Mightier Than The Pen

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Posts Tagged ‘advertising

SHOCKER: Sir Mix-A-Lot Reveals He Hates Big Butts

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Sir MixaLotLos Angeles, February 4 – The artist best known for trumpeting his attraction to women with ample backsides stunned fans and followers by admitting he does not actually care much for large derrières.

Sir Mix-a-Lot, whose 1992 hip-hop song “Baby Got Back” sold more than two million copies in short order following its release, spoke in praise of the Callipygian feminine form, famously declaring in the lyrics that the stereotypically “perfect” chest, waist, and hips measurements of 36, 24, and 36 inches, respectively, held no appeal for him unless “she’s five-three.” However, the 42-year-old Seattle native disclosed recently that he finds nothing especially attractive about a woman with “a round thing.”

“I wrote the song as a dig at women’s fashion magazines that only wanted to showcase anorexic girls,” said Mix-a-Lot. “But it’s time to come clean: I don’t much like large-butted women. It was all for show.”

Fans and admirers have long praised Mix-a-Lot for standing up for the attractiveness of less-than-fashion-model thinness, and it remains unclear what impact the new revelations will have on his popularity. Whether or not the artist’s disclosure is sincere, his two-decade-old declaration of desire for derrière-endowed dames has been firmly entrenched in popular culture, says entertainment industry commentator Anna Conda. “Dozens of other artists and celebrities have either covered, sampled, parodied, or otherwise referenced ‘Baby Got Back,’ she explained.

Indeed, as Ms. Conda noted, the twitterverse is rife with references to the song, making it likely that Mix-a-Lot’s actual lukewarm feelings toward generous fundaments will prove irrelevant. “It’s as powerful a social commentary and criticism as it is because of what it exposes, irrespective of the ingenuousness, or lack thereof, behind it,” she said of the song. “Trenchant social commentary is one of the bedrocks of hip-hop.”

“Now if you’ll excuse me, I have some buns to attend to,” she said.

Written by Thag

February 4, 2015 at 3:42 pm

Government Recalls 50,000 Babies

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Backlog of manufacturing expected; China, India to provide replacements

Amazon boxWashington, DC, November 24 – Accumulating reports of defects among the approximately four million babies delivered in the US over the last year has prompted federal authorities to issue a recall notice for all children delivered between January and September of this year.

An apparent spike in defect reports became visible in March, when parents began reporting in higher-than-average numbers that their newborn children were not performing to standard. Of special concern, say regulators, was the frequency with which the units were emitting noxious substances from various orifices, which evidently attests to some sort of malfunction and indicated a serious quality control problem on the production line.

While the recall is underway, the six major plants in the US where babies are produced will scale back production, at least until the source of the malfunction can be identified and fixed. Demand for new babies will be satisfied through the importation of units from Asia, mostly China and India, where the surplus of babies has rendered them affordable to American would-be parents, import duties notwithstanding. Domestic trade groups have been pushing for strict controls on imports of foreign babies, but the inability of American baby plants to meet demand has forced those groups to accept a temporary lifting of import limits.

If previous episodes of this nature serve as any indication, say experts, no long-term damage to the American baby-manufacturing sector is to be anticipated. “Some smaller outfits might suffer, but those enterprises don’t seem to be affected by the current quality problems, so they might escape unscathed,” says Hugh Mantraffic-King, a consultant with ties to the industry. “In fact we’re likely to see several of the small-time baby producers step up their game and assert themselves while the big-name manufacturers are unable to produce.”

The most recent recall prior to this one occurred in the 1980’s, when parents began reporting abnormally high levels of autism and other developmental issues in their toddlers. That crop of babies had been manufactured primarily in California and Texas, leading to a months-long, acrimonious lawsuit that ended with a class-action settlement and a fine paid by Storx, then the leading baby manufacturer. Storx filed for bankruptcy in 1990.

In the 1960’s and 70’s, parents demanded the right to return their children after the latter began engaging in obviously defective behavior such as transcendental meditation, wearing bell-bottom trousers, and listening to disco “music.” However, no recall took place, as the units in question were past the warranty period when those defects were observed.

