It Came In A Grey Flannel Suit

The questions came fast and furious. First someone asked me why they should use my marketing agency. I had a number of reasons, but pointed out that we’re accessible, efficient, and not as expensive as they might thought

The next thing was a question as to what were we. Is Carson Dunn Media an advertising agency filled with cigarette smoking men in suits and hats ogling at pretty girls in tight dresses? Sure, I said. It’s called happy hour and another group of folk. It ain’t us. No one smokes in my office.

I pointed out that rather than focus on the external, it was better to understand that our staff works as a team to hone in three things: 1) research marketing needs; 2) obtain the right media to expose our clients’ products; and, 3) engage in a focused campaign to get those products into the minds of consumers.

I guess what he had in mind was a monster movie he saw on the SyFy Channel. You’ve seen the plot. An ugly, monster man shows up in town, makes a set of weird, impossible promises to a nice, innocent school marm type and her husband, Casper Milquetoast. See, they own a store and have been content to market on sandwich boards. Business could be better.

Casper says: “We don’t need you, thanks.” The ugly monster grins evilly and lays a series of traps to get Casper’s commitment. He’s relentless, calling all hours of the night, jumping out of dark corners, causing school marm lady to drop her groceries.

Finally, since the calls won’t stop, and the guy won’t go home, the couple sits down and, with shaky hands and quivering spine, they hire Mr. Ugly.  He tells them, there are many places for their company to be seen: from a billboard, to the wall of Dodger Stadium, to sandwich boards. The trick is deciding what makes the most sense for their budget. The couple says they want to hire skydivers to hang their message in a wave of falling humans.

No, Mr. Ugly rejoins. He tells them that tried and true forms of advertising will get the biggest results. So, two or three months past go by. Casper is delighted that because of consumer exposure, he will go on a limb and tell his wife that they can now afford that trip to Canoga Park. The marketer, that ugly monster guy has done his job. If they stick with him, they can actually do the town in Oxnard.


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