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viewpoint

An existential dispatch, post fever dream

| Friday, November 3, 2017

It’s Thursday, Nov, 2, at 4:26 p.m. I wake up from a fever dream. My Viewpoint deadline just thirty minutes away, I frantically write the entire thing down.

According to contemporary theory in marketing and management, corporate leadership should consider performance metrics beyond profitability during the product development process — particularly those measuring customer satisfaction, brand power and innovation. Thanks to big data (courtesy of information technologies) managers can develop detailed quantitative portfolios of these metrics for use in the marketing management process.

Consider the following case. An entertainer wants to produce a television comedy show. The entertainer knows that, in order to be successful, he must scrupulously research his target market and mine the data to build a powerful brand. The entertainer produces a probe video and releases it to a test market.

Next, the entertainer conducts focus groups and releases surveys featuring the “Ultimate Question” (according to marketing goddess Frederick F. Rechheld) — “How likely are you to recommend our product to a friend or colleague?”

The results are not promising, and the net promoter score is abysmal. How might the entertainer leverage resources to improve his standing in the comedic television market?

“Bird Up!”

Go all in “boobay,” with your green morph suit, stuffed parrot and any other goodies you have up your skin-tight sleeve. Run the skit until the cows come home, then kick the cows out of your home so you can run the skit some more. Then, have dinner with the cows. Make friends with them. Fall in love with one. Marry her. Get divorced. Sit on a cactus. Call your friend. Have him sit on a cactus with you. Put it on TV. Laugh at the viewers as their faces cringe in discomfort.

Welcome, ladies and gents, to the world of Eric Andre, creator of the beloved “Eric Andre Show” and poster child of existential humor. Watch your step, “there were 484, 367 deaths registered in England and Wales in 2011, a fall of 1.5% from 2010,” so, naturally, it’s about to get weird.

So. Uh. Gee. I guess I could talk about the innovative nature of his comedy (which is in fact, an important performance metric beyond profitability). Or maybe I could analyze his pointed social commentary (for what’s a Viewpoint if not dense and political), but I want to do the man justice. So, er, yeah.

(A note to the editor: if anything I write in this piece that strikes you as meaningful, redact it swiftly and severely.)

After a couple tests and a minor bout of sickness, I finally understand the utter pointlessness of existence. That’s why I listen when Eric Andre speaks at me.

Did I make a point yet? No? Not really? A little? Good. We’ll go with that.

Ok, I have a few extra words left, but I already finished the whole existentialist Eric Andre thingy. It was fun. Wasn’t it? Was it? Should I care? Should you care? Why do I ask so many questions?

Chill on your boy. He’s a hack writer, doing this because he must. He had something to say a week ago, some interesting thing about Emerson and education, but WordPress deleted it. So this is what you get, the shaky ramblings of my stress-addled fever dream, submitted on the cusp of a deadline.

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

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About Mike Donovan

Mike enjoys good words.

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