Posts Tagged CP+B

Fear Less

Today's mail

I want to tell you about one of my favorite “Let’s save the planet” blogs, FearLess Revolution. That website sprang out of a place dubbed the “Fearless Cottage” in Boulder, Colorado, that was founded by Alex Bogusky, his wife Ana, and Rob Schuham.  If you’re wondering how this relates to Brammofan, well, you haven’t been paying attention.

Go back and read some of my posts tagged CP+B, which was the advertising agency (Crispin Porter + Bogusky) that Alex Bogusky (the B, obviously, in CP+B) ran.  Around the time I started blogging as Brammofan, Brammo CEO Craig Bramscher bid on eBay and “bought” 17 summer interns from CP+B. I had a great time that summer – 2009 – covering their antics, which included an attempt at making a logo for Brammo and a pretty nifty music video that included some great Brammo footage before the Enertia entered full production.

The biggest “campaign” in which CP+B participated was, without a doubt, the Shocking Barack saga.  More than just a story of two guys on Brammo Enertias traveling from Detroit to Washington, D.C. to give Obama an electric motorcycle, it became an internet phenomenon – followed by hundreds, then thousands, then… who knows how many people before it ended.

You know what?  This is not a story about Brammo or CP+B or Shocking Barack.  This is story about fearing less.

A couple weeks ago, the FearLess Revolution blog announced a little contest.  (I’m not going to get side-tracked here, but Bogusky and Brammo used to be really into contests – search for it).  It was a contest to name a new “Occupy Wall Street” themed flavor of Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream.  Since I love ice cream and contests, I figured I’d give it a shot.  My entry: “OccuPie Wallnut Street – A delicious mix of walnuts, pie crust and the tears of the oppressed majority.”

After pleading on Twitter and on Facebook for my friends and followers to vote early and often, it turned out that I won!  Thrilled, I was, and especially because the prize was quite a treasure: a FearLess t-shirt.  These shirts are pretty awesome and you should go order one before they run out.   Just make sure it’s appropriate – since I have kids around here, I got the “Fear Less Love More” shirt.  (They just came out with the “Kill Less F@ck More” shirt – uncensored, which I would love, if I were a college freshman again).

Here’s where the “Fear Less” lesson comes in:  One of Bogusky’s lackeys employees sent me an email requesting my size and a mailing address.  I responded with the appropriate answers and then, PUSHED PAST MY FEAR OF ASKING FOR WHAT I WANT.  Here’s what I wrote:

I would like to request a handwritten and signed note by Alex expressing the “thanks of a grateful nation” or at least the thanks of a grateful FearLess Force, and a hand-drawn picture of a rodent or other small mammal of his choice.  I will settle for less, but I have learned to be FearLess when I make these special requests.
And here are the results:

My very cool Fear Less Love More t-shirt - a $25.00 Value!

A little closer, on that post-it:

Yep. It's a small mammal.

So… he took my request VERY literally – the damn thing is almost microscopic.  Yeah, leave it to that ol’ comedian, Alex.  Okay, so no “thanks of a grateful FearLess nation,” but I did say that I would settle for less.
The takeaway:  If your dream is to one day own an original piece of art, signed by the artist, then you’re going to have to push outside your comfort zone to get it.  I did, and now that little Post-It note is framed, hanging in my living room, right where I imagined, long ago, it would be.  You don’t believe me?
Fear Less.  Love More.  Dream Big.

Birds by Audubon, Small Burrowing Mammal by Bogusky

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Brammofan Motorcycle of the Year – 2010

Rhapsody in Blue

(Kansas City, Missouri, December 7, 2010) – Brammofan, the blog with the mission of “covering the momentum of Enertia” has announced the awardee of its coveted “Brammofan Motorcycle of the Year” award for 2010.  This year’s recipient: the 2010 Brammo Enertia.

Artist's re-creation of actual trophy.

