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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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September 2008 - Posts

Meeting an Advertising Challenge

A Dummy's Puppet's Ramblings - from Chip Martin, Puppet
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. For information on this puppet's background, go to http://www.dale-brown.com/.

Fashion Targets Breast Cancer at Work ... and Uses Funny Video to Sell the Idea

On Friday October 24, people across the country will show support for the fight against breast cancer by wearing 2008 Fashion Targets Breast Cancer T-shirts. You can join in the fight against breast cancer and spread awareness by selling Fashion Targets Breast Cancer t-shirts and apparel in your office. Then show your support on Fashion Targets Friday, when everyone wears their Target t-shirt and apparel on the same day.

Click here to go to the Web site that gives full details. And be sure to view the video that's on the site ... it's funny (otherwise I wouldn't recommend it) plus it does a good job of selling Fashion Targets Friday.

Don't Panic
On a few occasions I recommend that my readers jump on over to "Uncle Jay's" blog where Uncle Jay explains the news to kids. He produces a weekly video that is always insightful, always funny ... and sometimes scary in its truthfulness. In a recent edition Uncle Jay explained just how the economy works and why we're in the mess that we're in. It's hysterical. You'll forward it to friends. And you should sign up for Uncle Jay's weekly post so that you can start each week off with a laugh.

Click on View article... to see this special edition of Uncle Jay Explains the News.

Meeting an Advertising Challenge
Marketing a digestive product is probably no easy task. So here's how Sargam-Digestives, a premium brand mind you, did it. At first glance it appears that they simply added a sexy woman in a bikini to their ad. How original and informative. But closer inspection beckons the question, "Where are all those bubbles coming from?"  Oh, I get it ... it's an ad for digestive medication. Ha! Seriously ... they paid an agency for this idea?

Interesting Figures
Since UPS began mapping routes to maximize right hand turns and minimize left hand turns, it has cut the time trucks spend idling and saved more than 3.3 million gallons of gas.

- A survey of Heathrow Airport discovered that 111 homeless people were living full-time in the terminal.

- Max Motors in Butler, MS offered car buyers a choice of incentives: $250 in the form of a gas credit card or a gift certificate for a handgun. 80% of buyers chose the guns.

Spray On Pantyhose Isn't Enough

Nyce Legs offers women the advantage of spraying on their pantyhose ... at least that's what their Web site claims.

And now the company has gone a step further by offering self-adhering panties. That's right ... NYCE G Strapless G-strings. Now think about that for a second. If it's a G-string and it's strapless, why bother wearing anything at all? I'm just asking.

A Year After Retiring From Racing

Here's a photo taken a year ago of Dale getting ready to take the track for the final qualifying session of his racing career. (I have no idea who put Flat Stanley in the picture ... honest.) Dale qualified 6th out of 35 and finished 5th. It seems hard to believe that at his advanced age there were 30 other drivers who sucked more than he did.

In any event, that was the last time Dale strapped on a racing helmet ... not counting the times he wears it around the house or to bed. I know that he misses racing. But he misses the opportunities racing gave him to hang out with his race-driving friends even more.

So on the anniversary of his retirement, I'm giving a shout out to all those drivers who read my blog, just to let you know that Dale thinks of you often ... especially when he looks in his checkbook and confirms that he didn't spend any money on race-related items this year.

Oh, I almost forgot. Now he's writing sailing-related checks.

Funny New TV Commercials

A Dummy's Puppet's Ramblings - from Chip Martin, Puppet
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. For information on this puppet's background, go to http://www.dale-brown.com/.

Back in Stock

For those of you who ordered Making It Up As You Go, Writing Original Comedy Dialogs for Ventriloquist Characters or Putting Money Where Your Mouth Is, all three books are back in stock and will be shipped this week.  Sorry for the back order. But who knew there'd be any demand?

If you're interested in any of these publications go to http://www.dale-brown.com/ and click on "On Line Store," for details and prices.

Funny Commercials Aimed at Proper Audiences

If you like funny TV ads click here to see how Holland Casino clearly identifies its audience and demonstrates why casinos are more entertaining than "high culture." The theme is "It's more fun when you take part". It actually made me laugh. I was not expecting, "IS IT A BOOK...?!"  Click on it. It's funny and very short.

And speaking of TV ads, who needs political platforms full of platitudes when you have the Miller High Life Guy stumping the Common Sense Platform? A beer-fueled presidency is probably a good answer to what this country needs. Click on the link to see the entertaining and effective Miller High Life Dude for President!  Oh, and Drink Responsibly.

