2010, 2011 PRSA WI Paragon Award of Excellence

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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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February 2012 - Posts

Roam Rage

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

I Think I Know This Woman

Margret M. has a warm heart. But when Margret has to pay a large cell phone company $1.45 a minute for roaming, everyone pays! Click here to see this funny ad for Public Mobile.

It's Not a Belly Button

Here's a clever ad for Ed Hardy "Tattoos without needles." No, it's not a belly button.

Eating Cake for Breakfast is Good for You

Good news for the kid in you: Not only can you eat cake for breakfast ... doing so may actually help you keep weight off, a new study suggests.

In the study, obese participants who ate a breakfast high in protein and carbohydrates that included a dessert were better able to stick to their diet and keep the pounds off longer than participants who ate a low-carb, low-calorie breakfast that did not include sweets.

The findings suggest that both meal timing and meal composition play a role in weight loss. Carbs and protein eaten at breakfast may keep us full throughout the day, plus allowing ourselves some sweets helps to stem cravings for these foods. Read more here.

Character Icons Make Great Marketing Tools

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

The Use of Character Icons as Marketing Tools


The firm I work for has a history of creating and using character icons as communications tools for a variety of companies across the country. (In fact, you're reading a column written by a character icon.)

The number one question I'm asked about these characters is "Aren't you afraid of offending someone?" After more than two decades of using character icons as marketing tools, here is my formal response to that popular question.

By their very nature, brand characters straddle the worlds of marketing and entertainment. They are created to attract attention and enhance communications. To survive they must be engaging to the targeted audiences while also carrying the freight of company or product messages. It's a tough balance to maintain over time. But it's possible. We've written a whitepaper on the subject. Click here to read it.

Fallsview Commercial

Here's a great example of how to use humor to underline the message. This commercial for Fallsview Casino demonstrates what it means to have some luck.

Meet the Least Interesting Man

The humorous Dos Equis "Most Interesting Man" campaign has been out there for quite some time, and I laugh at most of the commercial. But check out Breckenridge Brewery's Least Interesting Man. He will bore you to death. But he always drinks beer ... and when he does, he prefers good beer.

Beating Heart Pillows

Another Valentine's Day miss. Here's the scenario. Each person wears a ring sensor and the pillow will glow softly when your lover goes to bed. When you lay your head on it you can hear his or her heartbeat in real time. Check it out if you're really that obsessed.

Now I Know Why I Don't Smoke

Here's an ad from a 1976 Playboy that asks the question, "How come I enjoy smoking and you don't?" Oh, I don't know ... how come your tousled salt & pepper hair looks fantastic and mine looks like pasted on doll's hair? How come I'm staring into your eyes and not at the Surgeon General's warning down there? How come your shirt is unbuttoned and I have to wear turtlenecks? Oh, it's because I'm a Mannequin American and flammable and you're a handsome model who will pimp any product that you're paid to promote.

Six Steps to Becoming a Better Writer

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

News: Kodak has announced they will stop making cameras. If you still own a camera, better take a picture of it with your phone and download it to your computer for posterity.

Six Steps to Becoming a Better Writer

Most business executives are not good writers. It's understandable. Writing is a craft. And as such, it takes special training, experience and critiquing. But most executives have to write every day. So here are a few tips on how to improve your writing so that it reflects better on you ... not to mention getting your points across more effectively.

  1. Learn to organize your thoughts. Sounds simple and it is. But many people skip this step.
  2. One way to become an accomplished business writer is to read. I'm not talking about blogs, news stories, tweets and texts. I'm talking about books. You need to read literature and lots of it. Why? Because it'll inspire you and you'll learn different styles and methods by osmosis, whether you realize it or not.
  3. Find a friend, a co-worker or an outside source who can quickly review your writing and edit it for you. You can learn a lot by going over the edits of an expert.
  4. If you haven't already, you should take a business writing class or get some tutoring. The goal is to learn how to present your ideas in writing as concisely, conversationally and forcefully as possible. You'll learn all sorts of tips on how to keep your writing crisp, expressive and memorable. In other words, it's nothing like what they taught you in school.
  5. Buy yourself a copy of "The Elements of Style" by Strunk and White. Read it and refer to it. It's pretty much the bible for any writer.
  6. Keep a copy of the AP Style Book on your desk and refer to it often.

What do Sharpies and Weddings Have in Common?

You'll probably see this one coming ... but it's still funny. Sharpie permanent markers are one of the most iconic office supplies ever. But this humorous ad is not for Sharpie used in offices. It's for the Sharpie used at bachelor parties.

One Funny Beer Commercial

What happens in the club stays in the club. Norte Beer presents the first beer cooler that detects when a photo is being taken and flashes a bright light to ruin the picture. Is it real? I have no idea. But it's funny as heck. Click here.

Presenting the Beer Bro-Quet

This is too late for Valentine's Day ... but ladies you should bookmark this for next year. This hand-arranged Beer Bro-quet contains 10 mini cans of Kirin Ichiban Beer.

Check out Kirin's Beer Bro-Quet. It'll certainly put your man in good spirits.

Finally ... a Way to Show off Butt Cleavage

Forget the crack in your rack, how about that crack in your back?

I'm talking about that gluteal cleft. Ladies can show off their booty crack with this Super Sexy Dress (aka Butt Cleavage Dress) by Etsy seller LinaSpyroS. Be sure to check out Lina's shop for additional fashion forward products, like ... wait, a jeweled G-string that comes with earrings to match?! I guess dreams really do come true.

Will Ferrell Super Bowl Ad

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

Will Ferrell Super Bowl Ad

Old Milwaukee rolled out a new TV commercial starring comedian Will Ferrell during the Super Bowl. You probably didn't see it though, as it only ran in one place-the country's second-smallest TV market, North Platte, Neb.

According to BusinessWeek, despite its tiny TV audience, the Old Milwaukee ad managed to outperform some of the nationally broadcast Super Bowl commercials in an increasingly important metric of Super Bowl advertising bragging rights: chatter on social-media networks.

On Sunday night, a user named Daddymcc uploaded a low-quality copy of the Ferrell commercial onto YouTube, which was subsequently linked to by Old Milwaukee's official Facebook page. At this time, the video has been viewed 564,154 times. Nicely done.

It Sucks to be Short

Ovaltine has come out with a new series of print ads which point out that it "Sucks to be Short."  The idea is that Ovaltine will help youngsters to grow. The ad above is my favorite of the bunch.

A 30 Second Time Waster

This is an old trick, but it's still fun. Stare at the colored dots on this girl's nose (picture below) for 30 seconds, then quickly look at a white wall or ceiling (or anything pure white) and start blinking rapidly. Congratulations, you just processed a negative with your brain!


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