Infamous MOBster Malapropos & Non-Sequiturs of the Year!

by Paul 3. January 2013 15:58

Happy 2013 from MOB Media! Gone is another year full of new clients, new creative, and of course new MOBster quotes. The family at MOB Media has produced amazing work during 2012, but sometimes we get so immersed in the projects, we slip on our speech…thus releasing the infamous malapropos and non-sequiturs! For those who follow us every year, (all 5 of you!) you should recognize some returning malapropos MVP’s. For those who are new, enjoy the misstatements of one magnificent year! And now to the Whiteboard as we call it, or this year it should be dubbed the Laura Board!

"The president of Peru was Japanese for years"Allan- Uh…after that he was…? Maybe like the Vapors he only thought he was turning Japanese?

"It's not that I don't remember ......... I just don't remember"Frank – Wise words from a once wise man. At least I think he was, who can remember?

"You're talking to a dead horse"Laura- Must be more humane to talk to, rather than beat one... good for you Laura!

"Isuzu, what is that, Honda, Toyota?”Laura- Maybe Kia? Laura would not have made it in the Auto Trader World I lived in…

"I can't articulate what my brain is thinking"LauraWow, what kind of follow-up can I have here? I’m not sure because my brain is not articulating at this moment….maybe due to laughter.

"Yves will 'improvise' more about testimonials"Laura - Please elaborate…

"Is LA a part of So Cal?"Laura – In her defense she was born in Alaska, which isn’t even part of the United States according to one of her malapropos from another year…she was only raised in Southern California. So geography isn’t her best subject…

"learning the experience"Laura – Laura is turning the experiential learning cycle on its head, look it up!

"Zoology, that's the study of zoo animals, right" Laura– Yes, and etymology is the study of “Ets”

"If the world ends I don't want to die in an ugly Christmas sweater"Millie- An epic way to go in my opinion!

"I've been procrastinating & putting off doing it"Nan- Had a hard time typing & writing this one out. She’ll get back to you!

"Do you mean 8am or pm?" Pat – We miss you Pat!

"So what is your most unfavorite moment at MOB?"Paul-   Being an ‘unliked’ intern of Nan more than likely.

 The official whiteboard has been erased and geared up for fresh quotes!  Surprised 

  We shall see what the MOBsters and our associates bring in 2013…Opportunity abounds!


The Things We Say: the Best Malaprops, Misstatements 2011

by Paul 18. January 2012 10:54

Ok, it’s another year of flubs, gaffs and just downright dumb statements from your friends at MOB Media. As you know by now, we try to gather the funniest or strangest comments spoken or written during the year. I call these malaprops and non-sequiturs, misstatements or just darn funny/stupid stuff. It’s time for me to wipe the white board clean by getting these off our chest! Remember, it’s all in fun and we’ve included some of our clients and friends along this path of sentence destruction. Let’s begin!


Starting off the 2011 season was our all-time leader in misstatements, Laura:


·         When telling another employee that it’s not possible to make any word sexual, she’s challenged to come up with one that you can’t. Her word? “Cotton Balls.” Really Laura? Don’t know how anyone could come up with a risqué comment to that!


·         Continuing the theme of Laura and risqué comments that she doesn’t get, she commented to a fellow MOBster about his pants “There must be some kind of thing in your slacks that comes and holds up their weight” I withhold comment on that one.


·         Laura continued throughout the year, “How many feet are in a yardstick”. Indeed, how many feet are in a yard, Laura?

·         With the new arrival of her young puppy, she felt the need to tell us that “My dog’s poop looks like crap”.As opposed to my dog who defecates gold.


It’s easy to pick on Laura, but there were many others, Rob made the board a few times as well:

·         I tried, but never did it.” Rob might need a dictionary for his birthday this year.


·         My favorite statement from Rob came later in the year, “I would suck in a men’s prison”. That might make a few fellow inmates happy, but otherwise, not something that should be said in public.


·         In an example of mixed cliché department, Rob had this doozy, “Why put off today what you can do tomorrow”. Sadly, he didn’t mean to be funny.


