He’s done the road trip to Burning Man, high-fived runners at marathons, held babies, crashed Red Bull’s Crashed Ice, powered through Pride and been a big hairy deal at all sorts of Spyglass clients’ events and occasions. Now, his latest escapade includes a trip to the Grand Canyon that spanned over 1,600 miles of U.S. highways. As the Spyglass CEO (Chief Exuberance Officer) you’ll see he relishes every opportunity to pop-up in the most unexpected places.
See a few snapshots from BOY’s most recent trip
Need another reason to attend Burning Man 2015? Here’s one. Someone is outfitting an actual 747 Jumbo Jet carcass with everything needed to turn it into a passenger friendly art car designed to rove the playa. Have a look
Looks like we made it. Burning Man happened to us, and we definitely happened to Burning Man. It was an incredible adventure, and we already have our sights on next year. But what was it? What does it all mean for brands and business? Henry Fonda once said in some movie, “There can’t be any such thing as civilization unless people have a conscience.” Well, first and foremost, Burning Man represents a positive effort to understand what it means to have a conscience—about the planet, about creativity, about self and about connecting the dots to everyday life. It’s a gift society—not barter—people give knowing they get back—but not necessarily from you.
Top 3 things we learned about Burning Man and Brand
- Have a cause — a reason to exist beyond sales.
Do something that will have legitimate impact on the big picture. Something that people can gather around. That supports your brand mission. Otherwise you look like a commodity and a waste of space. That’s bad for business. People have choices and they are increasingly choosing brands that are out to change the world, even in some small way.
- Keep it real.
This one’s tough. Acting cool is never cool. People know fake when they see it. You need to dive in and interact with customers if you want any authenticity. To know thy brand self is to know thy customer. Rad language and posturing is no substitute for talking and acting like a human being who understands what people are up against. Self-deprecation is one way. There are others.
- Have fun.
Plot spoiler: we all die. Burning Man is about celebrating life and understanding it all goes too fast. And Burning Man culture is quickly becoming the new mainstream. You may scoff, but it’s true. Fortune 500 companies around the world are turning to the event, looking for answers to their biggest issues. What is an authentic experience? What are the turn-offs? How do you turn on society’s brightest minds and brand evangelists?
One thing you learn fast is it’s one big community. Everyone is so willing to help. When you are without — necessities break, stomachs growl — there is someone to give you a hand around every corner. An incredible community that is rife with goodwill, intelligence, experience and the best intentions. Even when your mojo is on the ropes, there is a vibe nearby that will pick you up. Here’s a great example that captures one essential essence of the Burning Man experience.
Read a short, but excellent explanation of why Burning Man wants to keep brands from commodifying the last non-commodified experience on earth.
Here’s a short Burning Man parable about the dehydration knockout punch and how a friendly sip of agua on the playa and can build a bond forever.
Excellent write up from The Atlantic about where gift culture and capitalism dovetail into the grand scheme of things. How do brands build relationships rather than simply push consumption? Plenty of brands trying to be real, have failed. What did they miss? It’s just one of the wonders Spyglass is hoping to gain insight into at Burning Man. What relationships matter here? What brand vibes prosper? We’ll keep you posted. In the meantime, this article is well worth the read. Nugget city.
Get a sneak peek behind the scenes and see the elusive Spyglass creature of mythic proportions—and how we plan to bring him to Burning Man. Accept it: Yetis are real, but better yet, Burning Man is right around the corner (Aug. 25) and you ain’t seen nothin’ Yeti!!
See some photos of the Yeti
Learn more about Burning Man