Friday, March 5, 2010

Magpie Entry #4

“Scientific Breakthrough”



Ron: I guess we’re all aware of the reason for this meeting. We’re getting together tomorrow morning with a man who has developed an exciting new product, an item with fantastic potential, and he wants us to be his advertising agency. Take over, Blake.

Blake: Well, you saw the Powerpoint presentation. “Candy Babar” is being proclaimed as something revolutionary for this industry. An entirely new confectionery item, a new type of candy bar in the shape of the famous elephant – it's new in concept, new in philosophy, new in substance.

Ron: Right. This happens to be an historic occasion: it will be an honor for our agency to be associated with what is literally a revolutionary product. Why is Candy Babar revolutionary? It’s a candy bar that relies heavily on high-fructose corn syrup in a never-before-achieved solid and stable form – it’s a scientific breakthrough. By the way, be sure you get the client’s name right: R. Philip Dubieus. For those of you who haven’t met the man, this is important. His last name is pronounced Doobyess; as he puts it, there’s an emphasis on the “yess.” I need hardly tell you there are to be no wisecracks about his name and the word “dubious.” And he likes to be referred to as “R. Philip.”

Blake: Yeah, we met him last year. Remember, Ron?

Ron: For those who are new with our agency, Blake is sarcastically referring to a meeting just like this one last year. R. Philip brought in his latest product, “Plumber’s Friend,” for us to evaluate.

Blake: And Ron evaluated the hell out of it.

Ron: Look, I’ve admitted it. I messed up. I told R. Philip that “Plumber’s Friend,” a candy bar in the shape of a toilet plunger, would never sell.

Edna: But the “Plumber’s Friend” candy bar sold like hotcakes. It was the most successful candy bar in the country for a while last year. And we told the client it would never sell. Who knows what kids are going to go for?

Ron: I’ll tell you who knows: R. Philip Dubieus knows. He’s a damn genius. He’s the Bill Gates of the confectionery industry. And he’s giving us another chance. This time we’re not going to drop the ball.

Wendell: Or the elephant.

Ron: How does that help, Wendell?

Wendell: Sorry.

Blake: To top it off, we provided them with their motto – at no charge.

Ron: That’s true. During our meeting last year, as we were talking about the Plumber’s Friend candy bar, someone blurted out, “It’ll clean out your pipes!” They used it and paid us nothing for the use. But it turned out okay. R. Philip now feels he owes us.

Blake: R. Philip’s lawyers have of course contacted the estate of the folks who own the name “Babar.” They’re very interested and even enthusiastic about the possibilities. It was Dubieus Industries’ scientific unit that developed the new material.

Edna: Wait a minute. This guy is a candy-maker. He has a scientific unit?

Blake: He sure does, staffed with top scientists and researchers. They were responsible for the success of Plumber’s Friend. And they’ve got another winner in Candy Babar.

Ron: Tomorrow we must put across to R. Philip that in our advertising, in all media, the good-health advantages of high-fructose corn syrup will be emphasized. And by the way, we must at all times avoid expressions like “white elephant” with its negative connotations. And that goes for “the elephant in the living-room” saying, which is also negative.

Edna: (Sighs) Just between you and me, why do we wind up with products like this? We never get something like Campbell’s Soup.

Ron: Campbell’s Soup may well be outsold next year by this tasty little pachyderm. If we play our cards right, Candy Babar will be paying the salaries of quite a number of us in this agency for years to come.

Blake: You’re actually enthusiastic about this product.

Ron: Well, I keep thinking about our Plumber’s Friend fiasco. I was wrong about that; I’m not going to be wrong about this. As for TV, R. Philip wants the television commercials to look like the movie “Avatar.” He’s very aware of what’s going on in the culture.

Blake: Is he aware of what’s going on in law-suits?

Ron: We’ll deal with that later.

Edna: From what I’ve read, he’s going to get an actual elephant, paint him white and walk him around to school assemblies and so on.

Ron: What can I tell you – the guy thinks big. Now, R. Philip has a sort of special request. He has a friend, a young lady named Brandee – Sandee..?

Blake: Mandee.

Ron: Right, Mandee; her name has two “e’s” at the end.

Wendell: Bet that’s not all she’s got at the end.

Ron: I can’t tell you how great it would be, Wendell, if you would just shut up. Mandee Mullen, that’s her name. She’s 19 years old and she thinks of herself as a writer; she wants to write the TV commercials. Er, you’ve got nothing to say about this, Edna?

