Caricature • 27 November 2007 • The SnowBlog


Oh, that Seth Godin. He really is awfully smart. His latest post is about caricatures. He says that police have better luck finding suspects using caricatures than boring sketches, because a caricature falsely highlights various anomalies while diminishing the boring parts. And he suggests that it works that way for brands, too. The examples he gives are excellent: "During the formative days of Fedex, the caricature was that their drivers would even rent a helicopter to get just one package delivered on time. It's easy to turn Starbucks' variety and focus on your needs into a caricature as well, "half-caf, extra hot, short macchiato, extra foam, with soy, in a ceramic mug...."" So I thought I'd have a go at caricaturing Snowbooks. On retailer relations: [in posh voice] "Hi, darling! You're looking so young, so fabulous! I love what you've done with your shop front! Here, have 80% discount. No, honestly, it's fine. In fact, make it 85%. Ah, hell - I'll pay you to take it! Here's a blank cheque. It's on me." On author relations: [in sergeant major voice] "Oi! You there! NO! Submit your work in Word 2009 with 3mm indents on EVERY OTHER PARAGRAPH. Wait... what is this? COMIC SANS! Drop and give me forty!" On editorial direction: [in rapid, nervous Woody Allen voice] "OK, so, we've got these books on zombies, ok, but now we need crafts, yeah, some crafts, OK got the crafts now we need boxing! Yeah, and sci fi, and historical fiction, and some edgy stuff, ok, got the edgy stuff, now we need literature, great, collectable, ok, now how about some, oh, I dunno, spot welding or something. [pant, pant]" On IT: [in nasal boffin voice] "Proceed to output the XML file and execute a processing sequence using opensource cooktop software, by parsing the XML via XSL to form an XHTML file, being merely well formed XML, attached to a subsequent CSS file and so achieving [snorts through nose] various and all e-commerce compliance targets." On working practices: [in whispering David Attenborough voice] "The publisher her natural habitat. She barely moves, conserving heat and energy for the cold months ahead. The only sign of life are the fingers moving rapidly across her territory, which make a tell-tale tapping sound to alert other publishers nearby to her presence. She will sit like this for up to 20 hours on end, all the while producing the tapping to retain, in her dialect, 'competitive advantage'."


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