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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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November 2008 - Posts

I Want to Judge This Contest

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/.

You've Only Got One (ladies) and It's Being Marketed To

Despite complaints from consumers, the Kimberly-Clark tampon brand Kotex U is keeping a racy but effective TV campaign in Australia that would never pass muster here in the U.S.

The commercial features a woman, an animated beaver (above) and the tagline "You've only got one. So for the ultimate care down there, make it U." Really, you should click on the commercial ... it's really funny. Not surprisingly the ad has sparked complaints, but it's also helped Kotex gain two share points in the $250 million market.

So the company is ignoring the 150 complaints ... as it probably should.  The success of the commercial makes sense when you realize the creative idea was based on sound research that found 90% of women name their private areas and that "beaver" was among the 181 names logged. On the other hand, if you ran this commercial in the U.S., complaints would surely be in the tens of thousands ... which says a lot about women in both Australia and the U.S.

A New Kind of Protection in the Bedroom
Here's a great gift idea for the holidays ... The Back-Up! It's a shotgun racking system that keeps the firearm fixed securely to the side of your bed ... "facilitating easy access for protection against home invasion."


Here's info from the Web site. "... 100 million U.S. households have shotguns for the sole purpose of home protection. Unfortunately most people keep the gun in the corner of the bedroom or beneath the bed, requiring excessive response time." Huh? I've heard of "excessive response time" in the bedroom, but it had nothing to do with shotguns.

Apparently, with The Back-Up shotgun racking system, homeowners are able to access their firearms in just a few seconds - even while in bed. Probably not a good idea if you fight a lot with your spouse.

Where Do I Sign Up to Judge This Contest?
Last week, international underwear brand Sloggi held its second annual World Most Beautiful Bottom "Show me your Sloggi" competition at Club Quartier Latin in Paris. Out of 11,200 entrants who submitted photos to Sloggi, 46 finalists from 29 countries were selected with the aid of 31 million voters and a panel of seven judges.

The winners? Brazilian 20-year-old Melanie Nunes Fronckowiak had best female bottom, while French 27-year-old Saiba Bombote was named the most beautiful male bottom. Whose idea was it for them to wear socks??

SPAM a Lot or A Lot of SPAM?

While many American companies are experiencing difficulties, SPAM is doing well. It doesn't cost a lot to eat poorly in America, and what better way to do that than with Spam.

People will settle for something resembling meat if faced with the real thing at four times the price. Dale recalls that when he was growing up his family frequently served either Spam or Hamburger Helper. As a result, all the neighborhood kids wanted to play at his house. Kids don't know if they're poor ... but they know what they like.  

Elf Yourself is Back

While logic behind Office Max's Elf Yourself campaign escapes me, it has rolled out the interactive Web site for the third year in a row ... Elf Yourself (complete with bigger OfficeMax logo!). Best of all, click on the video below to see me "Elf'd."

Send your own ElfYourself eCards

Around this time last year, Elf Yourself had spawned over 11 million self-elfers. And this year there's a lot of new stuff to play with on the site. (By the way, it's estimated that American workers lost over a million hours of productivity last year, playing on the Elf Yourself Web site. Thank you Office Max.)

No Blog on Friday, November 28th
I'm not writing a blog on Friday ... chances are you won't be around to read it anyway. So, I'm taking the day off. No I'm not putting up a Christmas tree. I lost a significant number of family members to that barbaric tradition. Actually Dale and I will be on the road a lot in WI, IL, IN and MN during the month of December. (And because the airlines are charging so much for excess baggage now, we have to drive! Thanks so much you crappy airline people!)

Anyway we thought it may be a good idea to actually work on and rehearse our Christmas banquet show material. So that's what we'll be doing.

You, on the other hand, will probably be out Christmas shopping.  I wear a size 5 tall, if you're interested. And I need sweaters ... because it's cold in the trunk of Dale's car ... thank you very much you %#&$* airline people. 


It's Okay to "Bonk" on Billboards

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/.

Truth in Advertising
You gotta love "truth in advertising," when it happens. This ad for Belgium's Organ Donor Foundation offers just that.
I know some people will undoubtedly find it offensive. Those people need to "get over it." The ad is attention getting, informative and brilliant. The fact that it's sexy and controversial adds to its effectiveness. Most of all, the ad is for a very good cause ... organ donations.