So even though our lovely Erin has flown the coop, she still works with us and occasionally will grace us with her gaffs.

·         In an email she asked us in all seriousness, “Where’s the price for the job fair and why is it so pricey?” But if you think it’s expensive, why are you asking…OH NEVER MIND!


·         When asked who she wanted to shoot for a commercial she said, “Mostly female and some men.” That’s a relief, I was afraid we might have to shoot, oh wait, there are no other options!


·         In another email, Erin told us unequivocally, “the last one will be separate and last”. From the department of Redundancy Department…


There are so many other fun things that were overheard:

·         A good friend of mine, whom I personally know.” – Arnie, are there other kinds of friends, I suppose with Facebook, everyone is a friend!


·         Arnie is also geographically challenged or perhaps remembers personally the Roman Empire? He actually said, “There’s a Rome, I thought Rome was Italy!” We’re going to chalk that one off as Arnie is really smart and experienced, he’s forgotten more than we’ll ever know?


·         Arnie isn’t the only one who has an issue with the way the world is, in October Lisa asked me, “Are we in Spring now?” Let me repeat, in October, Lisa asked me…


·         Employees are not the only ones immune to saying silly things, Jeff and I had our share, but mysteriously most of those got erased, but one statement from Jeff did survive, “Things aren’t going to be different until something changes”. See my comment about a Dictionary for Rob, above.


·         Ok, I often talk too much in client meetings, and one that I find funny is “We certainly can possibly help you!” If ever there was agency doublespeak, that was it! Oh well.


There you have it, the 2011 Whiteboard material. Now remember, before you think we’re just a bunch of idiots, we all say funny things and sometimes we engage our mouths without utilizing that brain we have. Looking forward to a successful 2012…Can’t wait!


2010 MOB Media - We say the funniest things

by Paul 27. December 2010 09:42

MOB Media Employees & Friends Say the Darndest Things
2010 Version of our Malaprops, Mistatements or Generally Just Funny Stuff!

It's time to recap 2010's funniest statements from our MOB Media Family. As you may know by now, we gather together the funniest or strangest comments spoken or written during the year. Malaprops and non-sequiturs, misstatements and all-around funny stuff. This year there were even lyrics that were sung incorrectly! Let's get on with 2011 as we clean literally and figuratively the slate for 2010! As you know, I actually have a whiteboard on which I write these quotes. And, in fact, if anyone hears one, we say, "Put it on the board".

All in fun, folks! As usual, some of our employee's and friends are more prone to "making the board". We'll chalk it off to the fact that maybe they are just more talkative in general? This is in chronological order:

1. "I'm usually not hungry after I eat" (really?) Laura 1/14/10

2. "Cinco De Mayo is in May" (thanks for that tip!) Laura 1/16/10

3. "Move forward, Tattoo Detective, it's not too late, to whip it!" (that was an attempt at the lyrics of the famous Devo Song called Whip it) Michelle B. 2/3/10

4. "I might run a little longer because we have to wait for the half k'ers" (we think she means half marathon, because a half Kilometer ain't too far!) Raina 3/11/10

5. "My dad has always been a guy" (Whew! That's a relief Shawna, especially for your mom!). Shawna 3/18/10

6. "Ah, howdy, honey" (again, another misinformed lyric for the Archie's seminal song that goes Honey, honey, sugar, sugar) Erin 4/15/10

7. "Our timeline is 9 minutes and 30 seconds, so we will need more than a 10 minute tape" (why is that? Last I heard, 10 is more than 9) Ryan N. 5/10/10

8. "Lunch, the breakfast of champions" (they made me put that one up, I knew what I was saying...really!) Paul 6/8/10 

9. "I think I'm craving one of your Veggie Burgers, you know, the ones with the hamburger wrapped in lettuce!" Walter 7/12/10

10. "No, it works, except for that it's broken" (and the definition for not working is what again?) Jeff 8/26/10

