My name is Saul! I'm an award winning Word of Mouth Marketer, Professional Speaker on the subjects of Social Media, Customer Service and best of all... Word of Mouth. I collect Air Force One sneakers and think you should hire me... (as a consultant) to teach you how to get your company doing interesting things!
the smartest man in the world.

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Photos from the Drupal Conference in San Francisco, CA 2010

Tuesday, Apr 04, 2013

Did I ever tell you about the time….velvet rope edition.

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Don’t let anyone tell you an idea isn’t good. Several times in my career I have had ideas good enough to be fired for and when that happens you either do them and ask for forgiveness later or you hold on to them and never stop looking for the place to share the idea with people. I have done both. Today’s post is a little different because not only is it to remind you how wonderful I am but also to show why you should never let a great idea die or get cast aside.

Several years ago I interviewed for my dream job as senior marketing person at one of the larger entertainment studios in the world. After several interviews I was asked to pitch some ideas to get some attention for one of their publishing properties and presented two ideas I loved. First idea was implemented three years later resulting in several millions of dollars for them (it was a new regime so I am not saying they stole the idea but it was nice to see my idea validated and for the record any super smart person would have noticed this line extension, I just noticed it 3 years earlier then their smartest people) and the second was a series of Live Art Shows in 6 cities that were hosting a complimentary event where local artists would paint their interpretations of iconic characters owned by this studio in real time to music at a charity event where all the works of art would be photographed with the end result of creating an amazing coffee table book (ties to publishing) collecting all the art created as well as the spectacle of the actual event with the fancy people attending etc.  Each event had charity component donating money raised to a local literacy programs (more ties to publishing) and after the actual splashy event the gallery would keep the works up for a limited time so schools and other groups could attend and see the finished pieces and people could purchase them.

Long Story short I didn’t get the job, didn’t get to execute the idea I was in love with resulting in me falling to my knees looking up to the moon with tears in my eyes screaming “WHHHHHYYYYYYY?”

Don’t feel bad. I ended up OK.

Fast Forward 5 years and I am launching into the New York Market. For those keeping score, Urbandig is the company I linked to in the last post regarding the Peta Protest Stunt. Anyway in case you’ve forgotten, Urbandig was an ios app full of “Off the beaten path” tours in selected cities with the brand promise of showing you things you probably didn’t know existed. Tours featured Street Art, Cougar Bars, Dive Bars, Vinyl Record Shops, Vintage Clothing and lots of interesting Food places.

Each city’s content in the app was unique so each city launch had to be as well and decided for NYC I would finally execute an art party (minus the coffee table book follow through) because NYC sees a lot of startup events but few have ever seen a spectacle similar to this…and I am happy to say it was a huge success…and I’ll tell you why after you look at a few pictures.

Early Crowd. .

Here is why:

1- It stuck to the Brand Promise of opening up experiences you might not have known existed.

2- Paired the event with my personal birthday day party allowing me to seed a small portion of the room with people who love me.

3- Word got out quickly that this was the event of the night to be at and there was a 40+ person line up outside with the result of instant credibility as something new and interesting while also getting people to download and try the app out of FOMO (fear of missing out).

4- Selected the date to co-inside with the New York City Comic Con so I could get the amazing Jim Mahfood to paint as well as bring artist friends to ensure the spectacle would actually be a spectacle. Working with Jim was a key element to making this great as he invited all the artists and vetted the DJ. He is as much responsible for this evening being memorable as anyone else. [Lesson: Work with great people and let them do what makes them great.]

5- By making each launch different but still relevant to the core message you open up opportunities to tell the previous stories of other city launches, further building the myth of Urbandig.

6- I was offered a job as a full time party promoter for the event space we held this in and get emails every 6 months from the owner asking me to do another.

6- This event should have cost about $10k but was pulled off for under $1500 and a whole lot of bartering….but that is a story for another time.

7- The art was so good that the gallery we hosted the event in kept them (since each wood board weighed 150 lbs and I couldn’t drag them out) and made hardwood floors out of the pieces further adding to the story and the spectacle of the myth.

Sometimes the timing may be wrong for an idea or the brand is a bad fit but it a great idea is always a great idea. When you get them make sure you write them down because one day everything will make sense and you will create a memorable experience..because that is all anyone really asks for in life.

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