This is my 100th post. My gratitude goes out to all of you who have taken the time to read this blog and even write comments.
On with the show.
I enjoy calling my banker and my car mechanic by their first names: Keela and Chuck. I shop at Three Rivers Market because I know my money helps support Homer and his family and all the farmers in the region sell their produce there. The Tomatohead, Cafe 4, Nama, and other restaurants receive my patronage because I know that keeping them in business is good for the Knoxville community. Healthy businesses provide jobs. Jobs provide stability. Stability facilitates growth. Growth leads to peace and prosperity.
One of the problems with local, mom-and-pop stores, however, is that many of them have bad cases of IDMOM. IDMOM stands for “I did my own marketing.”
Have you ever given yourself a haircut? How did that turn out? My guess is that, at best, you missed a few patches in the back, and at worst, you drew blood and accidentally morphed into Vanilla Ice. You probably had to visit a professional and say, “Please fix this. I want my wife to stop crying, and I want my kids to stop laughing.”
IDMOM is the business equivalent of a self-inflicted haircut.
I plan to make my case with the advertisement below:
This gem appeared in Tennessee Valley Direct, a newsprint insert that shows up in my mailbox every couple of weeks. The Knoxville News Sentinel prints this garbage, but I won’t complain too much because the last installment included Papa Murphy’s coupons. I love the Papa.
Let me draw your attention to the subheadline: “We are looking forward to getting to know you!!”
First mistake: The double exclamation point. You’ve just confirmed that you’re a fifteen-year-old girl sending a text message about how your crush, Tadd, liked your new jeans.
Second mistake: Eye patch. Nothing against pirates or people who have lost an eye, but nothing says “pervert” like an eye patch. Creepy. Do you have a hook and a wooden leg to go with that thing? What about black sweats, a ski mask, and a digital SLR with a telephoto lens?
When you say you want to get to know me, does that mean you want to watch me step out of the shower and take pictures on burst mode?
No, thank you.
Third mistake: Mascot. Nothing says “Quick, competent, honest auto repair” like Misty the Dachshund. Really? My younger sister and brother-in-law have a miniature long-haired Dachshund named Bacon, and he’s one of the Top 5 Coolest Dogs that you’ll never meet. If he were a bird, he’d be a peacock, and if he were a human, he’d be Neil Diamond. He’s that great. The Dachshund, Bear, who lives in the house behind mine and once barked from 11am until 2am the next morning, 14 hours, with an irregular rhythm of barks? I sure wish Animal Control would answer calls. He’s barking right now. He belongs in a dumpster underneath a pair of soiled briefs. Or maybe he’s just lonely and afraid. In that case, he needs Jesus.
But let me get back to my point: Misty the Mascot Dachshund undermines this company’s credibility. Dachshunds are hit or miss anyway, but in the picture, Misty looks like a hungry brown zombie rat hiding in somebody’s den. Maybe if you had a blue merle Australian Shepherd or an Irish Wolfhound you’d be onto something. Or, a rhinoceros.
Let me just go ahead and put this out there for you, Mr. I Did My Own Marketing: I don’t want to get to know you because your mascot wants to eat my brains and your eye patch either means that you have a scimitar stashed somewhere and aim to take my booty of Spanish doubloons or that you sell ice cream and hugs out of a maroon conversion van.
I’m just glad I’m a grown man without much money to steal. Stay away from my family.