2010, 2011 PRSA WI Paragon Award of Excellence

About this blog

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.
My Background
What I Do
About Brown & Martin, Inc.

Email Updates


February 2011 - Posts

Valentine Marketing Mishaps

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

Sorry I Missed This Valentine Offer

An adult video and toy shop in Alabama made some news with its Valentine's Day promotion that allowed customers to turn in their firearms and get sex toys in return. According to the ad above from the Pleasures [NSFW] website customers could pop into the Huntsville location and get store credit "equal to the assessed value of their gun."

Did you know that people who keep vibrators in their home are 58% more likely to throw their vibrator at a family member than at a burglar?

Another Missed Opportunity

Here's another Valentine gift idea I missed ... this one from Phantasm, "a soft erotic game that brings partners closer together." The tagline, "It's impossible to get her out of your mind," seems to support the visual quite well. Too bad someone just slapped the copy on whitespace. It probably would have taken all of 30 seconds to artistically put the copy over the photo.

Protect Your Chicken from Dokken

This 30 second spot for the antivirus firewall, Norton, made me lol.

You may wonder what "Protect your chicken from Dokkem," has to do with an antivirus firewall. This ad, along with several others using a similar theme, answers that. They're all pretty funny.

It'll all make sense after you watch this clip featuring Dolph Lundgren versus a unicorn.

John Makes Me Want to go to Newfoundland

From the department of tourism for Newfoundland Labrador, Canada. You can even watch John's video on the website. Where else would you find the "highest moose population density?"

Stop Dreaming

The tagline says, "Stop Dreaming." (The photo seems to say, "Stop scaring the bejeezus out of the patients.")

Usually I'd say that dreaming is a good thing. But in the case of Harley Davidson, it's better to own one than to just dream about owning one.  (By the way, Dale's 2000 Harley Davidson Springer Softtail is for sale for $9,800. It's nice. I've ridden in the saddle bag a couple of times.)

Go Daddy Puppets

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

Show Me Your Domains

Web hosting provider GoDaddy.com is known for their provocative commercials. This year they decided to take a slightly less risqué approach with some puppets created by Furry Puppet Studio.

Not sure why they went the puppet route, but I'm glad they did. Click here to see the "Obscene Start" puppet commercial that relies heavily on computer-related double entendres.

If you're in to puppets, click here to see the making of the puppets and the commercial.

Back to Sex in Advertising

From AdRants: Ministry of Paintball, known as the UK's biggest paintball company, takes a page out of the Sex Sells manual with an ad that places hotness front and center for a product that has absolutely nothing to do with hotness.

Featuring a lady wearing a camouflage print bikini (to help her blend into her surroundings) while holding some heavy paintball artillery, the double entendre headline, "It's time to play," cuts to the heart of the matter. (And she "plays" in heels.)

Surprisingly the company offers more than just a sexy image. It makes an actual offer. The brand is offering 85% off to those who choose to engage in some play. While it's unclear whether or not customers will get to play with anyone even remotely resembling the player in the ad, I don't think anyone will complain because 85% off is a pretty big discount.

And don't think I didn't notice that the woman in the ad has 85 percent of her clothes off. A nifty analogy if you ask me.

It doesn't get much better than hot women in shorts skirts selling liquor. Now that's high quality creative. Must have taken at least 3 minutes to think this one up.

The Angostura Rum ad above mocks Scotland's kilt-wearing men with the headline, "In Scotland, men dance in skirts. In Trinidad, men dance with women in skirts."

Of course, the Scottish are ticked off calling this ad an affront to their country's choice of dress. But I thought the Scottish liked to drink and laugh a lot. Oh wait. That comment might be misconstrued as stereotyping. Sorry.


Of course no group uses sex to get attention better than PETA. Double entendre or blatantly offensive, PETA routinely sacrifices women's dignity for the sake of its cause. And now they claim that "Eating meat can cause impotence." 

Where Did This Cross Promotion Come From?

