Years ago, Darryl Ohrt used to read tons of newspapers, trades and blogs. He sent the interesting, relevant stuff to clients and friends. Later, he realized that a lot of that content might be helpful to all his clients. So Brand Flakes was born.
Brand Flakes For Breakfast is written for marketing and brand managers who don’t have time to keep up with the blogosphere. And Darryl knows what brand managers want to read because he is one. Darryl is brand manager and founder of Plaid, a Danbury, CT-based design and brand agency that loves emerging media and mingles with celebrities. The blog features marketing-related news that might ordinarily get lost in the shuffle, cool ads to inspire and just plain fun stuff to help make boring days brighter.
I asked Darryl a few questions – some standards and some oddballs – to dig a little deeper and give readers the inside scoop on Brand Flakes For Breakfast, No. 138 on the Power 150 global ranking of marketing blogs (May 29, 2007). Here is your Power Profile on Brand Flakes’ Darryl Ohrt:
How would you describe your blog to your mom?
It’s a website, where people can go to find cool stuff that’s going on in our industry, or our company. A great place to learn, or be inspired, creatively. And a good place to waste otherwise productive time.
How does your blog fit in with your business?
We’ve intentionally kept the self promotion very, very light. Who wants to hear about another design/branding firm bragging about themselves? Instead, when we talk about Plaid, it’s usually poking fun of someone on staff, or sharing some of the fun things that we get to do, that you can’t do as a marketing manager in cubicle-land. They love that stuff. And it does work on a self promotional level, too. We’ve found that BrandFlakes helps existing clients bond with us – kind of like having a window into their agency. It’s also brought business to our door. Potential clients can see what kind of an agency we are – and if they like our blog, they’re going to love the real thing. . Now, when we meet with clients for the first time, it’s like they already know us.
With our company’s re-branding to Plaid, we realized that there’s also an audience that wants to hear more about life at a small agency. So we just launched a new blog, http://blog.thinkplaid.com, that’s all about what’s happening at our firm. We also integrated the feed into our firm’s site, www.thinkplaid.com. It’s still in it’s infancy, but we’ve built a small audience that really digs it.
What two blogs do you read most often?
I love all blogs evenly.
How many hours a week do you spend blogging?
I spend about 2 hours each night reading blogs, and looking for cool stuff to write about. I’d do this even if I didn’t blog. I then spend about an hour each morning writing posts.
How long do you expect to continue blogging? What’s your end game?
Wow. Does it have to end? Why? Who says?
What non-blog websites and publications do you read?
Wired Magazine, Communication Arts, How Design and Transworld Business off the top of my head. Geez, I used to read at least 15 magazines. Now it’s down to about five or seven.
What is your full time job?
I’m the founder of Plaid (www.ThinkPlaid.com) – the most wonderous design and branding firm in all of the land.
Have you launched anything viral? Results?
Ha. We’ve launched a couple of things. Probably the most famous was our greeting card from a couple of years ago. www.AchristmasGory.com. It got featured on BoingBoing (amongst many others) and we could barely keep up with bandwidth. I still see people refer to it. Last year, we launched www.SantaHunters.com. Also very popular, but nothing compared to Christmas Gory. Oh yeah. And we’ve produced quite a few success stories for clients, too.
What cell phone do you use? Who is your service provider? How would you rate them?
Motorola Razr, ‘broken’ by Verizon. But I really, really, really want an iPhone.
What kind of computer/set-up do you run at home?
At home, I work off a MacBook Pro laptop. LOVE it. We run two wifi networks at our house – and have one additional Mac (an older G4), a PC, Xbox 360, Wii and Nintendo DS, all connected. I can’t wait for the day when internet is in my car.
What is your next big technology purchase going to be?
I’m really, really, really hoping to get an iPhone. But I’m stuck in a Verizon contract for the next year, so I’ve got to figure this out somehow.
Favorite food to eat (or beverage to drink) while you blog?
I live for Mexican. But right now, I’m eating Twizzlers and Diet Pepsi. I guess one offsets the other. Or something. I would kill for some gummy bears right about now.
What one thing would you change about your blog if you had the time?
I’d write more editorial style stuff. Not enough space to explain here, but let’s just say it would be the most awesome blog anywhere, but I’d be out of a job because it would take too much time.
What other hobbies do you have?
I am an internet-aholic. Really. But I do get outside, and like mountain biking. And I just started running, to try and get rid of some blog-fat. And I like shopping for shoes like a little girl.
Tell us something interesting about yourself that your readers don’t already know.
People always think that I’m gay. I must give off awesome gaydar. Even gay guys think I’m gay. I’m not. I’ve ended up in some really hilarious situations as a result of it. It’s a good thing that I’m married, or I’d have a tough time finding a girl.
What famous person do you most look like?
You can’t really look like me and be famous, so nobody. I would like to look like Johnny Rotten. But I don’t.
How do you think newspapers will evolve over the next 15 years?
Didn’t realize they were still around. ;-p
What was your first job?
First job ever was as a paperboy for the Chicago Tribune. I still remember how heavy the Sunday paper was. Only six fit in my paperboy bag, so I had to make many, many, trips. On a bike. In the rain. Do they still have teenager paper boys? I’ve had some pretty fun jobs, since. The Texas Taco – the world’s only punk rock Mexican joint, and a club DJ for a while. Good times.
What kind of car do you drive?
Mini Cooper. I hate cars, and wish we had public transportation. I buy a car solely on looks (and brand essence!), and don’t care (or understand) anything about performance.
Has blogging made you gain weight? How much?
Age has made me gain weight. I used to be able to eat everything. I no longer live on pizza and burgers. I used to have a 28 inch waist. Now I’m sportin’ a full 35/36 inches.
Tell us about your 15 seconds of fame.
In college, I did a very popular punk rock radio show, and a local music video show on cable. Featured in Rolling Stone, trade mags, etc. Anyway, once a 14 year old girl ran away from home, and told her parents that she was going to live with me. I didn’t even know who she was. The police showed up at my job, and started asking questions. Really embarrassing.
What is your most embarrassing email/cell phone/blogging (pick one) moment?
I once sent a joke voice mail to a co-worker (in response to something we were joshing each other about), and said something to the effect of “I’m gonna kick your a__ in the parking lot at 5:15, a__h*le.” He then forwarded the message to everyone in the company. All day, people were coming up to me, “what’s your problem? What do you mean you’re gonna kick my a__?”
How has the Power 150 helped you/your blog?
I use it as a bragging point to clients. “Our blog is considered to be one of the top 150 blogs in our industry.” They seem to go for that, so I’m gonna keep it up.
What would you do with $3 million dollars?
Pay for my kids college, by a house in Miami. Maybe a really nice house. Oh, and if there’s enough left, maybe a small place in the West Village, NYC. That would rock.
Photo credit: Derek Dudek