Tuesday, October 30, 2007

A Modern Man That Understands Corporate Gobbledygook

Below is a video of a modern man that understands corporate gobbledygook. Only one person on earth could put this string of corporate gobbledygookisms together and deliver them with heart-pounding panache. The DaVinci of Words. George Carlin.

I once confessed I played a passable piano. But then I saw Bruce Hornsby play. My definition of "passable" transmogrified into a necessary gastric function. And, he made me want to chop my fingers off.

But I've gotten over that. (Never mind the image to my left. It's just an alter-ego-toon.)

George Carlin makes me feel that way with words. When I try to string a line of maturative, indurative, depurative, and curative words to halt corporate gobbledygoook it pails and fails in comparison to the world's master word-painter, George CarlinVinci

I yield the floor to George.

THE MODERN MAN

Animotorizing - A New Way to Start a Presentation

On the relentless quest to banish the boring and try something different in business meetings I ran across a new company called Animoto.com. The creators of Animoto probably never envisioned their application being used in a business environment (I asked -- they hadn't), but I saw it and thought, what the hell? I gave it a try.

Animoto Easy
Took me about 5 minutes to figure out. Easy to use. Quick to learn. I had a few questions, emailed the folks at Animoto and they responded almost instantly -- even at 1:00 am. So, not only a good new tech application, but some responsive folks that understand customer service.
Animoto has the potential of being a real ice-breaker in business meetings. You may harrumph and bloviate ... too goofy, too in-your-face, but at least it's not boring.

Opening with an Opening
Opening a meeting with a funny or poignant look at an issue with a quick 30-60 second video overview will differentiate you from about 99% of others giving a business presentation at any given time. I'll give you a "briefy" (neologism for a "quick overview").

Animoto makes it 1-2-3 easy

Step 1 - Upload your images.
Step 2 - Select your music ( I like their selection, good mix of styles) ...
Step 3 - Then Animoto analyzes the images and music and creates a customized video.

The end result is a 30-second or 60-second movie-like trailer.

Two Types of Edits
You can go back in and move images around any way you want, change the music, or do both.
Now here's the really cool part. They have a one-step remix process so you can essentially make 10-20-30 different versions of the same presentation. You just press the automated remix and a new version of your video is mixed. Not boring.

Some REALLY Valuable Additional Uses
You can also use it to suck up to the Boss's secretary. Alice, my boss's secretary, makes the world go round. She gets things done when all hope is lost. She's the helping hand out of the quicksand, and on and on. So, when I realized I forgot to get her a birthday card I was frantic. I quickly resulted to unplanned sophomoroic cartoonializing that are character flaws of the truly disorganized. I did the 1--2-3 step Animoto boogie and it morphed into the semblance of a well thought-out personalized birthday card. I emailed it to her. Waited for a digital pink slip to ping my email inbox. But .. she loved it. It has now gone down in corporate history books as the day "Steve won over Alice."

See below.

Prestidigitation

Several people have asked about my use of the word "prestidigitation" in the "Wizard of Was," Jimi Hendrix post. Did I make the word up? No. In that post I referenced Bruce Hornsby. First heard the word when he was doing a song called "Spider Fingers".

What is Prestidigitation?

Prestidigitation is defined as "skill in or performance of tricks; sleight of hand." Though the word is used in Spider Fingers it doesn't apply to the song or Bruce's Spider Fingers. That's practice and repetition combined with sheer innate musical genius.

Don't believe me? Watch the clip.




Customer Stories2.0 - Fedex


Customer stories can be pretty boring. Historically boring. Lame corporate gobbledygook writing. Tediously long. Structured in a communistic concrete architectural story-style. Over-printed. Rarely read. However, they 're one valuable resource people check out to see if you can really do what you say you can. But they're so boring they're desperately in need of a extreme makeover.


Now comes Fedex doing something interesting. Telling stories. Real stories. That's right, real stories of their employees going the extra step to serve customers. It's a first step towards banishing the customer story of boring yore.

What's unique about Fedex Stories? It's the format. The presentation style. Web-based, personalized, visually appealing -- and engaging. And, more importantly, it's a tip of the hat to their greatest strength -- the Fedex employee.

You've heard of Web2.0., Sales2.0., PR2.0. well maybe this is the start of ... Customer Stories2.0.

The Fedex Stories web site (URL at the bottom of this post) starts with a spinning globe with little yellow dots sprinkled over it. Each dot represents a story, a customer and employee.



When you click on a yellow dot, satellite imagery hones in on the location anywhere on the globe they have tagged.

ZOOM

It zooms downward towards earth. Up pops an employee name, title, location, and the story begins.

Now this is not a pdf - or classic customer success story brochure format. It's a visually appealing, interactively engaging, textually minimalistic, powerful example of some world-class storytelling. Not only short, succinct text -- but pictures, imagery, and in some cases, audio and video.

DREADED "S" WORDS

Notice I said the dreaded five-letter word? Short? Followed by another nasty descriptive adjective long out of favor with corporate communicators? Succinct?

I traveled with their employees and customers to Dubai, (you have to click "back to globe" to start the globe spinning again - don't be childish like some people I know and left click and hold your mouse so make the globe spin really fast) China, Ireland, Wyoming, Australia and Chile. A good example of video was Samantha Byrne in Dublin, Ireland.


Buffaloes and a Box of Chocolates

I really liked the Sheridan, Wyoming video with Fedex Service Manager Debbie Knezovich. Not to crib the story, how can you not like a story that has a jack-of-all trades, buffaloes and a box of chocolates? My favorite story was probably in Santiago, Chile.

Why is this different? Why does it matter?

It brings to light and life real-people, real problems, real solutions. It highlights the employee efforts to provide the best service possible -- under difficult conditions. Who wouldn't want to do business with a company that has employees like this?

CAVEAT EMPTOR

No matter how great the presentation style, how creative the writing is, a great customer story doesn't start with the customer. It starts with the employee.

