Supplimentics Inc. – June 14 – Marketing Meeting – Subject: Diur-All
11:09 and still a few minutes away. Ben had been struggling just making meetings the last few weeks and he could tell people were starting to take notice. He didn’t exactly grow up wanting to sell pharmaceuticals, and his heart just wasn’t in it anymore.
“Thanks for joining us,” Ben’s manager said when he stumbled full-on panting through the door.
The director of the Diur-All account, Ben’s manager, and three other teammates were sitting around an oval conference table, already going through a draft of their presentation. Everyone else on Ben’s team had an empty or nearly empty glass of water in front of them, while the director had barely touched his. Thankfully, there was one left for Ben, which was good because the sprint over left him sweaty in places he didn’t want to think about.
Ben took his seat. “Sorry I’m late. Lost track of time responding to emails.”
His manager’s glare lingered a half-second longer than everyone else’s. Ben knew he’d be on a performance improvement plan soon and he couldn’t deny it was deserved, especially since he’d been late right in front of the director of the account.
Ben’s teammate turned to the director. “So, what sets Diur-All apart is that it just works so much faster than everything else.”
He gulped down his water and tried to follow along. From the brief he’d read on the way over, Diur-All was a new diuretic that could be used to fight high-blood pressure in an emergency, and it worked very fast. Like, scary fast. As in, you’d be peeing before you knew it and your blood pressure would be back to normal in a matter of seconds.
He figured the team would want to play off the “all” part of the name they’d chosen, but to him that was just too boring. If he were a better marketer, he’d have already thought of something else. Or if he were more passionate. He was neither.
“We were thinking we could key off this speed in our material,” his manager said. “Something about how the patient took it and had to run to the bathroom before they exploded.”
The director raised an eyebrow.
“I know what you’re thinking,” one of Ben’s teammates said. “It’s for high blood pressure, and running to the toilet might cause issues with HBP, but it’s a drug that makes you go pee so we sort of want to play off the bathroom humor.”
Ben’s manager jumped in. “What we thought in the meeting yesterday was that we might even want to play it up by showing our patients if they don’t make it to the bathroom in time. Something like ‘When you’re in a pinch, don’t pinch. Just let it go’.”
The director raised his brow at that, as did Ben. Then one of Ben’s teammates stood up, and he realized what they’d meant.
The man’s crotch. Dark. Sopping wet. Ben’s mouth fell open. The director merely laughed.
“This is what I pay you for, David?”
Ben’s manager cracked a grin. “Always thinking outside the box on my team.”
“Or in this case, outside the bladder,” Ben’s teammate broke in.
The director thought it over for a moment before the corners of his mouth curled. “I’ll admit it’s unique.”
Ben’s manager stood, his crotch also darkened. Ben’s spine tingled with anxiety. He’d had to miss the meeting the day before—he didn’t work past 4:30 if he could help it—and had no idea what was going on.
“The only problem is we didn’t know what our actors would think of it,” another one of the teammates said. “Like if they’d balk at it or not.”
The director leaned back with his hands behind his head. “That does seem like a possibility.”
Ben’s boss shrugged. “Not really that bad for us, though. Maybe a little warm.”
The room broke into laughter. Ben jumped in a tad late, too busy marveling at their commitment. Such a unique premise for an ad, something he never would have come up with, and to actually act it out like that, like a bunch of sleepy three-year-olds?
He’d never seen anything like it.
Never would have imagined it.
They even brought in glasses of water to get everything going.
And not only had Ben been late, but he obviously wasn’t as dedicated as the rest of them.
His only hope was that the Diur-All account director wouldn’t buy it. That it was just too out there.
“Are we really going to be able to put something like this on TV, though?” Ben questioned.
His entire team glared at him, but the director looked over like he wanted him to continue.
“This is going to be on during timeouts during the Cowboys game,” Ben continued. “I think it might be too much for the audience.”
A smile crawled across the director’s face, and he looked back to Ben’s manager. “David, this could be our Super Bowl commercial. It would be the most memorable ad we’ve ever had.”
The room fell quiet. David glared at Ben with sort of a ‘nice try, see me after the meeting’ look in his eyes.
You can’t imagine how bad it feels to be glared to silence by a man who has just peed his pants, until it happens. That performance improvement plan was starting to sound better than the alternative, which it seemed was quickly approaching termination.
He only had enough saved for a few weeks or maybe a month at most before he’d have to move back in with his parents. He needed this job, and he was starting to wonder if he’d still have a desk by the end of the week.
But, he realized as the presentation continued, maybe that was the key. Maybe it wasn’t passion he needed, but desperation. Desperation had pushed many a man to great things, and with his job on the line he had one final chance to prove he was committed in front of his boss and the director of the account.
The water worked its way through quickly, maybe because he was so focused on it. A few minutes later, and he was ready.
It felt weird at first. He fought it unconsciously before finally just letting it go. Then it was warm. Not too bad, the warmth. Almost pleasant.
It was another five or ten minutes before the meeting ended. His manager shook hands with the director. Ben stood in line with the rest, his brown slacks sopping wet with commitment.
It was hard to tell who noticed it first. Things were quiet before the director reached in for a handshake and then recoiled at the sight.
“Oh, don’t worry,” Ben said. “You can trust me. I’m just as committed as the rest of the team.”
The man’s eyes shifted to Ben’s manager, who stood with his mouth agape.
“Yep,” Ben said, but his grin narrowed as he looked to his other three teammates. “Sorry I missed the meeting and didn’t know what we were doing.”
“Ben, we just splashed water,” his manager said. “That’s why we brought the glasses in.”
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