Back in 2012, entrepreneurs Larry Finnson and Chris Emery braved the Dragon’s Den looking for an investment in their fledgling chocolate candy business. Their company was called OMGs, which I’m pretty sure doesn’t stand for Oregon Mexican Gunk, because nobody would want to eat that. Their candy is chocolate mixed with graham clusters, toffee and nuts, and I can attest it is delicious. Arlene Dickinson ended up investing in the company. I’d embed the clip so you can watch the pitch, but CBC won’t let me. The best I can do is link to it, so consider that done.
Do any of you remember Clodhoppers? Larry and Chris were the guys who built up that brand, and OMGs are very similar. Clodhoppers were ridiculously popular back around 2005-ish, and have kind of faded to obscurity since. Larry and Chuck sold the company, waited a few years, and now they’re back for more.
So I’m out filling the chips, and I notice that OMGs are starting to hit store shelves. I haven’t seen them in any grocery stores yet, (not that they aren’t in grocery stores, I just haven’t seen them) but I have seen them in gas station convenience stores, as well as Shopper’s Drug Mart. Because I am a growing boy (mostly growing out, unfortunately) I had to buy a bag. They are delicious. Ladies, if you’re looking for that chocolate fix, OMG OMGs are good. They’ll help when you get one of those chocolate cravings during your time of month. Or before. Whatever, like I’m an expert in that stuff.
Anyway, this isn’t a post about my snack choices. It’s a post about marketing, and how Arlene Dickinson might not be as good at it as everyone things.
For those of you unfamiliar with the show, Arlene’s background is in marketing. Her company, Venture Communications, is one of the largest marketing and communications company in Canada. She joined the company in 1988, eventually buying the whole thing, and now has a net worth approaching $80M, at least according to the info someone else researched on Wikipedia. I’m sure Venture has all sorts of clients that think the company is the bee’s knees, especially if they’re into 1930s slang.
So Arlene invests in OMGs, and is obviously giving the company some marketing help. This goes without saying, but there’s a special reason I know. Allow me to present the marketing for OMGs.
The entire marketing campaign is that the product was on Dragon’s Den. Seriously, that’s it? A 9-iron could have come up with that marketing plan. There’s no mention of how addictive they are. There’s no mention of all the stuff inside of them. It’s just “why, we were on Dragon’s Den. You should buy because of that.”
Now if I was in charge of OMGs, I might do the exact same thing for my marketing, mostly because I’m a cheap ass who doesn’t want to pay for stuff. So I’d take a simple and effective idea, and run with it. Which is all fine and good, because I’m not paid millions of dollars each year to market products. I’m just a guy with a blog and a larger than average… ego. You all thought I was going to say something else.
So anyway, based on that, I’d never hire Venture Communications to market any of my products. OMGs are still pretty tasty though. You should buy some, except that would hardly teach anyone a lesson on bad marketing. Maybe steal them? I dunno, I’m off to get a snack.