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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December 2012 - Posts

How to Cultivate Relationships with Reporters

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

Help Reporters if You Want to Cultivate Relationships

Want to cultivate relationships with reporters? Here's how. Give the reporter two things of value to THEM before you request one of value to you.  Give a reporter a quick note that says, "Great article today! Loved your points about X and X" or "Hey did you see the news on X? Thought you'd be interested" before ever pitching them on a client or idea.

If your B2B company wants to build relationships with reporters, here are some additional tips.

  • Don't be afraid:  Reporters need you as much as you need them - especially if represent an awesome, sought-after company.  They are being challenged to churn out content FAST and they're often relying on others to provide insight, quotes, access to spokespeople and in some cases, help educate them on a complicated or new (to them) topic - all by deadline. It's a mutually beneficial relationship so don't be afraid to make that first contact - you might be surprised.
  • Get connected:  Connect with reporters on LinkedIn.  Follow them on Twitter or Google+ and subscribe to their feeds.
  • Share reporters' news - and not just when it's yours:  You have a reporter friend and they just wrote about your client and you're PUMPED so you like it, tweet it, send it to your Mom. Your reporter friend appreciates this because they want more web traffic to their article and in many cases today, their boss is counting how many hits, RTs, comments, etc. that article receives.  On several occasions I've actually had reporters email me after coverage hits to let me know that "The story got X number of click-throughs" and then thanked me for sharing it on LinkedIn or Twitter.  But it's not just YOUR coverage that should be shared -you should be consistently reading your media "friendlies" and sharing their work with your network.  Reporters recognize this and will not forget you when it comes time to write another story.

Hilarious Axe High Maintenance Girl

Somehow I missed this highly entertaining Axe ad from last March. It's on this year's top ten list of worst ads for women. Come on ladies. Get a sense of humor. This ad is hilarious.

At Least the Call is Free

Another funny commercial. Here's an entertaining ad from NetCom, a Norwegian mobile phone operator. And if you like the first one, here's another equally funny ad from 2008.

Because Animals Love to Surprise ...

I'm not in to cats (they think I'm a scratching post) so I love this print ad. The tagline for the Fiat Panic Brake Assistance System says, "Because animals love to surprise." Love the cat with the garbage can cymbals. We can only guess whether or not the car will be able to stop in time.

Fascinating Miniatur Wunderland

This isn't marketing related, but it's very cool. In the late 1990s, twin brothers Frederik and Gerrit Braun of Germany decided to sell their successful nightclub, unload their hit record label and go into model trains. Everyone thought they were nuts-but the brothers were able to secure a loan for two million German marks, which they used to lease part of an empty, three-story warehouse in Hamburg, and start building their dream, called Miniatur Wunderland. Since opening in 2001, Wunderland has grown to become the largest model train collection in the world, with 930 trains consisting of over 14,450 wagons running on over eight miles of track. Click here to see this fascinating tourist attraction.

Broken into eight sections inspired by real-world locations like Germany, Scandinavia, Switzerland and America, as well as a fictional town called Knuffingen, this "miniature wonderland" features over 215,000 model people engaged in every activity imaginable-from everyday jobs to picnicking in the park to committing crimes and, yes, even tiny little scale-model sexcapades. While many figures stand frozen in time, about 200 animated scenarios can be started at the push of a button by any of the one million annual visitors to this very popular tourist destination.

In addition to trains, there are 250 computer-controlled vehicles that scoot around the streets, including fire trucks dispatched on a regular basis to handle miniature emergencies.

Questionable Christmas Ads


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

A Collection of Questionable Christmas Ads

The Nativity Play

According to the top YouTube commenter: The script for this ad was approved by the Church of England. It was only shown on TV three times. It was banned because of the last words, "It's a girl." The Church didn't mind this. Seems the public did, though. (I love the three kings.)

Veet for Christmas

Veet is the world's #1 down-there depilatory product. But as far a giving it as a Christmas gift ...?

A Playboy Christmas

An ad for Playboy's Christmas edition.

A Lynx Bullet Christmas

For Lynx Bullet, which I assume is a breath spray, this ad features a "69" snow angel. I wouldn't want to be the one on the bottom.

A Creepy Kris Kringle

Here's a creepy Kris Kringle via the Swedish Association of Sexuality Education, which sells all sorts of sex-related paraphernalia.

A Questionable Stella Ad


I don't quite get this Christmas ad for Stella beer. Okay, Rudolph is mounted behind the bar ... so did his demise drive Santa to drink? It doesn't seem to have any kind of uplifting message for the holidays. Any ideas?

Merry Chrstams from Chip Martin



Most Popular 2012 Commercial

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

Unusual Baby Names for 2012

The American baby-naming crisis was already getting out of hand with names like Jaydien being thrown around by white trash parents who are actively trying to damage America's reputation. But now the problem is worsening. Recently, the people at BabyCenter-the site you go to when your child has glued his own nipples together and you need advice from parents who have experienced similar issues-unveiled their list of unusual baby names for 2012, names that were given to at least TWO children during the course of the year. The list is terrifying.

Not only are these names awful, but you can wade through this list and actually HEAR stupid people brainstorming these names. You can feel them straining to give their child a name that will yield precisely one Google search result. You can listen to the English language screaming for help as these parents cobble together letters and syllables that have no place being near one another. These are not so much names as they are hideous mutations.

You may snort when you hear the name Taco BM Monster (that's a real name), but then you meet Taco BM Monster and you're like, "Well, he couldn't be anyone but Taco BM Monster!" I also know that these are children we're talking about-sweet, innocent little creatures who perhaps don't deserve ridicule simply for having a name they didn't choose for themselves. I know all that. That said, some of these names are terrible. Behold a mere sampling:


  • Ace
  • Kaixin
  • Thinn
  • Yoga
  • Zealand


  • Aero
  • Donathan
  • Espn
  • Haven'T
  • Kix
  • Pawk
  • Rysk

Most Popular Commercial Posted on this Blog in 2012

So here's the ad that apparently was the most popular post on this blog in 2012. I have to admit that it's the best ad for a website for job-seekers that I've seen. The drama is set up perfectly, and the hilarious ending directly hits that feeling of being at a job that you absolutely hate.

Funny Turkish Airlines Ad Pits Kobe Against Messi

Here's a funny commercial for Turkish Airlines that features Kobe Bryant vs Messi (soccer guy). It's pretty good.

Get it While You Can ... Before the Earth Ends

Okay, this is only slightly freaky. Diesel commemorates the Apocalypse with #Getitwhileyoucan, a video that depicts inanimate objects seizing their last opportunity to get it on before we're all swallowed up by dark matter or whatever. It's disgusting and funny at the same time.

Axtell Puppets Used in Capital One Commercial

Our friend Steve Axtell made the puppets that were used in this Capital One commercial.

Steve's company makes great puppets and well-known ventriloquists like Terry Fator and others use Axtell characters. Steve's website offers a plethora of puppets, magic and books (including books authored by the guy who stands next to me.) Check it out. Some great Xmas gift ideas for kids and adults.

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