We write. A lot. Usually about the weirdest possible subjects we can. In this podcast, we talk about our very favorite articles from the Weird Marketing Tales blog in 2022.
Check out the Weird Marketing Tales website if you haven’t already. If you want to follow Weird Marketing Tales on social media, go to @WeirdMarketing on Facebook, YouTube, and LinkedIn. Go to @WeirdMarketers on Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok.
00:00 The Best Weird Marketing Tales Blog Posts From 2022
01:25 Reintroducing Kenny Goodman & The Weird Marketing Tales Blog
03:58 What we like to write about
05:33 Unus Annus: the YouTube show that deleted itself after a year
08:31 How does Weird Marketing Tales work as an educational site?
09:27 Which article was the first truly Weird Marketing Tale? (Arguably the Mario 64 one)
13:59 James Bond & keeping a franchise running for 60 years
20:48 How dinosaurs made my wife like Best Western hotels
26:20 Mattress Mack – the man who uses sports betting to promote his business
28:46 Steve Harvey and BTS
31:46 How editing blog posts for Weird Marketing works
34:19 How our writers choose their subjects
37:49 How to be a wrestler, according to a marketer
Brandon Rollins: “You know what? I’m not accepting my fate. I’m not running a dumpy hotel. I’m not gonna do it. I’m gonna run a (expletive deleted) dinosaur hotel.”
Pardon me. “I’m gonna run a dinosaur hotel.”
My name is Brandon Rollins and this is the Weird Marketing Tales Podcast. On this podcast, I typically interview small business owners, entrepreneurs and creative professionals, all the help you see all the things that you could do that you probably didn’t know that you could.
But today, as you have likely noticed, this episode is airing on December 22nd, which is really, really close to Christmas. So first of all, Happy Holidays! Seriously, just have a wonderful time no matter what you celebrate.
Um, today, I, I’ll, I’ll level with you. I had a great guest that I’ve already recorded with and I’m gonna drop that show on January 5th. It is with Joe Spisak. He’s the owner of Fulfill.com. This guy started a shipping warehouse in a morgue. So, I don’t know. Pretty good fit for the show. It’s a very weird story, but very interesting interview.
So interesting that I actually could not drop it on this day because I thought it’s gonna get buried by all the holiday stuff. People won’t catch it. So today instead, I actually wanted to record a holiday special with guest writer and owner of Overboard Games, Kenny Goodman. Kenny, how’s it going?
Reintroducing Kenny Goodman & The Weird Marketing Tales Blog
Kenny Goodman: Hey. Hey. How’s it going? It’s going great. So good today.
Brandon Rollins: Yeah, so just a recap for anybody who, who isn’t familiar with you, um, from our prior podcast. Basically, we’ve done a show with you already. You, before working with me, were doing Tabletop Simulator versions of board games so people can play board games online. There’s a lot of use cases for that, but you also write blog posts for Weird Marketing Tales.
Kenny Goodman: Absolutely. Yep, that’s, that’s what I do.
Brandon Rollins: Now with any luck, I’m hoping that this podcast is actually gonna be discovered by people who don’t actually know anything about the blog or what we do there, and we reference it from time to time, but it’s not really a huge part of this show. It’s kind of a separate thing. Today, in the spirit of holiday nostalgia, I actually wanted to reminisce about the things that we wrote this year and just talk about some of the really strange and interesting things that we learned.
Kenny Goodman: Yeah, we, we’ve done a lot this year and we, we were literally… record about to start hit record and scrolling through, it didn’t quite hit us how hard we’ve been pushing out articles.
Brandon Rollins: I, I honestly had underestimated how much we had written. Like I had kind of forgot that we actually were still operating under the name Marketing is the Product until like February of 2022. So this year we decide, you know what, we’re not actually doing a, a stale business blog anymore. We’re doing Weird Marketing Tales.
So we just changed the name of the website entirely.
Kenny Goodman: Yeah, and that, that worked out well.
Brandon Rollins: Yeah, we’ve published daily or daily, God.
Kenny Goodman: Daily articles. Are you okay, my friend?
Brandon Rollins: Yeah, no, not like 2,500, 3000 words plus like, no way. We’re not doing that daily. Not yet. We don’t have enough staff writers, but like, we’ve been doing this weekly since, um, I mean, at least since the beginning of this year.
And we have recently actually been doing either a post or a podcast twice a week as of, uh, actually November 10th. So…
Kenny Goodman: I mean, yeah, we’re, we’re pumping out. I mean, March, we pumped out four articles. April, we pumped out three. May, we pumped out four again. So we are literally pumping out three to four articles. Almost weekly, you could say. And every single month, since it feels like forever. And it’s, it’s, it’s only getting better.
It’s only getting better. The quality, the content, the writing, it’s amazing.
What we like to write about
Brandon Rollins: And this is, yeah, it’s not meant to be a flex on our writing, though, although we are very proud of our work. It’s just, um, what it is, is we’ve learned so much unusual and interesting stuff just by writing about the things that we find interesting.
