Archive for January, 2014
It’s 2014 already for the UK but that doesn’t stop London from celebrating Chinese New Year, which takes place today, January 31. Based on the lunar and solar calendar, Chinese New Year varies but fortunately for us here in London it is TODAY. London hosts the next biggest celebration, only to Asia and is considered to be one of the most colorful celebrations in the UK. Each year the holiday is celebrated with an animal of the zodiac and this year ends the year of the Snake and begins the year of the Horse. Like MKTG INC the horse is said to represent “making unremitting efforts to improve themselves. It is energetic, bright, warm-hearted, intelligent and able.”
The festivities begin on February 2nd with a parade throughout central London. We all know what UK and US New Year’s celebrations are like, but this is on a whole other level. With fireworks, acrobats, music, magic, food and much more, 2014 will surely be celebrated the only way they know how…BIG!
The Fit Expo Southern California is a festival hosting a line-up of fitness, physique, martial arts and strength contests. Now in its 11th year at the Los Angeles Convention Center, The Fit Expo attracted over 48,000 attendees to experience the latest and greatest in fitness equipment, sports nutrition, health products, sports apparel and personal care products. With attendance continually expanding (increase of 11,000 from last year), the Fit Expo has become a hub for niche fitness brands to gain exposure to their target demographics.
Mary’s Gone Crackers, providing gluten-free, organic & vegan products, truly found a market in fitness that is working in the company’s favor. Consumers heavily invested in having a healthy lifestyle are looking for ways to snack healthy. Mary’s Gone Crackers was able to provide a sampling experience at The Fit Expo, where attendees swarmed to enjoy “guilt-free” crackers, cookies and pretzels.
In addition, attendees were able to enjoy a giveaway, where they could “buy” a box of crackers in return for a Like on Facebook.
The inspiring tagline, “You’ll never forget your first bite” left a great impression with attendees to venture into the closest organic retail store to purchase the great-tasting snacks.
Blue Monday, which fell on the 20th of January, has been dubbed the most depressing day of the year. It’s allegedly the day when people give up on their New Year’s resolutions and get back to their old habits. Luckily, this year New York and DC modern girls of fitness were given the opportunity to get after their fitness goals with Nike Training Club and a week of daily doubles. There were daily morning workouts with the N+TC app, afternoon workouts at the trendiest studios in each city, and rewards for all the participants such as blowouts or pedicures. It’s safe to say these women were pampered.
To top the week off, on Saturday night in New York City, the NTC took over the American Museum of Natural History Hall of Ocean Life, aka the Whale Room. Nearly 200 ladies experienced A Night at the Museum as they took on a 45-minute NTC workout led by two Nike master trainers – Rebecca Kennedy and Traci Copeland. As the workout wrapped, the exhibits surrounding the giant blue whale lit up and Prosecco was passed. The perfect celebration to end an epic week.
When I started telling people we were going to Tahiti, “That sounds amazing – where is that?” was a common response. Full disclosure, I needed a geography lesson too. So … Tahiti is the largest of 130 French Polynesian islands and sits right in the middle of the Pacific, eight hours SW of Los Angeles and 6 hours from New Zealand. The islands were formed by volcanic activity, so they very much resembled Hawaii – with excellent beaches and tall, sharp peaks and rain forest inland. My wife Michelle and I planned three days on the island of Moorea and three on neighboring Tahiti.
When we arrived in Moorea, we were welcomed by Johnny, and during the 30-minute ride to our hotel, we quickly learned that you can call Johnny for everything. Snorkeling, skydiving, RTVs, jet skis, restaurants – anything. The island has one road that circles the island for the 17,000 people who live there, so it’s no surprise that a person like Johnny would know everyone.
Coral reefs protect the island from waves, creating a lagoon of calm water right up to the beach with amazing ocean views. Looking out and seeing nothing but water makes you realize that you really are in the middle of the Pacific – flash back to LOST. If you ever find yourself here, I recommend watching as many sunsets as you can, they are simply amazing.
Our first activity was the highlight of the trip: the Dolphin Center at the Intercontinental. We booked 30 minutes with a trainer and were excited to get up close with a dolphin. The trainer took the first 10 minutes showing us what dolphins can do, including a jump right above our heads. We then swam, one at a time, next to the dolphin with our hand on her dorsal fin. He blew the whistle and the dolphin dove six feet under the water with us in tow for about 100 feet to another trainer. We were lucky enough to do this twice. It was a bucket list item that Michelle and I happily got to cross off.
We hopped a ferry to spend the next three nights on Tahiti, in the town of Pape’ete. The resort overlooked Moorea, about 11 miles off shore with a sunset that provided a surreal view each night. Tahiti is much bigger than Moorea, but like all the islands, most people live within a mile of the water, leaving the interior untouched and full of rainforest. During our jeep tour and our hike into the interior, it was mostly sunny along the coast but the clouds would just sit in the middle of the island and like clockwork, start to gently rain in the late afternoon. Along our adventure, there were plenty of waterfalls off the cliffs and plenty of green with low lying clouds.
Each night a dozen food trucks (Roulottes) gather in the center of town near the ferry docks. They set out tables and serve excellent street food, probably the best meal we had on our trip. After skimming menus, we settled for Chinese at one truck then jumped to another to get a crepe for dessert.