But this is the best recent commercial of all ... and it's never aired on television. Instead you have to go to http://www.budtv.com/ to see it. But apparently it's worth it because it has been viewed over 12 million times! In fact, Anheuser-Busch won its first-ever Emmy for the spot which is titled "Swear Jar." In the commercial employees at an office add change to a jar every time somebody swears. When the secretary reveals that the money might be used to buy packs of Bud Light for the office, even the top execs see motherbleep!in' bleep!suckers around every %$#&'! corner. Everyone in our office laughed out loud at this commercial. So click here to see it. Seriously, it will make you laugh.

Latte Art

I recently read that some Starbucks locations provide customers with Latte Art. Although I do not spend money on frivolities like up-scale coffee, I do appreciate the experience required to produce latte art. Here are some of my favorites from other coffee shops around the country.

What a Great Tagline

Unlike cars that wave their
ostentatious extras in your face, you can't even see Volkswagen extras. You know why? Because they're made up of "service," according to the company's new tagline: "The extra Volkswagen part on every Volkswagen. Volkswagen service."  Now that's a great tagline! They even repeat the company name three times. I'm surprised no one came up with that before. Click here to see the German commercial. It's clever, entertaining and it introduces that great new tagline.

Would You Go to This Web Site?
In my professional opinion the ad below works on a couple of levels. I think you can see them both. It states simply the name of the advertiser and provides a URL to the advertiser's site.  But the ad must have distracted me because when I typed in the Web site address the first time I used ".com" instead of ".net." The Web site is for "What Mobile" a magazine about mobile gadgets. So if you're into that sort of thing, check it out. Oh, and they have a gallery of cover girls ... what a surprise.

Ask Chip

A Dummy's Puppet's Ramblings - from Chip Martin, Puppet
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. For information on this puppet's background, go to http://www.dale-brown.com/.

Your Questions Answered

When I'm out in public the three questions I'm asked most often are:

  1. Where do I get all of those puppet-related cartoons for my blog?
  2. Where do I get material for my blog?
  3. How much time does it take to write my blog?
  4. Why do I stay with a no-talent like Dale?

I guess that fourth question doesn't count because it's one I ask myself.

Anyway, because I hear these questions so often, I figure that many readers who don't get a chance to talk with me in person probably have the same questions. So here are the answers. Write them down so that I don't have to keep repeating them.

1. The cartoons are from Dale's stash which he has been collecting for 20 years. (Don't tell him that I've been using them.) Plus now readers are sending some to me. (Thanks to Jeff who provided our first blog-worthy cartoon and gave us the idea for including a puppet/ventriloquist-related cartoon with each post.

2. & 3. Blog material comes from many, many internet, marketing, public relations, advertising and general media sources.  Each post represents about 4 hours of research, writing, photo work, layout, proofing and editing. So beware of creating a blog. It needs constant feeding.

4. I feel sorry for him and in truth; he has a hand in everything I do.

Get More Marketing From Your Company Van

Kentucky-based Pet Butler shovels and sanitizes doggy doo so dog owners don't have to. To better leverage the company van's marketing potential Pet Butler built a pair of eye-catching rear-end displays -- one with a dog reading on the toilet (tagline: "Until then, call us")

Seems like an unusual service, but I guess it's in demand ... the company serves over 1500 cities. Check out the Web site for more amusing imagery, cheesy puns and even some Pet Butler radio.

GreedyPeople.com is Just What You'd Expect

http://www.greedypeople.com/ launched an on-demand service site that allows users to buy and sell traditional and non-traditional services ... and respond to member-issued challenges of, "What would you do for money?"

Users can earn cash for just about anything, and I mean anything. There's a dude there apparently willing to pay $250 for somebody to talk to his dead relatives. Another wants his brother beat up for $100. Another will pay $5 to a guy who is willing to dress up like a girl in a French maid outfit and go shopping at the mall. If you want to kill a couple of minutes you'll find some pretty entertaining dares on this site.

Little Debbie Makes Good Marketing Use of NASCAR/Koala

For client Little Debbie, Australian NASCAR driver Marcos Ambrose joins forces with a talking koala. It's sort of cute the way they draw housewives' attention at the supermarket or co-pilot a race while koala eats Zebra Cakes. And Ambrose isn't doing too terribly in the NASCAR standings this year.

See more of their routine on Little Debbie's Miles of Smiles Web site where both Marcos and the Koala talk to you.

