Category: Case Studies
August 22nd, 2012

Putting The Awesome In Your Dog – Part 1.

Ever heard that saying: “It’s not the size of the dog in the incredibly bizarre-yet-awesome fight, it’s the amount of incredibly bizarre-yet-awesome in the dog?”

Probably not, because we just made it up.

But the point is this: If your budget is smaller than the other guy’s, you’d better make more interesting conversation. Not just some of the time. All of the time. If you give up? If you try to sound cool in your advertising, but the rest of your customers’ interactions with you are robotic and money-grubbing? The effect is this:  Your customer is at a party, chatting up an attractive someone, the happy couple steps outside for some air, and suddenly that quiet-yet-fascinating discussion of Epictetus becomes GOOD DAY SIR-OR-MADAM CAN WE INTEREST YOU IN LOW-LOW ZERO-DOWN-WITH-APPROVED-CREDIT CASH-BACK FINANCING?

Which is painful and weird. As opposed to good-weird. Good-weird is more like this:

*So, wait. We have to come up with some clever Fine Print? It’s closing in on feeding time and we’re having a hard time thinking good. Wait, good? Or is it well? We can’t remember no grammar now cuz food hunger is taking over part of body that word ideas come from. Oh look at cat! Cat is pretty. Want food, but can’t get until Fine Print is over. OK: You have to be an Eat24 member to use the $3 Coupon Code. If you’re not a member you can sign up in seconds. Also you can only use it at restaurants that accept Coupon Codes (but don’t worry, there are over 20,000 of them) and you must pay with a Credit card or PayPal. Also, don’t try to pull a fast one and just order chips and salsa. C’mon, they give that away for free at restaurants. Be a man (or a woah-man) and order a damn burrito. Any order of $10 or more will do, because that’s the order minimum. Finally, the Coupon Code can only be used once and will expire the 19th of August at Midnight PST. Good job, brain. Now shut up until food gets here. (Our brain, not your brain. Your brain can talk all it wants because we love the sound of your voice. It’s like a combination of Barry White and a thousand kittens purring).”

That’s a sample of fine print from an Eat24 email coupon.  Fine print. From an email coupon.

Fine print from an email coupon that mentions Barry White and a thousand kittens purring.

Why doesn’t all fine print mention Barry White and a thousand kittens purring? Wouldn’t you read more fine print if it had more stuff like that? (Did we just answer our own question?) Let’s take things one step further: If Eat24 is going to put goodness like Barry White and a thousand kittens purring in the fine print, they must want you to read the fine print, right? But that’s weird because fine print is the marketing communications equivalent of the swamps of Jersey, right? It’s where the bodies are buried, right? But if Eat24 wants readers to read it, that must mean Eat24 is lovable on the inside, too! You know what else it means? It means you should read everything Eat24 sends you, because who knows, in the middle of their legalese they might start rambling about Barry White and purring kittens.   This is science, people. This is irrefutable fact.

And what did this little exercise in Always Sounding Like Us cost? Zero. Pain-and-suffering incurred? None. Love-beyond-reason engendered? Plenty.


This is a picture of a rainbow having a nicotine fit. It has almost nothing to do with our conversation except, it’s random and fun. It made your day a little better. (That rainbow smokes too much and just throws the butts wherever. Rude.)

Which brings us to this:

Also random. Also fun. Also makes your day a little better. Even if it doesn’t really have a purpose. Even if it doesn’t really tell your fortune. And you know what? That cookie is stomping the terra firma. Likes. Shares. Retweets. Calls from our mothers. (Which we should probably return. Eeesh. We’re bad people. But we digress.)

It’s just a simple little conversational piece, appearing in a slightly unexpected place. Which is so Eat24. That’s their voice. Not some of the time. All of the time. Their customers love it. They expect it. They participate in it. And that’s why Eat24 is able to generate love beyond reason. That’s the bizarre that puts the awesome in their dog. That’s how a little startup with no VC funding is able to scare the hell out of the big boys. Because an intelligent conversation has the power to generate greater sales, more economically achieved.

Which is the reason we got into this business.

We do what we do the way we do it because we believe this in our bones: It does not require more money, or more meetings, or more buzzwords to sell well. It requires common sense, good manners and a sense of humor. It requires convincing your audience that you do what you do because you love doing it, not because you love money.