Kenny Goodman: Absolutely.
Brandon Rollins: Sometimes we write about our fandoms, but sometimes it’s just like things that we want to know more about.
Kenny Goodman: Absolutely. I think you do more about what you want to know about, whereas I kind of target my fandoms more because I feel very connected to what I like. Whereas you can just, you just tell me, I’m gonna write an article about this and like, and then next week will be writing an article about something completely different.
So like for example, How Spirit Halloween Works and Why It’s Absolutely Brilliant. And then next week we’ll come out of How Brushy Mountain State Penitentiary Become A Tourist Trap.
And it’s like, it’s like your brain just goes to different places, but it just works.
Brandon Rollins: Well, that’s a kind of, that’s a funny thing cuz I feel like we do different stuff. Like I can take a more traditional business case and kind of unravel the ways in which it’s actually very strange. Like Costco’s got a freaking weird business model. This is just a fact. It is a very ordinary store. I go there for groceries and I do the all-American thing where you show up with it and you get the pallet and you spend like 400 bucks and fill up your freaking SUV.
I do this, like a lot of people, but like it’s actually really strange that the store exists and has really high quality stuff for cheap. It’s actually really, really, really strange from an operational standpoint, and I, like, in researching it, I found out a ton about that.
Unus Annus: the YouTube show that deleted itself after a year
Brandon Rollins: Like, meanwhile, you’ll write, just like you’ll write about something I’ve never even heard of, um, like, uh, Unus Annus, which is that show that, uh, oh gosh, you can talk about it more than I can.
Kenny Goodman: Yeah, I mean, Unus Annus is a really intriguing just social experiment from a YouTube content creation point. From like someone who’s so popular being Markiplier, aka Mark Fishberg, Fischbach, not Fishberg. And taking someone relatively new to the YouTube industry, Ethan, who does CrankGameplays and just kind of doing a, not kind of doing a whole year of content and then deleting the channel is such an interesting social experiment because the entire thing we do in on the internet is content creation.
So to study how and why and the effects on this social experiment was a, a really fascinating thing to learn. Cause I really like Markiplier. And I, I missed Unus Annus, funny enough because I, I wasn’t aware it was a thing going on at the time and I was able to watch them all back and then it was just like, “Oh, right, that’s what, that’s why it was so good. That’s why it was so interesting.”
And I can see through like the statistics that we put in and everything like that, how it really worked. It really, really worked.
Brandon Rollins: Yeah. And, and the whole idea of it, like, because we do content creation is, is actually we’re content creators because it, it’s really scary to think about like, we write stuff all the time and then just deleting it all after a year. And that’s what these guys did, they said, and they’re very, very popular, especially Markiplier.
But honestly, CrankGameplays was doing pretty well before the show too. Um, they were just like, “You know what, We’re gonna make whatever we want. And the YouTube algorithm can screw itself.” So they made stuff that they knew had a good chance of getting demonetized or taken down and, and they just did whatever they felt like for a year, uh, every day for a year, I think it was.
Kenny Goodman: Really testing the point of like, how far can the algorithm be pushed? And beyond. And obviously it wasn’t always like shock, horror, that stuff, but there was they, they went out the gate with just cooking with sex toys and then just like, this is, this is episode one.
Brandon Rollins: But it’s like, but at the same time, they had that kind of stoic philosophy too of like memento mori. Remember that you will die one day, do what you want to do while you can.
Kenny Goodman: As you pour a Neti pot into your nose and like, you know, you never know, one day you will die. You might wanna put a Neti pot into your nose, right?
Brandon Rollins: God. I mean, that’s like, it’s a very, it’s a very 2020s way to cope with your mortality. It’s a very Everything Everywhere All At Once kind of approach to content creation. Just like throw it at a wall and see what happens.
Kenny Goodman: Abby just doesn’t know what we are kind of doing with Weird Marketing Tales, in a sense. We’re writing about articles that are oddly weird and thrown them into a blender with marketing, and then it goes onto the website.
How does Weird Marketing Tales work as an educational site?
Kenny Goodman: You know, you can really find marketing in everything, and I think that’s kind of a slogan I think we could almost use. You could find marketing in everything, no matter how.
Brandon Rollins: There is, an economic angle to it. It’s like we do actually occasionally book a consult from here like it actually, and if we get it up and running on YouTube. Hopefully, by the time this podcast drops, like we could be getting ad revenue and all that kind of thing, but honestly, we’re just doing it because we’re really interested in the things that we’re writing about.
Kenny Goodman: Absolutely, and if you do wanna book a consult, you can just go to Weird Marketing Tales, and click the button book consult and you can get free consultation for one hour with the man himself.
Brandon Rollins: Point is, I’m gonna be doing free consults for as, as long as I’m capable of for as long a period of time, at a time as I can.
