What Was I Thinking? Thoughts On Hurricane Irma

September 12, 2017

For some reason, many people think of Hurricane Irma as Hurricane Andrew’s less significant step child.  A lot still went down with this storm. Anyway here’s some of what ran through my mind as Hurricane Irma unfolded.

Sleeping Under The Stars

I slept under the stars for the first time since approximately 1986. Or at least that’s the last time I can remember. Yes there are stars in the sky over Miami.  I just don’t take the time to look at them. When was the last time you slept under the stars?

Sleep under stars

Diet

Eating during a Hurricane is just out of control. Ask just about anyone. I think it fell into two categories: stress eating and bored eating.  Not a ton of cardio. Not a great combo. Anyway, please write me a note if you stayed on eating and workout regimen. I want to hang with you for the next one.Before irma.JPG

The First Looters: American Airlines

Seems like American Airlines wins the prize as the first looters of the hurricane. While JetBlue capped fares at 99 bucks out of the gate, American was asleep in the cockpit. Some flights were almost $4,000.00. When people are trying to evacuate to safety, grabbing Air Jordans from Foot Locker is low, but price gouging feels even lower. I take it back. They’re both low.

American Air

Link to the original Tweet exchanges can be found here.

American Airlines just plain dropped the ball the whole time for me too. They cancelled all 3 of my flights. Yet, even now,  they keep reminding me to check in for all the cancelled flights. Hey American, I’ll take my refunds too, thanks. When things looked bad, American looked worse.

Ron Magill — Weather Forecaster

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While I thought Ryan Phillips and John Morales did a great job, only one person may have shined brighter: Ron Magill. Or should I say the animals around Zoo Miami may have shined brighter. All the “Doppler This” and “Radar That” might already be bested by what mother nature already has in place. The animals know what is going to happen.

A Football Helmet And Thoughts Of Complete Doom

Maybe it was the the way this hurricane was coming. Or the certainty of the severity and total destruction. So yes, I went and got Diego’s football helmet in case it all went down.

gulliverprephelmet-1.pngAlso I was thinking where would have to rebuild our lives. Like if I we had to pickup and rebuild even if it was only temporary. Not great thoughts to have.

My Employer

logo-smallOne of the true tests of any employer is how they handle emergencies. As this storm approached, all Miami staff were offered evacuation from Miami by private jet that was personally paid for by iSentium CEO Gautham Sastri. We were also offered any other means of getting away or staying safe and comfortable which included any temporary housing needed. Not one word was spoken about deadlines or deliverables.  My direct deposit will be there when it’s supposed to be. Nice to not have to worry when there is so much else to worry about.

I decided to stay behind and be a company guy. Maybe not the best decision I ever made in my life but I got lucky. So thanks for that iSentium and my CEO, Gautham Sastri. When things are at their worst, it’s good to see who’s at their best.

Hurricane Girlfriend?

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It’s a romantic notion, but it’s too just too for that. Let me know if you agree or disagree.

Texts, Communications, Digital Stuff During a Hurricane

The lost art of speaking on the telephone really showed off during this hurricane.

Texts were down, emails were down, apps were down. Somehow a lot of people think you got their text message and wondered why you didn’t respond. How about this? Pick. Up. The. Phone.

Penis Size

penis

It seems like everyone who has a Jeep or truck with oversized tires thinks their penis grew 4 inches post storm and drives like a maniac.  I swear I thought someone was going to get killed by these amateur hero wannabees. Slow down! You are really going to hurt someone.

Odds And Ends

-Having a good generator is key. Get a Honda. It’s worth the money. It’s quiet so your neighbors won’t hate you and it lasts a long time on a tank.

-Portable Chargers

chargers

I think I was the only one of anyone I knew who had a portable charger let alone four of them. Not that my phone worked. Not that I could comment on Facebook. Not that I could post a picture. But I still had plenty of juice. I have a solar one as well.

-Advertisers should avoid making us sit through a video when what we really want to see is a critical update. Hey guys, my power is flickering and you’re trying to sell me a Swiffer? Really?

-No I don’t want to have a 15 minute meeting to demo your company when I am trying to figure all of this out. You have been blocked.

-JJ Watt rocks.