Brammofan, a/k/a Harry Mallin, announced the award today to a packed house of media representatives and electric vehicle dignitaries attending the first annual “Brammofantasy Ball” in the spacious Shawnee Ballroom at the White Haven Motel, Overland Park, Kansas.  Holding the golden lightning bolt trophy above his head, like Zeus upon Mt. Olympus, Mallin broke the news to the surprised crowd.  “Enertia!” he bellowed.

“We were totally surprised” said one attendee.

“I am thrilled to finally share the recipient of this year’s award,” said Brammofan.  “The Brammo Enertia is already the recipient of several awards, but I’m sure the gang in Ashland has saved a special spot in the trophy case for this one.”

Craig Bramscher, Brammo CEO, was unavailable for comment, but Adrian Stewart, Brammo Director of Channel Development, who was also unavailable for comment, would likely say something British and zany, like “we’re thrilled to get this award. Bloody thrilled. It’s all part of our cunning plan to save the planet. Cheerio.”

Brammofan will be announcing other awards throughout the remaining days of 2010.

“I am thrilled to have the opportunity to announce the Past Tense Intransitive Verb of 2011.  ‘Thrilled,’ of course, was the winner of the PTIV for 2010 and it was put to good use in many press releases.  Many.  I don’t want to give you any useful clues for what 2011 holds, but let me state that you just might be titillated to finally hear what it will be,” said Brammofan.

Brammofan also screened the following teaser from the epic film about Brammo that he is producing in conjunction with Spielberg*.

*Izzy Spielberg. No relation.

Stay tuned for more surprising announcements coming later this month.  And yes, Bill, there will be a Brammo Babe of the Year award.

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ShockingBarack, Redux

After months of silence, the ShockingBarack channel on YouTube posted a new video, moments ago.  It does a great job of capturing the excitement and momentum of the story of Brian Wismann of Brammo and Dave Schiff of CP+B traveling from Detroit to Washington, D.C., to try to give a Brammo Enertia to the President.  I’m not sure who decided to resurrect the story, but I’m glad they did:

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Jackie Chan Teams With Brammo

Asian Rush Hour to Include Brammo Enertia

Lots of hints about this partnership have been popping up here and there, but now it is (semi) official:  Jackie Chan’s company, JCAM Advanced Mobility Company, Ltd., has agreed to be the distributor of the Brammo Enertia through its outlets in Hong Kong and Singapore.

"I'm on my Brammo and you know I'm straight cruisin'..."

If you’re wondering what they think about the Enertia in Hong Kong, it’s pretty clear:

"Bike Cool"

The deal will have Jackie Chan’s award winning JCAM EV sales company selling Brammo Enertias through its retail stores in Hong Kong  and Singapore.

Frequent readers of this blog know all there is to know about Brammo, but what about JCAM?  Here’s the 411:

JCAM Advanced Mobility Company Ltd. (JCAM) is a Hong Kong based vehicle Distribution Company established in 2005. Co-founded by megastar Jackie Chan, its primary business focus is to identify, qualify, market, and support transportation innovation that produce zero emissions and which are technologically stunning. Within the first four years of operation JCAM has grown into a company with diverse and growing business interests all related to sustainable transportation, operating in six countries and has earned Hong Kong Business’s High-Flyers Outstanding Enterprises Award (Modern Alternative Technology).

The mission of JCAM is to work closely with groups critical to facilitating a successful culture change from conventional combustion driven vehicles to electric vehicles (EV’s) as well as other clean transportation options. These groups include vehicle manufacturers, local regulators, and targeted end user groups all of which have their own objectives, reservations, and needs and all of which JCAM as a product marketing and distribution organization has regular contact with.  With creative marketing and intelligent education programs JCAM is dedicated to generating excitement and demand while proving and building desirability, credibility, and reliability for some of the most awesome and advanced vehicles available.

Furthermore, what’s a post on Brammofan without amazingly unbelievable and unsupported speculation?  (New readers, Please Note: Any resemblance between Brammofan and an actual Journalist is entirely coincidental and not visible without a lot of squinting on your part.  Avoid eye strain and just go with the flow).

