The Power of A Publicity Stunt in a Marketing Plan

Phineas Taylor Barnum (July 5, 1810 – April 7, 1891), American showman who is best remembered for his entertaining hoaxes and for founding the circus that eventually became Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus.

P.T. Barnum was a master of marketing and a genius of free publicity. I recently read his book, “The Art of Money Getting or Golden Rules for Making Money.” It truly amazed me what common sense this man had for being over 100 years ago.

And what a great entrepreneur he was…He fell on his face several times and was able to pick himself up and get back into the game. His life and his writings are very inspirational.

His great successes came from his constant promoting, advertising and publicity stunts. Sure he would do some bizarre things to attract attention, but it worked. And although he promoted some strange stuff, like Fiji the Mermaid, his integrity was always intact.

One of the most effective and practical things he would do to promote the circus…When they came to town, they would have a free parade right down Main Street. This would let everyone know that they were in town and it would get the residents excited to come see the show.

Is It Time For You To Pull Off A Publicity Stunt?

You probably remember that famous Super Bowl when Janet Jackson exposed her breast. Or more recently when Paris Hilton got arrested for drinking and driving at the same time her new movie was being released.

And how about the celebrity sex tape, featuring former “Saved by the Bell” star Dustin Diamond, who played Screech. Apparently he was about to lose his house because of his lack of work. He claimed he has no idea how the X rated tape was released.

Yeah right.

Now he’s being paid for all kinds of interviews. And now that he’s in the spot light, I’m sure he will have a flood of job offers.

It’s worth noting, it’s best if the stunt is designed so it doesn’t backfire. But even the Janet wardrobe malfunction was probably well calculated to a reasonable estimate of how many people it would offend and how much in fines they would have to pay vs. how much did it make in selling CD’s, creating ratings for her next appearance, and so on. It certainly did dominate the news for a few weeks didn’t it?

Example of a Life Insurance Agent Publicity Stunt

A sluggish career, can get a boost from a stunt. Now I’m not suggesting that you run around naked…but you may very well want to consider what you might want to do, as a publicity stunt or “big” marketing gimmick, to grab a lot of attention and create a lot of conversation with you or your business as the subject.

You might even try to figure out something to do within your own client base that never “goes public”, but whips up a lot of excitement amongst the base.

An agent in Phoenix rents out a popular bar every St. Pat’s Day, and adds a huge tent covering the whole parking lot, invites all his clients and everyone they want to bring to his party…he ties up traffic and makes the local news.

Julia Roberts, Pretty Woman and the Meaning of Morality

The other day my girlfriend and I were deciding which movie to watch when she suggested “Pretty Woman”. I said, “Why?” She said it was her favorite movie. I said, “Why?” She said it was because it was so romantic. I said, “You do know it’s about a hooker don’t you?” There was dead silence on her part. This was probably not the smartest thing that I have ever said. With a sentence of only nine words I had managed to insult her favorite movie; question her morality and/or call her stupid. As I sat next to her I just hoped that I could somehow manage to recover.

There was a long uncomfortable silence. She looked at me rather perplexed by my statement and then, she responded “I know, so what?” Every voice in my head was screaming “Don’t say anything, Stupid!” The voice was screaming so loud that it hurt and yet my mouth had an agenda of its own. Despite myself I just blurted out, “that movies evil.” I knew I was in deep now.

“What do you mean?” she asked.

“Stop talking” says the voice in my head and yet I proceeded to expand upon my theory. I told her how I thought that the movie glamorized being a hooker and that none of the “Johns” that real life hookers encounter look like a young Richard Gere. I questioned how many young women became strippers, porn stars or hookers thinking that these “careers” were a pathway to living out their Eliza Doolittle fantasy. She said that she liked “My Fair Lady” too. Unfortunately, I felt the need to continue. I said that there are probably a bunch of hookers, call-girls and strippers who could file a class-action lawsuit against Julia Roberts for making a movie that made being a hooker seem like a good career choice.

