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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 2010 - Posts

Corvettes and Girls

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

Another Special Perk for Corvette Buyers

Here's a brilliant idea from Corvette. Knowing full well that it's the roar of the engine that attracts Corvette fanatics; the company now offers buyers the opportunity to build their own roar. That's right, shell out money for a ZR1 or Z06, and you can go to the factory and help build the 638 horsepower 6.2L super-charged LS9 engine for your own car. You'll pay an extra $5800 for the experience, but if you can afford the car, that's a minor add-on for a very cool experience.

Click here to see a video of a Corvette Engine Build.

Corvettes and Girls

As long as we're talking about Corvettes ... the car has long been favored by marketers and the creative people who draw and photograph pinup girls (although sometimes it's often difficult to recognize the car). Below are just a few vintage examples.

Vintage Corvette Ad


And finally, here's a vintage Corvette ad that pretty well says it all. "For ten seconds try to image what owning a Corvette would be like ... you're close, but it's better than that!"

You're Going to Want to See This


Tipp-Ex, an ink-correction fluid, has created one of the most entertaining YouTube campaigns of recent memory.

Click here to see a hunter who encounters a bear at his campsite. (NSFW because of language.)

With just a click, you get to decide what the hunter should do to the bear by typing directions into a field above the video. (The hunter uses Tipp-Ex to erase the word "shoots" and asks you for replacements.) It's clever as heck ... thus the 3 million hits so far.

Here are some suggestions for commands: dances with, sings with, talks to, hugs, draws, fights, doesn't shoot, is shot by, loves, kisses, sleeps with, eats, watches TV with, swims with, plays with, shakes hand with, buys, takes a photo of, fishes with, drinks with, rides, plays football with, spanks, breakdances with, does nothing with, moonwalks with, washes, jumps with, tickles, seduces. Let me know if you come up with any other good ones.  Done by a French agency called Buzzman, according to Adverblog. Via Copyranter.

Signs That Caught My Attention

On the Highway


In a Restroom

In My House


Brains Work Best When They're Hydrated

No one can deny that this ad doesn't stop you in your tracks and draw you in. The 30 second spot shows how a man in the underground sorts his head out by drinking Drench.

Although the man's head is sort of a Picasso-esque Rubik's cube, it looks rather real ... which makes it both creepy and interesting. Click here to see the 30 second spot.

A Meat Dress?


So Lady Gaga, AKA wearer of weird clothes, wore a dress made entirely of raw meat to the VMAs.  When asked for comment, Gaga said, (I'm quoting here) "Well, it is certainly no disrespect to anyone that is vegan or vegetarian. As you know, I am the most judgment-free human being on the earth. However, it has many interpretations but for me this evening. If we don't stand up for what we believe in and if we don't fight for our rights, pretty soon we're going to have as much rights as the meat on our own bones. And, I am not a piece of meat."

My translation department and I worked all night to determine what this statement really meant and we finally came up with the following.

"Hi I am Lady Gaga and I am a tramp.  I take drugs.  I'm weird.  Blah Blah Blah.  Meat dress."


Old Spice Ads Continue to Innovate

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

Old Spice Banner Ads

Kudos to Old Spice for making their internet banner ads almost as clever and attention-getting as their TV commercials.

Good advertising gets people talking. Great advertising talks back. Old Spice's "I'm on a horse" dude now responds to commenters and bloggers directly on YouTube. Here, he's got a message for celebrity blogger Perez Hilton. Funny stuff. I hope they keep this going for a long time.

Sandwich in a Can?

The latest innovation in sandwich technology is the Candwich, the sandwich in a can.

The foodstuff is sold inside a 3oz pop-top can and comes in three delicious flavors: PBJ Strawberry, PBJ Grape, and BBQ Chicken. Thankfully, only the first two have candy surprises inside.

Its makers, Mark One Foods, hope to go into production later this year ... maybe after its inventor clears up that whole nasty SEC lawsuit that alleges he took investors money intended for real estate investments and put it in canned sandwiches instead.

Wine Vending Machines


Pennsylvania recently became the first state to begin selling wine out of large in-store "kiosks."

For the moment, the kiosks are only in two Pennsylvania grocery stores. But the Liquor Control Board will expand that to around 100 more if these prove successful.

The process for buying wine isn't completely automated. After the customer swipes their license and blows into an alcohol sensor, they have to look into a camera so that their identity can be verified remotely by a state employee. The whole process takes about 20 seconds.

Should Have Gone to Specsavers

You'll never see the ending coming ... but you'll laugh. Click here to see the 30 second spot.