Well, here goes:

Jackie’s making a movie called “Chinese Zodiac” that has him reprising the role of “Asian Hawk” that he played in Fei ying gai wak.  Surely you remember Fei ying gai wak? Okay, it was called Operation Condor (Armour of God, II) here in the US.  Remember? Come on!  He was in that amazing fight where he did those crazy stunts?  No?  Okay, so it looked like he was totally outgunned, outmanned, and that it was all going to end poorly, but then he did that astounding flip-kick-donkey-punch  . . .  and seriously kicked some Nazi butt?  Yes!  I knew you’d remember.  Well “Chinese Zodiac”  is going to be the sequel.  And word on the street is:

The movie is going to have an Enertia in it. I haven’t heard anything more than that, so far, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see someone getting their head knocked with a certain electric motorcycle’s rear tire that has their number on it.  And the chase scene?  This has ELECTRO- AWESOME written all over it.  (as long as it doesn’t last longer than about 40 miles, but what great chase scene does?)

So stay tuned, get your popcorn popping, and if you’re a new reader from Singapore or Hong Kong, why are you reading this?  Get out there and buy a Brammo!

Oh, and HI Jackie!

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Brammofan’s Predictions for 2010

I have to join the teeming masses who are making predictions for their little corner of the world.  I tried to resist, but when I was listening to the EVCast’s recent show where they ran down their 2009 predictions, it just fed my “I-told-you-so” gland, deep within my hypothalamus.  So here goes:

1.  Brammo will branch out to Europe and Asia with the Enertia.  Okay, so this is my “safe” prediction.  If you’ve been following the Brammo story, you know that CEO Craig Bramscher has been jetting around these continents for the last six months.  He didn’t miss his Thanksgiving Dinner for nothing.  (Seriously — have you seen him?  Nothing short of world domination would tempt him away from turkey, taters, and pumpkin pie.)  Considering he was in China on November 26, he probably ended up eating something that looked like this:

Arachnid. It's what's for dinner.

2.  Brammo will introduce the anti-scooter but it will turn out to look nothing like the obscenity photo-shopped by the demented minds over at Asphalt and Rubber.

Frankenscooter

Instead, it will look something like a cross between what one would expect to see underneath a sorority girl at U.S.C, a rainbow, and butter.

3.  Brammo will decide, at the last possible minute, to race in at least one of the TTXGP eGrandPrix races.

Brammo has been strangely silent about participating in the soap opera/reality show that has been unfolding between TTXGP and FIM.  Is the silence due to lack of sponsorship? Maybe, but I’m more inclined to say that they are focusing like a laser beam on the rollout of the Enertia to more Best Buy stores and, as noted in #1, above, world domination.  Best Buy may not end up swooping down and sponsoring the Brammo race team, as they did last year, but I predict some dark horse anonymous source will decide that Brammo needs a racing pedigree to offset the metro-sexual vibe of the Enertia, and validate the integrity of his testosterone levels.

4.  Brammo will ditch the baby blue panels — excuse me, “Glacial Blue” panels.

Also known as "drowning polar bear blue"

Instead, Brammo will offer an array of new colors for 2010, including: Hot Planet Pink, Global-Warming-Denier Red, Running out of time to save the world Blue (a dark, sparkly blue), and OMFG We’re All Gonna Die Unless You Buy This Bike and Stop Polluting Purple.

5.  Brammo will continue crowd-sourcing.  Remember those heady days of September 2009 when Brammo and Crispin, Porter + Bogusky came up with the idea to crowd source the logo? Despite the negative attention it received (which, ironically, only served to give it more attention, thus proving that “any attention = good attention” is still a valid equation), Brammo will decide to turn to the crowd to handle even more of its crucial decisions.  Stay tuned during the first quarter of 2010 for the “Crowd Source a new battery” contest, where the winner will provide a new form of energy storage that is able to be recharged in 15 minutes, increases the range of the bike to 300 miles, weighs 1/10 of the weight of the current battery pack, and is made of a readily-available substance, such as mud and dandelions.