Kenny Goodman: Exactly. Just as like Twitch subscribers can Twitch. As a Twitch. Streamers can say hello to every subscriber. There will be a day where Brandon will not be able to do a free consultation. So do it. Do it now.
Which article was the first truly Weird Marketing Tale? (Arguably the Mario 64 one)
Brandon Rollins: Yeah. Do it now.
I, I’m just looking at this stuff like what stands out to you? What do you, what like…
Kenny Goodman: I mean, if we go back to like, weirdly enough, the start of what I did, and just like if you find it, what stands out to me is like how almost normal the content was and then your, the first weird one, if you get me.
The first weird article that we have, which I think was just something like Duck Tales. No, no, it was, I think for me it was the, the Unusual Rise & Fall of Aeropostale that was like your first weird marketing one.
Next to Rax Roast Beef, I guess is probably your, maybe you’d call your first one.
Brandon Rollins: Technically, Rax is my first one, but if like, if you’re talking about watershed moments where I feel like we really went down the rabbit hole, the first one where I feel like I really went down the rabbit hole was, This Is Why People Find Super Mario 64 Conspiracies Scary.
Kenny Goodman: Oh, you, you showed me that and I was like, “where did you go with, how did you find this about marketing?” And I was like, read it and like, “Wow. You, you, you showed me more about Super Mario 64 that I knew about you”. Like how did you know this much about it?
Brandon Rollins: I had it as a kid, so like I’ve, I’ve got a cartridge of Mario 64 from 1998. Like I, I’ve, I’ve done a 120 star run and I’m not like a speed runner or anything, but I’ve got the original game, and I’ve thought about it a lot because honestly, as a kid I didn’t have that many super fancy things and of all the games I had on Nintendo 64, most of them were budget.
Like my, this was when, like, parents didn’t know how to buy video games for their kids cuz it was the 90s. Early 2000s, there just weren’t resources for that. So there were like four or five good games. So I just got obsessed with the ones that were actually really good. Um, and like Mario 64 stands a test of time better than something like Donkey Kong 64, which is kind of a collect-a-thon as much as I like the level design in that.
But the point is, so like this meme just blew up on the internet. This, of conspiracy theories and bizarre trivia from Mario 64, it blew up during the pandemic, and it was very, very, very, very strange. And I think some people took it like actually quite seriously. But when you, when you look at it as a business person, somebody running a company, somebody with a, an MBA like a background like that, I’m like, the fact that this works, the fact that this is scary at all, is a testament to how Nintendo branded their company.
Because Mario is about the safest possible property, right? He is such a safe figure. But when you disrupt that idea of safety, which Nintendo was super, super good at getting into people’s heads, it creates this frightening thing. And it’s like, well, why does that frighten us? And that actually kind of gets into class, socioeconomics.
Like it’s actually really, really bizarre, this phenomenon.
Kenny Goodman: And I don’t think you’d, don’t think even you saying this, you’d, you’d quite understand until you read the article because it’s like you wrote, like, I think you told me it’s like close to 4,500 words. So like you’ve, you’ve really like, like your, your headline, “The rise of creepypasta or middle class internet horror”, Like this just explains like, you have to write flash, talk about all these kind of things.
It’s just, I, I’m speechless when I look at this article, it’s, it’s, it’s just…
Brandon Rollins: It’s, it’s weird stuff and that’s kind of the thing I wanna lead people with. Like, I’m not trying to pad the word count or anything. Like to me, you actually have to talk about this stuff to understand it. Like you actually have to talk about class and economics to understand why people are freaked out by this, by the idea of a video game being haunted.
Kenny Goodman: Which…
Brandon Rollins: I actually think creepypasta, especially in the early 2010s, scary stories on the internet. That’s the idea of it. For the people honestly, who are outside of our very bizarre little circles that we run…
Kenny Goodman: In SCP, it’s, uh, it’s popular.
Brandon Rollins: Yeah. SCP foundation, all that stuff. It’s like, that only exists because, um, well, it, it’s like a valid cultural moment. Like it blew up for a reason. Um, it’s just a new version of ghost stories by the campfire.
James Bond & keeping a franchise running for 60 years
Brandon Rollins: Yeah. So like, man, I’m just reading your stuff and you wrote about James Bond earlier this year, which like you timed that right around the release of No Time To Die.
Kenny Goodman: Yes, I think.
Brandon Rollins: Which is the first Bond movie that got me close to tears.
Kenny Goodman: They’re the good, they’re good films. They really are. Like, I really enjoyed them, the most recent ones. Um, but yeah, that was a good one. Like I think. I, I have, um, just everyone knows, I am only 28 years old, so I have not been around for the whole, you know, eras, all the eras of James Bond. I’m very much, um, you know, I’d say Daniel Craig and the ones before him, like Pierce Brosnan.
