CW begins an ambitious campaign this week to promote a new series for the 2009-10 TV season, "The Vampire Diaries."
Among other elements of the campaign being developed...are trinkets to be distributed in cities like Chicago, Los Angeles and New York. They include packages of dental floss bearing the words "fang floss" as well as sunscreen for vampires, relabeled as "sunscream" with a V.P.F. -- Vampire Protection Factor -- of 1,000, because "sun damage is the No. 1 killer of the undead."
(New York Times, August 24, 2009)
I've had advertising on my mind lately, because the more I learn, the more I realize that it is a genius way to make a lot of money without actually inventing anything new. Floss? I own that. Sunblock? Heard of it. The key is to market things that already exist to incredibly specific groups of weirdos and thus make a lot of money. I love money! Here are my ideas:
Breakfast for little kids who like pretending to be a pony. It's oatmeal.
Dog Food Vegetables
This is for kids who won't eat their vegetables and who also like pretending to be a dog. It's steamed broccoli and Brussels sprouts made to look like dog food.
Luxurious Mulled Meade
For people who go to Renaissance Fairs. It's just Boone's Farm in a plastic bottle, but the bottle looks really medieval. It's covered in velvet and plastic gems.
Trays of food to serve when you're having a toga party and pretending to be at a symposium (and also you don't really know the difference between Ancient Rome and Ancient Greece.) It's really just grocery store platters of cheese (cut up string cheese), crackers (triscuits and wheat thins), and grapes (old grapes).
Let Yourself Eat Cake
A fancy French looking cake for people who like Marie Antoinette. Just get an Entenmann's cake and stick one of those French flags on a toothpick in it.
These are for people who like pretending to be a cowboy. They're toothpicks, but they're in an old timey looking box with the font from the Wanted ads. Because nothing is more distracting than when you're chasing down Injuns, and then you realize you have some baked bean in your tooth.
These are for people who want to emulate P.Diddy in all his finery. They're toothpicks in an all white box. Because nothing is more distracting than when you're at the White Party talking to someone really rich and good looking, and then you realize you have some expensive food in your tooth.
For people obsessed with crime shows such as CSI or Law and Order SVU. Ziploc bags for you to store your "specimens" (leftovers) from "crime scenes" (dinner).
Time Travel Tooth Toner
This is aimed at people trying to figure out how to time travel. It's toothpaste, but the tube is painted to look like a time machine (kind of like a car, but there's an ancient Egyptian driving it.) Because what's worse than showing up in caveman times and then realizing you forgot to bring toothpaste? Problem solved.
Ancient Roman Deodorant
Because Visigoths can smell fear. And the fact that you didn't shower. It's just regular deodorant.
Magic: The Soap
Because nothing interrupts play like dirt. Really just use any kind of soap. It doesn't matter.
If any advertising people are interested, they should contact me immediately. If I don't answer the phone, it's because I'm busy working on my novel, Slaughterhouse-Six: Dracula's Revenge.
(Note: This was updated on August 29, 2009. I wrote the original a few days ago. This one is way better.)