Dear Disney Marketers,
JJ Abrams here. I understand there have been some concerns about my marketing plan for Episode VII based on the supposed underperformance of the most recent Star Trek film. First of all we matched the opening of the original film and are going to make three times as much overseas so I think everyone should probably calm down a little. Also it’s Star Trek. We were marketing a franchise whose biggest fans either can’t or won’t leave the house. All things considered I think we did great.
The reason for this success is of course my “Mystery Box.” We have to hide as much as we can from the audience in order to get those mouth breathers to the movies. I know I don’t make great movies. No one does anymore. We can’t, it’s not an option. Between the studio, marketing partners, overseas financing, and the increasingly vocal internet fan it’s a mess trying to make a big tent pole film. In marketing the whole goal is to lead with your strengths and with most of these movies our greatest strength is that no one has seen the film yet. As soon as they do, we’re boned. So that’s why I use the mystery box method.
I understand the concerns Disney/Lucasfilm has with my marketing method but we have to hide Episode VII as best we can. Do you honestly think anyone is going to want to watch a sixty-year-old Mark Hamill be a Jedi? They think they do now, but as soon as they see him in action we are going to be hosed. It’s a miracle no one even knows that Harrison Ford has been dead for the last eight years and we have been using a semi life-like puppet. The current model of Harrison puppet is only capable of two expressions, sleepy and tired. We will have to hide the fact that the greatest space smuggler in movie history looks like a sleepy muppet. The only way? Mystery Box.
Let’s talk about some of the other elephants in the room. I am casting Kerri Russell in this. Felicity is going to space. The current draft of the script has her using a fake name only to be revealed at the end of the second act as Luke Skywalker’s daughter. I know what you’re thinking. Jedi daughter, we can sell that. No you can’t. It’s a secret. Has to be. Why? Mystery box. In fact I want all toys of her to just be a lady in a grey pantsuit. No light saber, it would give it away. Her real name is Lana Skywalker she awesome. One of the greatest Jedi’s the galaxy has ever seen. But it’s got to be a secret. We can’t let the audience know that the next Star Wars movie has Jedi. We are going to keep it locked in the mystery box.
How about our biggest secret? Darth Vader is back! Cloned. Not Anakin though, people hated that guy. Something in the cloning process keeps him from being completely human and so the only way to keep the clone alive is to place him in a Darth Vader suit. A brand new Darth Vader, sounds awesome, right? We can’t tell anyone. I don’t want to see any toys, I don’t want to feature him in any of the marketing. Has to be a secret. Mystery box! Now clone Vader is revealed in the first scene after the crawl and is featured heavily in the film. But we have to keep it a secret. No one can know. Trust me I gave a TED talk.
Uh, what else. Jar Jar’s great grandson is in the movie. That I think we can sell. People are ready to accept him as a hero and embrace a new Jar Jar. I want Jim Jim to be featured in all our marketing material. Wait, no. Keep it in the mystery box. Lock it up. Here is how we market the film. We open on black. White text. “A new film from JJ Abrams.” No, that won’t work. We open on black. White Text. “A new film.” Yeah. That works. No music. Just text. Not even the date. It’s all a mystery, what is it? A movie. We don’t have tell them anything else. It will be great. Trust me on this one; I’m your only hope.
Lock it up,
Dear Cardinals and Such,
Goddammit. I mean that. Goddammit. It’s Gary from the PR wing of the Catholic Church. We got a serious problem right now. I am out there trying to market this dying religion and one of you is out there shooting his mouth off. Who leaked it to the press that Pope Francis had performed an exorcism? Was it someone from our American parishes? Those fuckers couldn’t keep a secret if it was buried in the butt of a twelve year old boy. I mean how hard is it to understand we are trying to tone down the attention of the hocus pocus from Catholicism and put it back where it belongs. On The Lord Almighty.
