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Mar 012013

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.


(image credit)

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.

Tell everyone, yo!
 Posted by at 4:20 am

  11 Responses to “OMG OMGs Have Bad Marketing”

  1. That is seriously awful.

    I saw the dip that won (Montreal Dip) that Loblaws contest about the best product or something like that.. and that was their marketing too.

    Badly packaged, didn’t look tasty… yuck.

  2. Arlene is the worst and I love it when Kevin or Jim totally crush her and steal her deal. And then she gets all pissy and I love it even more.

    • Agreed. She’s always saying “Oh I couldn’t add any value to this deal.” When the reality is “Yeah I’m not super wealthy like the other Dragons.”

      I loved Clodhoppers. I haven’t tried OMGs because of the presence of nuts. I’m not allergic to nuts specifically, just anything with nutritional value.

  3. Your marketing is better I think. “OMG OMGs are good!” That right there is catchy. It even draws my eyeballs in becuase I”m not sure what I’m reading at first. You shoudl be hired. You’d at least do as good a job, rpobably better.

  4. In the United States, marketing is considered more important than the product itself. People will buy when they see advertisement especially on TV. Very few gives a shit about the product itself. They are so brain-washed by the commercials they have already made up their mind how delicious the product is especially if it’s expensive. They think people would laugh at you if you hinted against the expensive product.

  5. I have a few guest posts on my blog. For each, I search for any duplicates on the Net. The problem is sometimes you just miss the duplicate.

  6. These guys gave up 50% of their company. Taking on any new investment people is a non-starter. Dragons Den is a show full of clowns. Anyone that takes any deal from them will have one heck of a time raising additional capital or go public. A lose – lose situation.

    I really agree with you that the woman cannot market. How many times during your regular TV show are you hit with commercials every 5 minutes? The same commercials over -n- over. I refuse to buy those products as they drive me away. The newest one is Zoomer. I would pay to have it removed.

    Clods are what i think of these guys not making it all over again. You gave away 50% of your company when it should have been 5%.

  7. I think arlene is sexy. I once was on the show and my product was rejected. Well, i can’t argue with that my idea was to ad a third wheel on top of the front wheel of a bicycle so in case you tip over forward while breaking agressively fast for an emergency, the wheel on top will touch the ground and the bike would keep rolling thus preventing you to break your spine.

  8. Just bought OMG’s from a South Carolina (USA), Wal-mart last week. Love the taste, but so surprised to read how long it was or should have been to reach my local stores & sad that I had & have not seen any marketing of the product.

    Such a tasty product, which was supposedly to be marketed with some ‘sample’ events, are most likely being missed by many. I would have even expected to have seen it in places like World Market- that has a large selection of candy produced by international companies.

    I wish the best for the product & I hope they look for additional marketing avenues as the current one is not a winner, (unlike the candy

  9. I think it has less to do with the marketing of OMG’s and more to do with Arlene marketing herself. When she bought 50% of the company, OMG’s Candy had no sales and thus no profit. At that moment, regardless of the creators prior experience, Arlene had an opportunity to plaster her face on a candy company whose stake she (honestly) didn’t deserve. To her it was a great time to put her face and name on another product, and the makers could no longer complain as 1. they were partners, and 2. it’s technically a marketing decision. They should have just held on to their product and their 100%. I heard that they didn’t make much money off of Clodhoppers, and it seems as though they’re giving away too much yet again.

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