Get noticed … or get your money back

Originally uploaded by drewbo.
It looked good on the drawing board. It looked good in the factory. It looked good on the rack. And now it looks good on paper.

Get noticed, or get your money back

Horny Toad is so confident in the fit, style and fabrics of their 2006 men’s collection, that they’re backing it with a special guarantee. Wear any new Horny Toad men’s piece three times – and if you don’t get a word of praise for your stylish new gear, we’ll give you a full refund.

“As we all know, sometimes men have trouble making a commitment. Even to a new shirt,” said Gordon Seabury, Horny Toad president. “Our goal with the Wear It and See Guarantee© is to give guys that extra push to help them over the hump.”

Designed to boost confidence and sales among the occasionally uncertain male shopping population, the Wear It and See Guarantee© applies to current season fall 2006 men’s product purchased from authorized Horny Toad dealers who follow a few, easy, no-math-required steps.

Merely place an order for fall 2006 men’s product form Horny Toad (okay, I admit, there’s a little math), and post the Wear It and See Guarantee© next to your men’s Horny Toad product, as well as at the register.

If and when any Horny Toad men’s product is returned under the program, Horny Toad will happily issue an RA at your wholesale cost.

If you’re not fully convinced of the simplicity of the new Wear It and See Guarantee©, ask your Toad rep or Toad customer satisfaction team for more details – but, honestly, there aren’t any more. It’s really that simple. And the new men’s gear really looks that good.

Looking good, Billy Ray!


Strange Days at 'High Times'

The woes of niche journalism ... espoused by an assistant editor. Classic must read.


LA Times kills Outdoor section

In an odd parallel to the national political scene, when faced with a challenging economic situation ... the LA Times chose to kill their 10-person weekly Outdoors section, launched in Sept. 2003.

"I made the decision that, instead of nibbling around the edges of the paper, it made more sense to make one thing go away," Editor Dean Baquet said. "Something had to go. It was a question of what."



win this

Originally uploaded by drewbo.
you can’t swing a dead cat in the outdoor world these days without hitting somebody spouting off about “growing participation”? in fact, I’ve done it myself (although, proudly, I’ve never been hit by a cat).

the thing is, the phrasing is a bit off the mark. and the more it gets repeated, the more it seems a bit ingenuous.

if we were truly concerned with “growing participation” then wouldn’t we all be proudly selling stuff at WalMart? after all, what better partner could their be in a mass outreach program than the world’s biggest mass merchant?

of course, we know we don’t want to go down that road, because what the bulk of the outdoor industry really wants is to grow a certain kind of outdoor participation ... the “right kind.”

unfortunately, if we started going around issuing studies and press releases about our desire to “grow participation, but only from the right kind of people” we’d be painted as elitist wankers. and nobody likes being painted.

so what are we doing if we’re not striving to “grow participation” ?

let’s see ... we have some who rally their base with red meat messaging designed to froth up their core participants. we have others striving for broad-based support with a water-thin message. and we can all see a huge volume of undecided participants out there who just can’t get off the fence to decide between their Tivo and their tent.

it seems the outdoor marketplace has entered a never-ending election where the old terms are as rusty as the car in Casey Sheahan’s garage.

we’re not “growing participation” anymore ... instead, we’re battling to “win” it.

yes, honey, this isn't business anymore. it’s politics.



Spot the PR Guy, Part II

Originally uploaded by drewbo.
Win fabulous prizes!!!

What a gigantic load of crap

Our distinguished Sentate just voted to keep the oil drilling plan for the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in the budget. What a bunch of pork-happy hacks.

Here's what they say:

"This vote today sends a signal to OPEC and the rest of the world that America is serious about meeting more of its own energy needs. America will not let our consumers or our economy be held hostage to runaway global oil prices" (Pete Domenici, R- New Mexico, and chair of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee)

Here's what I say:

"This (pathetically obvious embedded hunk of pork) today sends a signal to OPEC and (other oil producing conglomerates) that (both Democrats and Republicans) are serious about (drilling the shit out of pristine areas so we can have more oil to sell to China). (American politicians) will not let our (current major donors) or (future major donors) (face any restrictions on drilling anywhere, anytime, and by anybody)"


eBay shows the way

While some outdoor marketers get squeamish whenever eBay is mentioned ... one non-profit outdoor advocacy group has gone public with a different reaction.


The Northern Forest Canoe Trail launched their online auction site this week, transforming the ubiquitous product donations from outdoor industry supporters ("uh, well, how about we give you some fleece earwarmers?") into what they really need: Cold, hard cash.

LINK: Northern Forest Canoe Trail Online Auction

As politics turn personal, business turns into politics

With a new anti-WalMart movie on the horizon, the mass market retailer has set up a rapid response PR "war room."

No longer are they greeting customers at the door ... they now consider them "swing voters."