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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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How Tweeters are Like Ventriloquists

A Dummy's Puppet's Ramblings - from Chip Martin, Mannequin American

Tweeters are Like Ventriloquists

Tweeting and ventriloquism ... in both cases you're talking to yourself ... but a few others hear you.

Almost nine out of 10 Americans have heard of Twitter, but only 7% of the population is actually using the service, according to a recent survey.

"The simple fact of the matter is social-media evangelists, enthusiasts and addicts make up a small portion of the population," writes Jason Falls. "We should balance our enthusiasm for the new and cool with a dose of reality." Amen.

We Must be Taught Not to go Coo Coo for Cocoa Puffs

Apparently we now have to teach our kids not to trust advertising.

The Bureau of Consumer Protection, a division of the Federal Trade Commission, has created a website called Admongo that aims to teach kids how to read advertisements with a more critical eye. You select a character and play some little games that are supposed to edu-tain you about advertising by using fake brands like Choco Crunch'n Good cereal and Cleanology acne medication.

Admongo is designed to equip kids ages 8 to 12 with critical thinking skills they can use to understand advertising messages. Through Admongo.gov ... a game-based website ... as well as a free in-school curriculum, a packet of sample ads, and several family activities, the Admongo campaign aims to teach kids to recognize commercial messages. Then it prompts the youngsters to ask some key questions when they see or hear ads.

In other words, they're trying to protect children from marketing's horrible influence by using ... marketing. The Bureau even hired a marketing firm to create the website. Am I the only one who sees this as being a little hypocritical? I think we need a website to teach kids how to filter what politicians say.

This is Hunky Dory with Me

Ireland is registering complaints against an advertising campaign that pairs scantily-clad females playing a contact sport with suggestive headlines. Apparently it's a blatant attempt to attract a young male target market. Who knew that would work?

The advertiser is Hunky Dorys potato chips. The ads show attractive models trying their hand at rugby. Judging by the images on the website, they've been told that the game involves occasional soft-core embraces.

Among those offended: Irish rugby officials, who don't want their sport associated with such filth. Someone should tell them that such sponsors pay portions of their salaries.

More Skin for a Good Cause

Axe is again involved in an annual brand-appropriate charity: getting people to donate clothes, which of course means taking them off first. Check out this trailer for the Axe Undie Run Challenge. Students at 10 colleges are squaring off this spring to see who can donate the most clothes. Participants will include loads of thin, gyrating chicks in their underwear along with many fat and nerdy dudes, also in their underwear. Via YesButNoButYes.

If you "Google" the event, you'll find many collegiate-related Facebook pages ... with photos. So if you have a kid in college ... maybe you're better off skipping the Facebook pages.

Even More Skin for the "Bottom" Line


This recent ad for American Apparel is just a continuation of the company's gratuitous use of buttocks to gain attention. It must work because they've been riding this horse for a long time. And these ads are in women's magazines, so if your boss looks over your shoulder while you're reading this, it's all legitimate marketing research ... at least that's what I just told my boss.

But seriously, coming up with ideas for advertising women's apparel must be a lot easier than one would think it should be.  (Send all letters and emails to American Apparel. I'm just the messenger.)

Billboard Coupons Help Drinkers Save $ for More Beer

James Ready beer helps beer drinkers do some penny-pinching in its outdoor/mobile campaign. The company erected billboard "coupons" which passersby can shoot with their mobile phones and redeem at nearby retailers ... all in the name of saving up for money for more James Ready beer. (According to the sign, photo-takers can save 15% ... $26. That means "Couples Hair Removal" normally costs $176! For that price they should be including a six pack of James Ready ... which guys will need to be drinking when their backs are being de-haired.)

I'm a Hero ... Sort of

A new study by scientists in California has linked laughter to reduction of heart disease, and diabetes ... and promoted it as a form of stress-relieving, immune system boosting exercise.

The most recent study of this hypothesis had 14 volunteers watch portions of a comedy or stand-up routine; afterwards, blood samples were taken. The researchers discovered a reduction in stress hormones, an increase in immune T cells, and lower blood pressure. Another study had volunteers watch 20 minutes of similar comedy, and in addition to the previous benefits, there was a further drop in cholesterol, a rush of endorphins, and a stimulated appetite, similar to the effects of a jog around town.

For years I've been making people laugh. So in a way, I guess you could call me a "hero." I might even have saved some lives! You can thank me with bottles of Kettle One.

Posted: May 25 2010, 07:30 AM by chip


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