A crew of local artists have come together to help promote local businesses…and they brought singing puppets. Neatovision is a guerrilla marketing group that uses puppets, songs, and professional video know-how to make free commercials for places that they like. Imagine if Sesame Street was directed by Don Draper and you’ll have captured its essence.
The group is the brain child of Fort Worth muso Sloan Clark, frontman and bassist for Sloan Automatic. He is also a local business owner, and wanted to do something to show his appreciation for his favorite businesses in the community. So naturally, he decided to write a song for some puppets to sing.
“As a fellow small business owner (Sloan Clark State Farm) I am literally in awe of people who are brave enough to start funky independent local businesses,” he said. “And as a guy who will be raising a family here, I’m grateful. Those overworked people end up making our lives better.”
Clark was inspired by an earlier trip to a “dusty Christian bookstore somewhere in Alabama,” where he bough a puppet ministry collection for $40. He held a “bug craft party” that caught the interest of local artists Katy Stanley Hart, Brian Cox, and Jay Wilkinson, who can now add “puppeteer” to their resumes. Clark’s mother-in-law made the lil’ costumes.
“Puppeteering requires spending many hours in pain, on your knees,” Clark said. “But they do so with huge smiles on their faces. I would be lost without them.”
The first, and so far only, business the group has made a commercial for is Magnolia Cheese Company. The video (here) stars husband-and-wife team Tara and Nathan Brown (the latter of Browningham fame), and appearances by owner Elizabeth Northern and chief cheese whiz Jen Williams.
The group has already decided on its next project, and hopes to have it completed by next month. To get update, subscribe to Neatovision’s Youtube page: youtube.com/neatovision
The folks still need crafters, film editors, and puppeteers, so anyone wants to get involved can reach them through the youtube page or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“We learned a lot on the first one,” said Clark, and I think we’ll be light years better for this next one. Plus, having something to show folks has helped to attract some talented puppeteers.”