We can’t have people running around telling the press that Pope Frank has expelled a demon from someone. I am having a hard enough time just selling regular old God to people these days without you dopes talking about this nonsense. The plan as I laid it out in my last power power point presentation to the pontiff was that we are taking our message back to the basics. Father, Son, Holy Ghost. I can sell people transubstantiation but Demons? Maybe if I was Robert Evans in 1973 I could push that out there and get people to buy it. But you guys aren’t William Friedkin and I don’t think we can get Ellen Burstyn on “The Dick Cavett” show to push this. It’s 2013 you dopes. We have to stick to what works.
For the record I don’t know if Frank actually performed an exorcism and frankly I don’t care. But when word leaks out about this it leads to people asking questions. Questions that I would prefer that they never even thought about. Then somehow word leaked out that you guys had a convention in 2010 in Baltimore to discuss exorcisms? HOW DO I EXPLAIN DEMONCON? Did you guys get badges and cosplay? Shit, I guess you never really stop cosplaying do you? Was there a guest speaker? Internal numbers show that over 1,000 members of the church showed up. For real? Why do you guys make this so hard for me? God help all of you if there are pictures on your Facebook page from Demoncon.
In fact if any of you have a facebook page just delete it. I don’t want to hear about a single one of you having a Facebook page, Twitter, and especially not a Tumblr. I guess LinkedIn is alright but if I check your profile and any of you are friends with someone younger than 18 that shit is gone and you lose internet privileges for a month. I don’t want to see any of you on Vine, I can’t even imagine what you creeps would film for six seconds.
Just try and keep a low profile. I am doing my darndest to get people excited about Catholicism again but it’s tough. You guys make it really tough. I honestly don’t get paid enough to cover up the absolute nonsense that you mooks get up to. We are making great inroads in the third world people without the internet still buy into this stuff. I wish there was some way we could market you guys to the evangelicals in America but they are worse than Pope Sylvester III, am I right? So please do me a solid. Keep the exorcism chatter to a minimum and stay off the internet.
Dust to Dust,
Chief PR Vatican City
Dear Bingers™ and Microsofters™,
How are all my Bingers? Are you Binging™ it up out there? Have you folks Binged™ the latest news on Yahoo purchasing Tumblr? We here at Microsoft were hoping to expand our reach on the internet as well. In the last year we have missed out on purchasing Instagram and Tumblr and are running out of properties to purchase. We know we have to be more aggressive in our acquisitions. So what is out there and how would it impact Microsoft? Let me break some things down for you.
We are looking at making a bid on Wikipedia. Internal analytics have revealed that the first thing people click after they Bing™ an item is Wikipedia. So the best way to capitalize is purchase them outright. Of course some changes would need to be made. First off we would rebrand the site as Encarta 2020. It’s a no brainer to leverage our past digital encyclopedia with the Internet’s number one destination for crowd-sourced information. Encarta is back baby. Gone will be the simple text pages that people have grown to know and love and in their place will be multimedia digital content. Three words. Full…Motion…Video. KaBoom™. We plan to remove the ability of the wiki community to edit articles. We plan on locking down access to the site to ensure that only people we approve will be able to edit the site.
Of course we are looking at LinkedIn. Corporate has loved this site since we got our first emails requesting us to join. Honestly we looked at the site and couldn’t think of one thing to change. These guys just get the Internet. If we were able to purchase LinkedIn we would want to double down on their current efforts. More emails, more Facebook posts, more requests, more of everything. Think of what we could do with everyone’s personal information? We are talking next level direct marketing. Why stop at emails? We could start calling people directly at home, on their cell phones, even at work. It would be awesome. Who wouldn’t want to get a call from us? I know right? This is pretty promising lead.
My mother’s recipe blog. Yes. We are looking into purchasing my mom’s personal site. She writes about meals that you can make in the microwave without too much fuss. Analytics show that she has a pretty constant engagement with the people that click on her site. This lady knows how to engage. Her SEO is out of control. External valuations put the site worth at $400 but I honestly think that mom’s site has the potential for serious growth. Who doesn’t like food cooked in the microwave? It’s super convenient and always tastes delicious. I told mom we could probably offer her $500-$600 million and Microsoft stock options that would vest at a later date. Of course I would get a finders fee but we can discuss that after the purchase.
