My new job at barre3

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It’s been nearly two-and-half years since I left my last Digital agency role. Since that time I spent a very enjoyable stint at Jawbone to help transition the Digital Marketing & Paid Media practices in-house and re-launch the UP3 fitness tracker. Despite the tough commute to San Francisco each week; the inspirational team at Jawbone together with a Wellness product, and mission I believed in, combined to make it a rewarding experience.

After finishing at Jawbone this time last year following a major transition for that business, I took some time to recharge and think about what was important for my next job. I knew that commuting to San Francisco wasn’t repeatable. And I knew that I didn’t want to go back into the Digital agency world.

At the top of my list was to find a great brand, in Portland, where I could continue my journey in the Fitness & Wellness sector; that started in Portland and continued through work at Jawbone and consulting assignments. My move to Portland in 2013 was focussed on creating a healthy-active lifestyle for my family. And over the past 3 years my life has moved more and more in that direction.

So this week I’m thrilled to take on a new role as Senior Director at barre3, a boutique Fitness studio with 140 locations across the USA, a retail brand and a digital media publishing business. barre3 is a mission-oriented brand that will benefit from my set of experiences. My remit is to lead the Digital business – including product development and consumer marketing. Over the coming months I’ll be working with a super smart team and the visionary founders, Sadie and Chris Lincoln.

We’re expanding the team at barre3, so if you are smart and passionate about the world of strength, balance, health and happiness – then have a look over the open positions and let’s talk!

Getting to Know YouTube

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I’ve really embraced the cinema this winter – such a great way to escape the dark and especially wet Portland winter we’ve had. One of my recent discoveries is Getting to know YouTube, an innovative format hosted in cinemas around Portland that brings strangers together to watch YouTube videos.

Community members are invited  by hosts Crystal Baxley and Stefan Ransom to give short 15 minute presentations about whatever they want as long as it uses YouTube in some way. Once presentations are complete the audience is encouraged to participate through a short Q&A with presenters and by sharing their own YouTube selections.

I love this format – so simple and yet so much fun to explore the depths of YouTube with a warm and curious group around you!

 

 

The Hateful Eight in ultra widescreen

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Quentin Tarantino’s film, The HateFul Eight, is the first film released in the 70mm format since 1966! This ultra widescreen format, called ultra panavision, is a favorite of film geeks since it showcases epic landscapes in extreme detail. Compared to 35mm film, ultra panavision is 1.5X as wide.

Not many filmmakers around today can hold your attention for 90 minutes – let alone 180. Quentin Tarantino is one of the few. I’ll keep it short and sweet: go see this in 70mm if you have the chance!

 

 

The 6th Annual One Motorcycle Show

If you were in Portland last weekend you may have been lucky enough to experience the One Motorcycle Show. Established in 2010 by event host, Thor Drake, the One Show has been crafted to “celebrate weird, rare and unconventional motorbikes.” And over the past six years the event has grown and moved from small to “big” spaces, this year the location was a 20,000 sq ft warehouse, with a strong feeling of machining and manufacturing, in Portland’s Eastside industrial area.

I’m not a biker and I had a great time at the event. My wife and I took our 4-year-old boy along and we discovered a wealth of authentic and inspirational custom designs; from choppers, to off-road bikes, to street bikes of Italian, English and Japanese origin.

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The people who attend make one of the best aspects of the event, a colourful mix of enthusiasts from the casual to the hardcore. We visited on Saturday morning and the event had a friendly community feeling. I spotted a well curated selection of Portland craft brands integrated into the event, including Danner boots, Poler outdoor stuff and Stumptown coffee.

Contagious lands in Portland

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Nick Parish is top row center, behind the pink stripes.

I recently caught up with Nick Parish, Editorial Director from Contagious, one my favorite publishers from London/UK and a long time collaborator on the Mobile Marketing report series. I was thrilled to learn that Nick has landed in Portland to set-up a West coast outpost for Contagious. I hope you’ll enjoy learning more in our chat below and humor me with your comments.

For those unfamiliar, tell me about Contagious and it’s purpose

Contagious helps brands and advertising agencies understand and adapt to shifts in marketing, consumer culture and technology. Whether it’s through our our I/O intelligence platform, our magazine or our award-winning Insider consultancy, Contagious’ core purpose is to make brands braver.

Tell me about your role for the US team

I’m Contagious’ editorial director on this side of the world (our headquarters is in London and we have offices in Singapore, Sao Paulo and New York) and I do a lot of thinking and writing on how the world is changing and culture is evolving and how ultimately we might want (or not want) brands to be involved, whether that’s by creating unique experiences or services or just entertaining stuff like films, or animated gifs.

Why have you targeted Portland for a West coast headquarters?

Portland’s a captivating place, for its progressive attitudes and how it values creativity and craft and its unique natural charms. When I’d come to visit I’d find the nondeterministic attitude toward the future really refreshing compared to the East Coast, there’s a feeling of ‘well, it doesn’t HAVE to be this way, let’s do it differently’ that is really liberating and exciting. We’re also closer to clients in California and Asia without having to be in those places.

What are your plans for the Portland office?

Well, I’m working now to get in touch with people who are doing interesting things and learning their stories, and hopefully featuring them in our magazine and on I/O. I’m hoping as we get bigger we can get a crew together to contribute local perspectives more consistently to our global audience, and helping bring that thinking to specific brand challenges. Portland is a city of great brands, and tons more are starting up all the time.

Are local events and conferences part of the plan for Portland?

Yes! I get a sense there’s a great community here, so supporting that with our point of view, or helping bolster that feeling of a community of creative people who care about communication is a big priority. Stay tuned!

As a transplant from NYC what have you been enjoying about life in Portland?

Oh man, what haven’t I enjoyed? It’s been great so far. Tons of things. Every day I find something new that’s perfect. Probably the least cool answer is mellow driving. I hadn’t owned a car in 15 years, so beginning to drive again made me a little anxious. Being able to cruise at the speed limit and not having people lay on their horns as they threw f-bombs has been pretty cool. And most of the time I just bike anyway, it’s much freer (and so much less harrowing than NYC).

What are you missing about NYC?

After a decade and a half the city kind of shrunk for me, so I’d run into friends all over the place, and that’s probably it. I miss friends. But I’ve already met a load of interesting friendly folks here, which is great.

And, well, there’s this. Sometimes in New York you’d look down and a slice of pizza would just appear in your hand and you’d be free to saunter around like Louis C.K. in the Louie intro. So I miss sauntering with pizza and waving to people. So if you see a guy wandering around with a slice, that’s probably me, so please wave.

1st Anniversary of my move to Portland

This month marks the first anniversary of my move to Portland, Oregon. Time flies and there’s been lots to enjoy over the past year.  Some of my favourite new discoveries have been:

1. The Oregon coast

2. The adult soapbox derby on Mt Tabor

3. 4th of July weekend at the St. Paul Rodeo

4. Cosmic Tubing on Mt Hood

5. The fruitloop of Hood River Valley