We wrapped up an amazing trip with the cliché coconut drinks by the pool before our flight home (couldn’t leave the island without it). Looking back, there are so many fantastic pictures to share and so much more to tell. The trip was an amazing experience that I probably wouldn’t have had if not for MKTG Rewards. Thank you to everyone at MKTG INC, I couldn’t be more grateful.
Photo Credit: http://science.dodlive.mil
For several days now, most of the country has looked like the planet Hoth from “The Empire Strikes Back.” Not only are we in the midst of our coldest winter in 20 years, but we’re experiencing something that can only be described as a weather phenomenon.
Enter: The Matrix…I mean, the vortex. Polar Vortex, that is.
Sounds like the invention of corny science fiction, doesn’t it? We wish it was, because this arctic cyclone has turned a massive portion of the United States into a scene from “The Day After Tomorrow,” with wind chills pulling temperatures as low as 50 below zero in some regions. The midwest is bearing the brunt as heavy snow and skin-freezing temperatures (literally) have forced cities and towns to close their doors and hunker down.
Needless to say, this hasn’t exactly been a walk in the parka, and we hope you’re staying safe and using your best judgement before driving, commuting, shoveling…or any other seemingly simple task made exponentially more treacherous by the elements.
So unless you’re Mr. Freeze, Frosty or the Abominable Snowman himself, don’t be a hero. Bundle up, crank that heat and enjoy the simple comforts of warmth.
Time to wrap this up…my hands are cold.
2013 was a big year for MKTG INC London – new faces, new business, and a new office space. We’re now very excited for what 2014 has in store.
Here are some highlights of what’s going on across the pond:
It’s only fitting that the London team keep true to the British spirit by setting up camp in what was once a pub – The Jolly Coopers.
Nestled on the corner of a cobbled street and surrounded by some of the oldest buildings in London, MKTG INC LDN is pretty serious about this whole old English charm thing. There’s still some work to be done to make it home sweet home, but we are definitely settling nicely into our new office!
Along with our new digs, there are a lot of new and exciting opportunities happening for the London team at the moment.
In November, we set out with one of the world’s biggest Football (Soccer) Clubs, Manchester United, on the a 6-month global Trophy Tour. MKTG INC will cross 4 continents, traveling 96,000 km to 31 cities with a super smart, portable museum showcasing the Premier League trophy and club artifacts.
So far the team has hit Santiago, Chile and Mexico City as well as the recent Asian leg of the tour, which finished in Hong Kong. Coming up in mid-January, India is next!
Last month, we wrapped up the year with our Lumberjack themed holiday party and got to spend some quality team bonding time over a couple games of Moosical Logs. I’m telling you, nothing brings great minds together like a campfire sing-a-long. While that statement might not be 100% true, I can say without a doubt that the MKTG INC London team could not be more excited for what is to come in 2014.
MKTG INC NY revived Warhol’s Factory party at its Warholiday last Thursday. Pop art images were hung around the wall and the iconic silver balloons drifted across the ceiling. It almost felt like Warhol was there as partygoers wore blonde and brightly colored wigs at the photo booth. Of course, the Factory won’t be complete without art– partygoers created personalized pop art holiday cards to send to family and friends.
The Warholiday truly lived up to the legendary Silver Factory!
SAN FRANCISCO | LA
MKTG INC SF & LA took their party to Neverland!
The SF office spent the evening with MKTG INC LA and members of the Diageo team aboard Forbes Island- a floating island located off of San Francisco’s Pier 39. The night was full of great food, plenty of drinks and exceptional company. It was the perfect way to send off 2013 as we head in to the New Year.
Chicago’s finest celebrated the end of another great year at the local speakeasy, Green Door Tavern. While some city folk don a suit or dress and go to a gala, we decided to get in touch with what makes this city so great: good people, a nice cocktail and a roaring fire. We drank, we ate, we laughed, and most importantly we didn’t walk more than a block in the cold. And of course there was the white elephant where we continued the annual tradition of swapping different types of booze. ‘Twas a classy christmas soiree.
MKTG INC x PLATTERFORM: LUMBERJACK CHRISTMAS
Date: Monday, 9th December
Location: Skylodge @ The Hothouse, 274 Richmond Road, London, E8 3QW
Blow-torched marshmallows and hot rum-cider toddies welcomed the MKTG INC London team upon arrival to the Skylodge – a pop-up experiential dining haven set up by the culinary creative collective, Platterform.
After a few rounds of nine-inch nail banging, (one of many lumberjack games in store for the night) a spread of “Lumbersnacks” began a 4-course feast. Mac’n’Cheese, Maple Hot Wings, and Baby Back Ribs were among the appetizers, so needless to say the team had some calories to work off. Luckily there was an intense game of “Moosical Logs” yet to be played.
However first, MKTG INC enjoyed a beautiful campfire acoustic set by London band, Fawn, while snuggled up in blankets during the final course: a maple and berry pancake dessert. Guest appearances were made by the Abominable Snowman and a strange lion before the end of the night when all the little lumberjacks went home to hang up their plaid shirts.
LUMBERJACK XMAS: A SUCCESS.