This section (Why I Do What I Do) will get back to the meaning of the term “blog.” For those who don’t know, the word “blog” is a derivative of the word “weblog” as in “web” + “log.” And the word “log” as defined in Oxford’s dictionary means an accounting of what happened as in a ship’ s log or a pilot’s log. Star Trek fans have heard of the ”captain’s log” as reported by Captain Kirk, or the “ship’s log” as reported by others: (Ex. “Ship’s log, stardate 2124.5. First Officer Spock reporting for Captain James Kirk.”)
What I’m getting at here is that the blogs we see to today aren’t really an accounting of what happened in a person’s life. Most blog posts and blogs themselves are really just free information. Don’t get me wrong here. I’m not complaining. I’m just pointed this out for clarity. However, in these blog posts there is no personal insight into the author’s life.
This category, “Why I Do What I Do,” here on my blog, will attempt to do just that. It will be sort of some kind of personal diary. (“Sort of?” “Some kind of?” Can I be any less committal?) Maybe, I will have few rants here and there. So, I will be “logging” about what my mission is. You can see I am setting the stage for what I am about to write.
I do what I do because it’s in my blood. When I was in high school I wanted to be in advertising really, really badly. Long before Mad Men, I imagined myself wearing black rimmed glasses like Rosser Reeves, working on Madison Avenue and having a martini or two.
In college at Tulane University, I took an advertising course—the only one they had (at the time). From that class I was hooked and I dreamed on making great ads like Volkswagen “Think Small,” and Avis “We Try Harder.”
I loved the creativity of advertising and the cleverness of it. My high school teachers often said I had great wit, which I associated with being quite clever.
How I Created Bud Light Lime
For one of the assignments in my advertising class back in 1989, I was tasked to come up with a product and write an advertisement for it. This was one of those assignments that one can get really excited about—kind of the like when Ralphie gets to write a theme about what he wants for Christmas in the famous movie A Christmas Story. It was that kind of excitement. The phrase “Oh, boy,” rang out in my many times head as my teacher explained what the assignment was about.
The project was to come up with a new product and create an advertising campaign around it. The product I came up with back in 1989 was lime beer. That’s right; I came up with lime beer long before Bud Light Lime came on the scene.
For me, it was a natural because Corona was really big when I was in college with the lime being served with every bottle of Corona beer. I loved Corona with the lime wedge because when I was eight years old, my family lived in Mexico for about two years, and we drank a lot of carbonated water which was usually ordered as “agua con gas.” And it almost always came with a lime. So the Corona served with lime really brought me back to Mexico when I was a kid.
As with all inventions, they usually start out with trying to solve a problem. At this point in college, my freshman year, I was hooked on Corona and getting my lime wedge. A couple of problems arose with this. Sometimes the bartender forgot the lime; the lime wouldn’t fit nicely in the bottle; and whenever I bought Corona for my home, I neglected to get a lime. How to solve this problem was my big dilemma. So, I came up with the idea of having the lime flavor already in the beer.
That was my idea, and my teacher thought it was genius. She talked about it a lot in class. I sometimes wonder if she thinks about it today, like I do—especially since the advent of Bud Light Lime.
My product name was called Finer Beer. I came up with the name “Finer” because it was supposed to be a premium brand at a premium price like Michelob. I guess I need to pause here and remind people that back in 1989 there were no (or at least very little) microbrews, and beer was sold at three price points. I can’t’ exactly remember what they were but it went something like this. Busch Beer was $1.50 a bottle at the bar. Budweiser was $2.00. And Michelob, sold as a premium beer, came in at $2.50.
My Finer Beer was to be sold at the $2.50 price point. It was also going to be sold in a four pack, kind of like Perrier. There was no four pack beers back in the day, and there was no Whole Foods etc.
With my paper outlining my product, I created a few ads, and I created them in MacPaint on my Macintosh 512K. There wasn’t too much “painting” going on with MacPaint, so I created all the characters and scenes pixel by pixel. This is where my visual creative side seeps out.
I also liked how fine rhymed with “lime,” so people would instantly recognize that Finer Beer was a premium beer that had a lime flavor.
This is my captain’s log to be filed under “Why I Do What I Do.”