Charlie Paul, Paul Hetman Paul Hetman, Eminem discussed on Household Name
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How did the Red Eminem go from being a symbol of this red food coloring scare for so many of us back to business as usual? That is thanks in part to a guy named Paul Hetman Paul Hetman. He's scientist he worked at M. and M.'s. Paul was a college student at the University of Tennessee. And if you don't mind Charlie Paul and I are going to take the story from here. All right. Green eminem go so like many of us. Paul Hoffman opened a pack or two of EMINEM'S IN HIS YOUTH. But when he was growing up back in the seventies the inside of the bag looked very different. You had dark Brown Light Brown Orange Yellow Green. But I mean except for green. He had like a bunch of all colors. It's fifty shades of Beige right. It was just a bunch of little. You know dark chocolate chips. Basically wasn't very exciting. Not Very exciting. Sounds to me like sort of branding strategy in the wake of the red scare and if it was a branding strategy. It was working because Paul and his friends were not scared of Redman APPs. It was just kind of like a running joke in my little. Click and I think it was like a little bit anti-establishment or whatever you know talking about I you know we can't have read Eminem's anymore because all the rats died. I mean I didn't really know the details. It was just like yeah. Rats Ate Red Dye. They died when Paul and his friends graduated. High school all moved away from the little town where they grew up in northwest. Tennessee and Paul ended up alone at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. The first couple months of college felt slow and it got Paul Thinking Man. I'm just kind of a little bit lonely. A little bit bored. What am I GONNA do here? And for some reason I just got this wild ideal that you know. I'll do this for a fun thing for my friends Paul decided to create a mock advocacy group calling for the return of red and then in the style of other spam marketing mill. He'd seen he sent out an invitation to each of his friends typed up on custom letterhead so the letter started. Uh said you. I'm the Comma and then there was a line printed on the piece of paper have been invited to join the Society for the restoration and preservation of red eminem's and I hand wrote everybody all my friends names in there. You know so you Sarah. Wyman have been invited to join the Society for the restoration and preservation red initiatives and then the letter said and what the Hell is to society for the restoration preservation of red m. and M.'s. The society was supposed to be an elaborate joke and over the top parody of direct mail fundraising campaign but before long. It started to take on all the trappings of a real society including the costs. So nine hundred eighty two freshmen in college and I wasted a hundred dollars which was a fortune on having this letterhead stuff printed up and little business cards which was your membership card of course and stuff and just send it out to my friends just as a way to say hi let going to say. Did it ever occur to you that this was so much work for a joke? No not at all the best practical jokes things like this. They take effort. You can't you can't just do just on the spur of the moment you have to put effort into people appreciate it for just ninety nine cents. New Members of the Society for the restoration and preservation of EMINEM's could receive a branded membership card signed by Paul the President and chairman of the board as well as five sheets of official letterhead and five official envelopes. Pulse now white was just a friend at the time sent in her membership fee by individually taping ninety nine pennies to the back of Paul's mailer before returning it to him. Another friend thought the whole thing was so funny that he wrote up a column about it in the University of Tennessee student paper. And that's honestly that's where it's like. Yeah Okay it's it's over went about my business you know in the winter and the spring and then all of a sudden I get a call and it's a writer from Seventeen magazine. The reporter had gotten a copy of the story. Pulse Perenco via news clipping service. Paul Talk to her a couple of times pulled or his version of events and then he sort of forgot about the whole thing until a couple of months leader. Get ANOTHER CALL. And it's like hi. I'm so and so I'm with the Wall Street Journal. I've got a friend who writes for Seventeen magazine and she was telling me about this red eminem thing and I was like okay. Sure no clue. I mean I'm clueless like Wall Street. Journal. I've heard of that. What is that turns out a couple other people had also heard of the Wall Street Journal and after Paul Story ran lots of them wanted to know more about his society all of a sudden I was fodder for every radio morning drive show in the United States. Prospective members started sending letters to pulse pillbox from all over the English speaking World Australia New Zealand Britain most of Canada states across the US and those letters included all kinds of stuff. One of the letters. I got one day had this little decrepit looking Red Eminem in it. Somebody had held onto a red venom from the early seventies before the red scare and sent it to Paul as a token of their appreciation. It might have been a rhythm and him. It might have been something else. It was definitely the right shape. It was a bit faded and cracked and old and definitely wouldn't need it but another highlight Paul got a membership requests in the mail from the marketing director of Eminem Mars and he used a company check to pay for his membership. Of course. I was so broke as a college student. I cashed the check instead of keeping. It should've kept it. Yeah but those funds had to go to the cops like that's the thing. Paul hadn't really thought through the societies operating budget before he pulled the trigger and now he was getting hundreds of letters in the mail responding to each membership request. Cost him around two dollars so also and it was like. Hey this is like cost to me real money. There were times when it actually. I mean I'd get ten or twenty letters a day in the post office box. You know want to try to answer so you know between class load and work and stuff like that. It was a bit of a challenge at times. You became like a fulltime employees a fake charity. Yes and it was definitely a nonprofit jer but as the society started to really pick up steam the perks of Paul's President and Chairman of the board GIG leveled up to like at one point. Charles Kuralt the famous. Cbs News Anchor stopped by Pulse College apartment to interview him in the living room for his show on the road with Charles. Kuralt and Paul almost scored an invitation late night with David Letterman. Which would have been really cool if it had panned out. But unbeknownst to Paul the real payout was waiting just a couple of years down the road in nineteen eighty seven so at that point I had graduated and I was actually working as a commercial photographer here in Knoxville and I was at the studio and all the sudden you know I get a call. Somebody asking about EMINEM's ended so it'd been like a year year and a half since I've done something with it right so it wasn't anything as talk to that person hung up and you know an hour later somebody else called and like okay. Yeah I was. I'm him you know. Yes I did that Blah Blah Blah and finally then like a third person call and I'm talking to him and then finally like why are y'all calling me today and they go with a Heaven told you told me what they're bringing back Redmond M.'s and that's how I found out red EMINEM's back for the next generation return of red M. and M.'s delights knoxville campaign in the world is a little less drab for Paul Hetman? Paul S. Heiferman is feeling like a champion these days as well. He should how many among us can say that we've changed the world. Did you feel powerful in that movie? I wouldn't say powerful You know you change the course of history. Yeah I guess so. Yeah lighthearted history but yeah I guess.