Leave it to NELMA to come up with the first-ever forest products industry-themed comic strip, The Adventures of Skip & Wane! Issue No. 1 introduces the two brothers that both work at a softwood lumber mill located in the northeast; Wane, the knowledgeable, hands-on mill supervisor, and Skip, his younger brother “newbie” that just started working at the mill. Then there’s Burl, the seasoned mill employee “know-all”! Look for added characters such as Dolly Varden, Mr. Pickwick, Spike Knot, and more in future strips. Click on either Skip or Wane’s image to take a look at the premiere issue!
This added marketing concept was discussed and embraced by the Association’s Marketing Committee at their December 2014 planning meeting as a unique marketing vehicle for communicating a variety of messages, either “inside” industry humor or for direct targeting of “alternative” end-use product competitors of northeastern softwoods. Cartoons embedded within marketing strategies are deeply rooted in history and their results are well-documented as some of the most read and most remembered elements of a promotional campaign.
The use of non-traditional forest products marketing vehicles has been NELMA’s signature the past several years, with the introduction of the “Grade Swatch”, the “Virtual Home Tour”, the animated “NELMA vs.” online video series, multiple how-to and informational video segments on NELMAtv via YouTube, and the Grader Academy.
Matt Duprey, NELMA’s Marketing Committee Chairman, stated “We are excited about the launch of The Adventures of Skip & Wane. This series will help further NELMA’s brand in a different and entertaining way; an inexpensive, effective tool to get our messages across through multiple venues. Plus, with all the busy things we all do every day this should be a fun communication piece that will bring some lite humor and a smile to the faces of people when they read it!”
The Adventures of Skip & Wane fits well within NELMA’s expanding communication and marketing arsenal, with options for use within the Association’s PR promotions outlets, website features, as trade press advertisements, and throughout various social media vehicles. For NELMA’s membership, the series is a ready-made, customer communication piece and a natural viral pass-along email item!
As someone succinctly recounted, “Humor is about revealing truth in a twist. Just the act of laughing means the reader has instantly picked up a key point of agreement you can build upon within your messaging.”