A strange and thrilling story by James Lepperts.
A man claiming to be a Martian comes into an advertising agency. The agent thinks its a gimmick, he thinks the man is a nut, but when he goes to toss him out of the office the Martian waves a big bankroll in front of the agent. The agent is hooked, and even more so when his proposed advertising budget goes through the roof.
What is this campaign going to be all about? The Martian is upfront in announcing an invasion, and unveiling a product, and wants elaborate publicity to get the word out in a way to drive up public anticipation. All the usual promotion tricks are done for the biggest, most sensational product launch ever. Still, not even the agent has been clued in as to what the product might be. The most likely assumption is that it has to do with making a movie.
The campaign is going like wild fire with parades, celebrations, parties, and the works all for the upcoming Martian Day extravaganza. The public is stirred up as spectators line the parade route to see what the hype is all about. News coverage gets the pulse of the people with man on the street interviews. Curious people from far and wide. The advertising agent is interviewed, but since he really doesn’t know anything about the product, he can’t reveal anything.
The parade begins, bands play, floats pass by, people carry signs with witty slogans. A hush falls over the crowd as the climax leaves it’s impressive impact. Armies of Martians march in silence to the beat of military drums.
What is the meaning of all the gaiety and festivities? What is the meaning of the march of the Martian hordes? Well, you’ll just have to listen, or wait until Martian Day and join in the festivities along with everybody else.
Is all the drama, and ominous activity all just a planned hoax by the publicity agent? This is all just to promote a movie, right? There’s just too much precision in the way those Martian troops march. After all his efforts, the publicity man learns the truth too late to have his big event stopped, but will anybody else believe him? Can he stop what he helped to set into motion?