Encyclopedia Britannica - Endorsed by The Munsters

Finally! Someone found a way to sell encyclopedias: with wacky sitcom tie-ins. It seems so obvious now, I can't believe nobody thought of it sooner. Of course, that's the way it always is with genius. It seems natural and easy only after the visionary does it.
I imagine it went down this way. Britannica had this old Munsters license lying around the office that they paid tens of thousands of dollars for and never exploited. Then a temp worker found it while dusting off a few thousand pounds of obsolete volumes of last year's product. The Munsters license was stuck between M and N. "Hey, why don't we use this thing? It looks expensive." the temp said. "Oh, that thing" marketing guy replies. "Sure, just make up some feeble tag line and call a few magazines. We don't really need to try real hard to sell these things. People will always need paper books for information. There will never be a superior technology. You'll learn that once you've been here a while."

The very young reader may not remember the era of printed encyclopedias. We are spoiled. Don't let anyone tell you different. Back in "yore", any kid who needed to find something out either asked one of the parents (whichever one wasn't wasted on cooking sherry or plain old brandy) or went to the library to look it up in a book. That was the smart family (apart from the being drunk part). Let the library buy the books and go use them for free. Or, the really rich / foolish family spent upwards of seven hundred dollars on a set of encyclopedias that would be inaccurate and useless before they were don't making payments on them.

Seven hundred dollars in 1966 money comes to 75 million dollars now. So, family pays 75 mil for books that should be mostly accurate for several days, and until mom and dad send in the last check for 288 thousand dollars, there will be no new and more accurate encyclopedias. Meanwhile, Susie still thinks that Namibia is still part of South Africa and she has never heard of Burkina Faso. What a poor, dumb kid.

Britannica is very careful not to mention the price in the ad. They only ention "easy payments." On top of all this, Britannica's accuracy is right about on par with Wikipedia. Either Britannica's editors have gotten sloppy or Wikipedia actually works. Or paper encyclopedias are something we should be happy to see go the way of the dodo.


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