I also heard from my mom about this site called Pinterest. Microsoft has always lacked a certain feminine charm and we hope that by purchasing Pinterest we can show a softer side of Microsoft. Softrosoft is a possible division name. Just spit balling here folks. I just clicked on the site and I don’t see what exactly the point of it is but hey they get views. When people think of needlepoint that says “Bless This Mess” we want them to think Microsoft.
This is the tech business if you aren’t growing you’re dying. We have missed out on so many opportunities to expand out brand. Sometime it works out for us. I thank the master control program himself everyday that we didn’t buy MySpace. Yikes. Now with Facebook on its way out we need to be looking out for what is next. IS it Pinterest, is it LinkedIn, maybe it’s my mom’s site. We have to look at all available options. In closing, please ABA.
Always Be Binging,
Head of Acquisitions
We have had some complaints recently about our drone program here at the C.I.A. and I need to address them with the staff. We appreciate the hard work and long days that you all spend defending America and our way of life. I know the life of a drone operator is tough and most of you are doing a bang up job out there taking out those that oppose the values and freedoms of this great country. To everyone doing their jobs please ignore this memo and keep up the good work. Those of you abusing the wonderful technology meant to help the rest of the world enjoy our freedoms will be dealt with swiftly and with extreme prejudice.
First of all Ken we know you are using a drone to spy on your ex wife. How you thought we wouldn’t notice is beyond me. Our best minds have built these drones to survey and execute those who work against freedom not to keep an eye on your ex wife and her new husband. Our records show that Ken has been tracking them on the weekends and routing the feed to his home computer. The idea of you sitting in a studio apartment in Fredericksburg watching your wife and her new husband take your kids to soccer games breaks my heart. However it’s against the law to use these things to just spy on people you don’t like. You can’t just do what you want with these things there are policies and procedures that must be followed. What kind of world would it be if anybody could just use this technology however they wanted?
Sarah we know that you have used a drone to spy on the filming of Thor 2. This is weird and sad on a couple of levels. What do you hope to gain from this? Are you really that concerned with what is going to happen in Thor 2? Did you really like the first Thor that much? We should really sit down and talk about the kind of media you consume. Also I believe that Thor was filming in England? Are you trying to cause some sort of international incident with our friends across the pond? And for what? So you can see what Natalie Portman is up to? Sarah, I am disappointed in you. Most of all I am disappointed that they are making another Thor movie.
Alan are you really using the drone to pick up drive thru Taco Bell? How does that even work? Part of me is incredibly impressed that you can get the drone to hover in the drive through and that you can get your taco’s back here in one piece? However some of our technicians have found trace amounts of sour cream in the drones. Sour cream is bad for the drones no two ways about it Alan. And if you are going to order Taco Bell would it kill you to get enough for the whole team? I think this is one of those “I’m not mad, I’m just disappointed” situations. You know how much I love a mexican pizza.
As you can see the above abuses of power are completely out of line. We can’t just use these tools of freedom however we want. You have to follow the rules and there has to be some sort of oversight. We built these drones to punish the kinds of people that don’t believe in our way of life not to get a six pack of Tacos Locos. And for the record Alan never order cool ranch, that’s gross. So please, don’t abuse what we have here. We are the C.I.A. and we are supposed to be professionals. If you want to fuck around all day and spy on your family and friends please head over to the IRS.
Keep it sneaky,
Edward G. Douglas
Assistant to the Director of Automated Intelligence
Dear Mom and Dad,
I am tired of living my life for you. I am tired of trying to be the person you want me to be. I am determined to find myself and be the person I want to be. I just want to be Jerry. I can no longer be a part of the family business. I am hanging up my top hat, tuxedo, and will no longer be The Amazing Jerry. I cannot be a magician another minute. My love for the craft of magic has for lack of a better word, disappeared.
