Friends, pause just a moment to take out a pen and paper. I’m about to give you some golden marketing advice, the two simple concepts that will absolutely guarantee the successful launch of any new product, event or enterprise. Jot down these three words:

Chainsaws and minibikes.

If you have either chainsaws or minibikes at your opening event, it will definitely go very, very well. Have both, and the sky’s the limit.

I discovered this ironclad law of marketing last night, at the packed opening of the new exhibition “Five Billion Years” at the Palais de Tokyo, the state-sponsored contemporary art space in Paris. To mark the occasion and usher in the arrival of a new director, the Palais hosted both a minibike ballet and the 2006 International Chainsaw Sculpture Competition. (Photos in my minibike and chainsaw flickr photosets.)

The minibike ballet delivered an exhilirating mix of exhaust fumes, squealing tires and, yes, a classical storyline featuring (as near as I could tell) a tragic hero, a scene of breast-beating mourning that gives way to war, and the spirit of the dead taking the fallen to valhalla… Or something like that.

Meanwhile, sawdust flew as chainsaw artists from Canada, Hungary, Switzerland, the Czech Republic, France and elsewhere liberated images from enormous tree trunks.

Fantastic. No kidding: Fantastic.

And the installations inside the museum were, on the whole, breathtaking, too.

So, lesson learned. Chainsaws and minibikes. Mark my words, when Big Medium 2.0 finally launches there will be chainsaws and minibikes for all.

Read more about...