Written by Thag

November 24, 2014 at 9:11 pm

Top Ten Up-To-Date- Ways To Make Your House Scary For Halloween

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We’ve all been there. So have the trick-or-treaters. Today’s youth sees gory, creepy images all the time. This is, after all, the age of Reality TV. They’ll yawn at your jack-o-lantern. So how do you give off that scary vibe in a jaded age? here are some tips.

Homer Christmas lights1. Turn Off The Christmas Lights

That’s right. We know you’ve had them up since Labor Day, ever since Congress mandated back in 2009 that Christmas lights have to be up within a week of back-to-school. Make your home look unapproachable by disconnecting the lights. Law enforcement won’t bother you about not following federal regulations, since the cops will be too busy shooting unarmed teenagers to bother with your little violation.

tp tree2. When You TP, Make It Used TP

The ghostly white effect of toilet paper hanging from tree branches carries extra oomph this year with Ebola on everyone’s minds. Bodily fluids are the way to achieve scary right now.

3. Use Actual Severed Heads Instead Of Pumpkins

These are readily available from your local ISIS outlet. Warning: these are heavier than they look. Consult the nearest FBI office for details, followed by the nearest federal prison.

4. Hang Warning Signs That The Treats You Provide Use GMO Food

Apparently, people are scared of things they know nothing about despite the fact that people who do know a thing or two about science have established no adverse effects from GMO. People are scary.

Biden5. Posters Of Joe Biden Sitting In The Oval Office

Seriously, this guy is the greatest insurance policy against a presidential assassination since Dan Quayle.

6. Use The Word “Literally” In Every Sense But Literally

Only if  you answer the door as a ghost or zombie can you use the statement, “I literally DIED,” correctly. This might only work on intelligent people, so if your neighborhood includes a significant number of NY Jets or Calgary Flames fans, prepare for disappointment. Note: this also applies to the use of “racist” to mean bigotry in general.

McDonald's7. Install A McDonald’s Logo On Your Roof

This method has the bonus effect of scaring the crap out of YOU when you see who comes by as a result.

8. Forget Blood; High-Fructose Corn Syrup Is The Way To Go

Apparently, everyone who consumes high-fructose corn syrup will die. Fact. Science! Also, statistics. We’re not sure whether that should carry an exclamation point.

9. Islamophobia

We’re not quite sure where to find this, actually, but we’re told by much of the media that this is the least desirable thing to have.

10. Repeatedly Play A Recording Of A Woman Saying, “We Have To Talk”

Admit it: your adrenalin started flowing just from reading this.

Written by Thag

October 30, 2014 at 4:38 pm

Man To Go Around Punching Everyone Who Didn’t Read His Post

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Black_eye_2Lansing, MI, September 17 – Frustrated at the continued lack of attention to the results of his hard work writing articles for his blog, local man Alex Dufresne has resolved to remedy the situation by administering a beating to each person he encounters who has not read his most recent entry.

Dufresne, 38, decided to take matters into his own hands, so to speak, after a particularly well-written and incisive post went unread by others, despite his sharing it on the usual social networks and various other means. The mission is set to begin today after he finishes his shift as a floor manager for a sporting goods retail chain.

At least fifty of Dufresne’s followers usually read his offerings within 24 hours of his posting them, but his most recent article, which involved clever wordplay, scathing social satire, and a healthy dose of ridicule for holders of political opinions different from his, was read by only four people by the time the first 24 hours elapsed, and not a single one deemed it worthy enough to Like or share on Facebook or Twitter. The feeling of being ignored led Dufresne to the conclusion that, lacking the resources and budget of a big-time media outlet or advertiser, his only option lay in convincing people one by one that reading his blog was better for them than not reading it.

The disincentive he hit upon, as it were, was the most direct method that occurred to him: administering a knuckle sandwich to every person he meets who professes ignorance of, or worse, active lack of interest in, his articles. Already, Dufresne has purchased a set of boxing gloves with his employee discount, and will begin whacking people on his way home this afternoon.

This might take a few days, but if I can build of a following loyal enough, I won’t have to worry about this happening ever again,” he says. “I might have to do some follow-up, or some new recruiting a few months down the line as people die or move away, or whatever, but that’s OK. It’s better than sitting at home stewing about it.”

Written by Thag

September 17, 2014 at 4:46 pm

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With Visibility Of Posts Downgraded, User Sues Facebook For Emotional Distress

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FacebookMenlo Park, CA, June 9 – The owner of a Facebook page struggling to reach and expand his audience is suing the social media giant Facebook for emotional distress resulting from the social media giant’s deliberate withholding of many of his updates from his audience.

