A For Adventure

Tales Of Adventure / A For Adventure's Blog

"Tales of Adventure" A for Adventure's official blog.

Posts in musings
Instagram's Multiple Accounts Feature And 5-Dos And Don'ts Of Social Media Brand Management

Those of us who maintain not only our personal social media presence, but those of our business, employers, and clients are breathing a long-awaited sigh of relief as Instagram announces their new multiple accounts feature.

While constantly switching between multiple accounts, user names, and passwords has been made significantly easier, the addition of this feature highlights the delicate dance brand managers navigate throughout the week. For many, it can be a form of Brand Personality Disorder™ (BPD) – where do I stop and the brand begin?

As BPD becomes increasingly more common, we thought a few basic rules – dos and don'ts – might be in order:


5. Go easy on the discount offers. Sales are sometimes necessary not to mention effective, but constantly being on sale is not only boring for your followers, it cheapens your overall brand image.

4. DON'T post poorly lit, unappetizing, boring, irrelevant or simply bad photographs. Not all of us are born with an eye or technique for photography, but your brand's image is at stake, so class it up!

3. DON'T use comments to insert your brand into a conversation merely for exposure. Bad manners, yo.

2. DON'T over-hashtag #feelingblessed. Keep your hashtags relevant and specific to your posts #kanyewestlovesme

1. DON'T make yourself a brand mascot! More often than not, you personally are not the brand (unless you are). Your life, your cat, new car, and the dinner you are eating are all riveting, but are they the "brand", "on-brand" and serving the goals and strategies of the business and / or connecting with your customers or clients?


5. DO know who your brand is. Create an aesthetic, a tone of voice, and basic set of brand values and stick to them. It looks weird to be luxury one day and discount the next.

4. DO know who you're talking to. Why are they following you? How can you help, inspire, or inform them?

3. DO make a plan, a content calendar, a social media strategy. For brands, social media should not be a toy or a recreational device; it's a tool to accomplish your brand's goals, and if it isn't, it's a highly effective waste of your time – at best.

2. DO have something to say. Have a point of view. Create relevant content, whether it's written, drawn, filmed or photographed. I know it's a lot harder to make stuff than not to make stuff, but if your brand is boring, irrelevant, or simply absent, what message is that sending to your customers?

1. DO be a good friend! Celebrate your followers accomplishments. Take part in relevant discussions with your brand POV. Just like "real life", it's not always about you. It's about fostering community, affinity, and trying to make long-term friends / customers. :-)

What are your dos and don'ts?


We're launching a new series of inspiration posts called #adventuremobile. This hashtag has popped up around the design / aesthetic minded community, mostly accompanying a photo of a pristine International Scout or anything to do with Westfalia. And while we love great cars and great gear, they are certainly not prerequisites for adventure. A conversation, a beat up pair of shoes, a song are all #adventuremobiles. We can't think of a better place to start than with Harlan Hubbard's Shantyboat...


“I had no theories to prove. I merely wanted to try living by my own hands, independent as far as possible from a system of division of labor in which the participant loses most of the pleasure of making and growing things for himself. I wanted to bring in my own fuel and smell its sweet smell as it burned on the hearth I had made. I wanted to grow my own food, catch it in the river, or forage after it. In short, I wanted to do as much as I could for myself, because I had already realized from partial experience the inexpressible joy of so doing.” – Harlan Hubbard

Christmas Carols From A For Adventure

Here's a small yule tide selection of cheer we've been playing around the office this holiday season... from our hearth to yourn.

A For Adventure Christmas 2014

  1. Los Amores de la Güera 3:16 Trovadores de la Frontera Los Pinguinos Del Norte
  2. Well, You Can Do It Without Me 2:43 Fear Fun Father John Misty
  3. It Must Be Jesus 2:44 Southern Gospel The Southern Tones
  4. Crying In The Chapel 3:43 Captain's Crate Elvis Presley meets The Wailers
  5. Squa Pan 4:08 Mortar String Builder
  6. And Your Bird Can Sing 2:00 Revolver The Beatles
  7. Word To The Mother (Land) 3:11 The Very Best Of Big Daddy Kane Big Daddy Kane
  8. You Tore Me Down 2:50 Shake Some Action Flamin' Groovies
  9. Only A Pilgrim 2:41 Southern Gospel Christland Singers
  10. Down South 3:27 Highway Companion Tom Petty
  11. White Christmas 3:14 Destiny: Rare Ska Sides from Stud… Bob Marley & The Wailers
  12. Flashing Lights 3:58 Graduation Kanye West Feat. Dwele
  13. I've Got Dreams To Remember 3:16 Otis! The Definitive Otis Redding (… Otis Redding
  14. Sure as Spring 2:28 Damp Face La Luz
  15. Ilsa Drown (feat. Jónsi) 4:36 Island Intervals Death Vessel
  16. Lord Come On And See About Me 2:42 Southern Gospel Mid South Singers
Our Top 5 Richmond Brands (We Had Nothing To Do With)

Let's face it, Richmond is not a logo town.

