I plan to start a company, a massive global enterprise really, that will revolutionize how consumer’s see themselves. For too long companies have tried to sell people and idealized form of self, a glistening tan supermodel with the perfect sunglasses that can be yours for only $99.95, an organized home genie that laughs while she does the laundry, a hyper-testosteronated racecar driver with jaguar-like women draped over him as he eyes his last lap time on his precision polytonium chronometer. No more.
My company will market to the pessimist, the low-esteem wallflower that withers in each of us. Enter Poor Man Incorporated! Why buy the Cadillac when you can have the Poor Man’s Cadillac, which is a rebadged and poorly repainted 1985 Oldsmobile. Poor Man’s Gravy is water and flour (salt not included). Poor Man’s café au lait: Sanka with soapy water. Looking for that special something for the missus? Poor Man’s bouquet is a fistful of wilting dandelions. Poor Man’s Monet is a black-and-white photocopy of a Thomas Kincaide. Kids tugging on your pantleg to go out to the park? Throw them in the Poor Man’s Jogging Stroller, a revamped shopping cart with some packing peanuts thrown in for padding.
Poor Man Inc. strives to instill a sense of non-worthiness in every client. Let those fancy Johnsons down the street show off with their Lexus, swimming pool, and pants with sewn-in pockets. Don’t feel bad, they’ll pay for it later. In hell! You are the savvy shopper, perfectly to content to down a Poor Man’s Steak (compressed cardboard and artificial meat flavoring) and wash it down with a lukewarm Poor Man’s Microbrew (Bud Light). Whether you’re a skinflint or just someone who thinks they don’t deserve anything good ever, Poor Man Incorporated is ready to fan the flames of your discontent and give you only the very mediocre.