The Letter X Pulls Sponsorship of Sesame Street
By Mike Trapp
MEMO From: Letter X Inc. To: Sesame Workshop Mr. Alan: Effective immediately Letter X, Inc. is discontinuing our sponsorship with Sesame Workshop. We have been horribly disappointed with the way Sesame Street has managed the campaign for X. Our intention in partnering with Sesame Street was to reach an audience of young, urban, muppets (YUMs). Our research shows that YUMs associate our brand with algebra and the eyes of dead cartoon characters while parents associate us with pornography, ecstasy, and jugs of moonshine. You promised us an out-of-the box idea to increase cross-generational appeal for X, instead you aired one short sketch about xylophones getting X-rays. This is not the kind of content that asks the audience to “reXamine” their assumptions about X! And speaking of “reXamine,” where was our branding? We specifically requested prominent usage of our campaign’s slogan “reXamine” to galvanize YUMs to “reXamine” their assumptions and start thinking of X as a letter for every-word use. You claimed that prominently featuring a misspelled word would be confusing to viewers and instead you featured an amateurish animation of the letter X “marking spots.” What is the message?! How will this drive increased usage of X among YUMs?! Where was our mascot, The Exican? This character is supposed to really resonate with your viewers -- cool as The Old Spice Guy, but with a little Spanish flair like the “Most Interesting Man in the World.” Yet you wouldn’t use him for fear of angering your Hispanic audience with his “casual racism.” We have no idea what you’re talking about. The Exican is much funnier than your horrible “Where is my X” song. Even if your content was a good representation of our brand, which it was not, you completely failed to spur your audience towards engaging with X and X products on social media. All you did was ask them to say the letter X to no one, alone, in their house. You were supposed to ask them to “like” X on Facebook, or tweet #reXamine, or submit to our “reXamine Your Life Contest” for a chance to travel to “one of twenty Xciting locations.” Finally, we were promised 100% share of voice, and yet our sponsored episode was also sponsored by the number 3. This is completely inexcusable. As I already mentioned, we are trying to distance our image from math in the eyes of YUMs. This thoughtless action has set back our entire campaign. Until you seriously re-evaluate your corporate advertising policy, I’m afraid Letter X Inc. will be unable to do business with you. Sincerely, Xerxes X. Xavier SVP Sales and Marketing Letter X Inc.