Most children are able to discover magic on their own terms. They see a special, they get one of those tiny magic kits from a shop in an amusement park. I guess these days they learn tricks from youtube. However, you forced me from a young age to practice my tricks. To practice your tricks. The son of a magician and his assistant that was destined to grow up to be a magician it was too good of a story for you two. Amazing Eric, his wife, and their son performing magic together? Dad made that poster instead of sending out a birth announcement. You two couldn’t wait to saw me in half as people cheered.
At first I loved being a child surrounded by magic. Who wouldn’t? What kid wouldn’t want 20 pet bunnies? But they weren’t ever really pets were they, Dad? There is nothing amazing about having your dad break the neck of all your pets because he is trying to learn a new trick. I don’t think our neighbors ever had a golden retriever drown because their dad couldn’t break out of a giant fish tank. All my birds? Dead. The worst part? Mom’s insistence that we couldn’t waste the them. Call it Lapin a la Cocotte but I always knew what we were eating. There isn’t a family in the world that ate as much squab as we did growing up. That may have been one of your greatest tricks. Your ability to fool yourself into thinking this was all normal.
Most kids get to play soccer or baseball. I was forced to practice making coins and cards disappear. Though I doubt any kid enjoys back to school shopping, few have to waste a whole weekend being sized up several different tuxedos, top hats, and tails. I didn’t own a shirt without ruffles till I was in my 20’s. You both refused to let me find myself and be my own person. Day after day of practicing my water espaces. Holding my breath until I pass out so that I could be locked in milk jug? That seems like it borders on child abuse. But hey, at least I know how to escape if I was ever trapped at a dairy farm.
One of the biggest reason I want to stop? I have never had a girlfriend. I was locked away from the rest of the world. We travelled around so much that I never even had friends growing up. The life of a magician is itinerant at best. We were well dressed hobos. I couldn’t ever be around someone long enough to get to know them. I could talk to one thousand people but I couldn’t ever talk to just one. At no point in my life did you ever ask me what I wanted to do. You only worried about how I fit into the act. I have spent more time packed in a train car with an elephant than I ever had with someone my own age. You made my childhood disappear.
Poof I am gone.
-(Formerly) Amazing Jerry.
Your mother and I got your email the other day. Though we have always tried to support you I don’t think we can help you this time. You are 33 the same age as Christ was at the end of his life. I think it is time to put an end to your scheming and maybe get a job. Having said that I do have to commend you though for your latest plan. However clever I find the idea I regretfully must let you know that your mother and I will not be contributing to your Kickstarter. Though I do have some questions.
What exactly are you kickstarting? I have looked through the web page and though you seem to hint at some sort of art project there doesn’t actually seem to be anything there. Parsing the language it seems that you want the people donating to your kickstarter to help cover your rent and pay down your credit cards. Is this correct? Initially I was taken aback by your email and wondered who you hoped to fool. But looking at the page it seems that over a dozen people have already donated. Who are these saps?
Having seen your hubris at play in the past I was couldn’t help but chuckle at the video you included in your kickstarter. Your pleas for people to help you grow your art and support the arts is completely ridiculous. You aren’t an artist. I have a dozen 30 year old finger paintings that confirm that. So for you to even pretend to be some sort of bohemian is a joke. But the more I thought about it the more I realized that you are an artist in one sense. You paint with bullshit. You always have and I guess you always will. So in a round about way someone donating to your kickstarter I guess does actually support your art. But I doubt you’re smart enough to look at it that way.
Can I ask about the prizes? $10 gets a personal phone call from Becky? I looked over the bill for the cell phone we pay for and over the last year and it seems that you called home four times. So do I owe you $40? I would prefer that over the $75K in student loans that we took out so that you could go to school to learn how to be an interior designer. I can’t believe it costs $75K to learn how to move a couch. The next few tiers are rather boring. But the $150 plateau is interesting. For $150 someone gets the right to take you out to Thai food and a movie. So you don’t even pay? Wow. Sweetheart, there is a word for this. And the fact that you have 20 of these prizes available is a little disconcerting. Are you one of those girls on Craig’s list? I guess I have only myself to blame.