Check it out or go to http://www.fedexstories.com/ - HOLD IT!
A question before proceeding. What are the two most clicked on words on the internet? "Skip Intro," take it for what it's worth.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

It Was 40 Years Ago Today, Jimi Hendrix Taught the World to Play

The Wizard Of Was
I'm a music lover - and passable piano player. Passable means I played in the local pubs, bars, nightclubs, studios, events, weddings, etc. for 15 years and got paid for it. Got rich? Yes. But not monetarily. Got rich with ethereal moments and emotional highs. Connecting and resonating on stage "live" is an experience everyone should have. Occasionally it felt like I was someone else watching my fingers doing things on the keys that were wonderfully implausible -- even impossible. Prestidigitation. Magical. But ... that was before I saw Bruce Hornsby play. Then I wanted to chop my fingers off. That's another story. For another day.

It Was 40 Years Ago Today, Jimi Hendrix Taught the World to Play
Hard to believe it's been 40 years. But it has. Jimmy Hendrix at Monterey. Today the UK Telegraph published some remastered footage of the Monterey Pop Festival from October 25, 1967.

Resonating Riff
Nothing is more moving than a soul-vetting resonating riff. Storytelling isn't always just about words, pictures, or audio. Watch Jimi actually play a few riffs with his teeth in this video. Then close your eyes and listen to the same riff. That's a resonating riff if ever there was one .... Smoking. On fire. Sgt. Pepper probably watched this band play.

If ever if ever a Wiz there was the Wizard of Was is one because, because, because, because, because ... because of the wonderful things he does.
BEHOLD - THE WIZARD OF WAS

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Whiffs: Missed Messages and Beetle-Juice on Acid

Sometimes you just miss too many things. Get too many emails. Too many voicemails. Then ... you forget you forgot to remember to call a person on their birthday. Not by a day. But by a couple weeks.



Ouch.
Only real losers do that.

It doesn't really matter that you are uber-busy. Or business is bad. Or your heavily invested in Merrill Lynch. Or you voted for Ross Perot once. And would again. Or that you had lots of United Parcel Service (UPS) stock before it went public. But you sold it to invest in Pets.com. Or that the Shinese food you had for lunch was really crappy, crummy, vile, egregious, god-awful (Shinese is really bad Chinese) and is haunting you like an ethereal eidolon (Beetle-Juice on Acid).

Who, Me?



Well someone that looks a lot like me, talks a lot like me and sits at the desk I sit most of the time, did that.

To a great writer friend, Nettie Hartsock.

So what to do?

I'd recommend an Animoto-Mail Message -- it's worth the effort anyway.

And the Number One Issue In The Presidential Election Is?

Fecund Feral Feces

I thought I knew what the number one issue of the 2008 Presidential election was.

I thought it was the Iraq War. I was wrong.

I thought it might be Health care . I was wrong, again.

Maybe terrorism? College tuition? Wrong again. And again.

Fecund Feral Feces

Yes. According to this official news report, Bull-Krapola (or some refer to it as fecund feral feces without the fecundity) is the number one issue in the 2008 Presidential election.

Here's a video that clearly gets to it. Check out the reporter. Glad to see Bill Gates landed himself a new paying gig.


Poll: Bullshit Is Most Important Issue For 2008 Voters

Fedex - Customer Stories2.0

Customer stories can be pretty boring. Lame writing. Tediously too long. Often over-printed. Rarely read. They are, however, one valuable resource that people check out to see if you can really do what you say you can.

Customer Stories2.0

Now comes Fedex doing something interesting. Telling stories. Real stories. Of their employees going the extra step to serve customers. They use satellite imagery - let you pick out anyplace on the globe where they have tagged - you click on it, and a story from that location is displayed. Not a pdf - or classic customer success story format. But a visually appealing, textually minimalistic, powerful example of some world-class storytelling.

Web2.0 - Sales2.0 - PR2.0.

Looks like we have a new 2.0. Customer Stories2.0

Check it out or go to http://www.fedexstories.com/

Monday, October 22, 2007

PR in the US is changing radically. The way companies communicate with customers, prospects and the media is evolving so rapidly it's hard to explain sometimes in a simple, easy-to-understand manner. But this video does a great job of it.


PRWeb - A Vocus Service from Jiyan on Vimeo.

General Patton's Speech

Anyone that has ever watched the movie Patton knows it starts out with an incredible speech. A speech that was an excerpt of many words General Patton actually used with his troops. Moving, politically incorrect and visceral. What if he were alive today?

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

The World's Only Corporate Spokes-Donkey

David Meerman Scott, author of the best-seller "The New Rules of Marketing and PR," did a little riff on my Shoot the Donkey column. He got me thinking when he rhetori-sophmorically posed this question. "Can you think of any other B2B software companies that have a corporate spokes-donkey?"

David - I checked. There aren't.

Lots of Asses

There are a lot of run of the mill average corporate asses (ACA's).

But No Sharp-Dressers

But no trendy, hip, sharp-dressing, corporate Spokes-donkeys like mine. My Donkey (Donkey O'Tee is his real name) wears a lot of different hats too ( see slide show ) - and is a world class master of Pompously Obfuscating on Purpose.

2007 SLAP Award Winner!

He's one of the main reasons I won this years coveted SLAP (acronym for Stupid, Laughable, Anal, Preposterous) award for writers.


Monday, October 15, 2007

Animoto-rizing - The End of Boring Business Presentations?

On a Relentless Quest to Banish the Boring

Business presentations are usually boring. Not usually. Almost always. Boring. Boring. Boring.
50-60-70 powerpoint slides full of corporate gobbledygook, meaningless diatribes and words drained of meaning.

Poison Pills (PowerPoint)

Hours wasted? Incalculable. America's productivity probably suffers a 20-30% daily deficiency, but not because of business meetings. But because of boring, useless meetings that took hours upon hours to prepare for, that have long agendas which are rarely followed, filled with multiple poison pills named ... Powerpoint slides.