My girlfriend responded, “It’s just a movie.”

“Is it?” I said. I talked about how children’s fantasies for girls whether they be Snow White or Cinderella or stories like My Fair Lady and Pretty Woman have always depicted young women being rescued from dire circumstances by a charming prince.

“So” she said.

Feminists and women’s groups are always coming down on Barbie. At least Barbie has a job. She’s a teacher, a pilot, a lawyer and an astronaut. I told her that most girl fiction wrongfully indoctrinates young girls into expecting some guy to rescue them instead of achieving things on their own. Disney is making a fortune promoting their line of “Princesses” to little girls. All of whom expect to grow up to be Ariel,Belle or Aurora. With Pretty Woman,however, things took a nasty turn for the worse. Pretty Woman made it clear that women should use sex to attain their Prince Charming and that no matter what you had done in your life as long as you have “a heart of gold” everything will work out fine. Womanhood took an even darker turn with “Sex in the City”, a show about slut empowerment. More damaging then the years of amoral behavior displayed by the lead characters was that at the end of the show they all got their “Mr. Right” despite (or because of) their decadent lifestyles. There were no lasting consequences for anyones behavior on the show. Sarah Jessica Parker may have done more damage to young women than any other person in history because no matter how fun Julia Roberts made it look to be a hooker it is still a pretty big line to cross, while the Sex in the City crew were just out having fun and empowering themselves.

My girlfriend thought that I was attributing too much power to a movie and a TV show. She said they were just shows and had no effect on real life. I countered with the phenomenon of the sex tape and explained to her that Paris Hilton’s and Kim Kardashian’s talents were their ability to have sex on video. Pamela Anderson, Tonya Harding, Amy Fisher, Kendra Wilkinson and others have had tapes “leaked” to the public. If these tapes were unauthorized than the person releasing the tapes was not only in possession of stolen property but was violating copyright laws by making copies of the video or releasing it on the internet and yet no one has ever gone to jail. It seems like at least some of these tapes were released in attempts to either start or rekindle an entertainment career. Lawrence Fishburne’s daughter, Montana Fishburne, has even acknowledged that Kim Kardashian was an inspiration for her to enter the porn industry.

It is such a condemnation of American culture that Kim Kardashian is a “star”. There was a time in which she would be infamous but now she and her whole family are rich and famous. We live in a country where the highest goal anyone can aspire to is to become famous or even infamous (the distinction between these two states of being having been lost on the American public). Why should anyone work to become a doctor or a lawyer when they can just get themselves on a reality show and if that doesn’t work they can put videos of themselves having sex on the internet? In a country that no longer produces or manufactures anything is it a surprise that we can’t even make celebrities with real talent anymore? This country has been in a downward spiral that began with the release of Pretty Woman in 1990.

My girlfriend asked if I was saying that women needed to be the guardians of morality. I clarified by acknowledging that it is unfair but “that a society can be judged by the behavior of its women” because men are in essence unprincipled and that laws were created to keep men in line (women account for approximately 7% of the prison population in America. Currently, however, they are the fastest growing segment.) and that as women acquire the vices of men society as a whole suffers.

My girlfriend then mocked me by asking me if I was blaming Julia Roberts for the economic downturn; the real estate collapse; high medical and high education costs. I said, “No, I’m blaming Pretty Woman for the creation of the Jerry Springer show which debuted one year after the movie in 1991.”

That last factoid caused her to pause.

“Pretty Woman” does seem to be a divining line in the mores of Americans. MTV’s the Real World was first broadcast in 1992. The show that first taught Americans that you don’t have to be accomplished to be famous, outrageous would be sufficient. In 1994 the Howard Stern Show began being broadcast on the E! network and thus made it socially acceptable to know the name of porn stars. In 1998 the Monica Lewinsky scandal broke and Bill Clinton,the President of the United States, explained to us that oral sex didn’t count as sex. Many teenagers took that message to heart. Morality has been engaging in a free-fall ever since. In 2003 Paris Hilton’s sex-tape was released one week prior to the premiere of her TV show “the Simple Life”. In 2007 Kim Kardashian’s tape was “leaked” and a few months later she had a TV show. Sexting is rampant among teenagers. Pornography is available free on internet 24 hours a day. “This country is going to Hell in a hand-basket” I said.

