Before you know it, the holidays will be upon us. There’ll be “parties for hosting, marshmallows for roasting” and a hair-pulling, panic-inducing, last-minute scramble to send out holiday gifts to your best clients and customers.


It’s the most wonderful time of the year. Unless you procrastinate.


If you do wait until the last minute, just send a can of peanuts, like everybody else does. No offense to our friends at Virginia Diner or Whitley’s or Hub’s, but we’ve all given or gotten a can of peanuts for Christmas.


Don’t get me wrong, I love nuts, but what are you saying to a customer when you give them peanuts for Christmas? “Hi here’ s a generic and inexpensive holiday gift. Thank you for your business You know you should have spent more money with me this year. Next year, if ya spend more, I’ll get you some those fancy Omaha Steaks or maybe a bottle of Jack Daniels.”


Giving a unique and memorable holiday gift is an incredible marketing opportunity, so don’t pass it up. Be creative. Make it memorable. Get customers or prospects talking about your gift. We call it 3-D direct mail and it’s a technique we’ve employed for clients and ourselves.


In 2007, we sent a shrink-wrapped Madison+Main t-shirt to clients. It was shaped like a steak. The message was — don’t butch butcher your brand. The recession hit hard a couple of years later, so I sent clients a CD of me singing “Blue Christmas.” And let’s not forget the original “viral” gift, Grandma Dave’s Holiday Fruitcake. The perfect gift to re-gift. Last year, we gave out Bold Brands Win calendars. Oh sorry, you didn’t get one? Email me and I’ll mail you one. Hurry! (One time offer. Limited quantities. Act now because there are only 3 months left on the stupid calendar).








Monday, September 23 – The 10th Annual Chili Cook-Off



Exactly one month from today is Madison+Main’s 10th Annual Chili Cook-Off, our biggest event of the year. Friends, clients, and partners all compete to see who has the best batch of hot stuff. There is a $100 cash prize for 1st place and 2nd place gets a $50 gift card for cooking lessons, but the trophies are magnificent. Third prize? A set of steak knives. #GlenGaryGlenRoss The competition is fierce and six teams have already signed up. To enter your company’s team, email Leanne Ferry “Cross The Mersey” as soon as you can.






Tuesday, September 24 – Every Family Deserves A Home

It’s always a pleasure to work with organizations that are making a big impact in the Richmond community. Art Director Carissa Ghaffari and Account Executive Allison Throckmorton joined the board members of Housing Families First Tuesday evening to discuss branding for an upcoming capital campaign. Stay tuned for the big reveal and for more information on how you can make a difference by helping the homeless.




Wednesday, September 25 – Lunch Is The Second Most Important Meal Of The Day



On Wednesday I had the pleasure of taking my rockstar Art Director Carissa “You’ll Go Far In Life” Ghaffari to lunch at one of my favorite places, Croaker’s Spot. She wanted to eat healthy and I convinced her to have deep-fried soul food instead. I have often imagined what will be my last words as I lie on my death bed. Right after I tell my children that I love them, I will utter these words to Saint Peter at the Pearly Gates, “Two-piece Eggleston Fish Boat, please.”  #Score1ForTheBoss

Communications Director Kent Brockwell lunched it up at PRSA’s September Luncheon: How to Speak Up and Keep Your Job, a presentation on ethics by Dr. Marlene Neill, a professor at Baylor University. Kent’s never, ever had a problem with speaking up. #Bastard #WeLoveHimAnyways



Thursday, September 26 – Got Milk Ads?



Thanks to the fine folks at Alewife for letting us borrow their place on Thursday, while we worked with the dynamic duo at Broadscope Media to produce a new video for our client Maola Local Dairies. Maola, formerly Marva Maid, is the signature brand of the Maryland & Virginia Milk Producers Cooperative, meaning that every single drop of deliciousness comes from local dairy farms — not giant industrial milk sheds in California’s searing deserts. Where your milk comes from makes a difference. Learn more here.

My buddy Phillip Baxter, Managing Director at SVN Motleys Commercial Real Estate, dropped by Thursday and we tried to talk to each other while stuffing Reubens in our faces at Perly’s. Phillip’s folks ran a deli when he was growing up, and he’s picky about his corn beef but gave Perly’s two thumbs up.







Friday, September 27 – 10-10-10




As the Chief Idea Officer of Madison+Main, it’s my job to come up with great ideas. Sometimes it is my role to share those great ideas with you in the Weekly Report. Starting Tuesday, Amtrak is selling one-way tickets for 10 bucks until October 10th, and here’s my idea. Get a ticket, ride to A. Smith Bowman Distillery in Fredericksburg, sample everything they have, and get a great brunch, and then let Amtrak be your designated driver back to RVA. Check out the details here.






A Few of Our Favorite Events


Virginia Craft Spirits Roadshow


A. Smith Bowman Distillery | Fredericksburg, VA


September 28, 2019 | 12 p.m. – 5 p.m.


The tastiest roadshow in Virginia is coming to A. Smith Bowman Distillery! Present by the Virginia Distillers Association and A. Smith Bowman Distillery, the Virginia Craft Spirits Roadshow provides a wonderful opportunity for spirit lovers to meet Virginia distillers firsthand and sample artisan spirits as well as craft cocktails from multiple Virginia distilleries under one roof. Guests can save by purchasing advanced tickets.




Magnificient Midlothian Food Festival


Westchester Commons | Midlothian, VA


October 12, 2019 | 12 p.m. – 7 p.m.


Eat, Drink and Be Magnificent! It’s the 31st Annual Magnificent Midlothian Food Festival – Presented by Wegmans. Live Entertainment with performances by South of James and The Party Fins! Live music all day! Enjoy small plates from area restaurants, wine, beer (including Craft Beer), mixed drinks, complimentary soft drinks, and more. Proceeds benefit local charities. Get your tickets today!




Got an upcoming event you want to share? Can we come? Send us the deets!




“I think relationships are work, but love is a gift.”

— Anne Hathaway