Mayflower’s giant marionette: cute or creepy?

Please note that this post was originally published on July 2, 2010. As a result, any external links or videos used may no longer be functional.

So, if Mayflower can move a 20-foot-tall marionette and her really big chair, it can move … help me here … you and your family?

Here’s my best guess at the strategy:

The challenge: Make consumers aware that Mayflower now offers a new portable moving and storage container service.

The solution: Build a giant puppet!

“We wanted a campaign idea that was as big as the new services that Mayflower offers, and I think we’ve found it,” Mayflower’s Chief Marketing Officer Steve Burkhardt said.

Or as Mayflower’s CEO reportedly said to Noah Garfinkel at BestWeekEver.TV, “No longer can we in good conscience keep helping people move by using four guys, boxes, tape, and a truck. From here on out, we will move like the pilgrims did when they came over on the actual Mayflower for which our company is named. Like them, we will construct a 20-foot-tall marionette doll in a pink dress that will lift boxes and blink slowly.”

The 700-lb. doll has received mixed reviews on the internet. Some find her beautiful. Some sultry. Some terrifying. What do you think?

P.S. Vote “cute” or “creepy” here.

This entry was posted in advertising, promotion, strategy.

0 Responses to Mayflower’s giant marionette: cute or creepy?

  1. I’m going to have to vote for slightly creepy. But more important – it took me several exposures to the commercial to be sure what/who the advertiser was and as you’ve stated – I still wasn’t clear what they were actually promoting.

  2. donna says:

    I only saw a clip of the commercial and it prompted me to Google what’s up with the creepy puppet on the Mayflower commercial which took me to a website called A lot of people found it creepy apparently. I looked it up on YouTube. The commercial makes more sense when you see it in it’s entirety. It is slightly less creepy. The Royal Marionette Company makes cool marionettes and someone at Mayflower has interesting taste to choose this concept to run an ad but it is creeper. Oh well. I guess it’s getting people talking.

  3. Kirk says:

    Thanks, Wendy. I agree. Seems like an idea with no connection to a strategy.

  4. Well, I’d have to agree with all previous comments so far. Doesn’t seem to be that connection, although, as Donna points out, it has gotten people talking.

  5. Woody says:

    Obviously, the detractors have no idea of what it takes to build and operate a marionette. This is evidenced by one person calling it a puppet … duh.

    The age of marionettes has past, but fortunately I grew up being entertained by them and had the great good fortune to know a Marionetter.

    It amazes me what scares people these days and if it doesn’t beep, boop or glow with the latest tweet, it’s creepy. What’s creepy are the ones who base there social lives around a device that can be destroyed by a sunspot.

    Kudos to the ad agency that envisioned it. Kudos to those wizards who designed, built and operate the largest, grandest marionette I have ever seen, and kudos to Mayflower for the revival.

    Looking forward to more. Bravo!

    Best regards,

  6. Nicki A. says:

    It is way too CREEPY!!!! I hate it!! I would never use Mayflower again!

  7. Anslie G. says:

    I LOVE it. As a woodcarver and maker of marionettes, I found the puppet extra special. And I “got the message” first time I saw the commercial. I say well done.

  8. Jackie says:

    I love this. Can’t get enough of it.

  9. nick says:

    I thought it was great. From the tech side, great work. From the concept side, who thought of this?
    But over all a lot of people are talking about the Mayflower commercial so I guess it worked.

  10. Rachel says:

    I don’t like it. The guys look like they have to look up her dress. The smile on her face looks evil and the music makes me grit my teeth every time I hear it now.

  11. Rita2crows says:

    I absolutely LOVE it!

  12. Rebecca says:

    Super cute! Good work, Mayflower, for trying something different! People afraid of dolls!? HA! Pussies. And, of course, someone has to look at it from the perverted side … looking up her skirt! Lame!