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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May 2012 - Posts

Lousy Ventriloquist is Good Marketer

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

Non-Marketing News: A Florida woman is recovering from bullet wounds to her legs after she was hit accidentally by her boyfriend while hog hunting.

The couple, both 52, was at Cowart Hunt Camp in Flagler County when the man heard a noise in the woods and fired, thinking it was a hog. His girlfriend, Lisa Simmons suffered gunshot wounds to both legs Saturday night and was in serious condition. My guess is that the guy is not going to be getting lucky any time soon. Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/04/23/2763520/hunter-thinks-he-hears-a-pig-shoots.html#storylink=cpy

More Gun-related News: A Virginia man accidentally shot himself and his wife while they were at a gun safety class over the weekend. Michael L. Deel, 54, and his wife, Michelle Deel, 49, are recovering from the injuries they suffered during the Saturday firearms safety course, which was reportedly held inside a private home in Roanoke, VA.

The instructor, Thomas Starke, told police he had left the room, heard a shot, and returned to find the Deels injured, the Roanoke Times reported. The Bedford County Sheriff's Office said Deel shot himself in the hand with a .45-caliber handgun. The bullet went through Deel's hand and hit Michelle Deel, seated next to him, in the leg.

Joe Thornton is a Lousy Ventriloquist

This guy is a lousy ventriloquist but a great hockey player. Click here to see a clever ad for the San Jose Sharks.

Tequila Ad Aimed at Women is Spot on

At the end of the ad, this handsome rescue worker looks straight at the camera and says: "Don't call me a hero -- just call me; let me know what's up." I think many women would take a clever monologue that includes references to kitten CPR, antiquing and the dangers of high heels and an actually useful margarita recipe, over more generic female-centric ads.

Sometimes when the marketing geniuses try to tap into the female psyche, they get it all wrong. But sometimes they get it right ... and funny.  Click here to see the Sauza fireman.

If You're Attractive, You Can Travel for Free

"Good looking women travel free." That's the motto of MissTravel, a new dating website that pairs wealthy, worldly men with beautiful women who want to explore exciting destinations but lack the means.

The site breaks members down into two groups: those who are "attractive" and those who are "generous" (there is no third category for women who are good-looking and wealthy, so if you're both, you may be out of luck).

The raspy voice behind the promotional video promises women they can stay at five-star resorts, experience fine dining and "do the fun things travelers do" all for free. The only requirement to make you eligible to find a "travel buddy" is that you be attractive (accounts are subject to approval following photo evaluations).

As for who's footing the bill for these trips, the site says they have thousands of doctors, lawyers, bankers, athletes, executives, entrepreneurs and profession-uncategorized millionaires. If you use this site, let me know how it works out for you.

This Would Have to be an Impulse Buy

It makes sense for a store to place small impulse-buy items on the shelf next to related merchandise. Say, cereal and bananas. Beer and Ping-Pong balls. Cold medicine and tissues. Tampons and chocolate.

Those choices all make sense, but this impulse buy found at a New England CVS left me scratching my head. Yes, those are tubes of Superglue next to condoms.

For My Next "Big Date"

Forget Leo DiCaprio in 3D. The right way to commemorate the 100th year anniversary of the Titanic sinking is definitely giant marionettes controlled by cranes. (I think I'm in love with the beauty pictured above.)

French street theatre company Royal de Luxe put on a ginormous puppet show for Liverpool's Sea Odyssey Giant Spectacular as part of the city's commemoration of the Titanic disaster.

The show took place April 20-22 and moved across several parts of the city. For a video of the puppets working, click here.

Social Media Tips for B2B

(To order this book, click here.)

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

Social Media for Mannequin American B2B Marketers

Here are three simple tips to help ease you into the insanely-overhyped world of social media.  

Social media is media. It's new and it's different, but for the most part, it's media. That means it relates primarily to marketing and communications functions like PR, advertising, and Web development. Lots of people will insist it's more than that. It's not. It's a news source and it's how public figures and companies create a buzz and get the word out.

Social media is an expense, not a source of revenue. In addition to marketing and communications, it can also be a sales expense, i.e. customer service and support, as well as HR. Remember, the number of customers and eyeballs hasn't changed. You still have to select the best method for reaching your targeted audience. Often, social media is not the answer.