 

Copy at the bottom urges readers to sign up now at www.myspace.com/reborntobealive which is a MySpace site ... that I found confusing.  (I wonder if they take wooden hearts from Mannequin Americans?)

Entertaining Interactive Web Sites

An Entertaining Banana ... Really

Okay, this interactive site for Chiquita Banana is worth a look and a laugh. Roll your mouse over any of the icons to get information, play games, etc. My favorite is the "How to Guide" which offers tips on how to use your banana. For instance, did you know that the natural oils in a banana peel can keep your lips smooth and moisturized for hours? So long Chapstick, hello banana. It'll be a little tougher carrying it around in my pocket though. You can also use a banana peel to shine your shoes! The natural lubricant works just like shoe polish. And the vitamin B6 in bananas keeps your blood glucose levels in check ... which is supposed to help get rid of PMS ... I can't verify that; I'm only repeating what I read on the site.

It's also fun to take the Banana Quiz and test your banana knowledge. I got two wrong.

Best of all, you can click here and see what I look like as a banana. The video options are plentiful and funny! You can put your friends' faces in the videos and email them. Really, go to the site and have some fun.

Guitar Hero Partners with KFC

KFC partnered with the highly-addictive Guitar Hero World Tour for a cross-promotional something-or-other. You can redeem codes for branded Guitar Hero cups from KFC Rocks.

More importantly, try your hand at this "crowd surfing" game. Hit the arrows to the beat, and keep your rocker dude or dudette from falling to the bottom of the mosh pit. All I got was "boos" from the mosh pit crowd ... so apparently I really sucked at the game. Maybe you can do better.

Dawn Web Site Demonstrates New Version of "Jazz Hands"
 
 

Dawn Hands Have Talent is a Web site contest that promotes Dawn Hand Renewal, a dishwashing soap that "improves the look and feel of hands in just five uses." The site also includes a special offer for the soap and a dancing hand game you can play.

The image above is from an entry titled "Handtasia," though I much prefer the vivacity of "Fingerlina."

Bonk Longer? Really?
An Australian erectile dysfunction company placed a billboard with the headline "Want Longer-Lasting Sex?" The headline didn't sit well some people. So the company changed the billboard to this:

I think the second billboard is hilarious ... not to mention that we can now make even more funny jokes about co-worker, Leslie Bonk's last name! The reasoning behind the second billboard is that "Kids won't ask about the word 'bonk' as they would about 'sex.' If they do, parents are free to just gloss over it and say it's nothing important." A funny result that apparently satisfied all concerned.

Dunham Makes History

It's not even Thanksgiving yet, but COMEDY CENTRAL received its first gift of the season this past Sunday in the form of "Jeff Dunham's Very Special Christmas Special. The ratings were unwrapped this morning and proved to be everything the #1 comedy channel could have hoped for with Jeff's special drawing 6.6 million total viewers to become COMEDY CENTRAL's most watched telecast in the network's history. For the night, "Jeff Dunham's Very Special Christmas Special" was the #1 basic cable telecast in Prime Time in both ratings and delivery among total viewers.

Congratulations to Jeff and his Mannequin American side kicks. Click hear to see clips of Jeff's Bubba J from the Christams Special.


Christmas Cooking Tips From Walter

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/.

New Products for "Re-Wearers" ... Are You Kidding Me?

P&G is testing Swash, a four-product line that, with a spray or wipe, removes wrinkles, stains and odors from clothes within minutes ... without washing. "This is meant to enhance the re-wear experience," according to P&G. The what??  Re-wear? Actually that's P&G's term for folks who grab stuff from the closet hook, or pick it up off the floor and wear it again without washing it.

Apparently there are a lot of those folks. (Most of them French, I think.) Some 75% of consumers "re-wear" three to four times weekly, according to P&G research. The alternatives to "washing" are pretty pricey.

