For those who can stomach blissfully ignorant confidence, arrogance, and narcissism, HBO’s recently ended “Eastbound and Down,” featuring Danny McBride as Kenny Powers, is a tear-jerking riot.
The show features Kenny, a burnt-out major league pitcher who returns to his hometown and becomes a gym teacher, among other things, and hilarity ensues. Kenny fears no one and believes he’s the best in the world at whatever he does (even though he’s not).
This made me wonder: What if Kenny Powers was a digital marketer? What would he say?
In that spirit, I’ve slightly altered some quotes from the show to apply the wisdom of Powers to the world of marketing:
“When my ass was 19 years old, I changed the face of digital marketing. I was handed the keys to the kingdom. Multimillion-dollar marketing deals. SERP rankings. Every brand wanted a piece of my stuff. Just a man with a mind for digital victory and social media chops like freaking Guy Kawasaki. But sometimes when you bring the thunder, you get lost in the storm. But a true Web champion, face to face in his darkest hour, will do whatever it takes to rise above content shock. A man fights, fights, and fights some more. Because surrender is death, and death is for wussies. And my ass ain’t no wussy. My ass is a freaking digital champion.”
“I’m sick and tired for carrying all the weight; the managers and owners not giving me the budget I need to win. Corporate, you’re freakin’ out. Kenny Powers is now a free agent. Let’s find a bar and get trashed. Get me paid, bitch! Superstar!”
“Undaunted, I knew the digital marketing game was mine to win. Just like in life, all of my successes depend on me. I’m the man who has the thought leadership; I’m the man who can create and promote content faster than anyone. So, that is why I’m better than everyone in the world at digital marketing. Kiss my ass, everyone.”
“I do real digital marketing. Not trying to be the best at tricks and gaming. Screw this guy.”
“Oh, you think that’s funny? How about I show you my Twitter following right here and you can tell me if it shrunk, huh? No—for your information, I have a 99 Klout score.”
“All right, so let me get this straight. So I’m gonna pay Google for PPC, and I gotta pay for a g-damned agency too? Well that seems like I’m spending too much money for nothin.’ I got a Google AdWords account. You can just get your ass over here in front of my monitor, and I could just set the campaign up here. And can I wear the ‘Scream’ mask? The mask from ‘Scream’ when I set up this PPC campaign. Hello? Hey!”
“Yeah, nice job converting 100 leads a week, you dumb ass. Promote your advanced content, you’ll receive and convert more visitors.”
“Yeah, I’m pretty much re-engineering man’s approach to digital marketing, if you want to get down to brass tacks.”
“Listen here, you beautiful digital marketers—I’m about to flip the script with some truth.”
“Don’t get too cocky, Roger. That’s probably because there is a little residual Kenny Powers pixie dust floating around all your little heads. Let’s face it, guys: After midnight, this whole freaking place turns into a pumpkin. And you guys all turn back into mice. This is a classic Cinderella tale, here. You know, Peter Pan will no longer be a man. He’ll turn into a real boy. George Washington will never be able to cut down the beanstalk, and you guys will eventually just go back to being the crappiest digital marketers in the world.
“These are the hard realities, guys. Life is not a fairy tale. Although, sometimes it feels like our world is full of digital marketing posers. You know who I’m talking about. I still accept you, brother. Klout. It’s what we all desire. And it’s what I’ve come here to share with you. We can do some freaking great marketing tonight, you guys. Follow me. Walk with me out onto that social newsfeed. And when you do, you freaking put your digital ass out and you raise your freaking head up. Know that you’ll never, ever, ever reach the marketing heights you’ll reach tonight. That you can leave here knowing that you helped Kenny Powers’ dreams come true. For a bunch of crappy digital marketers, that ain’t too bad.”
There you have it—digital marketing coming straight from the mouth of Kenny Freakin’ Powers.
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This is just one in a long line of celebrity digital marketing what-ifs, including “Glengarry Glen Ross
,” Samuel L. Jackson
, and Chuck Norris
. You don’t have to be a fan of “Eastbound and Down.” There are thinly veiled marketing lessons everywhere if you read between the lines.
If you have any favorite Kenny quotes you’d like to digitize, feel free in the comments below. Just keep it clean.
Chad Pollitt is vice president of marketing at DigitalRelevance. Follow him on Twitter @ChadPollitt or connect with him via LinkedIn. A version of this article originally appeared on the firm's blog.