On the relentless quest to banish the boring and try something different in business meetings I ran across a new company called Animoto.com and their application. Now the Animoto guys probably never envisioned their application being used in a business environment (I asked -- they hadn't), but I saw it and thought, what the hell? I gave it a try.

Animoto Easy

Took me about 5 minutes to figure out. Easy to use. Quick to learn. I had a few questions, emailed the folks at Animoto and they responded almost instantly -- even at 1:00 am. So, not only a good new tech application, but some dedicated folks that understand customer service.

Animoto has the potential of being a real ice-breaker in business meetings. You may harrump and bloviate ... but do you remember how PowerPoint got started? It was developed by a couple of engineers to communicate with some marketers what they were trying to do in an easy to understand (pictures/images/graphs) manner. (Don't blame the engineers, their motives were pure.)

Opening with and Opening

Opening up a meeting with a funny or poignant look at an issue with a quick 30-60 second video overview will differentiate you from about 99% of others giving a business presentation at any given time. I'll give you a briefy (neologism for a "quick overview").

Animoto makes it 1-2-3 easy

Step 1 - Upload your images.
Step 2 - Select your music ( I like their selection, good mix of styles) ...
Step 3 - Then Animoto analyzes the images and music and creates a customized video.

The end result is a 30-second or 60-second movie-like trailer.

Two Types of Edits

You can go back in and move images around any way you want, change the music, or do both.
Now here's the really cool part. They have a one step remix process so you can essentially make 10-20-30 different versions of the same presentation. You just press the automated remix and a new version of your video is mixed. Not boring.

Some Valuable Additional Uses

You can also use it to suck up to the Boss's secretary. Alice, my boss's secretary, makes the world go round. She gets things done when all hope is lost. She's the helping hand out of the quicksand, and on and on. So, when I realized I forgot to get her a birthday card I was frantic. I quickly resulted to unplanned sophomoroic cartoonializing that are character flaws of the truly disorganized. I did the 1--2-3 step Animoto boogie and it morphed into the semblance of a well thought-out personalized birthday card. I emailed it to her. Waited for a digital pink slip to ping my email inbox. But .. she loved it. It has now gone down in corporate history books as the day "Steve won over Alice."





Monday, October 8, 2007

Presentation Tools

Been testing out some new applications for presentations. PowerPoint is boring.

So I worked up a quickie for my Corporate Spokes-Donkey (don't ask), using Slide.com. Pretty easy to work with. Slow on the upload some times. Each time you change music or images you have to go back and change the speed of the presentation and save the captions (if you have captions) of the images you use. Annoying, but workable. Nice selection of themes and music.

I mixed and matched a heap of images with a great song that I'd never heard of.

Look close ... you'll see a classic PowerPoint Punt.

Anyway ... Here are some Classic Donkeys


Corporate Gobbledygook ... The Four Too's vs. The Four Tools


From personal experience and conversations with many experts in the field, there is reasonable agreement that most corporate sales, marketing and PR lingo suffers from

"The Four Too’s."

  • Too wordy

  • Too complex

  • Too confusing

  • Too valueless

Agree or Disagree?

Why is that?

Essentially it boils down to:

  1. Trying to be all things to all people at all times

  2. Not knowing you can’t be all things to all people at all times

  3. Trying to sound really sophisticated, cool, intelligent, intricate and inclusive

And finally, the biggie,not understanding your customer/buyer.

For example, in a recent technology analyst study of executives who were likely to buy enterprise software, it was discovered that large ERP vendors promoted speeds, feeds and technology innovation to their marketplace. These promotions more often than not entail lengthy and wordy descriptive obfuscations (yes, I know what it means, I’m trying to sound really sophisticated, cool, intelligent and inclusive).

But Guess What?

Buyers don’t care about that. Nope. They essentially want one thing: understanding.

Simple understanding.

Clear, short, concise messages and understanding.

Understanding of What?

Understanding them, their businesses, their processes. They don’t want or need the wordy intellectual technical features and functions tomes. Keep it simple! Less is more. They throw away all the cutesy, excessively long-winded brochures as soon as you leave the room.

Some other findings of the study were interesting as well. Buyers would pay for

  • high integrity,

  • fast return on investment,

  • inexpensive operation,

  • easy implementation, and

  • excellent service.

But how is that different from 20 years ago? And isn’t that applicable to any buyer?

Buyers Want What They Want

Buyers are pretty basic. They want what they want. Understanding and practicality.

Would You Buy From This Company?

"We provide"

  • low integrity,

  • no return on investment,

  • expensive products,

  • hard-to-implement products, and

  • the world’s worst customer service.


Just a wild guess ... but I’m thinking not.


The Value Of Being a Simpleton

I like simple messages (I’m a simpleton) that give me four tools to combat the four too’s.

The Four Tools

  1. What do you do?

  2. How do you do it?

  3. What makes you different from your competitors?

  4. Why should I buy from you (value proposition)?

I know.

Too simple.

But, having recently read this message,

"We build, sell and support hypothetical superluminal quantum particle applications with ERP, CRM, BPM, MRM and PLM functionality targeted at vertical market particularities with platform-neutral ‘LMNOP" interoperability.’ "

I find I still prefer

  1. What do you do?

  2. How do you do it?

  3. What makes you different from your competitors?

  4. Why should I buy from you (value proposition)?

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

The Letter All Writers Want to Write …

One particular day, after receiving a rejection letter (the first among many that I’ve never acknowledged) I got a little ticked. I mean, c'mon, I just spent three months banging out 120 pages of the best screenplay America has never seen.

A classic.

A beaut.

It has the heart of “Rocky,” the cherubic innocence of “Forrest Gump” and the underlying spirituality of “Gandhi.” (You are now getting very, very sleepy ... think “
Acceptance Bridge,” and get your checkbook out.)