-Diego went to New York and got to hoop a bit with his cousins.

fun

9/11

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Much of this unfolded on this important anniversary. I even forgot it was the 11th of September until I read the date on an email in the early afternoon. I hope everyone takes the appropriate time to remember this tragic day in our history. I did not write about 9/11 this year, but I invite you to visit this post from years’ past: https://mikelamonica.wordpress.com/2010/09/10/where-we-you-on-911/

To Donate

My best thoughts are with everyone affected by Irma and Harvey. You can donate to The American Red Cross by clicking here.

~Mike

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iSentium CEO Gautham Sastri Interview from the London Stock Exchange

August 16, 2017

iSentium is the market leader in social sentiment extraction and is proven in the market and vetted by JPM and NASDAQ.  iSentium intel is fast, accurate and predictive. Knowledge is power. Knowledge is alpha. Knowledge is edge.

To learn more about what iSentium can do for you, call Jake Sedlock, Chief Revenue Officer, at (206) 683-6003. Or send him an email at: Jake.Sedlock@iSentium.com.

Chad Le Clos visits Gulliver Prep on race day!!!

August 12, 2016

In an unprecedented move, South African Olympian Chad le Clos does some last minute fine tuning with the Gulliver Masters swim team in Pinecrest, Florida before tonight’s 100 meter butterfly finals.

This is a breaking story and will be updated as details emerge!

Last night’s semifinalist: 6 yard freestyle

August 11, 2016

finalist.jpgCongrats on your first trip across the pool by yourself! #swimmingwithmike

How fast are these athletes? Here’s some perspective.

August 9, 2016

A parody Bill Murray account had a great idea. In advance of tonight’s 200 butterfly final, I thought I’d give the folks at home a little comparison.

Parody

Right now I have the fastest 200 meter butterfly time in the nation for 2015 in my age group. And I’m second fastest in the world. I train 6 days a week in the pool with the Gulliver Masters Swim Club here in Pinecrest, Florida.  I eat pretty well. And I get my rest. Here’s my result:

 

Top in USA

2:24.30 (without body shaving). Michael Phelps cruised in last night’s semifinal with a time of 1:54.12 and will likely be faster tonight. Simple math will tell you he beat me by 30 seconds.  Or more than a whole lap. Some will say I’m fast. But the fastest guys could be out of the water and finished with their post race interview as I come into the wall.

No amount of cupping in the world can make up that difference.

GO USA!!!

My brother the 9/11 responder

September 11, 2014

On 9/11/2001, my brother Matt was an active firefighter with the New Rochelle, N.Y. fire department. Part of the family. Nineteen miles away from ground zero. But on that day 19 miles was further away than he wanted to be.

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His whole ladder company wanted to go down and help. But as you can imagine the logistics were unimaginable. There were issues with who was needed, what was needed. But there was no doubt when it was needed.

After a couple of days, they were cleared and went down to the site. They drove the 19 miles, got off a bus and walked down the West Side Highway to the wild cheers of the crowds lining the streets. I can’t even imagine what that felt like. He and his company spent the day down at the site doing whatever they could. But he said he got the feeling that the New York City Firefighters wanted to “dig out their own.” He understood. I understand. I hope you do too.

Today is a day that I really hope we all remember with the proper respect and dignity. I’m proud of my 12 year old son for his great Instagram post this morning.

diego post

He remembered even though he wasn’t born yet. We brought him into this world one month later to the day on 10/11/2001.

As the saying goes, “life goes on.” Or does it? I don’t mean to single out The Carolina Panthers or Miller Beer but I did see this party invite from them.

partySomething about it just doesn’t feel right, does it? Perhaps there was another way to send out this message. I would think so. Thanks to everyone who is keeping the memory of this day alive in the proper manner.

~Mike

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Inspiration from Rolls-Royce ad? Or imitation?

May 3, 2014

Quick advertising history lesson.

The ad below is widely considered one of the most famous long copy print ads of all time. At least in advertising circles it is.  Written by David Ogilvy, this was when people actually read copy and copywriters were afforded the time to write persuasive and informative copy worth reading. Maybe the ad and the copy are so great because they didn’t need it yesterday.

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David Ogilvy actually spent three weeks reading about the car, interviewing engineers, Rolls Royce owners and driving the product before writing the ad. So, how did anyone know that the copy was read??? He got countless letters for using the word “diffident” in section 13. So that’s the original from 1959.

Fast forward to June, 1982. Out came the ad below which gave the target audience the brilliant emotional benefit of Rolls Royce ownership.  I remember this appearing as a spread in the New York Times magazine. It redoubled my efforts to become a copywriter.

