In your youth, there were certain shops that you couldn’t wait to visit and when you got there, you didn’t want to leave. Are they still there? Why did they disappear? Did they have enough support or help? Did their customers just shop online?
As a retail shop owner, we’ve seen the tides of change. Shifting spending habits coupled by our crippled economy have forced closures of an endless amount of retail establishments. It’s a nationwide epidemic that’s not well addressed or supported. Are empty street blocks our future? Or will they be filled with mega-corporate owned “fake” small businesses?
Changes happen in small amounts and a business like Uglydoll started a new promotion that’s exciting as it is fresh and they’re helping small businesses by offering a special coupon that’s redeemable for a special Uglydoll. It’s retro in that it relies on US Mail, just like the legendary great promotions of the past.
It was a few years ago at Comic Con that our friend lost his Star Wars pen. He was relentless in his effort to find it. Time passed, everyone was forced to wait while he crawled on his hands and knees. It was a ball point pen. Why was it special? It was a mail order premium that might have been worth a few dollars, but sentimentally worth everyones teasing.
David Horvath explains the promotion from ideas to reasons why. It’s incredibly generous and thoughtful and hopefully inspires others including ourselves to do the same.
GR: What made you decide to do the Cookie Chef Babo promotion?
DH: It’s about getting people in the stores. We have a new guy Mike, and he was at Hasbro for 22 yrs. On his first day, he and I had this idea independently, and I give him the credit. That’s what he brought. He’s been great about that sort of thing. The idea is to get people into the stores. This is definitely something we want to do more of. We got this ready in the beginning of the year when he started.
GR: How many of Cookie Chef Babo dolls are there?
DH: It’s pretty limited compared to what we normally make. There’s no set number, but there is a set time. If you fill out a slip and redeem it, you will get one. We’re not making a million slips! It’s to help out the mom and pop shops and that’s the reason we’re here in the first place.
GR: This is a fun promotion that’s something new for a “smaller company”.
DH: I never heard of anyone in the non-mass space doing this before. This is like the Boba Fett offer in the 70s. They still made millions of those. Our goal is get people in the store. People have changed their buying habits with the one big online retailer. You get free shipping and you’re good. People are not discovering the special things like they once did. You miss out on scrolling through the little shops and their wonderful products. If that goes away, then no one will make those special items. I like the big stuff, but I feel like the small things are endangered. I want people to rediscover the gems that’s under their noses. People are busy, and buying with two clicks is becoming part of our culture. There’s another part that’s been around hundreds of years and I don’t want to people to forget about it.
GR: There were so many kinds way back including special Atari 2600 games.
DH: I remember a Fruit Loops box and you buy five and you can get Han Solo dressed like a Storm Trooper. That was years ago, like Bazooka Joe gum and plenty of other send away offers. I miss those. Those are fun and interesting. It’s exciting as a kid. We’re not excited for the mail man anymore, except for the brown box of stuff you buy, but send away stuff is more random.
GR: Why did Cookie Chef Babo become the special giveaway character?
DH: He’s right out of our first book, The Ugly Guide. We received more letters for people to get that guy than anything else. This was for the folks that are most crazy about it. We know people who’d been with us from the beginning, and it took us 10 years, but here it is. It’s a great guy for a send away offer.
Here’s the fine print of the deal (as typed by Dean Gojobori straight from the back of the offer form)
This offer only valid to U.S. residents only.
Here is the fine print on the back of the certificate:
To redeem your Cookie Chef Babo™ (yours with a purchase of $25 or more), please mail the following information:
1. Completed Redemption Form
2. Original or photocopied UPC symbol bar code from Uglydoll™ products
3. Original sales receipt dated between September 1, 2011 through January 15, 2012
4. Check or money order for $4.95 (US) shipping & handeling fee
Pretty Ugly LLC
45 Fernwood Avenue
Edison, NJ 08837
All requests must be postmarked by February 15, 2012
This offer is good for a limited time only and while supplies last. Offer valid only on purchases made September 1, 2011 through January 15, 2012, Redemption claims must be postmarked by February 15, 2012. Please allow 8-10 weeks for processing. If redemption is not received in 8-10 weeks call 866-HEY-UGLY. Offer good in U.S. only and void where prohibited, taxed or restricted by law (free product must ship within the U.S.). Limit three (3) redemptions per household. Proof of purchase (UPC symbol) and original sales receipt must be submitted. Participant acknowledges that purchases made and submitted in connection with this program cannot be combined with any other rebate/redemption offer or other promotion. Pretty Ugly, LLC is not responsible for lost, late or non-delivered submissions. Offer void if UPC symbols, original sales receipts and completed form are not submitted, Terms and conditions of this Mail-in Redemption are subject to change without notice. Valid for U.S. residents only.
Pretty Ugly, LLC will not sell or share any of the information that you provide.