Virgil Winston: Marketing Guru

Last night I dreamt that my wife and I went to the movies…and with three kids, going to a movie alone really is a dream. To get there, we had to walk through a crowd of country singers, break dancers, girl scouts and geriatric pogo stickers—only to end up in the middle of a cat circus. I started sneezing uncontrollably and we were transported by a particularly powerful “achoo” to the theatre’s box office. I was ready to purchase our tickets when I noticed a rather suspicious looking gentleman with more tattoos than Kat Von D lurking just inside. Upon closer inspection, I also saw a group of ne’er-do-wells having a popcorn fight and what appeared to be a biker gang barbequing a pig on a spit right under the sign for “High school Musical III.” I was literally gripped by fear (he has very strong hands) as I imagined the horrors that must await me inside the theatre. Visions of thugs throwing slurpees at the screen and helpless movie watchers, parentless children running up and down the aisles carrying scissors and matches and rowdy clowns making balloon animals that come to life swirled in my head. As sweat started to bead on my forehead, I grabbed my wife’s hand and was about to high tail it out of there when I spotted veteran comedic actress Catherine O’Hara exiting the theatre looking relaxed and calm. Suddenly the theatre didn’t seem quite so threatening. If a B-list actress whose work I enjoy very much could not only survive, but enjoy her visit to this shady theatre, then so could I.

What actually did await me, I will never know because I woke up just before I opened the theatre door. In remembering my rather odd dream, I marveled at my own shallowness. Did I really decide to enter a place that I judged unsavory simply because an actress walked out? Was I really so malleable that my mind could be changed by the mere presence of a celebrity? I have some serious self-examination to attend to. To be perfectly honest, I don’t know what the marketing lesson is, but I do know that everybody has keys and most people like stars. So, next time you launch a promotion, add your logo to the Maraca Star Key Chain and give your company a little star power. It’s a cute, fun keychain that lets you shake, shake, shake and insures that your company name will be seen and heard.

Well, I’ve got to go see my therapist so I can get to the bottom of my celebrity obsession. Until next time, ponder the wise words of Anderson Cooper, I know I will. “The whole celebrity culture thing – I’m fascinated by, and repelled by, and yet I end up knowing about it.”