I’m off to a new chapter in life. After 7+ years of working with the state of Georgia, my family and I have moved to Seattle. Julia (my wife) took a job offer with HBO that, as the saying goes, we could not refuse. That places me in the hardly ever enviable category of what HR types call the “trailing spouse.” Fear not, lad, I say, this is not the first time, and you will figure it out.
Thanks to the team for a great send off, and for this funny poster with images including the Governor – Attorney General – publisher of Fortune magazine – Porsche test track – Chinese delegation – and a video shoot for a German investment video where I convinced a CEO to shoot a mountain biking scene with me. I especially like the “We Speak Buh-bye.” 😉
My latest video production is complete. It was quite a journey, but one that I thoroughly enjoyed. It is always fascinating to peer behind the curtain and see how global brands operate. But the best part is figuring out how best to tell their stories, and do it in a manner where the personality and the “real factor” shines through. This video is designed to be a handshake reaching across the globe to Japanese executives who are thinking about doing business in the United States. Even now, Georgia is home to more than 500 Japanese facilities employing over 30,000 Georgians.
Footage was captured at the JapanFest in Atlanta, the Cherry Blossom Festival in Macon, and company locations in Norcross, Peachtree City and Monroe. But the crux scene is at the restaurant. I was able to get each of the companies to Nakato, the oldest Japanese restaurant in Georgia, for a tatami-style dinner. Even the owners of Nakato, along with their daughter, joined us for a very special evening.
The culture and tradition of Japanese people is one of humility and respect, and it was an honor to work with all of the individuals it took to make this project a reality.
This is a project I worked on in conjunction with Dad’s Garage to bring a little fun and light to the competitive nature of economic development. The whole nation is competing for 50,000 jobs and the economic injection that come with Amazon’s second headquarters.
On the surface it would seem to be a relatively fun project to work on, and it was, but it was also fraught with ways to go terribly wrong. Any time you are taking jabs at your own city and state with good old sarcasm, it has the potential to go either way.
Certainly tested it on a variety of demographics and ethnicities before releasing. Fortunately, it was well-received.
The key was the redemption at the end that came from the dream sequence, and a little inspiration from Quentin Tarantino.
The launch was set to coincide with Christmas Eve, the same timeframe the original Scrooge goes through his transformation, and was coupled with a targeted Facebook spend both in the Seattle, Washington area as well as Metro Atlanta.
It is nearly impossible to move about Atlanta, or the majority of the state for that matter, without bumping into some aspect of Georgia’s creative economy. I’m not just talking about the High Museum, or the lesser known Michael C Carlos Museum on Emory’s campus, but everything from film to animation to street art and beyond.
This creative industry generates more than $29 billion of annual business revenue according to a 2012 study by South Arts, and it does not appear to be slowing down.
“From cutting-edge street art to community-inspired and public-transport projects, the arts scene in Atlanta is thriving.”
“Home to a number of significant cultural venues, Atlanta is a hotspot for contemporary art of all mediums and a fascinating destination in the heart of Georgia.”
The Culture Trip: “Atlanta’s 10 Best Contemporary Art Galleries: Profiling Georgia’s Culture”
“Where one might expect to see San Francisco or New York City at the top of this list, Atlanta was a little surprising; but when considering it ranked in the top 15 in all five of our categories, it was certainly deserved.”
For an upcoming Delta Sky issue I wanted to take a different approach to your typical B-to-B ad. For most metro Atlanta professionals there is more to Georgia than just ATL. On the weekends we are hitting the mountains, beaches, golf courses and soaking up that sweet southern charm and historical landmarks that no other state can replicate.
When a certain senior executive has a seat and pulls the Delta Sky from the front pocket for a flip, I hope this ad catches their attention for a moment or two and gives them pause. Should I relocate or expand to the state of Georgia? Quite clearly the answer is yes.