Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Whack on the Side of the Head Wednesday: Marker Marketing

On Monday I told you we would be doing some housekeeping this week.

I spent the better part of yesterday afternoon packaging Pirate Bingo boxes for the post office, sending emails to package sponsors, and distributing patchwork patches.  I'm using the rest of this week to regroup and to cross all my "t"s and dot all my "i"s.  (See 9/19 for more details on Pirate Bingo).

So while I'm doing Highlowaha housekeeping, I might as well revisit my failed "Make Your Mark" campaign (see 8/5).  I don't mean rehash my gross overestimation of how many people would clamor to participate.  I mean revisit what to do with the 66 remaining boxes of 10 Classic Color Crayola Markers.

I have no preconceived notions... other than... ideally we won't lose money on the deal.  It's icing on the cake if we can use the markers to find a few more committed readers or draw lurkers out of hiding.

This is a job for von Oech and his magical Whack Pack.  For those of you new to the game... the rules are simple.  Take an idea (in this case, what to do with my 66 boxes of Crayola Markers) and whack it by applying one of von Oech's principles of creativity.  Today's principle is...

Flex your Risk Muscle.  Bull's eye every time?  If so, you're standing too close to the target.  As comedian Woody Allen puts it, " "If you're not failing every now and again it's a sign your not doing anything very innovative."  Everyone has a "risk muscle."  You keep it in shape by trying new things.  If you don't, it atrophies and you're no longer able to take chances.  How can you exercise your risk muscle? 

Let me interject two things before we get busy whacking...

First, thank you von Oech.  I accept today's prompt as a subtle reminder that it's ok our Make Your Mark campaign failed miserably.  We were just keeping our "risk muscles" healthy and hunting for the next great innovative idea. 

Second... I've noticed a slow decline in "true whacking" over the past few weeks.  Readers liberally make comments on the dilemma, but few of you are actually applying the concept and truly refining the idea or helping to solve the problem.  Consider this exercise as much a test of your creativity (or a flexing of your "creativity muscle") as it is an opportunity to help highlowaha solve a problem.

So today I will sweeten the pot.  Today I will offer the latest and greatest craft tool to the person who offers the most viable and creative idea/solution (as judged by me and my family tonight at dinner).  The tool I will be giving away comes recommended by Taste of USA participant, Kristen.  Each participant was asked to bring his/her "go-to" craft tool for a short Show and Tell activity.  Kristen's tool got the loudest "oohs" and "aaahs".  We all agreed our lives would be enriched if we owned the...

Fiskars Rotary Cutter  
Valued at $19.99 (at least at Michael's)  
The Rotary Cutter is a superior tool that is ideal for cutting through heavy stock or multiple layers of fabric, paper, felt, vinyl, cardboard, mat board, cloth, leather and fiberglass material.

So consult with von Oech and let me know what you think.  How can we exercise our risk muscle to do something purposeful with the remaining 66 boxes of Crayola Markers?

That's it for me.  I'll step out of the way and let our creative readership get to it.

Signing off until tomorrow...

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