Category Archives: Iowa

Never miss a promotional opportunity…

This is precious.

Raygun — which calls itself “The Greatest Store in the Universe” — is a grass-rooted shop in Des Moines’ East Village (mostly T-shirts lauding or laughing at all things Iowa). They sell shoes, too. Their customer service and marketing is consistently exceptional. And they never miss an opportunity to exploit any [wholly unplanned] promotional opportunity.


Will this baby rape his girlfriend? An anti-violence crusader says it’s never too early to intervene.

This video — designed to counter a purported anti-women slant in some Super Bowl commercials — has ignited a storm and reportedly sparked death threats against its creator in Dubuque, Iowa—

Although every baby boy is precious and beautiful, some will become misogynistswomen beaters, rapists, killers.

“Violence is a learned behavior, people are not born to be violent,” says Josh Jasper, president and CEO of Riverview Center, the anti-violence advocacy group responsible for the video. “What we see [in media] are messages that are degrading and abusive toward women and children.”

Jasper hoped that parents would start a conversation with their children, that while watching the Super Bowl with their children they would criticize messages that are hurtful, such as, “When you saw that GoDaddy ad and you saw those ladies taking off their clothes, you need to know as your father that this isn’t okay, this is not okay how we treat women.”

With that conditioning, hopefully boys will grow up as portrayed in this second video (instead of as depicted above)—

Many of the comments about the first commercial, posted on YouTube and Facebook, were so hostile that Jasper contact Dubuque police.

“One of the 800 comments I’ve received in the last 24 hours is that I’m a Nazi sympathizer and I should be taken out and shot,” Jasper was quoted by WQAD. “I’ve been accused of hating all men, that all men are rapists, that I think babies are rapists.”

Why such a strong reaction?

“There are a lot of men who have a deep-seated hatred toward women,” Jasper said. “I bet I’ve received 150 messages in the last 24 hours that say it’s okay to rape women. If we’re going to end the violence, we have to start with them.”

Here’s Jasper’s first commercial, posted a couple of years ago — it’s certainly pointed, but slower-paced and less incendiary;

As for this year’s Super Bowl commercial, Jasper said, “There are a lot of survivors out there … who are now feeling empowered because people are talking about the issue. That’s exactly why I created the commercial and that’s exactly why the commercial will stay.”

In a blog post on Valentine’s Day, Jasper concluded:

Although a great deal of violence is committed by men, the vast majority of men are NOT violent. The problem is that not enough men are challenging the norm, speaking out against men that are not healthy role models for others.

My thanks to @MichaelLibbie for bringing this story to my attention.

A tax on business by campaigning pols

Here’s something you might not have considered: With candidates buying up so much TV and radio time, what’s left gets sold at a premium to a station’s regular clients.

Iowa marketing maven Michael Libbie tells us about a Des Moines business owner who had been buying 30 second early morning (circa 4:30 am) radio spots for only about $30 each:

“When Campaign 2010 (also known as the Lie Express) cut loose 90 days ago his costs went to $80 for the same 30-second ad in the same day-part.  I’ve been hearing this from so many business people I’ve lost count.”

Libbie concludes:It’s pretty bad when politics stands in the way of doing business.”

Now, get out there and vote!

‘Fran and Jan’ in Portland

We can’t predict how the “Fran & Jan Show” will play once it rolls, but their clever promotional videos  portend a good start.

In video-1, Fran (Francine Raften) and Jan (Janna Lopez) are planning their show — should it be with or without sex (maybe you heard, sex sells!). Their consultant-guru reminds them it’s all about “building an audience, and then you can take them wherever you want to go.”

Fran loves the idea: “There’s a potential here to generate a heck of a lot of listeners.” Jan‘s not as certain: “The Fran & Jan Show is not about sex selling. We’re different. We don’t have to go the whole self-exploitation route to get a few people to talk about us.”

So, they thought about it. And sex … not so much.

Jan musters the courage to tell their consultant, “The Fran & Jan Show has to be smart, it has to represent who we are, it has to be funny and it has to be something that will give people reason to think about who we are.”

You think so? Here’s video-2—

The show, out of Portand, OR, is scheduled to debut on Thursday, Oct. 28, on the earth2world network.

Video3 connects with the planned debut just before Halloween—

Good luck, ladies!

Post revised 10/18/10 at 10:32 am

You want to build traffic for your corn maze in Iowa. Where do you advertise?

That’s what Kathy Hohl asked her Facebook Friends last night. Within minutes, she had a dozen answers. A few hours later, a dozen more.

Kathy’s farm is in Donnellson, southeast Iowa, pop. 963. I live in Brooklyn, NY, pop. 2,500,000, and I’m reading Kathy’s exchange at the Downtown Hilton in Nashville, TN. All of which says as much about the immediacy, virality and interactivity of social media as it does about the advertising vehicles discussed.

Here’s the Kathy’s Pumpkin Patch query:

A question for everyone. What do you think the most effective advertising is for you? Radio commercials, ads in the newspapers (Hawkeye, Bonny Buyer), or online advertising? We always struggle where to spend our limited budget at and would like your opinion on which source you use most.

Her responders’ recommendations were spread among all media, but here’s my favorite:

Sherry Sandrock Visit Kathy’s Pumpkin Patch once and you won’t need to read an ad, you’ll just want to plan a visit yearly!!!

Thin-skinned in Iowa

I can’t seem to pull out of Iowa’s orbit.

The AP reports out of Osage, Iowa, that the board of supervisors is considering a libel suit against the Mitchell County Press News over a column by the newspaper’s editor on protested property tax increases. David Namanny’s column began:

“Looks like it’s time to get out the pitchforks and head over to the county courthouse.”

After no sleep (well, maybe a little) … back in Brooklyn

An eight-day excursion through Iowa found me at home last week with two T-shirts from Raygun in Des Moines’ East Village…

Worthwhile trip, wouldn’t you say?

More on this in a few days, once I catch up on some housekeeping.

Housekeeping item number 1 involved my blogs: Just as I was leaving NYC for Dubuque, an unexplained error occurred which essentially wiped out my widgets and most key settings. As I painstakingly worked to rebuild them … they mysteriously reappeared.

Stay tuned.