I’d say Pierce Brosnan is probably where I started per se. So it was really interesting to learn about how you set a character in motion for a brand to come. And this is just like a product you’d use for anything else. James Bond is strictly a product that has a brand guidelines, and he’s a symbol of mo, he’s a symbol of movies basically, and a symbol of British, um, suave you could say. And this again, comes into middle class and upper class and stuff like…
Brandon Rollins: It’s super interesting cuz Bond has been around since 1962 and in that time, I mean it’s been 60 years. This franchise is, is 60 years old, I believe. Um, going back to Dr. No and that’s not counting the Ian Fleming novels. Let’s just start with the movies and the norms on what is it, how it is acceptable for a man to behave have dramatically changed.
I mean, this has gone through the swinging sixties. It’s gone through an enormous amount of social change, um, throughout the world, especially in the UK. Like things have shifted a lot. What is acceptable in a movie has shifted a lot, Like a lot of Bond stuff seems real sexist, seems really violent, messed up a lot of.
It went from being a pretty serious series movies to being really goofy under Roger Moore and then serious again under Daniel Craig. You, it has, this movie franchise is so old that it has, it has, um, basically continue to go, as the UK has dramatically changed its culture, its perception of how it is and like, Bond is very tied to like a British identity thing.
And of course British identity’s been tremendously fluctuating since then. And American identity too, to be honest. But, um, to, to understate it if we’re actually recording this on Election Day.
Kenny Goodman: Huh.
Brandon Rollins: But, but what I think is interesting is how they manage to take this character and give him a sense of continuity despite tremendous changes, and that tells you something about branding and symbolism.
Kenny Goodman: Absolutely. It does tell you a lot, but it also tells you like, but, but as James Bond remained, you know, the same obviously if each, each character had their own era and, um, aura of what com, like comedy more serious, you know, depending on who you look at, right? But he’s still always being James Bond, but everyone around him, it seems, has been changed.
Like, like it’s either, it’s like it’s not, serious anymore. It’s now a comedy. There’s more women who are more toe-to-toe with James Bond than there were before. And then there’s points where M is, becomes a woman instead of a man. Like…
Brandon Rollins: And then she basically becomes the M that people know.
Kenny Goodman: And everyone loves that, and it’s a very intriguing thing of development of a brand and almost having him such a, as a gravitational pull to the entire series that everything else around him has to change.
And I think James Bond has changed in a subtle degree, but it has been, it’s worked wonderfully for the series.
Brandon Rollins: Well, it’s, it’s funny because like many of the aspects of the character have changed, but like the way that the movie presents him have also, they’ve also changed too. Like in the sixties, Bond. Well, he was actually kind of a villain. I don’t think Sean Connery played him purely as a hero. I think he actually played him as an amoral force.
It’s been a while since I’ve seen the movie. So like they didn’t glorify necessarily what he did, but then in the seventies and eighties he was just like, you know, Roger Moore is just like straightforward, good versus evil kind of thing. In the nineties, you kind of see this dialogue happening with like, um, Brosnan, where M basically calls him out for being a sexist and a relic of the Cold War in 1995. And, um, I believe it was Goldeneye. Yeah, it was Goldeneye.
Kenny Goodman: Yeah, Goldeneye, 1995. Yeah, and it’s a very telling scene.
Brandon Rollins: And then in, in ’05 or ’06, I guess it’s ’06, and Casino Royale, you basically see it’s like, well, here’s where James Bond’s misogyny comes from. Here’s where like, this is actually the, the, the inevitable outcome of a man being beaten down in the particular way he, way he is, and it’s, I’m like, I just think it’s interesting. It’s just a super interesting thing.
Kenny Goodman: And for, and throughout that, James Bond has drastically drank more alcohol from like, from like five product placements in 1960s to 30.1 product placements in, um, like, and that’s not just alcohol, that’s just product placements, in general. So Bond has, Bond has is a brand that now promotes brands. I mean, you.
You can’t call, you could almost call James Bond the brand of brands.
Brandon Rollins: Yeah, he, he, the monetization has definitely changed. I mean, it’s like you see these super prominent Sony Erickson phones in like the, in Casino Royale. I mean like flip phones, right? This is supposed to be like high tech.
Kenny Goodman: You’ve got like this no time to die, which is strictly for featuring Nokia phones. And it’s like, you know for a fact that ike James Bond’s probably gonna have like the most secret phone. It’s gonna be unbranded and everything, not on Nokia, but it’s just strictly that that’s how Hollywood goes.
And that’s how it, it’s how Bond is. Bond is a, is a man who literally walks and talks brands. He, he drives the Aston Martin, he drinks. This shake not stirred martinis, which is the wrong way to drink. He’s everything about him is, is a visual brand.
Brandon Rollins: Yeah. He’s not the only movie guy we’ve written about too. We wrote about Willy Wonka. That was a thing.
Kenny Goodman: wasn’t it?
Brandon Rollins: Yeah, it was.
How dinosaurs made my wife like Best Western hotels
Brandon Rollins: Um, I want to actually shout out one of my wife’s posts, or maybe a couple of ’em actually.
Oh yeah. Okay. Here’s one. So she’s not here, but I want to actually make sure that a couple of her posts get mentioned.
