Exterior Decorating: Not ready for Conde Nast

The renowned publisher Conde Nast has 22 brands, last I checked. Four readily come to mind: Vogue; GQ; Conde Nast Traveler and Vanity Fair. In the context of this post, those 4 magazines have been founts of creative thinking for my marketing side, editorially and commercially.

So, I took creative license to offer an ambiance of levity, a lack of seriousness if you will, because I wanted to share a distraction far from the banal and divisive intrusions that dilute attributes of hope, faith, tolerance, civility and last but not least—love.


Sharing is Caring


Ferrari has an enviable position in several areas, not the least being Formula One racing under the moniker, Scuderia Ferrari. It’s been said that Ferrari makes road-going sports cars so they can finance their F1 racing efforts.  It’s a princely sum; in 2016, close to 386 million euros [$460 million USD] was spent on their factory team. Their fans, aka Tifosi, are beyond passionate regarding team Ferrari. I’ll leave it to you to think of superlatives beyond “fiercely loyal and passionate.”

Earlier this year at the Spanish Gran Prix, Ferrari driver Kimi Raikkonen crashed at the first turn of the race. A 6-year old French boy, Thomas Danel, burst into tears upon learning his hero was out of the GP. His parents were beside themselves. I’ll let author, Formula One reporter and devotee, James Allen take it from there. Click here for his story.

If you read Allen’s story, then you’ll understand the arc of my post. Being warm and fuzzy is not one of Ferrari’s key attributes, racing or otherwise. Perhaps it’s an effort to make F1 racing more empathetic to emerging Tifosi, young and old alike. Maybe there’s a contagion involved, as demonstrated by tire manufacturer, Pirelli, at the end of the Challenge races.

The photographs posted here are from the Ferrari Challenge races held at Lime Rock in Connecticut. Pirelli is the exclusive supplier of racing tires for the Challenge series. Not many know that after one race, those tires are done. This could be interactive marketing in a most basic way, but Pirelli offers to the fans these “one-and-done” racing slicks, which means they don’t have to lug as many back to the factory graveyard. I wonder how fans packed these large souvenirs home?

Yes, the younger fans have ideas on what to do with them; in most cases—and not surprisingly so—mom & dad have the final say.

I did catch a few choice conversations, mostly between a youngster and a parent.  “This is gonna look great in my room! It’ll be next to my bed!” After listening to similar expository ramblings, the most common response was a resounding, “No you’re not!”

I’d like to think that there’s a sense of reciprocity in play, other than Pirelli making all sorts of impressions to influence consumer behavior. For example, the size of these racing “sneakers” make for a fantastic foot rest, his and hers no less.

Summer Sea Wings

It was the earliest summer day I could remember in a long while. And it wasn’t even summer. Temperature records broke yesterday; it was 92F [33C] just about everywhere in New England save for points just south of Canada’s border. This early visit of hot weather “took” me to the sea shore.

They’re not particularly pretty. Their singing voice is far from being one though instantly recognizeable. They can make a mess of things in parking lots, boardwalks, the top of cars and awnings. But when they’re in the air, well, that’s a whole other matter. They are graceful gliders and with a even a mild wind, they’ll hover effortlessly in place.

This isn’t traditional birding by any means, but it’s close enough for me. Sea gulls could make good marketers. They can cover a lot of ground in a given area [market size]; they can quickly spot food at a distance [target audience] and they are persistent if not persnickety [a certain interactive style and management approach].

If they had an awareness for all things sartorial, sea gulls would have a certain spezzatura, a level of nonchalance, bravado and dare I say, a quiet confidence that fits their environs and the season they thrive in. They wear white, off-white or cream with contrasting shades of grey, black and brown. It’s always in style, en vogue for summer.

They don’t have the panache of a peacock, the grandeur of the golden eagle or the pixie-ness of the hummingbird. You would think that their commonality would make them the poster child of avian commodities. No, the standard bearer to that claim would be the nearly ubiquitous pigeon…followed by the sparrow.

Yes, sea gulls have become more audacious on a crowded beach, but who, if anyone, could resist an open bag of potato chips? Or Smart Food Popcorn[tm] or—an all-time favorite—Goldfish Crackers! Cut them some slack this summer. They are reminders that it’s time to put some block on your nose rather than have it at the familiar grindstone.

The Humphs…


I think I’ve seen just about everything this election year. It won’t get the best of me in spite of it. So, after conferring with my buddy, Humphrey, we determined that he is another option for the ballot. Humphs may not have fluency in diplo-speak and he doesn’t speak from both sides of his mouth [jaw?], but he will be honest about things…and you will know it.

Spread the word. You’ll feel in the dumps, if you don’t vote for Humphs!