A quick sale for sure.

I'll be fair and take mid-seven figures against eight. Win-win! That's my motto. But ... what do I get?

A form letter.

But not just any form letter. A little, personalized, scribbled note was attached.

It said,

“You're a good writer, but no real producer would touch this. Too much spirituality at the end. Think more commercial. How about bankers ripping off some people? And chases. Car crashes. Viruses. Diseases. They're big right now. Oh - special effects. Magic. Need that too. Movies are all about special effects now. Don’t be such a smart writer. Dumb it down some.

Get some reviews from someone too - someone with a title would be great. Define what demographic market your film appeals to, what merchandising opportunities and ancillary revenue streams could be available.”


Okay, reasonable advice. Right? It was followed by this little mentoring tidbit.


Cartoons as Structure


"Watch cartoons to guide your story structure
- they do it best. And watch movies where animals are the stars. Those are great dialogue-reducers. Relate it to movies you know. Something you can make a snap judgment on. Like “Legally Blonde” meets “Gandhi.” I am busy you know. Send me another query when you think you can meet my needs."

Squareballs Ponders Reasonable Advice

Dialogue-reducers?


Meet his needs?


Dumb it down?


Basement Balcony Beckons


I stifled the urge to hurl myself off the basement balcony. It was tough. I bit my tongue, but did not overdose on 33 cheese coneys with extra onions, peanut butter, chocolate jelly (my favorite), mayonnaise, jalapenos and nuclear hot sauce.

But, being the consummate professional, I felt the need to follow up on his kind offer.

Here's what I wrote back … and just for yucks, sent out to 50 other producers. (You think I'm kidding?)
_______________________________________________________________________

Dear Omniscient, All-Seeing, All-Knowing, Producer:

I have a recently completed screenplay titled "Pig and Turkey” - a classic como-drama that I would like to submit to your company for consideration.

Dialogue Reducers Introduced

Think Babe and Woody Woodpecker freeing Willie.

A pig and a turkey join together to save their farm from an unscrupulous banker who is trying to foreclose on the property because he wants to turn it into a non-profit gambling casino.

Brings in the Banker and Disease Simultaneously (and brilliantly I might add)


The banker leaks to the press that "Mad Turk’s Disease" has infested the animals on the property.

Mad Turk’s Disease is an awful virus that makes your hair and nails fall out, causes you to get really disgustingly big facial warts, engenders disgustingly bad breath and uncontrollable flatulence.

The Dastardly Banker


The banker tricks them into jumping the Grand Canyon on a tricycle with two wheels saying he will stop foreclosure if they complete the leap. The leap is televised worldwide (Pay Per View).


The dastardly banker saws the ramp in half and Pig and Turkey are hurled head and beak-first into the Grand Canyon to a certain death.

A terrible, gut-wrenching moment, sure to bring tears to anyone with the least bit of a heart.


Magic and Special Effects Covered


Just when Death opens its jaws wide to receive them, Turkey finds her wings and transmogrifies like a caterpillar into ... … a bald eagle, but not just any bald eagle.

“Eagle Kneivel”

saving Pig and their farm.

Brings in Joseph Campbell


Pig and Turkey fight heroically to save their home and way of life while exhibiting upstanding morals and fulfilling the heroes’ mythical journey.

Pig and Turkey Fast and Furious (see the sequel potential you visionaries?)


Pig and Turkey zoom toward an unbelievable climax in a 32-car chase scene throughout 51 states (including Puerto Rico).


Great Review

My great-grandmother, Elsie Grunewald, a retired English teacher and author of 11 unpublished novels, thoroughly reviewed the screenplay and thought it was the best thing she’s read since “War and Peace” By Leonardo Coldstoy.

She has prepared in-depth critiques and analyses for your review, and she has also meticulously choreographed the camera shots. POV by POV.


Tremendous Opportunity Spelled Out


To whom may I send this terrific, sure to be a runaway Academy Award winner nominee, 297 1/2 page screenplay?


Oops – Almost Forgot Demographics and Ancillary Revenue Streams

And ... did I forget to mention that it will appeal to the family audience and has great ancillary market revenue potential utilizing dolls, toys, bacon, lettuce, and turkey sandwiches sold through ... probably McDonald's?

Regards, Steve


P.S. Contact me at my Grandma's house.

Now is that a piece of work or what?

Sucks doesn't it?

I got 10 requests to read the damn thing.

About Steve Kayser


Although Steve has won multiple screenwriting awards and publishes an award-winning B2B e-zine with 135,000 subscribers, he is currently busy recruiting handsome, intelligent, bilingual pigs to audition for the lead part in “Pig and Turkey.”


If you are a handsome, intelligent, bilingual pig and are looking to break into acting, this may be your big chance. Contact Steve at skbigm@gmail.com


****Disclaimer****

NO EGOS! Must be able to get along with a turkey who saves the day … at least until Thanksgiving!

Summarizing Books with Buzz for Busy People

Book Digest: Summarizing Books with Buzz for Busy People


Book Digest: Summarizing Books with Buzz for Busy People

Too busy to read? Or like me ... reading challenged? Interested in hearing great lessons and takeaways in a shortened format from the best and latest books? My good friend Nettie Hartsock just launched a new Podcast series you should check out.

Nettie's podcast gives listeners the Cliff Notes™ version of the books everyone is talking about. Get reviews, key insights, special author interviews, NY Times and Wall St. Journal bestsellers and the best independently published books. She even gives her audience a special recommendation for a fiction book or two for relaxing weekend reading.

Stop by and have a listen. Below are links to the first two episodes.

Go Nettie!

Episode 1: “Growing Great Employees”, “POP: Stand Out in Any Crowd”, “Fired Up or Burned Out”, “The Lay of the Land”.