11. "Dick is overrated" (No comment) Laura 9/15/10

12. "Allan called and said he's dong some work at home with some videos and will be here soon". (ok, this email is only funny because Courtney was new and you have to know Allan, enough said) Courtney Unknown date

13. "I didn't think Christmas was in December this year". (hmmm....didn't know we rotated the date) Robbie 10/14/10

14. "They're not people, they're women" (in a client meeting no less!) Gary 10/19/10

15. "Would that be pm in the morning or in the night?" (Arnie taught her well) Arnie's adult daughter 12/22/10

Hey, we're getting better, these aren't as bad as some have been in the past! But now the board is clean and we'll have a new year to say some silly things! Keep your resolutions and have a healthy and prosperous 2011!

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MOB Media Employees & Friends Say the Darndest Things

by Paul 7. January 2010 11:33

MOB Media Employees & Friends Say the Darndest Things
2009 Version of our Malaprops!

It's time to recap 2009's funniest statements from our MOB Media Family. Last year's end-of-year laziness turned into this year's actual work, culling together the funniest or strangest comments spoken or written during the year. Malaprops and non-sequiturs, is what I called them last year. We got a lot of comments about this blog, so now I have to do it every year and clean the board for 2010!

As you know, I actually have a whiteboard on which I write these quotes. And, in fact, if anyone hears one, we say, "Put it on the board".

Just to clarify again, technically a malapropism is when someone uses the wrong word that often can sound like the right word. A non-sequitur is a comment which, due to its lack of meaning relative to the comment it follows, is absurd to the point of being humorous or confusing. I'm also quoting just statements from the mouths of my staff which are totally non-sensical. I consider these either malaprops or non-sequiturs I will use their first names to somewhat protect the guilty:

"Are we working together or as a team?" Dave

"I only know to ask you about things I know about." Allan

"I only need 1 Ibuprofen because only one of my ankles hurts". Laura

"But, I'll be back before I leave." Yours truly, but it actually made sense!

"Look, there are already 2 pieces of velcro in the package." Raina....think about it...

"Jeff will have a cornea if I text during the meeting!" Shawna...the word is coronary, but thanks for playing!

"I need to find a restaurant in Las Vegas near the LA Convention Center." Laura...ummmm good luck?

"It smells like 401K!" Paulette....she made the same mistake last year, we'll blame pregnancy!

"Other than smoking and drinking, I'm a pretty healthy guy!" Tim...really?

Conversation: Laura: "I was born in Alaska". Alisha: "Really, you weren't born in the United States!" uhhh, Alisha, Alaska was the 49th state admitted into the Union in 1959.

"I always come in through the backdoor." comment

"If you weren't such a turd, Lisa, I wouldn't be such a brat!" Shawna...hmmm....

"What are you going to be for Halloween, this Christmas?" Manny

"If we get one more tape deck the work will take us twice as long." Ryan...uh no, but it will take half the time!

"Put on your jacket, I'm cold." Toby...and that helps you how?

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Walking in another man's branded shoes

by Paul 4. September 2009 09:51

Augustine Fou recently wrote that branding today is ineffective, irrelevant, irritating and impotent. Here at MOB Media, we are strong believers in Direct Response. So you might expect that our response to his blog entry would be "ABOUT TIME SOMEONE SAID IT!" However, since I was told when I was very young that you should not judge someone (or something) until you have walked in their shoes, I am going to throw a curveball and try to take the other side of this argument for the sake of understanding everyone's point of view. Isn't that what we all learned to do in debate classes?

Here it goes (with a straight face and everything!):

The biggest problem is that when people say branding doesn't work it's because they don't even know what branding means. Agencies cannot by themselves "create branding". It's the customer experience that makes branding what it is. From the advertising and marketing, to the aisles of the store floor, to the packaging and the service after the purchase, that's all branding. Customers change their perception of the company through all of this activity and through continuous interaction with the product or service. An ad or image can only go so far. The experience is what matters! 