Thag Boogerman, who writes for the blog Mightier Than The Pen and the satirical news site PreOccupied Territory, filed  a lawsuit today charging that Facebook, with malice aforethought, displays posts and links to only a handful of users, even when hundreds of users have expressly requested to receive those updates by Liking that page. For each post, the page operator is invited to “boost” its visibility for a cost; the lawsuit charges that this puts beyond Boogerman’s reach the level of exposure necessary to maintain, let alone expand, his audience, thereby thwarting him in his efforts to earn a living, exacerbating domestic tensions, and causing untold emotional distress. Boogerman is asking the courts to order Facebook to pay him $89 million.

Just yesterday, says the thirty-eight-year-old father of five, a user who Liked his page more than a year ago sent him an angry message, asking him why she had not received any updates from his page in six months. She refused to accept his explanation that Facebook’s EdgeRank algorithm was at fault, and accused him of neglecting his audience.

“I can’t afford to promote every single post, link, and status update,” says Boogerman, who lives in Yehupitz Park. “Every one of my posts is important to me and my users, and Facebook makes truckloads of money on ads, data sharing, and who knows what else. This whole thing is a naked attempt to gouge people for more money, and it increases the gap between the haves and the have nots.” He added that this results in the sad irony of Facebook functioning for so long as a social equalizer – notably during the Arab Spring, when the masses of protesters used the site to coordinate anti-government demonstrations – becoming yet another tool with which the moneyed class presses its wealth to its advantage.

Facebook has yet to respond to the lawsuit, but experts expect them to argue for its dismissal on the grounds that they don’t give a crap about little people when there is so much money to be made. This consideration is especially important, they are expected to argue, since the disastrous IPO of the company’s stock last year.

Written by Thag

June 9, 2014 at 3:52 pm

“Backwash” Body Soap Selling Poorly

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shampoo bottleRochester, NY, May 29 – Procter and Gamble executives expressed disappointment this week when initial sales figures fro their new Backwash body soap proved negligible.

Company analysts had expected the product to sell relatively well on the strength of the product’s novelty and a campaign targeting the coveted 25-35-year-old demographic. However, the campaign seems to have little effect, and retailers are reporting only a handful of sales throughout the Northeast and Midwest regions.

The Backwash campaign highlights the product’s enzymes, which are suspended in a special formulation containing certain proteins such as amylase, which breaks down a set of common but complex organic molecules. The body wash produces a thicker, frothier foam when water is scarce, a contrast with other shampoos and soaps that froth best with a higher minimum level of moisture. The dry frothing was a feature that the company had hoped would translate into a selling point, emphasizing the water-saving advantages that Procter & Gamble calculated would appeal to the ecologically-minded Millennial demographic.

“We don’t yet know exactly where we went wrong,” said brand manager Abel Spitz. “The focus groups were pretty clear on the fact that this body wash’s features were promising, and that the design and color of the packaging was eye-catching and bright. We had a fabulous slogan for the ad campaign, so it’s going to take some more granular data analysis to get to the bottom of this.” The “Spray It, Don’t Say It” campaign launched in February, with ads on billboards, in print media, online, and a sprinkle of spots on network TV.

Spitz hopes his other brands make up for the losses generated by the Backwash failure. He also oversees a whitening toothpaste called Tartar Sauce and a nasal decongestant called Gland Opening. Even if they do well, says Spitz, “this one is hard to swallow.”

 

Also see PreOccupied Territory.

Written by Thag

May 29, 2014 at 3:44 pm

Batteries For Sale (Batteries Not Included)

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Batteries Not Included - New Page

Written by Thag

February 4, 2014 at 8:12 pm

Sports Illustrated To Discontinue Swimsuit Issue

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Sports Illustrated‘Just doesn’t suit our target market,’ says executive

New York, January 27 – Sports Illustrated publisher Frank Wall told reporters today that TimeWarner would make this year’s swimsuit edition the last, as the company no longer sees the annual issue as a core part of its commercial appeal.

Wall assembled a press conference to announce the news, noting that the American sports fan has grown ever more sophisticated, and base appeals to sexual desires are no longer the sales draw that they once were. “With the maturity of the American male sports aficionado, the annual swimsuit issue just doesn’t suit our target market anymore,” he said. “Our strength has always been in trenchant analysis, not cheap pandering to the male libido.”

