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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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August 2011 - Posts

B2B Should Try Pay Per Click

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

Why Hasn't Your B2B Tried Pay Per Click?

Most marketers are familiar with "pay per clicks." Yet many B2B companies haven't tried it, yet. Why not?

You can buy the most popular search terms associated with your products or services and you only pay when a user clicks on your link. When someone clicks on your link, they're interested. The cost per click will depend on the popularity of the search terms you select. And you can target your audience by region if you're seeking leads from specific geographical areas.

At the very least, you'll find out how many people are looking for what you're selling. And at the most you'll boost your company's recognition and sales. The majority of our clients use pay per clicks for portions of their businesses.

Businesses Look Better Online

MWEB hosting service uses a series of print ads depicting the advantages of an online presence. This example supposedly shows the bricks and mortar office of Prosperum Wealth Management. The tagline says "Businesses look better Online. Get yours connected with MWEB uncapped hosting." Something frightfully truthful about this ad.

Another Effective Visual

I reluctantly have to give PETA kudos for this one ... clever copy promoting the importance of having your pets spayed or neutered. Oh, and the visual may catch some attention too.

Best Wife Ever

This commercial for a Lotto game in Europe wouldn't fly in the U.S. because it involves a visually handicapped person. But it's entertaining non-the-less.

Cell Phone Karma ... It's Real

This is from 2006 ... but it's still funny as heck!

What Visual Should We Use to Sell Ties?

Marketing's reliance on the female form to sell absolutely everything hasn't evolved much since this ad for Botany Ties first appeared in 1946. I'm not complaining ... I'm just saying, "When you can't come up with an original idea, put a half naked lady in the ad."

Believe it or Not!

From Clinton Detweiler's blog: The January 1, 2002 issue of Weekly World News carried the amazing headline about a ventriloquist in a coma whose dummy was still talking! It supposedly took place in Germany. According to the article, ventriloquist Ernest Fleener was rushed to the hospital as a result of an auto accident where he spent a month in a deep coma. But doctors and nurses reported that they heard a muffled voice coming from the patient's suitcase, requesting a "sponge bath", and "Hey girlie, carve your phone number into my arm!", or "Wooden you like to spend some time with me?"

Theories as to what caused such a highly unusual occurrence included that there was an unstable ion storm passing over northern England at the time of the accident. "Scientists conjecture the powerfully charged particles could have caused an event referred to as the 'Pinocchio Syndrome,' named for particular effects these ions have on wood."

Believe it ... OR NOT! I tend to lean towards "NOT!" But it's true that this report was actually published in the Weekly World News. That must be a very reliable source of information.

OK Go and the Muppets

If you're a Muppet fan you'll love this. The band OK Go has released a new video for its version of the theme song for The Muppet Show. The video features the band alongside Kermit the Frog, Rolf the Dog and more ... it's the ending that's really pretty funny.

The song is from the new Muppet tribute album, The Green Album [iTunes link], in stores now. The album contains covers of various songs from The Muppets, covered by OK Go, Andrew Bird, My Morning Jacket and other artists.

The Muppets are in the midst of a cultural rebirth. In November, Disney is bringing The Muppets to theaters. The film stars Amy Adams, Jason Segel and of course the Muppets themselves.

Small Marketing Moves Can Make a Big Difference

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

Small B2B Marketing Moves Can Make a Big Difference

Business owners can increase sales during these rough economic times by being flexible and doing things they wouldn't ordinarily do, i.e. customization, special orders and letting other companies know that you'll do whatever it takes to win their business. (A prospect can't read your mind, you know.)

Here are three other marketing tips for increasing B2B sales:

  1. Family or locally-owned is good. When times are hard, people tend to become more community oriented. Many companies go out of their way to patronize family or locally-owned businesses, so if that's what you are, promote it.
  2. Appearances matter. When times are hard and your down in the dumps, the last place you want to frequent is a shop with a broken sign, a dingy exterior, or dust all over everything. The same goes for websites that look like crap or with copy that seems to have been written by the owner's spouse. Clean up your mess and look professional.
  3. Nobody has time or patience for incompetence. When a consumer actually walks into your office or picks up the phone and calls with a question, you do not want some clueless ditz with excuses like, "Oh, I'm not sure; I just started here last week and everything's so new to me ..." This isn't the time to cut corners where the rubber meets the road, i.e. where your business meets potential customers.

Marvel at These Pajamas

Marvel Comics has taken Jessica Rabbit's "I'm not bad. I'm just drawn that way." quote and applied it to humans.

