Who knew that a simple blog about retirement could bring Madison Avenue to my door? Okay, okay it was actually Wacker Drive, but I’m about to come the closest I’ll ever be to impersonating Don Draper. Will you settle for Harry Crane?
After only eight months of writing posts that aim mostly at the non-sensical, I have reached a new kind of zenith. Yes, you guessed it. I’m speaking of promotion, marketing, and branding. And you really can’t do much better than toilet paper, folks. Your humble blogger is now perfectly willing to shill for product placement. Anything for the almighty dollar is what I say.
Just last week I received an e-mail from a woman by the name of “Audrey,”¹ who works for a marketing company in Chicago called Performics. Audrey wrote to tell me that in an earlier posting of mine, she noticed that I made a mention of Angel Soft toilet paper. Performics apparently works on behalf of companies just like Angel Soft in what’s called “search engine marketing.” I know this because as a librarian I am trained to find just about anything using only the most advanced of research tools. So I used my expert skills and found Performics listed on Wikipedia.
Audrey wrote to kindly suggest that I might wish to insert Angel Soft’s actual URL into my previous post. I am guessing that part of her job is to search the Internet and find any mention of those products for which Performics handles marketing. This is exciting to me because as far as I am concerned, it means that Audrey is actually being paid to read my blog. Up until now, I’ve been slumming it for all of you coffee slurpers out there. This time, however, a genuine professional is reading my material.
As you can imagine, I am absolutely thrilled by this development. Of course, it does make me wonder why the hell Waffle House never bothered to contact me from an earlier post I had written. Those ingrates.
Naturally, now that I’ve caught the attention of the advertising establishment, I am worried about keeping my blogging cred. After all these months of keeping it real, being true to the vow of poverty, and dedicating myself to continued public service, I am suddenly wary of going over to the proverbial “other side” by catering to The Man.
Fortunately, it seems that my concerns are probably only relevant to those over a certain age — namely old farts like me. A recent news story points out that the expression “selling out” is a concept completely unknown to premillennials. This is a generation that has not only been bombarded by direct marketing and brand awareness during most of their young lives, but their music and pop idols are nearly all identified via some kind of promotional association with products, logos, etc.
Then again, who isn’t in some ways marketing themselves? Age is not an accurate barometer. Oprah pushed nearly everything she did on her former TV show from the magazine to the diet and exercise books. Bill O’Reilly and Fareed Zakaria each hawk their latest books and articles every week on their talk shows. Many writers blog regularly to fuel readership interest in all of their books. Donald Trump is supposedly running for president for God sakes!
I am even familiar with one particular blogger who, ahem, shamelessly wrote about his psychic wife in a thinly veiled attempt to garner interest in her services. Already I’m thinking of some partnership opportunities between Angel Soft and Gorgeous. “Angels, Clairvoyance, and a Soft Bottom.” Okay, so it’s a work in progress, but do stay turned.
So I say “bring it on,” Corporate America. Contact me and let’s talk. If I can get readers to buy toilet paper, just think what I can do for, say, hearing aid products or early bird dinner specials.
This blog is now available. Call me.
¹ Not her real name. I’ll protect the poor woman’s identity.