The decision brings to an end a fifty-year-old practice. For years, the swimsuit issue was the magazine’s best-seller, but according to Wall, TimeWarner’s board decided late last year that it was time to move beyond the adolescent appeal of lithe, bronzed supermodels showcasing designer bathing suits in provocative poses. “We have more respect for our audience than that now,” said Wall, “and of course we regret subjecting women to such treatment, thereby fostering their objectification and warping the way in which people view romantic relationships.”

Once release of the Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition ceases, there will be only two American magazine publishers that use sex appeal to engage the male reader. Maxim and Muscle&Fitness magazines will be the only remaining such publications available at newsstands. Penthouse, Playboy, and Hustler, all one-time mainstays of the pornography field, folded over the last few years as interest in their offerings faded with the rising maturity and morality of their audience. Other, lesser-known purveyors of smut have likewise gone under or moved their operations exclusively to the internet, where discreet access to the crude content is still available to the few with stunted sensibilities.

Written by Thag

January 27, 2014 at 4:02 pm

Agency Surprised By Backlash Against Ads Mocking Fat Kids

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fat kid ad

The ad reads, “When your child gets fat, his smile gets smaller.” Not shown: the McDonald’s ad on the sign’s opposite side, touting the array of “SuperSize” offerings.

Tel Aviv (AP) – Publicity firm JCDecaux was taken aback by the completely unforeseen reaction to an advertising campaign that distorted the images of children to make them look excessively overweight. The company found itself unexpectedly on the defensive after large swaths of the public expressed disgust at a campaign intended to draw attention to the growing problem of obesity in children, a campaign that revolved around mocking images of fat kids, a development no one in the organization foresaw.

In a statement, JCDecaux apologized for its strategy, saying it had no idea anyone could find offense in the notion that fat children should be mocked. It attempted to explain its actions by noting that no one had ever thought overweight children might suffer disparagement of their girth, so naturally the firm could not expect the public to object to such a series of depictions.

The campaign, plastered on billboards throughout the Tel Aviv metropolitan area, was scheduled to end next week, but the company removed the ads yesterday, replacing them with a self-congratulatory statement about having succeeded in raising awareness of the issue, as if only a small portion of public was aware of children who take up more space, and thus are more visible, than other children. The statement also called on the viewers to make the next move, as if JCDecaux’s job were done, without an indication as to what any “next move” might be.

JCDecaux-Israel’s spokeswoman Mor Bidlio-Beese said the campaign targeted the parents of overweight children, emphasizing the social pitfalls of obesity related to appearance and gait, and the disparagement that such awkwardness would attract. What the firm did not count on, she said, was that people would defend their fellow humans from just that sort of disparagement, pointing out that the last thing an obese child, who already suffers from low self image and motivation problems, needs is more negative input that only serves to make the underlying issues more severe.

“We were dumbfounded,” admitted Bidlio-Beese. “Since when does anyone care about fat people?”

Her remarks to reporters were the source of a second round of opprobrium from all corners, including a Facebook campaign to have Ms. Bidlio-Beese dismissed. Company executives have declined to comment, merely issuing a second press release accusing the media of focusing wrongly focusing on JCDecaux as the story instead of the tens of thousands of obese children in the country who require constant browbeating so they will finally get off their ample derrieres and do something to shed that weight.

Written by Thag

January 9, 2014 at 6:42 pm

Scientists Discover Wrong Way To Eat A Reese’s

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pb cupsHershey, PA (AP) – Researchers studying the properties of the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup have apparently concluded that, contrary to claims made in the 1990’s, more reliable, recent data demonstrate that one can in fact directly commit a moral offense by the manner in which he goes about consuming one such candy unit.

In an article to be published in the upcoming issue of the Food journal, an industry periodical, a team of food scientists and philosophers tested diverse scenarios and assigned them a moral score based on the number of fatalities, the amount of suffering inflicted, the extent or property theft or deprivation, and the scale of rights violations that took place as a direct, unequivocal result of eating a Reese’s. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Thag

October 16, 2013 at 3:23 pm

Urine Connoisseurs Insulted at Comparison to American Beer

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All it's missing is a label with a cool font.

