A Dude In a Diaper

Do I have a special viewing experience for you! But first, the set-up…

 

As I strive to make a name for myself in the entertainment industry, there seems to be one word I keep coming back to: memorable. There are lots of people who want to make it big in Hollywood, but how do they set themselves apart from everyone else? One of the best opportunities I’ve had to practice memorability at Fisher so far has been the Procter & Gamble case competition.

If you’re unfamiliar with what a case competition is, think of it as a campaign pitch. Company representatives give you fictional or recent scenarios their company has been involved in– and you and your team are tasked with coming up with a solution and pitching that solution. In the case of P&G, we had to figure out how to recapture Luvs’ market share from competitor Pampers.

For someone with marketing experience, I’m sure their mind was racing with a million ideas from the moment they heard what the problem was. My mind couldn’t stop thinking of the image of a dude in a diaper. I thought it would be funny – especially since Luvs has already used campaigns that rely more on humor than heart – but I was worried that my idea would just be too out there. However, when the Luvs representative said, “Feel free to be provocative,” it was like someone had handed me a blank check. The moment my team and I got together, I posited, “Wouldn’t it be funny if we found a way to put a full-grown man in a diaper?” And, well, the rest was history.

Everyone loved the idea and we came up with a slogan “#Luvsforlife” that wanted to sell the idea that despite being the value brand, Luvs were the most durable and long-lasting diapers on the market. To represent this idea, the “Dude In a Diaper” ad was born. The commercial would start with Mom putting baby in a diaper and 30 years later, baby is still wearing that diaper while putting its durability to the test (now baby is rock-climbing or fighting fires).

Being the showman that I am, I convinced my team to shoot a sample commercial to show as part of our pitch. Check it out:

https://youtu.be/_WSYTflb9ws

When it came time to present, I checked my dignity and remembered that I had none left, so I donned a diaper over my pants and the “Dude In a Diaper” was ready to pitch.

Over the course of the two-day competition, I got to hone my skills in a lot of areas: how to create a well-rounded product in a short amount of time, balancing team contributions and workloads, creating memorable ideas. We didn’t win the competition, but there wasn’t a single P&G employee who didn’t come up to us and complement us on our idea and our audacity. I didn’t take home and award, but I’m sure the image of me in a diaper went home with each and every one of them.

And in the end, isn’t that what being memorable is all about?

“Swallow the Fire Hose”

Firehose
When your professor walks in on the first day of class…

Brace yourself.

The floodgates will open. The levees will break. You will be hit full force with the unstoppable torrent of knowledge that is the first week of class at Fisher.

Look, I love it here at OSU. It’s a beautiful cocoon that enwraps you and spits you out two years later as a beautiful Buckeye. But it is not for the faint of heart. This ain’t undergrad anymore, baby! You’re going to be thrown headfirst into the water and you’re going to have to learn to swim whether you’re ready or not.

I’ll be honest with you; by the end of my first week, I started to feel like it might all be too much for me. By the time I walked into my first class on my first day of school, I was ALREADY behind on school work. By the end of my first day, I had five chapters and four articles I had to read. By the end of the first week, I was starting to panic.

And this was just the first week. I hadn’t been introduced to the student organizations. I hadn’t even started working my assistantship. How could this much work possibly be done by a single person?

Sleep
When I was asked why I turned in a copy of my fourth-grade diary instead of my paper.

You know what, though? Another week has gone by and I’m still here. And you will be, too.

It’s not easy here. It’s not even close to easy. But you’re a businessperson. You don’t like easy. You’re not giving up a job, time with your family, two whole years of your life for easy. You’re doing it because you will learn. You will learn how to lead. You will learn how to succeed. You’ll even learn how to learn.

You’ll turn that deluge into your refuge.

Better the Devil You Know…


In the weeks leading up to my arrival at OSU, I was filled with a potent mix of anticipation and anxiety.

The anticipation came from the nerdy schoolboy in me jumping for joy at the prospect of being back in a classroom. “Imagine all I’ll get to learn!” “I wonder what interesting people I’ll meet!” “I can’t wait for football games!”

The anxiety came from my inner skittish recluse pulling his hair out at the prospect of being back in a classroom. “What if I can’t keep up with what they’re teaching?” “What if people don’t think I’m interesting?” “I don’t even like sports!”

I suppose this anxiety would be a little more palpable if I explained my background. I graduated with a Bachelors of Fine Arts from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts’ School of Filmmaking in 2014 with a focus on film directing. I moved back home to Youngstown, OH after graduation where I did a mix of videography, editing, volunteering at a ballet company, participating in community theater both on- and off-stage and working a variety of part time gigs. I decided an MBA was the right choice after my experiences told me that my passion for film had grown to all arts. I decided I wanted to be the guy who could talk to the stuffy suits as well as the airy artists.

image
My mom made me take this photo!

No time in a big corporation. No use of what math skills I had. No sports. Does that anxiety make sense now?

Fast forward two weeks and that potent mix has been replaced with something much more powerful.

Coming back to school has felt more like a coming home. I had been to OSU only twice before, but within 48 hours, I felt like a prodigal son returned to his joyous father. Being here has felt like digging an old baseball glove out of a dusty attic and finding that it still fits after all this time (sports!).

I don’t know what a pivot table is or what exactly a consultant does, but orientation at Fisher has made me feel like I’m going to be the best businessman the world has ever seen. The faculty and upperclassmen have not been stingy in telling me how hard I’m going to have to work to make it through the next two years, but without attending a single class yet, they’ve managed to make me feel like I’ve learned a lifetime’s worth of information.

image
My core group and I during our preterm scavenger hunt.

Adoration has replaced anticipation and until class starts, the anxiety still exists. Now, though, I know better what I’m getting myself into. I know who to turn to for help. I know what boundless resources I have at my disposal. I know who Urban Meyer is (sports!!).

I feel I’m staring into the abyss and the abyss is staring back, hungry. You know what I have to say to it, though?

Bring it.