How Do You Like It Shaved?

As long as were making innuendo sexual references ... don't let your mind go too far in the gutter for this one or you won't get it right. Click here.

Realistic Museum Promotion

Are they real? Is it CGI? Are they robots? Click here and you'll learn the secret to these incredibly real dinosaurs used in promotions for an Australian museum. 

Puppets in Traffic

Two local artists decide to stage a puppet show in the back of their truck to liven up L.A.'s constant gridlock. Their mission is to make drivers smile. It works and it's legal. But the puppets are rather lame. Click here to see a TV news article on the portable puppet show now playing in rush hour traffic jams.

Wisconsin Corvette Club

For the past 28 years members of the Wisconsin Corvette Club have caravanned to Wisconsin Dells to give rides to people at the Easter Seals Wheelchair Camp.  Rides continue until the sun goes down, and many campers and camp volunteers manage to get rides in every participating car.  It's a small gesture by club members; but a very memorable treat for campers. Kudos to the Vette owners and camp volunteers who help make this event happen.

By the way, if you're in the vicinity of Holz Motors, Inc., at the corner of Hwy. 100 and Forest Home Ave. in  Hales Corners on Saturday, stop in at the WI Corvette Club's 10th Annual Corvettes for Charity, all Corvette, car show. Over 150 Corvettes, live and silent auctions, food, refreshments and more. 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Marketing Tip #15 From Brown & Martin, Inc.

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

Marketing Tip

Look for ways to remind your customers that you don't take them for granted and that they are important to you. Do big things and little things to make them feel special. More than likely, your competitors aren't doing this.

Create appreciation and loyalty with a few well-placed words, a few more thank-you's, frequent communications, free tips and other simple gestures that cost little but deliver reams of value back to you.

What Are We Selling Here?

Pavé, the Luxury Liqueur from Amsterdam is described as an ultra premium, 60 proof clear fruit liqueur infused with a distinct blend of ripened citrus, tropical and passion fruits, hints of caffeine and delicate herbal notes. Distilled from organic fruits through genuine diamonds. It's said that Pavé is designed to be a standalone drink, though it can also be enjoyed with a splash of your favorite mixer. Too bad I'm not able to find any retail locations that sell it here in the U.S.

The website hasn't been updated in quite a while and the facebook page has some interesting photos, but not much more.

But the bottle is cool ...

San Francisco is at it Again

As long as we're on liquor ... from MTLB: San Francisco is proposing a Charge For Harm bill where the manufacturers of alcoholic beverages would pay for the misuse of their products. The city claims it costs $17 million annually for treatment, prevention, medical transport and hospitalization for alcohol related illness.  

But where do you draw the line with product abuse? Should McDonald's reimburse hospitals for all the bypasses they perform? Should GM compensate the city when someone takes out a park bench? If the measure becomes law the affected industries will just pass the cost onto customers via price increases. So the targeted companies are not really harmed ... just us taxpaying consumers.

Vintage Ads

Vintage ads tell us a lot about the character, prejudices and lifestyles of the times. Take the ad below as an example.

In the 50's it was perfectly acceptable to depict two brothers in a drug store at Christmastime contemplating the purchase of a new Zippo lighter for dad. (And bringing their dog into the drug store.) "And you can tell your dad it always works." No worries about kids playing with fire or smokers setting bad examples or dangers of second hand smoke. Simpler times. Fewer rules. Fewer law suits. More tolerance. Less medical knowledge. More common sense.

But ads also reveal the stereotypes and prejudices of the times. Look at the next ad.

Old Fashioned Sexism

Apparently there were no women copy writers in the 1950's. If there were, they would have had to have the same prejudiced opinions as their male counterparts. The 1950's ad above for the Kenwood Chef would never fly today. But it's interesting that the wife appears to be drinking both a bloody Mary and a glass of wine.

Another Vintage Ad

This was just too good to pass up. The copy for this Listerine ad from 1946 starts with "Will the law ever require women who are careless about their breath to wear bells to warn others of their approach?" Are you kidding me?! I think she should have been more worried about that hairdo than her breath.

What if they would have dared infer that men may have halitosis? Would Listerine have gone out of business? What would men have to wear around their necks? A noose?

Who Owns the Nurdles?

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

Who Owns the Nurdles?

Two of our most important toothpaste manufacturers are locked in a legal battle to the death over the future of nurdles.

What is a nurdle? A nurdle is that wave-shaped squirt of toothpaste that appears on toothpaste packages.