Our firm has faced its share of challenges when it comes to cross promotions. But I have to say, the packaging of Duracell batteries with a free Glue Stick, has even me a bit confused in the thinking behind it.

From Mr. D's Daily Ventriloquist Blog

The copy below is reprinted from Clinton Detweiler's Blog. The photo is so old that I barely remember when it was taken ... and I'm sure that Dale doesn't remember it at all. I think we both had colds and didn't want to spread our germs.

From Mr. D's Blog: With the 2011 Ventriloquist ConVENTion coming soon I was thinking back on some of the events from past conVENTions, and the picture above came to mind. I believe the year was about 1986. Dale Brown and Chip were featured on one of the evening shows and when they walked onstage and began their routine wearing dust masks, it received one of the largest laughs I've heard from a convention audience.


Mattress Ads Could be Better


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

Mattress Ads Put Me to Sleep

From CopyRanter: This ad for Shivam Deep Sleep Mattresses says, "Puts even your worries to sleep." And apparently Tiger Woods has a lot of worries. A similar ad for the company uses Barack Obama.

Considering sex is used to sell absolutely everything you'd think someone could come up with more entertaining ideas for mattress ads. In truth, most of them are pretty lame. But here are four that caught my attention

The Good

This 30 second ad for Pfister mattresses is one the funniest mattress commercials I've seen in a while. "Don't let your partner interrupt your dreams" is the appropriate tagline.

The Bad

Here's the worst attempt at humor (see it rising in the lower right corner?) in a mattress ad for Ikea Mattress.

The Clever

While this Super Bowl ad for Sealy wasn't actually humorous, the tagline is ... "Whatever you do in bed, Sealy supports it."

The Funny ... Really ... It's Funny

And the funniest mattress ad ever is this one for the Mattress Megaplex (not real).

Funny Ads from Cars.com

From AdRants: There's a burping car ... there's a car that has a fat butt ... there's a topless car ... and there's a car that wants to get it on with another car. And that's just one of Cars.com commercials. It's funny. In the other commercial it's all about sacrifice ... and it's funny too.

The jokes are comical and the ads work at entertaining you, drawing you in and making Cars.com memorable to you. You can view the spots on the Cars.com website. They're funny enough to make it worth your while.

Wisconsinites Are in Debt

Delawareans lead the nation in average consumer debt, according to a new report (A lot of credit card companies are headquartered in Delaware because of the state's relaxed attitude towards usury and their low taxes), and Wisconsin residents made the top ten of those of those in dept. In Delaware, $20,233 is the average per-person consumer debt load, and the next 9 states aren't that far behind:

State - Average Consumer Debt

1. Delaware - $20,233
2. Rhode Island - $20,130
3. Maine - $19,454
4. Alaska - $19,225
5. Colorado - $18,811
6. South Dakota - $18,707
7. North Carolina - $18,536
8. Connecticut - $17,334
9. Wisconsin - $16,903
10. Alabama - $16,591

Delaware, Rhode Island residents have most debt

Dunham Will be Back in Wisconsin

We'll be hanging out with Jeff Dunham on Sunday, March 6th (and our friends, the Kellys) prior to Jeff's show at the Alliant Center in Madison, WI.  I think a few seats are still available.

Jeff's autobiography," All By My Selves" is still on the Best Sellers' list and the book givers readers a behind the curtain look at how he turned a tired, vaudevillian art form into something truly modern and hip. (Hey! I'm hip! Thanks to Jeff. No thanks to Dale.)

Not only does Jeff show how he developed his characters and how his act has evolved, but he also shares details of his life as a working comedian and family man on the road. (By the way, if you buy the book, Dale will probably be glad to sign the page where he's mentioned.)

Marketing Should Tell a Story

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

The Best Marketing Tells a Story

Even if you have the best product or service on the planet, it's still difficult to get people to give you the time of day. And trust me; they won't pay attention if all you do is talk about yourself. But if you can tell a credible, compelling story, you can capture the imagination of your audience and sometimes, an entire industry.

