?



     
  19. MadMitch88

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    There's literally thousands of YouTube videos already pushing this idea. That's how I got interested in buying my Vision+ --- watching all the cool flight videos.

    A lot of people wont' admit it, but aerial videography is NOT the "killer app" for civilian drones. It will be delivery of goods. Amazon and Google already recognize this and are putting millions into researching it and getting it ready for prime-time once the FAA finalizes the rules. I think the best way we can promote our hobby is to upload videos of our birds doing interesting things besides taking panaroma shots of our neighborhood. That FPV quadcopter rescue in the UK is one good example. Most rational people can see the good side of drones once they see a demonstration like that. What about somebody using a Phantom to quickly deliver medications to a homebound elderly person who doesnt drive? What about using a drone to locate a lost pet and get a visual confirmation on camera? That would show how many uses UAVs can have in our future and turn the public to our side, and not the 1% of paranoid freaks and legislators who think UAVs are only for nefarious uses like Peeping Tom pervs and terrorist plots.
     
  20. GoodnNuff

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    The August issue of Popular Science has a great article entitled "25 Reasons to Love Drones...and 5 Reason to Fear Them."

    Very interesting, so many applications most of us hobbyists have never imagined. For instance it is predicted that by 2025 about 80% of the commercial drone market will be used in agriculture. Currently 85% of the crops in Japan are crop dusted by drone helicopters (Yamaha RMAX).
    Renault introduced a concept car this year that comes with a companion drone that can be launched to search out parking spaces or routes around gridlocks.
    Search and rescue applications.
    Traffic monitoring.
    UCLA football team currently uses "Phantom drones" to spot holes in their defense.
    And as we've seen posted on the forum just lately, drones used to gather whale snot for analysis by biologists.

    Drones are going to be an inevitable part of our future in ways we can't even imagine! Self driving taxis that will pick us up at the airport and deliver us to our hotel! Self driving Prius drones are already in limited production.