Thursday, December 01, 2005

Selling Snow to an Eskimo

How would you sell snow to an Eskimo? This was a question that a couple of people in my company asked me the other day at lunch. Though I do not handle marketing I have watched my marketing brethren in action to be fairly able to answer the said question.

Selling snow to an Eskimo is a piece of cake (according to aforementioned marketing brethren) if you follow the laid down marketing principals of giving your customer a new product, value for money, accessories, distribution system, pricing, promotion blah blah blah.

Now... our Eskimo is surrounded by snow. Tonnes and miles of white snow. So we add a dash of value-adds to the snow, package it attractively and pray for suckers er...customers to buy it from us. (Besides, inspirational pep talk by your Manager that you either reach your target or go back to your old job as door to door salesman in Bansiwalah Papad Company also works wonders.And such pep talks give the team that vital burst of energy and motivation to attempt the impossible like selling infrastructure bonds to Bangaloreans. )

For aspiring marketing executives the conversation below will act as a curtain raiser to a career in marketing. ( I know no one aspires to be in Marketing, but then people with a glib tongue and no life need to be gainfully occupied too.)

Marketing Guy ( MG)to Eskimo: Aksuse!! ( greetings) I am from Icy Snow Company.

Eskimo: You come selling snow to me Eskimo ??? You either crazy or from marketing. ( shaking head)

MG( plastic smile and well rehearsed speech in place): We don’t just sell any snow, Sir. We sell Icy Snow, the leading brand of snow in the world.
Aren’t you bored with same old snow you see very day? The same old white, reindeer dropping dripping, husky pee smelling snow that you use posing serious heath hazards to you are your family?

Eskimo: My ancestors use same snow, I use same snow. Nothing happen. Now scram pest, before I let my Huskies on you!

MG: You have Huskies? How cute; we give free castrations for 8 Huskies with every purchase of $10,000 worth of snow from us.

Eskimo: Whaaaa? You castrate my Huskies? I will castrate you if I see you near my Igloo again!!!! grrrrrrr

MG:(hastily) er... Or you can take the 8 pack of absolutely FREE copper bells for your Reindeers Sir.

Eskimo:(suitably mollified) hmmmmm that sound good.

MG (wiping sweat from his brow): Glad to be of service Sir.

MG starts a presentation on his Laptop.Impressive music fills the air as a Flash presentation of squiggly lines weave and curl over a world map. A clich├ęd commentary accompanies the presentation extolling the company and its snow.

MG: As you can see sir, we are a well-established company with an office in every country. We manufacture tonnes of snow and our sales in places like Ice Land and Greenland is at an all time high.

Eskimo is not impressed. He says “We Eskimos no fools like ‘em Icelanders and Greenlanders, Shmucks!!!! Baah!”

MG:(smoothly) Of course you are not. But then do you use Vitamin enriched snow for your igloos?

Eskimo: Vitamin enriched snow? What do I need that for?

MG: For a healthier lifestyle and bounding energy for your seal hunting Sir. Imagine sleeping in an Igloo that is slowly releasing essential Vitamins and Minerals into the atmosphere, so that you wake up healthy and raring to go!

Eskimo:(puzzled) Go Where? I go hunting once a month. Rest of the days we eat.

MG: Er… well sir let me rephrase the sentence for you. Imagine sleeping in an Igloo that is slowly releases essential Vitamins into the atmosphere, so that you wake up healthy and raring to eat.

Eskimo: Will the vitamins make me eat more?

MG(confused but learning on the job): that good or bad? I mean an increase in appetite?

Eskimo: hmmmm well I can’t afford to eat more cos that means I have to hunt more...

MG: ( cutting in smoothly) Well Sir what I actually meant was that it will effect your ahem...libido!

Eskimo:(petrified) No no no... that mean I have more children, which means I have more mouths to feed!

MG: And many more hands to help you during hunting Sir.

Eskimo(scratching his beard):That sounds interesting.

MG:(triumphantly removing a glossy brochure from his briefcase)...And our snow comes in different colors too. You can choose from a wide variety of Pastels and Browns besides the regular colors. You will be the envy of the neighborhood Sir. Infact Mr. Akkituyok, your neighbour has just ordered a batch of purple snow for his new Igloo.

Eskimo: Well, if Akkituyok has ordered then I must have this new fangled snow too. That son of a mountain skunk, rotten seal eating bastard will not steal the march from me.

MG: That’s the spirit Sir !! I shall process your order ASAP. That will be $7000 dollars Sir, will it be cash or card?

