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Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Damn! Terrorists now have a road map with COVID-19

Awh crap! Now that The Bad Guys have seen the effect COVID-19 has had on the world economy, it's time for all the terrible stuff from The Book of Revelation to come forth. An airborne mutating virus with much more lethal capability than coronavirus could cause some biblical stuff to happen, dammit!

#zombiland #covid-19 #coronavirus #biowarfare

Friday, April 3, 2020

Hacking COVID-19: Finally working on my rock opera.

I'm thinking that COVID-19 is finally my chance to put some serious time into turning my novel Destroying Angel into a Broadway musical, a rock opera. Of course, my music sophistication is dated, probably to the first half of the 1960s with a bit of Tommy thrown in. But if Mel Brooks can get away with several iterations of The Producers, then I just might pull this off.

Stay tuned.

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

How I turned $2 million into almost $418 million

How does a guerrilla warfare ad man keep his eyes on what is current in the culture? My own trick is to play the Hollywood Stock Exchange. The account is free, and when you sign up they give you $2 million in fake "Hollywood Dollars" to bet on how movies will do. As of today, my $2 million original seed money has turned into $417,998.09.

I tend to bet on how things will do on their opening weekends, with an occasional "long shot" on a movie that I think is a sleeper. Like the John Wick franchise. The COVID-19 pandemic has thrown me off a little, since it has absolutely killed theatre attendance.

Nevertheless, to those of you guerrilla warriors who want to keep your fingers on the social pulse of America, I highly recommend the Hollywood Stock Exchange.

#hsx #guerrillawarfare

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Advice to CMOs: Creativity only happens in a "state of play"

The hardest bit of advice for any CMO to take these days is the most critical to your success: "Creativity only happens in a state of play." Whether I'm working on my current novel or creating another scurrilous piece of guerrilla warfare for a client, I always start my mornings with some playful mental calisthenics. Today, I was remembering my stand-up comic act for the 2016 America's Got Talent auditions. Maybe the world wasn't ready for Larry Ellison and Marc Benioff jokes. But someday, somewhere, boy do I have a rip-roaring funny after-dinner routine.

In the meantime, find a way to enter into a STATE OF PLAY before you attempt to solve today's problems.

#cmoadvice #stateofplay #larryellison #marcbenioff

Monday, March 30, 2020

Guerrilla Warfare: Turning a client's $25K into over $625K with Peter Max

Here's a little-known fact about the IRS and art. If you hold a piece of artwork for one year and then give it away to a non-profit (like a library or a museum), you can deduct the appraised value of that art as a donation on your 1040 income tax form. Back about 1979, my literary agent also worked with famous artist Peter Max, and I came up with an idea.

My client needed a gift for 250 salespeople at their million-dollar club event. We paid Peter Max $25,000 to create an original piece of art for my client, along with 250 signed and numbered prints of that art. The client got the origiinal to hang in their lobby, and the salespeople each got a print. Later that year, I had an art appraiser issue certificates that each print was worth $2500, and encouraged the sales people donate their print to a non-profit one year and one day after they got their prints, and to take the $2500 tax deduction. That amounted to $625,000 in deductions. In addition, the original art appraised at quite a bit more, and the client home office took a gigantic donation deduction.

Now a caveat for you artists. The artist himself cannot donate his or her work and have the same kind of tax treatment. But if you know an up-and-coming artist and need a gift for your salesforce, you can win on multiple fronts:

  1. You can put some serious food on the artist's table.
  2. You can give your salesforce a gift for which you pay $100, but which your giftee can use to obtain a much larger tax deduction the following year.
Win-win, eh?

Oh, yeah. This went over so well that the client did another Peter Max deal for the following year.

BTW, notice my watch. It was an HP-1 calculator watch. Quite an advanced piece of technology in 1979.

#guerrillawarfare #petermax #artforfunandprofit