AMPERAGE Marketing & Fundraising

One-Minute MarketerDilly, Dilly to Marketers

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Dilly, Dilly to Marketers

Just when you think all the rules of advertising have gone out the door, along comes a brave knight and “Dilly, Dilly.”knight from dilly dilly

Dilly, Dilly reminds us all that marketing is not full of absolutes. It is an art and science, but sometimes the art needs to lead.

So what do we know about Dilly, Dilly:

  • It didn’t test well, but was approved in spite of the initial negative reactions
  • It was launched on broadcast television
  • It is memorable
  • It is not corporate speak
  • It was born out of the popularity of an HBO show, “Game of Thrones”
  • It had high frequency (often a forgotten part of successful marketing)
  • It had great strategy behind it to increase sales and not just be funny
  • It doesn’t really mean anything; it is just a fun phrase to say
  • It is a success in traditional and new media, so it easily crosses platforms

And to those who believe, “You don’t need a theme or branding line in advertising anymore,” all I can say is Dilly, Dilly, and pass the Bud Light.


Written by:

Mark wrote his first direct-mail fundraising letter in 1981 for the University of Iowa Center for Advancement. The effort raised a few million dollars in undiscovered wills and legacy gifts. From that day forward Mark discovered a love of the big idea that moves the needle. After 12 years at KWWL, Mark became a business owner as a co-founder of ME&V — rebranded as AMPERAGE in 2015. After 25 years of leading creative teams in video production, graphic design, PR, writing and web development, Mark transitioned out of ownership in 2021. Today he serves in an employee role as special projects consultant. He is creatively ambidextrous — son of an artist and engineer — and famous for distilling complex ideas down to a few words and a few visuals. Mark is a writer. When he found that many nonprofits struggled with complex branding puzzles, he wrote the book, “NonProfit-NonMarketing .” He also wrote a novel called “Reenactment.” Mark is an active blogger OneMinuteMarketer® with nearly 1,000 readers each week on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter. One of his most popular YouTube videos is on “How to Look Good on Zoom.” One of Mark’s fondest business memories was being named to INC 500 two times and attending the INC 500 conference with other winners. Mark is considered by some a Civil War expert (and that explains his novel). Mark also served as an adjunct professor in the business and in the communications departments at Wartburg College. Mark is a graduate of the University of Iowa and is currently vice president of the University of Iowa Journalism and Mass Communications Advisory Board. Mark is married to state Sen. Liz Mathis, and the two love to travel, even when it means being trapped by a volcano in the Czech Republic for three weeks.