Wednesday, March 26, 2014

The Testing Must Go On

Product testing.

You wouldn't believe some of the things we've been asked to test. And test. And test.

Again. And again. And again.

Regardless, product testing has come to be an attractive aside (and, in some cases, lucrative side business) for The Unbelievables. And it can be a pleasant little distraction from busting bad guys.

Here are a few of the many things we've been involved with ... some of which are downright head scratching ...

Jan Jankowitz of Needles, CA requested our assistance in promoting "water fountains to deter Jehovah's Witnesses" from soliciting. Simply put, he asked us to field test said fountains placed in positions as seen the photo below. Set where they were in the direct path of the doorway, they caused solicitors somewhat of a dilemma on their way to enlighten residences. Mr. Jankowitz' arguments were that if the sheer physicality of the fountain didn't deter you, the soothing trickle of water coming from it would certainly do the trick. Result? A big, fat fail:

It's not always about location, location, location.
Here we have "Red-SAM" - an acronym for "Redirected Self-Awareness Module" - a new-age self-contained, portable sensory deprivation system developed by some two-bit start-up company out of Georgia. Much to our surprise, this thing actually worked ... on Jeff. He was the testing guinea pig (meaning ... he drew the short straw so he won the privilege of donning the thing). Unfortunately he got stuck while trying it out. To be fair, the only thing it did was panic him when it was time to remove it ... thereby causing him to "forget" it was Whipped Potato Tuesday. So ... it "worked" ... but it didn't ...

Now you know where it came from - testing.

The "Sawing For Teens" campaign was a complete wash when we were approached by a fund raising organization looking to make some quick dough for several youth clubs. We didn't even go through the motions when this one was explained to us - there was just too much room for error.

We got a letter one summer asking if we might be willing to fund some "creative underground water piping" project and this, as well, was given the kibosh. You can see why from the photo below:

Look: Who doesn't like voodoo dolls? We were practically collecting them at one point when Jaques Lu Roux contacted us out of the blue via telephone one day. As far as we could tell they worked. You have to admit, they were cuter than cute:

Cute didn't translate too well to the "Hurricane Simulator" Casper Cane, LLC wanted to install in malls and other public areas. As you can see from the pacifiered tot, it was doomed to failure. (Though, the local psychiatric facility got a new customer ...)

What could possibly go wrong?

... nor did "Mysticismical Gods of Old" either. This monkey business utilized a skylight "pyramid" with Aztec gods painted on opposing walls who would channel ancient powers to those who stood beneath them. Complete sham.


Not so with the "Love Is All You Need" campaign, however. This one was right in our wheelhouse: Simply distribute hand-printed cards to random passing unsuspecting ladies (Hello, Ladies!) and, once they read the card, they broke out in huge smiles (and sometimes hugs!) for the remainder of the day. A very worthy and charitable endeavor to be sure.

Then there was the "I Do Dumb Things" clothing line. We experimented in a statewide marketing campaign to see how effective handing shirts out for free to the crowds worked. Pretty well, in fact. "Wearing is Believing" was the line's motto ... and once that shirt was put on, it's all she wrote.

Jeff has more favorable (and floundering) tales to be told about some of our sideline testing ventures. They'll be coming to you Friday.

Stay tuned ...

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