Archives for the month of: July, 2010

For as much as I appreciate a good dram of Scotch, there are dudes who put me to shame. 

Example: Sir Ernest Shackleton (pictured above).

Nowadays, in order to be knighted, you just have to play James Bond or Gandalf in a couple of movies. Back in the day, you had to trek to the center of Antartica or to the top of Mount Everest. Those guys were real knights and, much as I would expect, they were lovers of Scotch.

I present to you, The Story of Sir Ernest Shackleton and the Crates of Scotch!

In this story, Sir Ernest Shackleton (badass), decided one day that he wanted to go on walkabout in Antarctica because the weather in England had gotten too warm for his taste. Since he was so awesome, nobody challenged him. He grabbed a few trees, some nails and some tar and he built a ship. He named it Endurance because he had so much of it that he thought his ship could use some of his spillover endurance, and he sailed for Antartica from England with his crew. The ship went pretty slowly, so Shackleton got out and into the ocean, grabbed the stern and proceeded to kick as hard as he could. About four hours later, they were in Antarctica.

Shackleton decided that he wanted to go to the South Pole, since he was still warm and that was the coldest place he could think of. His crew, knowing that that was a nearly impossible feat, was frightened but said nothing. As scary as freezing to death in an unforgiving landscape sounded, making Shackleton angry sounded even worse. So, they all got out and started skiing south. Shackleton, believing that skiing was for Nordic sissies, decided to walk. 

About 100 miles short of the South Pole, Shackleton got really bored. "There's no stuff here. Where's all the stuff?" he was heard to have said. So, being infuriated at the continent, Shackleton sat down, invented a cell phone and called Scotland for some booze.

"Hello, Scotland?" he said, "this is Shackleton and I'm thirsty. Send some Scotch."

Normally, Scotland doesn't deliver outside of Great Britain but this was Shackleton calling, so they made an exception. They built the biggest catapult on record, loaded it with crates of Scotch and launched it into Earth's orbit. It fell down somewhere in Antarctica. Everyone in Scotland high-fived. 

Shackleton, having a superhuman sense of hearing, heard the thud back in the direction of the boat. "Gentlemen," he bellowed, "Scotch just landed. We're turning back!"

"But Sir! We're only 100 miles from…" started one of the crew members. He never finished. Shackleton backhanded him across the face, sending him flying in the direction of the thud and out of sight. The rest of the crew followed Shackleton hastily as he lumbered away from the pole and toward the Scotch.

When Shackleton reached the Scotch, he looked down in disgust. "Ugh, Mackinlay? That's not my style!" So, he picked up the dude that had been backhanded a paragraph ago, got back into the boat with his crew and went back to England so that he could order the Scotch that he liked, leaving the Mackinlay stranded in the ice. The Scotch stayed there until 2010 when it was unearthed by Kiwis.

This is a true story, pretty much. If you want to read a less interesting version, read this

Fun fact, the reason that Shackleton didn't like Mackinlay Scotch was because he had been drinking pure gasoline (petrol) his whole life thinking it was Scotch. Therefore, traditional Scotch seemed too light by his standards. Also, this is even more amazing because the production automobile was still a brand new concept, so it's crazy that Shackleton was ever even accidentally served gasoline. [USA Today]


What do you call a brand new dinosaur with a heart-shaped frill? A ladies' lizard? A sexysaurus? No, those names are both dumb and uninspired. If you're paleontologist Nicholas Longrich, you go for something with more pizzazz. 

Meet Mojosaurus, the horned dino with a heart of gold and a head of… heart. 

The frills often found on Ceratopsidae were originally thought to be defensive in nature, protecting the creature's vulnerable neck area from the likes of Tyrannosaurus and similarly large and dangerous predators. The more that we dig, though, the more convincing it seems that the plates on stegosaurs, the headgear on hadrosaurs and the frills on horned dinosaurs served an equally important (if not more important) role as objects of sexual desire for the fairer dinosaur sex. Much like the plumage of a peacock, these accessories likely served the chief purpose of attracting a mate, even if it served another important function such as keeping the dino alive long enough to find a mate. Sure, it's nice to have a frill protecting your neck when a T. rex is coming at you, but if the lady dinosaurs think it looks cool too, all the better right? 