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Truly a wonderful variation on the original. And so is the copy.

Then this morning I see this web ad for the new BMW i3 electric car.

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I think it’s a great ad for an electric car. I bet the BMW client did too. The problem is I liked this headline the first time I saw it. Thirty two years ago.

What’s your take? Imitation? Inspiration? Or a fluke?

 

 

 

 

Five ideas I could punch myself for not thinking of (updated).

April 10, 2014

While I’ve done my share of marketing that has pushed the limit, a bunch of it sits in files and on foam core.   Let’s call it the “Keep bringing us work like that, perhaps down the road” folder. Every marketing creative since the beginning of time has one of those folders.

I did, however, win the award for the best campaign of the year that never saw the light of day from The One Club. The first Night of the Living Dead award. It was a great campaign I did with Tracy Wong, Chairman and Executive Creative Director of Wong Doody when we were at Ogilvy & Mather, New York. Ex-Lax was the client.

Thanks to Susan Morris for tracking this sample down!

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Anyway, here are 5 of my favorites I wish I had done:

1) Apotek Swedish Pharmacy interactive billboard.

Interactive product dramatization that’s a “sticky idea.”

2) Burger King Subservient Chicken.

chicken

Talk about delivering on the overall brand promise of “Have It Your Way.”  You would type in what you wanted the chicken to do and it did it.  Things like:

Turn off the stereo

Jump on the couch

Turn the lights out

The subservient chicken was the one that started it all on the interactive side. I wish the site was still live.

3) The greatest marriage proposal ever.

Even if you’ve seen this before, it’s so wonderful it’s worth another look. This proposal makes Kanye West’s proposal seem tame even though Kanye rented out an entire ball park for 200 grand. And he bought a 15 carat ring for 1.25 mill. But I bet he wished he did this:

No one may raise the proposal bar like this again, but I sure hope someone does.

4) Dove Beauty Sketches.

Studies showed that only 4 percent of women considered themselves beautiful. Dove performed this social experiment using a forensic sketch artist. And the results certainly are beautiful.

5) Say something nice.

This will restore your faith in humanity. The famous songwriter Hal David said it in this 1965 lyric, “What the world needs now is love.”

So what’s a great idea you wish you thought of?

~Mike

 

 

 

Great play…coach!

November 29, 2013

Well hasn’t this been fun?

If you didn’t catch these great 6th man and 12th man plays, here they are for your enjoyment.

Play #1

Brooklyn Nets coach Jason Kidd has no time outs left. But still needs a time out. Look at this from the newly-minted Coach Kidd.

Play #2

Steelers coach Mike Tomlin plays some wily D on Jacoby Jones.

No penalty, no fine. Nothing.

My take: One intentional, one semi-intentional.  As a a creative guy, I admire the out of the box thinking from Coach Kidd.  He’s not coaching Pop Warner league. He’s coaching professionally at the highest level. Yes, it’s win at all costs. The cost? That little stunt knocked him back 50 grand while similar fines usually set back a coach 25-35 grand.

And play #2 with Coach Tomlin? I was thinking I could go either way. But then I changed my mind. Mike Tomlin knows exactly where he is and what he’s doing every second of every game. That’s why he gets 5.75 million a year to coach, the eighth highest coaching salary in professional sports.

What’s your take on these two plays? Great play coach? Or “bending” the rules?

Where were you 50 years ago today?

November 22, 2013

It was my first memory and I was just 3 years old.

But I remember it like it was yesterday and I can even remember the littlest of details. Right down to what kind of comforter I was wrapped in. I was in our apartment at 1560 Warburton Avenue in Yonkers, N.Y. watching “Wonderama” with Sonny Fox.

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Then they cut into the show. I started crying. Thinking back, I can’t remember if I was crying because the president had been assassinated or because everyone else was crying. Odd thing is that I don’t remember where my parents were at the time. So it was just 3 year old me witnessing this whole thing all alone. I can even remember the floor plan of the apartment and exactly where I was. Sorry, I’m not such a great artist but this is a really close sketch for 50 years ago.

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Like I said I can remember the comforter. It had a floral pattern with a tan background and it was a rather scratchy comforter. Probably a new one. I guess I remember that because I was holding it so tightly.

Where were you 50 years ago today?