So the first of it is, I find this personally hilarious, is How Dinosaurs Made Me Love Best Western Hotels.
Kenny Goodman: That one’s not out yet.
Brandon Rollins: Yeah. Yeah, it’s, um, well, it’s gonna be out by the time this airs, so like the draft is ready and all that. I, I actually pushed it for the Mattress Mack post because it was a timely thing.
It was gonna go out the, the 7th of November. But anyway, the Best Western hotels for anybody who’s not like super in on hotels. Best Western is low to mid range. It is. It’s usually a pretty safe hotel. It’s usually a pretty decent place to stay, but it’s not nice. It’s, it’s never really nice. Best Western Plus can be roughly the equivalent, equivalent of a Hampton Inn or a Holiday Inn Express for comparison, so it’s usually like a hundred bucks a night.
It’s neither expensive nor inexpensive. It’s just a place. Of course, my wife and, and she roasts herself for this, um, to her immense credit in the post. She’s like, “well, I actually grew up, you know, my dad had a, um, a big complicated job and we did a lot of business travel and I stayed in a lot of four and five star hotels and I flew business class and I just thought that’s how it was cuz I was like eight or nine years old.”
Um, so she roasts herself for this because she didn’t realize actually how, in her own words here, privileged she was, until much later in her life. So we go on a big three week road trip in October and I’m, I’m like, “look, we gotta compromise on price a little bit. We can’t stay in nice places every single time, like we’re doing well, but we’re not like, we can’t just go to all the nice hotels every time. We should stay in a couple nice hotels.”
And I recommend a Best Western. And she’s like, “oh, like, oh God…”
Kenny Goodman: Yeah.
Brandon Rollins: Like, what are we getting into? But it’s, it was a dinosaur themed best Western in Lakewood, Colorado, Southwest Denver. And, God, I don’t know why they did it.
I mean, it’s like, it’s not, it’s not objectively speaking, a pretty looking hotel. It’s a, it’s a kind of a dumpy place from the early 1990s. You can tell it’s old. You can tell it’s a little bit shabby, but they’ve got dinosaur fossil replicas everywhere. They have dinosaur themed paintings and wallpaper and all that stuff.
They have a fossil expert who comes in to talk about fossils every Friday and Saturday, and I believe Sunday in the morning.
Like they just…
Kenny Goodman: Someone, really just worked there and was like, just watched Jurassic Park for a weekend. Just thought, you know what we need? We need to have dinosaurs. And everyone looked at them. What you mean we need dinosaurs?
And then just like one week later, it’s just like, it’s a dino-themed Best Western. And then like there is, I don’t know how you get to that point, but it’s, it clearly is working.
Brandon Rollins: And it’s like, and to their credit, they also like, they do a little bit better on customer service and like breakfast options than they have to. They go above what is expected. So like they do the basic business stuff really well. But the way hotels work, you know, people like, they buy the ability to run a hotel within a franchise.
Best Western lends their name. But I think somebody has to put in some kind of financial investment into a property in order to do that.
Now, I don’t, I don’t, know how this works totally, but um, point is, somebody was like, “you know what? I’m not accepting my fate. I’m not running a dumpy hotel. I’m not gonna do it. I’m gonna run a (expletive deleted) dinosaur hotel.”
Pardon me. “I’m gonna run a dinosaur hotel.”
Kenny Goodman: It’s nonsense!
Brandon Rollins: And, just decided to do it. Just decided to do it one day.
Kenny Goodman: Live your dreams.
Brandon Rollins: Yeah, but that’s the thing. By doing this, they elevated an experience to something that it didn’t have to be. It’s a great example of marketing, because they didn’t accept their fate. They decided to be better than they had to be, and that is really remarkable cuz when you’re on the road, you don’t need, like, people are just shopping for a place that’s safe when they look for a Best Western.
But you know what they said? “You know what? No, we’re gonna, we’re gonna go all out. We’re gonna serve you your hot breakfast at the bar. We’re gonna have a heated pool, we’re gonna have all this stuff.”
Kenny Goodman: And they didn’t need to, but they didn’t need to do any of this cause it’s the Best Western, like, like you go to a Best Western because you’re expecting what a Best Western is. But no, they, they, I think we need to give ’em a call. And just ask him directly what, what, what got you into this now? And have him on the pod, you know, get that, get that guy or girl or whoever, whoever team it is who decided to turn this dinosaur themed Best Western onto the podcast.
That that’s what you need to do.
Brandon Rollins: I am seriously considering that. I’ve actually seriously considered calling them and saying like, “Look, I stayed in your hotel a couple of months ago. We’re super happy with it. We think what you’re doing is very interesting. Do you wanna be on the show?”
Kenny Goodman: I, I think they would. Right. I mean, it’s more, I, If they’ve been a dinosaur Best Western, they’re not gonna turn down a podcast.
