The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy defines the marketing division of the Sirius Cybernetics Corporation as 'a bunch of mindless jerks who'll be the first against the wall when the revolution comes.'
In last week's edition of the Post, we continued our adventures in marketing by asking our readers to read a brief description of a common product's packaging and a selected bit of prose penned by a marketing executive touting the product's attributes.
And as if to prove the power of the marketing executive, we had our first correct guess! Yes, that's right Traveller in Time correctly guessed a box of pencils.
Can you even imagine writing something that sneaks into the public mind to the degree that a few vague hints are enough to spark the memory of your product?
For my entire professional life1, I've worked to reach people and maybe educate them a little about the world around them. I can only hope I've been successful, while a marketing executive gets instant feedback in terms of product sales and examples like Traveller in Time knowing your product.
Is it any wonder that Douglas Adams penned the text which appears at the top and bottom of this column? From what I've read about him, Douglas struggled constantly to create writing that left an impression. And again, I'm sure that when he looked at smug, well-dressed, overpaid marketing executives he had to feel a bit of anger which prompted him to blast the industry as a bunch of mindless jerks!
But enough of that, let's get to the answer and next week's puzzle! Last week we asked you to identify a product based upon the following description:
This week's product comes in a box featuring a hero of the American Revolutionary War to make it really stand out as it sits on the shelf among similar products. Among the descriptors for this invaluable product are the following:
Using only the highest quality materials, the PRODUCT NAME has been securing freedom for your thoughts for generations.
Well, as we've already discussed the product in question was a box of pencils - Ticonderoga-brand pencils.
Pretty powerful marketing for pencils eh? The US flag in the background with Revolutionary War hero Ethan Allen2 on the box with his sword drawn.
Just think of it, the Ticonderoga pencil has been securing freedom for your thoughts for generations. Wow! Really? And all this time I thought it was the Bill of Rights...
And if you think that bit of marketing genius is something just wait until this week's effort.
This week's product features a lovely scene of the Swiss Alps which actually made me pause and give it a second look. I couldn't imagine for the life of me what the Alps would have to do with this mystery product. Among the descriptors for it are the following:
Over the centuries, the Swiss have developed and perfected their secrets for this product. Now these closely guarded secrets are captured within the mystery product for this week.
Again, this is a common type of product that I cannot imagine is very different from any other brand. But reading that packaging, it makes you realize that this is the one brand that you simply must buy - if only to get a hold of that Swiss formula!
'Curiously enough, an edition of the Encyclopaedia Galactica that had the good fortune to fall through a time warp from a thousand years in the future defined the marketing division of the Sirius Cybernetics Corporation as 'a bunch of mindless jerks who were the first against the wall when the revolution came.'