Sophie Pollitt-Cohen writes:
Lately I’ve had advertising on the brain. I rented billboard space on my cerebral cortex for Gold’s Gym. But also, I’ve been thinking about marketing strategies a lot these days. It seems that advertising is a way to sell people things and thus make money. I love money! I have a plan: marketing to incredibly specific groups of weirdos.
The New York Times ran an article on Tuesday about different products aimed at freaks who are way too into vampires. (I should probably just say “people who are into vampires,” because being into vampires at all is the same as being too into vampires.)
These products are just regular stuff we already own, except their names are vampiric. Fang Floss is just regular floss. SunScream is sunblock, but they write “VPF” on it, which stands for “Vampire Protection Factor,” because “sun damage is the NO. 1 killer of the undead.” A close second is dog bites (the dogs have rabies).
For a hot minute, I couldn’t decide if this strategy is the dumbest thing since Keeping Up With The Kardashians or if it’s pure genius. I was stuck with an uncomfortable in-between feeling. Then I realized that things can be both. For example, Keeping Up With The Kardashians is sometimes dumb and boring, but it is also awesome, and Kim Kardashian is pretty and wears great makeup. The show even has a baby show (“spinoff” if you’re in the biz), Kourtney and Khloe Take Miami. Stupid Smart Things (StuSmas when I’m in a hurry) have a habit of making a lot of money. I want in. Here are my ideas for other things that already exist that you can market to incredibly specific groups of people.
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.
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 there’s plastic gems on it.
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 for when you’re at the White Party trying to talk to someone really rich and good looking, but you realize you have some expensive food in your teeth.
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)
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.
See how easy that is? See how difficult it is to think of things that are both moronic and awesome? It’s like the great Dolly Parton once said: you’d be surprised how much it costs to look this cheap.