6.  Brammo will bid for new batch of interns on Ebay, but will be outbid in the last few seconds by Zero Motorcycles.  After months of working, the interns will produce a video that will go viral.  Instead of hip-hop or rap, it will be a video of Zero’s Neal Saiki under the influence of nitrous oxide and novacaine following his root canal.  His inability to pronounce the word “torque” during the video will amuse millions and lead to Zero’s licensing of the “Dorque™” ringtone, providing the company the operating capital it needs to roll out its bikes to hundreds of CVS Pharmacies, nationwide.  “After all, an electric motorcycle is kind of like an antidepressant on wheels. No prescription necessary.”

7. Best Buy will decide to equip its Geek Squad with a fleet of Brammo Enertias, painted in their characteristic white and black configuration, which will, in turn, catch the eyes and attention of Police Squads nationwide, causing fleet sales to skyrocket.  Other crime-fighting entities will follow suit:

Where does he get those wonderful toys?

8.  Brammo will team up with a manufacturer of solar panels and will market the Enertia Garage, an accessory that provides dry parking, a renewable energy source for recharging, and a place for the owners to hang out and smoke cigars.

That’s a wrap for 2009.  We’ll revisit the predictions in late 2010, when they will be viewable by our corneal implants as we tool around on our flying Enertias.

Have a Happy New Year and stay safe out there.

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“Battery Agnostic”

Yesterday, Dave Schiff,  Rider #2 from the ShockingBarack trip appeared on “FearlessQA,” a weekly chat moderated by Alex Bogusky of the ad agency, Crispin Porter + Bogusky.

fearless

Alex Burnard, Dave Schiff, and Alex Bogusky, on FearlessQA

There is SO much to talk about here–Schiff’s impressions of the Enertia, lessons learned from the trip, experiences from the interactions, the power of democracy, the organic feel of the campaign — that I have to recommend you watch the whole one-hour episode.

vlcsnap-00002

Burnie flashes the peace sign, just 'cause I twasked.

vlcsnap-00001

Schiff does a bit of whoring for a client.

But one thing that Schiff mentioned about the Enertia that sent me pondering was about the manufacture of the bike and Brammo’s interest in keeping it “battery agnostic.” This happened during a discussion of how the bike was manufactured and here’s my take:

Battery technology is changing almost daily.  It’s not merely a question of lead-acid versus nickel metal hydride versus lithium ion anymore.  (Note: the Brammo Enertia currently uses six Lithium Iron Phosphate battery cells, manufactured by Valence).  New chemical combinations, new ideas about recharging versus evacuating/refilling the charged solutions within, and the potential of supercapacitors have got to be keeping EV manufacturers on their toes.  “Do I re-configure my vehicle to allow for a different type of battery?” “What else must I change in order to include the latest technology?” “Should I just include the new battery technology in next year’s model and let current owners figure out their own solutions?”

By “battery agnostic” I think Brammo is manufacturing its bikes to accept the new battery technology in an easy to swap, modular way.  Brammo agnosticism reflects an openness to new ways of motive power, the same way a religious agnostic accepts his current belief system but remains open to new truths.

If I’m right about this, and I think I am, this is one of the reasons why I became and continue to be a Brammo fan.  They are not making a disposable bike.  More than a mere “motorcycle,” they created a platform from a blank sheet and designed it to be timeless.  Battery tech changes?  Swap a new, smaller module in that weighs less, charges faster, has a greater range.  New lessons learned about power management and motor temperature and coasting? Upgrade the bike’s software to take advantage of the new knowledge base.

enertia_exposed_3s

Note:  I just heard from my favorite Iowan-Enertia owner, “Hawkeye,” that Brammo is sending out a technician (a/k/a BrammoJosh a/k/a @brammoservice ) to update the software on his bike.  That’s not just “service.”  That’s above and beyond, and merits its own post, yet to come.

This kind of thinking — being “battery agnostic,” taking care of their customers, thinking about the future of its current products that have already sold — is why you should be a Brammo fan, too.

 

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