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A Dummy's Puppet's Ramblings - from Chip Martin
Mannequin American views and guidelines on marketing/PR trends, news from the world of puppets and ventriloquism, bits of humor and other interesting but useless information. I post every Tuesday and Friday.
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I've Heard of "Sugar Foot," but "Sour Toe?"

Dummy's Puppet's Ramblings - from Chip Martin, Puppet (Mannequin American views and guidelines on marketing/PR trends plus bits of humor and interesting but useless information.) For information on Chip's performance schedule go to www.dale-brown.com.

You Started a War ... Now I'm Paying the Price
    Do you get annoyed by those little promotions that pop up at the bottom of your TV screen during a show or movie? Sometimes those crappy little nuisances actually cover up something significant that you wanted to see!

Well, you did it. You used your TiVos and DVRs to skip commercials. That ticked off those who want you to see commercials. So you started a war.

Now networks are running promotions during programming. Some of them now involve pausing the show while an ad runs on the lower third of the screen. Right now, it's just station promos but, seriously, how long before we see paid advertising in this space? You did it to yourselves and now I'm paying the price. Somebody owes me a TiVo!

Results of Our IQ Test
Lots of people emailed me to say that they managed to get 10 out of 11 questions correct on the short IQ test that I included on my June 10th blog. Losers. On the other hand our blog reader Bob Chelius managed to get a perfect score. You can still take the test by clicking here.

Cartoons Used to Sell Sex ... Sex Used to Sell Everything Else
In Nevada, where legal brothels have operated since the late 19th century, business is suddenly a bit slow. (We're not getting more moral. It seems that truckers represent a large percentage of the brothel market and high gas prices are keeping them away.) The Nevada Brothel Owners' Association claims that revenue at the 25 legal bordellos for which it lobbies is down 25% to 45%, depending on location. 

A law dating to the 1970's forbade Nevada's legal brothels to advertise outside the immediate areas in which they were located. That law was struck down in federal court last July. However, most legal brothel owners still don't advertise for fear that it would enrage community leaders and push the Legislature to ban legal brothels.  

Nonetheless, Susan Austin, general manager of the Wild Horse Adult Spa and Mustang Ranch purchased eight billboards along various highways in and around the city of Sparks that declare, "The party's at the Wild Horse!" The billboards include a picture of a cartoon horse.  (During research I couldn't find a single cartoon horse on their web site. There could have been one there, but I didn't see it. It could have been covered up by a ta-ta or something.)

Some other brothels use sponsorship marketing rather than overt advertising. Donna's Ranch, in Wells, NV is the major sponsor of the town's car show and is the secondary sponsor of its senior pro rodeo. But the sponsorships use nothing explicit.

In short, the brothels are not using "sex" to sell sex.

On the other hand, Italy's advertising watchdog, the Institute for Advertising Self-Discipline (IAP), recently banned Tom Ford Eyewear ads from national media. Why? Because the company used "sex" to sell eyewear.

This photo was deemed by IAP to be "markedly vulgar" and to "transcend the limits of simple bad taste and offend the sensibility of viewers".  I think it just looks stupid. But it did catch my attention ... and that's the first challenge of advertising.

The IAP also said the sexual innuendo is part of a campaign based on these kinds of images, noting that the brand's web site itself describes the spring-summer ad photos as "sexually explicit." It's true ...the Tom Ford web site is explicit and I don't recommend clicking on it from your office. If you want to see a single ad for the company's new fragrance "Tom Ford for Men" click here ... but be forewarned ... it's very racy.

So while bordellos are using cartoon horses to sell sex, manufacturers are using sex to sell just about everything else.  Seems ironic. I wonder which type of ad works better?

I Could Have Included a Photo, but Even I Have Standards

And now for something truly disgusting ... which the majority of my readers seem to enjoy.

The Yukon during Gold Rush days was a notoriously rough-and-tumble place-and apparently it hasn't changed all that much. If you travel to Dawson City, Yukon, you may find yourself face-to-face with a local specialty, the Sourtoe Cocktail.

The drink contains something along the lines of a worm at the bottom of a tequila bottle-except that this something is a human toe. That's right. A severed human toe, preserved in salt, black and shriveled and topped with a fat yellow nail. Truly disgusting, but an essential part of the Sourtoe experience.

The "cocktail" consists of a shot of Yukon Jack Whiskey topped off with the toe. Drink the whiskey down and if the toe touches your lips you get a certificate naming you a member of the Sourtoe Cocktail Club. (Hey, over 65,000 people have conquered the challenge!)

There's a photo of the toe on the club's web site, if you really want to see it. This image may be out of date however, as the Sourdough Saloon has gone through several toes over the years. Trust me; you don't want to know how they lose those toes. But don't worry, they keep an extra one in the freezer ... really.

Posted: Jun 17 2008, 07:30 AM by chip | with no comments


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