Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Follow your folly

i believe in the subconscious, therefore, i believe that New Belgium Brewery was all up in my mind last weekend when, after a great breakfast at You Say Tomato, i stumbled upon a bicycle swap meet where I found a rusty, worn and absolutely last-cog cruiser for 20 bucks and figured this restoration project was exactly what my soul required.

and then i didn't buy it.

and for the past three days, i've regretted that decision. so in a moment of weakness tonight, i visited New Belgium's site to get my cruiser fix from the progressive brewery's TV spots.

i sighed dramatically, took a swig of Merlot and grabbed my mtn bike for a few laps around the dark neighborhood. a few blocks into the ride, after i accepted the fact that my Trek knobby would have to replace a vintage cruiser, i settled into the peace that is a night ride. there really isn't much that is better than slow-pedaling from side to side down dark streets, admiring the moon and porch lights.

got back home and immediately cued up New Belgium's spots, but this time from a marketer's view. and i realized that the beauty and success in the spots is the ability to connect to two audiences:

1) the tinkerer in practice
2) the tinkerer at heart.

as marketers, that's really our job. engage the rational and the aspirational. the guy who buys Fat Tire Ale because all his buddies drink this and it, very frankly, has a cool bike on the label. AND, the guy who buys Fat Tire Ale because some evenings, the closest he can get to sailing down a long hill by moonlight, freedom and rebellion going through his hair in a little part of the world where a 401K is first measured in miles instead of dollars...is a bottle of beer with a great bike on the label.

connecting both demos in the same passionate way is powerful. while you're thinking beer, check out New Belgium's "Follow Your Folly" microsite. a deeper dive into the above thoughts.

i'm think i'm going to have to hunt down that rusty bike, while Monk crashes out next to the knobby, in a futile attempt to make me feel guilty for not taking him on my night ride.

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Saturday, July 28, 2007

Prairie Punisher Duathlon: Finished

sitting here having a protein shake after a heckuva saturday morning. my buddy joel and i (with great coaching/encouragement/photography by Pa Woolard) finished the Prairie Punisher Duathlon (5K, 27.5K Bike, 5K) and had a blast. this is my first official duathlon, though we frequently pair runs and rides during training.

we either looked like teammates or dorks, with our matching Sunflower Outdoor gear and Cannondale roadies. style aside, i beat my goal time by 7 minutes and to my surprise, knocked off the final 5K in about 23 minutes, which is fast for me even if I hadn't already run one, and biked 27K.

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Thursday, July 26, 2007


my head's been consumed in differentiation lately. a few projects that have the opportunity to break out of the proverbial mold have ignited a real look into how successful campaigns have not just done ads better, but done ads that have no precedent. slate has an interesting story (and accompanying slide show) on the "12 Kinds of Ads." using Leo Burnett CD Donald Gunn's work, the slide show (by Seth Stevenson) is proof that even your "best" idea has more than likely been executed the same way before.

looking at the slide show, it's good to see first how to do the "type" better...such as, how to make the demo better (above). BUT, it's even more critical to rethink the category entirely. this slide show is a great addition to any marketing person's desktop - as a gut check or bit-o-inspiration.

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Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Kick me in the chamois

it's cliche, but i'm going to say it: it was too good to last. we've been having a pretty good tour this year, without doping allegations and now, just on the heels of an incredibly ballsy stage 15 finish, velo news reports "Double stage victor Alexandre Vinokourov (Astana)" found out today that a doping test after his saturday time trial victory came back positive for blood doping. "vino," along with his Astana team has withdrawn. bloood doping consists of injecting additional red blood cells into the rider's blood stream. more power, more endurance, better results. also known as cheating.

i'll let smarter people than i react on a cycling/science level, but this is the second year in a damn row that someone i was yelling into the TV for has been accused of doping - more importantly, after a huge stage win. last year it was floyd. just last night, i watched vinokourov win an insanely exciting stage 15 win and told the person i was with how he came back after a horrible stage 5 crash (with bandages still on his knees) and a horrible stage 14 slump to speed through stage 15. i was stoked. she was stoked just learning the background to the victory! it was sport at its best. and, as is starting to become the scary truth in cycling, it was sport at its worst.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

The city of love

saw Paris Je T'Aime last night. go see it. a series of vignettes by a collection of incredible directors (Joel and Ethan Coen, Gus Van Sant, Wes Cravens, Alexander Payne to name a few) all painting a wonderfully diverse picture of Paris. in addition to the outstanding directors, the cast just gets better and better with each new story. Natalie Portman, Nick Nolte, Elijah Wood, Steve Buscemi, Juliette Binoche.

and though each story is short, they leave you wanting more but satisfied at what you were given.

big weekend in addition to a great Friday evening...got a new oven today, which replaces the one I had to throw chopped wood into. did about an hour and a half of hill workouts on the roadie today, recycled the recycling and picked up some new Capilene at Backwoods...now I want a nap to get myself rested for tomorrow's 14 mile training run. speaking of marathon training, I'm now registered for the Dallas White Rock Marathon, which will be on the tail of my Chicago finish, in December. This will basically complete my Tour de Texas marathon circuit. I'm sort of glad.

shoot me a note if you've run Dallas before - or if you know anything about the Prairie Punisher Duathlon, which I'll be competing in next weekend.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Kashi's new campaign is delicious

thoughts on one of my favorite food brands - Kashi - posted on the Do Better Blog. mosey on over.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Psycho Psummer Rocked...literally.

