Formula 1 CMO Michael Williams Be Like

November 18, 2013 — 0

There’s having a martini…and then there’s having a martini with the guy that’s about to bring Formula 1 racing to America.

I’m at The Lambs Club in Manhattan, having a drink with Michael Williams, former CMO of the NJ Devils, now the new CMO of Formula 1. Dude just walked me through the plan to bring racing’s highest form of art to Weehawken, NJ.

It’s tough to say what will have more impact — the sight or the sound or the culture itself. I sat there listening to Michael break it down for me, and I could feel it. To give a sense of how power-packed these vehicles are: if I were to step out of my Times Square office while the race was happening, I’d hear the roar from Jersey.

Red Bull put together this video to try and capture what Formula One will feel like, for those of of us who haven’t been to Monaco Grand Prix:

Now it’s just a question of who’s in and when this happens. I’m not even a true racing fan, but my money’s on 2015. And if half the shit Michael’s planning actually happens, this will be among the biggest and most disruptive sporting events we’ve seen in a long, long time.


Another Reason I’m Betting On Millennials & GM

January 30, 2012 — 0

Millennials are lapping the rest of us, and they’re transforming our cars as they pass. From design to performance, infotainment to fractional ownership, the largest generational cohort in American history is engineering the changes it can’t wait for anymore.

Via PSFK, here’s a project that challenged college students to reimagine the backseat entertainment experience of GM cars. Remember, these are the very kids who grew up in the back seat, bored and waiting for us to make it more fun.


Scratch At The 2012 Detroit Auto Show

January 22, 2012 — 0

I promised myself I would write down, at some point, what it felt like to sit in the crowd at the Detroit Auto Show and watch General Motors take its first huge (public) steps towards Millennials.

This isn’t that post in a cogent form, but I can’t help sharing how proud I am of my team for its groundbreaking work.  The results speak for themselves.  So much is happening so fast, I hope by putting a snaptshot down here I might remember what it felt like.  That simple. 

There, on the big blue stage, was GM’s North American President, Mark Reuss, followed by Global Youth Marketing Head, John McFarland — our friends, partners and clients — explaining how the automaker’s work with Scratch has informed design, engineering and marketing decisions across the company.

And there was Anne Hubert, who runs our consulting practice, up on the huge screen, championing the very generation that is right now transforming the auto industry, forever.

When I turned around to see if anyone was actually paying attention, this is what I saw:

Baller!  And my stupid bberry cam could only capture a fraction of the global press barrage.

Throughout the day, like a feed, friends and colleagues sent us links to all the press mentioning our work with GM, many with lines like GM gets help from MTV to woo millennials; GM built the concepts after interviewing high schoolers, college students and young professionals, with the help of MTV’s Scratch division, which targets millennials; and The design was done with the aid of MTV Scratch.

Here are but a few:


What’s more, a slew of mainstream and auto media picked up on the dramatic shift in GM’s approach, and celebrated it with headlines like:

  • “GM knows that striking a chord with the youngest generation of new-car shoppers—the under-30 crowd, or Millennials—is imperative for the brand’s future growth.”
  • “Chevrolet MyLink democratizes infotainment, coming to 2013 Sonic and Spark”
  • “Chevy aims for millennial market with two concepts”
  • “Chevrolet aims 2 concept cars at Millennials”
  • “General Motors takes aim at first-time vehicle buyers”
  • “Chevy’s latest concepts — crafted by the kids” 


Yes, we’re just getting started.  But I remember when Carlo DiMarco told me in an elevator once how sad it is that we don’t take a moment to enjoy the moments.  Carlo, you were right.  Tonight I’m sitting here with a bottle of wine and a pile of insights on a generation I’m in love with.  Taking a moment to let at least some of this seep in.