Twilight of the Eudaemancers
Elwin Cotman’s story is about a lot of big things: capitalism, the hustle, being Black in America. At its core though, it asks “how would we use magic if it was real?” The answer? Advertising.
~ Julian Yap, February 27, 2022.
Twilight of the Eudaemancers
eudaemonia (noun): eu·dae·mo·nia | \ ˌyüdēˈmōnēə \ WELL-BEING, HAPPINESS
Thank you for reaching out. Once again, I am sorry to hear of your abrupt termination. There is no excusing management or the unprofessionalism of their actions, especially concerning an employee of your tenure. Your request that I ask management why you were terminated made me uncomfortable at first, but I did so. I hope you remember this as a sign of our friendship.
As you know, everything in this industry is data-driven. Believe me, I hate this. I remember when our metric of success was whether people said “Oooooh!” when we did something. But times have changed. What happened was, management focus-grouped your litbae.com ad (the horse reading Faulkner in the café). You scored a 0.41 on well-being, 0.56 sense of confidence, 0.78 sense of belonging, 0.789 nostalgia, 0.623 sex appeal, and 0.777 overall eudaemonia. While the biometrics showed a 0.7% increase in endorphins across the board, your group had a 0.5% decrease in oxytocin, 0.3% decrease in serotonin, and 0.7% decrease in dopamine. Our mapping of their neurotransmitters showed increased amygdala activity, plus their biochemistry reflected a temporary decrease in metabolic rates caused by slowdown in mucosal secretion and motility. In short, your ad made them sad and nauseous.
If it is any consolation, there was a 75.55% agreement among the group that your concept was whimsical, but some of them found the idea of making a horse read to be inhumane. This is an issue with the designers and not you, but I think you could have chosen something less elitist than Faulkner, which probably reminded the group of high school English class. Nobody wants to feel stupid looking at an ad.
In these anxious times, it becomes harder to make people happy, and even harder for those of us working in print, sadly. I hope these metrics help ease your anxiety. If you ever need a reference, let me know.
Jacob Dennis Jay, Director of the Joy Division
Stein & Stein Ad Agency
355 Lexington Ave., 14th Floor
New York, NY 10017
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Things are busy with final preparations for Transcending Worlds: A Literary & Magical Spectacular! We’re super excited.
I should have made it clear earlier that the event was ticketed and for that I am sorry. Sadly, we cannot afford to give our artists an honorarium at this time. The ten-dollar door charge is to cover our costs. C.O.O.L. Lit is a labor of love we put on without any compensation. All that money goes back to the series. Our hope is that we can create interest for our artists’ work by drawing a big and enthusiastic crowd. That is the only payment we can offer.
I hope that answers your questions. We have long wanted a eudaemancer at our events. I just found out that you made the Got Milk? ad where Britney twerks with the cow. That was my favorite ad in high school! I know you’re going to blow everyone away!
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