Friday, November 24, 2006

"The Most Important Gift Catalog in the World"

I am exceedingly suspicious of any marketing claim that includes the words "Most Important," and I was frankly annoyed when I received a copy of a catalog from something called Heifer International that trumpeted their standing as "The Most Important Gift Catalog in the World". I harrumphed, but, looking at the cover, I did try to figure out what exactly they do. It didn't give me much of a clue: a picture of a couple of actors - the guy who played Josh on West Wing and the mother from Malcolm in the Middle (at least that's who I think she is) cuddling with a cud-chewing cow. (Actually, he's not chewing his cud, it's straw, and that thing on its head might be a horn, so it might be an ox. I'm a city girl, what would I know?) Other than "something to do with critters", I couldn't figure out what they were about.

Another odd things is that this catalog was addressed to my mother - who never lived here, and who has been dead for five years. So I'm guessing I've been getting this one a while, but have never looked at it.

Based solely on my annoyance over the "Most Important" claim I did open the damn thing. And damned if the work that Heifer International does isn't pretty important.

Your donation to Heifer is used to purchase livestock (cows, rabbits, goats, chickens) for brutally poor people so that they can scratch out a little more subsistence from their farming.

As I sit here deciding how much of a donation to make, I remain annoyed by not being able to tell from the cover of the catalog precisely what Heifer International does. I wish they'd had a picture of the little guy with the goat, rather than the TV stars. But their claim did get me to open the catalog - and my wallet.

Pretty good marketing, I'd say.

1 comment:

Dave Patterson said...

Thanks for the "good marketing" comment. Sorry about things being sent to your mother. Must have come off of some list we used. Not my department so I can't be sure. I'm new media director at Heifer.

We have a new BlogRaising program that lets bloggers help us get the word out about Heifer and raise the money we need to do our work. Just go to to learn more.

I hope you are able to take part.

We have a pretty successful on line catalog too.

Again thanks for the good words.