As a real communication platform, social media generally sucks. Social media is a set of one-to-many communication platforms. In other words, it vastly overloads our already overloaded communications. If everybody's blasting thousands of posts, updates, tweets, to thousands of followers, connections, associates, how in the world can anybody have the time to actually process even a fraction of it? They can't.

New Hunter and the Bear Video

Last time you saw the hunter and the bear you could change the story and have him tickle the bear, play soccer with the bear, party with the bear... and now the hunter and the bear are back! And just as funny. Click here and laugh.

They're celebrating the bear's birthday party, when one of those pesky viral meteorites comes crashing in. With Tipp-ex you can now time-travel to 2005. Then enter your birth year or any other year and see how the date changes the story. Go ahead ... do it!

Photoshop Gone Wrong  

Here's a messed up ad from Australia. Just how many arms does this guy need?

Avoid a Catastrophe

The copy on this ad says, "Avoid a catastrophe, use Clearex Pimple Treatment Gel."

The concept is a bit of an overreach. But the nail artwork is first class and an attention getter.

Limited New Packaging for Diet Coke

Because nobody wearing Jean Paul Gaultier would be caught dead filling their tummy with sugary substances, Diet Coke is releasing a limited run of Jean Paul Gaultier bottles

Funny Food

Do you have trouble getting your kid to try new foods? The Funny Food Book is just the thing you need.

It's got 365 fun recipe tutorials that are certain to get your picky eater to give the meal a try. Except for the scary ones. The scary ones might prevent the little tyke from ever eating again. So... avoid those.


Personally, I can't eat something if it's smiling at me. Just doesn't seem right.

No More Bald Mice

Has your bare head led you to extreme measures, perhaps shoplifting Rogaine? Well, now you can toss your hat in celebration because scientists have successfully grown hair on a bald mouse. Humans can't be too far behind, right?

Yes, it is creepy to see long black hair sprouting from a bald little mouse, but those smarty-pants Japanese scientists have accomplished something that bareheaded men everywhere will likely be paying close attention to. CBS News says not only were they able to grow hair, but they manipulated the density and color of the locks as well. Researchers successfully grow hair on bald mouse: Humans next? [CBS News]

America's Got Talent Chooses another Ventriloquist

Our buddy Todd Oliver and his dog Erving made it through the first phase of America's Got Talent and will be going on to the show's second round in Las Vegas.

Todd is a great entertainer and one of the nicest guy's you'll ever meet.  All of the animals in Todd's act were saved from shelters. Give him all the support and the votes that you can.

Does This Sell Milk?

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

Milk's Favorite Cookie

What is it with these foreign ads that flagrantly use breasts to try and get our attention? (Okay, in my case it worked.) Here's some spec ad work from a Korean ad agency for Oreo Cookies. I don't know which I want more ... the cookie or the milk?

Meanwhile, above is almost the identical ad for on-line data back-up. But this one at least includes clever copy. Translated it says, "Because nature also provides a backup." Ha! Much better.

Of course milk has nothing on Smart Water, which used a completely naked Jennifer Aniston to sell its product.


Ventriloquists in Advertising

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

Cheez-It Ventriloquist

Gotta love any commercial that uses ventriloquism for a laugh. The immature cheese in this ad expresses itself through ventriloquism.

This Mannequin American Scares Me

Here's an example of how ventriloquists get a bad reputation. This time it's an ad for Miller Lite. And it doesn't do my lineage any favors. In fact, it's downright bad for business.

Big Mac Ad with Willie Tyler

Now here's a vintage McDonald's ad that enhanced the image of ventriloquists ... which isn't an easy thing to do. Click here to see Willie Tyler and Lester promote Big Macs.

Captain Big Shot and the Reverse Ventriloquist

Click here to see a 30 second Captain Morgan ad that uses a "reverse ventriloquist." Personally, I like the idea.

The Reason for it All

And here's the most famous vent of all time, Edgar Bergen in a Parkay margarine commercial with Charlie McCarthy and Mortimer Snerd back in 1978.

A "Magic" Way to Put a Dent in Vent Work

Here's the movie trailer for the "terrifying love story," Magic. This movie did for ventriloquists what Snakes on a Plane did for flying and what Jaws did for swimming in the ocean. Thanks a lot Anthony Hopkins. (By the way ... the puppet was sculptured using Anthony Hopkins as the model.)

Mother's Day Special

I'm sure your mom will be upset that I didn't alert you to this Mother's Day special last week. Tell her I'm sorry.

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