Admittedly, it was sad to hear of Pets.com’s demise last week. Its sock puppet mascot, to which Pets.com is reportedly looking to sell the rights, was part of one of the few truly funny and creative campaign efforts last year. That said, any marketer who pays a dime for the use of that mascot will publicly demonstrate that he or she has yet to learn the lessons of the past 12 months. While the sock puppet no doubt scores high in consumer awareness, it has no brand value other than as a symbol of dot-com foolishness, ill-considered business plans and wasteful marketing.
On the other hand, all online marketers should go to Amazon.com and buy a Pets.com sock puppet to put on their desks. At $19.99 plus shipping and handling, it’s worth every penny, if only as a reminder that when a humorous campaign ends, the joke is often on its creators.