One of the more enjoyable things about my job is seeing all the different ways that PR folks waste money. One of the most recent examples is a mailing that came from Rowenta, the garment care company.
In an embroidered, nylon/poly-blend zippered carrying case, not much different from an oversized wallet or PDA case, the company presented the results of a recent survey on ironing. Ironing. In addition to the obligatory press release, there was a fold-out map, a brochure, a sliding display chart, and a CD of images so I could present the information in an entertaining way. Clearly, an expensive piece of marketing.
So what did I learn? Quite a lot. For starters, I learned that Boston, Cleveland, Dallas, and Milwaukee are “Ironing Aficionado” cities. I also learned that 72.1 percent of people nationwide iron their jeans, and more people in Pittsburgh iron their curtains than in any other city. And overall, people in Chicago iron more often each week than in any other city, while people in Nashville iron the least frequently … but people in Boston enjoy ironing the most. (Note: I was not interviewed for this survey.)
Still, some of the best laughs came from the more randomly asked about items. To wit:
12.3% of respondents iron their socks
23.2% iron their boxer shorts
14.2% iron their towels
27.3% iron their gym clothes
And then there was this:
* At least one person in every city responded that they iron in the nude
* Grilled cheese sandwiches are made with irons in seven cities
* A high percentage of respondents sing while ironing
And perhaps most startlingly …
* Some people enjoy having sex while ironing
(no percentages given for the above activities)
I suppose I don’t need to make any jokes about these results; they do so on their own.
And that, my friends, is your Martin Moment for Friday, September 2, 2005.