Tuesday, October 22, 2013

I Am Not One Of Jerry's Kids

In The Surfer's Guide To Marketing, I try to keep it entertaining and light by telling several humorous stories that have happened throughout my career.   While I end up as the punch line in most of them, the readers love to hear the crazy tales and humorous anecdotes that have occurred across the last few decades of my work.

And one of my favorite tales involves the legendary radio personality and Top 40 icon, Casey Kasem.  We all grew up on his countdown and he has been a legend in the industry across TV (as the voice of Shaggy on Scooby-Doo) and radio since well before I was born.  While I've had the pleasure of working with literally hundreds of celebrities, athletes, etc. and devote an entire chapter in the book to utilizing STARFISH (celebs) to drive your messaging, my all-time greatest celebrity encounter story with Casey is without a doubt "Number 1 on the List".

In the chapter on ENVIRONMENTALISTS, we discuss how cause marketing and philanthropy is the duty and responsibility of any forward-thinking brand.  I am a huge believer in charity and doing goodwill (if nothing else to offset the karma of a lifelong smart-alec).  There are so many good things a brand can gain while providing resources, awareness, and support to numerous philanthropic interests.  And having grown up with my mother serving in leadership roles with the Muscular Dystrophy Association, it was a natural fit for me to see charity as a tool to accomplish positive results in both the business world and the humanitarian world.

About a decade ago, after helping to organize a charity dinner for MDA featuring star athletes who made up the MDA "Muscle Team," I was asked to present the large novelty check of the proceeds during the Jerry Lewis Labor Day Telethon.  Along with my proud mom, I made my way to the local Los Angeles television studio (KCAL 9) to present the check live on-air.  That's when I met the legendary DJ and host of the local telethon, Mr. Kasem.  And while I had visions of grandeur on my mind as I made my way on stage (ok, I was hoping to just remember my line and not fall down), it was a nervous moment being on-air.  Remember, as a 6'5" gorilla in a china shop, I was always just a slight trip or bad turn away from knocking over the set, tote board, and Jackie Johnson!

Fortunately, with just mere seconds to go before we went live on the air, Casey was able to distract me and make me forget that I was about to go on in front of millions of viewers... BY CONFUSING ME WITH ONE OF JERRY'S KIDS!!!  For the complete hilarious tale and more like it, you know what to do...

Pick up a copy of The Surfer's Guide To Marketing.  Good luck Casey and know that you will always have a special place at the top of my embarrassing countdown.

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