The Swash lineup now in testing:

  • Fresh It Up. A spray to remove odors, it sells for $5 for a 2.5-ounce container.
  • Get It Out. A stain-erasing pen, it goes for $3 for 0.4 ounces.
  • Smooth It Out. A spray to remove wrinkles, it costs $5 for 5 ounces.
  • Steam It Out. A moistened cloth (seven for $5) to toss in a dryer with the clothes, it removes odors and wrinkles after 10 minutes of tumbling. (Wouldn't it be just as easy to wash the stuff.
For six months last year, P&G opened a Swash test store near Ohio State University in Columbus to see how students would respond. They determined that "College kids do not like doing laundry." No kidding? I could have told them that!! Think of the money they could have saved simply by giving me a call. As for "re-wearers," P&G may want to consider adding antiperspirant to the product line.

What Were They Thinking?
Local retail advertising sometimes naively provides examples of the edgiest and most politically incorrect forms of marketing. In this case, hot tub retailer Willow Creek Hearth & Leisure uses a campaign that appears to be an ode to the seventies and the supposed seductive qualities of the hot tub.

With headlines such as "Because you can only fit one woman in a Porsche," "Spice up your marriage with someone else's marriage," and "Lowers sperm count to the average male range," the campaign apparently is intended to set the retailer apart from typical mundane hot tub ads. Well, the campaign certainly does set them apart ... but it's not clear in these touchy politically correct times, whether or not people want to take a step backwards and relive the seventies.

And if you simply must see one of the other, much hairier versions of this campaign, click here.

As Long as We're Talking about Ads of Questionable Taste ...
Here's an ad congratulating winners of a competition ... I don't think it matters what the competition was ...

On the Other Hand ...
Here's a clever ad that I like.

 

Christmas Cooking Tips from Walter

We had so much positive feedback from the Jeff Dunham Christmas Special clips that we linked to in our last blog, that I decided to add some more. Here are Christmas Cooking tips from Walter, Peanut and Achmed the Dead Terrorist.


An Achmed Christmas?

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/.

An "Achmed the Dead Terrorist" Christmas?

The November 17th issue of COUNTRY WEEKLY magazine featured Kenny Chesney on the cover. But thanks to a note from Adelia Detweiler, I sought out the article on Jeff Dunham (A Comedian's Crossroads) on page 64. It's a review of Jeff's vent career, beginning in the third grade and he tells about the crossroads of life that brought him to where he is today in his highly successful career. You'll find more from the interview with Jeff if you click here.

Jeff's Christmas Special (Click on link to see clips; they're hysterical!) which was taped at the Pabst Theatre in Milwaukee, WI, is scheduled to air this Sunday, November 16th, at 8 p.m. Central Time on Comedy Central. Don't miss it.

When to Use Synchronized Swimming in Marketing
Thanks to our friends at AdRants for this.
A couple things about featuring synchronized swimming ... water ballet in ads: First ... don't. Second ... don't. That is unless the swimmers look like the real U.S. Olympic synchronized swim team pictured here.  (I should have paid more attention to this sport during the Olympics. Do they wear those heels during competition?)

Of course you can use water ballet when you're going for laughs like the classic Martin Short SNL skit.

But don't use water ballet in a spot like this for a birth control product from Nuva.  And definitely not in this new spot for Vicks. Yuk.

A New Place for Ads ... Your Closet

One of the tentacles of the rapidly expanding green-marketing movement is turning consumers' clothes closets into a new sort of advertising venue. The New York-based Hanger Network has crossed the concept of an environmentally friendly clothes hanger with in-home advertising strategies. Ads are printed on eco hangers made of recycled cardboard. The end result is a new medium that helps to protect the Earth at the same time it carries big marketers' commercial messages into consumers' bedrooms and other dressing areas. 

Let's see ... wire hangers are re-usable, right? That's eco-friendly. And, they're cheap ... that makes them Mannequin American friendly. But these new cardboard hangers come from recycled cardboard which comes from trees, right? That's not Mannequin American friendly. But they're bio-degradable so they're eco-friendly. But wood hangers come from trees and are reusable and bio-degradable. But they're too expensive. But Joan Crawford preferred wooden hangers over wire hangers. But these cardboard hangers can be paid for by advertisers.  Okay, I'm getting a headache.

Why You Should Always Check Your Children's' Homework

One of my loyal readers sent me a copy of a drawing his daughter did.

According to the husband, his wife works at Home Depot and the drawing is supposed to depict her selling a shovel.  Yup. That's what I guessed immediately. I'm sure the teacher did too.


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