Six merchandising gimmicks for Dogme ELT

The "Dogme Circle" - a very nice image but is it now time to expand to more tie-ins and collectibles?

The other day I was going through and clearning up some old folders on the computer when I came across a document called Teaching Unplugged Marketing ideas. It was a very short document, and had a few notes for marketing the well-known book by Scott Thornbury and Luke Meddings. As it turned out, Delta publishing had no marketing department (or budget really) at the time and so nothing came of it. But judging from the furore around Dogme and Teaching Unplugged (for example, here) I thought it was time to unleash some more ideas. I can see that this movement has some legs, so I figure why not try and make some money off it? Here are six bits of merchandise, with suggested list prices, to help Dogme reach a much wider audience and make me a wealthy marketing guru in the process!

1. Dogme Chastity Rings

The dogme ELT movement was launched ten years ago with a Vow of Chastity regarding materials. If you have taken the vow and are a confirmed Dogmeist then why not show the world? These little rings will identify you immediately as an unplugged teacher and come in a range of attractive colours.

Suggested price: 29.99 euros

2. Doggmie bags

All that focusing on emergent language generates a certain amount of detrius in the form of hastily scribbled notes, post-its and so on. Keep it all together with these ecological Doggmie bags! Made out of 100% recycled coursebooks.

Suggested price: 1.99 euros

3. Limited edition action figures

The Limited Edition Luke Meddings doll, without glasses version

You now can have a miniature Scott Thornbury or Luke Meddings with you at all times! These customized action dolls come with two changes of clothes (formal and informal) and, when you pull the string in their backs, they will utter classic phrases like “No more grammar mcnuggets!” or “I don’t believe in learner-as-consumer methodology”

(footnote: I actually found a site (here) that will make an action figure of you, and suggested it to Luke and Scott when we were about to publish Teaching Unplugged; I am still waiting for an answer)

Suggested price: 289.00 euros (they ARE limited edition after all)

4. Collectible Dogmemon cards

The very rare Karenne Sylvester trading card - with full Dogme challenge powers!

If you have children you may have heard of the Pokemon card-collecting craze. Now unplugged teachers can collect Karenne Sylvester, Jason Renshaw, Diarmuid Fogarty, Gavin Dudeney, Vicki Samuell, Jeremy Harmer and many other beloved characters from the Dogme universe. Play with them, frame them or trade them! Each pack comes with ten cards and instructions for gameplay. I’ve got a rare Lindsay Clandfield card to trade that I just can’t seem to get rid of by the way…

Suggested price: 9.99 for the starter pack, and 1.99 for individual packs of 5 cards.

5. The Official Unplugged coursebook

This attractive blank notebook is a must for any teacher. All you really need to teach any level, any length of course or any number of students is contained inside. You can also get the special Englishraven edition with the blank pages written by Jason Renshaw himself for 2 euros extra.

(footnote: I nearly did convince DELTA publishing to do this as a marketing giveaway to coincide with the launch of Teaching Unplugged, but it never happened in the end)

Suggested price: 4.99 (6.99 for Jason Renshaw authored version)

6. Pack of “Materials light” safety matches (discontinued)

This pack of safety matches comes in an attractive box with the Vow of Chastity engraved on the back of it and instructions on how to hold a “coursebook bonfire night” inside. This item was the product of an overeager marketing department that seized on a quip about burning books. Since Thornbury and Meddings have clarified that they are not really in favour of book-burning the item was quickly shelved. However, some copies are still in existence. Only for the most die-hard extremist dogmeist.

Suggested price: 499.99 euros (only 5 left in stock)

Please place your orders in the comments box.

Published in: on October 24, 2010 at 3:45 pm  Comments (27)  
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27 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. LOL! My favorites were the trading cards and the rings. Hilarious… I can only be afraid of you ever using that creative power of your for the forces of evil Lindsay (whatever that would be!). Keep using it for educational and entertaining purposes!;-)

    • Heh heh heh, thanks Cecilia. You might say I am already using it for the powers of evil by writing international coursebooks! (manic laughter)

      • Sshhhh…. shouldn’t say that aloud Lindsay! Some people might use the matches to set you on fire 😉

  2. Bwahaha, this is perfect. I’d love some of those matches. I’d also like to know what superpowers are listed on those trading cards 🙂

    I think some subversive products should be included as well like special paper that jams up the photocopier.

    • Tee hee Nick, well I listed “blog strike!” as one special attack on those cards. You could also have a “comment power” attack, I have been on the receiving end of a few of those too 😉

      The special paper is brilliant! I’m gonna patent that too, thanks for the idea!


  3. You see, the matchbox is genius, because when you’re done burning the coursebooks, it can be used for the ‘Teaching Unplugged’ activity ‘lesson in a matchbox’.

    I loved this post, in fact still giggling away 🙂

  4. Lindsay, these are great. But I’m holding out for the Teaching Unplugged T-shirt that has “I do it Dogme style” emblazened on the front.

