Mink Chocolates is coming up on its sixth year anniversary. Not a week goes by without us hearing from someone that, had it not been for insert name of person here bringing our chocolate to insert name of event here they never would have known we exist.
This is not surprising given that, as a general rule, we don’t advertise in conventional channels. Our marketing dollars, for instance, support a robust program of community sponsorship through our Mink Cares initiatives, but otherwise, we rely on word of mouth.
Lately I’ve been thinking it may be time to jump on the celebrity endorsement bandwagon. Here are my top picks for potential spokespeople:
Now that he and his giant hat are retired, he may want to supplement his pension with a little something less onerous than his papal duties ever were. If I can convince him not to encourage the worlds one billion Catholics to give up chocolate for Lent, the advantages for him are plenty. He doesn’t have to clear it first with Mrs. Pope. The dress code is casual, he can work in his robe. The hours are sensible, no more midnight mass all-nighters. And most importantly, it’s an easy commute now that Virgin Atlantic flies into Vancouver.
She’s Canadian, and may not be as averse to working in Canadian dollars as other celebrity endorsers. She needs the money, having just listed her house in Malibu for sale as part of a strategy to generate cash to pay a tax bill. Granted, she may skew more male in her demographic reach, but when she fills out an “I Eat Mink” t-shirt, she won’t raise the ire of PETA or alienate any of her vegetarian friends.
Conventional wisdom has it that the current premier of British Columbia will be looking for work after the provincial election in May. In the same way that Glen Clark’s career was resurrected by going to work for Jim Pattison in the private sector after his sudden resignation from politics a decade and a half ago, capitalizing on her previous stint at CKNW and becoming a radio pitchman for a small local business might be a worthwhile entry point back into the real world for Ms. Clark. It might be necessary, however, to run a few focus groups and do some polling first.
My Buddy Fred
Because Lance and Tiger have lost their credibility, Chumlee’s loveable but not exactly a role model and William Shatner is over-exposed. Fred’s in the fashion business, and has been known to hang with hipsters. He has that sort of je ne sais quoi and quirky sense of humor that helped land Seth MacFarlane the Oscars hosting gig, without the misogyny and sexism that will unland him any chance of future Oscar hosting gigs. And if I was a gambling man, which I am, I’d venture to say he’d work for chocolate, which is about the extent of this year’s advertising budget.
Mink Chocolates Inc.,
Mink A Chocolate Cafe Ltd.
Call toll free: 1.866.283.5181
The current crop of Mink staffers includes a musician on the verge of a breakout European tour, an aspiring special effects makeup artist, a budding interior designer and a flamboyant kid from the suburbs exercising his new found independence.
Each brings a unique world view to their work. I tell each one when they’re hired that on the highway of life, working here is a pit stop. I trust they will work hard, make new friends, learn something new, make some money, and go on to pursue their passions and be productive members of society. It doesn’t always work out well, but more often than not I have relative stability in the staff schedule and I don’t have to stress over staffing shortages.
I recently posted a Craigslist advertisement for a full time barista. No experience necessary, as I hire for attitude and train for skill. During the interview, I assess for common sense, and any glimmer of hope that the candidate had instilled in them an old fashioned work ethic. Did they have chores growing up at home, or were they helicoptered by their parents and unwittingly given a false sense of entitlement?
One of the applicants stood out in a most unique way. At 75, he was facing mandatory retirement, but still felt he had a lot more to contribute. What he lacked in agility, he made up for in enthusiasm. A generous government pension notwithstanding, I imagined he was seeking employment more for the social aspect of café life, than the salary. But after some rudimentary bar training, he failed to grasp our standards for customer service.
See for yourself. Take a look at this:
Mink A Chocolate Cafe Ltd.
Call toll free: 1.866.283.5181Shop: www.minkchocolates.com