The Mandela Effect





I’m not one to spread conspiracy theories, but folks, I’ve been reading about the Mandela Effect recently and I’m seriously freaked out. In case you are unaware of this phenomenon, it was first reported ten years ago when various people recalled different versions of Nelson Mandela’s death. Half the people surveyed thought he had died in prison in the 1980s and the other half remembered him living until 2013. Whether it was a false memory or a case of dual reality, it is still the subject of debate. For the record, the second fact is correct and Nelson Mandela died in 2013 at the ripe old age of 95. False memory is a psychological phenomenon where a person vividly recalls something different from the way it actually happened. The Mandela Effect is false memory on a much bigger, wider, grander scale. 


In branding, our number one goal is to create an emotional attachment to a product or service, so people remember it. After all, no one ever bought a product or service they were unaware of. Were you aware of these things that people often remember incorrectly?


  • I vividly remember the Fruit of the Loom logo having a cornucopia behind the fruit. Nope.
  • I also recall Johnny Carson’s sidekick Ed McMahon knocking on doors, giving away millions in the Publishers Clearing House Sweepstakes. He didn’t. Ed McMahon never worked for that company.
  • My favorite brand of peanut butter growing up was Jiffy. I just learned it’s Jif.
  • If you ask me to spell Febreze, I would spell it “Febreeze” and swear to you that I was right. 
  • Speaking of spelling, the correct name of my favorite childhood cereal was Froot Loops — not Fruit Loops.
  • Half of the survey respondents will tell you that the color Chartreuse is a magenta-pink hue. It’s actually a light shade of green.


There is only one logical explanation: I am right and the rest of the world is wrong. I ate Fruit Loops as a kid. Not Froot Loops. And although there is overwhelming evidence to the contrary listed on Google, I am going to go with a simpler, yet much more controversial explanation. Somewhere along the line, there were two separate, but similar, universes that merged into the same spacetime continuum which created one universe with two slightly divergent paths. Don’t believe me? Well, I caught glimpses of the impeachment hearing this week and the Mandela Effect was in full display. How else could you explain that both Democrats and Republicans can read the exact same transcript of a phone call and come away with two completely different interpretations? Perhaps Democrats ate Froot Loops when they were growing up and Republicans ate Fruit Loops. Perhaps we’ll never know, but that’s my theory and I’m sticking to it. #TheTruthIsOutThere




Monday, January 20 – Mondays Are For Meetings



Client Services Manager Katie “Bossy Rossy” Rossberg and Copywriter Derek Fair jumped into the company Jeep and let Creative Director Art Webb take the wheel for a work trip to Williamsburg, where they met with the fine folks at Two Rivers Country Club. They discussed 2020 marketing and branding opportunities and laid the groundwork for their new website. Check out the old one while it’s still up at governorsland.com.






Tuesday, January 21 – New Client Alert!



Tuesdays at Madison+Main’s Headquarters are known as Production Tuesdays and we have eliminated internal meetings on Tuesdays. This radical idea, which we have been doing for about a year, has turned Production Tuesday into the most productive day of the week. I spent this Tuesday negotiating a contract with a new client, developing new campaign concepts for Virginia Commonwealth Bank, consulted with another client on a PR matter, and spent two hours working on a marketing report. Oh, I also found time to go to my Rotary meeting before work and hit the treadmill at the Downtown YMCA after work. How’s that for productive? It’s amazing what you can do when you don’t have to have a meeting about the meeting.


Meanwhile, Director of Business and Marketing Leanne “Miss Fabulous” Ferry signed on a new client, Marietta, Georgia-based Retail Consulting Agency — The Parker Avery Group! Parker Avery is a nationally-recognized strategy and management consulting firm with a star-studded client portfolio that boasts some of the most recognized brands in America such as Cabela’s, Crate & Barrel, PetSmart, Lands’ End, and Tiffany & Co. We are very excited about helping them with a brand refresh, B2B marketing strategy, and a shiny new website.






Wednesday, January 22 – SMH At The IRS



Wednesday wasn’t as productive as Tuesday, especially when I have to spend so much time on hold with the IRS. You think the DMV is bad? The people at the IRS make DMV workers look like Rhodes Scholars. After a few hours, I gave up and drove over to the University of Richmond for a speaking engagement at the Virginia Council of CEOs Monthly Luncheon. I was invited to sit on a four-person panel where moderator, friend, and client JJ White of Dale Carnegie Training kicked off a discussion about recruiting and retaining top talent. The panel included Mark Smith from Midas of Richmond, Jane Holmes from RTS Labs, Carrie Todd from Entercom Media, and yours truly.


After work, I dropped down to Shockoe Bottom to see my colleague, Kent Brockwell perform his stand up act at Honey Whytes. Kent absolutely killed it. And by that I mean, he made people laugh. He did not become violent.




Thursday, January 23 – Here’s Your Sign



Last month, we unveiled this beautiful billboard for our friends at A. Smith Bowman Distillery in Fredericksburg. On Thursday, we shared the design on our Facebook page. Today, I am sharing it with you. Isn’t it lovely?


On Thursday afternoon Communications Director Kent Brockwell had his mid-year review. We tried to discuss his performance over the last six months but kept coming up with new ideas for his next comedy performance. #TheBeardedWonder #FuzzyWuzzyWuzzaKent





Friday, January 24 – Moooo-ving Along


On Friday the team got together for a creative concept session for our clients at Maola Local Dairies. Maola is the main brand of milk produced by local farmers in the Maryland & Virginia Milk Producer’s Cooperative. Remember, fresh milk is the best milk and when you buy Maola you know that it comes from local dairy farms. Check out this commercial that we created, highlighting North Point Farms in Waynesboro. The family farm is owned and operated by four brothers and it’s one way we help you meet the people behind the milk. Drop by Food Lion or Walgreens and pick some up on the way home. Got milk?







A Few of Our Favorite Events


Virginia Spirits Roadshow: A. Smith Bowman Distillery

1 Bowman Drive | Fredericksburg, VA

February 8, 2019 | 12 – 5 p.m.


Come join us for the Virginia Craft Spirits Roadshow at A. Smith Bowman Distillery! Tickets will include all samples of artisan spirits as well as craft cocktails from numerous Virginia distilleries; while guests can mix, mingle, and engage with Virginia distillers firsthand! Purchase any bottles you enjoy to take home — they’ll even store them at their concierge station while you enjoy the event. Save money by purchasing your tickets at the advanced promo prices vs. the day of: $20 for one general admission, or $35 for two general admission tickets.


CowanGates & Salisbury Country Club Memorial Blood Drive

13620 West Salisbury Road | Midlothian, VA

February 18, 2020 | 2 – 6 p.m.


The American Red Cross states that every day, blood donors help patients of all ages: accident and burn victims, heart surgery and organ transplant patients, and those battling cancer. In fact, every two seconds, someone in the U.S. needs blood. Make a difference and schedule your blood donation by contacting Morgan Barclay at mbarclay@salisburycountryclub.com.


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




“Believe nothing you hear and only half of what you see.”

— Edgar Allan Poe, RVA resident 1847-1849