Category Archives: GSD

T.O.M. and the Oreo

In 1997 I graduated from college.  Shortly thereafter, I landed my first real job.  I built web sites and interactive CD’s (remember those?) at a small B2B marketing agency in Cleveland, OH*.  It was a crazy place to work.  Not just because half the company smoked in the office and all of the company boozed in quantities that would have made Roger Sterling blush, but because of the manic intensity and sometimes brilliant creative team.

The night before a valuable RFP was due or new boards were needed for a crack-of-dawn meeting or we were just that behind again, it was frenetic.  Commands would explode from the creative director’s fishbowl office, bursting past the silvery evidence of his stress-driven chain smoking.   Copywriters would work and re-work the ideas while the art directors would try to create something awesome.  They would work in whispered fear of their boss, of failing.  And still, the continually impressed with the work that slowly paged out of the printer once the smoke cleared.

When I went through a brief, but intense, addiction to Mad Men, I often thought back to those career-shaping days when I had never really created or been a part of anything big but had that front row seat for the creative process from my side of our beautiful mansion attic office.  Someone at A&E either sat in my seat, or was one of those abused copywriters before upgrading from Word to FinalDraft.

I thought of those days again when I saw this tweet from Oreo during Great Blackout of ’13 on Sunday night.  Creating marketing that works is hard.  Creating marketing that is memorable and remarkable fast is much harder.  Someone, who likely didn’t get too long to celebrate their internet win, had the bright idea to have the team assembled with someone who could actually approve their work.   This was a great nod to the ever-present realities of creative marketing in a corporate environment (17 approvals to tie one’s shoes) and the need to not pass go to collect the $200 (or 15K retweets) today’s social word.

I really hope the folks at 360i and Oreo who pulled this off had a much less stressful (and smokey) Sunday than those nights in my now distant memory.  But even if their night was just as sucktastic, it was worth it.  In mear minutes they created remarkable and memorable marketing and ruined every marketers’ 2014 Super Bowl Sunday to boot.

* My job title at this firm was Technical Operations Manager, or T.O.M. for short.  Yeah, we thought that was pretty funny.

My awesome shirt

Last Wednesday I wore a new shirt to work.  This might not seem like a big deal to most people, but for me, it was.  You see, this shirt that I speak of, wasn’t a t-shirt and actually had a collar and buttons.  Ok, to be totally honest, while it did have a few buttons, the primary fastening duties were  handled by snaps.  Yes snaps … that awesome.

Despite the awesome that was this shirt and the event of it’s unveiling, the truly awesome part of the day was that that night, while sitting in the old television room* at home with my wife, I happened upon the news that there was a new video on the excellent Dev & Design Blog at work: Keeping Busy During The Winter.  After watching and like it so, I showed the video to my aforementioned wife.

“Wait, this is from today.” she uttered with more than a little surprise.  Yes, at 0:53 of the video, there I am, munching a yummy free pretzel at work while wearing my brand new shirt.  That awesome video went from shooting to the interwebs in hours and that is more awesome than my shirt.  Another example of HubSpot’s Product Team killing it.  Big props to the filmmaker @ssiskind.

* Yes, both the room (122 years) and television (8 years) are old.