The following presentation was given at the headquarters of HMD, a leading producer of nutritional supplements. Mr. Brown and Mr. Fishburne of HMD’s brand management team presented their idea to Mr. Jackson, VP of Marketing, and Ms. Yu, his deputy.
Mr. Brown: Ladies and gentlemen, er, lady and gentleman, we have an exciting way to break into the lucrative 18-24 male market. Our market research has consistently shown that that demographic just isn’t interested in multivitamins. However, there is a large and growing demand for protein powders, energy bars and other bodybuilding aids. Now, our R&D team has put together a high-protein energy drink, and we’ve come up with the perfect way to position it in the market.
Mr. Jackson: Well, you have our attention, let’s hear some specifics.
Mr. Brown: Four words: “good old-fashioned manliness”.
Mrs. Jackson: I’m not sure I understand.
Mr. Brown: You know, good old-fashioned manliness. Waxed mustaches, bowler hats, kettle bell swings, striped one-piece bathing suits, fighting grizzly bears, the whole shebang. Incorporating that motif into our product’s branding will help us to stand out in what is already a crowded market. So, without further ado, we present “Dr. Strong Fortestark’s Elixir For Manly Muscle”!
Ms. Yu: Not sure I’m a fan of the name; it sounds like snake oil.
Mr. Brown: That’s the idea; irony sells these days! We’ve put together this blurb for the packaging; “With only the smallest drop of Dr. Strong Fortestark’s Elixir for Manly Muscle, even the flimsiest weakling will be endowed with insuperable speed, impossible endurance, and indomitable strength. His balsa-wood limbs will obtain the size and power of the mighty sequoia, and every ounce of his frame will swell with the bulk and vigour of a modern-day Hercules, nay, a dozen Herculi. Become a mighty dreadnought of a man by trying Dr. Fortestark’s Elixir today!”
Ms. Yu: We can’t put that on our packaging; we’ll have the FDA breaking down our doors before our first shipment even hits the shelves.
Mr. Brown: IRONY SELLS!! We also have a celebrity endorsement lined up.
Mr. Jackson: Who?
Mr. Brown: Theodore Roosevelt.
Ms. Yu: Have we gotten permission from his heirs? We could run into legal issues if we use his likeness without consent. To be perfectly frank, this whole idea sounds like one huge lawsuit waiting to happen.
Mr. Brown: We don’t anticipate that being a problem; our extensive legal research has led us to the conclusion that Mr. Roosevelt is in the public domain, and also dead. In any case, our research tells us that Roosevelt would make a perfect spokesman; after all, he was our toughest president.
Mr. Jackson: What about Andrew Jackson?
Mr. Brown: We actually did consider him as our spokesman for a time, but our research told us that TR would definitely beat him in a fistfight.
Mr. Fishburne: Yeah, that dude was jacked.
Ms. Yu: Your research?
Mr. Brown: Yes, we interviewed several prominent historians, and we conducted extensive public opinion polls on the subject.
Ms. Yu: How much did this cost us?
Mr. Brown: About $500,000 dollars. We polled a large sample.
Mr. Jackson: I’m sorry, but I just can’t see Theodore Roosevelt beating Andrew Jackson in a fight. Sure, he was a bigger than Jackson, but Jackson was crazier, and crazy beats big nine times out of ten. Nine times out of ten!
(Mr. Brown and Mr. Fishburne took a moment to consult with each other in a corner of the room. The two men spoke in hushed, yet forceful tones, so the stenographer present was only able to pick up a few scattered phrases, including,”he’s our boss”, “dude was jacked”, and several repetitions of the phrase “pink slip”)
Mr. Brown (to the group): We’d be comfortable using Andrew Jackson as our spokesman.
Mr. Jackson: I think that’s a wise choice. What’s your anticipated ROI for this project?
Mr. Brown: We expect our ROI for phase one to be right around 8%,But we’re much more interested in phase two, when our returns become infinite.
Ms. Yu: You’ve got to be kidding me.
Mr. Jackson: Surely you’re exaggerating.
Mr. Brown: Not in the least; you’ll see what I mean when I explain phase two.
Mr. Jackson: Please do.
Mr. Brown: Over the past few years, HMD has done a good job of expanding its presence into new geographic markets, and phase one of our project will create a presence for the company in new demographic markets. Phase two will allow us to penetrate heretofore untapped temporal markets.
Mr. Jackson: Hmmm… Heretofore untapped temporal markets? My curiosity in piqued and my intellect intrigued by your alluring suggestion; what precisely do you propose, perchance?
Mr. Brown: We have every reason to believe that asequential temporal transition technology, a “time machine”, if you will, will be commercially viable within the next five to ten years –
Ms. Yu: – And how do you know this?
Mr. Brown: http://www.thesciencebuzzz.com . As I was saying, when this technology becomes available, we will use it to market Dr. Strong Fortestark’s Elixir for Manly Muscle to people living in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Even when we account for a decline in consumer spending during the panic of 1893, it’s a strong market that we intend to tap by promoting the product at the Chicago’s World Fair and by getting the Sears Roebuck catalog to carry it.The Elixir captures the zeitgeist of the gilded age perfectly, so we expect the brand to resonate with consumers. Also, don’t forget that our revenue will be in 1890’s dollars, so we’ll make a hefty premium off of inflation. The best part is, we can use the time machine to distribute our revenues retroactively, so we should start seeing returns as soon as you approve the project. In fact, we’ve scheduled a drop off of revenue in the rear parking lot for 1:00 this afternoon. You’re welcome to accompany us, but please leave your cell phones behind; we believe that the radiation can disrupt the homing signal. We’re pretty sure that’s why our first three deliveries didn’t come through.
Mr. Jackson: That… is… ABSOLUTELY BRILLIANT!!! You boys do what you need to in order to get this project off the ground; you have a blank check. I’m going to drive to the airport, where I will take my private jet to my private island. Thanks to your time-value wizardry and your retroactive returns, I expect to own both of those things by the time I get to the airport.
Ms. Yu: If you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go and update my resume now.
Editor’s Note: Please don’t try to emulate Messrs. Brown, Fishburne, and Jackson in your CE project; this piece is for entertainment purposes only, and is not intended to have informational or instructional value.