For $1000 I can have the artist live with me for a summer. Well. That is a treat. I owe you $33K based on that model. I don’t understand. Are you implying that living with you is some kind of prize? I found a pinky once in a box of Cracker Jacks when I was a kid. It was horrifying. Comparing one prize to the other I would take the pinky in the box before letting you live with me again. In fact I would pay you $2000 if you promised to never move home again.
I know I am your father and I am supposed to support everything you do. Financially I am completely tapped out. I couldn’t give you another nickel if I wanted to. Emotionally I am exhausted after supporting you for 33 years. Sometimes you have to realize that you need to cut bait. So I hope that by finally cutting you off maybe I can metaphorically kickstart your life. By the time I was your age I owned a house, had a wife, a daughter, and had fought in Southeast Asia. At 33 you are scamming people out of money on the internet, you have a cat (that your mother and I look after), you haven’t had health insurance in ten years. Having said all that there is still a part of me that is incredibly impressed with the length you have gone to with this fake kickstarter.
Dear Content Partners,
It’s just your good buddy Dan the man CEO from BuzzBeast dot Com checking in with all our esteemed content partners. We couldn’t light the internet on fire every day without you. We rely on your hard work and constant content to update our site. Our fans come to BuzzBeast every day for fresh content and you guys never disappoint. For years you have provided us with the videos, photos, articles, and memes that we need to go viral each and everyday. In return we have always provided you with the exposure you gain by being associated with the BuzzBeast Brand. Recently word has reached us that some of you have some complaints. I would like to address a few of them.
WE WILL NEVER PAY YOU. You think you deserve to make money based on creating things? You think that someone who makes a thing should be paid? What the fuck did you do? We made a website. We book banner ads and manage SEO. How do you think people find your dumb little videos. The only reason any of this works is because we understand Search Engine Optimization. We do the things that make the internet work. You dopes make cat videos and write articles about reality shows. You are all replaceable. We draw the eyes and get the dollars. I don’t know when you retards got the idea that just because you create content that you deserve money.
Our job is to get you the BuzzBeast exposure and then thanks to the content deals we signed you to, allow you to get a higher profile job. It’s in our best interest to get you a higher profile gig thanks to the contract you all signed when you worked for BuzzBeast. As you know we are entitled to 75% of all your future earnings. We gave you that break and we deserve to keep a piece of your future earnings. Without us you wouldn’t have a future. You would be stuck tweeting or tumbling or the whatever the fuck else is going on out there. Good fucking luck. You should write me an email each and every single day thanking me for plucking you from obscurity. I MADE YOU.
Now that money is out of the way. Can we talk about your content? Would it kill you guys to make things that could be more viral? When you finish a video, a post, a meme, ask yourself IS THIS VIRAL? We need it to go viral. You want to know what viral is? The three P’s. They are:
Pets – Is there a cat kissing a bulldog? Is there a bird saying Obama? Pets in costumes? Come on people this shit writes itself.
Pop Culture – Teen Moms. Justin Timberbieber or whatever. BEYONCE for fucks sake.
Pussy – Sex always sells. And it’s your job to give us the sex to sell.
Spend all the time you want crafting your perfect little bit of comedy. IT DOES NOT MATTER. If you didn’t have one of the three P’s in it I can’t sell it. If I can’t sell it then I can’t make money. If I can’t make money I can’t get you the exposure you want. All you have to do is follow the three P’s and we all win. I make money and you get your name out there. Which brings me to my next point.
We are taking away all personal mastheads on articles. We want every piece on BuzzBeast to be attributed to me. It’s good for our brand and ultimately it will be good for you. You know that you wrote something for BuzzBeast, isn’t that good enough? Why do we have to plaster your name all over the article. Don’t you want to help our brand which in turn helps you? People will figure out that the stuff you posted, I promise someone will figure that out. We need team players. Remember when no one wanted your stuff? Who came to you? Dan The Man did. So trust me and let me build the best BuzzBeast I can. A strong brand is good for us. You are lucky we post anything of yours at all.
