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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June 2013 - Posts

Deen Followed Poor Crisis Management Advice


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

Deen Followed Poor Crisis Management Advice

I have to say that I've been very disappointed in the way Paula Deen has been advised to handle her PR crisis.

Her crime, discovered in a legal deposition, was that she'd used the "n" word and retold inappropriate jokes. The idea that anybody would be surprised by this is hard to grasp. At risk of stereotyping and being inappropriate myself, how could you expect anything different from somebody her age, having grown up where she did and exhibiting the traits of a regular ‘ol gal as she does? That doesn't make it right or acceptable ... but it shouldn't be surprising.

These days, zealots jump on any and every social media revelation. As a result, Deen's expert PR counsel was to immediately apologize, which she did via two YouTube videos. The videos came across as insincere. Apologizing for who you are is an insurmountable task, and it was a mistake to try.

Writing for Forbes, Jonathan Baskin outlined what Deen should have done. He suggested that she should have issued the following written statement:

"A plaintiff in a lawsuit has accused my brother Bubba and me of treating her unfairly due to her gender and race, and even assaulting her. Those accusations are without merit. I'm a woman who supports women in the workplace, and I have never assaulted anyone in my life. I also swear, say dumb things, and don't always behave perfectly. None of us do. The plaintiff's attack is intended to embarrass and exploit me because of my humanity. It will not succeed, and I will have no further comment."

When the inevitable questions were thrown at her afterwards, I would have told her to respond with one answer before changing the subject: "Judge not that ye be not judged."

Now that's good PR counsel. Had she approached things the way Baskin suggested, there'd still be buzz, but it wouldn't have lasted as long and she may still have her job at the Food Network ... and I'd be complimenting her on how smart she was.

For Everyone Who Thinks Humor Should Not be Used as a Serious Communication Tool (You're Wrong)

This ad made me lol when it originally aired almost a year ago ... which is why I featured it in this blog. This PSA has amassed over 50 million views on YouTube. How many non-humorous ads can keep your attention for 3 minutes?  Now "Dumb Way To Die," has won the Grand Prix Film Lion ... one of the top advertising awards in the world. I predicted it would. (As did most everyone else in the industry.)

I Wish I Would Have Thought of This

Okay, I have serious direct mail envy right now. This is absolutely the best direct mail idea I've ever seen. Kontor Records took one part bright orange Vinyl, one part cleverly designed paper mailer envelope, & added the smartphone everyone has these days to create a record player direct mailer than had an amazing number of responses. 64% of the Creative Directors who received this awesome looking vinyl listened to it and got back to Kontor Records.

Well done.

Optical Illusion Sells Shampoo "For Any Hair Type"

From Switzerland here's a clever optical illusion for what I think is a shampoo ad. The copy says, "For any hair type." Certainly makes you look twice ... and how many ads can say that?

Today's Best Billboard

It's Official ... I'll be at the International Ventriloquists' Convention

Dale and I will be selling and signing our book, "Finding and Filling the Banquet Niche," after our lecture at the International Ventriloquists' Convention on Wednesday night, July 17th. So if you happen to be in the vicinity of the Cincinnati Airport Marriot, please stop by and say "Hello."

The hotel is sold out, which means there will undoubtedly be more than 1,000 Mannequin Americans at the convention ... and probably 600 ventriloquists, including Jeff Dunham and Terry Fator. And, "yes," the hospitality suite is an incredible experience ... I think. I've never actually been able to remember being there.


Humor Sells Performance Enhancement Supplement

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

Kelly Brook's Perfect Pair

This ad from Britain features busty Kelly Brook tells us "You could have a pair like Kelly's" if you just pick up a pair of official Sports Relief Socks at your local (if you're in England) Sainsbury today.

Humor used to sell Performance Enhancement Supplement

International porn legend, Nacho Vidal, has unleashed his secret to stellar performance in bedroom. In a comical mostly-NSFW video, we see the effects of the performance enhancement supplement Fortiplus on Vidal as he pleasures woman after woman after woman...all while he seemingly goes about his daily business. Epically funny.

