Tag Archives: humour

An internet tradition: Telling the internet that something is on fire

It’s okay, I’ve sent an e-mail to the fire brigade.

($) Dr Stephen Dann says: just burnt a potato in the microwave
($) Dr Stephen Dann says: trying not to trigger the fire alarm and dispose of the potato’s corspe
($) Dr Stephen Dann says: door wide open, aircondition on cold,
Jen says: oh dear
($) Dr Stephen Dann says: crisis mostly averted
Jen says: you’re telling the internet, right? :P

Fire + potato = good (most of the time)
Fire + potato = good (most of the time)

I am now. FWIW, when you’re staying on the 15th floor of an apartment building, and you decide to sacrifice a potato to the microwave gods

a) open the pod bay doors Hal.

b) put the airconditioning down to the coldest setting it has available.

c) place exotically crisped potato in body of water

d) place still smouldering plate under extractor fan cranked to the max setting

e) hope like hell that alarm siren is coming from next door (it was)

f) plan something with rice for dinner.

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The Seuss! The whole Seuss and nothing but the Seuss! (so help me Kotler)

Nedra Weinreich linking to my Seuss paper has been a decidedly happy moment at the end of a long day. Following the track backs, I also would like to thank Chris at Ministrymarketingcoach.com for the link (Although, since you haven’t read the paper, I was amused to see you call it more social marketing than I really thought it was – in the paper, I riff on the need for industry irrelevance a lot more than I considered it a social marketing question). Now, to explain the madness of the paper. In my marketing career, I have been responsible for a few moments of sheer madness mixed with a touch of irreverance for my beloved discipline. None come close to the sheer joy of the Marketing Lessons of Dr Seuss (two papers, the original and a remix).

For the uninitiated, this was a marketing paper presented at the annual ANZMAC Conference, back in 2000. ANZMAC is the peak conference for the Australian and New Zealand marketing academy. It’s a very serious conference, full of cutting edge academic research, hardcore stats, complex maths models, and the occasional paper like mine (okay, so I wasn’t responsible for the one on lord of the rings, but a lot of people pointed at me as the most credible suspect during the blind review stage).In short, the paper started as a conversation as to whether I really could write a marketing paper on anything, and if there were hidden marketing messages in pop culture. Somehow, it turned into a bet that I couldn’t get a paper on the Marketing Messages of Dr Seuss into the ANZMAC conference.

History shows I won that round.

The real reason I took to the paper with such glee was the desire to show that marketing was starting to lose the plot with the hyper obsessive Must Be Relevant To Business At All Cost, and forgot that sometimes, it was okay for marketing academics to make papers for other marketing academics. Not everything we ever wrote had to be for each other, but it also didn’t have to be for the business community. ( It’s okay to make a niche product for a niche market )

There’s also two historical footnotes to the paper.

Footnote 1: On the first draft, I disguised the fact it was a paper on Dr Seuss by claiming to have uncovered a forgotten marketing scholar called Theodor Geisel. The first reviewer made it as far as the Cat in the Hat reference (half way down page 2) before clearly throwing the paper back in disgust (this was in the old days when you wrote on the paper when you did reviews. Before these new fangled internets were around). The second reviewer drew a new box on the review form with “Reject outright” written beside it. The track chairs let me in because they wanted to see if I could deliver the paper with a straight face. I did. That said…

Footnote 2: At the conference, I very nearly killed off several esteemed members of the academy who turned various shades of scarlet, stared holes into the floor, and tried not to burst out laughing as I hammed my way through the presentation. There’s something magical about reciting Green Eggs and Ham as a marketing text. This slideshow has been used in undergrad classes around south east Queensland Universities to show that marketing can still have a sense of human and a sense of humour.