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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March 2012 - Posts

Build Website Traffic by Sharing

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

Build Website Traffic Through Sharing

Part of driving traffic back to your site involves building trust with prospects by offering value in the form of shared content. This includes sharing content created by others as well as that by your company.

In the B2B world, many subscribe to the idea that 8 out of 10 links you provide should be to well-sourced content from outside of your company. The other two should point back to your pearls of wisdom.

Remember, you are trying to build trust and provide value to prospects with this information. The better quality content you share, the more likely people are to click on your links. This perception of quality will also be applied to your content, thereby increasing the number of clicks.

Non-Marketing News

Las Vegas: It's topless pool season in Las Vegas. So now, "double down" has two meanings.

Guess what? If you're stealing camera equipment that is currently turned on, you're most likely going to get your mug caught on video. Thieves stole 12 surveillance cameras from a health clinic recently in Yuba County, and didn't realize that they were going to be caught on video. What?!? Officials have identified one of the men on tape and arrested him, but are still looking for the other.  

Save on Gas with Cash. It's not legal for a store to charge an extra fee or percentage when customers pay by credit card, but it is legal to offer a discount to customers who pay in cash. The flaw in this plan, at least in New York state, is that some Long Island gas station operators recently hiked the price per gallon of gas a dollar, then offered a one-dollar discount per gallon to customers who pay cash.

At a station in Brentwood, N.Y., for example, the posted cash price was $3.859 per gallon earlier this week, but credit card customers were charged $4.859. The average price at other stations was around $3.85 at the time. Outrage as gas cash-credit gap reaches $1

Come to Daddy (NSFW)

What's better than an ad that uses two very foul mouthed cockroach "puppets" and a jogging Kate Upton? Nothing!

Zoo York is a company that designs and markets skateboards, apparel, sneakers and accessories. This ad is too foul for TV so I assume it's only running on YouTube and somewhere else on the web. But it's funny. NSFW because of language. (Turn your computer volume down.)

Improve Your DIY Job Satisfaction

Here's a cute, funny Dulux paint ad about how a DIY'er can improve their bedroom ... and you know what that leads too.

Pay More ... Get Less

PepsiCo, owner of the Tropicana line of juice products, has found a new way to squeeze revenue from the orange branch of their family tree. Leveraging consumer's misplaced fixation on low-calorie, low-sugar alternatives, Tropicana has been selling Trop50, a juice with "50% less sugar and calories."

This doesn't sound like an unreasonable idea until you realize what this offering is - your same cup of juice, just in a watered-down version. Yes, the key addition here is water. Naturally, Tropicana is not decreasing the cost for the beverage, instead imposing an apparent "convenience fee" for diluting your drink.

Using Humor to Deal with Serious Subjects

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

Serious Subjects Don't Always Have to be Dealt with Seriously

This foreign ad is about preventing testicular Cancer. Pretty serious subject. But they use humor to get the point across. I bet you watch it twice!

Superman Gets an Owie

Even the sharpest vision weakens with age. Click here to see the consequences.


Posted: Mar 28 2012, 07:30 AM by chip | with no comments
Filed under: ,
How Humor Improves B2B Communications

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

3 Reasons Why Humor Improves Communication

Rarely do you hear people coming out of a business presentation saying: "That person was hysterical!" That's because most of us try to make sure that all of our business communications have a "professional" image. As a result, our messages are delivered in an uninteresting and undistinguished manner.

Doing the expected doesn't help you to connect emotionally with your audience ... customers, prospects or employees. And it doesn't differentiate your company from everything else that's out there. It results in boring and forgettable websites, newsletters, PowerPoint presentations, videos and blogs.

That's why when it comes to business communication, humor is a worthy aspiration.

Humor establishes rapport - People do business with people they like. If they smile and laugh every time you're near, they associate you with happiness. Combined with knowledge, humor enhances expertise, demonstrating confidence and strength. In general, people love to laugh. Used correctly, humor establishes likeability and trust.

Humor triggers memorability - Humor registers in the brain and triggers endorphins that encode for memory. This is why a childhood joke exists in our repertoire decades after introduction and why we remember funny commercials long after they've aired. Humor helps make your serious points memorable.

