Potato Of The Day Episode 98


It was just a word, a simple idea really, but the room was in immediate agreement. How could they not be? This was Bravo-Toaster presenting after all. Sure, he’d had a few misfires with purple cauliflower and tie-dyed bell peppers, and sure, no one could really point to any specific successes he was directly responsible for, but he was the fastest rising executive in the entire firm, skipping the corporate ladder entirely, instead crawling up the pile of bodies he’d thrown under the bus. Interns, hippies, old men hiding in the shadows waiting for retirement – they were all gone now. And Bravo-Toaster had made sure of that.

Bravo-Toaster had a cemented confidence about him now, matched by his final hair form, the comb-over, his accession from #MILLENIALEXPERT to full-on business god completed thanks to the webinar series Grab Your Boss By The Balls: A Guide To Getting Promoted (later retitled, in reaction to negative PR, Grab Your Boss’s Junk: A Gender-Proof Guide To Promotion, and then, after more negative press still, re-retitled Don’t Touch Anyone Ever For Any Reason: Getting Promoted The Asperger’s Way.). This was a man born then reborn then rebranded again, an ever-evolving marketing cyborg programmed to hashtag and retweet its way to the top.

The product itself was a fat, slimy Florida avocado. How their firm was able to land another produce client after their past debacles was a puzzling mystery to most. The Head Account Executive who’d brought in the business knew the answer, but he was on forced administrative leave following a sexual harassment suit levied at the firm. He’d acted shocked when the papers were served, not understanding how one measly grope, twelve suggestive drunken text messages, and a not-even-fully-erect dick pic constituted as harassment. He was a leftover relic of an era in marketing that no longer existed, a dinosaur who’d forgot to fossilize, and the firm’s younger uprising of board members were happy to push him out, leaving Junior Executives scraping over each other in bloody backstabbings, passive-aggressive memos and peer-reviews of past-failures, for a shot at his leftover clients.

Of course it would turn out later that it was Bravo-Toaster who’d convinced the intern, a woman he’d had fired for mangling a job she wasn’t qualified for to begin with, to levy the suit. He’d played both sides perfectly in the ensuing chaos, even comforting the Head Account Executive’s wife (a woman who’s dosage of Oxy for the treatment of “migraines” had reached such a point she wouldn’t have felt a beheading, let alone a headache) with a hand-written letter, an idea he’d gotten from a popular listicle entitled Ten Things Old People Wish Still Existed, while simultaneously showing in-house initiative with his introduction of DiversifiHiRe, a proposal for shifting HR hiring practices away from the men who considered other white men who dared wear khakis in the workplace diverse, lauded for its creative incorporation of capitalization and vague spelling.

The resulting hires from DiversifiHiRe were a young, ambition-crazed marketer’s wet dream, an army of diversely colored and gendered robots, all programmed to spout the same ridiculous social media market trends and ideas for improving return on investment, an ROI or DIE squad. Slightly younger, impressionable, and eager to save the world through viral marketing, Bravo-Toaster worked them over one by one, adding them on Instagram, Twitter, hell, LinkedIn, collaborating on memes and memory shares, building relationships, networking nightly, until at last, they all adored him, backing him in every meeting and #THINKSPACE forum.

And there they all were, stacked to the brim in his technicolor ark, hanging by the edge of their seats, waiting, wondering how their mystical savant marketing savior would deliver the word of the Slimcado, a bigger, heftier avocado, to the legion of granola moms concerned about their Fitbit regulated caloric intake.

“A webinar, obviously. I didn’t get where I am by NOT watching webinars now, did I?”

And as it began, so did it end.


Potato Of The Day Episode 82

tie-dyedpepperYou’re looking at that bell pepper with a little skepticism, aren’t you? Yeah, I know what you’re thinking. And you’re right! The boys at Cali-Flower Social (Third rebranding this year, spurred on by the lack of west coast clients. Offices still located in New York. West coast clients still missing. Don’t bring it up at the board meeting; everyone is #veryconcerned.) are back at it again! They’ve hooked another big fish, riding the feel-good waves of the Senior Vice President to the Administrative and Financial Chair’s shared yachting route with Mr. Bell Pepper himself. Naturally, the old man championed it as another deal struck together by the shared love of the outdoors! But we know better, at least if you listen to gossip, the hushed whispers during white line bathroom breaks, peon Account Executives murmuring about Bob and Bell’s shared love for DUI defense lawyers, “Breathing fresh air, blowing into a Breathalyzer, what’s the difference, right? But I digress, back to the deals!”

