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By that I mean that most cities are constantly undertaking

In case you are not already familiar with the Old Spice ads staring Isaiah Mustafa, Moncler Men’s Long Sleeve they originally aired during the 2010 Super Bowl and later during the Winter Olympics. The first commercial shot with its mix of quick shots, random imagery and deadpan delivery proved to have the right recipe for viral Internet success resulting in over 16 million views on YouTube. By mid-July the “Old Spice guy” was already something of a household name in the dysfunctional households of various Internet communities. As a result, when a call was put out on Old Spice’s Twitter and Facebook pages for people to ask the Old Spice guy questions (you could basically ask him anything) word spread pretty fast, resulting in lots of submissions, giving the writers plenty of source material to riff on. Once received, the questions were sorted through and ranked for effectiveness, and a script was quickly written and filmed, resulting in a short and usually very funny YouTube clip.


A social media strategy is almost a requirement at this point for any commercial brand. For most, the common combination of a Twitter and Facebook account fed with frequent posts is usually enough. With every tweet your followers are reminded of your existence, and if you are lucky enough, they may even click through to any links you provide. But harnessing the power of social media in a carefully orchestrated campaign utilizing all the major platforms? That’s an entirely different proposition – and quite a feat if it can be pulled off. Despite the challenge, that’s exactly what the creative team behind Old Spice did.


Meanwhile, a group of leaders from Cincinnati paid a visit to Minneapolis to see that city up close. I think these sorts of things are critical. You have to get out into the world and see what is going on. So many people never visit the city right down the street, much less successful places around the country and the world that might have lessons to be learned. If you are never exposed to the best of what is going on elsewhere, it is easy to fall into the trap of believing the narrative of your own progress. By that I mean that most cities are constantly undertaking civic improvement initiatives. It is is very easy to judge the success or failure of these solely in terms of what they replaced. New convention center on what used to be a weedy lot? It must be great, right? But when you actually visit other places, especially top performing cities, you see where you really stack up. Every city these days has restaurants going in downtown, condos, etc. So much of what is conventionally viewed as progress is really just riding the trends.

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