Should you ever MOCK yourself the way Sean Spicer did at the Emmys last night?

Check it out above. Did you see it live? Celebs appeared more shocked than over 40 years ago when a streaker ran naked across the stage at the Academy Awards. Jaw-dropping!!! Spicer came out with a podium and hilariously mimicked his Crowd Size rant that caused all the controversy after the Jan 20th inauguration.

On the one hand, some say he humanized himself after ranting at journalists in the White House Press Briefing Room for months. On the other hand, did this undermine what was left of his credibility? Or did it re-establish it?

As speakers, experts, people in the public eye, should we ever tease ourselves in the way that Sean Spicer did last night?

Would you do it?

Have you ever done anything like this?

What’s the most outrageous publicity or marketing campaign you’ve ever seen?

So, we’re discussing crazy publicity stunts in my Step Into The Spotlight! group on LinkedIn (join us) and one of our members, Dennis Brown, shared a bizarre one, not one that he launched but rather one that he experienced first hand as part of the marketer’s target audience–i.e. he got a package of chocolate grasshoppers in the mail!

It was all part of the rebranding efforts of a company called GotVMail changing its name to Grasshopper. They stuffed a 25,000 chocolate covered grasshoppers in 5000 Fed Ex envelopes and shipped them out to 5000 “influentials” like Dennis Brown. Word spread, their local Fox News station showed up as they were stuffing the envelopes with their dedicated employees. I’ll let co-founder, David Hauser, share the behind the scenes stuff here.:

We all know about the famous Will It Blend? spots to sell Blendtec blenders, where a guy in a lab coat throws anything into a blender, iphones, anything, asking Will It Blend?

Tons of media.

Tons of attention.

Have you ever done anything like this?

What outrageous marketing or publicity campaigns have YOU seen?

Love to hear from you in the comments below!

Author, Step Into The Spotlight! : A Guide to Getting Noticed

Is this the world’s first TV infomercial?

I saw a suggested LI connection that claimed that he was the inventor of the infomercial so I thought I’d consult with Mr. Google to see if that was the case. What turned up was this wonderful infomercial for Vitamix from 1949.
This guy, “Papa Barnard” is not only a compelling speaker and sales person, but his take on how to eat probably resonates even more today. The way he tried to blame the Mom for everything might resonate a bit less…

Even better, under the fabulous post from Erin Blackmore, there was a comment from a person who said this guy was her Grandpa.


What IS “Content Marketing”?

My daughter is off this afternoon to a Content Marketing Conference with 4000 other folks from around the world so when I saw a cool infographic from Lilach Bullock, it got me thinking. What IS Content Marketing and how does it different from advertising?

Advertising is where you tell the world how great your stuff is.
Publicity is when other people tell folks about your stuff.
Content marketing–is that when you sneak your marketing message into a content wrapper?

How would YOU describe content marketing?

What are some of the best examples you’ve seen?

P.S. Perhaps my 11 free Spotlight Secrets series is content marketing. Not sure. Subscribe anyway at and let me know what you think.

Wondering how to sell your “expensive” service?

My new friend, Graham McGregor, columnist for the New Zealand Herald, has just published a brand new guide on
how to market your service with a price tag over 10K. Many of us know never really “expensive” if the value is beyond the fee paid, but it might appear to be in the minds of your prospects so Graham’s free guide should get you started in the right direction.

You may even find a few words of advice from me in there… (Page 20-22)

Get your free copy at

Do YOUR customers line up across the street to give you dough for your dough ?

So, I’m wandering around New York City having fun with my daughter, Paloma, and I see a huge line up across the street.

Line ups interest me.

FOMO? Maybe.

Line ups create buzz.

So I asked someone, what’s the line up for? I’m thinking some celeb is performing or speaking (it’s the middle of the day), who knows, but I gotta. Know.

So the guy says, their lining up for his shop. A tiny little shop on my left. (He doesn’t own it, but the black T shirt radiates cool.)

They’re lining up across several lanes on the OTHER side of the street–not close. Huh?

Apparently they’re lining up for DO (can’t produce the accent on top of the O that makes it look exotic). Cookie dough by the scoop in a small (think gelato) paper container.

Seriously, I ask him? Why are they lining up across the street?

“‘Cause we don’t want to disturb the other stores on this side.” Double huh?

So, I cross the street and start interviewing people. Could this possibly be true? “Why are you lined up?” ”

“For the DO store across the street.”

“How did you hear about it?”

“On TV.”

Apparently there was a Buzz Feed segment.

If you ever doubted the power of publicity, doubt no more.

I cross back and ask the DO doorman how does it work? You can’t just walk in the store. How do they get from across the street to the entrance without newcomers mixing in?

So, he tells me. There’s another guy across the street handing out round DO coasters as tickets for entry to the shop and escorting them across the street. (He interrupts his answer to stop a few interlopers from inadvertently crashing the party, trying to enter unaware of the DO protocol.)

I ask him for a business card so I can write about them.

He doesn’t have one.

So I ask for one of his round yellow DO coaster entrance tickets (write VOID on the back–I’m not going to burst into the store and buy out all the DO). Nope, he can’t do that.

Can he write down the name? He hasn’t got a pen.

What he has is a whole big bunch of attitude, a line up across the street and a store full of cookie dough.

Is there a website? He doesn’t know. I remind him that it’s publicity that got him the lineup across the street and that my writing about is more publicity so he reluctantly goes in and comes back with a brown napkin, uses my pen and writes down the word DO.

Still wondering WHY they have their potential customers line up across the street.
Not disturbing the other shops?

Maybe that’s the reason.

Or maybe they’re just BRILLIANT marketers.

Maybe they know that lineups sell stuff.

That’s why people sometimes hire people to stand in lineups at movie premieres (a client once confided in me that he did that at a film festival to attract attention).

Is this DO stuff amazing? Is it delicious? Inquiring minds want to know…

So my enterprising daughter, Paloma, another marketing enthusiast like me, offered a few recent customers a dollar for a dime sized dollop of DO. They refuse payment and offer us a taste which we share. Paloma didn’t agree with me but I thought it was cra…(rhymes with scrap).

Didn’t verify with the shop, but one woman told me she paid almost $10 bucks for the 3 scoops of DO (remember this is cookie dough).

Apparently, I’m not the only one that thought the confection was overrated hype in a bowl, ’cause as we left we saw a NYC garbage can adorned with what can only be described as Protest DO.

If they really just wanted to flush throw it out, they would have landed it inside, instead of on TOP of the garbage container. A warning to others passing by to save their dough?

Actually on second look, it’s a Recycling container?

Were they leaving some for others to try? Maybe so they didn’t have to line up across the street to spend 10 bucks on curiosity?

For me and my daughter, there were valuable lessons that we’ll be sharing with our peeps for years, about price elasticity, about publicity, about hype, about scarcity, about social proof (lineups) and so much more.

If you think you can’t do this with whatever you’re selling, you may want to reconsider. Yes, it takes chutzpah. Oren Klaff (Pitch Anything) style chutzpah. $200 for a Disney blow up beach ball style chutzpah (Dan Kennedy tells a great story about that). How can you apply the DO techniques to YOUR business?

Thanks to our photographer, aka guy passing by with phone, Dan P. for the brilliant shot. 🙂

What are the most interesting ways you’ve seen content presented?

Just saw James Altucher’s List of Books Every Intern Should Read and thought the way he presented it was cool.

What other cool ways have you seen content presented?

Post link below.

Author, Step Into The Spotlight!

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