It's not really fair to say that brand strategy (keyword: strategy) is unimportant. If you look through history, you'll see that Coke, Pepsi, Nike, IBM, Apple, Google, Honda, etc, all have an identity. Something that you can hang your hat on as far as knowing what you're getting. Whether its the personal service, easy website to navigate, a great product, a warranty that is above all else, whatever, it's everything they do that matters. A label. A perception of who they are. Well, I guess that's why they call it a brand! I do not believe a bad product can survive with good branding. However, a poor product can swell its cash flow with great direct marketing, but ultimately will fail once the customer experiences the poor service, low quality, what have you. That is part and parcel of branding, so you can't discount its role in the marketing arena.

Agencies play an important role in the branding strategy. But they're not the only ones that need to make a brand commitment. MOB Media itself has helped our clients create more than just logos, advertising and pretty pictures. We have dug in deep to understand the psyche of our audience. We have recommended that MBA students should have a different expectation walking into a classroom than the undergrads. With that same client we recommended a more prestigious name for the MBA program and separated our client from its under graduate pinning’s as they didn't match what an MBA student was looking for. Yes, we used advertising as one of our arrows in our branding quiver, but it was unique to the experience of a potential customer. We also, brought in leather chairs and conference tables. Higher end technology and such. That's not the role of a traditional agency, but it's what you have to do to be anointed a good brand marketer. And of course, the product or service has to match the work agencies do. Oh, by the way, most of the heavy lifting came from our direct response initiatives, but we'll save that for another day! 

So, there you have it. I have walked in another man's Berluti's. Branding is still vital to an overall strategy, but let's all realize that in today's economy, continued sales is what counts.


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The Why of Spaghetti

by Paul 24. July 2009 09:04

The old adage from Wannamaker that he knew 50% of his advertising didn't work, but not which half, should be laid to rest. We all know about accountability in advertising. It's what we at MOB Media have been preaching for years. But we should continue to evaluate all our ad campaigns on the WHY of Direct Response

The old days of throwing spaghetti against the wall and seeing what sticks should be over, yet we need to remind our clients and ourselves of this when we begin to create marketing and advertising campaigns. It's easy to slip back into, "well, how about we do this or this", without truly evaluating the potential for results. Now let's not assume we are completely devoid of tossing spaghetti against the wall! Often times, to move the needle, you have to test something for the first time. You have to be a leader, not a follower. But that testing should be based as much as possible on why would someone want this? Why would they use medium A to get to product B?

That's where the ad serving, CORE tracking, Veil Encoding, lead validating, web analytics and more come in. You have a history, let's use it! My god, what about your web site? Do you have any idea how much information you can glean from your past visitors? The question is, did anyone bother to review the logs for common search terms? How about most pages visited? Time spent? The question keeps haunting me like bad tomato sauce....why did they do what they did?

My simple and short blog today can be summarized thusly: When we can truly answer the why, we get closer to the buy!

Besides, I don't eat spaghetti anyhow, too many carbs! 



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Searching for search 101…

by Paul 8. April 2009 15:59

When it comes to search marketing, I live with my feet in two different worlds. One foot is in the world of search marketing consulting, blogs, books, and industry developments. The other foot is in the world of explaining to small and medium size businesses what search marketing is and why they need it.

The study of search marketing is complex with a high learning curve, far too much to cover in any blog, but at least I can give an understanding of the basics. Please forgive the simplicity, but based on the surprising number of people who ask me to explain what search marketing is, we better start at the beginning…

To sum it up in one sentence (in my own words) the whole point is helping people online find your company, products, or services to make a sale. For the more elaborate answer…read on.

Search engine marketing (SEM) is the art and science of obtaining better results on search engine results pages (SERPs) through organic and paid inclusion methods.

If you’ve ever wondered how a Google, Yahoo, or MSN search for one of your products such as “California white wine” will return a result with your company listed as the 20th company on the 4th page, versus another one of your products “Chilean Merlot” which might return a result that has your company listed 11th, you’ve already begun scratching the surface of search marketing to at least think about where you should be listed versus your competitors.