Sears Promo Codes – What Can I Buy With Them?

A lot of people are looking for ways they can save money. Whether they are buying food, clothing, household items, and necessities, it is the innate nature of an individual to look for a discount. If they cannot find a discount, they will look for a cheaper option. This though, does not apply with Sears promo codes.

The beauty about having a code is that you can get to save some items on your shopping venture. Since you have gotten a promo code for Sears, you can make use of the discount only with the brand. But you should not worry on what you can use it with as Sears has a complete line of everything that you can possibly need or want. The only thing they lack is food.

You can use your promo code if you will buy appliances, automotive/tires, beauty, baby, bed, bath, home, books, clothing, electrical gadgets, gifts, fitness, sports, health, jewelry, and a lot of other products. With Sears, you can easily have choose what you want to buy as they have such an extensive array of available products that you can choose from. You can even buy gifts for your friends.

The list of items that you can buy with your Sears promo codes seems to be endless. Your needed items can simply be bought at Sears. Because of this, you do not need to go to another retail store so you can complete what’s on your list. Truly, this fact alone can already save you some money on transportation costs that you would have otherwise needed to spend.

Top Brand Professional Automotive Tools Reviewed – Know Your Budget

The tool market is well serviced in terms of brands, design, quality and price. The key consideration is to evaluate your needs. For example, it is pointless buying a laptop capable driving sophisticated 3G games when really all that is required from the unit is basic desktop and internet work. This kind of example also applies to buying tools. For instance, why waste one’s budget on buying the most expensive tools when their application is for occasional hobby type tasks.

Lets start with an overview comparison. It is widely agreed that the best quality and designed tools are manufactured by the Snap-on company. This brand of tools is designed for the professional market. No tool brand is perfect and infallible to failure. However, the Snap-on lifetime warranty means that when a tool breaks, it is replaced or repaired by the service representatives. Snap-on tools can be bought from their distribution trucks and vans that visit automotive workshops. Alternatively, their online catalog allows purchasing via the internet. Second-hand and recycled Snap-on tools are also eagerly traded through websites like eBay and eBay Partner sites.

As noted above, Snap-on automotive tools are at the upper price range. However, there is no shortage of professional grade tool brands at price points below that of the Snap-on brand. For example the brands: Matco, MAC and Cornwell are equally respected in the professional automotive sector. Matco, MAC and Cornwell off a range of professional tools that deliver quality and reliability while carrying sound lifetime warranties and professional after sales service. And are less expensive than the Snap-on brand for the budget minded professional automotive technician. The availability of these brands for sale is similar to Snap-on tools. Trucks visit and distribute tools at automotive workshops. Also, online catalogs and auction type websites offer buy opportunities.

For those budget sensitive buyers, the next set of tool brands is SK and Craftsman. The manufacturing quality of these brands meet USA standards and carry similar lifetime warranties like those brands mentioned above. So, for the semi-professional or hobbyist application these tool brands are an ideal choice. Some may argue that the SK brand, although not as popular, is a little superior to the Craftsman brand. But this opinion is subjective. Craftsmanship and SK brand tools are a more accessible to the buying market. For example, Craftsmanship brand tools are stocked at Sears stores, while the SK brand is found in automotive parts stores and outlets.

In summary, if price is no restraint, then tools from the Snap-on range are considered to be the best quality. Where quality and service is still a priority, then brands such as: matco, MAC and Cornwell offer offer quality profession lines of tools as less expensive price points. Finally, the brands SK and Craftsmanship serve the semi-professional market with tools that are not subject to the high demands of daily professional usage. The advice for any buyer is assess the task application of the tool, and allocate your budget to buy the right tool for the right job.

