Losing My Phone, Losing My Mind



On Sunday night I lost it. I mean, I totally lost it. I set my phone on a bench seat on the back of my boat and walked inside. I was gone for two seconds. Then T-Pain drove by on his megayacht and threw a three-foot wake through the whole marina. Bloop. The phone went down into the murky waters of the Intracoastal Waterway. I lost my iPhone and after 24 hours of losing my mind, I realized just how dependent I am on this stupid phone.   

You know the feeling, don’t you? You don’t feel so smart when you lose a smartphone.   

I take my phone everywhere. I use it constantly. I text, tweet, post, snap, Instagram, and Facetime. It’s my camera. It’s my navigation. It’s my spell checker and fact-checker. I use it for work. I use it for play (seriously, I am addicted to Bricks Breaker Quest). So you can only imagine how lost I felt when I lost it. Thanks to Asurion insurance, I had my new Verizon iPhone within 24 hours. Yes, it was only a day, but man oh man, did I realize how dependent I am on mobile technology. Imagine it, I had to drive six miles to the airport and I had to actually read the signs along the way and figure out very difficult things — like which direction is north and how to calculate a 20 percent tip on my bar tab by using math. #carrytheone  

So think about this from a marketing standpoint; as a consumer, a company can direct marketing messages to me through text, chat, social media, games, apps, and online content. As a consumer, I am looking at this device morning, noon, and night. A mobile user is a captive audience. When I lose the device, I almost lose it and I have to get another one right away. (I was literally waiting for the UPS man on the curb to show up at 1 o’clock. He was ten minutes late.) 
During the Golden Age of Radio, a family would tune in faithfully each night to hear the news, a game show, a western, or a comedy routine by Abbott and Costello. Whether it was sponsored by Texaco or Ovaltine, it was a captive audience. The Golden Age of Television took advertising to a whole new level — advertisers didn’t merely sponsor the program, they showed you beautifully produced 90-second ads like this beauty from Coca-Cola. With the advent of the internet, advertisers found an ever more captive audience, two feet away on a computer screen, delivering the message in 30 seconds or less. Today, advertisers have a thousand different ways to make you aware of their brand or marketing message twelve inches from your face in less than 15 seconds. Unlike a 40 pound Motorola radio, a 200 pound Sylvania Super Set, or a 25 pound Dell desktop, my smartphone is small enough to fit in my pocket…and small enough to slip through a one-inch gap in the deck seat.  

Your company might be advertising on radio, television, or the web, but are you marketing through mobile? Might want to think about that. Call me. I know a guy.  


Monday, February 1 — Throwback Thursday on Monday?


Some people keep everything. They never throw anything away. My grandparents, for example, had stacks and stacks of National Geographic Magazines in their attic. Somewhere along the line, that great treasure trove of world-class photography of the world was thrown away. Today, old copies of National Geographic sell between $20-$1,400. Thank goodness for my school friend, Joe Getter, for hoarding this gem, a copy of The Spartan a.k.a. the Sandusky Middle School Newspaper from May 6, 1980. Joe shared this with me on my Facebook page last week and I thought I’d share it with you. It is definitive proof that I won the Sandusky Middle School faculty and student talent show as a lowly sixth grader. My talent was comedy and I did impressions of Presidents Nixon and Carter with a little Mister Rogers thrown in. Hey, at least I was funny back then. 


Tuesday, February 2 — We’ve (Chesa)Peaked



On Tuesday, I joined Madison+Main’s Creative Director Art Webb, Communications Director Kent Brockwell, and Account Executive Marita Cardenas and presented our Brand and Marketing Discovery Report for The City of Chesapeake. After weeks of research, interviews, consulting, and planning, we presented them with a Brand Strategy and marketing recommendations for the next few years. They have a great team assembled in Virginia’s second-largest city. Pre COVID-19, we would do these presentations in person and I would have to wear a suit, but these days no one has to know that my bottom half is rocking the Crocs


Wednesday, February 3 — Well Done



Our clients at Williamsburg Landing won the “Best in Wellness” ICAA NuStep Beadon Award. The ICAA is a professional association that leads the active-aging industry. They award organizations that develop wellness environments and services for adults over 50 years old. The “Best in Wellness” award is presented to communities that foster a wellness culture and an environment that supports wellness for residents and team members. Well done, folks. 


Speaking of recognition, February is Black History Month! In celebration, Lamar Advertising Company, one of our media vendors, announced they are using their billboards to honor and recognize African American men and women who achieved some pretty impressive “firsts” in their fields. Take a look at some of the honorees like Guion Bluford, the first African American in space, or Gwendolyn Brooks, the first African American Pulitzer Prize winner! #BoldBrandsWin

Thursday, February 4 — I Love Lucy!


Our clients at Lucy Corr are currently running a television ad that we created for them! The spot highlights what life is like at Lucy Corr — and how easy maintenance-free living is. You may have seen the spot on CBS6 or Effectv (the advertising sales division of the company formerly known as Comcast Spotlight) but if not, view it now. We had a blast writing, directing, and working with BES Studios to film this advertisement. It sure makes us say, “I love Lucy!”

Friday, February 5 — Feel-Good Shopping



Did you know that your Amazon shopping addiction can actually do some good? Amazon Smile will donate to your favorite charitable organization — at no cost to you. Not that you need more Amazon packages — there is a doormat hiding under those — but shopping on Amazon now doesn’t have to make you feel guilty. Sign up today and support one of our amazing non-profit clients. Go to Smile.Amazon.Com and search for The Doorways, Housing Families First, DRIVE SMART Virginia, and Hitting Cancer Below The Belt and shop till you drop. 

A Few of Our Favorite Events


CowanGates Memorial Blood Drive

13620 W Salisbury Rd. | Midlothian, VA 23113

February 16 | 2 – 6 p.m.


CowanGates, in partnership with Village Bank, is sponsoring a blood drive at Salisbury Country Club. Bring your mask and donate — giving blood will help save a life. Sign up today!

Got an upcoming in-person or virtual event you want to share? Send us the deets! We promise we’ll look presentable.

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


“Anybody have plans to stare at their phone somewhere exciting this weekend?” — Nitya Prakash