All it’s missing is a label with a cool font.

Washington, DC (AP) – People for the Imbibing of Strange Substances (PISS), a coalition of citizens devoted to the appreciation of drinking urine, expressed outrage today that the liquid they enjoy has been used to indicate inferior-tasting American beer.

At a rally on the Washington Mall this afternoon, several hundred PISS activists chanted slogans protesting the unflattering association and calling for greater awareness of how much better urine tastes than most American beer. “It’s just not right to compare it with Bud Light!” shouted the crowd, referring to a particularly low-quality product made by the Anheuser-Busch company.

“We understand that not everyone appreciates the taste of urine,” said PISS director Mick Turitian. “As with many of the finer things, it’s an acquired taste. But to go ahead and put urine in the same class as American beer, well, that’s just beyond the pale – and I don’t mean ale.”

Turitian said that in Europe, where quality beer is essentially a given, he would be disappointed, but not offended, to have an inferior grade be compared to his favorite beverage. In some cases he conceded it might even be a compliment. “But there’s no way to justify saying Miller Lite” – he paused to spit – “tastes like piss. Piss tastes a hundred times better than Miller Lite could ever hope to.”

Yuri Terr, 34, of Richmond, Virginia, also attending the rally, said the only way to get people to stop making such unfair analogies was to raise public awareness of the issue. “The beverage companies spend billions of dollars on marketing and advertising, to get people to buy their products based on image, and obviously not on taste,” he explained. “Once enough people are aware how unjust the association is, peer pressure can be brought to bear on those who, wittingly or not, put urine and American beer in the same sentence.”

The demonstrators brought samples of their favorite drink to offer passers by, but few, if any, of the onlookers accepted. A block away, a convenience store was doing a brisk business selling cases of Budweiser, Michelob and Coors.

Please Like Mightier than the Pen on Facebook, where pissing people off is all in a day’s work.

Written by Thag

April 11, 2013 at 4:03 pm

Domino’s Perplexed By Poor Sales of Pizza Suppositories

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Domino's logoAnn Arbor, MI (AP) – Fast-food giant Domino’s Pizza, confronted with anemic sales of its new pizza suppositories, has put further marketing efforts for the product on hold, according to a statement from the company’s corporate headquarters.

Following a lengthy promotional campaign, the Italian food chain finally released its line of “Up Yours” pizza suppositories, hoping to tap into the growing need for ever-more-efficient food delivery in a busy era. With Up Yours, Domino’s hoped to appeal to rushed parents and hurried workers who lack the time to properly ingest and digest even typical fast food. Its “Taste is waste” slogan leveraged the company’s reputation for providing a less-than-stellar culinary experience; a 2009 survey of consumer taste preferences among national chains by Brand Keys, Domino’s tied with Chuck E. Cheese’s for last place.

The advertising push followed an intensive program to get buy-in from the chain’s more than 5,000 franchise holders, but that stage of the program took several months longer than expected because headquarters found it difficult to convince the franchisees to get behind the initiative, according to Seymour Butz, an analyst at Sphincter Industries who studies the fast food industry.

“The franchisees were worried about bottlenecks in supply and production,” said Butz, who also noted that trial runs of that production exposed lax adherence to quality standards. Although the company addressed those concerns, problems continued to emerge even as the release date approached.

Any resemblance to the actual product is entirely, outrageously funny.

Any resemblance to the actual product is entirely, outrageously funny.

Domino’s was forced to push back the start of the promotional campaign to fix those emerging issues, and the executives were apparently satisfied that they had managed to wipe away the sticky problems by softening its position on franchisee contribution. Advertising began in January, and the first Up Yours suppositories were offered in Kansas, Texas and Arkansas. Hopeful initial data from the “In Testin'” phase prompted the further roll-out of the products up and down the eastern seaboard and Illinois.

But sales logs, initially positive, proved disappointing, and continued to contract through the spring and summer, skidding almost entirely to a halt by August. The board pinned its hopes on the September “Backside to School” advertising blitz, aiming to appeal to more regular customers, but decided that if October sales showed no major improvement they would be forced to cancel production. Despite an $18 million investment in equipment, materials and marketing, the company’s bottom line has suffered, limiting Domino’s to a second-quarter profit only slightly higher than the same period last year.

