Wednesday, February 4, 2009


Maybe we should all hope for a super hero to save us right now. Flying through the air on his way to save the day, Captain Underpants (the cartoon character from the kid’s book series – ) sports nothing more than a red cape with black polka-dots and a pair of white fruit-of-the-looms. I took my kids to a holiday parade recently where Captain Underpants was inflated to the size of an office building and floating along wielding his mighty plunger. It is always surprising to see an enormous chubby dude in briefs hovering over you. It is even more surprising was to see that the sponsor of the balloon was a nearly 100 year old law firm which prides itself on intellectualism and professionalism.

Shortly after the Captain’s hyper-inflated buttocks drifted out of sight, the street filled with a neatly lined army of dark suited, RayBan-wearing accountants swinging black briefcases and dancing a jig in unison. This spectacle was paid for and proudly represented by a firm which “delivers professional services in the areas of internal audit and controls, technology risk management, tax, and finance and accounting.”

Is a gigantic, half-naked balloon man an effective use of marketing funds for a major law firm? How about a financial services firm sponsoring marching accountants doing a briefcase boogie? Before you answer, consider that the Parade was a benefit for a local children’s hospital and the audience represented a broad cross-section of the city’s population: cutting across ethnicity, age, education and income. Who were these firms trying to persuade and how did they expect their involvement to make an impact? In light of the economic mess, did this spend make sense? In an economy where you must do more with less, how do you determine what’s a good use of business development and marketing dollars?

1 comment:

Andrew said...

Great artcile. Do you have a YouTube link?