Brandon Rollins: Exactly. Um, and I, I want to like, because we don’t actually have any women on the podcast, I just wanna make sure that like our, our women writers are getting their work noticed as well, cuz it’s honestly, a lot of it’s really good.
Kenny Goodman: Yes, absolutely.
Mattress Mack – the man who uses sports betting to promote his business
Brandon Rollins: Maria also wrote one on Mattress Mack who’s this Texas entrepreneur who makes big sports bets.
And he basically says to people, if you buy a mattress or a bedroom set or whatever, over a certain amount of value, I forget the exact terms, it’s like 3000 or something. It’s like, if you do this and I win the bet, you get your money back.
Um, and like people, people, people like that kind of encourages people to buy something and they’re good mattresses, they’re good quality, all that stuff. He’s above board on that.
Um, but he does. It very strangely, not only does it get a lot more sales, but when he loses, okay, the, he basically turns sports bets into an insurance policy. When he wins, he has enough to cover the rebates that he has to give for his promotion. But when he loses, he gets enough sales to offset the loss.
Most the time, or at a minimum get a good ROI on the public relations and the, you know, the visibility that he gains in the greater Texas area. Um, for, for what he’s doing. He is, I don’t know if Mattress Mack personally is like a good guy or not. I, I honestly, I’ve stopped actually looking into the personal lives of like business owners when we write these, cuz I’m much more interested in what is going on with the business itself.
Kenny Goodman: Yeah, we try and keep it neutral.
Brandon Rollins: Yeah, exactly. And I like, it’s a little bit old fashioned, but I like to do things that way. Um, I’d like to neither glorify nor vilify, villainize anyone, but uh, Mattress Mack to his immense credit when he won a $75 million bet, which by the way, we had to rewrite that post around that in short order.
Kenny Goodman: Houston Astros one?
Brandon Rollins: Yeah. And like it was looking like he wouldn’t win, but then apparently he won. I don’t know. Sports bets confuse me, man.
Kenny Goodman: Oh, I’ve… sports bets are scary,
Brandon Rollins: I don’t get it. But to his credit, he gave like double the money back to all his customers. Um, and he says he is not gonna make that much off the sports bet, but he just wanted to do it because they wanted to be a part of the biggest sports bet in history.
Like this is just a fun thing for him.
Kenny Goodman: That’s marketing in itself, though too.
Brandon Rollins: It’s super interesting. He says, he says this is word of mouth for 20, 30 years.
Steve Harvey and BTS
Brandon Rollins: And just a couple of more posts I want to shout out by those who are not on the show. There’s one on Steve Harvey. Um, that one definitely check that out.
He is, it’s about basically how he got popular. He’s an actual rags-to-riches story, which I think is very interesting. Um, because you just don’t see a lot of that these days, like actual, honest-to-God rags to riches. So we like to cover those when we see him and it checks out.
Kenny Goodman: Yeah.
Brandon Rollins: Um, there’s one on BTS, which I didn’t really know a lot about BTS, other than that they were tremendously popular.
Kenny Goodman: Yeah, exactly.
Brandon Rollins: Holy crap. Those guys are talented. Those guys are really freaking talented.
Kenny Goodman: I mean, yeah. The, the, the K-pop industry is a absolutely phenomenal thing in itself in terms of what it is, but BTS really are the cream, i, I would probably, a lot of people would say BTS is the cream of the crop of it now, along with probably some other ones, As I said, I am, I am like you.
I do not follow any, I do not follow K-Pop or J-Pop or anything like that, but watching the rise of BTS in terms of a fandom in terms of content creation, music creation, It’s a very clearly defined thing, but that is the beauty of, well, the power, I should say, out of K-pop marketing.
Brandon Rollins: K-pop is such a, the industry is such a formidable climb. It’s so, so, so, so hard to work your way into South Korea’s k-pop scene. You have to be really talented. And these guys, I don’t know, it’s like when you see the way they act online, when you see the way they act in person, when you see the performance, when you, when you hear them, when you just like get the infectious groove of like Dynamite or Butter stuck in your head or something like, yeah, like you can’t deny. It’s like, good God, these guys are like South Korean Beatles. Like this is a big freaking…
Kenny Goodman: …mean, they are exactly south, that K-pop is basically South Korean, like Beatles. That, that, that they’re boy bands, that they are, the K-pop industry is to make the best and greatest boy bands that they can possibly, I was gonna say making test tubes. Cause that’s, that’s how incredible, that’s how like defined K-pop is.
It’s almost like they’ve just injected embryos with musical talent and then br, and then bred them and then spawned them into the world. It’s like they’re genetically made to be making music.
Brandon Rollins: I, Yeah, they’re, they’re, they’re, they’re musical super soldiers.
So I’m very thankful to Levie for writing that post. I think that turned out phenomenally well. It’s just really well written post and I learned a ton. And by the way, this is like part of why I like playing the role of editor because every writer like brings me something else interesting to my desk.
