Heading home from New York yesterday was bittersweet. Intuit could not have been a more gracious host, but it feels right to leave behind all that rattled-up crazy from the parties, whirlwind sightseeing and media hoo-ha.
MEDIA: It started with Fox News Business, an interview I had to do alone as Jason was still snared in snow-panicked Atlanta.
Arriving at the 45-story skyscraper in Manhattan, we emerged from our small fleet of black Escalades (itself a bit unnerving). That’s when I started second guessing my outfit. I’d ironed my best canvas Dickies jacket for the affair and I’m pretty convinced I was wearing the only non-black garment in a six-mile radius of Times Square.
I’m also sure I came off too bubbly. This is my over-caffeinated, default TV-persona that conveys how dang HAPPY I am to talk about hens on pasture. You see the chickens exercise! & eat grass! & lay eggs with less fat! Praise be & Alleluia!
It’s the opposite of deer in the headlights; it’s deer charging the glowing orbs and leaping over the hood to clear the roof of that oncoming sedan. (I suppose there are worse things, but really, would a little poise kill me?)
Fortunately, I had new my buddies with me.
We truly enjoyed meeting the other finalists. Like us, they’re all small business owners and though our products are all over the board – from poop to pup treats to plastic toys – we all understand what it means to put it all on the line.
Plus the Intuit staff and PR firm were a fun lot, too.
THE PARTY: Of course, the Super Bowl viewing party, hosted on the rooftop terrace of the fashionable Gramercy Park Hotel, was posh. I know this because in addition to Reality TV star Bill Rancic and a small bevy of models in attendance, there was an ice sculpture. (Who doesn’t love an ice sculpture?)
Plus, Lucie was treated to professional hair and makeup. Jason declined.
OPENING THE MARKET: But the trip’s true sleeper event came the next morning as we participated in ringing the NASDAQ bell. Turns out little in our lives, primarily focused on tending chickens, children and business, remotely prepared us for the spectacle.
It was exhilarating.
After a couple rousing speeches about entrepreneurism and its indisputable benefit to the American economy, the ceremony – and I do not use the word lightly– the ceremony involved a crescendo of hysterical applause fueled by uplifting musical fanfare as a countdown clock ticked down. And we clapped.
We applauded as though not only Tinker Bell’s existence depended on it, but somehow every small business everywhere. Jason whapped our egg cartons together over his head like stadium noisemakers until the last frenzied second bottomed to zero and Intuit CEO Brad Smith slapped the yellow-rimmed screen, officially opening the market. The room burst in celebration as trading began around the world.
Pictures of Intuit’s Small Business Big Game finalists were taken at the podium (Others who stood there before us include Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates of Microsoft to name a couple) then these photos were beamed onto a three-story electronic billboard in Times Square. We enjoyed our four seconds of being larger than mostly naked David Beckham (lower right). And I’m not going to lie; it was heady fun.
Now that the NASDAQ actually fell that day, well, maybe Intuit CEO Brad Smith pushed the opening button too hard? Hard to tell.
WHILE in NYC…in addition to all the TV-inspired sightseeing (Ghostbusters, Sex in the City, 30 Rock and Elf) we also meet with an employee of the excellent Vital Farms – pasture egg producers in the south. It was not coffee with a competitor, but a chance to chat up a friend in the industry. We hope that our saying the term pasture-raised as often as we have during this Small Business Big Game competition has helped their business, too – and all small farmers across the U.S.
SO… OUR COMMERCIAL!
As Runner-Up and finalist, we have won a professionally produced commercial. Next week we’ll be starting conversation with ad agency RPA. (You can see some of their hilarious ads HERE.)
Our TV-spot is slated to air nationally on Fox Sports – as well as in local markets, yet to be determined. Locally Laid’s LoLa could be on screen as early as May.
And I’m super jazzed. We’ve gotten just a taste of the creative work RPA can do and honestly, I’m sure our commercial will be winsome and witty and true to us.
And all of it is because of you.
Have ideas for our commercial? Drop me an email at [email protected]
Lastly, thanks to our friends for coming out in the late, cold night to welcome home as returning heroes. A Dixie cup of champagne never tasted better.