Marketing is a wonderful profession, but we often take ourselves way too seriously. That’s why some of my heroes in the field are people like all-around-genius Seth Godin and Brand Camp cartoonist Tom Fishburne, who offer wit and levity as well as marketing insight.

My first brand song (“I Am the Very Model of a Manager of Marketing”) was a runaway hit in pre-Internet days. Written for an April Fool’s parody of the Lever Brothers in-house newsletter in 1989, I sent it to Ad Age on a lark. To my great astonishment, they published it immediately (and sent me a check!).  I started hearing from people all over the country. It ended up in a textbook, the NewYorkTimes called, and it ended up circulating to non-marketers (family, random strangers) as well.

Recently I dusted off my rhyming dictionary and have sprung into action.  Early feedback has been encouraging.  Since there seems to be an appetite for marketing songs–and since I have an irrepressible urge to write them–I hope you enjoy them.  Let me know what you think and what topics I should be capturing.  Thanks!

I Am the Very Model of a Manager of Marketing

I am the very model of a manager of marketing
With demonstrated mastery of mass consumer targeting
From durable to wearable or blandest of the branded goods
I’ve vaulted to the leadership of this exalted band of hoods.

A decorated vet’ran of the burger, beer and cola wars,
I’ve launched a hundred products which the public on the whole adores.
Of stratagems and ruses I’ve a marvelous sufficiency,
Selected from my arsenal, deployed with true efficiency.

I handle every segment, niche and demo with felicity
I’m handy with an ethnic pitch, an expert at publicity.
In short, for all the latest trends in mass consumer targeting
I am the very model of a manager of marketing.

If ScanTrack shows a district has a market share emergency
I’ll shore it up with FSIs and gimmicks point-of-purchasy.
If reading purchase data I detect a demographic skew
I’ll write a snappy questionnaire and find some folks to ask it to.

Should R&D’s new formula bedevil Manufacturing
I’ll have the same old product put in new and fancy packaging.
Should market checks reveal our facings dropped to just a minimum,
I’ll roll some line extensions out in herbal, mint and cinnamon.

When parity positioning inspires only tedium
I’ll tweak the mix with upscale graphics, pricing at a premium.
For all the latest, greatest trends in mass consumer targeting,
I am the very model of a manager of marketing.

Though lavishly I’m entertained through Agency extravagance
I’ll cheerfully dismember a production bid with half a glance.
If new creative gives the brand a touch of added piquancy
I’ll run it in a heavy-up, augmenting reach and frequency.

My artistry is getting you to siphon off your salaries
On basic needs like Hula-Hoops, fast cars and empty calories.
From aloe-mist deodorant to mousse or chocolate cereal,
If profits can be made from it, the product’s immaterial.

No matter if the goods should be outlandish or impractical
I’ll grab with the strategic hook and pummel with the tactical.
For profitable mastery of mass consumer targeting
I am the very model of a manager of marketing.

© Copyright 1989, Tracy Carlson. Published in Advertising Age (September 25, 1989). All rights reserved.

Stopping to Buy Goods on a Snowy Evening

by Tracy Carlson

Whose goods these are I do not care.
The shelves are brimming, set with flair.
I’d rather not be shopping here,
But stomach’s empty, cupboard’s bare.

The marketers must think it queer
To shop without a preference clear
For brands they labor to invent
From bargain buy to niche premier.

With all the marketers have spent
They wonder why I’m not content.
Their labels beckon, logos leap:
I grab and go, indifferent.

The goods are lovely, prices cheap,
But endless choices make me weep
With aisles to go before I sleep—
With miles of aisles before I sleep.

© 2001 Tracy Carlson.  All rights reserved

They Call Me a Megabrand
(to the tune of “I’m Called Little Buttercup”)

They call me a megabrand, dear little megabrand,
Though I’m so humble and shy.
But still I’m a megabrand, edgy as contraband,
Sweet little megabrand I!

On Twitter I’m trending, on Goggle ascending,
On YouTube I’ve viral acclaim!
I’m stylish and pricey, so cool that I’m icy–
Without me you’re dated and lame.

My ads are ironic, my status iconic,
My margins are plump and divine.
I’m pinned, Liked and tweeted, all metrics exceeded:
My hipness is pure bottom-line.

So get you a megabrand, this moment’s megabrand,
Retailers now standing by!
Before I’m an also-ran, marked down for clearance-land.
Keep me a megabrand–buy!

© 2013 Tracy Carlson.  All rights reserved