At Skinny Cow, the marketing team faces the same challenge every marketing team faces: get people to buy a horrible thing. The added challenge for Skinny Cow is how to position a brand that balances flavor and indulgence with a culture that oppresses women.
Here’s how we do it:
Peter: “We need a cow, but sexy.”
Frank: “Yeah. With, like, sexy bedroom eyes.”
Sam: “And for god’s sake make sure it’s covering up its udders.”
Frank: “And make sure it is implied that its udders are up on its chest, like a human, and not down low on its abdomen. This needs to be creepy, as well as uncomfortable.”
Sam: “But, like, don’t convey ‘milk-producer,’ because breastfeeding is disgusting.”
Roger: “But is this implying enough that thin is the final message? I’m not sure. Sexy, we’ve nailed. But how do we make it clear thin is the goal?”
Frank: “I know! Put a loose measuring tape around her anthropomorphized physique. That says it all.”
Pamela: “What if we just used a regular cow and said, ‘Eat what you love’ and—”
Roger: “Jesus, Pam. You totally interrupted Frank.”
Pamela: “I didn’t. I–”
Peter: “It’s really important to make sure this cow is both fuckable and thin.”
Frank: “Well, can you be fuckable if you’re not thin? Surely not.”
Peter: “Should we shave the cow?”
Sam: “That would just make it look like a mutant woman.”
Pamela: “It already looks like a mutant woman.”
Frank: “PAM. Christ. Whose side are you on? No wonder we pay you less.”
Pamela slams her head on the conference table, rendering herself unconscious.
Roger: “No matter how sexy we make this cow, people aren’t going to want to fuck this cow unless she’s thin. I mean, right? We need our consumers to want to fuck a cow, goddammit!”
Sam: “Well, sure, Roger, but the truth is our audience here isn’t the men who want to have sex with this sexy cow; it’s the women who think that men only want to have sex with this sexy cow. We need to reach the women who really hate themselves—or rather, we need a cow that can really make them hate themselves, and hate themselves enough to eat this vile, tasteless crap. And then get skinny enough to fuck men who hate them, too! Basically, we need a sexy cow that men want to fuck and that can also make women hate themselves. Draw that.”
Roger: “I see what you’re saying, Sam. And you’ve made an awfully important point about who needs to find this cow sexy. But I also feel like we need to make this cow appear human so that men don’t wonder why a woman would want to look like a cow.”
Frank: “Exactly. Subtlety is important here.”
Roger: “Subtlety, for sure.”
Peter: “Yes, let’s not make this ridiculous.”
Sam: “You’re right, guys. Subtle cow. Good work here today.”
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