on saturday i ran the psycho psummer trail run, organized by the KC Trail Nerds. heckuva race Nerds, kudos to the organization, on-route care and well-attended race. i ran the 15 miler, while some ran the 50K. wow! my hat is off to those finishers. 15 on the steep, rocky and scree-filled trails is about double the workout of 15 on road, which gave me a nice confidence boost as i crossed the finish line almost an hour past my road half marathon PR time.

the morning was beautiful, not too hot, and the trails nestled deep in the Wyandotte County Lake Park were shaded the whole way through. i was blessed to have a great cheering section meeting me along the various points where we popped out of the trails to cross the road, and as i learned from the Psycho Wyco winter race, the on-trail support between runners exceeded that of which you'd ever find in road races. the constant camaraderie and pack-support were fun to be part of.

i carried the mandatory water system (CamelBak) as well as a hand held of Hammer Perpetuem mix and a few Hammer Endurolytes. i squeezed down two Hammer Gels during the run, all of which, in sync, had me feeling great the whole way through. also experimented with an increased coffee consumption before the race, which seemed to settle just fine and give me the needed caffeine an perk. recovery meal included Fat Tire and chicken nachos. yum.

i tested new socks yesterday as well. i normally run in Smartwools, but tried the injinji tetrasocks - which worked perfectly...i think i have a new favorite distance-running sock. i have a narrow foot and the injinjis are pretty thin, so i put a pair of Smartwools over them. though the double-up proved to be too much bulk at times, i ended the race with no blisters or even hotspots...and i beat my feet up pretty good.

first quarter of the race...I look so happy.

one of the road crossings...more serious countenance

finish-line nostril shot!


Friday, July 13, 2007

more on the global warming brand

an update to my last post. al gore is now launching a competition to create spots to raise awareness for global warming.

time to put some of your creative talents to a good cause? worth a shot.

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Thursday, July 12, 2007

The global warming brand

Tom Peters asks if the issue of global warming is poorly marketed. good thoughts...and an even better thought starter for those of us in the marketing industry. i'm interested in hearing thoughts on how - or if - the branding process differs between a charity or cause vs. a corporate brand.

do we as marketers approach the branding of a cause in the same way as a corporation? moreover, do we as consumers expect messages and interactions with causes or issues to be delivered in the same way we build relationships with corporate brands?

there's a fear, i think, among us marketing types, to treat a cause to the same ROI/Reach/Penetration metrics as we might a corporate client. but would the cause be furthered if it was treated more like a business...or does success result in doing just the opposite?

a post of questions, on a worthy discussion.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Today's butt kicking...

...courtesy of the Crossroads' Maya Yoga studio.

I consider myself a pretty tough guy. Marathons. Pretty fast on a bike. Pull-up champion in 8th grade. But after an already stressful week made me more susceptible to two of my co-workers' prodding that I join them in a noon yoga class, I have a profound respect for yoga.

I'd done yoga before, but never the power yoga class of today. We had hip-hop music, drenched clothes and enough poses and push-ups to leave my arms nice and tingly. I'll go back. Maybe not tomorrow...but I'm now determined to get better at this.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Another argument for cable TV

my cable is no longer with me, not news to many of you, and not at all missed. i actually don't watch even the basic stuff that the antenna picks up. however, i do now wish i had one or two channels so i could watch the tour de france this month. one of the toughest sporting events out there also comes with great coverage on the premium channel versus. i was in lawrence at the 'rents' home this weekend and sat in front of the flat screen unable to let go of the remote. got to watch the prologue and much of the weekend recap, as well as one of my favorite shows, man v. wild. i need to make more friends who a) have DVR b) want to record things for me c) allow me to spend time on their couches. i'm good for some import/local brews and i'll even pick up after myself.

during my own mini-tour ride yesterday, a friend and i discussed the merits of pay-per-channel cable. for instance, this month, i may choose to buy versus and discovery channel. that's it. prices are set based on a similar model to advertising costs (reach, quality, subscribers) and wham - instant access to just the relevant channels. i'm sure someone's doing this...or there's probably some shady FTC regulation that requires cable packaging. but seriously, how many channels do you need? if I could choose five:
Discovery Channel
Comedy Central
History Channel

and i'd be plenty content.

i know that many websites now offer similar functions, but there's something nicer about curling up on the couch and not have your leg hair singed from watching Mythbusters marathons on your laptop.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Giving up control, and giving up the work week

Thanks to Spike's post at the Brains on Fire blog, I'm still up, after driving for 15 hours straight today. Yes, I'm stuck in front of the black MacBook watching the videos fans created for Modest Mouse's "Missed the Boat" song, via Final Cut Pro. What a genius partnership, and one that furthers my love for Modest Mouse (and the song). This is a band that gets it. And more importantly, gives it up (control) in strategic ways.

I, as the votes agree with, love number 1.

So, yes, I'm back from a wonderful vacation to Angel Fire, NM. I've never not wanted to go home as badly as I did this morning, when we loaded up the Jetta at 7 and hauled down the red dirt road toward the flatlands. I'm exhausted from a week of trail running, hiking (the tallest mountain in NM), rafting, eating, drinking and sitting on a deck watching the wind blow through the pines. It was a perfect vacation, and one that made me realize how much I enjoy having the mountains in my life. More surely, but here are a few photos of the week.