Marketing the snot otter

I have no desire to work in marketing. I much prefer working in IT, making sure analysts can compile the data marketing needs for their work to promote the company’s products. But I did find the marketing classes I took in my MBA program very interesting, just to realize what goes on behind the scenes in corporate marketing departments.

How do they come up with brand names? (Brainstorm lots of ideas, and try them out on focus groups.) What does it take to put together a successful marketing campaign? What are some examples of marketing successes and failures? (Case studies can be fascinating.)

If you want an idea of what could be a real challenge to market successfully, consider the case of a North Carolina zoo trying to generate interest in promoting clean rivers in order to save an endangered species known as the snot otter. That’s not exactly an appealing name, but no worse than its other name: hellbender. It oozes toxic slime, and it’s anything but cute and cuddly.

Who knows what some well-designed T-shirts and posters can do, though? Americans do like to root for the underdog. With enough good PR generated by hellbender enthusiasts and a group of students practicing their skills in advertising and graphic design, the snot otter could become a well-loved mascot for clean rivers.

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5 Responses to Marketing the snot otter

  1. Karen O says:

    That thing is pretty gross looking!

  2. modestypress says:

    Karen, I challenge you to preach the gospel to the snot otter. If it started praying and praising Jesus, you would sing a different hymn.

    Out here (Pacific Northwest) we have the slug an equally delightful creature. (Read about the sex lives of slugs, for example.)

    http://www.slate.com/id/2216124/

    Warning, the material on the link above is at least “R” rated, if not downright “X”.

    Spring is just starting and soon the slugs will be appearing and trying to destroy our garden. I am a person who practices species-cide, with little success. I have special clogs I only wear outside for squishing them. Squish Squash, slip the clog, then I don’t have to wash, before I blog!

  3. modestypress says:

    Pauline, you have generic permission to delete any of my comments at any time without getting my permission first. Just regard them as slimy slug trails.

  4. Margaret says:

    Pauline, I read the article about snot otters and was interested in the statement that the zoo doesn’t allow people in animal costumes to be where real animals can see them, lest the animals “freak out.” So I wonder how much variety people are allowed in clothing etc. before they look too weird and start to freak out the animals. (I don’t suppose the animal would see the costume and think it was actually an another animal they were seeing?)

    You have my permission to NOT delete Modesty Press’s comments. I enjoy reading them, as well as the article about slug mating. I remember when my son was a boy, visiting the nature center near our town where they had a couple of hungry turtles. When we went on a walk through the center, Jerry knew just where to pick up a log and find another slug to take back to the center to feed the turtle. I think he enjoyed watching the turtle sink its beak into the slug. Now as an adult he and I go to the nature center as volunteers to pull weeds (non-native species) and prune branches and pick up litter and whatever else needs to be done (good exercise for both of us).

    • “Slow food” is a popular slogan now among organic food advocates and other wholesome “back to the land” zealots. A turtle eating a slug strikes me as a delightful example of “slow food” in action.

      Margaret, thank you for your kind and generous endorsement.

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