Humor creates alignment - Humor creates a shared, positive experience.

If you want people to like and remember you in a consistent and productive manner, make ‘em laugh! B&M can help.

Non-Marketing News

Lottery Winners on Food Stamps: Following last year's revelation that a Michigan man who won $2 million in the state lottery remained on welfare, there are now reports that a woman who snagged $1 million in winnings is doing the same. She tells the Daily Mail that she needs $200 a month in government assistance because she's got more money, more problems and no job. "I feel that it's okay because I mean, I have no income and I have bills to pay," she said. "I have two houses."

Along the same lines: A couple has spent five years in a $1.2 million mansion without ever making a mortgage payment. It takes an average of 634 days to foreclose on a home in Maryland, but this couple has managed to live in their 4,900 square-foot abode on the Potomac River for five years. The couple, former house-flippers turned foreclosure-fighters, spent very little on the $1.2 million property that they purchased in late 2005. Not only did they get a mortgage for $1 million, they also found another lender to foot the down payment. When the first $7,600 mortgage payment came due in 2007, the couple, who owned several buildings at the time, decided to focus on keeping up their income properties rather than the one they lived in. "People think, because you haven't paid, you must be a bad person. But not everything is black and white," says the husband, who is still hoping an investor will swoop in, buy the property and then sell it back to the couple. A million-dollar mortgage goes unpaid for years while couple fights foreclosure [Washington Post]

Funniest Razor Ad Ever

DollarShaveClub.com is a real company ... with a really funny commercial. So funny it probably offends people. But I still like it. Almost makes me wish I shaved instead of using sandpaper.

Virgin Mobile Goes Funny Again


This new ad for Virgin Mobile takes a look back at Richard Branson's life and his forward-thinking ways. It's a bit creepy but it's also funny. The ad supports the brand's A Higher Calling campaign and touts the provider's $35 all you can eat plan.

Canadian "Snack" Uses Flat Chickens

FlatJacks. Apparently, this product which was launched about a year ago in Canada by Janes Family Foods uses flat chickens ... and they're fast!

Stop the Gas War ... Before You Injure Your Wife

This print ad for Carboveg Zengarin Vitamin and Herb supplement is humorous and a little disturbing. Maybe his wife just thinks she's dreaming?


Where Should B2B Spend Social Media Time?

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

Where Should You Spend Your Social Media Time?

Stop spending time on social networks your target customers don't populate. It's an unnecessary time-suck to maintain a presence on every single social network that crops up. Before you sign up for a social media account, conduct research to determine if your target customers even congregate there. Furthermore, adjust the amount of time you spend on each social network accordingly. It doesn't matter if Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin are the most popular social networks overall. If your target audience spends more time on a niche social media platform specific to your industry than they do on a 'popular' one like Facebook, spend more of your time there, too.

Non-Marketing News:

Could Relatives Ask to Obtain This from Departed Loved Ones? A Denver-area funeral home embalmer was recently indicted for swiping gold teeth from remains and pawning them. Really? But now that I'm thinking about it, why should that gold go with the departed? Can relatives ask for it to be removed? Kinda creepy ... but it's $!

Bad Time to Dine and Dash: A man in New Mexico stands accused of trying to feed and flee an Applebee's during a Tip-A-Cop fundraiser featuring police officers as hosts and wait staff. Nice timing.

It Ain't for Choir Boys

Did you know that when bourbon ages, the portion that's lost to evaporation is called the Angel's Share? Did you know the portion that stays trapped in the wood when the barrel is emptied is called the Devil's Cut? Well, at least according to Jim Beam it is. The ad is for Jim Beam's Devil's Cut.

Using a Negative as a Funny Positive

Charlie Sheen stars in the new Fiat 500 Abarth commercial alongside Catrinel Menghia who also appeared in Fiat's Super Bowl ad. The ad actually makes Sheen's bad boy image look good as he asks "What do I get for good behavior?"

Scan With Care

From Copyranter: "Scan with care" ... because if a cop sees you, you're under arrest. Also, if a deer runs out in front of the sleepy truck driver, you could have part of the code permanently imprinted on your dead face.

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