Weiner Wisdom


  • “We believe in total honesty. We once sent a former client an ad credit that came in from an advertising spend 3 years after we lost the client.”

  • “I can say that in 50 years, we have never thought of a client program in terms of what would make money for us. We’ve always thought in terms of what’s best for the client.”

  • “A stubborn marketing person is an oxymoron. Anyone who is serious about marketing needs constantly to keep an open mind, forever studying the evidence.”

  • “We have handled retailers, distributors and specialty dealers as clients. We have been in their meetings. It is a never-ending quest for us to learn how they think.”

  • “I once let out a mild profanity at a Sam’s Club meeting. They sent me a note. Since that time, when appropriate I go into my ‘golly, oh gosh mode.”

  • “There are 300,000 full, 8-1/2 x 11 pages of genetic code in each of our bodies’ cells. I keep one of these DNA pages in my wallet and look at it every time I begin to feel important.”

Stories from our owner of 50+ years.


Dave was President of the Haresfoot Club at the University of Wisconsin, a musical comedy group that toured the Midwest two weeks out of the year. This is where he learned to sing and dance. In 1963, for an InSinkErator (ISE) sponsored luncheon during a plumbing contractor convention held that year in Chicago, he put on a musical show with 20 plumbing contractors. Here he is shown rehearsing the kick chorus in a downtown Chicago rehearsal hall. It was a great success, with not many goofs. As it turned out, this was the beginning of a long love affair between the contractors, their wives and ISE.


For Humid-Aire humidifiers, a Hollywood studio was used to film a TV commercial with Charlie Weaver (a.k.a. Cliff Arquette, second from right). The living room of a home was built on the set. Everything from his piano to the dining room table fell apart when he touched them. Too dry…the house needed moisture. The spot aired in 25 northern markets and pulled a lot of product through air conditioning contractors, who were required to purchase inventory to participate. We gave him a free Humid-Aire humidifier, which installed on the furnace, and he sent us one of his old guitars.


Phyllis Diller was hired to be the InSinkErator company spokesperson for two years. She and her staff worked on the development of the TV commercials with MSI. She was billed as the “Leftover Lover.” The commercials were a riot. They ran nationally on the late-night shows and locally with dealer listings.


In 1979, Dave was asked to be the interim director of the Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Information Bureau, which was formed in the 1890s and had fallen on hard times. MSI became the headquarters for PHCIB. The organization grew steadily with events that included an industry banquet, which at that time was streamed live via cable to 15 key markets. Ted Kennedy was our keynote speaker. Dave remained as Executive Director until 1999, while still running MSI. Membership and revenues had increased 20-fold.


A shot of The Today Show set, featuring the newscaster at the time, who did the commercials live for White-Rodgers set-back thermostats.


At the plumbing convention at the Disneyland Hotel, in Anaheim, InSinkErator sponsored a luncheon for 2,500 contractors and their wives. While visiting a few months before the luncheon, they hailed Mickey Mouse as they walked the grounds, but he refused to pose for a photo with the group, so Dave gave him a piece of his mind. Unknown to him, Mickey had a phone under his mask, which he used to call security. While Dave sat in the cooler for an hour, the group cornered Minnie Mouse, who agreed to pose. So it all worked out.


MSI was retained by Sunbeam in 1992 to handle the launch of the Oskar Mixer, a smaller version of the Mixmaster. The product sold out via the MSI-supervised television campaign. At the Housewares Show in January 1993, we brought Bob Hope to an event at the Drake Hotel in Chicago, which more than 300 housewares buyers attended, to present Bob with his first “Oskar.” After Hope did his routine, each buyer was brought up on the stage to get a photo with Bob. They were later sent plaques reading “Honorary Oskars” with the personalized photo of Hope mounted on them. MSI planned and executed the event. Bob wouldn’t shake hands with the president of Sunbeam until we gave him his final check.


For almost 20 years, Dave, who is also a sing-along piano player, or as he calls it “scream-along” (he plays the piano hard, usually standing up), played at Joann’s bar at Chicago and Clark in Chicago. He also played at the Zebra Lounge on Tuesdays, a more upscale saloon on State St. near Division. Here he is shown with the owner of Joann’s, Louie, who played the same kind of music, songs you can sing to, including show tunes. Neither pianist could read music; it was all by ear. Louie was happy with the arrangement because Dave played on the white keys and Louie on the black keys. Saved on piano tuning. When they switched at the piano, they sometimes kissed, and played a quick duet. Dave’s fee was $10 per night.


For a period of time beginning in 1990, Dave wrote psychology books in conjunction with graduate students and selected faculty of the Psychology Department at the University of Wisconsin, which ranks #1 among all public institutions. He wrote four books in all, published by Prometheus, with one becoming a bestseller: Battling the Inner Dummy: The Craziness of Apparently Normal People. He has been interviewed on national TV, including ABC World News Now, CNN and Fox and Friends. Some of his TV clips are on Braintricks.com. If you talk to Dave long enough, he’ll discover many of your quirks. His specialty is the biology of human irrationality. He currently serves on the Board of Advisers of the U.W. Psychology Department, and is on the External Board of Advisers of the Health/Emotions Research Institute.

No prima donnas. No posturing. No trying to sell you what we have instead of figuring out what you need. Just great work from great people.

No prima donnas. No posturing. No trying to sell you what we have instead of figuring out what you need. Just great work from great people.

No prima donnas. No posturing. No trying to sell you what we have instead of figuring out what you need. Just great work from great people.

Integrated Marketing? Branding? Packaging? Social? Promotions? Interactive? Yep, we do that.