Archive for February, 2010|Monthly archive page

Batter up! Meet the Waffle Man.

In Uncategorized on February 21, 2010 at 5:38 pm

Sometimes marketing comes down to simply having an interesting story to tell, and I recently came across a guy who does. I attended a fund-raiser for a local high school band, and the event’s headliner wasn’t a musical performance, magician, comedian, or celebrity. (At least, not the kind you’d normally think of.) The star of the show was “The Waffle Man.” In this day of strident, cynical, take-no-prisoners politics, I’m afraid that reference conjures up images of nasty mud-slinging commercials. And that’s too bad, because “The Waffle Man” makes real waffles. Lots of them. Really, really well!

We’ve all been to places – sometimes those “breakfast included” hotel deals – where little electric waffle makers have been part of the fun. But….picture about 25 of them lined up in constant synchronization, spitting out waffles as fast as their little Hamilton Beach hearts can make them to a growing line of hungry people.

Of course, part of the fun Read the rest of this entry »


Big? Large? Double? TP packaging a load of sheets!

In The Marketing Microscope on February 12, 2010 at 3:46 pm

Next time you buy bath tissue, be careful – you might be getting rolled.

I am not one of those guys who is too lazy to put a new roll of “tp” on the holder. (I’m a pretty civilized bathroom user. At the risk of being kicked out of the “typical male” club, I’ll even admit, here and now, that I wash my hands.)  But I’d rather reload the roller less often, so I prefer larger rolls.  And in shopping for those, I’ve noticed that several  manufacturers have begun playing a game that forces the consumer who wants a goo deal to pay way more attention to the product than it deserves.

Quickie quiz: which do you think has more sheets on it – a “large” roll or a “big” roll? And how do those compare to “double” rolls? Truth is, you have to look for the sheet count to really tell.  And chances are, they’ve rolled out a few more choice adjectives for the custom sizes they sell to dollar stores, etc., to confuse you even more!

Does your mind really have space for a deep consideration of your choice among 12 double rolls at  6.99, 36 big rolls at $ 15.99,  9 large rolls at $8.99, or 16 “mega”  rolls at $14.99?  They’re hoping not. I’ m wondering if this is just  one more reason why so many people across the globe hate us – perhaps American industry could do something more important than change production lines and retool dies to provide us an unlimited variety of sheet-count options.

You might be saying “get a life” – and granted, it’s not a big, huge, or large issue. But I guess that all depends on where you stand – or sit – when you’re nearing the end of the roll!

Last second update – as I was completing this post, I saw an ad for a paper towel manufacturer introducing its new “HUGE” roll. As one of my favorite writers Dave Barry would say, “I am not making this up.”