Shape up and stop your winning or the next message you get from me will be a TOP TEN PLACES TO GO FUCK YOURSELF.
When we talked about “Glengarry Glen Ross” on Episode 63 of An Hour With Your Ex Podcast Mel Evans and I wrote our version of a David Mamet scene. How did we do? Listen to us read the scene below on the show.
INT. Night – Podcast Studio
Cats are running around the dusty computer and mixer.
Mark: When are we going…
Mel: Going to what
Mark: Let me finish
Mel: Finish what?
Mark: my thought. Let me finish my thought.
Mel: Please. Finish. Go on… no one is preventing you.
Mark: When are we going to record a podcast.
Mel: Now you’re asking me? You’re asking me? What are you asking me?
Mark: I am asking you when we intend to record a podcast.
Mel: Fuck you. That’s when. When are you going to record a podcast?
Mark: That’s what I am asking. Can we….
Mel: Record your precious podcast?
Mel: Yes. Soon. Sooner than later.
Mark: But later than….
Mel: Now? Yes. Later than now. But sooner than later.
Mark: Mel, can we just do the….
Mel: The show? Yes. Yes we can do the show. Yes. We can talk about whatever stupid fucking comic book nonsense you picked. You sad little man. With your sad little show. You think anyone wants to hear your fucking show? You think you know what people want? What do they want?
Mark: They wa…
Mel: Fuck you. That’s what they want. You know what they want? You know what they want to hear from you? Nothing. You are talking to no one.
Mark: That doesn’t seem very…
Mel: Very what? Nice? Fuck you. Is that nice.
Mark: Mel, please?
Mel: Please what? Do your show? Talk about Iron Man, or Spider-Man, or whatever sort of man you want to speak about this week? What do you know about men?
Mark: I know…
Mel: Nothing. You know what I tell you. That’s what you know. That’s ALL that you know. Now (beat) what do you know?
Mel: There you go. You know nothing. Now you know something. Because you know that you know nothing. But you know what I know?
Mark: What’s that?
Mel: I know, yes, I know. I know what people want to hear. Look at the numbers you fucking chump. Look at the numbers.
Mark: I’ve seen the numbers. I know…
Mel: We have already been over this. You know nothing. You don’t know numbers because if you did, you would know that I am the only person here who knows what the fuck the people want. Do you know what they want?
Mark: I think…
Mel: You most certainly do not. You breathe, you wheeze, you stumble, and you stammer. But you… YOU DO NOT THINK.
Mark: Well then tell me. Tell me Mel what is it that people want? What is this great truth that you want to share with me?
Mel: With you? Nothing. There is nothing I would share with you. I don’t share and if I did? (Beat) It wouldn’t be with you. No, no it would not. The people want Downton Abbey, the people want Jane Austen, the people, yes, the people, or should I say my people, they want whatever I give them.
Mark: That’s not always….
Mel: What? True? Yes you fucking mope. It’s true. You know what truth is? It’s numbers. It’s the things that come after zero. You know what zero is, right? It’s the thing you see every day in the mirror. Well the things that come next are the things that count. The bigger the number the better it is and my numbers are better than yours. You want to talk truth? Let me tell you about the truth. The truth, yes, the truth is what you can prove. And I can prove that you don’t know dick about the truth.
Mark: That hurts.
Mel: Does it, does it hurt? Well it should. That’s the best thing about the truth most of the time it hurts and the thing it hurts, yes, that thing that it can hurt? That thing is your pride. I would say that you think about your pride too much but we already know that you don’t think and if you did think you would know that any thought you had wasn’t worth having in the first place. You fuck. You useless little fuck. So back to the top. Will I do your show? No. No I will not do your show. Will I do our show? No. No I will not do our show. You fuck. You useless little fuck. But what I will do. Yes. What I will allow to happen is you can do my show. You can do the show I want to do when and how I want to do it. You fuck. You useless little fuck. Now do you want to do a show?
Mark: Yes. Thank you.
Mel: You’re fucking welcome. You fuck. You useless little fuck.