Eskimo: Dollah? What dollahs? We Eskimos pay in seal skin ONLY !!!!

MG: aarrgghhh !!!!!

Well... he nearly sold the snow.

It was a catch 22 situation. MG is caught between the deep sea and Bansiwalah Papad Company. He was last seen jumping off an iceberg.


Ganja Turtle said...

George Bush style
Declare that America has a moral duty and an obligation to the rest of the world to sell ice to the eskimos.
Land 50000 American troops in Lapland.
Force Eskimos to hold an election and rig it in favour of an American born Eskimo for President.
Get the new democratically elected President of Eskimoland to
declare an exclusive trade treaty with America for purchase of ice in exchange for seal-skin chemises for wives of Republican Senators.
And when civil war breaks out in Eskimo land, scratch head for some time, consult speechwriter then declare in a thundering voice before well-briefed oil-lobby sponsored press cameras that that "AS LONG AS I AM YOUR COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF, THE WILL OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE,SHAPED BY GOD,SHALL PREVAIL.
Recommended music: God Bless America
Recommended time: To be screened after inspiring war movie
Recommended end: Amen.

hope and love said...

great silverine..

Sujit said...

wow!!... great marketing tactics.. More than that.. your ability to thnk so much or record or such of a conv... good....

Praveen said...

:), funny as always and you do have a pretty wild imagination to come up with this one, "Selling snow to an eskimo", wow :)

opinionated said...


Thanu said...

Great post. I'm still laughing.

silverine said...

@ganjaturtle: That was a brilliant summation of US trade practises!!! And hilariously creative too, you in marketing? :))
@HnL:Methinks you are great!
@Sujith,Praveen: Selling Ice cream to an Eskimo is considered to be the ultimate Marketing challenge. I just raised the bar a bit :))
@Thanu:Thank You! :)

Leon said...

This must rank as one of your best posts.. :-).

Loved your choice of words and sentences..

//people with a glib tongue and no life need to be gainfully occupied too

//reindeer dropping dripping.. :D

I think you have a little too much imagination though. You should give half to me.. :p

PS: Warning!! You are about to be tagged...

Dr. Pissed said...

ashoo, James Blunt?

Riot said...

Kudos to ganja turtle! And if somebody questions the need to sell ice to eskimos, then question his patriotism and label him as a traitor and a flip flopper.

Ganja Turtle said...

@silverine: Closet-copywriter-turned-greedy-for-money-became-marketing-manager-now-have-lots-of-money-but-still-newspapers-dont-give-me-no-place-to-write-so-write-in-other-peoples-blogs.
Marketing?Absolutely! ;-D

The elderly camel said...

Quite fabolous! Dave barry peeks out again :)...(no offence meant please)

Domesticated Bachelor said...

Hilarious... this post is doing its rounds in my office now:)

DD said...

Awesome one silverine...waiting for another one on selling a comb to a totally bald guy :)

Sachin Dev T said...

You just brought to life the Marketing Guy's Ultimate smbody rightly pointed out->like selling combs to baldies ;-).ROTFL.Outrageous.Whats ur inspiration for this one?

Geo said...


Sujith said...

hmmmm... :-)

Anonymous said...


the ending was too good, and you never fail to amaze me.. just too good.

You heard of the story of the rookie marwari sales men in a super store in US who made a 200,000 dollar sale on his 1st day. The store manager surprised and amazed asked how he did it.

Rookie replied, "well he came asking for a fish hook so I sold a small hook and then a big hook and then a bigger hook. I then sold him the all the diff kinds of bait. And since he was to go fishing I told him not takle the new fishng boat, so I took him to boat section and sold him a Boat, and since he couldn't possibly tug along the boat, I sold him the Trailer."

The manager amazed, " so you sold a boat to a guy who came to buy a fish hook". sales man replied," no he came to buy sanitary napkins for his wife, so I suggested, since your weekend is screwed anyway why don't you go fishing"

that is Sales

Rahman said...

This is the question that usually pops up in all the marketing & advertising classes.
I bet no one can better you Silverine.

Amazing creativity.

silverine said...

@Leon Cyril: Thank you :) and *groan* did u have to tag me ? :)
@dr pissed: Wot?
@onemorereason:I second that kudos to ganja turtle :)
@ganja trutle: an excopywriter-during-college-now turned-Marcom-for-same-reason-as you :))
@elderlycamel:No probs and thank you :)
@Joker: Hey thanks joker, I am sure the mktg. guys in your office must be baying for my blood now :))
@Deepak:That would be be an interesting post indeed. Maybe one day I will attempt it :)
@Sachin: The inspiration was the question that I have mentioned in the beginning of the post. In fact this is exactly what I told them :)
@Alexis: Thank you so much :)

silverine said...