This episode features business books:

  • Growing Great Employees
  • POP: Stand Out In Any Crowd
  • Fired Up or Burned Out” and the fiction pick
  • The Lay of the Land
icon for podpress Standard Podcast [25:50m]: Hide Player | Play in Popup | Download

Book Digest Episode 2: John Jantsch, Jeff Thull, Stephen Covey and More…Oh My!

This episode features business books:

  • Duct Tape Marketing by John Jantsch
  • Exceptional Selling by Jeff Thull
  • Book Yourself Solid by Michael Port
  • The 8th Habit by Stephen R. Covey
  • Rainbow’s End by Vernor Vinge

My Darling, Is That Manure Stick You Have on?

Some world-class marketing screw-ups

by Steve Kayser, Cincom's Expert Access Editor and PR Manager

Marketing. Advertising.

Is there any more expensive way to throw away money with such arrogant disregard for common sense? Or, to do it with such condescending, confounding, disparate, and creative personalities?

Is there any more effective way to get people to scratch their heads with befuddled looks and say,

"What marketing bonehead thought up that commercial?"

But, Steve, aren't you a marketing bonehead?

Obviously the reader doesn't know me.

Do I look like a marketing bonehead to you?

No ... well, maybe.

Sorta.

Okay.

I confess. Occasionally I delve into marketing. And yes, I occasioanlly have to lump myself in with the knuckleheads referenced above.

But, recently I watched several commercials that absolutely floored me. Totally nonsensical, beyond even my warped sense of artistic marketing deficiencies.

Has High IQ

Now I consider myself quite the intellectual. My IQ is (let's play hi-low, I have to show some discretion here so as not to embarrass fellow readers) between 50 and 75 (lower during work hours - higher during NCAA March Madness). But when watching the aforementioned commercials:

  1. I didn't get the message. I wasn't even sure it was in a language known to man.

  2. I couldn't say what product was being sold, if any.

  3. I couldn't decipher why, if I figured out number two, I would want to buy it anyway. No benefit, no Unique Selling Proposition (USP).

  4. And finally, I couldn't figure out how anyone besides a lamebrained, half-witted, discombobulated imbecile with no fiscal responsibility to his employees, shareholders, investors or owners, would okay the budget to produce the commercial, let alone air it. (Though secretly I yearned to meet him. I have a cool marketing campaign designed to rollout a hypothetical, superluminal donkey-shaped quantum particle-powered car for the NASCAR circuit.)

Some World-Class Marketing Screw-Ups (or ... how to end your marketing career quickly without really trying)

Now, every business discipline has its fair share of screw-ups. But, when marketing folks screw up, it's typically on a grand scale. Spectacular ... and funny (unless you're the one paying for it).

For example, a beer company wondered why sales were close to non-existent in a European country they were trying to penetrate. They had a slogan that was remarkably similar to, if not identical, to "Turn It Loose." Well, when translated into the native language, it came out as,

"Suffer from Diarrhea."

You think that might have been the problem?

How about this one (one of my favorites)? The Scandinavian manufacturer, Electrolux, rolled out an American campaign that, when translated, caused a few titters.

"Nothing Sucks Like an Electrolux."

Nice rhyme and it grabs you, doesn't it? I mean for a tagline ... it's a killer.

And who wouldn't appreciate the bad taste (or more aptly ... smell) of this campaign from a multinational hair-product company. The product was called "Mist Stick." Has a certain elegance, certain chic, certain ambiance doesn't it?

Sales in a foreign country were slightly hindered by the translation of "Mist Stick" into:

"Manure Stick."

Surprisingly, not many people plopped down their hard-earned money for it. (However, the marketing director was rumored to have been repeatedly assaulted with a manure stick as he was run out of town.)

For you romantics out there, can you imagine the wooing possibilities?

Obviously, these marketing mistakes centered on cross-cultural, vernacular, and incorrect translations. So the obvious fix would to be more visual ... don't you think?

Yes!

Pictures!

That's it. Show. Don't tell. Less is more!

An American baby food company tried that in Africa. They used the same packaging as used in the U.S., which includes a picture of a cuddly, cute baby.

Oops. Once again, the first indicator of a problem was ... no sales.

African companies put pictures of what's inside the jars (contents) on the outside of the jars. Apparently, in Africa, there was no taste (that was in bad taste wasn't it?) or market for babies in a jar.

Even if they were cute as can be.

So, when you think things are going bad, your sales and marketing campaigns are floundering, and you feel stupid, perk up!

You could be marketing Manure Stick.


About Steve Kayser: Steve is currently Cincom's Expert Access Editor and PR Manager. In his spare time, Steve models kilts for Un-Vanity, Non-GQ and The Manly Kilt Wearing Man's monthly magazines. Steve also headlines fundraising events for his run at an Olympic Gold Medal in the kilt-wearing mechanical bull riding competition to be held in Cincinnati, Ohio in 2050. For more info, you can contact Steve at skayser@cincom.com

A DOG Fight for Justice
A Non-Symbolic, Non-Mythological, Real-Life Hero's Journey

by Steve Kayser


If It Were You?

If you faced a critical moment in your life, a choice - that would forever define you - between doing right, wrong or nothing at all, what would you do? You hope you would do the right thing; you'd act. But what if you did and it blew up in your face?

What Would You Do?

If you thought you did the right thing, the absolute right thing, the only thing, could you handle being thrown in jail and face years in prison in a foreign country for it? Losing everything you had? And, to top it off, your own government abandoned you simply for trying to do right?

This is one such story. A journey. The late, great Joseph Campbell would call it a classic Hero's Journey. But he dealt in myths. Symbolic narratives. Mythology. This is real life.

It's a tale of two countries, a donkey and a dog.


Yesteryear Today



"
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness,
it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness,
it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us,
we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way."

- "A Tale of Two Cities" - Charles Dickens




No one writes like that anymore, do they? Old Charlie was a Dickens of a writer. Let's update it for today. For right now. For this story. Call it ...

