Monday, August 31, 2015

In-Between Days: Summerall

I have a toe in marketing (if you’ve got an actual foothold, call me!) and have recently realized that the kind of marketing I know how to do (copywriting, social media, public relations and that most scintillatingly nebulous of concepts, branding) isn’t all that different from blogging.  (Which, come to think of it, may be why I find blogging so vaguely embarrassing.  But that’s a post for another time.)

Marketing is value neutral until you are marketing Marlboros or McDonald’s and not necessarily pandering or obvious, silly or shrill.  When it’s done right, marketing is simply an effort to understand what people want, to determine where their interests overlap with what you have to offer (say a six-pack of microbrew IPAs or a reminiscence of Old Town alleyways) and then to communicate to them compellingly, in a manner they’re likely to appreciate.  Yo, you into wicked hoppy beer?  Excuse me, but are you intrigued by the historical picaresque?

Working with a wine & beer store this week, I noticed customers asking, with barely contained excitement, if we had the pumpkin ale yet (Yo), even as others were stocking up on rosé (Excuse me).  I thought of it as the eager-to-move-forward vs. the not-ready-to-let-go and decided that RIGHT NOW is the perfect time for both camps, as August creeps forward to quietly kiss September on the cheek, or – employing a more sporting metaphor – summer slides into fall and they tangle in a dusty cloud of Summerall.

And thus are marketing concepts/blog posts born. 

So much to love about Summerall!  Eighties days stripped of humidity, seventies nights hinting at sixties.  Unblemished skies (props to Stoppard) and glinting Magnolias.  Sienna leaves telling fortunes on a chalky green tennis court.  Dichotomies.  Relishing warmth and escape from the heat; embracing cool with no fear of cold.  Being staggered by the interplay of copper and blue, evergreen and gold, bright light and dark shadow.  You can breathe now, can’t you?

An espresso drunk on a half-shaded stoop in the Far West Village as treetop shadows play across your face.  A glass of Albariño at an impromptu lunchtime meeting with an old friend, window glowing with golden light, Federer smoothly striking winners on the TV over the bar.  A final trip to the beach, backpack filled with the August drug of choice:  the print fall preview.  

(This, by the way, is the ultimate Summerall Classic Movie.)

You do look back, at least as far of Memorial Day:  You never did try that new food truck with killer lobster rolls and you missed the only unmissable outdoor concert.  But there were a couple of perfect weekends anyway.  And you do look forward:  You are going to read so many great books this fall, and you are going to cook like a maniac.  Well, like Ina Garten, but consistently.  The point is that you won’t just work and watch bad new TV shows and lose every Sunday to football.  You’re going to do better.

This is Summerall in action, from recap to reckoning to resolution.

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