The Death of A Marketing Dream

Despite having benefited from the wealth of experience and knowledge afforded to those who attend the Ecole hôtelière de Slovenia, Gislaine remained relatively dumfounded throughout much of her late twenties. Nevertheless, it was this hapless disregard for culture and a general lacking of common sense in abundance, that led her into a career, working with luxury watch brands. Her career began on a high when she was employed straight from school, after catching the eye of one particular CEO during a charity golf event, where Gislaine was working as a cloakroom attendant.

Gislaine demonstrated great promise and very quickly accelerated through the ranks of low paid interns and into a position of, low paid intern with a parking space. Gislaine rapidly drew praise from the Marketing Director and although she was convinced Formula 1 was a Swiss Made skin care product, Rush was a sexually transmitted disease and Kafka was type of winter coat, she was promoted to Assistant Marketing Coordinator.

Despite being paid less than the girls in McDonalds she treated abysmally on an almost daily basis, Gislaine now had a parking space even closer to the front door, a (Nokia) mobile phone and perhaps most importantly, she was provided with a watch. Whilst Gislaine remained unable to pay her rent, she felt as if her dreams had finally come true.

Who cared that she was still unable to pronounce the name of the brand correctly, or that she was still trying to finish “To Kill A Mockingbird” after fourteen years of trying? She kept up appearances by keeping a copy of “Du Contrat Social ou Principes du droit politique”, in her hand bag, and would appear to be reading it whilst taking lunch alone in the cafeteria. She took care to note on her Facebook profile her favorite film “The Unbearable Lightness of Being”, and book “Le Charme discret de la bourgeoisie”. Gislaine was living the dream a felt so close to getting her Mini Cooper Convertible.

During one particular weekend, Gislaine was given the responsibility of managing a Polo event for the brand. Ordinarily this would have been the responsibility of the Marketing Director but she had taken the weekend off, to be with her estranged children. Unfortunately for Gislaine, everything went sideways when, one of her VIP clients became extremely drunk and attempted to mount one of the Polo ponies. Severely lacking in any protocol skills, Gislaine had the VIP guest arrested by local police. Mr. Manuel Gomez sued the brand, Gislaine was fired and the Marketing Director was promoted to VP Sales & Marketing. The CEO would later suffer an enormous heart attack whilst enjoying a mud wrestling competition during a corporate event in Las Vegas.

Undeterred by her third rate skill set, inability to speak a second language or identify a Royal Oak in an AP boutique, Gislaine found fortune with a small but very well respected independent brand. Even though she would always be accused of charming the CEO with her sexuality, Gislaine applied herself to the task of Marketing Manager and guarded her parking space fiercely. Her first challenge with this new brand was to make preparations for Baselworld. She had heard much of the event and frequently visited the website but for Gislaine this would be the equivalent of man taking his first steps on the moon. She was charged with the details of the stand, arranging the PLV and furniture for the meeting rooms and booking all of the meetings with the attending journalists and the appropriate dignitaries within this small family brand. Sadly, Gislaine was ill equipped to deal with the enormity of the challenge and after failing to correctly order her own business cards, she was politely asked to leave and her parking space became the recycling station.

Now thirty-two, Gislaine motivated herself to learn Chinese at the local college, convinced that this would be the answer to her prayers. Soon she would be waltzing in and out of high level meetings, barking at people in Cantonese or Mandarin, jumping in and out of private jets and formulating globally respected marketing campaigns that would be the subject of lectures in the years to come. The fact that Gislaine could not yet change a plug, set up an email account on her iPhone, had travelled no further than Lanzarote and thought Moldova was near Bolivia were all seen as qualities in her next and final job in the watch industry.

After taking the time to creatively polish her LinkedIn profile, Gislaine took on her third job in fourteen months with another group brand. With their roots in the Italian aristocracy (does that really exist?), Gislaine played debutant to her CEO’s Italian flair. Whilst her job description was varied, Gislaine would this time be devoid of job title. This suited her and made the ordering of her business cards somewhat easier. After six months playing assistant to the CEO, Gislaine finally felt comfortable. She remained extremely cautious and avoided putting herself into potentially hazardous situations such as offering to get visiting guest’s coffee or tea, book hotels and flights, drive near the lake or use PowerPoint. Nevertheless, her CEO remained convinced by her contributions to the brand and whilst the exact nature of her “contributions” were never made entirely clear to the group human resources department, Gislaine proved to be an invaluable member of the team.

The end however, would come swiftly and without mercy. During a road trip with her CEO, Gislaine spontaneously arranged a parachute jump for her CEO. After spending days and nights arranging local press, the CEO proudly presented himself to the awaiting throng and shared a few glasses of sparkling window cleaner before taking off in the light aircraft. Soon after, the CEO was seen jumping from the plane. As he did so, his parachute opened far too soon and became entangled in the planes propeller. The plane circled furiously as the pilot attempted to regain control, as the journalists below burst into a frenzied, hash tagging hoard. Gislaine sent an SMS to the CEO thinking that he may reply! He did not. Within seconds the light aircraft came crashing back to earth killing all of the journalists, the CEO and Gislaine.

With eighteen dead and little social media coverage to speak of, the brand quickly appointed a new CEO and repositioned themselves as specialists in the genre of diving watches. No one came to bid farewell to Gislaine and her unmarked grave, remains a lesson to us all.

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