@Geo and Jithu: Thank you :)
@Anthony: That was an exemplary example of marketing /sales indeed!!! And hilarious too!! lol
@1.618: Thank you for dropping by and your comment on this post and my previous post.And thanks for linking the PC post in your blog:)

Thanu said...

loved the addition of hte igloo pict. Very apt.

Unknown said...

a gud one..

esvee said...

Good post...still laughing...

By the way Dr.Pissed was refering to the video of the song "You're Beautiful" by James Blunt.The video shows snow and the character jumps into the sea at the end of the video.

take care

the Monk said...

oh, but that was good...funny...i shall return...

Goan Pao said...

well after reading this i laughed at the millions of idiots who were fooled by the same gimmicks and are today drinking bottled water...(mineral water my a#$).....
then i realised i was one of the idiots....

Camphor said...


Paavam MG.

Kirubakaran A said...

gr8 post. enjoyed it thoroughly. at the risk of being thought of as a person without any sense of humor, I am going to share my thoughts on this topic...

I have it in my blog...

"Now that I think seriously about it, I feel it IS possible to sell snow to an eskimo. How do eskimos make igloos? It must be hard work I think. Can we sell them interlockable snow bricks? If we can make snow bricks, which are strong as well as have a hollow space inside, the igloos might be warmer (although it will be still below 0C) - air being the best insulator. Also this might result in safer igloos as temperature rise - no blocks of ice will 'peel off' and smash an eskimo's head as the bricks will be interlocking now..."

i'll add more later... sorry if i carried it too far :-)

Vikram said...

heh nice

monu said...

nice one usual ..

u should write about those telemarketing guys also :D

Sinfully Pinstripe said...

I know no one aspires to be in Marketing, but then people with a glib tongue and no life need to be gainfully occupied too

Ah! *slowly getting red.... either in shame or anger* that's what I used to do earlier!

But fantabulous post.... as usual. Actually, that's Maslow's esteem need that the MG gets at, and hell he does it well... I'd like to be MG.

Anonymous said...

Did the guy start selling Icebergs too.
You did read PG wodehouse I am sure. He leaves this on the impressionable.

OH I didnt say this is too funny. Why dont you write a lil more frequently. You could even take this as a carreer you know :D

Atleast I would read. :>

silverine said...

@nagu and thanu: Thanks :)
@Esvee: it's a lovely song, I found the video here!
@monk and Camphor: Thanks again!
@Goan Pav: thats marketing! :)
@Kirubakaran: I checked your take on this subject. You should be in Business Development :))

silverine said...

@arbit council and monu: Thanks!:)
@sinfullypinstripe; Are ou referring to Maslows Heirarchy of Needs? And thank you for the pat on MG's back:))
@Anonymous: I am one of those rare souls who have not read Wodehouse. I did try but never quite liked Wodehouse. Selling Icebergs is a good idea and whether he sells it or not depends on me right? And if your reading depends on my writings then I suggest you pick up a Wodehouse. Wodehouse does things to the impresionable I heard.

-Poison- said...

whaz the exchenge rate for skins...


Jagan said...

marketing is an art ..even tho we talk crap abt it :-) . my friend ( studying in a leading management institute ) is concentrating on marketing and we tease him asking why he had to work hard to get into the institute ..was it just to become a door to door salesman :-) ..

Jagan said...

did u see kirubakaran's new post ? ur post has motivated him i guess ..thts the best compliment u can get for ur blog posts :-)

flaashgordon said...

I guess they should include ur post in the Harvard Curriculum...Well u could for furthering sales accept bio-degradable Seal Skins as payment..

btw am keen on some Purple Icy snow for my 1 bhk Koramangala apt. Whr can i place the order?? Payment will of couse be in Biodegradable old Newspapers, empty beer bottles and scratched CDs..Interested??


Kirubakaran A said...

jagan - tx for mentioning!! :-)

Vivek Panda said...

hahahahahahahahahahahahahaha !!!!
hohohohohohohohohohohohohoho !!!!
hihihihihihihihihihihihihihi !!!!

that was amaaaaaaaaaaaaazing !!!!

keep up posting...i just love em !

muuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuah !!
take care and love,

Anonymous said...