Minimalistic Packaging ... of Sorts
Usually I'm on the lookout for interesting advertising. But this is more an example of assvertising ... which is a very popular form of marketing in Europe. (I have folders full of the stuff to prove it.) European cosmetics brand Lush is well known for their very minimalistic packaging. Lush has differentiated itself from the market trend towards liquid soaps, formulating many products into bars, cakes or balls which can be sold without packaging.

So to get that message out to the streets, shop employees were recently dispatched in minimalistic packaging ... like this.

Some employees stayed in the shops while others took to the streets. Apparently this kind of promotion is legal in Europe. Now, since the vast majority of Lush customers are women, my question was ...why no pantless men in aprons? That would seem to make more sense to me. Then I ran across the photo below. I'm sorry I asked.

But my search did prove that the company's stunt got them a lot of worldwide publicity. Trust me; there are a lot more photos on the internet. So I guess there's something to this European assvertising.

Viral Marketing is a Two Edged Sword

A Dummy's Puppet's Ramblings - from Chip Martin, Puppet
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. For information on this puppet's background, go to http://www.dale-brown.com/.

Crop Circle Ad Draws Attention

To advertise its 100 percent whole-wheat pizzas, Papa John's flattened about six acres' worth of wheat. The pizza crop circle was created in a wheat field in Commerce City, so in- and outbound Denver International passengers could get a nice big eyeful of pie from the sky. You have to be pretty impressed with the GPS technology that allows tractors to work with that kind of precision.

Within a few days the subject of "Papa John's crop circle" had 29,000 Google hits. So I guess that's the definition of an ad that works.

For those that may find this particularly inspirational, a company called Circlemakers specializes in producing crop circles for brand names.

Creative Way to Introduce Up-Dated Web Site
If you're going to introduce a new Web site, this is a fun and attention-getting way to do it. North Carolina-based agency The Republik invites users to shoot the living crap out of its old Web site. Choose from a 44 Magnum, a shotgun or a sniper rifle. The Magnum is by far the most satisfying, and after about 10 hits, (you have to reload) a fancy new Republik site appears. (I wish I could use that gun on some other Web sites.) 

Is This Why I Can't Sleep?
Now here's an unusual marketing twist ... a trade group has hired advertising and media agencies to make the point that its products are less durable than consumers think.

The International Sleep Products Association, which represents mattress makers, has tapped some high-powered ad and PR agencies to get consumers to buy new mattresses more often.

The current average mattress-purchase interval is 10.3 years. But trade association studies show mattresses ought to be replaced after five to seven years. Naturally, if consumer habits changed accordingly, that would significantly boost the industry's sales. Last year, total units sold declined by 2.1%, while price increases helped eke out a 1.4% revenue gain for the industry.

Viral Marketing is a Two Edge Sword

Viral Marketing isn't as easy as some think ... as Wendy's is finding out. In a new Wendy's TV spot a man shuns a bite of salad offered by a woman across the table. "I can't eat that," he says. "I'm a meatatarian."

In an effort to build the meatatarian message via the internet Wendy's created a video that shows a head of lettuce devouring a Baconator sandwich. But results for the film are mixed to say the least. Reviews are overwhelmingly positive on MySpace, where it has received 82,000 views, but heavily negative on YouTube, where it picked up about 16,000 views. Someone smarter than me will have to figure out the finicky demographics behind that.

Letters to Santa

Muppet Studios is currently in production on an all new television special filled with songs, mayhem and heaps of holiday high spirits. Entitled "Letters to Santa: A Muppets Christmas", this one-hour television project is set to air on Wednesday, December 17, 2008 at 8:00PM on NBC (check local listings for details).

When the Muppets inadvertently prevent three children's letters from making their way to Santa Claus, Kermit and the gang set off to make things right before Christmas comes. The Muppets are forced to give up their plans of escaping a snow-filled New York City, but needless to say, nothing (not even Miss Piggy's planned trip to the tropics) will stand between the Muppets and a happy Christmas for all.

Thanks to our friends at the Tough Pigs Blog, here are a couple of behind-the-scenes photos taken during filming in New York.


Jack Daniels Gets Political ... Sort of
Jack Daniels launched a new marketing campaign consisting of postings near the Republican and Democratic national conventions and other media outlets. Using headlines like "Sometimes common ground is small enough to fit on a cocktail napkin," "Drinking champagne is a perfectly acceptable way to celebrate being elected president...of France," "Jack supports all parties," and others the company cleverly tied into a political campaign style without being "political."

I'd link you to all of the Jack Daniels' political-related ads, but I know my readers ... and you've probably already seen them.  If not, apparently I'm appealing to a demographic that I'm not familiar with.

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