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Decorating an Office is No Laughing Matter


By Daniel Guttman


Ideally, you want to decorate your office so that your clients develop a ravenous appetite for your products while they are cooling their heels in your anteroom. If you were selling sausages for example, you might want to consider spraying the waiting area with ďeau de meat locker roomĒ. But sprays wear off and the daily rejuvenating  process could be tedious, since your assistant is likely to be a vegetarian and will leave you to your own devices.


As such, we recommend more long term decorating regimens that require a minimum of tweaking and will tell the public at large that your company is a purveyor of consummate taste. For example you might consider acquiring an original painting such as the Mona Lisa. One major drawback is that only one of you readers can make this acquisition at a given  time. Another is that the chief curator at the Louvre might put up some serious resistance to your burrowing into the museum after hours, if you donít happen to have the cash handy. So we would recommend a reproduction of the famous vixen.  Lest you think this is a tacky alternative to the real thing, may we suggest that you spray your poster with some glitter to imbue it with the requisite amount of class.


Another alternative, which we understand is becoming available on the international market,  is  giant statuary of Saddam Hussein. Granted, you will need a 40 foot ceiling unless your lease gives you dispensation to poke a small hole in the roof, but the effect you will make on your visitors will be powerful. After one view of a smiling Saddam, your prospective customer is likely to be so terrified, he will probably forget to negotiate with you and pay list price plus 10%.


On a more personal note, some executives have taken to hanging photographs of ex-girlfriends, boyfriends, wives, husbands, concubines and former insignificant others in the entrance to their suites. This can be a striking statement to strangers of who you are (or have been). The major drawback to this approach is that your office essentially becomes off limits to your current spouse unless you have signed an iron clad prenuptial agreement. Even then, proceed with caution.


An argument could be made for a more exotic approach. A well-known tribe from Morocco has a reputation for handcrafting and kiln drying gorgeous drinking goblets, made from ancient camel dung. In case of allergies, you might want to alert your guests ahead of time of their provenance before raising these stunning artifacts in a toast to their health.


In a more contemporary vein, but no less compelling, is the collector who has acquired waste baskets from every office in which he or she has ever worked. Storing a collection such as this at home may be problematic, especially in families that donít have serious sinus problems. Thus the office becomes that perfect venue for highlighting a collection that has both a history and an eminently practical use. Be careful not to clean them as this will seriously detract from their value to a collector.


While all the above suggestions options have their merits they have their liabilities as well. The only program  that is guaranteed to elicit huzzaahs from friend and foe alike, as well as attracting the unwashed homeless to your doorstep for extended stays, is to paper your office with industrial strength, beautifully framed cartoons from Cartoonjazz.com. These cartoons are multi-use and if they overstay their welcome can be used both as placemats or as an rough emergency alternative to bathroom tissue. Any resemblance to people living or dead is purely intentional, but if anyone takes offence, you donít have to admit it. Since the cartoons  only come in black and white, you color-blind office managers are off the hook because you canít screw-up your office color scheme. An example of this perversely wicked concept is on pageÖ of this magazine. View it at your own peril.

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