I Am Social Media’s First Celebrity Dissuader

Wayne Niemi
Mar 29, 2020 · 3 min read

Thank you for inviting me to speak at this beautiful gathering of marketing professionals. My name is Soren Ivar. I know some of you are already nodding off, so I’ll get to the point. While influencers use their charisma and social currency to uplift various products and services, brands hire me to use their competitor’s products, thereby weaponizing my ability to make things repulsive and uncool. You see, I’m social media’s first celebrity dissuader.

Consumers see me using a product they also enjoy, and then they no longer want to use it. I unfriended Friendster. I shattered Google Glass. I gave the kiss of death to Cheetos Lip Balm.

I’m like Moros, the Greek god of impending doom. I have the power to destroy trends and dissolve fortunes. Just ask my fellow collectors of Beanie Babies.

In 1999, after I purchased a Bongo the Monkey baby for $19,000, I self-published It’s a Teeny Beanie World magazine. I sent out two dozen copies to the top collectors. The magazine included various pictorials of me and my gaggle of plushy offspring in historical reenactments like the Beanie Boston Tea Party, the Beanie Landing in Normandy, and the Beanie Signing of the Magna Carta. In addition to death threats, suicide notes, and no-contact orders, I received several questions—my god, what have I done with my life? I got divorced over this crap? And why didn’t I just buy heroin?

Like cholera, the disaffection spread. The Beanie bubble burst and I sold Bongo for 47 cents to an elderly cleaning woman who planned to use him as a bathroom sponge.

I can see a few of you already looking for the exit. Would you consider hearing me out? No? Ok, then.

I have to confess that I became a dissuader largely by accident. It happened when I dropped my Motorola Backflip in the toilet while trying on irregular jeans at a Filene’s Basement. Somehow, the faulty switch in the gadgetry live-streamed my story as I tried to return my Compaq computer at a Circuit City, which I had read about on Netscape when I was ordering iguana food at Pets.com. And just like that, my reflected acceptance of these brands smothered their lifeforce. The Backflip, Filene’s, Compaq, Circuit City, Netscape, Pets.com, and my iguana all died premature deaths, stocks crashed, bankruptcies were filed, and a star was born. It ended up being good timing because I had just lost my job at Radio Shack.

Can we get my mic turned back on? No? Ok then.

A lot of people don’t fully comprehend the concept of dissuasive marketing, so let me elucidate with a multimedia presentation. This is a Venn diagram. The circle on the left represents things that are fashionable. The circle on the right is me, Soren Ivar. That concludes the multimedia portion of this presentation.

A little about me: I enjoy tracksuits, mall walking, and Crocs and socks (and not just because they rhyme). I like to make new friends. Feel free to email me at virgindaiquiri@earthlink.net. I enjoy cruise ships, and I like to type in all caps for no particular reason. I prefer pants with pleats, knitted toilet seat covers, and I can go days without hearing the sound of my own voice.

I’m a self-described “individualist,” which is a fancy way of saying, I can’t get anyone else to describe me. I’m not a leader. I’m not a follower. I have chronic reverse polarity syndrome, a condition where my personal magnetic field is out of sync with the earth, and repellent to all who dwell on its outer crust.

Could someone turn the lights back on? No? Ok, then.

For the three of you still in attendance, I’d like to thank you for your attention, though I assume you’re hard of hearing or have lost the mobility of your legs. Nevertheless, I’m here to say, “you too can be a social media dissuader.”

It’s like I often tell people, “If I did it, you can be like me and do it too, though you probably won’t want to.”

Slackjaw

Thanks to Alex Baia

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Wayne Niemi

Written by

Los Angeles-based writer. His work has appeared in Slackjaw, Points in Case, Los Angeles Times Magazine, The American Drivel Review, and Sport Literate.

Slackjaw

Slackjaw

Medium humor. Large laughs.

Wayne Niemi

Written by

Los Angeles-based writer. His work has appeared in Slackjaw, Points in Case, Los Angeles Times Magazine, The American Drivel Review, and Sport Literate.

Slackjaw

Slackjaw

Medium humor. Large laughs.

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