Automotive Dynamic Guide – How to Be Ready to Drive in a Foreign Land

If you are going to be behind the wheel of a new rented car, and in a strange foreign land where you have never driven before, what should you do in preparing to drive?

Just not so long ago, I was in Kuala Lumpur, the capital city of Malaysia, located just north of Singapore. As those of you who have traveled widely to Asia would know, the traffic on the roads in most of the Asian countries is heavy throughout the day, and many times driving habits take precedence over traffic rules and regulations, especially when the searing tropical heat bears down on cool heads, and raise tempers!

Before me was a small locally produced Malaysian car – the Perodua Kancil- named after the tiny deer that can run swiftly through the Malaysian jungles.

And I need to use that car, to brave the heavy traffic of the day to move to the next nearest city of Shah Alam to attend to a business meeting.

Alien to the area, alien to the car- what should I do?

Indeed, when you are confronted with such a situation, what should you do?

Keep cool – and PLAN your journey, and use the car intelligently.

For instance, perform the very, very basic inspection on your car before you even use it. This means:

1. check the tires and their pressure

2. check the engine oil and their brake fluid

3. check the battery

4. ensure the brakes are functioning ( there’s nothing like to take it for a short slow ride to put it to the test! )

Plan your journey- for instance, do not be afraid to ask directions and record them down so that you can always refer to the notes. Plan the timing of your journey – so that you can always drive during the slower traffic periods, away from the maddening crowds in the rush hour traffic. Protect yourself especially your eyes from the glaring tropical sun by wearing light sunglasses. Be properly attired. And wear shoes! The last tip on wearing shoes may seem funny, but when it is perennial summer in the tropics, many visitors, especially those who come from the cooler temperate countries would be tempted to wear only sandals!

And when you go on the roads, observe the speed limits. Do not push your vehicle to the maximum speed limits especially where you are driving along strange highways and where traffic jams are a norm.

In my personal case, I was astonished to see cars doubled parked along busy suburb shopping areas and feeder roads while I cruised my way to my destination. I wasn’t sure whether that was allowable, as the double parking of cars in two rows converted the road into a narrow one way path, leading to congestion at many parts. It sure was a “revelation”!

But in a strange land, where you are not the expert in local traffic rules, it is best to play it save. Drive defensively and plan your travel to ease your journey, and you will enjoy that ride.

Unique Oil Change Concepts Research

In the mobile oil change business there is no standard system, many folks simply build what works or buy a biz-op unit that makes since to them. For years we have studies these various types of units in the market place. If you are in the oil change business you realize how serious it is to stay efficient. In our company like anyone else in this industry, we are out to bring new innovation to the market. We have been looking at ways to better our services.

We have been to in Elkhart, Indiana, we have viewed there unit in another state. We have discussed these and other concepts with other engineers and thinkers. What we have decided is that all ideas are worthy of exploration in our quest to find the most efficient and most environmentally sensitive units. Why are we so driven to build a better mouse-trap? Why are we un deterred with the exploitations of Box Stores changing oil, such as Wal-Mart on what appears to be a below cost endeavor at $12.99. Why do we believe that it is possible to stay efficient enough to compete? Because we see the new innovations out on the street and see entrepreneurs everywhere are rising to the occasion.

Well this year in San Diego, Jiffy Lube is announcing a new program for franchisees with extended bays and adding everything from brake jobs, and engine repair including complete R and R rebuilding of motors. It makes sense for them due to the increased competition in the market place. Midas Muffler has also gone to changing brakes and oil changes. Tilden Franchise is also looking to co-partner with other services and to bundle services to compete. Jiffy Lube’s largest franchisee with well over 150 stores; was de-listed by NASDAQ; are we witnessing a new era in automotive repair and oil changes? We think so.