One Million Moms Helps Another Product that the Group Detests

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

How to Use Sex to Sell Bug Repellent


Okay, this is a pretty unusual (and pretty funny) way to sell Baygon insect repellant.

Kraft Salad Dressing Ad Gets a Boost Via a Slap From One Million Moms

Kraft's saucy ad campaign for its Zesty Italian salad dressing launched in early April. Recently, it took a rebuke from One Million Moms to give the campaign and the product an enormous boost in visibility and publicity.

The moms are super pissed-off about the print ad above, featuring the campaign's hunky model, Anderson Davis, enjoying a naked picnic. The infuriated moms wrote on their website: "Last week's issue of People magazine had the most disgusting ad on the inside front cover that we have ever seen Kraft produce. A full 2-page ad features a n*ked man lying on a picnic blanket with only a small portion of the blanket barely covering his g*nitals. It is easy to see what the ad is really selling." Nope, they can't even say the words naked or genitals. The moms add: "Christians will not be able to buy Kraft dressings or any of their products until they clean up their advertising."

Kudos to Kraft which responded with this statement: "Our Kraft dressing's 'Let's Get Zesty' campaign is a playful and flirtatious way to reach our consumers. People have overwhelmingly said they're enjoying the campaign and having fun with it."

At Last You can Hide Your Beer Can in a Soda Can

In some social situations, cracking open a brewski is unacceptable. Like, at the doctor's office, a PTA meeting or a baby christening. I learned those lessons the hard way.

But now you can beer it up without judgmental glances or public drinking citations with this Soda Can Beer Koozie! Just slip the thing over your beer can and now it looks like you're drinking an innocent Coca-Cola. (I'm betting that Coca-Cola didn't sign off on this.) $4

If You're not Into Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee ... You Should be

Dale and I have been anxiously awaiting this episode of Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, with Jerry Seinfeld and David Letterman. It doesn't disappoint. Best episode ever. It's 19 minutes so get a cup of coffee, sit back and laugh your butt off.


AT&T Commcercial Uses Humorous Guinea Pigs

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

Happy Birthday Isn't Free

A filmmaker is suing to make the song "Happy Birthday to You" free for everyone to use. The plaintiff, Good Morning to You Productions Corp., a New York-based company that is making a documentary about the song, said it belongs in the public domain. Warner/Chappell Music Inc., the publishing arm of Warner Music Group, owns "Happy Birthday to You," meaning it has exclusive rights over the song's reproduction, distribution and public performances.

According to Good Morning to You's class-action lawsuit, filed in New York, the company had to pay Warner/Chappell $1,500 for a license to use the song. As the 26-page court document notes, the song has a history dating back 120 years.  The tune's origins go back to the 1893 song "Good Morning to All" by sisters Mildred J. Hill and Patty Smith Hill. The lyrics were: "Good morning to you / Good morning to you / Good morning dear children / Good morning to all."  That song eventually evolved into "Happy Birthday." 

The suit aims to return "millions of dollars" in licensing fees from Warner/Chappell to thousands of people and groups that have paid the company to use the song. Until that happens, be careful at your next birthday party.

Kim and Karl are Funny

Kim and Carl, two guinea pigs living in the South, disagree about what's behind the strange happenings at their house: blinds are going up and down, lights turn on and off, door locks latch by themselves, etc. Is it a force of good? Or is it evil?

It's actually just AT&T Digital Life -- a home security and automation system that lets humans control the house from anywhere.

 It's Hard to Show You Care When You Haven't Had Your Coffee



This ad for 23 Degrees Roastery Coffee made me lol ... which shows you how sick my sense of humor is.

 Vintage Ads


Apparently the elastic was so strong it could hold your gun?


Seven-Up in Milk? It's hard to believe that there wasn't an obesity problem in the 50's. Then again, kids played outside in the 50's and burned those calories off.

 Pee Wee's Crack Cocaine PSA



In full Pee Wee costume, Paul Reubens warned kids about the dangers of crack cocaine in this ‘80s PSA. And he wasn't the only celebrity to do so: Olivia Newton-John and Clint Eastwood filmed somber spots, too.

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