Ready to Launch

May 5, 2014


Wyoming, Ohio (yes, there is a Wyoming, Ohio) is a community of old homes, tall trees, multi-generation families, increasing (yet not enough) diversity and some of the best public schools in the country.  This is the place that reared me.  It was one of those places that one was “itching” to leave by age 18 and professed to never come back.  It was boring, safe and our parents liked it.

Wyoming is a classic American neighborhood. The lush trees have deep roots. Kids walk to school.   Everyone plays tennis and still knows their prom dates. It is small.

So small.

In Wyoming one learns the lesson of small. Pre social media we all knew that we lived in a fish bowl and that our behavior followed us.  In hindsight — a good lesson to learn – early.

Year’s after my 1981 departure, life got complicated and busy.  And, with little notice, we brought our two daughters back (to Wyoming) to complete their schooling.   If there were a class vote, back in the early 80’s that said “least likely to return”,  I might have been elected.   My own daughters got to live in the smallness with social media knocking on the other door. And then a mom who specializes in reputation management – behavior mattered.

Yet, in Wyoming, where we all know one another’s business, there is hardly a need to learn vital facts from Facebook – just take a jaunt down the street. Most of what is vital – can be found within a few short blocks. Wyoming is basic. And easy.

A recent Madman displayed a discourse about creativity versus the hard metrics of media buys.  The Harry Hamlin character claimed that it shouldn’t really be all about the creative and the magic – but also about the data and the numbers.

This is NOT what certain agency folk like to hear.  Many assume that if we can just be clever enough and channel our creative genius then the public will be moved by our prowess.  Yet, there is that thing that we can quantify.  That thing about measurement, good sense and hard numbers.

Clients trust us when their products sell.

There is that predictability about a little burb called Wyoming, Ohio – that offers some raw beauty – and a sense of a certain future and purpose.  Parents know that their offspring will launch well.

Or as my mom reminded me once – when I was on top of the profession and running with the big dudes – that she too had options to be other places, to do other things – but the simplicity of this kind of place worked.

Living in a fishbowl teaches a child how-to-be and why it matters.  It is behavioral psychology at its most basic. And often the consumer – that guy or girl who is making the buying decision – goes back to the basics.  What works? What is the truth?  What goes the distance with me?

It’s not often until we wander far – that the path is clear.

We are leaving Wyoming for what I know will be the final time.  The kids launched well. They might have been bored – but they got what they needed.  The ease and tranquility of this little place served its purpose – it was a good buying and life decision – aligned.

The measurement worked. This was not the flashiest decision – albeit a smart one.

And the smart ones are – in the advertising world — those that work and deliver.  Sometimes the practical and more mundane choice works. Sometimes it does not.  Yet there are some gambles not worth any amount of risk.

There are times for dreams, creative chops and compelling content.

We move onward and like our performer of the moment Passenger said “hoping one day you make a dream last.”