Case Studies That Never Existed: Shadowy Criminal Mastermind (Strategy Consultation)

The Problem: According to the trio of bumbling henchmen who approached us, the client was looking for an objective third party who could assess and offer suggestions to improve an upcoming campaign that he–or she–referred to only as “P.Y.T.H.O.N.” We had been chosen, the voice-altered recording told us, because after months of surveillance and background checks, he–or she–had determined that we had no connections whatsoever to something called “M.O.N.G.O.O.S.E.” When we asked what “M.O.N.G.O.O.S.E.” was, the second henchman, BloodSkull McPoisonDart, simply grinned a crooked, gold-toothed grin and said “Exactly.”

The Solution: After a closer look at the sealed dossier we received sometime in the middle of the night from a mute assassin (we assume she was an assassin, but she might have just been a hired courier) we drafted a 5-page document containing a multi-pronged strategy for maximum effect. We listed a series of bullet points about getting better search engine optimization from the mastermind’s demands, citing that a world in peril will be more likely to respond if more web surfers realize that they’re in peril. We noted that although releasing new stages of the campaign at midnight were dramatic and thematically consistent with the plan as a whole, it was often more effective to do these things at 9 am, just when people were coming in to work, or around 2 or 3, after the lunch hour. We also pointed out that there was currently no strategy for mobile app users–P.Y.T.H.O.N. only seemed to target the tiny subsection of the populace that used nifty gadgets from the Q Division of MI-5.

Why It Didn’t Work: In order to produce a strategy that can be implemented in full, Marshall Creative needs its partners to be completely open and forthcoming about their needs. Unfortunately, forthrightness tends to be in short supply among most shadowy criminal masterminds, and he–or she–proved typical in that regard. The notes we received back on our initial document made reference to details that had been left out of the initial dossier, while specifying that other details had only been put in there “to throw us off of the true power of P.Y.T.H.O.N.” Our repeated requests even to know what the acronym stood for were met with riddles. This was an untenable situation, and as such we cordially declined to continue the relationship.

Coda: After a lengthy period of communication silence, we received word that P.Y.T.H.O.N. had apparently failed miserably, but that if we were interested we could have first crack at the new campaign, “P.L.A.T.Y.P.U.S.” We’re not allowed to tell you if we took that one on.

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