The Aquafresh people are suing the Colgate people for using a similar nurdle, and the Colgate people are suing the Aquafresh people because, hey jerks, you're not the only ones in town who like nurdles, and you, the consumer, are caught square in the middle of an old-fashioned toothpaste marketing shootout. "A picture of a nurdle is important because the oral care aisle is so crowded," reports the WSJ.

New Sears Blue Crew Website Hits the Mark

Sears recently launched their Sears Blue Crew HQ Website. It's a futuristic "star trek" panel that serves as the retailer's portal to all its online properties, including: Sears Yard Guru, Sears Chef Challenge, Appliance Matchmaker, Blue Crew Members, Product Categories, and more.

It even has links to funny videos involving the Blue Crew. Obviously, this is a marketing ploy to promote all of its launched micro-sites and place it all in one central location for "ease and convenience," as Sears likes to say.

I think it's a good idea. The layout has a cool "news hook" to it, but the actual Website/portal sometimes makes it difficult to find all of Sears microsites without a lot of clicking. But when you do find them, it's usually worth the effort.

Allen Solly

Once again I admit to not understanding a thing about fashion marketing. Enter Allen Solly, men's and women's wear. Tag line: "My World, My Way."  Well "my way" is to say Allen Solly's web site left me confused, frustrated and feeling sorry for the person who was responsible for approving it. But the company includes a puppet reference in their ads, so I'll just let it go.

Prepare for Even More Erectile Dysfunction Ads

The Viagra patent is set to expire in 2012, after which other drug companies will be free to sell generic versions of the drug's active ingredient, Seldenafil.

But apparently low doses of the erectile dysfunction drug can help children stricken by a rare lung disorder. This could earn Pfizer a six-month extension on the patent. Considering that Pfizer made $1.89 billion from Viagra in 2009, an extra six months of exclusive sales would be a huge financial windfall for the company ... and delay the inevitable onslaught of commercials for new erectile dysfunction products.    

Nothing to do With Marketing

A fellow Mannequin American sent me this link to "Boobies and Kitties". It's one minute of both ... alone and together ... and I have to admit ... it made me laugh ... but it has nothing to do with marketing, puppets or vent, so view at your own risk. Probably NSFW.

And as long as we're including offensive material just for the heck of it, here's a link to "99 Words for Boobs".

Pole Dancing for Kids?

Claiming it's just gymnastic exercise and has no sexual connotation-plus the class is open to boys-the UpYerPole pole-dancing academy offers classes to kids as young as six. Child fitness: good. Pole writhing: questionable?

BTW, here's a link to a clip from the U.S. Poll Dancing Championship, 2009. Seriously, it's a sport.


But the U. S. women could learn something from these male, Indian Pole Gymnists. Click here to see these guys in action and to see the size of their pole ... so to speak. It's amazing that they're groins remain intact.

New Taxes That May Be Coming Your Way

States need more of your money so that they can continue to spend more. Kiplinger tracked down 10 of the zaniest state tax laws that could be homing in on your wallet any legislative session now:

Shoe repair -- The Pennsylvania state legislature is looking to add a 6 percent sales tax to the service.

Watch repair and tailoring -- New York is considering taxing both at 4 percent.

Bowling -- 26 states are already taxing the pseudo sport and several more, including Nevada and New Mexico, are looking to join the fray.

Golf -- Kentucky wants a 6 percent sales tax on greens fees.

Pool cleaning -- Indiana wants to join several other states in adding a 6 percent sales tax to what you pay your pool boy.

Gym memberships -- Alabama wants your license to sweat to cost 4 percent more.

Horseback riding -- Arizona aims to make horse owners pay 5.6 percent more to board horses on farms.

Interior decorating -- Oregon, Colorado and New Jersey want to tack on anywhere from 2 to 6 percent in taxes on pro interior decorator services.

Large vehicle rentals -- Louisiana may add a 4 percent tax to rentals of buses or large trucks.

Here Come the Judges

For the second time Dale has been selected to be one of the judges for the Axtell Video Challenge. (He's third from the left in the top row, above.)

This year's Grand Prize is a Animatronic, Hands-Free Tocan Puppet valued at $5,000.  Dale will judge alongside Nina Conti, Mark Wade, Steve Petra, Bob Abdou and other ventriloquists and puppeteers from around the world.

Any amateur or professional performer - of any age may participate. All puppet characters in "Puppet Video" or "Ventriloquist" Categories must be made by Axtell Expressions.  All magic items used in the "Magic" Category must be Axtell magic.

Click here for more information.

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