How editing blog posts for Weird Marketing works
Kenny Goodman: Let’s just talk about that for a second cuz you are the editor. Like we’re, I’m a writer, you’re the editor. How do you give the, without knowing these things per se, like what I give you Chainsaw Man, you get K-pop, Like how do you edit to make sure that you are delivering the right message when you don’t particularly know fully what this thing is?
Brandon Rollins: Well, first things first. I have to understand what you’re saying in your post, because like you’ll send me an anime post and if I don’t understand it, I gotta ask for a rewrite, like cuz that’s the thing. That’s the first thing. I have to make sure that I understand well enough what is being said about a topic I know nothing about.
But then I also have to make sure that the arguments themselves, beyond just the facts, cohere into some kind of plausible narrative based on the facts of the matter. So I will often check the, most of the time, in fact, I will check the sources and make sure that everything is like on the up and up and that the actual, that a plausible narrative is being spun when we’re doing this cuz we try and make it into a story as best we can.
Um, and that’s what I’ll do. Basically, I’ll like first make sure I can understand it based on the post itself. I’ll go check those facts and make sure that the story being told is sensible.
And then after that what I do is I make a lot of SEO improvements. I break it down, I add simple subheaders so that people can follow and skim, add arguments if I feel like something’s being missed. Cuz when people talk about passion projects or, or passionate like subjects, they really like, it’s super easy to actually forget to say an important thing.
Kenny Goodman: Yes, and I would take from a, from a, from what you’ve edited of my work, there are those two things I think are very important and I, I’ve learned a lot is make sure that I’m actually inputting the marketing or lingo and construction within. And also the headers are really important cuz I’ll read, I’ll read something after you edit.
That’ll be, that’s really impressive cuz you, you’ve been doing this for a long time, like, I’m obviously going to be impressed with your editing, but when you get the headers, it, it, it’s surprising how much a header really makes a segment click.
Brandon Rollins: Yeah. It it like, that’s the thing is you want it to basically set the tone as much as you can and convey as much information as possible there.
Kenny Goodman: Absolutely. But yeah, that was the K-pop one. And yeah, that’s just, it’s just little insight, you know? That’s a little insight to how we work around here.
How our writers choose their subjects
Brandon Rollins: It’s actually, it’s gotten to a point where different writers will do different things. Like Maria has actually gotten to a point where she finds it far easier to write about subjects, which she has relatively little familiarity on cuz like you give her, she wrote a Taylor Swift article and it took her a ton of time.
I mean, it’s a great article, don’t get me wrong. It’s like probably one of the, it is one of the top performers on our site and that’s for a reason, but, it’s actually like she thought about it so hard. She was like, man, I gotta write this. And she spent 25, 30 hours on that thing. But gets an unfamiliar. She gets an unfamiliar project and then she, or like something based on an experience like Best Western, she’s able to crank out a draft in a few hours and it’s a good one.
Well sourced, coherent and, like. She has actually found that it’s easier to work that way. And I sometimes find that, like if I know a lot about a subject. I get in my head too. I like, I found it easy, frankly, to write about Black Friday. I managed to write that post in two hours. It was simple. Bob Ross, I showed up at the museum, then did my research and I cranked that out in two hours.
It was easy, but like some of this other stuff is like some of the other stuff. The Daft Punk took me a while because there was a lot that I wanted to say.
Kenny Goodman: Well, there’s a lot about Daft Punk, so I don’t blame you there like, and…
Brandon Rollins: Right. Well, I want to do a Gorillaz post at some point. I want to try and time it with the release of Cracker Island, which honestly every single, and that in my opinion, has been very good so far. Um, it’s been so good. I’m actually really glad to see them make a comeback after Humanz and The Now Now would, none of which, both of which kind of left me cold.
No offense to them. I mean, I will forgive many sins for Plastic Beach, but um, I…
Kenny Goodman: you’re clearly a fan. You’re clearly a fan. Cause I, I, I grew up with them in a way, but, I don’t think I follow them past the like initial push and I’ve listened to the occasional new song, but clearly that’s gonna be a good article to read from you.
Brandon Rollins: Yeah. There’s like, the thing is, they are one of those play, they’re one of those bands that has had a shocking amount of durability, which I find unbelievably interesting cuz this their tapes, like Demon Days was getting passed around on CD-Rs when I was in middle school.
Kenny Goodman: I remember doing that. I remember doing…
Brandon Rollins: like before, before kids had access to iPods and before kids had access, before iPods, went I obsolete.
We’re passing that around on CD-Rs. I wanna write about ’em, but I’m intimidated by the length of the lore, by trying to describe Damon Albarn’s method of work, uh, essentially co-marketing by working with others. Like, it’s just so much that I, I have trouble with it, yet I found it easier to write about AI because I, like, I, I had to do a lot of research on how AI works to make sure I got my facts right and make sure I had a take that seemed grounded in something other than superstition.
Kenny Goodman: Yes.
Brandon Rollins: but I found it easier because I’m like, I wasn’t in my head about it.