If your story includes emotional elements, it will help to make your message clearer and more memorable. Emotion comes with the bonus of giving prospects a reason to talk about you and your business. And emotion is much more effective than logic at triggering the circuits in the brain that activate behavior and decisions.

Let Them Play ... Their Commercial

The NFL Players Association tried to buy some airtime the day before the Super Bowl on CBS's College Sports Network, but CBS is refusing to air their minute-long commercial. Intended to stir fans' emotions before the impending owners' lockout, the ad shows an empty stadium and asks the NFL to "let them play." The union says CBS, which airs NFL games, is kowtowing to the will of the league.

The Hollywood Reporter quotes a CBS source that said the commercial made the network nervous.

I was able to ferret out a copy of the commercial. Click here to see it.

Would You Eat This?

Scientists believe that a species of sea cucumber living off the British coast could become a lucrative culinary export. Sea Cucumbers breathe through their anuses, can liquefy their bodies and act as waste collectors of the seabed.

A project will begin this year to see whether it is possible to harvest commercial quantities of sea cucumbers ... which are animals not plants ... from beneath fish farms where the seabed is laden with organic detritus. I personally rate its flavor as slightly lower than phlegm, the texture of which it closely resembles.

Super Bowl Rings

I'm a Cheese Head Mannequin American. So the recent hoopla in Title Town has been a nice distraction from the sucky winter weather.

I ran across this photo of past Super Bowl rings.

For more Super Bowl ring info and for bigger photos of each ring, click here.

The NFL pays up to $5,000.00 per ring, with up to 150 rings per team, depending upon the fluctuating cost of gold and diamonds. If the rings are over the $5,000 limit, the team owners must make up the difference.

Hollywood Walk of Stars

If you've ever been to Hollywood's Walk of Stars, you know that the sidewalk is usually packed with tourists. Pedestrians trying to navigate through the throng must be ever alert not to trip over idiots who kneel down to have their pictures taken with celebrities' stars.  At least that was Dale's take on things when he visited the place prior to this year's Rose Bowl game.

His attitude quickly changed when by chance, he glanced down and saw Edgar Bergen's star right in front of the Kodak Theater, which houses the Academy Awards. Dale immediately got all touristy on me and asked that I take his photo with the star.  I took my time so that at least 6 people tripped over him.

But I guess every vent acts the same way when they find Bergen's star. Here's a recent photo of our friends Jimmy Nelson (N.E.S.T.L.E.S.) and Tony Award winner Jay Johnson, acting all touristy (and Jay lives there).

By the way, stars must pay for their "stars" on the Walk of Fame (including maintenance) and they must show up for the unveiling ceremony. The latter rule was established after Barbara Streisand was a no show for the unveiling of her star. (There's a surprise.)

The Jim Henson Studios on La Brea Ave. are a short distance from the Hollywood Walk of Fame. I tried to get my picture taken in front of the studios but the bus driver refused to stop. I don't think he likes Mannequin Americans shouting "There's Kermit! There's Kermit!" in his ear.

The studios were originally constructed by Charlie Chaplin in 1917. Chaplin made footprint impressions in the hardening concrete of a sidewalk outside one of his sound stages and inscribed it with his signature and date. The inscription is now located at the late Red Skelton's home in Palm Springs, but the footprints remain outside one of the Henson studios.

Chaplin filmed several of his great movies at this studio between 1918 through 1952, including such classics as "Gold Rush" in 1925 and "The Great Dictator" in 1939. On occasion, Chaplin also rented his studio out; for example, Greta Garbo shot her final screen test at Chaplin Studios in May of 1949.

Chaplin sold the studio in 1957 and it has had several owners since then including Red Skelton.

In November of 1999 the Henson family purchased the property and after an extensive remodel, The Jim Henson Company made the studio its new home on May 1, 2000.

That's the end of my history lesson for today.


More Posts Next page »