I have the best job in the world.
I get to make something out of nothing.
Or, in this case, something out of sausage.
Shiner Smokehouse got it’s roots in a little meat market in Shiner, Texas back in the 1930’s. And if you don’t know, Shiner, Texas is a berg an hour or so southeast of Austin. Nice place. Not much there other than the Shiner Beer brewery and you can find Shiner beer in the strangest places.
So when the good folks at Shiner Smokehouse were shopping for an agency, they called several shops in Austin, including Envision Creative. I’ve been a Creative Director in Residence with Envision for some time now and they knew I’d have a blast with this.
We met with Shiner and asked a lot of questions. We looked at the sausage market and the competitors and then I went off to The Fortress of Solitude (ok, my back deck) and started sketching up ideas.
Pretty quickly, I had a whole pad full. Big drawings on sheets of cheap newsprint paper. We called Shiner back and asked if they could come in the next day… We had something to show them that would make them forget the other agencies.
It worked. They loved the ideas.
Even with my lousy drawings and big scratchy headlines… Felt pen on newsprint paper… They recognized the future of their brand. They saw how these ideas would set them apart from all the other tubular meat products in the marketplace. They visualized a brand people could love and laugh with and feel good about buying and throwing on the grill on a hot Saturday afternoon.
On our part, it was a gamble but not much of one. We knew that if they saw how we think, they’d want us on the team. The other agencies had to move on in life, one less great client they can talk about at happy hour and we started work. This piece is one of the first of MANY ideas we’ll be executing and we’ll be loving every minute of it. We’ve got a bunch of Shiner sausage in the fridge and a grill in the courtyard for more inspiration.
That’s the great thing about my job. In the morning, I’m working for a sausage company. In the afternoon I’m working for a database company. Then a little break to work for an electric car consortium in New Zealand. Then on to rebranding an enterprise software company. And for dessert, a little more sausage company.
It’s the perfect life for a guy with a short attention span and the constant, nagging feeling that there must be a better way to sell something.
So now, after a bit of writing and a cup of coffee, I’m off to build a brand for a top-secret-sign-the-NDA kinda startup. It won’t be sausage, but I’ll get back to that for dessert later this afternoon.