Using a comic book solution, Marvel, via Spencer's, is drawing sexy female bodies on their pajamas so that everyone can have the out-of-proportion sex appeal of comic book heroines. Nice optical illusion.

Air Swimmers

You're all set to get on the elevator when the door opens up and out swims a fish!

I sooooooo want one of these. I even went to http://www.airswimmers.com/ but their server was so busy the site had crashed ... so I can't tell you how much they cost. You'll have to visit the site yourself.

There Were a Lot of Ways to Lose a Man in the 50s

The following ads from the 50s are debasing, chauvinistic and pretty darn funny when you think about how they would be received today. Apparently maintaining a relationship in the 50s was totally the responsibility of the woman ... and there were hygiene minefields everywhere.

Because the woman was "the very air he breathes ..." she had to be careful not to have B.O. Veto Deodorant to the rescue.

Apparently only women had bad breath in the 50s. According to the ad: "You may have good looks, nice clothes, a wonderful personality, but they'll get you nowhere if you're guilty of halitosis." They didn't mention that Listerine was originally developed as a scalp treatment.

In the 50s, the lady in slacks was not as appealing as the lady in Hanes. Okay, here's a newsflash ... I'm a chauvinistic Mannequin American because I still buy the premise of this ad. (Send all hate mail to chip.martin@bmpr.com) But still ... the guy's with one woman and is looking at another woman ... that never happens in real life.

Sheboygan ... Surfing Capital of .... Sheboygan

Lake Michigan ... "It's not a lake. It's an inland ocean! Surfers call it the ‘Malibu of the Midwest' ... because of its importance in freshwater surfing."

I once lived in Sheboygan. So naturally after reading the paragraph above, which is on the city's website, I collapsed with laughter. After getting up off the floor, I read on: "With low pressure systems producing high winds and periodic storms, a great surf can kick-up in minutes! Several times a year Lake Michigan produces an open water swell of 24 feet or better." Okay that's seems true. And smart people generally stay away from the lake during those times. I read on ... and it got funny again!

Here's what it says about "Winter Surfing": "Water temperatures of 33 degrees and sub-zero wind chills with moving ice flows and icebergs create a winter adventure only seasoned knowledgeable veteran surfers will enjoy." First of all, I don't know what could possibly be enjoyable about dodging ice floors and freezing your appendages off...  but I do know that as an observer from land I would totally enjoy watching idiots trying to surf Lake Michigan in the winter.

For more information on "the Malibu of the Midwest", click here.

Vent Haven Museum

Every year Dale and I make a trek to Vent Haven Museum in Ft. Mitchell, KY, just outside of Cincinnati, OH. Dale is on the Board of Advisors for the Museum, and my predecessor, Chip Martin #1, resides there (he looks bored).

When you drive from the Cincinnati airport (which is actually in KY) to Cincinnati, you go right past the Museum. So if you're ever in the neighborhood, make plans to drop in.

For more information about Vent Haven, click here.

The "Art" of Bathing


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

"The Wizard of Oz movie is 72 years old. Today, if Dorothy were to encounter men with no brains, no hearts, and no courage, she wouldn't be in Oz, she would be in Congress."

The Art of Bathing

To promote the "art" of bathing (yes, apparently it's an art), British company Soap & Glory installed a 13 foot high, 67 foot long, two ton sculpture in Alster Lake in Hamburg Germany.

Of the installation, Soap & Glory founder Marcia Kilgore said, "At Soap & Glory, we consider it our calling to bring more beauty to the world, and have fun doing it."

I like the idea.

Grotesque Bowling Balls

German TV Channel 13th Street put together a fun stunt to promote their horror programming ... Zombie head bowling balls. Mid-game bowlers' balls were replaced with Zombie balls via the ball returns. Bowlers were understandably surprised ... but kept right on bowling ... and probably right on drinking.

"Baby Wake Up Call"

To promote its baby monitors, Panasonic came up with this rather startling image. And people say my glass eyes look spooky.

If You Have $1,000 You're in the Minority

If you had to fork over $1,000 right now, would you be able to do so without borrowing money or using your credit card? If so, then a new survey from the National Foundation for Credit Counseling says you're in the minority.

According to the NFCC survey, 64% of Americans don't have enough cash available to them to cover a $1,000 emergency.

"It's alarming," a NFCC spokeswoman tells CNN Money. "For consumers who live paycheck to paycheck -- having spent tomorrow's money -- an unplanned expense can truly put them in financial distress."

How Hard is it to Succeed as a Restaurant Owner?

9,450 restaurants closed in the US last year, which is a lot of restaurants. 8,650 of those were independent restaurants. Seems chains are having a better time of it than the little guys.

