02 February 2012

A long treatise on marketing's relationship to post apocalyptic survival and Mr. Chewy, which ends in bartering and a really good present for me.

Usually when I check my email, I get a million spams about UGG boots and credit reports with free shipping and penises. A few emails here and there with important information like a link to a hula hooping video that takes half a day to play on my slow internet. Occasionally, when I check my email, I get funny surprises sent to me about stuff I write in here.

Sometimes these funny things are in the form of lavish praise of me but actually these, not so much. Sometimes these funny things are a little weird and stalkery verging on creepy and mean. Sometimes these funny things are in the form of super nice cease and desist letters written by former pageant queens who own words that I use from time to time. Perhaps you have noticed that I use secret code now when I am discussing managing brain related thinking skills as related to focusing in a way that could be construed as mental.

Have you noticed this? Did you even know I could write in secret code? Because the pageant queens may be watching.

Sometimes people offer me stuff. Sometimes I take this because, free stuff! Sometimes people are offering me really weird free stuff and I am confused and hit delete. Sometimes they want to put ad banners in my website. I have enough of these for my t-shirts I don't sell so I hit delete. I am really, really good at hitting delete. Sometimes, I might do some kind of barter with people that have cool stuff, because free means barter in most cases and I am totally down with the barter system. Many pieces of my economy are bartered and I think this is a swell idea because post zombie apocalypse, after we've eaten all the money, boiled in a swill with rocks and spent batteries, everything is going on barter system so I am ahead of the curve on that front.

So the marketing guy for an online dog food and dog treat company emailed me the other day. Usually when marketing people email me I glaze over and use my excellent deleting skills, since I used to have to work with marketing people and I am permanently allergic to them now. But I did go on his website, and took him up on his offer to plug it in exchange for $50 worth of free stuff. Because it actually looked like a righteous dog food website selling healthy stuff, including vegan stuff that Gustavo can eat.

Dig. The website is www.mrchewy.com. Brent sent me all the info and is probably just the marketing guy and probably doesn't really go by the name Mr. Chewy but since I actually didn't ask him that due to allergies, not sure.

Mr. Chewy's likeness, which you can see on his website and was sent to me in a well organized zip file containing the clearly labeled and sized image files, just like I used to send over and over again to marketing people when they would constantly ask for that logo again since they don't always know where to find it in their computer, looks vaguely familiar, in a big nosed cartoon dog kind of way. The designer did other characters for the brand such as "Fat Bulldog that sits in a chair" and "Mailman dog who looks like Underdog." This is always a challenge, for a designer, to make the other characters, sometimes the directives involve pirates and how big the mouth must be open and changes and changes and changes until the designer quits. Probably this did not happen with Mr. Chewy since there are no parrots involved in his branding.

If you are the Mr. Chewy graphic designer, hi, I love you and I hope you are making lots of money in today's challenging economy.

Mr. Chewy's typeface is rounded and scattered like magnetic a-b-c letters and uses a paw print as punctuation, which makes graphic designers crazy because people that want dog related logo things ALWAYS want that paw print. I don't know if Brent was involved with this decision or not, but I won't hold it against him.

Also, mr(pawprint punctuation) chewy is lowercased and has a ™. Oh, do the lowercases cause problems in offices and I hope your branding expert advised you of the future legal issues with lowercase, Brent. So we may need to be careful about writing that out whenever we feel like it in case Mr. Chewy, be he real or fictional, employs any super cheerful pageant queens to safeguard their brand. They are watching you, the pageant queens.

Also, the visual mark mr(pawprint punctuation) chewy has a slightly retro cartoon vibe to it, which is usually to be construed as happy and non threatening because people that buy expensive dog food for their dogs equals love and cute equals love and retro equals nostalgia equals wistfulness for childhood and kids equal love. As long things don't turn the corner to Ren and Stimpy. Who are actually, Canadian.

I liked Mr. Chewy's online store, actually. They sell a ton of super healthy brands of dog food (wait, just checked the marketing doc, Seventy!) and have free or at least cheap shipping. Lots of those super healthy ones that are usually pretty expensive. I should mention some brands here-Inova and Avoderm are ones we already use, and vegan things (brand plug-Zukes and there were a bunch more dog treats in there that I'm not familiar with but that didn't have meat) that Gustavo can eat that fit in our treat robot or in my pockets when we go running around in the forest so I can reward when recalling everybody off the wildlife and their carcasses. Also lots of kinds with meat, don't freak out.

