A Challenge For The Ages
Greetings loyal readers,
I have a challenge to issue. I have thought of three instances where a person or company is in desperate need of advertising, yet using promotional products to help them would be extremely difficult. Your challenge is twofold:
- Think of an actual working promotion, or
- Come up with a funnier disastrous instance than I have suggested here
What do you win if you succeed? Well, as an Internet Overlord, I am permitted to bestow minor titles on those I deem fit. How does, "Vanessa Q. Covington, Omnico distributor partner and Internet Duchess" sound? Pretty good right? Well, you better make with the suggestions then. As always, responses can be posted directly to my blog, or you can e-mail them to me at email@example.com. The best answers will make my blog next week.
Situation #1: Timmy Teenager, a good-hearted but unfortunately bland and predictable high school junior, is finally starting the college application process. He wants to to get into State University College, the famously prestigious fictional college that his girlfriend, Tina Teenager (no relation), also happens to be attending in the fall. Being a boring clod however, Timmy's only prayer of getting accepted is if he can somehow get himself noticed by the admissions staff and stand out above the thousands of other middle-of-the-road applicants trying to get into SUC.
Your job is to convince admissions that Timmy should indeed be accepted. Use any promotional strategies you wish, and it should be noted that Timmy's parents, Mr. and Mrs. T. Teenager, are very rich, giving you basically an unlimited budget.
My (un)solution: Pay, bribe or blackmail every possible person who interacts with the admissions staff to wear "Admit Timmy Teenager!" T-shirts and swear them to secrecy as to why they're doing so. Then, covertly start replacing every item in the lives of said admissions personnel, from their pens and coffee mugs to their beds and family dogs, with promotional versions until they either concede and let him in or succumb to madness. Madness, of course, makes it much easier to forge their signatures on the required paperwork.
Situation #2: Ikemay Ornnellcay, a young author with very little promise, has somehow managed to get his first book published. It's a 600-page self-indulgent, meticulously detailed yet overtly boring memoir, and your job is to get it to the top of the New York Times best-sellers list.
The publisher has a huge marketing budget for you, but the best quality of the book is that it makes a good doorstop, so you're going to be fighting a powerful negative word-of-mouth campaign as well. (Except from people in need of doorstops. They will probably be neutral.)
My (un)solution: Short of catering to the doorstop crowd, I suppose I'd run a campaign that ties the memoir to another book that is already a best-seller, so much so that the public becomes confused about which is which.
Situation #3: Milton Punywimp, besides being unfortunately named, is hopelessly lovesick. The problem is that the object of his affection, the beautiful and internationally famous motorcycle stuntwoman Deena Dynamite, is currently infatuated with a lug by the name of Clob Sundrel. A crewman on her traveling roadshow, Clob has decent arms, an expensive haircut and looks cool smoking a cigarette, but otherwise he doesn't have much to hold the fickle Deena's attention. Your task is to either get Deena to fall for Milton, or break her up from Clob so Milton can work his magic on his own.
My (un)solution: As fun as it would be to run a slander campaign against Clob, I'm thinking anyone named Punywimp isn't going have much of a chance with a world-famous adrenaline junkie, so instead I'd direct my campaign to finding a magical genie that would be able to hook Milton up. My brilliant slogan would be:
"Has anybody seen a genie lately? I need to help a dude with true love. Oh, and no evil genies that twist wishes in ironic and terrible ways. I'm not down with that."
Catchy, right? I'm sure it would fit fine on a pen or stress ball ...
CHARLES PLYTER FACT OF THE WEEK: The filtered answer Charlie gave question #2 was to package it with a better book, or "to turn the book into a box of cereal" and put all kinds of fun stuff with it, like gift cards or CDs. His unfiltered response had about 1,000 percent more sarcasm, if anyone's wondering.