Edna: I’m speechless.

Wendell: So R. Philip has his own little candy bar…

Ron: What is the MATTER with you people! This is not some kind of joke! You know the kind of year we just had. This wonderful new product, Candy Babar, is going to keep our ship from sinking. Enough with the wisecracks!

Wendell: Sorry.

59 comments:

Kevin Musgrove said...

Were I not 100% sure there's a conversation like this going on somewhere I'd be reolling on the floor! As it is, I'm a little scared. (-:

Splendid stuff.

Berowne said...

What a great comment, Kevin. Thanks.

Peter Goulding said...

Have to agree with Kevin. Its a little too close to the bone to be absolutely comfortable with!
Brilliant stuff - and so quick too. I haven't even laced up my shoes and you're past the winning post...

willow said...

Little ivory elephant to plumber's butt candy bar. Creative genius. (and hey, you're speedy!)

Berowne said...

willow: "...(and hey, you're speedy!)"

Just proves what we all know. You pay top dollar and you get good service. :-)

Suz said...

Boy I was right there with them
now I'm waiting to find out!
I sure enjoyed this

Berowne said...

Peter Gouldig: "Brilliant stuff - and so quick too. I haven't even laced up my shoes and you're past the winning post..."

Try running as I do, in flip-flops. Thanks, Peter. :-)

Berowne said...

Suz; "I sure enjoyed this"

And I sure enjoyed your comment, Suz.

Derrick said...

So, when can we buy this delicacy? I mean, it is in production, right?

Berowne said...

Derrick: "When can we buy this delicacy? I mean, it is in production, right?"

Right. There's a very minor problem, holding things up a bit at this time. Something about a "high degree of toxicity," but I'm sure that will all be worked out okay.

Bachelor said...

Berowne,
You are something else! This is so funny! Love it! Have a great weekend! :) The Bach

Berowne said...

Always a great comment from The Bach -- thanx.

Kathryn Stripling Byer said...

Thanks for the invitation for Ganesh to come over to meet Candy Babar! He's "overjoyed" it, as one of my aunts likes to say whenever she's had a really good time!

Berowne said...

Any friend of Ganesh's is a friend of mine -- Candy Babar.

R. Burnett Baker said...

Oooh Berowne, Ron is SOOO PC!

Just make sure that when you produce this little skit that ALL the high- fructose corn syrup suckin characters look exactly like they stepped off of a Botero painting! I can see it now!

Funny stuff, that corn syrup!

Rick

Berowne said...

Rick: "Funny stuff, that corn syrup!"

Especially with a beer chaser. :-)

little hat said...

I hadn't read your profile before i read this piece and I was thinking This guy should write plays (screenplays fits). We have a TV program in OZ (probably pinched from the US) which has marketing execs unpack and critique TV product campaigns. It's often very funny. And it's often looking at campaigns like this one. Made me laugh. Nice take on the prompt.

Pat said...

But does it taste good?

Berowne said...

little hat: "Nice take on the prompt."

Thanks, little hat. (I used to know your uncle, Top.)

Berowne said...

Pat: "But does it taste good?"

You can't beat high-fructose corn syrup for flavor. :-)

spacedlaw said...

Is it Tuesday already?
I tend to feel sorry for these poor guys. Great story.

Berowne said...

spacedlaw: "Is it Tuesday already?"

No rule against posting early. :-)

"Great story."

Thanks, spacedlaw.

Madame DeFarge said...

I'd buy that for a dollar. But then I'm now for my liking for high-fructose corn flavour products.

Vicki Lane said...

Too funny! A wonderful take on the prompt -- Candy Babar, indeed!

Berowne said...

Mme DeF: "I'd buy that for a dollar."

You'll be our first customer, Mme DeF.

Berowne said...

Vicki Lane: "Too funny! A wonderful take on the prompt."

And a wonderful comment too. Thanks.

SUN DANCE HILL said...

How imaginative and humorous... nice work with the photo prompt.

Berowne said...

Dear S. D. Hill: What a generous response to my little effort -- thanks.

Catalyst said...

I'm still laughing. How many meetings like that was I forced to sit through!! Great work!

Berowne said...

Catalyst: "How many meetings like that was I forced to sit through!!"

Ah, yes. And I too. :-)

Poetikat said...