Of course, some companies whose web pages are completely improperly coded do not return any search results at all.  If this ever happens to you, red sirens and a massive alarm should go off in your office. This is a real emergency. What is the purpose of having a Web site at all if potential customers cannot find you or your products? Sure, you know to type in your company name and URL, but potential customers don’t. That’s why your website needs to be optimized for customers who don’t know you, don’t always know your exact product names, or your industry terminology.

I’ve got to stop there for now before this blog becomes the first chapter of a new book. Suffice it to say that SEM (search engine marketing) is necessary for every business to increase your Web metrics. Search engine marketing is complicated with a high learning curve, but with MOB Media’s search engine marketing services you can relax and enjoy the benefits of higher traffic, increased sales, and detailed metrics reporting that will help you incrementally improve your website.

Look for future blogs that will delve into specifics on SEM.


The Ridiculous Quest for an Average Online Conversion Rate

by Paul 30. January 2009 11:47

It's not the size of the conversion, but the results that count.

"Not everything that can be counted - counts. Not everything that counts can be counted" - Albert Einstein.

A few weeks ago a buddy of mine (and former employee of MOB Media) called me up to ask a question that I get asked all the time. "What's an average conversion rate for online", he asks. He might as well have asked me the basal metabolism rate of mammals. If you actually clicked through on this link you'll see that the quandary for answering that question is not unlike answering the conversion rate question. To sum both up, it all depends! Before you think I am about to break great new ground here and talk about the average conversion rates for email, search, display and SMO, forget about it. What I'm really going to talk about is how it truly doesn't matter. What matters are results and ROI and maybe ROAS.

First, I need to tell you why conversions are not the holy grail and why they vary and thus for "average-purposes" should be relegated to the scrap yard. My experience tells me that the average conversion rate for most publishers, clients, portals what have you is around 2.5%. There are studies out there that say around 2.8 or so, but those studies overreport Fortune 500 type sites. Why should that matter? Because you should be doing better if you have a site with brand awareness, a ton of equity, a big ad offline ad budget and working in the consumer space as well! There are just too many factors to consider when comparing average conversion rates:

1. Consumer or B-B?
2. Ad channels available
3. The offer
4. Awareness Quotient
5. Design and usability
6. Overall goals of the site
7. Defining a conversion!
8. Industry

It would be horrific if you just relied on the average conversion rate to judge your site. You would be comparing your site to an average rate taking in all industries and types. That's why ROI and ROAS (profitablity measures) are what you should be using in evaluating your site. By the way for a quick review on ROAS calculations which is almost too simple go to this site. But in the direct response world, we're all more concerned with ROI and that is easily defined by how you  define it. An internal ROI conversion rate is a known entity to you and its whole purpose is to achieve higher sales and profits based on a cost per lead or acquisition model.

Now, I will show you how using an average conversion rate in real life can be detrimental (let's use 3% avg conv. to make it easy math). MOB Media spent $10,000 monthly on banner display ads for a client and their average order size was $40. IF we had only driven 5000 people to the site and the average conversion rate applied, we would have lost that client money to the tune of $4000 in the red. Instead we converted at over twice the average conversion rate with a 6.7% conversion and made the company $3,400 that month (total gross sales of $13,400, do the math folks!).

Bottom line: conversions are a poor substitute for sales, profit and cost per acquisition/lead. You can have huge conversion rates and sales could suck. Use ROI as your metric, you'll go places!



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My Top 10 Favorite Malaprops & Non-sequiturs of 2008

by Paul 24. December 2008 10:50

MOB Media Employees say the Funniest Things 

Well, far be it for me to change tradition during this holiday season. What most bloggers (I don't think I can put myself in that category!) do around this time is recap the year in a quite serious tone with sage predictions for the next year. It's called laziness and lack of originality.

Well, since I'm such a maverick, and I'm here working on the 24th, why not share with you the funny, often hilarious things my own MOB Media employees have said during the year? I actually have a whiteboard on which I write these quotes. And, in fact, if anyone hears one, we say, "Put it on the board".