Hopes had been high until then, as a program in the same spirit by a different fast food player had shown its potential. In 2009 White Castle announced that it was “eliminating the middle man” by liquefying its burgers and spraying them directly on the insides of toilet bowls. White Castle sales figures had not appreciably suffered as a result, and Domino’s executives apparently felt that their marketing acumen could make such an approach profitable.

This is not the first abortive Domino’s marketing program. In 1992 and 1993, high-profile lawsuits charged the company with recklessness in guaranteeing home delivery within 30 minutes of an order’s placement; two fatalities had resulted from Domino’s delivery men’s driving. Of particular interest to the plaintiff was a provision calling for the public beheading of drivers who failed to reach their destinations within the allotted time. The company settled both cases, but agreed to eliminate the punitive measures for late deliveries, which had garnered initial popularity and a contract to televise the beheadings.

Please Like Mightier than the Pen on Facebook, where, on principle, we do not post pictures of our lunch. Count yourself lucky.

Written by Thag

December 27, 2012 at 3:46 pm

What Those Children’s Product Terms Really Mean

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Definitions (1)

Please Like Mightier than the Pen on Facebook, where the no-money-back guarantee is valid only in months containing at least one letter.

Written by Thag

December 13, 2012 at 7:50 pm

Company Develops HIV-Flavor Kool-Aid

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CIA to Market Beverage in Primarily African-American Areas

The Cola Industry Association (CIA) has launched a new flavor of soft drink, HIV-flavor Kool-Aid. It intends to make the African-American demographic its main target.

The CIA has been working for decades to develop this new flavor and get it to catch on in the black community, seeing both the threat of competition and the ease with which certain ideas or trends catch on among those of African descent. It had a hit with Tuskegee Condoms from the 1930’s to the 1970’s, and an overseas success with the same product in Guatemala. But penetrating its target demographic has always been a challenge for the CIA, in contrast to the ease with which it sells to Americans of European extraction.

The campaign will include mascots designed to appeal to the target demographic, including a portly mother figure, a talking watermelon and coupons for discounts on corn bread, according to Jenn O’Seid, a company spokesperson. Testing of the product has been taking place in Africa, primarily in South African and Nigeria, where the HIV market is particularly strong, and a smaller-scale targeting of the niche gay market in the U.S. also looked encouraging, she said.

The initiative faces stiff competition from other entities angling for a slice of the African-American demographic. American Refreshment Yummies And Nosh (ARYAN) already has a grape drink on the market, Welfare Queen, that it boasts has “a touch of hepatitis,” according to its ad jingle. ARYAN’s market penetration tends to be confined to the Northwest, but it boasts a small but loyal following in the deep South, where it hopes to have a major impact on the population.

Foreign competition also makes the market tricky. Drink Retail United Global Sales (DRUGS) has seen continued success with its Crack flavor, which it offers in a bonus pack that also includes the ever-popular Gang War. DRUGS gained market ascendancy first, but Asian producers and smaller-scale local manufacturers such as Mississippi-East Trading House (METH) have kept business people addicted to the ever-shifting battle over market share.

CIA President Jim Crow nevertheless remains optimistic the campaign will meet its sales targets. “We’re going to stay positive. We haven’t had this much excitement generated in the market since our Poll Tax Waffles.”

Please Like Mightier than the Pen on Facebook, and get status updates more baffling than the popularity of the Aunt Jemima mascot.

Written by Thag

November 6, 2012 at 3:54 pm

This Is Why We Only Buy Cheerios

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Please Like Mightier then the Pen on Facebook and we will allow you to turn your own milk into rainbow sludge. Which would make a LOUSY name for a rock band.

Written by Thag

August 13, 2012 at 2:47 pm

Classic Thag, July 2011: I Need that Lemonade Stand Business Plan

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Originally posted July 25, 2011

Son, this business plan for a lemonade stand needs some serious work. I haven’t seen such a sloppy job since your sister’s proposed itinerary for walking the dog. It’s time to sit you down and go through this lame excuse for a business plan so you know what to fix. And there’s plenty to fix, young man.

First, there’s the business goal. You want to “make some money so I can buy stuff.” We all do, son. That’s why people go into business in the first place. You need to get more specific. How much money do you want to earn? How long do you plan for it to take? As your primary investor, I need to be confident that you at least intend to do something worthwhile with the capital.

