Call him the Little Alarm That Could, or Sherman for short. His mighty siren is set to polish the public’s tarnished perception of the security industry. With Sherman on their side, dealers will be chanting the mantra, “I know I can, I know I can,” when it comes to presenting themselves in a positive light.
Who is Sherman? He’s an animated character poised to become the security industry’s first bonafide mascot. Created by noted security expert Jeffrey D. Zwirn, the loveable alarm makes his debut in the coloring book and storybook, “Sherman the Loudmouth.”
Targeted at children 3 to 7 years old, the books tell the tale of Sherman, a lonely alarm siren installed in a toy store, who’s rejected by the toys he watches over because he’s a loudmouth. But when Sherman saves the store from burglars and fire, the toys change their tune and celebrate him as a hero.
Alarms and the events that trigger them can be very scary to little children. “Sherman the Loudmouth” removes the fear by teaching kids about alarms, presenting the information in a fun and entertaining package.
A Loudmouth Is Born
Sherman’s beginnings can be traced back to Zwirn’s own childhood. “It’s almost like my alter-ego, because I am a bit of a loudmouth,” jibes Zwirn, who built his first alarm system when he was just 9 years old.
Zwirn’s fascination with alarms led him to make security his life’s work. Zwirn is president of New York-based IDS Research and Development Inc. and one of the industry’s foremost alarm experts.
Zwirn formulated Sherman’s character, which evolved from a cartoon persona originally known as Herman, as part of an art class assignment.
Sherman Is Dusted Off, Tweaked
Sherman’s story was placed on the back burner, but remained close to Zwirn’s heart. He never lost his passion for the project. He just had to wait until the time was right.
“After I eventually sold my business, I went in search of a professional team consisting of an illustrator, an editor and a writer to help fine tune the story,” Zwirn says. “I was determined to bring the project up to a professional and marketable level.”
Sherman Primed for Industry Debut
Sherman’s first appearance is in a coloring book, which is an affordable handout piece that alarm dealers can give to new and existing customers.
“I wanted to do this as a sort of public service announcement so alarm dealers can give the book to their customers as a way to make a connection with them beyond just the sale,” says Zwirn.
Sherman Support Snowballing
Zwirn and his cohorts are delighted with the fruit of their labors and eager for the industry’s response to filter in. “All of the people involved in the project are very excited about Sherman and expect it to be a huge success,” he says.
Of course, it’s ultimately up to the little ones to determine how many decibels Sherman sounds. “We’ve done some group testing on children and they have all been very interested in the character,” says Zwirn. “In fact, they don’t want to give the books back!”
Sherman Set to Become Icon, Marketing Marvel
The sky appears to be the limit for Sherman as Zwirn has big plans for his animated creation. Anything and everything, from door hangers to a Saturday morning cartoon show, is possible.
“It’s vital that the alarm industry strives to promote itself in a positive image because we’ve had some bad press with problems, such as false alarms, and to enhance the value of our services,” contends Zwirn.
For information on obtaining copies of “Sherman the Loudmouth,” call Security Sales at (310) 533-2400.