The company had produced a product this year, just like they did every year. After testing it, performing surveys, and doing various other things that measured how much people wanted this product, the company found that it simply didn’t measure up to the competition. Nevertheless, it was the best thing ever. Everyone would want to buy it, and once you had it, you would wonder how you lived without it. It was nothing short of a revolution in the toaster industry. However, due to the fact that it only toasted one slice of bread at a time, didn’t pop up, and was made out of ugly plastic, it would be kind of difficult to convince the unwashed masses of the facts. This was no job for the engineers and designers; this was a job for the marketers.
The marketers looked at the blueprints, 3D models, sketches, and prototypes of the toaster and decided that this would be a piece of cake. After conferring for a few hours, they decided on the theme for the marketing campaign: minimalism. Minimalism was a pretty trendy thing at the time, seen in user interfaces for smartphone apps, video games, the actual phones themselves, and many other things. It only stood to reason that people would want everything to be minimized. Heck, this could be expanded into an entire product line - toasters that only toast one slice, a blender that is just a square spinning blade, and microwaves that are not actually microwaves, just solid cubes with a few lights on the front. The possibilities are endless! The marketers thought of this, and made up a snappy name for the appliance line. They also got to work creating a website which had no useful information on it whatsoever, but it looked really pretty.
The next step for the marketers was making the toaster more attractive. Using the plastic shell to their advantage, they made the toaster available in a wide variety of bright colors. A toaster with a metal shell would be available for an extra charge. The marketers prepared an ad campaign that showed the toaster and all his fellow minimalist appliances against a white background with sparse, ambient music. Another ad showed the toaster, the frontman of the product line, in all different colors. More ads showed the appliances majestically standing amongst the cosmos. This made it clear that the toaster was too good to pop up, and really, why are you expecting it to pop up? It’s minimalist! It’s simple! It’s a revolution!
There were a few months left until the appliance line was released, plus the engineers were getting bored, so to go the extra mile and to make it even more attractive they shoved some electronics into it and hopped on another bandwagon, turning it into a device which could be linked into the Internet of Things. A user could make a special gesture in the Toaster App (It had no buttons and used gestures only, and turned a special color if you did it right.) and boom, their toaster would toast the bread! Much easier than pressing the buttons on the toaster yourself. A fantastic ad was produced based on this. It featured a busy family who wanted to have toast in the afternoon but didn’t have enough time to make it when they got home. After years of misery, they solved this problem by buying The Toaster (which is what they had gotten to calling it now, just Toaster), putting the bread in when they left in the morning, and pressing the toast button on the app when they got home. This ad won its way into the hearts of everyday people everywhere, and drove massive sales of the toaster on its release.
It was time for the toaster to be released to the public! The ad mentioned earlier was not run on TV immediately upon the release - the company waited for the excitement about the launch to die down. They held a big party to celebrate the launch of the toaster, inviting many high-profile tech executives. When asked what he thought about the toaster, one replied “The party was great! I enjoyed it a lot, especially all the free food and money.” There was a bit of confusion before he figured out that he was being asked about The Toaster, after which he replied that it was undoubtedly a revolution, will change the world and the industry forever, etc, etc.
The unwashed masses enjoyed the toaster quite a bit too. It sold a million units in a first week. The other appliances sold somewhat less, which was understandable because they were not marketed quite as much. The company’s tech support line got a number of confused calls from buyers who could not figure out how to put food into it, even after turning it off and turning it back on. The tech support line had to regretfully inform the customers that yes, you have bought a solid cube with a smartphone app and some blinking lights and no, we do not offer refunds. The unwashed masses were quite mad about that one for some reason or another. Something about false advertising, it isn’t what we said it was, blah blah blah. It clearly said in all the ads that THIS MICROWAVE MAY NOT ACTUALLY FUNCTION. WE ARE NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY SHED TEARS, TORN OUT LOCKS OF HAIR, OR SPENT MONEY. Thanks for reading. Buy the toaster.