The steering committee for McNeill Consumer Healthcare, a division of Johnson and Johnson, sat in symmetrical half-rectangle around the boardroom table. Maynard James Keenan, who in another parallel universe was the lead singer of the rock band Tool, sat in an uncomfortable chair bobbing his right leg up and down. He knew that this presentation was going to take his career to the next level. He would be Associate Director by the time he put his laser pointer down.
He clicked a remote control that started the Powerpoint. The first slide listed his name and his title displayed on a textured grey background. “1 of 3” was seen in the bottom corner.
“Ladies and Gentleman, this will be a brief presentation,” he started. “The Tylenol brand has been a household name for decades. We are what the public thinks about when they think acetaminophen. But right now we’re just one way to manage pain. We don’t do anything to eliminate it.”
He clicked to the next slide. “2 of 3” Tylenol’s logo was emblazoned on this slide. Bright white and red. “The natural state of humanity is one of constant pain and anguish. From a headache to heartache, pain is all around us. But does it have to be that way?”
He paused to take a sip of water from his stainless steel coffee mug. “Last summer, I had the opportunity to ingest the potent hallucinogen Iowaska during my vacation to Peru. And as my body synthesized the drug sometimes know as the Vine of the Dead, I realized something about the problem we’re trying to solve. Tylenol doesn’t need to be about ‘Extra Strength’ or ‘Fast-acting.’ We are about the elimination of pain. Therefore, Tylenol’s new tag-line will be…”
He clicked the final slide. “3 of 3”. It simply read,”Tylenol: Feeling eternal. All this pain is an illusion.”
He put his laser pointer down on the table and waited for the applause.