Posts Tagged interns

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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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.


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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Meet ShockingBarack Rider #2: Dave Schiff

In a Brammofan first, I invited Zach Myrow, who was one of the summer interns at Crispin Porter + Bogusky whose services were auctioned on Ebay to the highest bidder (a small business in Ashland, Oregon, that manufactured an electric motorcycle called the Enertia) to fill us in on the details about ShockingBarack Rider #2, Dave Schiff.  Here’s his article:


Time for a lightning-bolt tattoo: Tattoo-clad Dave Schiff saddles up as ShockingBarack’s second rider.

brammo_photo1aDave Schiff, a Creative Director at Crispin Porter + Bogusky will be riding alongside Brian Wismann, the Lead Designer at Brammo as they travel from Detroit, to D.C. to shock Barack with the all-electric Brammo Enertia.

The two will be stopping along the route to recharge at the homes and businesses of Brammo supporters all over the northeast.

The grassroots effort is an attempt to show President Obama that powercycles are the future of American transport, and to gain his support.

If there is one man with thighs strong enough to endure the 520-mile journey to the capitol, it’s Schiff. Schiff has spent much of his life on two wheels, but this is the first time the wheels are plug-powered.


Schiff is no stranger to motorcycles and bikes. He’s an avid mountain biker, and dirt biker.

Screen shot 2009-10-13 at 11.29.10 PM

The two-wheeled world isn’t just a hobby, it’s part of his career-life too.

I was answering telephones at Schwinn Bicycle Company. I was bored, and I started writing an underground newsletter that made fun of all the executives who worked there. I put it on everyone’s chair before they arrived in the morning, and I was pretty sure they would fire me when they found out. As it turned out, it became popular and the CEO’s wife was a huge fan. So they moved me into the marketing department and made me an in-house writer.”

When he applied for a copywriting position at CP+B in Miami, his resume included the marketing position at Schwinn, some spanking-good wit, and a desire to write. His charisma and character helped get him the job, and while most companies would have turned his tattoo-covered body away, CP+B embraced it.

Fast-forward 5 years, and he’s an award-winning copywriter and the Creative Director on Coke Zero. He’s responsible for a variety of campaigns including the Coke-Coke Zero Taste Infringement Lawsuit.

Still up to shenanigans, he doesn’t write an underground newsletter (that they know of) but he is the host of the Mr. Internet Show. The show isn’t really about advertising… it’s more about the strange and often popular things on the Internet, like celebrity draft picks, microwave mania, and reflecto porn.

When he’s not navigating through the interwebs, he’s directing creativity–no small task.

Although Schiff has just started this road trip, his journey with Brammo began in May. He helped direct the ’09 CP+B summer intern class after they were auctioned off on eBay, and bought by Brammo.

Over the 3-month period, Schiff helped them cultivate ideas on everything from product design to mock motorcycle gangs.

n679211896_981While the tattoo-toting Schiff might have been a perfect fit for CP+B, one has to think his encounter with the Secret Service might not be so smooth.

Maybe roseneck should let Brian Wismann make that first impression.

You can follow the two on their journey to the capitol, and maybe witness the first-ever lightning-bolt tattoo in the  name of Brammo.

Zach Myrow is currently a senior at Rochester Institute of Technology, majoring in Advertising and Public Relations.  Follow him on twitter at @zachmyrow


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Brammo and CP+B Logo Contest Kerfuffle

Logo Contest? Say what?

Oh, you haven’t heard about the Brammo logo contest that ad agency Crispin Porter + Bogusky (CP+B) announced and facilitated on crowdsourcing site for a shot at $1,000.00?  The winning “designer” (I’ll explain why it’s in quotes, later) will be chosen by Alex Bogusky with input from Craig Bramscher, CEO of Brammo.  Or maybe it’s the other way around.  Basically, if you’re not familiar with the names, the companies or “crowdsourcing,” then you’ve probably found my site by searching for pictures of Debbie Harry (the best one is here) and should just download it and keep moving.

I’m hip to the contest. What’s a “kerfuffle”?

Do I have to do everything? Look it up. Or, if you’re wondering how it’s supposed to sound, you can click here, repeatedly, and the nice lady will say it over and over again.  If you want, you can imagine that it’s being enunciated by Ms. Harry.

