Marketing/know your audience

About a year ago I was in a business class sponsored by the SBA with a bunch of other established small business owners. There were a lot of contractors and consultants and a few other manufacturers.  One week our assignment was to bring in our marketing materials for the class to critique, and rate.  I was sooooo sure I was gonna take the prize on this one, at DiPinto Guitars we have glossy catalogs, stickers, postcards, a pretty groovy website. We got picks and t-shirts and posters.  All of which I design and implement.  I was feeling pretty proud of myself.

Not only did I not get in the top 3 spots, I got roundly criticised, mostly for this:












OK, so I forget that sometimes that not everyone has a sense of irony…?  You guys get it, right? (answer in the comments section)

I have to say I was surprised how the room turned on me; it was “mean and spiteful”, “lack of color made it look to simplistic”, “it wasn’t a direct call to action”, “doesn’t really advertise anything” and so on.  I think it’s funny, and I think it does advertise something.

I’m not saying my classmates were wrong, but perhaps they didn’t give me the befit of the doubt on knowing what message our audience would be receptive to.  There’s something about this campaign that only speaks to those who are already clued in.


My co-worker, Brian  has said once or twice that if you remember the 90’s you weren’t there.  Not entirely true, I remember bits and pieces of it. Like that time Chris and I went to see Big Chief at the Troc and this band no one ever heard of, Stone Temple Pilots, opened up. Chris even remembers the guitar  player falling on his ass on stage.

But I must have noticed some other stuff too. Like this:





and this:





All of this obviously made an impression on me, and it obviously stuck too. So, I’m hoping you all think like me and this message will stick with you.  And don’t forget to pick up a button and some posters when you stop by the shop.








See, irony. It’s funny.