One Froggy Evening

Know your audience

One Froggy Evening

In an episode of Looney Tunes called One Froggy Evening, the frog’s owner/agent attempts to put on a show designed to bring the world to see the marvellous singing and dancing of his pet. It never happens. The frog never performs. Capable of amazing things in front of the hapless owner, the presence of a second witness renders it completely and utterly amphibian. The whole episode is a lesson in frustration to rival Beckett but this one particular sequence has other lessons.

Despite detailing the contents of the show (it’s a singing, dancing frog – isn’t that enough?) not a single person shows an interest. You’d think they would. It’s a testament to the creativity often found in classic Looney Tunes cartoons that even this expectation is trumped in order to prolong the anticipation. Faced with an empty auditorium but still determined to show the world he’s not a liar (and by this point even we are wondering whether this is some kind of dream) the owner places a placard outside the theatre doors with the legend “Free Entry”. He steps back to avoid the crowds.

But of course, none come.

The theatre remains empty and the frog continues is performance in solitude.

Undeterred, the owner replaces the placard with a new one saying “Free Beer”.

That does the trick. Crowds pour through the doors and, inevitably, the frog reverts to froggy status.

He is, of course, let down by his product but his methods are perfect. Knowing that he only had to get people through the door in order to make his fortune, the owner was a lesson in promotion. By knowing his customer, by adapting to his customer, he was able to put the bums on seats. He didn’t repeat what many would see to be the sales message. He didn’t stand and shout “but it’s a singing, dancing frog”. He adapted.

His only real mistake was in not ditching the frog and getting this in sooner.