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« Making commercials for the web | Main | Might as well panic »

The collectible totem

I've been a huge fan of Hugh MacLeod since he first showed up on the web a few years ago. Hugh is a provocateur, a brilliant marketer and a nice guy. He's also a great cartoonist.

Hugh's images, combined with his insightful promiscuous licensing policy (want to use this cartoon? Sure!) propelled his blog to the top of the charts and led to a book deal.

His newest project, though, is the point of this post.

Hugh is making fine art prints of his cartoons, in very limited editions. It's basically a collectible (like Andy Warhol silkscreens or Swatch watches) but for businesses. But it's more than that, because you can hang it on the wall. By putting something up for all to see, you start conversations or remind people of the mission.

So far, it's working. I'm told that every other poster in the series has sold out its pre-sale allocation, and my guess is that while resales will be rare, they'll go up in value.

PC133 Totem poles have been around for a long time, because they work. We need a place to tell our stories, and a reminder of what to talk about. I think it's really cool to start a conversation with something that hangs on the wall. Years ago, I visited the offices of DC Comics and noticed some plaster on the wall of the conference room. That's when I noticed a hand (Superman's hand) punching through the dry wall. It changed the conversations that got held in that room. Most products (or even services) could turn into totem poles if you worked at it. I'm sort of amazed at how little this idea has been leveraged.

Hugh's latest print made me blush. He asked me for permission to do the cover of Purple Cow, a book he found inspirational. I agreed to let him take a shot, and here it is. The book exists for people to talk about it, so this is perfect. I told Hugh that my readers needed hear about it first, but Hugh's posting his take on it in a few minutes.

Every penny of my share of the project goes to roomtoread.org. My hope is that this project alone will pay for most of a school in a small village that really needs one. If you're looking for a big purple totem pole, here you go. It's up to you whether to hang it in the portrait or landscape view. Thanks Hugh!

PS I'm signing each print, and so is Hugh.

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Listed below are links to weblogs that reference The collectible totem:

» How to top a purple cow? from Purple Pointr
"Three wise monkeys" from Japan? "The collectible totem" by Seth Godin? "Fine art prints" by Hugh MacLeod? [Read More]

» On Purple Cows from Marketing Begins At Home
Image by david parmet via Flickr Like everyone else in the web / intersocialmediasphere marketing world I read Purple Cow along with the Cluetrain Manifesto and all the other Web2.0 required reading. Ill freely admit to know and again com... [Read More]

» Something(s) to Believe In - Hugh Mcleod & Buttons of Hope from Behind the Button
"the market for something to believe in is infinite" ~ Hugh MacLeod The image above was originally drawn on he back of a business card. I am pretty sure Hugh Macleod does not think of himself as a artist per... [Read More]

» Purple Cow from The Waiting Room Online
It's an exciting day when you get to hang artwork in your office created by one very clever person of an iconic book cover, from a great book created by another very clever person. I like to hang it up this way - but the book is designed to go the othe... [Read More]

« Making commercials for the web | Main | Might as well panic »