I don’t see a decent treatment of anticipated expenses anywhere. You’ve got to determine who your target market is – oh, wait, I see that: “people walking by at the corner by the library.” But you need to present how much you plan to spend, and on what. I can’t just give you some lemons and send you on your way. No, you need to give me a detailed discussion of costs: marketing, production, distribution, personnel, overhead, pricing and the rest. “Mom will make some lemonade for me to sell” doesn’t even come close. What materials are necessary? In what quantities? How much will they cost? What is the projected outlay for employee wages? I see none of that here.

You’ve got to deal with the government, as well. They’ll want their share in tax revenue. When you arrive at your target income figure, have you factored in your tax bracket? What health or employee safety regulations must you comply with? You refer to a lemonade “stand,” which implies an actual structure, and which will require all the relevant zoning and construction permits. And then there’s the environmental impact statement, which can get quite complicated. What are the risks of a massive spill? Is there a controlled method for disposal of used materials such as squeezed lemons and plastic cups? You haven’t discussed these issues at all.

As far as marketing is concerned, you have to find a way to create demand for your lemonade. Banking on hot summer weather seems a pretty safe bet, but that’s insufficient for real profit. You need to make people think they need your lemonade, not the free water they can get from the library drinking fountain, or their own nearby homes. That’s going to take research, and a good plan, including advertising. A hand-written sign over the stand just won’t do it. You need to figure out how, when and it what media to advertise. Do you need air time? Radio or TV? Print media? Is your audience merely local, or do you want to attract business for afar, perhaps through shipments of your product?

Have you explored the feasibility of packaging and delivering the lemonade long distance? Do you need a web site? Who will run it? You need to consider all of these questions before I can invest in this project.

Who are your employees? Does your mother expect to be compensated for the time she spends in production? Who will perform Quality Control? Do you have a good way to transport the goods from the production facility to the point of sale? Remember, son, business is rough, and only those who are truly prepared can succeed. You get back to me within fourteen business days with some real answers, and then we can discuss my stake in this enterprise.

Now, let me see that outline for your letter to Grandma.

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Written by Thag

July 11, 2012 at 7:40 am

My Take on the TIME Cover Controversy: You’re All Dupes

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Written by Thag

May 11, 2012 at 12:41 pm

Breakfast of Cheating Champions – that’s the One for Me!

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Dear General Mills:

For decades now, you’ve been touting Wheaties as the “breakfast of champions.” As a champion, I appreciate the elite status that Wheaties has earned in our culture. Which is why I find it necessary to write this letter; I regret that it has become necessary.

If, indeed, Wheaties is the breakfast of champions, what business do non-champions have partaking of it? It would dilute the phrase to utter meaninglessness. It would be like awarding a gold medal just for showing up. Calgary Flames fans might find that idea comforting, but I, for one, protest the misuse of the Wheaties brand as anything other than the breakfast of bona fide champions.

I could understand certain people – ignorant, or perhaps mischievous people – eating Wheaties even though they never earned the title of Champion. I can comprehend an incentive program, where people with demonstrated champion potential are given a taste of the breakfast of champions, to provide an idea of what they can achieve. I can even see an actual champion deigning to share some of his or her Wheaties with others at the table, much in the way an Olympic medalist might allow others to handle and appreciate the token of achievement. What I cannot fathom, however, is the apparent marketing strategy of your company regarding this breakfast of champions: promote it to absolutely everyone. Everyone, as you no doubt know, includes non-champions – in fact, as you probably also know, the vast, vast majority of people in the category of “everyone” are decidedly not of champion caliber. Let’s call them what they are: losers.

It disturbs me to no end that General Mills, a company I otherwise respect, would cheapen the breakfast of champions by allowing – nay, encouraging – losers to buy a product patently incompatible with their status. Would you also market high-performance sports cars to people sitting in jail on drunk driving convictions? Leather-bound special editions of classic works of literature to drooling toddlers? I no longer have the confidence that you would answer the way you ought.

It is with continuing bewilderment that I therefore ask – no,  demand – that General Mills cease this tawdry strategy of pushing patently inappropriate breakfast cereal to those who do not deserve it, and probably never will. We champions know all too well the pull of filthy lucre, of false achievement, but know how to rise above that base temptation.

