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 2013 - Posts

This "Walker" Won't Die

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

This Walker Won't Die


The last season of The Walking Dead is being promoted (sort of) with a 60 second animated short in honor of Easter.  Click here if you're not easily offended by religious parodies. One can only hope that Jesus has a sense of humor.

Brands Can't be All Things to All People

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

To Stand Out, Brands Need to Stand Alone

I recently read an article that said a brand isn't so much competing for attention within its category; it's competing for attention, period. I think it's true.

To get attention brands are better off being relevant rather than just trying to convince prospects that their' products or services are better than the competition. Great brands (like Nike) have visions beyond their categories. You recognize their marketing immediately. Some may not be fond of it; but they recognize it.

Becoming culturally relevant takes vision and bravery.  It means putting a stake in the ground and standing for something -- which can rub some the wrong way. But great brands don't try to please everyone. They simply stay true to their visions and they don't worry about the people who don't agree with those visions.

Today we're seeing glimpses of other brands embracing this approach. Just a few years ago, who would have thought that Old Spice could shed its image as "my grandfather's after shave"? By reaching well beyond the convention of the category (including not testing their ads), P&G turned this outdated brand into a sought-after one by capturing our collective cultural consciousness.

As counterintuitive as it may seem, marketers need to shed their belief that marketing needs to be all things to all people. Instead they need to take risks ... stand for something ... and stick to it even if some people don't embrace it.

Happier Than the Pillsbury Dough Boy ...

The newest Geico commercial featurs the Pillsbury Dough Boy.  It's the first one in this series that made me laugh.

Expect to see more and more of these "tandem" product ads.

Another Strange Ad from Orangina

You can spend a lot of time surfing YouTube and viewing strange commercials from Orangia, the French juice brand ... and I mean a lot of time. Anyway, here's one of the latest.

And if you're interested, here's another one.

Plumber Pities the Stool

More local marketing. This time the moving billboard is via A Team Plumbing. Or maybe I should call it "movement marketing." Sorry.

Wings Etc. Employs Puppets in Local Ads

This is one in a series of local commercials featuring a pair of Southern chicken puppets made for Wings Etc., A sports bar franchise based in South Bend, Indiana.

This one has a great sight gag. You can find more Wings Etc. Chicken commercials on YouTube.

This is How to Market Shoes

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

This is How to Sell Shoes ... NSFW

This is how to sell shoes ... you get Eva Herzigov√° to go for a swim in a pair of your shoes ... and nothing else (briefly NSFW).

The ad for footwear firm Brian Atwood recalls Marilyn Monroe's famous pool scene from Something's Gotta Give.

Jim Beam Bourbon Burger

Heidi Klum is back for Carl's Junior. This time she's plays "Mrs. Robinson" and seduces Benjamin with the new Jim Beam Bourbon Burger.

Men, It's Time

Here are two ads from a series for Nair for Men. They're a little disturbing ... but trust me, these two are among the least disturbing of the mix.


Humor Helps Meeting Medicine Go Done Easier

"Whenever I'm excited about the next day, I ruin it by not being able to sleep the night before."
Chip Martin

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


This Could be Your Next Meeting

The other day, I heard the CEO of a large corporation drone on for twenty minutes. He was talking to a large group of distributors of his company's products ... reading them a long, prepared speech that was largely irrelevant to their needs.

If you'd interviewed the 150 people in the room an hour later, no one could have told you a single thing about what he had said.

Compare that to a presentation that I (a Mannequin American) was involved in a few weeks ago. A corporate vice president was standing at the podium in front of about 150 distributors and sales people. He looked out at the gathering and asked if anyone had any questions. Dale (the guy who has a hand in everything I do) and I were strategically seated at the end of the first row. We stood up and I said I had a number of questions. The vice president invited us on stage. For the next 45 minutes I solicited answers to a number of questions ... some very serious and pertinent to members of the audience ... some extremely funny to members of the audience. In the end, the vice president, Dale and I received a standing ovation. If you would have interviewed those people an hour later, they would have remembered most of what the vice president had to say. Here's why:

  • We had done our homework. We knew what issues were important to the audience and what questions they wanted answered.
  • We were prepared. The vice president had reviewed our script and was familiar with the questions that he would be asked.
  • We were entertaining. Our portion of the program included jokes about the company and about the industry it served. The entire script was aimed at the specific interests of the audience members ... serious as well as not so serious.
  • We kept everyone's attention by asking questions that they would have asked if given the opportunity, and we reinforced the company's messages by repeating parts of the vice president's answers and asking specific follow-up questions.
  • The vice president was viewed as a down-to-earth manager who was in touch with the interests of his audience and who wasn't afraid to have a little fun poked at himself and his company.

I'm not called the great corporate communicator for nothing.

Just in time for Easter!

If there's anything that I need in my life, it's eggs cooked in a flexible tube on a stick. Here I am, cooking my eggs in a frying pan like a sucker. But now I know about the Rollie.

As far as I can determine, the Rollie is some kind of nonstick tube that electrically heats eggs, and whatever else you shove down the tube, into something that looks like a little disturbing and slithery, that you can gobble on your way out the door. The video says it all. Warning: auto-play video!]

Vintage Griffin Microsheen Ads

Griffin Microsheen shoe polish was a staple in the majority of American homes for many decades. The company's print ads were definitely sexist ... which is one likely reason why the product was so popular.

While many print ads of the time used artwork versus live models, Griffin used real women ... airbrushed to be sure ... but still not drawn.  Above is "Miss Microsheen."

Interestingly the ads never showed much of the men who wore the well-shined shoes ... only the women who were attracted to the men with the well shined shoes.

Focus on the Sound Machine

Here's an interesting camera angle from a 1971 Bell and Howell ad for The Sound Machine.

It's a radio; it's a cassette player; it's a recorder; most importantly, it's right next to a lady's woman parts! ... and apparently best viewed from the ground ... I'm talking about The Sound Machine.

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