Archive for July, 2009

A Marketing Problem

July 4, 2009

     I think we should drop this project. Why? The company believes it has a lot of potential. A luxurious holiday resort on a place called Cannibal and Monster Island, mostly because of the thousands of cannibals and monsters that reside on it, has a lot of potential? You’ll never get anywhere in this company with such a negative attitude. I called you here to get your unique insight on this project. Yes, you could say I have a ‘unique insight’ on this project. I’m one of the surviving members of eleven survey teams sent to that island. There goes that negativity again. You don’t know that the other survey teams didn’t survive, they could still be gathering information for a really detailed report. As a matter of fact, we received an e-mail from the last team to send another team. Haven’t you received the same message from each of the previous teams? Well, yes, but that just means they need a lot of help with the survey. Right… I’m not sure I like your attitude, mister. As head of the prestigious Entertainment and Munitions division, I am entitled to a certain amount of respect from underlings. Didn’t you used to head the New Products division? Why, yes, I received a nice write-up in Forbes for my work there. The article stated that I was ‘a man to watch’. More like ‘a man to watch out for’. What did you say? Nothing. At New Products, weren’t you responsible for the ‘Nature’s Miracle’ weight loss treatment. I’m quite proud of that of that one. The customer consumed a supplement containing a tapeworm that immediately began to reproduce and then the host was consumed from the inside out. I received many complimentary letters and e-mails from satisfied customers about that product. Probably the last thing they ever did. What was that? Nothing, didn’t you also come up with Robo-Hazel, the electronic maid. That was one of our top sellers last Christmas. Didn’t one out of every ten units go berserk and attack the owner? A ninety percent success rate sounds pretty good to me, mister. Anyway, any dissatisfied customers… Surviving customers, you mean. …dissatisfied customers got a full refund and a coupon for ten percent off on ‘Nature’s Miracle’. Nice touch. Returning to the subject of a possible resort on Cannibal and Monster Island, I still think we should drop the project. Look at the attempts  to market it so far. The season of the ‘Survivor’ television series shot there was one of the highest rated. It lasted lasted only one episode because all the contestants were eaten and the host, Jeff Probst, was torn limb from limb on live television. Always looking at the negative, aren’t you? You can’t buy PR like that. And what about the Miss Universe contest hosted there by Donald Trump himself? Miss Venezuela was fricasseed and the other contestants ran away never to be seen again. Funny, no one tried to eat Mr. Trump. I guess even hungry cannibals and bloodthirsty monsters have standards. In your report you mentioned a leader of the cannibals and monsters. Yes, that would be Leslie, the virgin vegetarian Queen of Cannibal and Monster Island. A virgin vegetarian queen of cannibals and monsters??? Yes, she’s also an American. Leslie came to the island as a young girl, the sole survivor of shipwreck where her parents were lost. The inhabitants of the island did not harm her and even comforted her with her loss. Leslie was not afraid of the cannibals and monsters, as a matter of fact they reminded her of the characters in her favorite book as a child, Maurice Sendak’s ‘Where the Wild Things Are’. Her influence helped end the warring between cannibals and monsters. In gratitude, the inhabitants made her their queen. The island became an ecological and vegetarian paradise, and because her subjects were so taken by the lovely new queen, they also, reluctantly, became vegetarians too. Wow! That’s some story! So, she’s beautiful? Yes, very beautiful. And a virgin? Well, there’s not exactly much opportunity. The island is full of cannibals and monsters you know. Is Leslie a blonde? Yes… I knew it! Does she run around in a fur bikini like Raquel Welch in ‘One Million Years B.C.’? No, she wore a simple, but stylish blouse and skirt she had sewn herself. Leslie was quite proud it was made from cotton grown on the island. Ooooo. Was it virgin cotton? You are a very strange man. I think this situation requires hands on negotiating by a member of management, namely myself. Aren’t you married? My wife and I have an understanding.  And don’t you have five small children? My little ones know I work very hard, they would like their daddy to be happy. I don’t think you’re Leslie’s type. How is it you know so much about this queen? I think she sensed that my team and I didn’t want to harm their way of life. The other members of my team were allowed to leave unharmed and in return I stayed behind to listen to a message Leslie had for the company. She was extremely intelligent… And beautiful. …and very beautiful and she also made an excellent argument for not putting a resort on the island. Sounds like you like her. Yes, we grew very close. But she’s still a virgin? I did mention the island is inhabited by thousands of cannibals and monsters. They are quite protective of their queen. Cramped your style, eh? Star-crossed lovers like Romeo and Juliet? Yes, if the Montagues and the Capulets had been trying to eat each other I suppose. I had thought about staying on the island, but after I woke up from a nap to find myself stewing in a giant pot, I thought it was time to go. Cannibals and monsters will be cannibals and monsters. Wouldn’t Leslie come with you? She won’t leave the island and her friends. I’ve just received a message on my Blackberry from Queen Leslie. She has invited all the company executives, including yours truly, and the board of directors to a special meeting and celebratory feast to be held on the island. They’ll be serving something called ‘long pig’. Must be a local delicacy? You could say that. Them cannibals and monsters aren’t vegetarian all the time, eh? Yes, for you they’d make a special exception. Will you give Leslie a message from me? Surely. What is it? Bon appetit.