A Close Shave

Gillette is out with its "More Shaves Than You Can Imagine" campaign with features ads like the one above which is a takeoff from Cast Away, complete with Wilson.


Schick Quattro has countered Gillette with "A whole weekend away from your razor."

You'd think if they were promoting better bikini lines they could have at least used a model in a bikini. I guess we have to rely on beer ads for that.

I'm Not Responsible for What you See

From CopyRanter: In this ad from 2004, Shneider Beer managed to make beer mugs look like lady parts. Say it with me: Breasts ... what can't they sell?

Beach Volleyball is Not about Sex

I'll admit it. I watch women's volleyball ... and my eyes aren't always on the ball. But I'm a marketer so I have a legitimate excuse for staring at the two athletes above.

Shauna Mullin and Zara Dampney are British beach volleyball champs. Recently, Mullin was quoted as saying, "Here in England, we are still stuck at the stage where people think beach volleyball is about sex, not a sport." Hear! Hear! I'm with you! Admire the sport, not the bodies.

On the other hand, that's an interesting statement considering the team has given their derrieres over as marketing "butt boards" to UK bookmakers Betfair for a reported high five-figure sum. The two now sport QR codes on their backsides. Drooling spectators who manage to snap smartphone butt shots are automatically taken to Betfair's website. No, that won't attract any additional attention to their lady parts. Brilliant.

Change the Package ... Not the Product

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

This'll Boost Sales

As Budweiser, the self-dubbed King of Beers, feels competitors chomping away at its spot in suds sales ranks, it has tried a number of things -- like giving away 500,000 freebies. Now the folks at Anheuser-Busch have announced a master marketing stroke that will surely work wonders: A new can.

The new bowtie look - because the first things we associate with Budweiser are Pee Wee Herman and Senator Paul Simon - is Bud's 12th redesign in its 75-year existence.

But don't worry, the new can doesn't mean you should expect anything new inside.

"Budweiser's success is rooted in aspects of the beer that will never change - a crisp, refreshing taste, an unwavering commitment to quality and the enormous pride we take in each batch," said Rob McCarthy, vice president of Budweiser. "Our refreshed packaging design gives Budweiser an updated look, which dramatizes the iconic Budweiser bowtie and incorporates the brand hallmarks that loyal Budweiser drinkers will recognize and appreciate."

Hang on to that dream buddy ... I'm from Milwaukee!

Nicer Apartment ='s Nicer Endings to Your Evenings

It's not a shock that some people find a luxury home ... especially something like a tricked-out, multi-million dollar NYC apartment ... to be a bit of an aphrodisiac, perhaps to the point of overlooking the other person's less attractive qualities. But a NYC real estate broker has decided to do more than just hint at this behavior in its new ad pictured above.

"I don't remember his name, but his apartment ..." is combined with the image of the bottom halves of a male and female, appearing to be in the early stages of a steamy evening. Or maybe she's performing CPR. Hard to tell.

Sadly I haven't found anyone out there who has been that impressed with the interior of my living quarters ... of course, it's just a suitcase.

Eating Healthy Requires More $

You think junk food is expensive? Try eating healthy and your wallet will drain even faster.

While healthy eating may save you money in the long run on health care costs and the expense of buying extra-large sweatpants, meeting the federal government's new nutritional guidelines would require the average American family to spend more on food.

In theory it's possible to eat nutritiously for cheap, but that's not how things are playing out in real Americans' diets. Studying adults in Washington state, researchers found that consuming the government's recommended amount of just one nutrient - potassium - cost  consumers an extra $380 per person, or $1520 per year for a family of four. If you try to follow all of the government's recommendations, you may have to get a second job.

Following Federal Guidelines To Increase Nutrient Consumption May Lead To Higher Food Costs For Consumers

Plenty of Puppets

An ad for Norwegian State Railways featuring Aretha Franklin's "Think" and a large cast of puppets. Click here or on the link above and see if you can count how many puppets are used.

Updated Marketing Placements in Reruns

For the past few years, networks have been digitally inserting ads and product placements for new products into old reruns. DVD episodes of "How I Met Your Mother" frequently contain such marketing placements (above and below).

It raises all sorts of questions about timelines, continuity and subliminal advertising. Personally I don't pay enough attention to be affected by revised background placements.

They're Selling What?

They say a picture is worth a 1,000 words. Well this picture got my attention. But I have no idea what it's trying to say ... 3 for the price of 2?

I think this ad is form Israel and that it's selling Betili furniture. Other that than ... I've got nothing. How about you?

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