They carry most of the same brands at Pet Pals, located on Soquel Drive on my way to work where I buy my dog food and most of the employees look like tattooed rockabilly musicians.

So many of the same awesome brands that instead of buying anything from Mr. Chewy, I am going to barter off to any of YOU who have something to offer me, the $50 of free stuff and free shipping that Brent the marketing guy has offered to me. Because I can just stop at Pet Pals and maybe you live in the wilderness or someplace that only sells crappy dog food.

They only ship to the US excluding Hawaii and Alaska. Sorry but this means, NOT CANADA. Sorry, Canada.

I will be looking for your creative offers in the comments section of this post. Stuff I like that I would lean towards selecting? Taxidermy, stuff you make that does not explode, likenesses of my dogs. And many other things. Since this is all about promotion, not sure what I am promoting SEND ME AND OTTERPOP TO CANADA EVEN THOUGH MR. CHEWY DOES NOT SHIP THERE but we should be promoting Mr. Chewy, feel free to put this on your facebook since that usually seems to generate many hundreds of website hits. He sells healthy dog food. What the hell. Don't judge me for being a bit of a whore.

So you get it? I give you the $50 of free stuff from Mr. Chewy. You give me a present. Brent gets marketing. Dogs eat healthy food. Everybody wins here, and you are also prepared for an economy sans currency.


team small dog said...

Whoa-nobody wants the $50 of free stuff?

Tammy Moody said...

Okay, I'll offer my beloved, pressed-board, shellacked, "Squirrel with Acorn" piece of amazing art. A hand-made original by a stoner high school kid. High class, an original.

If that's not enough, I'll throw in some hand made woven acorns. Made just the other day. or you could pick the colors and I will custom make them for you.

Shane Kent Louis said...

Wow, Shopping online on Mr. Chewy! are you going to buy Mr. chewy's products :D

It's all About Pet Fences | Dog Fence

team small dog said...

Tammy Moody you are totally the WINNER! Not only were you the ONLY entrant to my super amazing contest which was apparently blackballed by the upstanding citizens internet due to I am now in cahoots with capitalist marketing schemes even though this one involved free and healthy dogfood.

But also because, hello, SQUIRRELS. I have linked to one of my living room hoarder display collections for your viewing amazement of how perfect your present will look in my living room. The plaque may end up on the plaque wall in the bedroom but I think those woven acorns go front and center.

Here is secret code for my email so you can send me an email and I will send you my address and I will send you your coupon for $50 of FREE STUFF!

Code breaking tip-ignore the spaces.

laura h (little a in a circle) plasticdisaster dot com

Congratulations to Tammy!

team small dog said...

The present barter dog food plugging contest is now officially over.

Tammy Moody said...

Squirrel and acorn are finally going home. All of their days have led up to this one moment, the moment they find their true destiny. It is very creepy that it is so perfect. Of all the stuff I could have offered, he and the acorns cried to be offered up.

Do you want a particular color of acorns or will the green and natural do?

maryclover said...

Bummer I missed out on the contest, but I must agree that Tammy's contribution to your collection will be perfect. Much more so than Spur's stuffed squirrel toy with most of the stuffing gone. She probably would have been upset if I had offered it to you, anyway.

team small dog said...

Mary C this would have been a good present, too, destuffed toys are very popular at my house!

Mami2jcn said...

Whoa! This was a quick contest! I'm sorry I missed it, too.

jodi, eh? said...

Canadians out, right from the get go. What kind of nationalist contest is this anyways???

Elf said...

You should leave your contests open longer! We had, like, packing for dog agility, doing dog agility, coming home from dog agility, recovering from dog agility, and now catching up on blogs since last week. Not that I could think of anything to offer. A set of 21" weave poles where two of the pins that hold the poles are broken off. A bunch of perfectly good jump uprights where the bases have rusted away. Nothing nearly as cool as those acorns and the squirrel!

(As a tech writer, I also have to deal with TMs and logos and wordmarks and, jeez, it can be a complete mess.)