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Friday, July 24, 2009

Plaid Nation Tour - Day 5.

(This is cross-posted from Brandflakes.)

As guest blogger and Plaid Nation Touree, I thought I might add another perspective on the experience. (Be sure to check out the daily madness over on Plaid’s official tour blog.)

What started out three years ago as an alternative to the typical self-promotional efforts by agencies–holiday themed microsite or “We’ve Moved!” postcard—has grown into something bigger than even Darryl had originally planned.

In edition to regional sponsors the Q Hotel, there’s Ford, Sprint and Subway. Ad Age has a profile of it in their Small Agency Diary. In addition to the growth of Plaid’s client list, new industry connections have sprung up for almost everyone involved. Not too bad for a little POS van with wireless.

Speaking of, lest you think it’s all cupcakes and Graceland, the hours are long. It’s pretty much an 8:00 am to 10:00 pm gig: Load the van > drive > meeting > drive > food > drive > funky place > drive > meeting > drive > food > unload > check-in. Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

Every single day.

In between it all, you still need to keep in touch with your regular workflow. Then there are the “other” tour elements. If you’re not shooting pics, you’re on Twitter—in the backseat on less than perfect roads going 75 mph. Or you’re responding to an IM or DM to the van.

Then there’s the uploading, describing and tagging of said pics. Or watching what you say because the mics are live. Video? While Ryan handled it the first year, Renato’s on it now—along with his 65lb backpack that goes everywhere he does.

Tired yet? Good. Now, try digitizing video in the backseat on less than perfect roads going 75 mph. Then editing it.

By this point in the tour, you get into a daily rhythm though of all that has to be done. It’s NASA, well, more like NASCAR precision as everyone has an assigned job to handle.

You also do a lot of this in the hottest part of the summer. AC cranked? OH, you have no idea. That’s not even including the other dynamic that kicks in: Trying to remember what city you’re in. All of a sudden you Channel Motley Crue: “This is Tennessee, right? No, dude, that was yesterday. We’re in Arkansas.”

“I think.”

And after going through that for two weeks straight however? You wouldn’t trade it for anything because it is the single best time you will ever have in your life working for an agency.

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