Funny One!!One of my fav.Marketing Joke is...

The Optimist says, "The glass is half full."
The Pessimist says, "The glass is half empty."

The Marketing Consultant says,
"Your glass needs re-sizing."

Cheers!!Ensoooi Your Weekend!!

Pradeep Nair said...

Read this curiously, since marketing is one thing just I can't do. Probably because I am very skeptical (journalists have to be; if not, the profession will make them to be). The more a marketing guy brags about the product, the less inclined I become to buy it.

Matter of Choice said...

For ages this was the gauntlet thrown in by marketing profs to their wonder-eyed first year students who wanted to sell anything to anyone. Now that you have finally popped their bubbles i can imagine marketing people grumbling about mar comm dept. If after providing those idiots (the mar comm dept i mean) with loads of money n free time (to blog!) all you can expect by way of thankx is such sarcastic posts, one might as well as get rid of them.

Seriously, the post is so hilarious that it opens the window to a rather embarrassing episode in my life that happened about 3 years back.

Self was spending time in a Scandinavian country known for bombshell babes. We were supposed to do a project on consumer behavior. Managed to get admitted as the sole male member into a group of 3 of the bombiest bombshells. Alas, the prof had different ideas on how to encourage cultural mingling and allotted us the project of launching a new toilet paper (oh yeah!!!) instead of shall we say condoms.

After weeks of trying to get consumer feedback from middle aged swedish mammies in malls (forgive my tamil influence!) who were nonplussed by our rather probing questions on a sensitive subject, we knew that project was bombing! To make things worse, i was having no success in wooing one particular bomb in the project. She just kept giggling whenever i tried to talk to her about ahem..toilet papers (on the first day of the project i had mentioned to the three gals, rather proudly, that i had never used toilet paper!!)

Project was in tatters, my plans were not working, and i knew i had to come up with whopper of an idea soon or else my grades and my plans for “xtracurriculars” would be worth less than used toilet papers. As usual the idea stuck and i swear i was not in the toilet when it happened!

Excitedly i presented the idea of "Cool Blue". No more plain vanilla boring toilet papers. This would be in a soothing light blue colour and the paper will be treated with menthol to give a soothing feeling to you know where. Long hours of giggling later, my project mates give in to the idea. The GAL still refused to go out for a date with me but with a sly twinkle in her eyes, which gave me hope!

After several brainstorming sessions, i was selected to make the presentation to a packed audience of people who were bored with their plain vanilla toilet paper. The presentation went well, i could hear more chuckles than sniggers, and i received a thunderous applause at the end! On concluding remarks by the chief guest (CEO of one of the largest paper making co in sweden), i received a special mention for "innovative" ideas and the audience again fell out of their chairs laughing. I was proud of the reception of my idea untill i noticed that the prof was almost purple with indignation and giving me dirty looks. Suffice to say, soon i was hounded out of the marketing world in sweden, with the prof suggesting that my ideas are too revolutionary for marketing!. But I drew solace from the fact during one staid boring faculty student dinner, the prof’s 6 year old daughter came upto me and asked if I were the guy who came up with the “menthol laced toilet paper” and then wouldn’t leave my side during the entire evening!

Oh yeah, I did get that date with a bombshell project mate! And she is working for P&G :)


PS: selling infrastructure bonds to bangaloreans!!!!!!! now that takes the cake in this soooo rofl post :)

silverine said...

@poison: That's the million dollar question :)
@Jagan:Marketing is indeed an art and only the gifted can pull it off.And yes, I did see kirubakaran's post. He has really taken this one step further :)
@Sorry purple snow was a limited edition. Limited to the Eskimos that is lol :))
@Vivek: Thank you :)
@Jaguu: That sounds awfully like a marketing guy lol :))
@Pradeep: Me too.I trust word of mouth only!
@matterofchoice:What a bombshell of an idea!! Too bad it bombed :))Considering the fact that we Indians use toilet rolls like tissue paper, a menthol scented toliet roll would be ideal to clean your nose with when you have a cold! I am surprised that the CEO didn't snap up the idea.You should be in marketing and not wasting your talents chasing the bulls and bears :) And kudos on winning that date! ;)

~*. D E E P A .* ~ said...

oh ho ho !!

I have 3 of ur posts to catch up with ...

so please hold on .. lemme read all 3 and then comment

~*. D E E P A .* ~ said...

The pic was awesome !!!!

~*. D E E P A .* ~ said...

i loooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooove the Eskimo ....

can i meet him ???????????

