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Top 5 Tweets from folks in Jacksonville. (Frankly, some of these people were just mean.)


Just got back from a fun speaking trip to Jacksonville and their AAF club. As always, I tell the audience I’ll send a signed copy of Hey Whipple, Squeeze This to the person who writes the funniest tweet during the talk.

And by funny, I told ‘em, hey, if you think I suck, post “heywhipple kinda sux. #overrated.” Really, any comment that’s mean-spirited or disrespectful will be received warmly.

Placing fifth in the race for the book (valued at nearly $16) was CS @JaxRunner who tweeted:

CS @JaxRunner Heeeeeeeey @heywhipple, would you squeeze a … tarantula?  #deepthoughts

The judges chose this because, well, if you weren’t there at the talk, this tweet makes no sense and is in fact kinda creepy, in about four different ways.

Placing fourth was this:

Stephanie Mack @Smack_Talks @heywhipple knows a ton about reaching target audience through every medium except that tech bullshit. #wheresmytypewriter?

Clearly a cheap shot at the unavoidable I.T. problem I experienced, as well as at my advanced years. Judges appreciated the final jab in the hashtag.

Third place was this tweet:

Eddie B @EdwardBerrang The Matrix obviously wasn’t a fan of your dig on Part 2 & 3 of the series. No sound for you. 

Right before having the tech problem with sound I did, in fact, have a few bad things to say about the second and third Matrix movies. Mr. Eddie B saw a causal relationship between the two events and astutely rode the coat-tails of Stephanie Mack’s earlier remarks about the IT issue.

(NOTE: Mr. Eddie B was the most frequent Tweeter and the judges are pretty sure he didn’t really listen to the speech.)

Runner-up, winning Silver, was:

Adjective & Co. @adjectiveandco @heywhipple, I am taking my A-team to see you tomorrow. You better not suck. – Taylor

Not because it was particularly funny, although the judges did give it good scores for its abusive undertone. Nor was the tweet sent during the speech, but the day before. No, the tweet placed because I know Taylor Harkey from our shared time at GSD&M. So it was nepotism and brown-nosing.

Our grand-prize winning tweet was this:

Kingsley Spencer @KingsleyPrints Lobby conflict: Why does Ruth own Chris? #heywhipple PS- thanks for the awesome lecture.

Two reasons Kingsley’s tweet rung the bell: First off, you’d only get this joke if you saw the Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse sign that was sitting on a table in the hallway where they were doing remodeling. And the question has merit, people. WTF? What is the deal with that name? Yo Chris, why be Ruth’s bitch. Man up, dude.

Oh, also, it didn’t hurt that they said thanks for the awesome lecture. The judges appreciate being pandered to.

I had a blast everyone. Hope you enjoyed yourself. Kingsley Spencer, please ask my wonderful host, Aerien Mull, to mail that copy off post haste.



Top 3 Tweets from the Crowd at Inbound Marketing 2015. And the winner is….

This is the runner-up. The 2nd best tweet, the silver award-winner, from the audience of nearly 500 at my presentation to today’s Inbound Marketing 2015.

Screenshot 2015-06-22 18.15.28

“He looks and sounds just like Larry David.”

The panel of judges – me, Luke, plus one other guy, the speaker, I think – told me after the show, this tweet is great because it’s true and truth was one of the tentpoles of my presentation: “What is the truest thing you can say about this brand, product, or category?”

The reason it didn’t win #1? Clients (me, in this case) don’t really want to hear the truest thing about themselves. They want to hear about how they’re perfect. I woulda loved a tweet like, “Looks and sounds like JFK Jr.” Okay, so this next tweet is the third runner-up

“‘Pain-in-the-ass fruits like mangos,’ probably my favorite quote of the day.” The reason this tweet took bronze is the writer liked something the client said. And since I’m the client, of course I think this is brill. Very astute observation by Mr. Rees. I love that line, too. And now, the winning tweet.

“Tension, conflict, energy, not only is @heywhipple talking about it, he is exuding it.”

The judges told me after the show this one rung the bell. Why? Because clients love it when you show their picture. To quote David Ogilvy’s poem about brown-nosing:

“When the client moans and sighs,
Make his logo twice the size.
If he still should prove refractory
Show a picture of the factory.
Only in gravest cases
Should you show the clients’ faces”

Congratulations, Mr. Kevin Mullet. You had the right mix of truth and making nice-nice to the client. Well played, sir. Well played. Send me your mailing address and I’ll pack off a signed copy of Whipple post haste.

Here’s the most important thing I try to teach my ad students.

I’ve been the chair of the ad department here at SCAD for just over three years now, and I’m all totes cray about teaching. (Totes cray – see how hip you get hangin’ with the college crowd?)

Over these last few years I’ve had the privilege of leading a million in-class critiques. And in all that time, there’s one piece of advice I found myself giving more than any other.

“Your idea isn’t fast enough.”

Here’s the thing: The customer has to get what you’re saying instantly, or close to it.  For my money, a quick-get — the Speed of the Get — is the first and the most important thing an idea needs to have. A quick-get matters more than even the creativity of the piece. (I know, heresy.)

For my money, the official order of importance goes

1.) Speed of the Get

2.) Believability

3.) Creativity.

Well, perhaps one could quibble,  “Oh yeah, but if it’s not creative first, then why would readers even look at your stupid idea anyway?” There are probably many erudite rebuttals to this, but mine is just shut up, it’s my blog.

I liken the Speed of the Get to the length of a fuse on a stick of dynamite. You don’t want the fuse to be too short or too long. If the fuse is too short, it probably means your idea is too simple or too stripped-down. It may read quickly but it’ll have little effect on the viewer. Sort of like a STOP sign; obviously an instant read but not something I’m likely to post on Facebook.

Few students however err on the side of too-short fuses. In an effort to create an intriguing idea that requires a little bit of the viewer – which is a good thing – students tend to encode their ideas. But if understanding the idea takes one or two beats longer than it should, FAIL. Because nobody has time to wait around for an idea to go off.  The fuse burns, camera follows it around the corner, everybody loses interest, a minute later somebody hears a distant… pop …  says, “Wait, did you hear somethin’?”

Now that I’ve finally plowed my analogy deep into the ground, I think I’ll spade dirt over it by providing free-of-charge the handy image you see below.

Peace out. (Like I said, I’m very hip now, what with these whacky college kids.)

Screenshot 2015-06-06 09.00.30