  5. Lindsay, hope you are not planning to invade my territory of T-shirts and bumper stickers that say :
    “Dogme style through chastity rings”.. 😉

    • I’m sure we can negotiate some kind of rights deal. My lawyers will be in touch.

  6. I wonder if I could get away with wearing a t-shirt like that to the dogme symposium at IATEFL….

    • OMG, you wouldn’t dare…?

    • I will if you will, Karenne!!!

  7. ROTFL!!!!
    Lindsay, you are great at turning serious debate into fun!
    I´m honored to be featured in the Dogmemom cards…
    By the way, it´s “Saumell”, but don´t worry as I am so used to having it misspelled.

    And Karenne, I think you could get away with it!

  8. A hilarious post Lindsay, and one that has just sidetracked me from doing a spot more work tonight:-)

    Yes, I think Karenne, you could definitely get away with wearing a Teaching Unplugged “I do it Dogme style” t-shirt at IATEFL. In fact, I dare you to wear one!! It’ll become an Internet sensation, I know it will. Lindsay, you’d better get production rolling on this one ready for April 2011!

  9. One of the best ‘6 things…’ yet!

    Are the dogmemon cards useable like Top Trumps? If so, there should be learner awareness and material abstinence ‘abilities’.

    Of course, you missed the limited press vinyl edition of MTV’s Teaching Unplugged featuring our acoustic renditions of classics such as:

    ‘Books are burning’ – Midnight Oil feat. Jason Renshaw
    ‘Losing My Coursebook’ – REM
    ‘Come (to class) as you are’ – Nirvana
    ‘Don’t look book in anger’ – Oasis
    and special ultra-rare bonus track, ‘Who let the dogmeists out?’ – Baha Men feat. HarmerJ & Snoop Doggme

    • David, that is absolutely hilarious – I want that unplugged album NOW!

      • Oooh, and of course, I forgot to mention:

        ‘Before you accuse dogme’ – Eric Clapton feat. Scott Thornbury
        ‘Got dogme wrong’ – Alice in Chains feat. luke Meddlings
        & ‘Lesson in a bottle’ – Sting

        I should probably stop now before I have to get me coat….

    • How about: You can’t touch this (book) feat U NO HU?

  10. The book-burning seems especially attractive to a liberal-minded soul like me. However I can’t seem to find the paypal link on you page.

  11. I heard rumours of a promotional documentary for the book called “Scott and Luke’s Dogme Dinners” (based on Jamie Oliver’s successful documentary broadcast in the UK). In it, Scott and Luke would visit schools serving up ‘healthy’ unplugged lessons. Apparently at the first school they visited, concerned parents and textbook-using teachers threw Grammar McNuggets over the school gates for the children inside. 😉

  12. As the wise Oscar said (almost): There’s only one thing worse than being laughed about, and that is, NOT being laughed about. Thanks, Lindsay, for making me LOL!

  13. Classic! But I’m afraid that if Dogme starts putting real commercial pressure on its textbook competition, the latter might have to retaliate with marketing ploys of their own.

    Will Pearson start offering healthy token menu choices to offset their popular grammar mcnuggets? Lexical mcsalads, perhaps? Will Macmillan include Happy Meal style trinkets with their teachers’ manuals to keep ’em coming back? “Oooh, how cute, it comes with a mini disciplinary paddle this semester! Can we get it, please, pleeeeaze?”

  14. Brilliant!

    Just so punters are aware, my special edition blank coursebook costs more because

    (a) It isn’t as cluttered or as intense as the one Lindsay illustrated here
    (b) Clandfield and Associates are charging me an inordinate amount in the way of distribution fees; and they may be trying to sell the TG version to you without paying me any royalties, so watch out for that one (they claim there is a pre-existing precedent).

    Hot off the press as well – exclusive announcement here to coincide with this post – I have a new version of my commercial coursebooks due out soon as well: these feature all the content as very light watermarks, allowing students and teachers to either use them or write over them with completely new content!

    Love the soundtrack suggestions as well!

    May I add:

    “Wake me up before you Dogme”
    “Where the Units have no name”

    The comment above about “Scott and Luke’s Dogme Dinners” and the image of “concerned parents and textbook-using teachers throwing Grammar McNuggets over the school gates for the children” has had me chortling all day…

    Nice one, Lindsay!

  15. Inspired! Even better than your other classic Dogme moment:

  16. Why keep it in the classroom? I’ve got some fill-in-the-blank paintings at a very special, student-generated introductory price. The canvasses have extensible sideflaps, and sideflaps upon sideflaps, so you’re not limited by any preconceived size or shape format.

  17. PS Thanks Lindsay – really enjoying reading this blog! I’ve just posted a link to it on my own EFL site ( If you have the time, perhaps you could see if you like my effort enough to link to it as well! Best wishes,

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