Kenny Goodman: No, I get where you’re coming from, but I also think like, you know, with music specifically, or any arts for that matter, they’re a lot harder to really break down because there’s so much nuance to them.
Brandon Rollins: Mm-hmm. So I guess with this in mind, we’re, we’re actually recording a longer show than I thought, and that’s all right. So are there any other articles that you think we should give a mention?
How to be a wrestler, according to a marketer
Kenny Goodman: I mean, I really have really, I really enjoyed looking through it again. I was like, like the, Oh, I’ve lost it now. Good grief. Of course, I have, I think it was the, the the how to make a wrestler from a marketing point, point of view. Like, like I didn’t.
Like that one was, that one evolved to the point where I thought like, oh, I’m just gonna write like a passion project of like, I’m a fan of wrestling.
I know what, they obviously are products of a company. They are products of a industry and they have to market themselves. But I didn’t, I didn’t, That article evolved to the point where I was like, “oh wait, this is like an entire product lifespan of, of a human being brand,” and that, that, that, that, clicked on me and I was like, This, this is it.
This is the narrative. This is how you go through life as a, as a wrestler.
Brandon Rollins: Yeah. Wrestlers, and I’ll say this cuz you’ve written about wrestling a few times, and I think this is actually good to end on. Wrestling is probably one of the easiest, most intuitive ways to understand marketing and branding in a context that is dramatic because so many of the concepts of wrestling are purposefully fake in a way that actually makes it easy to analyze what’s going on.
There’s fake stuff in every sport, but it’s not as obvious. Wrestling doesn’t even pretend to not be fake.
It is fake and everybody pretends that it’s, everybody knows it’s fake, but pretends it’s not. Kayfabe.
Kenny Goodman: Kayfabe. Yeah.
Brandon Rollins: Which I, I actually really like your wrestling posts on that cuz it’s like, How To Be A Wrestler According To A Marketer.
Kenny Goodman: If you look back, like this is a funny thing to talk about, like wrestling as a product. If I go back and. I look back at my AEW and WWE article that is now almost defunct because, because, because of Vince McMachon leaving and then Triple H coming in. So that article is still good at that point and period where Vince was still in power versus the up and coming AEW.
But if I write that article a second time now, which I could easily do, I could rewrite the entire different brand guidelines, brand, product, and everything that Triple H is trying to reverse from Vince McMahon and now also what AEW done wrong since that point, that has now gonna get pushback. Like it’s, that’s how potent of the brand wrestling is.
Brandon Rollins: Yeah. Yeah, it, it’s crazy how fast that moves because it’s like, things were definitely in flux at the time that you wrote it, and now it’s like, oh, some of it’s out of date.
Kenny Goodman: Yeah, to easily out of date, but that’s the power of wrestling. It, it it, the moment Vince MacMahon left, Oh, that changed everything about WWE.
Brandon Rollins: Yeah, absolutely. So at this point, I’m gonna say any of the posts that we mentioned in this, um, podcast, within the transcript, we’re going to have links. So you can check those out at any point. If you just want to go and see some of what we’re talking about. It’s on WeirdMarketingTales.com. It’s all there.
So at this point, I just wanna say, if you’re listening to this podcast at this point, thank you for listening to the whole thing through. We really appreciate it. We just kind of gushed about our blog posts, but we, we hope that you got some value out of this cuz there’s just a lot of interesting stuff out there in the world.
And thank you Kenny, for showing up and recording this with me so that I didn’t doom Joe to going out on 12/22.
Kenny Goodman: It just sounds like you just be a one person band, just shouting about why this is such a good website and then a weird flex.
“And bye guys. I’m gone now.”
Brandon Rollins: Yeah. No, I didn’t wanna, I wanted to avoid that.
Kenny Goodman: But instead, it’s actually just been a really nice and insightful look cause I, I personally don’t look back too far. But realizing it from now doing this podcast that we did, have write a lot, there’s a lot of interesting articles that we have written about that we’ve, I, I had forgotten I wrote for a second until we did this, that, that, that I can imagine being a viewer of the website that you have a lot of content to read about.
Brandon Rollins: Yeah, and that’s, that’s kind of the fun part about the holidays is it’s an excuse to reminisce.
It just seemed appropriate. So to everybody listening, Happy Holidays.
Thank you again for listening to this whole podcast. We really, really appreciate it.
You can find us anywhere you get your podcast. Apple, Spotify. A bunch of websites I’ve never heard of. We’re probably on there. On just about every social media known to man, @WeirdMarketing or @WeirdMarketers. All those links, of course, are in the transcript. They’re in the show notes so you can easily find and follow us if that’s your thing, if you happen to be listening to us on Apple Podcast, please leave a five star review. That actually helps quite a bit more than you know. We really appreciate it. Again, if you wanna read any of the stuff that we talked about, it is on Weird Marketing Tales.com, T A L E S. Thank you again for listening.
We really appreciate it.
Kenny Goodman: Thank you very much guys.