Sincerely,

Lance Armstrong

Written by Thag

May 9, 2012 at 8:54 am

This Team Is Superior Because It Plays Near My Home

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May 7, 2012 at 1:46 pm

Women Manufactured with Planned Obsolescence, Says Trade Group

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Cairo, IL (AP) – A trade group representing buyers of female reproductive partners has accused the manufacturer of designing the units to age prematurely.

The General Union of Youth Sustainability (GUYS), based outside Chicago, charges that the sole producer of women “consciously and deliberately designed the female units to decay at a rate far above that anticipated by the consumers,” the organization said in a press release. The manufacturer, Guardian-Origin Designs (GOD), has been the only producer of women for several millenniums. Although the patent on the original design is no longer relevant, no other firm has managed to engineer the manufacture of anything that might compete with GOD’s creation.

Phil Landerer, Director of GUYS, presented statistics that he said prove his organization’s allegations. “GOD has a lot to answer for. Here we have men in the market for partners with systems that can serve their needs for the long haul, only to find that crucial systems start breaking down irreparably when the units are only a few decades old. Maybe the lack of competition has made GOD complacent in quality control. GUYS will have none of that; we wish to remind GOD that it’s only a matter of time before someone else comes up with a more efficient, sustainably youthful model.”

Landerer stopped short of calling for a full-scale boycott of GOD’s products, explaining that for many consumers, the women produced by GOD are the only recourse they have in pursuing meaningful long-term relationships. He did note, however, that GUYS will launch a nationwide trade-in program later this year, in which aging female partners can be exchanged for newer, better-performing models.

Such programs have long existed, but usually on an ad hoc basis, and certainly not on the comprehensive scale that GUYS would want, according to Cass Nova, who has studied consumer habits in the mating industry. Nova’s most recent article, currently awaiting publication, attempts to define specific thresholds beyond which consumers will no longer tolerate a female unit functioning below its original capacity.

From research conducted over several decades, Nova posits several variables, some of which strongly correlate. The two most closely related factors are reproductive capacity and physical attractiveness, both of which deteriorate in most units beyond a certain age. In contrast, male units seem, by and large, not to suffer compromised reproductive capacity to nearly the same degree as females, and their physical attractiveness, according to the data, does not seem to have a direct bearing on their ability to find a suitable partner.

It is exactly that disparity that Landerer’s group seeks to address. “We call on GOD to bring female units up to the standard of their male counterparts, which, suspiciously, do not suffer the same set of defects that the females do,” the GUYS statement read. It continued with a litany of other grievances, notable among them the apparent deafness of GOD to centuries of complaints.

Strikingly, the bulk of the complaints that GOD has not addressed comes from the female units themselves, according to Faye Slift, president of the Committee Of Unduly Geratrified Amore Rejects (COUGAR), an organization that offers support for users whose female units have begun to deteriorate, but who lack the resources to invest in an entirely new unit. COUGAR provides counseling that emphasizes the advantages of a female unit with more miles on its figurative figure, but Slift acknowledges that it remains an uphill battle.

Ironically, notes Slift, GUYS will not cooperate with COUGAR, preferring instead to focus on improved access to younger models. Slift understands the position of GUYS, but points out that GOD manufacturers only about one percent more female units than male ones, which only serves to drive up prices for the newer models and cuts a large segment of potential consumers out of the market entirely. Such unfortunates must settle for the used or rejected units that only become available when the wealthier users have finished with them, and often the units have suffered significant wear and tear by then.

“It might be a better strategy to focus on quantity, rather than quality,” suggests Slift. “It’s clear that the manufacturer isn’t interested in improving the design of the female, but maybe GOD will consent to simply increasing the ratio of females to males. Taking the demands of the market into consideration would just be a more humane thing to do.”

Written by Thag

March 10, 2012 at 9:58 pm

And It Probably Causes Leprosy, Too

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January 22, 2012 at 4:33 pm

There Might also Be Some Used Vegetables in There, for All We Know

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January 21, 2012 at 11:37 pm

If You Get this, You Might Be Old

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January 19, 2012 at 10:37 pm

When I’m Famous, You Will Be Allowed to Wash My Dishes

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A belated thanks to Lorna’s Voice, once again:

Written by Thag

January 11, 2012 at 9:44 pm

Take Your Future Leech to Work Day

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January 2, 2012 at 11:13 pm