... A Tale of Two Countries

These are our times. Right is wrong, wrong is right.
Up is down, down is up. Fools wise, wisdom foolishness. Yappedy Yap News 24 x 7, Crappedy Crap Yap more than that. Worse ... bad guys are good, good guys are bad.

But
Stupid is still stupid. Dumb is still dumb.

That's what this "Tale of Two Countries" is about.

This is not a story about cowardly dog fighting. It's a true story about a Dog's fight for justice and freedom. Not any dog but "The Dog" - Duane Chapman AKA ... Dog the Bounty Hunter.
"Dog" is the most famous bounty hunter in the world having helped capture 7,000 fugitives. He is also the star of A&E's most-watched show, "Dog the Bounty Hunter" and a number-one New York Times best-seller book, "You Can Run But You Can't Hide."

This is one Dog's story that illustrates
the classic "Shoot the Donkey" principle.
What is "Shoot the Donkey"?

Shoot the Donkey refers to a scene in the movie "Patton" (based upon a true-life event) where the Seventh Army gets critically held up in battle on a bridge, by a cart-pulling donkey that has stopped and refuses to budge, totally blocking the bridge. Life and death are at stake. An MP struggles with the donkey and the owner, trying to get them out of the way.

The entire Seventh Army halts for this recalcitrant donkey.

General George Patton roars up, leaps out of his jeep
, whips out his ivory-handled pistol, shoots the donkey, and immediately has it hurled off the bridge, removing the obstacle. That classic scene not only revealed Patton's character in a cinematic way, but also embodied the great success principle of personally taking decisive action to remove all obstacles to fulfill one's mission.

This event has often been cited as evidence of General Patton's brutal blood and guts mentality. He didn't see it that way.



"I didn't like shooting the donkeys. But I preferred that to the alternative of having the Luftwaffe arrive to strafe the column and kill large numbers of my men."

- General Patton




Taking decisive action. Removing obstacles. Doing the right thing to fulfill a mission- to protect and help others. Doing right ... when it counts.
Dog the Bounty Hunter did (and is doing) all of those things.

General Patton would be proud of the Dog.

"I don't measure a man's success by how high he climbs but how high he bounces when he hits bottom."

- General George Patton Jr.


Dog has shot the Donkey. More than once. But some days you shoot the donkey ...



This donkey did. And still is. At the end of this story, you can help - take action - to give this story a well-deserved happy ending.

True story?

Were this story not true it could never be told as fiction. For ...



... Truth is stranger than fiction, but it is because fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities; truth isn't.


- Mark Twain



But, this true story has to be told in context as in, what if the shoe were on the other foot? What if this Dog not been an American? And in that telling, there may be a bit of illustrative storytelling ... but just a donkey-tad.

A little bit of an anthropomorphic allegorical cartoon-lampooning narrative.

A Tale of Two Countries Begins With ...

Burro el Cazador Criminal – AKA "Donkey the Criminal Hunter"




Burro el Cazador Criminal, AKA "Donkey the Criminal Hunter," was arrested four years ago in the United States after finding and detaining a predatory serial rapist, Andrewje Lusterlessista, millionaire heir of the Faux Mactor company cosmetics fortune. Burro el Cazador Criminal acted on a tip received about Lusterlessista's whereabouts in the U.S. He was accompanied by a local U.S. police officer and was in communication with Mexican officials about his search for Lusterlessista while in the U.S when he took Lusterlessista into custody.

Captured on TV

The capture of Andrewje Lusterlessista, was filmed by Retén de Fateline ABC&E TV una demostración despredadora serial sicopática peligrosa (ABC&E TV Fateline's "To Catch a Really Dangerous Psychotic Serial Predator on the Loose" show). Lusterlessista had been a fugitive from Mexican justice. He'd been sentenced, in abstentia (because he'd fled the country) to 124 years in prison after being convicted of 86 of 87 rape-related charges.

When captured, Lusterlessista had in his possession the date-rape drug "GBH" - the same drug he'd used in Mexico to nefariously poison and render unconscious multiple victims.

A Preying Predator

Andrewje Lusterlessista was actively on the hunt for more human prey. He was taken off the streets of America before he could do anyone any more harm by a fierce-looking, efficient bounty hunter.

So What?

Good guys win. Bad guy loses. Society wins. Set 'em up, knock a couple brews down. Right?

Wrong.

Cross-country bounty-hunting is illegal in Mexico, so technically Burro el Cazador Criminal – AKA "Donkey the Criminal Hunter" - had boo-booed a little. He and his crew were not authorized to track Lusterlessista and take him into custody in the U.S.

US authorities arrested him. Burro el Cazador Criminal, his son Lelando (who works with him), and another associate assisting in the capture were jailed. They posted bail and returned to Mexico. Now, the U.S. government wants him extradited back to the U.S. for trial on charges of illegal imprisonment. Burro el Cazador Criminal and his crew face four to five years in prison.

I'm a Bad, Bad Burro

You've Got to Be Kidding?

Absurd, right?

Burro el Cazador Criminal had removed from the U.S. streets:

  • A dangerous sexual predator
  • A serial rapist who drugged and poisoned unconscious women
  • A person that Mexican and U.S. authorities could not find
  • A person that had fled the jurisdiction of one country to hide and resume his evil predatory machinations in another
  • A person who had a price on his head by the Mexican government

Good guys win. Bad guy loses. The world is a better place.



"Exitus acta probat" -

"The result justifies the deed."

http://www.scs.uiuc.edu/~eseebauer/Ethics/ovid.jpg

- Ovid, Heorides (c. 10 BC)



Never Happen in Real Life?

The U.S. people would rally behind and support Burro el Cazador Criminal – AKA "Donkey the Criminal Hunter," right?

Yes. Absolutely right. They would.

He'd probably (if he wasn't a symbolic cartoon metaphor ... so hold the PETA complaints) be hailed as a hero.



