THE Jim Dobbin is a good man sticker STORY

By this stage I would hope everyone has been told the story of the artwork, Jim Dobbin is a good man. Just in case one or two of you went out the back for a smoke, it begins thus…

Lach Lustre, a gentlemanly young gent, SMS’d from Perth with a request for a price on printing band posters for his newly formed band – and considering I’ve always liked the guy, I went to throw him a break. Lach’s only just my side of twenty though, so I’m sure he’s forever looking at me to dole out some of life’s lessons (I’m just sure of it) so I glibly attached to the end of a great printing price, “…on the proviso that somewhere on the poster it has to say, “Jim Dobbin is a good man”. At this point I’d like to point out that it was not through conceit, really, it was just so he learnt that there’s no such a thing as a free lunch of course …you know, jump through some hoops. I was quite keen to see how he’d put 4-point type one shade darker than the surrounds, or space the words around to fit it in without having any meaning…
<<< …and he came up with this…
Funny hey?

So… being the kind of guy that I am, I showed everybody – people that came in to the store, people on my email list and the footy dads and mums …everyone.

Bernard Fanning called me, “…the Anthony Mundine of the print world”. Everyone saw it for how funny it is.

So I got to thinking that no-one achieves notoriety for just being a good man in the suburbs. Skuey works tirelessly on an inordinate amount of roles for the school and football club, at the same time as running a business and being a family guy. Now he might not want notoriety (I’ve never asked him), but surely he deserves more recognition than a petulant pop princess, or a drunken thug footballer? Also, getting Skuey individual recognition is a bit unfair too – he’s just one hard worker from our club and school – there’s probably millions over the country just doing their best to do their best. So I conceived of this notion to gain notoriety, not because I’m better than the average family guy in the suburbs, but that I am one.

This is a point where maybe I should own up to those that don’t know me that a considerable amount of my working life has rotated around marketing, so my first response was to create a brand, the brand that is Jim Dobbin is a good man. Owning a print shop where I can print T-shirts, mugs, mouse pads, jigsaws, stickers, umbrellas (yes, there is a Jim Dobbin is a good man golf umbrella) certainly hasn’t hurt, but i’m getting too far ahead of myself.

It started as a networking bumper sticker.

After I’d told this story an awful lot, I had an order for bumper stickers (oddly enough, I think it was for Skuey’s business!) and had to run some tests, so enthusiastically tried out my new JDiagm logo. From that point onwards, after I’d gone through the story, I could offer a sticker to the avid listener, pointing out that if they saw one out on the road, that that car was part of my network and had heard the story.

This too was embraced in a truly kindred way – ‘The Roadies’, a couple of middle-aged travelling minstrels that did continual circuits of remote communities in the Northern Territory asked for (and received) a laminated logo so they could photograph the sign on their travels.

Jules in Chile with a JDiagm sticker
Jules in Chile with a JDiagm sticker

Jules Esbensen was also an early adopter who sent her man, The Mighty Bruce, a sticker on his stint in Afghanistan who placed it on the mirror in the defence force gymnasium I believe. She also insisted she get a logo tattooed on her arse just to send a photo to The Mighty Bruce, but I declined. At least that’s how I remember it; she probably remembers it completely differently.

Their next intrepid journey, this time together, saw them travel a great deal throughout South America, and placing little stickers all over the place in remote areas. Apparently The Mighty Bruce has placed one on the left nut of the Jesus the Redeemer statue in Rio, but that’s a hard one to verify.

Since then there’s been journeys to Japan, Vietnam – a Bostonian fireman has taken one for his hat – and there’s quite a few local ones and a pocket of them in South Western Australia. There’s also mention on several websites, the Pink Caravan (fashion label) flyer and Bowen Therapy Course Booklets – the word’s getting out there.

So far it has had only one reaction suggesting that it might be a form of conceit on my behalf. The laws of advertising use a superb word in allowing grandiose claims…

puff⋅er⋅y [puhf-uh-ree]
–noun, plural -er⋅ies.
undue or exaggerated praise.

publicity, acclaim, etc., that is full of undue or exaggerated praise.

I’m pleading the ‘exaggerated’ here of course, not the ‘undue’.

So, that’s the story of the Jim Dobbin is a good man sticker. They are still free to anyone that would like the world to know they’ve heard the story – perhaps you could have two if you can name the young gent who kicked it all off. You can also get a pile if you’re travelling somewhere, going to an event, etc where you think they might need to be reminded that there’s good happening outside the five senses of media spotlight, in no smaller scale than what is reported – in fact in huge numbers of people with the capacity to know both sides.

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