An excerpt from the beginning of of the first chapter:
[A letter from the Proprietor of the Ginger Cubes
to his Advertising Manager, who is ill in hospital.]
Dear Russell: When I heard that you had been taken to the hospital with a badly dislocated sense of proportion and exhaustion of the adjective secretions, I was worried. The doctor said that you were suffering from a severe attack of deprecation and under-statement, and I feared that would mean you would be quite unfit to help me in the forthcoming campaign for Ginger Cubes. But I hear now that a few weeks of silence and relaxation will bring you round. I have ordered the "Police Gazette" and "The Nation" to be sent you. Each in its own way is highly entertaining.
In our last conference, just before you were taken ill, you tried with your usual energy and bullheaded vitality to persuade me to say a word about the Ginger Cubes at the Paperhangers Convention. You made a great deal of the point that this would be a vast gathering, and that it would be excellent business for me to give them a "message."
I ask you to meditate this thought: give me a small group of folks who are more or less interested in the same sort of thing that I am, and I will "talk my head off." But speaking to large, miscellaneous audiences, many of whom are only incubating there to pass away the time until the theaters open, is my idea of loss of compression.
We have appropriated a fine promotion budget for the Ginger Cubes, but I am holding up any action until I can argue the situation with you. About 'newspaper' advertising, for instance—I want your Opinion-as to the papers which are read (1) most carefully, (2) by the class of people to whom the Ginger Cubes are likely to appeal, (3) at the time of day when their minds (and palates) are receptive—i. e., morning or evening? For instance, do you think that people will be likely to be tempted by the Cubes in the morning, just after breakfast? I think not. I believe that the evening, in that faintness and debility that are supposed to attack office-workers on their way home (especially in the subway) is the psychological zero hour for the Ginger Cubes.
Miss Balboa, to whom I am dictating this, says that she never noticed any sign of weakness or lack of energy in the evening rush on the subway. I believe it is worthwhile to get the feminine reaction on this matter before we make any decisions. One thing I have always regretted about you as an Advertising Manager is that you are not married. Wives are often very helpful in these questions of merchandising strategy. But perhaps you can question some of the nurses at the hospital and get their reaction.
In regard to these mediums, the question of circulation does not cut any ice in my cynical and querulous mind. It is not a matter of circulation, but of penetration, that excites me.
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