Another Celebrity Ass

He'd might even become another media celebrity "ass" (from the Latin "asinus," for really cool donkey) in the biggest way with ...

A Bad, True Tattoo

Salute Not Shoot

General Patton wouldn't shoot this Donkey, he'd probably

Part Two - A Tale of Two Countries

But what if this really happened and the shoe was on the other foot? An American had captured and taken off the streets of Mexico a dangerous, convicted human predator, brought him back to the U.S. to face justice, and instead faced imprisonment himself? Surely the people and government would rise up to stop this injustice, to right this wrong.

Right. Wrong. Both unfortunately.

A Dog's Life

Well, this really happened. The American, Duane Chapman - AKA "Dog the Bounty Hunter" - faced extradition and years of possible imprisonment in a Mexican jail. Hop on this roller coaster of an evolving true story and what do you find?



"Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence."

- John Adams, Second U.S. President



Lusterless Facts

In January 2003, Andrew Luster, a millionaire heir to the Max Factor cosmetics fortune, fled from the U.S. to Mexico to avoid trial on a series of rape charges. He was accused then convicted in abstentia on 86 of 87 criminal charges ranging from poisoning and sexual battery to rape by the California Court system. Luster was declared a fugitive from justice and sentenced to 124 years in prison.

Dogged Facts

Dog, along with his son Leland Chapman and associate Tim Chapman (not related), after months of research, hard work and meetings with some of Luster's victims, dedicated themselves to capturing Luster. In June 2003, they received a tip and located Luster in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.

They were accompanied by a local Mexican police officer and were in communications with American officials about their search for Luster while in Mexico. Dog's team captured Luster, but then was arrested while attempting to turn Luster over to Mexican authorities for extradition back to the U.S. Dog and his team were charged with depriving Luster, a known fugitive and convicted serial rapist, of his liberty.

The Dog and his team were not authorized to track Luster and take him into custody in Mexico, Mexican officials said at the time, adding that bounty-hunting is illegal in Mexico. Dog and his team were held in prison for several days, then posted bail and left the country. Now, four years later, they faced extradition from the U.S. to Mexico for up to four years of hard jail time in a Mexican jail if the U.S. Government turned them over.

Not a Dime

Duane "The Dog" Chapman was never paid for Luster's capture - not a dime - even though there was a one-million-dollar bounty.The Dog originally believed he could legally arrest Luster based on the fact that Luster had entered Mexico under a false name.

Who Benefited from Luster's Capture?

Almost everyone. People in both countries are safer. Mexico is rid of a dangerous predator. Luster is behind bars. The victims' families can feel some semblance of relief. Justice served.
Hardly any taxpayer monies were used.

Who Doesn't Benefit?

A single person - the convicted criminal predator.

A Roller Coaster Timeline

But, in September of 2006, more than three years after the arrest of Luster, U.S. Marshals
arrested the Dog for extradition back to Mexico. The Dog has already paid hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees and posted $300,000 dollars in a U.S. federal bond so he could stay freed pending the outcome of the extradition proceedings.

Of the People, by the People, for the People

In this circumstance, it would seem a government so formed to protect the sanctity of individual liberty, freedom and justice for all, would step up and protect its citizen. Would draw an impenetrable shield of guaranteed safety around its citizen. Would honor its founding principles.

Wrong.

But thankfully, a government of the people, by the people and for the people still has people ... not in the government.

What follows is a wonderful civics, business and life lesson. How the Dog and his family responded to the continuing Sword of Damocles hanging over their heads is a lesson in patience, perseverance and unrelenting action to remove all obstacles to achieve their goal - justice and liberty. Gradually their actions yielded results and now are close to achieving absolute victory - minus legal fees of course.



"I was never ruined but twice: once when I lost a lawsuit, and once when I won one."

- Voltaire



They took their story to the streets. The people. The media. And ... even government officials had to listen. Why? Because it's a story of good vs.evil. Right vs. wrong. A story of sordid truths. A story of woeful upside-down, inside-out in the belly-of-the-whale injustice.

Blended with Duane "The Dog" Chapman's real-life history of transformation and triumph - overcoming years of drug addiction, abuse, being a hardcore gang member and convicted felon - to a man genuinely driven to fight crime, and help the people he captures, the story resonated across the land.



"Bounty hunting isn't your average nine-to-five job. But then, I'm not your average guy. I have had guns pointed in my face so many times I've lost count. I have been stabbed, beaten, scratched, beat up, and hit with every imaginable (and unimaginable) weapon of choice. I've been tossed through windows, pushed through walls, and shoved through doors. Does that make me a tough guy? You bet. Bounty hunting is definitely not for the faint of heart. But I don't do it to prove I'm tougher or smarter than some other guy. I do it because I have been there. I have been the bad guy. I know firsthand how messed up the system can be. Despite it all, I still believe in truth and justice."


- from "You Can Run, But You Can't Hide"

People respond to truth. Authenticity. Specificity. Tales of triumph and transformation.
Dog's story is Joseph Campbell's "Hero's Journey" personified.

People responded to the Dog's story.

But the tale of two governments didn't.

In February 2007, a Mexican court denied a request to prevent extradition and ruled that the Dog and team would have to stand trial in Mexico.



"I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis.

"The great point is to bring them the real facts."


- Abraham Lincoln



The Dog and his family kept up the factual offensive. They went on Larry King, Rita Cosby, Glen Beck, MSNBC, CNN, Fox News, in print and in the streets. They persisted. They networked. They persevered. Their story touched the common-sense ethos of the silent majority. The majority that has the power to move the great unmovable ... monolithic governments.

They did not respond with mud-slinging or vitriol. They responded with dignity and class. With panache. With gutty realism. With truth. They took some hits but kept moving.



"Let me tell you something you already know. The world ain't all sunshine and rainbows. It is a very mean and nasty place.
It will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life.
But it ain't how hard you hit; it's about how hard you can get hit, and keep moving forward.
How much you can take, and keep moving forward.

