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And you thought Maps III was a bad idea…Meet Fogzie. (UPDATE!)

6:07 AM EDT on October 15, 2009

fogzie

Last week, Oklahoma City unveiled a new marketing campaign that's supposed to encourage city residents to stop pouring nasty grease down their kitchen sink. The campaign features a cartoon character named "Fogzie." From NewsOK:

What do you get when you combine a sitcom character who embodied cool in the late 1970s and early 1980s with an acronym for fats, oils and grease?

That would be Fogzie, the city's chosen mascot for a public education campaign aimed at reducing the number of sewer backups from drains clogged by grease...

Debbie Regan, spokeswoman for the utilities department, said the city has spent about $700,000 over the last two years cleaning up clogs in city sewer lines caused by people putting grease down their drains"¦

Rather than pouring fats, oils and grease down the drain, city officials want residents to collect them in soup cans, which can be thrown in the trash when they fill up.

Yep, this isn't a joke. Fogzie is real. He's also real real real expensive.

The city's utilities department paid a private advertising firm (Visual Image) about $82,000 to come up with the character, animate a 30-second video clip, print promotional materials and set up social networking sites for Fogzie.

About half the money spent on the project will pay for marketing on social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter.

I guess this is a joke. It's just too bad the joke's on all Oklahoma City residents and taxpayers.

Seriously, what a waste of money! How effective is this campaign really going to be? Do they really think that after I make a yummy BLT that I'm going to pour the bacon grease into a soup can, put the yucky can in the freezer, and then toss it in the trash three hours later? No thanks. I'm going to continue to do what I've always done, and that's pour the grease into my neighbor's backyard. He's never noticed, plus his dogs like it.

Also, how did Visual Image get away with swindling our city out of $80,000 to create this 1970's pop culture rip-off public awareness campaign? I'm not a scientist, but that price seems a little bit exorbitant.

Hell, they even had the nerve to charge the city $40,000 just to build a Facebook and Twitter page. My aunt's dog has a Facebook Page. They are not hard to create. You could probably pay two college interns and an out-of-work OPUBCO reporter $40,000 to manage all city-related Social Media pages for just one year. Hell, they could even pay me $40,000 to goof off on Facebook all day and I'd probably do it.

Anyway, I can't wait to see what other terrible public services campaigns our city comes up with in the future. Maybe they'll use Lavern and Shirley rip-offs to promote glass bottle recycling, and some guy foreign cab driver from the island of Caspiar to promote our public transit system. Maybe they'll hire The Lost Ogle to create the campaign and "manage" the social media pages. We'll only rip them"¦errr"¦..bill them $20,000. Apparently that's a good deal.

p.s. The Fogzie Twitter page has 11 followers.  That's money well spent.

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