Now for the last 2 posts

~*. D E E P A .* ~ said...

heh heh !!! the homeo doc was funny.

itz like the conversation in a 5 star hotel to get a glass of water

U made my day m'am :))))

Jiby said...

lol...i cherish those days i wud read ur posts over and over again and laugh my guts out...loved the eskimo!!!

Vinod/Kakka said...

Nice one.
You should seriously consider changing careers. Very few people are blessed with the humor sense and creative writing that you have.

Who sold you your current career over writing?

Ar said...

it looks like u r on your way to getting projects from alaskan eskimos courtesy of outsourcing! haha ;)

Matter of Choice said...

hey....u r the first one to endorse the idea :))

why dont we form a partnership..i shall give u the copyright for the idea...jez gimme a teeny weeny sum of a million dollars USD

yep..the date was the only success i got out of it..but then ahem..thats another story (with a straight face!)


Nikhil Narayanan said...

Njan chirichu marikkunnu..enne rakshikkkoooooooooo

La Louve said...

awesome!!! THis made my day! :)

silverine said...

@deepa:Nice to have you back :)Thanks for your kind words. Now I am off to your blog.
@ammo:Wish I could do that, but I will take that as a compliment :)
@Jiby:Thanks and please keep posting about your ROFL escapades.
@Vinod: I still write as a profession but it is boring brochures, presentations and ads :)Thank you.
@lash: yes, it is a miserable job. Only people with the gift of the gab can pull it off;)
@arun: As long as they dont pay in seal skin I am fine with outsourcing lol
@nikhil and wbix: Thank you so much :)
@MoC: Since your idea is not patented, I have claimed ownership to it. You may however buy it from me ( straight face here)

~*. D E E P A .* ~ said...


~*. D E E P A .* ~ said...


minerva said...

Hiya *silverine,
Thanks for your sweet comments back over at my place:)
Btw, this is such a humourous, well-told post - Keep it up!

i liked the way U handled the topic (of marketing principles) and enlivened it with the rib-tickling conversation - A real amusing read. ;)
Do take care, Keep writing & Wishes always,

crossblade said...

I guess I better learn from ur marketing brethren...
I'm doing a maketing dual major lol

crossblade said...

I guess I better learn from ur marketing brethren...
I'm doing a maketing dual major lol

Arun said...

You managed to bring a marketing cliche statement to life. Kudos!

Akshay Sasikumar said...

Awesome.. Well, is this creativity at its best or, did u happen to get involved ins something of this sort? Lol.. Either way, hilarious description.. Kudos !!

Geo said...

I will send my event manager to you so that you can fix the date and other contractual stuff. My endorsement manager will let you know about the photography and video rights and restrictions. Once you are ok with the terms and conditions, the rest as they say, will be history.


silverine said...

@deepa: Neck deep in work dear. Will post by Monday.
@Minerva:thanks :)
@crossblade: Let this be a curtain raiser to your future lol
@arun: yes it indeed the marketing statement. But when I sat down to think it fell within the usual marketing parameters:)
@akshay: No I wasnt involved in such an exercise, but I had often heard about selling ice cream to an Eskimo challenge, and I thought I will try my hand at marketing with this post :)
@Geo: Please send me a color brochure with photos, costumes and props if any that will be used, to help me decide. Plus references from satisfied clients is very essential ;)

Angsuman Chakraborty said...

So are you willing to relocate to Kolkata. I could use someone like you in marketing :)

silverine said...

@angshuman: lol you will need MG for that:))

Ravi said...

Awesome post..Vely vely funny !!

neermathalam said...

I m floored...started reading everything frm the start...
so much 2 read....:)

Sameera Ansari said...

That was hilarious!Cool post Anjali!And needless to mention,awesome blog :)

Anonymous said...

You have a nice blog - it definitely makes you laugh. I am a regular reader of this blog:
Do take a look at it.

Anonymous said...

Are you still a copywriter?(i can see that you are a copy writer).I like those scripts.I'd like to work with you someday.

scorpiogenius said...

Silverine, im still going through all your posts and here am I, commenting almost after 3 years! Of all posts, I think this one takes the cake!

I'm amazed as to how you manage to crop up one such smashing idea after another.


Divs said...

Okay.. Now that the confusion is settled that I can't get into marketing.. :P Lemme get on with what I actually wanna say ..

You have a very neat style and make me laugh crazily :D
My friday ends with a smile :)
Will Add u on to my blogroll for easy access to your posts. Hope you don't mind. :)