Mars Needs Money.

The next big thing. Source: Wikipedia

All right everybody, I want to start hearing some ideas. This is an important account and I really want the best of each of you for this. Let’s pull together as a team and come up with something. I know we can do it. We just need to answer one simple question: how do we sell Mars? I know. It’s really a hard sell. It’s cold, it’s dry, and there’s nothing there.

Kevin if you make a joke like that about my wife again I’ll fire you on the spot. I’m not kidding around.

Here’s what I’m thinking: we need a theme. We need to figure out what people associate with Mars and build around that. I know in some ways that makes it even harder. We’re definitely not selling the whole bringer-of-war thing. That just doesn’t go over with anybody. At least that means we can scratch some things off the list, like the War Of The Worlds theme. Let’s go ahead and get rid of that because that’s going to scare off people.

No, I don’t think Martians would work well either. No, not even friendly Martians. There’s just no way to do that without putting somebody in a suit, and green-skinned people running around could offend a major demographic. No, I don’t know which one, but, look, it just doesn’t strike the right chord. Besides we haven’t got that much of a budget to work with and hiring actors would eat up most of it. No, drawings of Martians wouldn’t work either. Let’s just get rid of the whole Martian idea, okay?

Now there’s an idea. An Edgar Rice Burroughs theme. How would that work?

Okay, I like where you’re going with this. Princesses, warriors, weird dog things. I don’t want to shoot this down but I feel like it’s still too much of a war theme. Is there some way we can tone it down so that it’s not so aggressive? Maybe there’s another angle we can take on this.

Yeah, I don’t think “get naked on Mars” is gonna sell.

Oh, well, we’ve already got extreme sports covered. Trust me, there are wannabe athletes all over Mars already. Big canyons, big mountains, and gravity one-third of Earth’s? The extreme sports angle pretty much sells itself, but that’s not enough.

What we really need is something that’s family-friendly. How do we promote Mars as a vacation destination, a place the kids want to go? What we really need is cross-generational appeal.

What’s that? A Bradbury theme—yes! This is what we need. It’s got all kinds of potential. It’s artsy and interesting but also homey. The Midwest on Mars. We could really sell this as a whole Mars and apple pie thing. No irony either. Think about it. We could have slogans like “The place you’ve never been is the one you used to love.” Or something. We need to find ways to tie together the future and the past. That’s what Mars is all about, isn’t it? This is great. I’ve got a really good feeling about this. Mars as a place where you drink lemonade and go barefoot.

No, I know you can’t go barefoot there. It’s just an expression. Let’s get started writing some copy. Have the design team come up with some poster ideas. Maybe they’ll even want us to do a television campaign for this. The idea is that good. It really is.

This is big, people. This deal could really be our ticket. From here we could go on to even bigger things. Like what? Well, I don’t want to jinx it but I hear the next big thing is going to be Uranus.

All right, Kevin, that’s it. Clear out your desk. You’re out of here.


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  1. Ann Koplow

    Why is it that advertising agencies always seem to need at least one guy like Kevin?

    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      It’s one of the mysteries of the universe. What’s frightening is how often the Kevins don’t get fired but instead rise to the top of the company.

  2. Karen McBoob

    Here’s another thought … why don’t we BUY mars?

    We could turn it into a penal colony for mean people! I vote Christopher gets to decide who’s mean.

    We could do a kickstarter … OR! … We could raise funds on YouTube with a coal bucket challenge. Drop hot coals on someone and donate money to the cause. Plus, what better way to figure out who all the assh*les are? If you can dump hot coals on someone’s head, you should definitely go to MARS.

    Just thinking out loud.

    *I should have asked – is it ok to curse in your comments?

    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      I’m too nice to decide who’s mean and who isn’t, and anyone who says otherwise is an asshole. Besides do we really want to mess up Mars? Surely there are better places. Let ’em see how well they do on Venus.
      Oh, and as far as swearing, we’re all adults here. Go nucking futs.

  3. Gina W.

    I’ve been trying to think of someting funny to add all day but I’ve got nothing. However, the 12 year old boy in me thinks this is funny. A few years ago a family member circulated a photo of her 1st or 2nd grader at school next to a sign that showed the planet Uranas with a sign, “Ask me about Uranus! I’m an expert!” and it made me scream hysterically. ‘Cause you know, inappropriate. Seven-year old little girls should not be uttering the words, “Ask me about your anus”. Just sayin’…

    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      When I was in second grade we watched a film strip where the narrator pronounced Uranus by putting the emphasis on the first syllable so it came out “YOUR-ah-nus”. My teacher kept insisting that’s the way we should be pronouncing it. It took me a few years to figure out why.

      1. Margot

        I haven’t heard the term “film strip” for a long time…I’m thinking around 1974? Was this the same teacher as the one who had you play the paw paw patch game?

        Poor Kevin. I know he’s obnoxious, but it’s hard to resist making juvenile jokes when they’re set up for you so perfectly.

        Fun essay!

        1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

          It was actually a different teacher–Mrs. Knight. She was one of the best teachers I ever had. She encouraged us to use our imaginations and had us do really cool projects like making models of the planets that we then hung across the room in order, with a giant sun in one corner. You were close on the year–this was 1977 and 1978. She was amazing. She even wrote a Star Wars-themed Christmas play that the whole class put on, but that’s another story.

  4. Karen McBoob

    Okay, what do you think about this as a slogan:

    “Mars, the only place left in the Universe where you can successfully avoid running into your ex.”

    it may need work.

  5. Karen McBoob

    Okay, so I’ve been thinking about slogans.
    To appeal to an older population who can maybe afford to move to Mars:

    “Retire on Mars … It’s like Florida, but without all the humidity and weird news headlines.”

    “Retire on Mars. They have no STDs!”

    Or, if we’re targeting a younger population:

    “Mars … Where Justin Beiber goes to get one-on-one time with fans!”

    Or, if we want a more Conservative Republican population:

    “Come to Mars … We’re looking for a new president.” (This should attract around 20 men and Carly Fiorina).

    If we want hipsters:

    “Come to Mars … It’s made of coffee and ironic t-shirts!”

    If we want more women:

    “Come to Mars … It’s carb and gluten free!”

    If we want more men:

    “Come to Mars … We’ll take out the trash for you!”

    Not sure how we actually follow-up on this last claim. Maybe we should set up a trash compactor committee made up of Star Wars fans before we launch this campaign?

    Except that if we’re ejecting our junk into space (and why not – no neighbors to complain), maybe we don’t need to compact it in the first place? Does anyone know how hard you’d have to throw a beer can to get it out of Mars’ orbit?

    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      The slogans are great, and I know of an advertising agency that just had a position open up due to the sudden departure of one of their employees. I think you should consider it. But for the older crowd especially I think you’re missing an obvious one: “Mars: where forty really is the new twenty!”

      Getting trash into orbit wouldn’t be too hard, but since you mentioned a Star Wars-type trash compactor you reminded me of this guy from a previous post. Because you know it’s inevitable that someone like him would show up and ruin all the fun.

      1. Karen McBoob

        Ha! That’s great! and so true … people are always throwing out perfectly good droid parts. I can’t wait for star wars 7.

  6. Chuck Baudelaire

    You had me at “Get naked on Mars.” Totally.


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