The Worst Marketing Campaign Of All Time.
Monday December 04th 2006, 11:05 am
Filed under: advertising,letters

Dear Peanut Butter Industry Executives,

I have found the key to your urban demographic. Don’t hit delete yet – let me explain.

Earlier this year an up-and-coming think tank met for a Sunday brunch brainstorming session. Their goal? To invent a new signature cocktail. Not just any signature cocktail, mind you – a signature cocktail that would transcend race, gender, and class lines. What they came up with probably won’t surprise you: Goldschlager and Grape Juice. What’s surprising is that nobody thought of that before! The garnish, on the other hand, came as a bit of a shock to all of us, and if it shocked us, I’m sure it’s going to blow your fucking minds, Peanut Butter Industry Executives:

A smear of peanut butter around the rim.

Do I have your fucking attention yet?

Okay – so we’ve got Goldschlager and grape juice on ice with peanut butter around the rim. What do you call something like that? What name could possibly do it justice? It would have to be something edgy, yet elegant. Smooth, but rough. Creamy, but kind of crunchy – catch my drift (hint: you can get either creamy or crunchy peanut butter around the rim)? The name of this soon-to-be famous signature cocktail, gentlemen?

The Rusty Trombone.

Now, you’re probably thinking to yourself, “Well sure, the cocktail sounds fantastic, but what does this have to do with me, a humble Peanut Butter Industry Executive?” Let me remind you: there’s peanut butter around the rim of this cocktail, this “lifestyle” cocktail. This is going to be a cocktail that people identify with. This, my friends, is where the urban demographic comes in to play.

You may have heard of another popular “lifestyle” cocktail that’s all the rage down in the “dirtay” south. I’m talking, of course, about the “sizzurp” craze (aka “purple drank,” aka “oil,” aka “lean”). Well guess what, Peanut Butter Executives? The “dirty” south is sick of the purple stuff! They’re tired of sippin’ on lean! A man cannot subsist on prescription strength cough syrup and Sprite alone! The people (read: the urban people) are ready for a new cocktail, Peanut Butter Industry Executives, and that cocktail is going to be The Rusty Trombone.

And it will have a smear of peanut butter around the motherfucking rim.

Peanut butter isn’t cool – you guys know this better than anyone else. Every labored ad campaign designed to popularize peanut butter practically screams “this shit is lame!” You lost the urban demographic because the urban demographic is cool and peanut butter is not. The urban demopgrahic is concerned with things like style – things like LIFESTYLE. Guess what? This is a lifestyle cocktail with a smear of peanut butter around the rim. Just picture it: the most famous dirty south rapper in the world rapping in his videos about “lickin’ creamy skip’ off the rim,” or asking his listeners “wut ya’ll know about Creamy Skip?” or maybe just screaming “AWWW SKIP SKIP MOTHAFUCKAZ!” Sound good? Sound like it’ll move some units? Sound like it could maybe, oh geez, I don’t know, pull your whole industry out of the shit? That’s because it can, Peanut Butter Industry Executives. It can if you let it.

So now you’re thinking to yourself, “Alright, you sold me – the drink sounds delicious, the marketing plan sounds perfect, and we could really use a revenue boost in the urban market! Where do we go from here?” I’m glad you asked. I’m envisioning a chain of clubs throughout the “dirty” south that specializes in serving Rusty Trombones. Exclusively Rusty Trombones. We could call it “Rusty’s,” and we could have rappers (read: Rusty Trombone enthusiasts) play live at the shows, and we could make a million fucking dollars. You’ve been very successful at selling a product, Peanut Butter Executives. Now it’s time to kick it up a notch. It’s time to start selling a LIFESTYLE.

Let me worry about generating a buzz – you guys sell peanut butter, for fuck’s sake. Let me get the word out on the street, let me handle the rappers, and let me figure out the perfect blend of Goldschlager and grape juice. All I need from you guys is a whole shitload of venture capital.

Hit me back with the exact amount of money you guys want to throw at this. Remember: the more you spend, the more we make. I will be sending identical email to all of your competitors as well – the contract goes to the highest bidder. Let’s make some fucking cash.

Ross Wolinsky


Dear Swishahouse Marketing Executive,

I represent the Unilever subsidiary Skippy Peanut Butter, and we’re currently developing a fairly radical ad campaign for a fairly traditional brand (and a traditional product, at that – the peanut butter demographic tends to skew “family”). I’m sure you’re wondering at this point what in the name of G-d Skippy has to do with Swishahouse. See, that’s the problem right there: Skippy HAS NOTHING to do with Swishahouse.

And that’s what we’d like to change.

By the numbers, there is a huge dip in sales in the peanut butter industry with the youthful, urban demographic. We’d like to capture that demographic if we can, and quite frankly, we think that you, Swishahouse Records, could hold the key to it.

We’re both busy so I’ll get to the point: We want to market a new drink to replace “purple drank,” “lean,” “oil” – whatever you want to call it. Your artists have been rapping about it for a long time now, and we think your audience is probably about ready to give it a rest. The new drink we are developing consists of Goldschlager and grape juice with a smear of Skippy peanut butter around the rim. It’s called The Rusty Trombone, and we’d really like to have your artists (Mike Jones, Paul Wall, et al) pushing it for us on MTV. Some example rhymes they could use include the following:

“What ya’ll know about creamy Skip?” (Nothin’!)
“Lickin’ that candy Skip off the rim in the turnin’ lane”
“Candy Skip drippin off the frame”

Not that they would HAVE TO use these lines, they’re just suggestions obviously.

What, you might be wondering, would Swishahouse Records receive in return? How’s a huge fucking bag of money sound? Pretty good?

We think so, too.

Let’s help each other out.

Hit me back and let me know how you’d like to proceed from here.

Ross Wolinsky


Responses: None from the Peanut Butter sector. Head of Marketing for Swishahouse replied with his phone number, but subsequent calls remain unreturned.

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