In relation to the Brammo logo, the kerfuffle is about the issue of “crowdsourcing” and how the design community is up in arms about CP+B using a cheap trick like this contest to destroy the integrity of creative people all over the world.  You see, many of these people have jobs with agencies whose bottom line depends on having clients come to them to design their logos.  These people equate crowdsourcing, especially when it is underwritten by a competing advertising agency, to the type of despicable behavior one might expect from a traitorous person of questionable parentage.  They claim that an ethical lapse has occurred which cheapens their professional standing, minimizes the effort involved with proper logo creation (a term they actually call “branding,” not to be confused with the act of a red hot iron with a design on it being applied to the hind end of a bovine . . . actually, it bears a striking resemblance to that), and threatens the very foundation of their industry (which they prefer to be called a “profession,” kind of like “sex workers” prefer to be called members of the “world’s oldest profession.”)

Just in case you think I have a prejudice against “creatives” or “designers,” I want to clarify that I do not.  Some readers of this blog are aware of my close and dare I say it, loving (in a platonic way, of course) relationship with the CP+B interns whose services were won by Brammo in an Ebay auction last Spring.  They were a hard-working group and their talent was easy to see while working on the Enertia campaign.  They, however, would be the first to tell you that Brammofan can be one critical person of questionable parentage. The take-away is that I call them as I see them.  Which brings me to the issue of designers vs. “designers.”

The difference between designers and “designers” is that the first one works with an agency and the second one doesn’t.  The first one doesn’t enter crowdsourcing logo contests and the second one does.  The first one researches branding issues and the second one has a PC and a copy of PhotoShop (probably pirated).  The first one attends client consultations and will tweak the minute details of their design over the course of weeks, and the second one slaps something together in a couple hours.

Okay, so the designers think that “designers” should stop contributing to the downfall of the industry.
Here’s the original article.  (See also, FastCompany‘s take on this and BNet’s.) They even went so far as to design a logo memorializing this event:

brammo_logo_02-555x118(It’s small because I’m trying to be G-rated)

But here’s the deal: you get what you pay for.  Someone who’s going to pay a couple hundred bucks for a logo on is not going to shell out the thousands or millions to CP+B for a new logo for their product.

There are a couple reasons why Brammo and CP+B are in the midst of this kerfuffle.  One is that the designers feel betrayed by Bogusky encouraging “spec” work, which is another term for uncompensated work performed by “designers” for the admittedly slim chance of being chosen as the winner.  Sounds a bit like gambling, right?

The other big reason for this conflict is that the designers have tunnel vision.

The designers see the Brammo CP+B logo contest as being only about design and crowdsourcing and the cheapening of their profession.  What so many of them fail to see, even as they contribute to it by the gnashing of their own teeth, is the public relations value of the contest.  And what created even more PR value than the contest?  The kerfuffle.  This.  Right now.  Even as I type these very words and you read them and immediately forget them and feel compelled to comment, or tweet, or email your friends to come and read the ravings of this Brammofan idiot, the folks at CP+B, and Brammo, and probably Weber-Shandwick and Best Buy (to the extent they bother reading my rants), are counting the number of times I’ve mentioned the words Brammo, Enertia, CP+B, Best Buy, and wondering what the next outrageous idea from Bogusky might be. (May I suggest, on spec of course, a Subservient Brammo – Geek Squad site, complete with a guy in a Geek Squad uniform, wearing a Bull head, in a messy garage, with a Brammo Enertia, responding to typed-in requests?)

With that, I sign off this post with the news that, according to the site, the logo contest winner should be announced any moment now.  And, for what it’s worth, this is my favorite logo submission of the more than 700 submitted:



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“Polarizing bit of silliness” mentions the CP+B Interns’ Video


This, from the “Freak Week” article on

You may recall that Crispin Porter + Bogusky held an eBay auction in May to offer the services of its 38 summer interns. Well, a company called Brammo, which makes electric-powered motorcycles, won the auction by ponying up $17,655 — not a bad price for 12 weeks of work by 38 people. (That’s a measly $39 per week per person.) Well, Brammo is now seeing the fruits of the kids’ labor, and it includes, bizarrely, a rap-music video about the trials of interning — a polarizing bit of silliness in which Brammo’s Enertia bike makes a cameo. Hopefully Brammo is getting more work out of these kids, because not everyone loved the rap. Wrote one AdFreak reader: “I’m in my late 20s, and I can say without reservation that I hate young people.”

Looks like the video has more than 51,000 hits as of this morning.  Not too shabby, if you ask me.


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More Guerilla Marketing

@BrammoCraig alerted us to some intelligent creativity by Stephanie P. Liu, who does not appear to be one of the CP+B interns — looks like she’s a New Yorker.  She’s created a billboard, and a sticker for electrical outlets.  Clever lady.



Nice use of the electrical cords and outlets to make a point, Ms. Liu.

Ummm… Ms. Liu?  Do you happen to have any ideas about what a Brammo logo might look like?  Sounds like the most recent attempt is meeting some resistance.


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