A PowerPoint Presentation Meant for the Saudi Governing Council, on the Topic of The Remediation of the Saudi Image, Written by a Young Prince Upon His Return from an Internship at a Marketing Firm.

SLIDE 1
We are known primarily for our oil, but the word “oil” has negative connotations. We must re-brand “oil,” perhaps along the lines of the mineral waters. My humble suggestion: “Saudi Springs.”

SLIDE 2
Henceforth, our barrels must be painted green and yellow. Currently our barrels are black, as is our oil. We can not re-color oil. But the barrels? The barrels are doable. (Note: paste in BP’s logo here. Those guys are good.)

SLIDE 3
Oil is a carbon-based liquid. You know what that means? It means it’s organic. Two words for you: cha-ching.

SLIDE 4
No one likes drilling–it reminds people of their dentists, who are probably ethnic, and thus possibly foreign, and thus possibly Saudi. Take this to heart, my friends: we do not “drill.” Organic Saudi Springs is culled, gently, from the earth.

SLIDE 5
We should hit Dasani up for some filtering skills. After being culled, gently, from the earth, Organic Saudi Springs will be triple-filtered using a “state-of-the-art reverse osmosis process,” thereby ensuring our product is “clean.” (Scan the room smirks. If/when found, politely suggest their removal. Sincerity is the key to success.)

SLIDE 6
The Royal House of Saud? No. Americans love royalty, but not if the royals are trying to sell something! (Hold for chuckles.) So we need a new name, effendis. My humble suggestion: “The Saudi Family.” Picture us on TV in a nine-way split-screen shot, looking up, down, and around at one other, with brotherly smiles upon our handsome faces.(Make eye contact with Iqbal when you say “handsome.”  He is vain & will appreciate.)

SLIDE 7
Our white robes are a wasted opportunity. We need new colors. You guessed it: green and yellow. I know this is sensitive, so I’m willing to compromise. Maybe The Saudi Family wears white day-to-day, but dons the new colors for television spots and state visits, that sort of thing. Work with me here. I’ve already locked down good rates on sustainably grown, fair-trade Bengali jute.

SLIDE 8
Back to “oil” again–you thought we escaped this beautiful, misunderstood word in the first slide, didn’t you? But no, that was just branding. And a branded product is still a product, and a product has a name, and our product’s name is oil. This is unacceptable, and I have great news! We do not need to accept it, because we do not sell oil. We sell “PEA.”  Allow me to explain:

SLIDE 9
* P for Petroleum. Petroleum is a big word, so people will ignore it. But if they think about it, it will remind them of jelly or lube, which both carry positive connotations in the mind of the slatternly Westerner.

* E for Energy. Energy is good. Everyone likes energy.

* A for Aid. Because who doesn’t need a helping hand every once in a while? (Avoid all eye contact here, unless Ahmad is present–everyone has sympathy for Ahmad’s plight #noshame.)

* And what does PEA recall to mind? Peas. Yes, yes, I know, few people like to eat their peas, but ALL people acknowledge that peas are good for you. Similarly, The Saudi Family’s Organic Saudi Springs-brand Triple-Filtered Petroleum Energy Aid is good. For you. For us. For all.

SLIDE 10
(“Tying it all together.”)

(“This is a rough draft, but try it on for size.”)

The Saudi Family’s Saudi Springs Triple-Filtered Organic Petroelum Energy Aid is all-natural, and BPA-free. It has not been tested on animals, and contains no additives nor any harmful chemicals that are not naturally occurring. Unlike conventionally drilled PEAs and Canadian “shale” “oils” — (note: hold for hisses and boos here) — Saudi Springs is culled, gently, from the earth. And unlike “natural” gas, Saudi Springs is never, ever fracked. The Saudi Family has long been a responsible steward of Arabia’s plentiful, naturally occurring PEA springs, and we use a state-of-the-art, industry-redefining reverse-osmosis process (patent application pending) to ensure your PEA is as pristine as the fabled Sands of Arabia. This is our promise not only to you, but to Allah (SWT). With love and respect, The Saudi Family.

SLIDE 11
“You’re welcome.”

(Hold for applause.  / Bow politely.  / DO NOT initiate eye contact with the King.)

(Oh and – !!! – Congratulate Tariq on his wife’s weight loss, so evident in the more graceful billowing of her robes! Only 14 and already such a looker.)