So while Eat24’s bigger, more well-funded competitors are quite likely sitting in a meeting, staring at a 120-slide PowerPoint detailing last week’s trendlines, Eat24 is having human conversations with their customers. Also, a freakin’ blast. Speaking of which – Mortar is proud to present “Food Truck In Your Pants,” the first of a whole slew of new Eat24 broadcast spots, breaking now.


It’s like we always* say: It’s not the size of the dog in the incredibly bizarre-yet-awesome fight, it’s the amount of incredibly bizarre-yet-awesome in the dog. But tell us what you think. After all, this is a conversation.


P.S. If you don’t live in Los Angeles and you’d like to see this and many other fine new Mortar-produced Eat24 spots on your tee-vee, let ’em know via Twitter @Eat24.


*At least since 11:30 this morning.


August 21st, 2012

Putting The Awesome In Your Dog – Vol. 2

Hey, you know what’s exciting? Narrow, hair-raising escapes.

“Most impressive, Mr. Bond. Most impressive.”


You know what’s not exciting?

Talking about features. Unless your feature is a surfing cat or a laser cannon or a surfing cat with a laser cannon, most people won’t care about whatever whizbang you’re trying to sell. Unless you’re Eat24 and your brand = Random and Funny. Then everybody cares about what you have to say, if only because they like the way you say it.

Which brings us to “Restraining Order” and “Solve For Pi,” the second and third entries in our new campaign:

Were those fleeting seconds of goodness enough for you to fully-understand-and-internalize Eat24 Notes or Split The Check? Probably not. Are you now somewhat more likely to go check these wonderful features out? (OK, after you stop watching the surfing cat. We know it’s mesmerizing.)


February 1st, 2012

Oh, Canada.

...You so crazy.

So we’re reblogging this from Eat24’s Tumblr (which rules, go follow them,) because we absolutely love the fact that their customers are not only getting into the brand, but getting into the act.

P.S. Charge your phone, eh?

May 27th, 2009

In a Sea of Sameness, It Pays To Stick Out.



So our pals at the Reno-Sparks Convention and Visitors Authority asked us to help them with an offer to get the attention of meeting planners. We funnied it up a little. What do you know – it's getting results! The point being – there's no law that says you have to inflict boredom upon your audience just because that's what they're used to. In fact, that's the best audience to surprise.

September 27th, 2006

Mortar gives the gift of OneShare. Woody and Buzz drive a 200% increase in sales. A Pixar PR Story.

When—a company that sells individual, framed stock certificates in popular publicly traded companies—came to Mortar, its brand positioning was lackluster and confusing. 

Giving the gift of one framed share of stock was promoted as a way to start investing, a baby gift, a collectible item, and a tool to learn more about stocks. The company lacked a clear marketing message.

Armed with internal data indicating 90% of sales were gifts, we suggested repositioning Oneshare as an innovative present–further complementing the gift-giving experience by adding witty engraved  messages to each framed share. 

Buyers might add “I wouldn’t trade you for anything” to a share of eBay. “Think outside the blue box” (Tiffany & Co).“May the only holes in your portfolio be donuts” (Krispy Kreme). 

Next our PR team crafted a media outreach strategy aimed for magazine holiday gift guides. 

We grouped the shares into fun packages to maximize interest (the Planes, Trains and Automobiles package was aimed at men’s magazines and included Harley-Davidson, Boeing, and Ford).

We pushed the strategy forward with mat release partnerships.

Oh, and we crafted a long-term outreach plan to secure feature stories whenever a popular stock disappeared, taking full advantage of feverish media interest surrounding soon-to-be collectible stocks like Toys-R-Us and most significantly Pixar.

What happened?

In six months we generated 270 stories. The mat release alone generated 70 artciles.

OneShare calculate that 15% of  2005 Q4 revenues were directly
attributable to holiday PR coverage.

But our biggest win came in the Spring when Disney announced it was buying animation film studio Pixar — creators of Toy Story —  eliminating Pixar shares and creating a collectible market overnight.

We pounced with an Associated Press feature that was picked up in virtually every major American newspaper.

That release alone generated a 200% gain in Q1 sales.

Prompting Byron Beach, OneShare’s vice president of marketing, to comment “The PR program, when combined with Mortar’s creative team, helped us reach a new level as a company and has paid for itself many times over”.