Thursday, October 1, 2009....
Yeah, you read right -- a giant inflatable rat will cure the blues. Bet you didn't know that. I didn't. But, my friend Alison was wonderful in educating me on this fact.
Last week, I received an email message entitled: "I think you'll appreciate this".
I open the message thinking it was some cooking thing (because of my love of cooking) or a joke. Wrong. It was a link to an article about giant rats greeting shoppers at the Big Y.
Funny part, I didn't read the article, only her message. I didn't need to read the article because I've been greeted by a giant rat when Wild Oats first opened and didn't allow their employees to join an union. She was fascinated by the giant rat and wondered if there was a business for it. She cracked me up with her comment of:
"I wonder how much it costs to buy or is renting more economical? Do you think I can use them for other functions than union protests? I know I'm a sucker for buying stuff on TV but, I don't know -- I think I want one!"
Without skipping a beat, I emailed her back with the suggestion of the 'Holiday Rat'.
Around my area, people hire some company to place a life size plywood character cutout for a person's front lawn or street corner which includes a personalized message in a mouth bubble (ya know, the bubbles you see above a cartoon character in the comics showing his thoughts). It is supposed to be wonderful, but reminds me of the waiters that come to your table and sing Happy Birthday. I hate that stuff! Anyway, I digress....
This becomes our email exchange:
Me: Would you put them in front of people's houses with happy birthday or congratulation signs because I'm thinking nothing says love like a giant rat - NOT....
Now, a giant chipmunk would be most excellent.....
Alison: Ooooo --- I like that idea - now I REALLY want one!
Take it a half-step further and dress him up for holidays: New Year's Baby
Uncle Sam for 4th of July/Memorial Day/Labor Day/heck, any day!
Christopher Columbus (? )
Rudolf - or another of Santa's Reindeer
or Chanukah - he could wear a bedazzled and themed apron holding a plate of latkes!
or you could do seasons: Winter Spring Summer Fall
put him in a bikini holding a surfboard for Summer --- woo HOOOOOO!
or special occasions like - birth of a son or daughter which of course would include a pink or blue baby bonnet and diaper and bouquet of balloons, Birthday includes party hat and noisemaker and a cake (not edible), Bon Voyage includes a Hawaiian shirt, vacation-style hat and suitcase, Get Well Soon includes a pot of chicken soup (not edible) and bouquet of flowers while wearing a yellow Smiley Face shirt, etc. etc.
If you want "in" on my new business venture, just let me know. If you don't know what my new business venture is, why it's selling giant inflatable rats and seasonal outfits for the rat. It's only fair to give you first dibs since you came up with the idea of outfits.
Me: 1...I guessed your venture. Scary to say, I guessed it.
2....You can't rent the rat out for President's Day (well, you could, but I'm just thinking it might be wrong).
3...You might get protesters with giant rats on your front lawn if you go into this business.
4...Rats scare me, so I'll pass.
Out of curiosity - how would logistically dress the giant size rat? When deflated or inflated?
Your husband could also post pics on Facebook or videos since he has 1000 friends (NOTE: her husband has an insane amount of contacts on FB. He keeps adding more everyday) and that'd be great word of mouth marketing.
Too bad you didn't have the rat today --- you could put it on R's lawn since today is her birthday and I BET SHE'D LOVE IT... LOL....
Alison: You're right about President's Day! Unless of course the rat is looking sheepish while trying to hide the axe behind it's back and there's a felled cherry tree. Or he's holding a freshly baked cherry pie (not edible).
No need to be afraid of THIS rat! He'll be dressed while fully inflated I suppose.... I haven't thought that far in advance and am not sure if he'll need specially made clothing or if he'd fit in people clothes.
Maybe next year R could get a Happy Birthday Rat, if someone REALLY loves her a lot!!
My husband's up to 1,112 friends right now - a marketer's dream, huh?
As we were exchanging emails, I noticed I was the only one she sent this idea to....and I really thought I had the voice of reason....I'm guessing not. If I had, I wouldn't have been to respond so quickly with a great concept.
Now, if any readers steal this idea, Alison and I will track you down and demand royalties for our idea.