During a recent visit to Los Angeles, where a few hundred software developers spent three days contemplating new marketing innovations, we wandered into the men's department of an upscale department store, the kind of store where all the salespeople have sharp haircuts and perfectly tailored suits that are far fancier than anything we own. Due to an unfortunate oversight on the part of one MISys staff member, we were skulking around, looking for the underwear section when we ran across the Ralph Lauren Exhibit which, in addition to clothes, featured an old saddle, croquet mallets, and various other props associated with rich people. Ralph uses these to create a fashion look that has made him several zillion dollars. This got us thinking that it may be time to revamp the image we are trying to project in our MISys manufacturing software ads. Imagine a MISys advertisement featuring Lauren-clad people with their hair slicked back, standing around in a huge croquet mallet manufacturing plant, looking grim, as if they had just received the tragic news that one of their key polo ponies had just injured itself trampling a servant. Obviously the look has worked very well for Ralph and conventional wisdom suggests it could work just as well for MISys. Our advertising agency, Baton Barton Dan and Oliver (BBD&O), is already at work on a new campaign they describe as "Pretend Cowboy" featuring a number of rugged male models, wearing designer cowboy outfits, fixin' to ride their tastefully color-coordinated ponies down to the Old Trading Post to purchase MISys Basic Manufacturing, Material Requirements Planning, and three User Licenses. This isn't the kind of advertising Vermonters are entirely comfortable with, but it has worked so well for Ralph Lauren, we feel we just have to give it a spin.