But here were the Kozlowskis. Our network of individuals paid to inform on the lifestyle choices of their neighbors indicated that the entire family had less than 8% awareness of Gobbles, and absolutely no intent to purchase. In short, they had succeeded where others had failed and eluded the Company's efforts, at least as far as this product was concerned. And if one, why not more?
Once we looked at this thing, we realized that we just couldn't let the damn Kozlowskis get away with what they were trying to do. You lose control of one case and pretty soon you've got a whole lot of people trying to escape the impressions being aimed at them. Before you know it, the whole product-to-consumer assumption of inevitability goes completely out of whack, and then what? Chaos.
An over-reaction on my part? Maybe. They said communism couldn't fall, either, and last month the Mall of Red Square celebrated its 25th anniversary.
I got busy. Monitoring of the Kozlowski PC's Pentium XII chip, which tells us all we need to know about the household's Internet communications and e-commerce proclivities, clued us into the fact that it was Bert Kozlowski, the husband and prime non-nutritious food determinator, who had started the whole thing by unplugging all incoming distribution media, declaring -- get this -- that he was "sick of it" and desired something he called "peace and quiet." What a jerk!
After that, all bets were off. The Gobbles message -- which should have reached the Kozlowskis naturally through radio, billboards, bus sides, kiosks, advertising in magazines, newspapers, pagers and palmtop computers, TV spots on network TV, digital second, third and fourth local video channels, cable networks and promotional minutes preceding rented and pay-per-view motion pictures and audio books, commercials before theatrical movies, Internet flags and downloaded impressions to their portable personal digital players -- was completely thwarted.
The Kozlowskis avoided all of these by reading books while at home, avoiding public transport and conversing with each other during car trips. We believed we had all but eradicated books and conversation. It's clear even in this late day and date we still have work to do -- thanks to nuts like Bert Kozlowski.
We didn't really care about Bert, of course. He had dropped out of the core demographic when he hit 28 the previous May. His wife Mary, likewise, didn't matter. She was pushing 26 and well beyond the age when lifetime product differentiation sets in. It was the kids that mattered. Leonard, the eldest, was in the key 4-to-12 age group now important to all automotive and pharmaceutical advertisers, and little Yvonne was in the mean heart of the 2-to-6 demo that our most mature 14-year-old media buyers are convinced drive retail buying decisions nationwide.
We moved on the Kozlowski house at 1900 that very evening, as they were sitting down to dinner. There was nothing they could do. We began with auditory input piped into their central air conditioning/heating unit, which we control, then followed up with forced bulletins driven through the silicon chips of the Kozlowski microwave, vacuum cleaner and all the children's computerized toys, of which there were literally thousands. The new, sixth-generation talking Pikachu was most effective. When they were ready, we directed instructions to purchase into the cranial Gates chips that had been surgically implanted in each Kozlowski immediately after their births. Those little babies were controversial when the Company first offered them back in 2020, but now I believe all debate on that subject has ended.
I'm happy to report that this story has a happy ending. The very next day the Kozlowskis went down to Costco and bought a closet full of Gobbles. They love 'em! Of course they do! They're delicious -- and soothing, too. I believe the whole family will be shooting their testimonial commercial some time next week, which just goes to show you what kind of progress we've made in the art of persuading people. Of course, we have a lot more to do.
I can't wait to see what the future will bring.
By day, Fortune columnist Stanley Bing is a real executive at a real Fortune 500