One look at that bell pepper and you just know that Bravo-Toaster, our favorite conniving #MILLENIALEXPERT, now repping hard for haircut 2.0: the undercut, definitely took the lead on this one. “Bros, I’ve been pouring over the social media data from the analysts and I’ve gotta say, it looks like RETRO is back. We def gotta roll with the bloggers on this one!” This was undoubtedly met by a cheer from that one possibly stoned Baby Boomer in the back, the guy no one’s heard speak in a meeting for over six years, apart from the occasional cut-in, a lame joke referencing 60s Free Love (The only brand that matters, mannnn!”) and his wife’s swinging ways. “I’ve been saying it for years, we need to bring tie-dye back, baby!” Bravo-Toaster was in, and despite having never once heard a Grateful Dead song in his entire life, threw down a quick ad-lib, “Yes! Some real Jerry Garcia shit, my man!”

Cynic and Naysayer should have had a field day on the proposal, but they stayed silent, too hung-over from last night’s ironic enjoyment of a pirate-themed club called the Wooden Mast, an underground hole that only played techno remixes of songs by punk legend Black Flag, awful, overproduced EDM tracks by DJs with names like Butterfly Death Sauce and Porky the Pigfucker.  So the proposal received no resistance, the room felt accomplished, and the meeting got adjourned.  But wait, pump the brakes and jump in the moment here, Organized Diversity Hire Woman in the Room, the only source of real intelligence in the meeting (albeit hired solely in response to a webinar titled Don’t Get Sued: Hire Women), wants to know, “But where do we go from here?” Ugh, that bitch. Right, guys?

Bravo-Toaster probably gave her a quick, “We’ll just outsource that shit! Send it to an intern for design.” And once again, we’re all lights green, good to go. See ya on the golf course, boys! But that poor intern in design, lonely, untrained, and unsupervised, has no idea what she’s doing. She just learned Photoshop, like, yesterday, you know? She tries her best, but her color palate is all wrong, and her export settings get messed up, and next thing you know, the manufacturers in China, the ones working for pennies a week, a wage so vastly below livable that they couldn’t find the energy to muster a shit even if they tried, are producing two-toned “tie-dyed” bell peppers that look nothing like tie-dye. Bob, that pesky old Senior Vice President to the Administrative and Financial Chair, gets his prototype proof in the mail, but he doesn’t care, yelling out, “Fuck it! Send it to market anyway. The check’s already cleared!”

And long story short, that’s how you end up with bell peppers that look like that.

Potato Of The Day Episode 65

purplecauliflowerNote: Everything in this post is 100% scientifically and theoretically accurate. ONE HUNDRED PERCENT. Give or take a hundred percentage points.

You guys, this cauliflower is PURPLE on PURPOSE. Like, it was specifically cultivated to look that way. Think about that decision making process. Think about how badly the cauliflower industry must have wanted a different look if they were willing to put their top-notch gene splicing scientists on creating My Pretty Cauliflower. Think about how misplaced of an effort that was. Was a white vegetable really not noticeable enough? There are like TWO other white vegetables. White onions and the bottom half of turnips. (I don’t have time to do more research than that, so keep your water chestnut ideas to yourself.) Now they’re stuck in the hyper-competitive purple game. Now they’ve got eggplants and the top half of turnips to deal with. IS THAT REALLY WORTH THE PRICE HUMANITY HAS TO PAY FOR CREATING A GENETIC VEGETABLE MONSTER? Sorry, lost myself in a fit a cauliflower rage for a second there.

But for real, can you imagine the marketing concept meeting where they came up with this bullshit? It was definitely a big think-tank ad firm meeting, a Knights of the Brand Table affair. Some fauxhawk-rocking #MILLENNIAL expert on #GENERATIONALDIFFERENCES stood up and went, “Bros, you know what’ll really drive people wild, really get them to spend a lot of hard-earned dollars on cauliflower? If we make that shit edgy. We gotta make cauliflower play to the young and wild. We can do it you guys…IF WE MAKE THAT SHIT LOOK LIKE MOLD!” Then a thoughtful dissenter raised a half-ass concern like, “But, Bravo-Toaster (or whatever his dumb, new-aged name is), how do we make the lamest part of California Mix edgy?” Then Bravo-Toaster, gesturing wildly with his hands, because that’s the method he learned for selling ideas in an email-address-farming free webinar on communication techniques he took three years ago while on cocaine, went, “Way ahead of you bro! We’re gonna spray-paint that shit PURPLE.” Then obviously a bunch of out-of-touch Baby Booming executives, frumpy old bags counting down the seconds until the sweet release of retirement, nodded murmurs of approval. “If we don’t understand the appeal, it must be a good idea!” Then to wrap it all up, some idiot Yes Man brought up their teenage son who wore a #PUPRLESHIRT as proof the idea had legs. Meeting adjourned. Back to trying to avoid sexual harassment lawsuits for the rest of the day. “Remember guys, the Mad Men era is over. Watch your hands!”

Of course that meeting was completely worthless because no one wants to eat purple cauliflower. IT’S AWFUL AND BLAND AND LOOKS LIKE MOLD! Bad idea all the way around. Edgy advertising is out. But retro… now, retro might get it done. I’m talking tie-dyed cauliflower, man. That would REALLY sell.