Copulation And Maxwell House

Copulation and Maxwell House Coffee — what could they possibly have in common? I may be stretching to make a connection, but let me try.

By early 20th C America, copulation was hardly new, but hardly public. As for Maxwell House, it was relatively new, but working hard to remain public. But now each faced a different future. Whereas drinking coffee was already a national habit, watching copulating humans in a movie house was not. Maxwell House came up with a million-dollar marketing campaign: “Good to the last drop.” Porn, on the other hand, could depend only on, shall we say, word-of-mouth marketing.

By the Thirties, America’s porn makers could now add music tracks to their grunting bodies. And so, friends, behold a peculiar new art form that was soon selling better than coffee…!

By the Eighties, porn was big business and growing, while coffee was big business but not growing. The boys at Maxwell were getting a little desperate. That’s when they hired me to help them reach their national sales force with the country’s very first satellite-feed sales meeting. They gathered their good-to-the-last-drop sales gang in various cities, sat them in front of large hotel screens, and tried to generate a new passion for selling and drinking coffee.

From what I could tell, their sales did tick up, but they had completely missed the historic coffee moment. What American drinkers were looking for — even without themselves knowing it — was a whole new coffee experience. Enter Starbucks…! As we say, the rest is history.

You see, fellow consumers, whenever the market has too much of a good thing, give them the illusion of an exciting new thing. Something different. Something special. Something that can eventually become a “trend.” American enterprise has generated hundreds of trends. From Barnum’s traveling circuses to vaudeville’s shows to hoola hoops to pet rocks to cabbage-patch dolls to hookah bars to today’s must-have smart-phones.

Get it…? Keep it fresh. Keep it fun. Keep it indispensable. Which may be why they serve so much Maxwell House in so many brothels.

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