Just to clarify, technically a malapropism is when someone uses the wrong word that often can sound like the right word. A non-sequitur is a comment which, due to its lack of meaning relative to the comment it follows, is absurd to the point of being humorous or confusing. I'm also quoting just statements from the mouths of my staff which are totally non-sensical. I consider these either malaprops or non-sequiturs to keep my headline down to a reasonable length. I will use their first names to somewhat protect the guilty:

1.     "Sally said it was 14 days, not two weeks!" -- Erin

2.     "I'm sure, but I'm not positive." -- Paulette

3.     "Woody Owl was a Woodpecker!" -- Laura

4.     "Hey, what's Walter's name?" -- Ryan

5.     "I made vegetarian chili, but I put chicken in it." -- Jeff

6.     "I hate working on the Excel templates, they're such a bitch, but they're kind of fun..." -- Erin

7.     "It's like a sedative, it makes me focus." -- Paulette

8.     "This would be a great business, if it weren't for the clients!" -- Anonymous business partner (wasn't us, I swear!)

9.     "We don't need B-roll unless we need it." -- Erin (yes, again!)

10.  "I have 375, one for every day of the year." -- Lisa, our accounting manager.

My only prediction for the coming year is that we'll have more of these statements for the 2009 recap!
Happy Holidays and have a prosperous and productive 2009!


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Why the Bailout Plan took too long & confused America

by Paul 10. October 2008 09:12

Why the Bailout Plan took too long & confused America


Bernanke and Paulson needed to speak English. Better yet, they should have had a good ad agency behind them to market the heck out of the plan. The naming of the plan whether by them or the media wasn't the right way to go about it.  It's a path (one of the only really) for the Average American to get a home, car or college loan in this decade. It's also a way to avoid an unemployment rate that would rival the Great Depression and to ensure there's money at the ATM when you go there 2 weeks from now. Sell the sizzle for the man/woman on the street! The Rescue Main Street Plan would have resonated much better, don't you think?


We needed decisive action and a responsive Congress to get the plan passed. What we got was political jargon and poorly managed expectations with no accountability. Seriously, if MOB Media or any good agency had this "account" there would have been more action and less talk. We would have immediately shown John Q. Public how he beneifts - he'll have a job, she'll get a loan, they will keep their house, the future is bright, that kind of thing. The impression the public got instead was that billionaires are not going to have to pay for their sins. It's all about accountable advertising!


Let's face it, now more than ever our economy is based on credit and confidence without which more banks and the economy would have failed.  Right now we're seeing not a response to the Rescue Main Street Plan (not "Bailout the billionaires" which is counter-productive to getting buy-in from anyone), but a lack of confidence in anything - thus the DOW has lost over 40% of its value from just a year ago.


Yes, the $ initially beneifts a bunch of fat cats that knew better, but there can be restrictions on compensation with them, a "show trial" and devil be damned attitude that screw it, they don't deserve the $, will only hurt the average consumer. Goldman Sachs was a best of breed company and failed even while they were not the worst of the bad mortage paper holders. 


You may ask, how does this plan benefit the avereage taxpayer, didn't I just tell you? Want more? This is an opportunity for the gov't (taxpayer) to pick up cheap assets (the bailed out cos) and make $ for the taxpayer by increasing mortgage paper (home buying etc). More homes, more home value. INVEST IN AMERICA with the Rescue Main St. Plan!


Simply put we needed to avoid finanical collapse of the banks (not the DOW which has its own issues), loosen the loans for colleges, cars, homes and get the economy moving - INVEST IN AMERICA! Buy into their plan, It could mean your job and home if you don't. And, don't panic people!


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About the author

Paul Otis
As an avid enthusiast of both writing and media, Paul's focus for this blog will be on whatever strikes him at the time deadline approaches. He lives and breathes media with no real life beyond that, except of course his son and their pet Orangutan. His promise is to try to be educational and accessible without being too techy – which won’t be too difficult, because he’s not a hardcore tech kind of guy. Hope this helps you in your marketing and everyday life – enjoy!

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