We watched recently as Roger Penske left Kmart as they closed the doors on 500 stores nationwide and now are merging with Sears in their re-organization plan and closing another 150 stores. In Tucson, AZ for instance we see Kmart on the North West side of town pulling out of the market and then we see a new awesome Valvoline Oil Change Facility on the same property with a 2 million dollar carwash and Detailing Center? Why, well as Lance Fisher the proprietor sees it, he can bundle services, get a no interest loan deal from Valvoline, give the customers what they want and his incredible facility will draw three different services to the same property. Is this the answer to the price wars, bundling, like Microsoft? Well Lance Fisher bets with real money in Tucson, is that a good bet? We think it is, you should see this place, WOW, one of the nicest carwashes in the country, ranks up there with Auto-Wash East and Danny’s Family Carwashes in Phoenix.

These are just a few of the latest interesting changes in the Industry. Some would say this Industry is stagnant. We disagree. We are watching Kendall battle for the latest changes in oil change interval extension and the war against traditional thinking with AMSOIL, Mobile One and others. Lots of new innovations and claims to come; who will lead? Well as we approach the pack and have our sights on the Yellow Jersey, we believe that the team who can service the customer and bring the value will be team yellow. We know this is an up hill grind and we will pursue the race with open eyes and an open mind. If you are in the Oil Change Business Think on this.

Caring for Leather Car Interiors

Leather consists of thousands and thousands of intertwined fibers, with penetrable pores throughout–just like skin. Proper maintenance starts with cleaning the fibers. Cleaning removes fiber-severing abrasives and pore clogging dirt and dust, both of which will breakdown the leather over time and give it a less than pleasing texture and appearance.

If you have pets, then you may want to invest in pet pads or pet seat covers for your interior. You will also want to look into a good reflective sun shield.

With regular cleaning and conditioning, a leather interior will last for the life of the vehicle. Leather is tough and abuse resistant. The main concern is to determine is what type of leather interior you have, then choose cleaners and conditioners designed specifically for the task. Traditional leather interiors are made of 100% leather, where as some modern interiors are leather coated with a supple vinyl.

A quick test to determine which type you have is to use a small amount of cool clean water. Traditional leather will absorb water, where vinyl coated leather will repel it. Either way, a few drops of water won’t harm your interior.

The next step is to determine the right cleaners and conditioners for your leather. Saddle soap and conditioners, while good for your baseball glove or go-go boots, are not to be used on automotive leather of any kind. The soap contains alkalis, which can permanently damage the material in your seats. Household detergents and cleaners can damage leather as well. Always use only a product designed for the type of leather your vehicle has.

Removing harmful oil and dirt deposits is the crucial first step. Always use clean soft cloths to prevent damage to, or inadvertent removal of the leather dye. Stubborn dirt lodged into crevices may require the use of an upholstery brush. Removal of gunk and grime must be done before conditioning the leather, as you don’t want to permanently push these contaminants into the pores.

The next step, probably even more important, is conditioning. This nourishes and moisturizes to lubricate individual fibers, keeping them from becoming brittle and dry. It replaces essential, natural oils that evaporate. How can you tell a good conditioner? A good conditioner will offer UV protection. Like human skin, ultra-violet rays will quickly cause deterioration of the leather and shorten its lifespan significantly. A good conditioner will be absorbed into the leather, not sit atop the surface or leave residue behind. The surface should not be oily after application. The very best conditioners are pH balanced, have stain repellants, waterproofing agents to protect from accidents.

While cleaning and conditioning your interior be sure not to leave any tools or sharp objects in your pockets that could put a hole in your seats and your good time. As with any cleaner, conditioner or chemical that involves the potential for ruining something really expensive, always test first in a small, inconspicuous area.

Inexpensive leather cleaners and conditioners will contain petroleum distillates, silicon or silicon oils, and gloss agents that deliver an inferior, greasy finish that does nothing for the leather, and transfers to anything that the leather comes in contact with. These chemicals are harmful to your leather.