During the late 1980’s, researchers were hard at work on a couple of medications involving vasodilation (opening of blood vessels). In some cases, testing of these medications will result in various side effects. At that time, one such medication was found to increase mental ability and memory recall. Yet another was found to give men an erection. Of course, we have all since heard of the latter (Sildenafil, marketed under the brand Viagra) but very few have availed the benefits of the former.
This is similar to the story of our subject today, the miracle drug Cogitalus™. Seeking a cure for migraines, scientists testing the medication quickly found a number of beneficial side effects. Upon providing the material to test subjects, it was found the capacity for critical thinking in these individuals increased as much as 300%.
Learning from the history of prior medications, the makers of Cogitalus™ immediately sought to launch an aggressive marketing campaign for their new pill. Initial attempts lacked sorely in producing the desired results, so the company enlisted the efforts of a handful of pop-marketing firms to increase their sales.
“Our goal was to not only increase our profit share, but we fully suspected that there would be government opposition to our product’s popularity for obvious reasons.” said a company spokesperson, Lydia Wainsworth. “We ultimately prepared our big marketing push to coincide with the months proceeding the presidential campaign cycle. Our thinking was that once the product had sufficiently gained in prominence and users, any political opposition would be met with considerable protest.”
Thus the makers of Cogitalus™ took a creative approach to marketing their new medicine by way of corporate partnerships. Known simply as the “Black and White” pill, sales soon began to skyrocket.
“It was the beer partnerships that really gave us the necessary push,” said company CEO, Ryan Smith. “The idea was to market the medication as a cure to ‘beer goggles’ and it worked.” Launching this partnership with large scale beer manufacturers immediately led to Cogitalus™ surpassing even the initial sales of Viagra. “What can I say, sex sells!” added Smith.
Of course there were side effects to this campaign. Shortly after launching the beer additive, it was found that sports like professional wrestling and Nascar lost a great deal of their viewership. WWE even claims their bankruptcy early the next year was a direct result of the Cogitalus™ marketing scheme.
The effects of the drug weren’t to be left just to entertainment, however. As expected, political opposition to the medication came swift and fast. But as predicted, takers of the medicine weren’t to be outdone.
“Sweeping changes in both the US House and Senate took place the November season of our big push,” said Wainsworth. “And as you may recall, that election marked the first time in decades that a third party candidate won the presidential election.”
Among some of the other effects following wide scale use of Cogitalus™ included declining ratings on the major television networks during prime time, the mass failures of tabloid magazine publishers and the rapid rise of what is now dubed ‘Cogital TV’ or CTV for short. Programming that actually has intelligent content.
“It quickly became obvious that the same old bullcrap wasn’t going to cut it,” claims interim CFO of ABC networks Paul McKramer. “Investors immediately levied their proxies to liquidate the former management as profits began to plummet. This pattern necessarily repeated itself in all of the major entertainment networks. It was simply logical.”
And logical it was in more ways than one. Many such stockholder meetings created what are now referred to as CERs – Cogitalus Equivalency Requirements. These CERs require that, if the programming is not created by takers of the pill, that the company practices should at least adhere to similar standards of reason as those that do.
Some of the consequences of the brand’s popularity were not as easily predicted. “The sudden spike in divorce rates among our customers was quite unexpected,” claims CEO Smith. “But early figures indicate that the divorce rate amongst our consumers that married after already taking the pill is more than 400% lower than the population at large. We also show that the unwanted pregnancy rate, especially amongst teens prescribed the medication, are at an all time low. Same too with venereal diseases across similar groups.”
Many organizations such as the Cogitalus™ Consumers’ Quality Advocates emerged lobbying government and corporate industry. “It is not our desire to assign anyone the requirement to take any medication if they do not choose to,” said a CCQA representative. “Rather, we just wish to collectively express our desires for more logical ways of doing business and representing products to CCQA customers.”