I'm not sure how practical the heart-shaped frill was for the Mojosaurus, but, then again, how practical was James Dean's leather jacket? The point is that it looks cool and I'm sure that Mojo's iPhone had the numbers or many a female dinosaur to prove exactly that! []

My boss, Mssr. M. Graham Mothner, threw Delivering Happiness on my desk today with a “you’ve gotta read this” look on his face. Luckily, I’m a slow reader and I’m already reading two other books right now, so I’ll probably be done with it around November… of 2012.

Seriously, though, Zappos is one of those companies that–love them of hate them–is good at what they do. The more that I find out about them, the more impressed I am. So, for those of you who might not get to the book, here is a video of Zappos’ CEO, Tony Hsieh, discussing his take on company culture and its importance to the success of a company.

I found this to be the most inspiring line from the video:

We’re willing to hire and fire people based on whether they’re living up to [Zappos’ core values], independent of job performance.

Just about every company claims to put the good of the whole over the needs of the few but I think we all know that exceptions are always made for the “high value” or “high maintenance” employees: 
“Yeah, John sure can be a jerk but he’s our top salesman, so what can you do?”
“Sure, Jane is nightmare to work with but nobody on the team can program like she can.” 
It’s good to know that one company that has been wildly successful has managed to achieve its success without compromising their core values. []

Thanks to Anderson for shooting me this link!

In maybe the most brilliant marketing move of the year, Old Spice has used their handsome, worldly spokesman to answer the tweets of Twitter users, both famous and ordinary. The insanely intelligent aspect of this is not the creation of additional, hilarious content to endear you to the Old Spice brand; rather, it's the combination of interactivity and getting more value out of their popular mascot than they initially intended. Old Spice must have worked hard to come up with the persona of the 21st Century version of the Old Spice Guy; why not extract as much value as they can while he's still popular?

The key aspect of all of this is that this is where advertising is heading. No, not necessarily toward buff, fast-talking dudes who stand eerily still; it's moving toward creating value. The value that the Old Spice Guy provides–in addition to his charm and good looks–is comedy. So far, every video that Old Spice has put out has been funnier than anything that the writers of Two and a Half Men have ever developed. In addition to being funny, viral and re-watchable, the videos are honest. They give no false pretenses about what they are, which is, of course, advertisements.

Even though many people lament the thought of living in a world saturated with ads, the upside is that the cream will rise to the top and those are the ads that will be emulated and improved. It won't just be about getting eyes on your ads in the future. With all of the capability of the Internet, people will begin to expect comedy, interactivity, value and more when jusdging whether a company will get their business. So, that may mean more ads to deal with but hopefully, they'll be half as good as this Old Spice campaign! [TechCrunch]

Kevin Rose (of Digg):

Justine Bateman:

Alyssa Milano:


It's a trap!

No, it isn't, it's just a SUPER COOL ADMIRAL ACKBAR BOBBLEHEAD! The Supreme Commander of the Rebel Fleet now has a place on my desk, doling out sage-like advice such as "(nods head)" and "(shakes head)" whenever I am in need. This gift came courtesy of good buddy extraordinaire and Manhattan Beach Dentist, Dr. Brian Withers! I can't tell whether he's better at yanking molars or giving gifts; he's just so damn good at both!

Welcome aboard the good ship Desk, Admiral Ackbar. I'm sure that it will be a pleasure and an honor to serve with you.


With Google Me getting all the "buzz" recently (see what I did there?), I thought it might be a good idea to throw in my two cents regarding what this could mean for social marketing. If you get a moment, head over to Wpromote's search marketing blog and check out my new article called "Google Me & You: Taking Social Seriously." Thanks! [Wpromote]