I was going to write up a parody ad for whatever it is that Apple is launching tomorrow but then it occurred to me that this is a company that advertised the advent of its first major product by comparing the rest of the computer industry to Oceania or some such thing and itself to a heroic lone woman who single-handedly brought down the dystopia by throwing a hammer into a giant telescreen. I want everyone to just think about that for a moment. That is magnificent.
I used to work in advertising on occasion. I lasted a whole month at an agency back when I was 23 or thereabouts before quitting for no reason at all. I’ve since done some stuff for private clients but have since repeatedly given that up as well, sometimes mid-assignment. I actually love advertising. The problem is the clients, whom I’ve often found to lack a certain necessary vision.
A few years ago I made up a fake advertising firm in the course of writing a parody. Today I have decided that this made-up firm ought to be a real thing, and thus I here republish my once-fictional pitch, this time as absolute truth. I will provide advertising copy free of charge to any entity that cares to approach me. The catch is that the copy will be written by me. It may include implied threats towards other companies and even entire nation-states. It may involve obviously absurd claims of a socio-political nature. It may consist entirely of erotica. In fact, even if you don’t approach me, I may decide to write advertising copy for your firm without your permission or your approval and distribute it by way of the various channels I have developed in secret over a short yet bizarre life. There is really nothing that you can do to stop me from touting the virtues of your product, whether those virtues be real or imagined. On the other hand, I’m not a lawyer, and am in fact the exact opposite of a lawyer. Now that I’ve peaked your interest, here is the pitch for my advertising firm, Heathridge Partners.
Heathridge Partners can assist your business in the development of a comprehensive marketing strategy. We take a dynamic approach to advertising, one that sets us apart from our more conventional competitors while providing exceptional value to our clients. Before we move on to the next step, though, we’d like to tell you a little bit about what we’re all about.
- Although we’re a fairly large full-service agency with copywriters, alchemists, and HTML coders on staff, we take pains to cultivate a responsive atmosphere in which the client is always the first concern, and in which the concerns of the client always come first. In fact, this would be our company motto if our company motto were not already an ancient Greek phrase known only to our administrative staff and senior copywriters.
- We get a lot of questions about our name. No, there’s no “Mr. Heathridge” here. Ha, ha! In fact, our name is taken from a rural English grove, the pre-Anglicized name of which has been lost to the mists of history. It was there, at Heathridge, that the trees shaded the undergrowth; it was there, at Heathridge, that the stream fed the trees in turn; it was there, at Heathridge, that the tribal priests first effected to cajole the earth into the yielding of its bounty by offering the blood of virgins fair; thus, it was there, at Heathridge, that man began his quest to control nature by means of magick. We draw on this lesson as we draw on all lessons, for it is only through the acquisition of knowledge that one may further the acquisition of power, and it is only the acquisition of power that the knowledgeable man seeks. This is known as the First Circular Maxim.
- Because we consider the success of our client to be our ultimate aim, we take an unusually proactive approach to providing the client with the most effective marketing collateral possible. If a client is unsatisfied with a first draft, we’ll happily provide a revision. And if a client is unsatisfied with the revision, we will seize control of the client’s firm by force so that we might better provide the firm with what we, as marketing professionals, know to be effective marketing collateral. And though, as a precaution, you as the CEO will be executed, your children will be provided for in a manner adequate to their social station.
- Imagine a kitten sleeping amid a bed of flowers. Now imagine a hooded figure approaching from the east. He picks up a fallen branch, examines it for flaws, and then—having been duly satisfied with its quality—hoists the branch above his head and brings it crashing down on the kitten, which awakens in horror and pain. The hooded figure strikes a second time, mauling the kitten beyond repair, and then turns and walks back toward the east, leaving the kitten to die frightened and alone. Does this image disturb you? If so, you have only yourself to blame, for you conjured it of your own volition. Or, rather, you did not—it was we who, through the use of magick, compelled you to conjure it. That is the Lesson of the Hooded Figure From the East. Incidentally, the kitten was not a kitten; it was the cost barriers inherent to traditional buyer-to-buyer marketing. And the hooded figure was actually Heathridge Partners, and the fallen branch was dynamic thinking. That is the Second Lesson of the Hooded Figure From the East, and the fact that this allegory, like most things, provides more than one lesson is itself the Third Lesson of the Hooded Figure From the East. You, the client, see only the surface; Heathridge Partners sees what is underneath. That is the Fifth Lesson of the Hooded Figure From the East, and the Sixth Lesson of the Hooded Figure From the East is that there are three additional lessons that will never be revealed to you, the profane.
- We do not recognize the authority of the United States government.
- Heathridge Partners is only a “marketing agency” in the sense that any “entity” can be said to be a marketing agency. In fact, we are a marketing agency in less than that sense, as there are indeed entities in existence that primarily concern themselves with the marketing of products and services, whereas we are concerned chiefly with the nature of certain prime numbers and their relationship to humanity, and are only concerned with humanity to the extent that humanity can be said to relate to certain other prime numbers. And whereas most “marketing agencies” derive most of their income from marketing, we are funded largely through arms deals and inheritances passed down from long-dead Balkan royalty.
- It would be faulty to believe that the plasticity of the world around us constitutes an indication that the forces of magick are no longer in play, or even that they were never real to begin with. It is the conundrum of the cynic to believe that the existence of hamburger wrappers and television commercials somehow rules out the simultaneous existence of forces more profound, and of the great Actors who wield them. Does the cynic believe that hamburger wrappers and television commercials possess the power to define the world in which we dwell, and to augur the future of same? If so, it is he himself who believes in magick, and without evidence at that, while we believe in magick only because we have successfully used it to revive Julian the Apostate, whom we revere as we would a master and love as we would a father.
- We “provide” “free” “estimates.”
I may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. The strong will seek me out; the weak will pay millions to a bunch of no-talent college grads working out of a loft in Manhattan, and that won’t even cover the cost of licensing a track from the Yeah Yeah Yeahs or whatever song they heard three weeks ago at a club when they were on ecstasy. A bunch of kids will be driving around in a Beetle and laughing. I spit on your Beetle.
I have ushered in the new order of advertising with a promotional piece for some neighborhood association.