I managed to live 54 years on this earth without getting a tattoo.
Don’t get me wrong. I’ve admired the artistry of tattoos on many occasions. Friends, colleagues, and more recently, my kids Hattie and Jack Saunders, have felt the need to get inked.
But something always held me back. Maybe it’s because I don’t like needles. Maybe it’s because I live in the “now” and always thought a tattoo, no matter how cool or fashionable, is a daily reminder of the past. Maybe it’s because of my friend Bill.
I met Bill in Los Angeles in 1995. He was a former Marine from Nebraska. A deep dive welder. Bill was in town to work on the Hyperion Water Reclamation Plant, one of the largest wastewater treatment facilities in the world. This mega crap smasher and turd converter spans over 200 acres and is designed to handle the majority of LA’s 6,700 miles of sewage lines. Bill’s job was to inspect the welding to ensure that a giant container of foulness didn’t blow up and flow up onto the pristine beaches in Santa Monica Bay.
Bill was affable, kind, and funny. He also had tattoos on both arms. On his left arm, he had a faded Marine Corps logo. His right arm sported a blue unicorn, resembling a My Little Pony character called Sparkle. I’m sure it was cool in 1985, but in 2022, um, not so much. Finally, Bill had a tattoo of his first wife’s name on his bicep. He’s been married three times. I can only assume wife number three is not happy about seeing wife number one’s name every morning when she wakes up.
But yesterday I decided the time had come to face my doubts and overcome my fears. I’ve preached brands for 30 years, so I finally got “branded.” I’ve lived my life with “No Regrets,” so I finally had the motto tattooed on my arm. What do you think?
And by the way, I wish each and every one of you a happy April Fools’ Day.
Over the weekend, Director of Business & Marketing Leanne Pillow celebrated another birthday, which reminds me that I need to send a thank you card to her mother. Leanne spent the weekend in the company of friends and family and took a much-deserved birthday day off on Monday. Happy Birthday, Leanne — may your heart be as full as a Facebook feed full of birthday messages from folks you barely know.
IN-TENTS MARKETING TIPS
On Tuesday morning, Communications Director Kent “Off The Grid” Brockwell kicked off the Virginia Campground Association’s annual meeting with a virtual presentation of DIY marketing tips and tricks to help the Commonwealth’s campgrounds attract more guests. #BoldBrandsAndBeardsWin.
Also on Tuesday, Jr. Copywriter Caitlin Sherman shared her experience as a mentor at VCU’s CreatAthon, a volunteer program that gives advertising students the opportunity to use their creative talents to help nonprofits in the Richmond community. Great job, Caitlin! Thanks for supporting your alma mater and Better2GetherRVA.
BOLD BRANDS WIN
On Wednesday, Kent and Account Executive Andrew Simpson took a stroll over to the Greater Richmond Convention Center to check out the 2022 Virginia Food & Beverage Expo, which is hosted by our friends and clients at the Virginia Dept. of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS). It was a great day for Madison+Main as Governor Youngkin was on site to announce the rebranding of VDACS’ Virginia Grown and Virginia’s Finest programs, which we produced! Great job, team!
On Thursday, Account Executive Taylor Peoples and her team packed their bags for an all-day photoshoot in Manassas, Virginia for our client Birmingham Greenwith Cade Martin Photography. The team was reportedly hopping around all day and we will be using these photos in marketing materials and social media in the near future. Wondering if a photoshoot is worth it for your business? Look at reality vs. a professional shot.
TEXAS INN, THE MUSICAL
This is NOT an April Fools’ joke. Seriously. This weekend, Lynchburg’s iconic Texas Inn is the setting for “a raucous and poignant musical about the mysterious alchemy of a late-night eatery known as the T-Room,” produced by Endstation Theatre Company. The musical is based on a comedy written by Lynchburg native Kirin McCrory that hit the stage in 2015 — Counter/Top. I will be in the audience of the sold-out crowd — and maybe passing out bowls of our world-famous chili.
Today the entire team took a well-deserved day off thanks to our Fearless Leader Molly Whitfield. It took a lot of convincing people that this wasn’t an April Fools’ joke.