"That's how winning is done."

- Rocky Balboa




Starts to Pay Off

Several government representatives started speaking up on the Dog's behalf, questioning the validity of spending tax dollars to investigate and prosecute someone that should have instead been honored and applauded, by both countries. In Spring 2007, The Hawaiian legislature stepped in with a resolution requesting Mexico to stop the extradition proceedings.

Finally

In this tale of two countries, one saw the light - Mexico.

In July 2007, the first Criminal Court in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, dismissed all criminal charges pending against Dog and his team on the grounds that the statute of limitations had expired. The order effectively canceled all pending charges.

It's Over! (Not)

On August 1, 2007 an appeal was filed by the Mexican prosecution to overturn the lower court's decision.

FINALLY

Mexican Courts dropped all charges against the Dog in August 2007. Per the resolution on page 14 of the translated decision, "The Court hereby orders the DISMISSAL OF THE PRESENT ACTION against the parties and hereby orders their ABSOLUTE FREEDOM."

Free. Free. Free at Last

Not so fast - nor free at last.



Sentio aliquos togatos contra me conspirare.

I think some people in togas are plotting against me.



The US Office of International Affairs issued an order not to release the Dog's $300,000 bond because they need "more time" to work on the case. But, because the judge on the case decided to go on vacation, they won't resume working on the case (a case that no longer exists) until the end of October - two months away.



"Be thankful we're not getting all the government we're paying for. "

- Will Rogers




A Man's Best Friend

Isn't a dog.

Isn't even "the Dog."

It's justice.

It's you.



"Justice is truth in action."

- Benjamin Disraeli




What can you do to help right the wrong and really ...





Help The Dog


"We are enlisting our fans and supporters to protest this action by our own government by calling and writing the U.S. Department of State-Office of International Affairs, Judge Barry Kurren, and attorney Ronald Johnson, as well as President Bush, Condaleeza Rice, your Congress men and women and State officials,” said Beth Chapman, the Dog's wife.


“Please keep your calls and letters civil and polite,” said Duane "The Dog" Chapman. He added, “We’ve asked so much of our fans over the past year through this ordeal ... God bless all of you, and thank you from the bottom of our hearts.”

Write. Call. Free the Dog.

U.S. Department of State, Office of International Affairs
2201 C Street NW
Washington, DC 20520
Tel. 202-647-4000
TTY: 1-800-877-8339

Barry M. Kurren, U.S. Magistrate Judge
PJKK Federal Building
300 Ala Moana Blvd., C-338, Honolulu, HI 96850
Tel. (808) 541-1306

Ronald Johnson, Assistant U.S. Attorney
PJKK Federal Building
300 Ala Moana Blvd., Room 6-100
Honolulu, Hawaii 96850
Tel. (808) 541-2850
TTY: (808) 541-1850


Help with legal fees ... buy the Dog's New York Times #1 Best-Seller "You Can Run, But' You Can't Hide" - CLICK HERE for an autographed copy.

Let me know (by email) if you help the Dog and his family out by buying the book, writing or calling the officials above. You'll be registered to win your very own ...


... High-Fashion Object of Desire


You’ll be on the cutting-edge of the elite fashion vanguard, considered the eclectic gravitas of chic, the future rage of out-of-vogue, and you’ll be able to proudly and pompously ...

... March to Your Own Donkey

with this radical reinterpretation of cool, your very own high-fashion object of desire … the "Shoot the Donkey" ball cap.



PS. It comes in any size imaginable (one size fits all).

PSS. Thanks to Alexandra Ramstrum of Hyperion Books and publisher of "YOU CAN RUN BUT YOU CAN’T HIDE" for all her help.

PSSS. Like the images in this article? Thanks to Tom Hortel. They're on a slide show here - CLICK HERE - use them as your desktop or screensaver.

PSSSS. It's Donkey's Greatest Hits! A colossal collage of Shoot the Donkey images are available for screensavers or desktop themes- CLICK HERE


END:

About Dog the Bounty Hunter:

Duane “Dog” Chapman is the most famous bounty hunter in the world and the star of A&E’s most-watched show, Dog the Bounty Hunter. "Dog the Bounty Hunter" is one of the most popular reality shows on American television today. The series, which is in its 4th season on the A&E network, chronicles the adventures of the world's most famous bounty hunter, Duane "Dog" Chapman, and his family, who serve as his bounty-hunting partners. Dog and his crew have apprehended over 7,000 bail jumpers and criminals, with their most famous capture being Max Factor heir, Andrew Luster. For more information go to:


Dog the Bounty Hunter's official site - http://www.dogthebountyhunter.com.

A Man Called Dog: Part 1


About Steve Kayser:

Steve Kayser is an award-winning business writer who has been featured in a marketing best practices case study by MarketingSherpa, A Marketer's Guide to e-Newsletter Publishing, Credibility Branding, Innovation Quarterly, B2B Marketing Trends, PRWEEK, and Faces of E-Content magazine. His writings have appeared in Corporate Finance Magazine, CEO Refresher, Entrepreneur Magazine, Business 2.0, and Fast Company Magazine, among others (mostly comic books disguised as business pubs).

In his spare time, Steve professionally models kilts for Un-Vanity, Non-GQ, and The Manly Kilt Wearing Man monthly magazines.


Steve also headlines fundraising events for his run at an Olympic Gold Medal in the kilt-wearing mechanical bull-riding competition to be held in Cincinnati, Ohio in 2050.


In addition, Steve is retained by a real company - Cincom Systems - selling real stuff - software solutions - (on a very tenuous, minute-by-minute basis) to inspire and motivate others by fulfilling a famous Mark Twain axiom,


“Let us be thankful for the fools;



but for them the rest of us could not succeed."

Other articles by Steve:




For more (or less) information, contact (or don't), Steve at skayser@cincom.com.