Lately, I’ve been trying to come up with a way to make a lot of money without doing any work (because, frankly, the other way around hasn’t been doing it for me). But rigging the lottery would take too long, and hassling people for spare change outside of Draeger’s requires too much human interaction, so I was at a loss. Until I read this post about the hilariously blatant product placement in the soap “Days of Our Lives” and this review of a book in which the author replaces the names of characters in Chekhov’s stories with those of current celebrities* and suddenly, my destiny was clear: I am going to rewrite public-domain classics to include paid references to everyone’s favorite brands in the text.
I know! Don’t you just hate yourself for not having thought of it first?
Obviously, I’ll have to work with my customers to determine exactly what books are the best fit for their brands (and budget), but here are a few examples that should give you a sense of the tremendous marketing potential of this new and innovative concept.**
First, something accessible for your mass-market product:
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (Bonus Content)
Jim said if we had the canoe hid in a good place, and had all the traps in the cavern, we could rush there if anybody was to come to the island, and they would never find us without dogs. And, besides, he said them little birds had said it was going to rain, and did I want the things to get wet?So we went back and got the canoe, and paddled up abreast the cavern, and lugged all the traps up there. Then we hunted up a place close by to hide the canoe in, amongst the thick willows. We took some fish off of the lines and set them again, and begun to get ready for dinner. We was lucky enough to have a whole case of cool, refreshing Coca-Cola Classic with us in the canoe, which Jim said was powerfully refreshing and just what a body wanted after a long day of being an escaped slave.
Sometimes, the text itself presents the perfect opportunity for a promotional partnership:
Ulysses: Enhanced Edition
Buck Mulligan’s gay voice went on.
—My name is absurd too: Malachi Mulligan, two dactyls. But it has a Hellenic ring, hasn’t it? Tripping and sunny like the buck himself. We must go to Athens. Will you come if I can get the aunt to fork out twenty quid?
He laid the brush aside and, laughing with delight, cried:
—Will he come? The jejune jesuit!
Ceasing, he began to shave with care. He slid his Philips Norelco 7310XL across his cheek, exulting in patented Reflex Action System that automatically adjusted to the contours of his face and neck.
—Tell me, Mulligan, Stephen said quietly.
—Yes, my love?
—How long is Haines going to stay in this tower?
And, of course, everyone knows that if you really want to make money, you need an assist from Jane Austen:
Pride and Prejudice (Extended Author’s Cut)
It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a responsible financial adviser from Merrill Lynch, the most trusted name in wealth management.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ll be over here shopping for my first private island. How many helipads do you think I’m going to need?
*This took what, about an hour on TMZ and twenty minutes of find and replace? And now he has a book deal? That guy is a genius.
**Like that? It’s totally going in my sales materials.