Erik Sagen received a very tempting email out the blue, which he has posted on his website:
Dear Mr Sagen,
My sincere apologies for writing to you unannounced. My name is Arno Zimmerman and I am CEO of an Internet domain name acquisitions agency based here in Los Angeles, California.
My agency is currently engaged by a well-known Hollywood studio. The studio is producing a new action movie called The Kartooner. The movie has an all star cast, including Bruce Willis in the title role, and will be released in the fall. My client is therefore very keen to purchase the rights to the domain name kartooner.com from you.
And so on. Now, I found this particularly interesting because, just a little earlier, I found this in my inbox:
Dear Mr Keith,
My sincere apologies for writing to you unannounced. My name is Arno Zimmerman and I am CEO of an Internet domain name acquisitions agency based here in Manhattan.
My agency is currently engaged by a well-known fragrance manufacturer who will soon be launching a new product range under the brand of Adactio. Adactio is a new fragrance for men and will be marketed world-wide and on all media, including of course the Internet. My client is therefore very keen to purchase the rights to the domain name adactio.com from you.
But wait — the plot thickens. Mr. Zimmerman wrote back to Erik with some more information that movie project:
As I mentioned in my previous email, The Kartooner will star Bruce Willis in the title role. Bruce plays an impoverished artist in New York who pays his bills by drawing cartoons for the New York Times. Through a series of unfortunate accidents, Bruce’s character mistakenly becomes the target of a Mafia hit squad and must use all his wits (as well as his artistic skills) to stay alive. Needless to say I cannot divulge any further plot details.
Sounds awesome, doesn’t it? I want in.
Here’s the email I sent back:
Thanks for getting in touch. And allow me to be the first to congratulate you on your move from Los Angeles to Manhatten — and in record time, too!
Y’know, I could never imagine letting go of my domain name but the idea of a fragrance called Adactio is almost irresistible. I’m not really very money-oriented so I’m not going to name some huge price. I am, however, a huge attention whore. Therefore, all I ask is that I am the “face” of the advertising campaign for the fragrance.
It’s a win-win situation. You get your domain name, I get my face on a billboard in Times Square and sales of the fragrance will undoubtedly skyrocket.
But what would really seal the deal would be the promise of some product placement. I think I should have a part in the upcoming Kartooner movie project. Clearly, it would boost the profile of the film to have the face of Adactio featured prominently. In exchange, the movie studio should probably offer an endorsement by Bruce Willis. I’m picturing a short TV ad with Bruce speaking the tagline:
“I love the smell of Adactio in the morning. Smells like… web standards.”
By the way, what did you say the name of your company was again?
Update: Oh, man! This keeps getting better. I got a reply:
You have asked to be considered as the face of the advertising campaign for the fragrance and I will pass on your request to the advertising agencies handling the Adactio campaign. Will you please email to me a selection of photographs of yourself? As the campaign concepts feature a bare chested man, I would be grateful if you would include photographs from the waist up and of your naked chest.
As the media buying for the campaign is not yet finalized, I cannot guarantee a billboard in New York. However I do know that the poster campaign for Adactio will run across the UK, so your image will appear on several thousand London buses.
This comedic genius continues in a similar vein for a while, which prompts me to ask…
John — on second thoughts — , is that you?
In other news: the Photoshopping has begun. Mike has already done the Vanity Fair spread.