Oh, very good! This is reminding me of the marzipan pig that the Danes love to give as a prize at Christmastime. Funny stuff.

Pauline said...

I just knew that if we waited around long enough someone would tell us the health benefits of corn syrup ;)

Berowne said...

Pauline: "I just knew that if we waited around long enough someone would tell us the health benefits of corn syrup."

True; the exciting story of the nutritional value of high-fructose corn syrup has not been understood. It has minerals, vitamins and calories -- all three!

Berowne said...

Poetikat: "This is reminding me of the marzipan pig that the Danes love to give as a prize at Christmastime. Funny stuff."

No reason why they shouldn't haver a marzipan elephant too. :-)

Everyday Goddess said...

I would love a candy Babar. Plumbers Friend? Not so much.

Brian Miller said...

lol. that was amazing...the plumbers friend...oh where the mind takes us...wonderful take on the prompt..smiles.

The Muse said...

Mad Men move over...
You certainly could take this to the screen...

I truly wonder what closed door marketing really goes on?
Hmm...maybe I do not want to know!

A twisty bit of humor~ :)

Lyn said...

With the right angle, you can sell anything..I'll take what you're selling! Two, please!!

Berowne said...

E. Goddess: "I would love a candy Babar. Plumbers Friend? Not so much."

Try it. It has a certain undefinable tang. :-)

Berowne said...

My thanks to Brian Miller and The Muse for their encouraging comments.

Pat transplanted to MN said...

Candy Babar! What an image! Different and fun reading this whimsical (or not) take on the prompt! Quite a contrast with the Plumbers friend!

Berowne said...

Great to hear from Lyn and Pat transplanted.

Jessie said...

a fun read!

smiles,

Berowne said...

Jessie: "A fun read!"

A fun comment -- thanx.

Jennifer said...

Berowne, you had me smirking at my work computer screen (during work time). A creative take and great fun to read. Cheers.

steviewren said...

Funny stuff! Candy Babar should go over BIG with a advertising team like this pushing it..I'd much rather take a bite out of an elephant's behind rather than a Plumber's Helper. For sure!

joanny said...

the Truth and the Irony of it all...
Agree with all the comments above ~ Candy Babar is very catchy the kind of thing that sells for sure.. your story has the promise of being a ~'Horatian' style of satire? could be wrong here but that is what it reminds me of..

Good read enjoy coming to your blog,
Joanny

C.M. Jackson said...

funny bone is tickled and I can't wait for the next post!

rob kistner said...

Your work is bold your spirit is awesome, and you are courageous and free -- come visit me…

…rob
http://image-verse.com

The Hausfrau said...

Fabulous! I want a Candy Babar!

Berowne said...

The Hausfrau: "Fabulous! I want a Candy Babar!"

The rule is, you have to buy two Plumber's Friends to get one Candy Babar. :-)

Berowne said...

Rob Kistner: "Your work is bold your spirit is awesome, and you are courageous and free."

Er -- that's ME you're talking about? :-)

But all seriousness aside, Rob, it's a pleasure to have you visiting my blog. Thanks.

Berowne said...

Joanny: "...your story has the promise of being a ~'Horatian' style of satire?"

Thanks, Joanny. I've received some nice comments, but yours is the first to compare me with a great writer of ancient Rome. Thanks.

Though I was once arrested as a Juvenal delinquent. :-)

Berowne said...

Steviewren: "I'd much rather take a bite out of an elephant's behind rather than a Plumber's Helper."

You should start with the trunk. :-)

Berowne said...

Jennifer: "Berowne, you had me smirking at my work computer screen (during work time)."

As Dilbert said, it's arguably work-related. :-)

Berowne said...

C.M.Jackson: "I can't wait for the next post!"

I may have jumped the shark with this one. :-)

chiccoreal said...

Dear Berowne: Move over Broadway! A remake of Death of A Salesman: White Death(by frucose) introducing ~ Candy Barbar!

Candy Barbar; a deliciously sinful, utterly smoooo-th and oh so creamy take on the prompt! Definitely ready for Primetime!

Katherine said...

Mmmm... White chocolate trunks...just imagine!

Plumbers Friend ... not such an appetizing image ... might leave that one right there in the plumbers tool box!

Now I know what a Candy Babar is!!!

You are a very clever writer Berowne ... such a what an imagination!

Berowne said...

What a generous comment, Katherine. Thanks.

 
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