Not yet anyways!

Whether it's the regrettable / forgettable silhouette tree craze or just dated typography choices. And yes, there are logo towns. Drive down any major avenue in Austin, TX and you will see air conditioner repair shops with cooler logos than Altria – which, I admit, is not saying much. But we're not merely talking about logos... as Seth Godin puts it:

"It takes more than a hat to be a cowboy, it takes more than a designer prattling on about texture to make a brand."

Or as Jerry McLaughlin of Forbes says:

"...your 'brand' is what your prospect thinks of when he or she hears your brand name.  It’s everything the public thinks it knows about your name brand offering—both factual (e.g. It comes in a robin’s-egg-blue box), and emotional (e.g. It’s romantic).  Your brand name exists objectively; people can see it.  It’s fixed.  But your brand exists only in someone’s mind."

So without further prattling, here are our favorite Richmond brands we had nothing to do with:

5. Mamma 'Zu

An odd choice, you might think, with it's slightly amateur and inelegant handwritten execution, yet the Mamma Zu mark fits neatly into a carefully crafted and curated brand image and experience. Owner Ed Vasaio is a master of the art of humble understatement, expressed in his careful and deliberate choice of location, interior aesthetic, and even his infamous yet exceptional staff. Full disclosure: In 1993, myself and my best friend and local artist Chris Milk designed / illustrated the first Mamma 'Zu t-shirt in trade for a mammoth meal and a lot of wine.

4. Work Labs

Despite their reputations, ad agencies are not always proficient when it comes to branding themselves. Cabell Harris' Work Labs has no such deficiency, with over 20 years worth of award winning branding and self promotion excellence. Whether it's beer, magazines or interactive site experiences, Work Labs never tires of finding new ways to express it's brand, stay current and sell itself.

3. World Of Mirth

A toy, kitch and oddities shop extraordinaire, World Of Mirth was the brainchild of the late Kathryn Harvey, and the final mark was brought to life by the talented Richmond illustrator, Kelly Alder. It says something that I am constantly shocked that World Of Mirth isn't a national chain – yet! 

2. GWAR, of course!

There's really nothing quite like GWAR – a hilariously macabre, ironic, sarcastic, perverted, silicone circus drenched in fake blood – accompanied by a deceptively-fantastic heavy metal band. Known the world over, the GWAR brand was handmade here in Richmond by a small army of talented artists. The GWAR logo morphs and adapts to each and every application, be it comic book, stage prop or tattoo. The hand and artistic vision of GWAR slave, Bob Gorman, is the most recognizable aesthetic, which seems to touch almost everything they produce.

1. Need Supply Co.

Long before the term hipster was even coined, a small, high-end denim shop opened in Richmond's Carytown shopping district. Almost twenty years later, Need Supply Co. has grown into a national and global online retail powerhouse and innovator – known and mimicked by anyone who's anyone in online fashion. Despite their national success, Need operates slightly under the radar of it's own hometown, where it's good fortunes sound more like rumors overheard some evening at Balliceaux. They rigidly control and polish their aesthetic and are addicted to keeping up with if not staying ahead of trend centers like New York and Paris.

The original Helvetica Neue logo was fittingly designed by a friend and Work Labs alum, creative director / art director David Waraksa.

Let us know your favorite Richmond brands!


It's been 48hrs, so am I safe in assuming you've seen this lawyer's video?

Like 4 million (and counting) other people, I clicked on this link a few days ago and got a pretty serious shock – but maybe not the type of shock you're thinking. It only took me a few seconds to realize…

"Oh my God! This guy went for it in a big way, and someone helped him do it."

As an ad guy, it's easy to imagine a lawyer or law firm reaching out to me to discuss advertising their practice. I've had a law firm or two as clients, and I'd like to think I made them the best materials I was capable of at the time. I did not, however, make them anything like this.

Now I know some of you might be saying to yourselves, "Jamie Casino is clearly banana boats..." (which just so happens to be my new favorite expression that I heard on Fresh Air yesterday) and I won't disagree with you. Is it possible that being banana boats makes him a successful trial attorney? I've seen it happen.

What I'm getting at – what shook me up – is that there's a real possibility I would have either tried to talk him out of this, or ultimately declined to help him create it... and so, most likely, would you.

Jamie Casino's bat-sh*t crazy video is a reminder to agencies and the creative community as a whole that IT'S OUR JOB TO SWING WILDLY AT THE FENCES FOR OUR CLIENTS SOMETIMES. It's our job to identify our client's dream and work aggressively to bring it to life – even if that dream is to be some sort of heavy metal Batman lawyer. Perhaps ESPECIALLY if that dream is to be some sort of heavy metal Batman lawyer.

Thanks, Mr. Casino, for reminding me that sometimes it's better to be crazy and passionate than sane and forgettable.

We Need A Beer Account

Beer. I mean, it just feels right. We've got a great a grocery, furniture and hard wares, bikes, a denim brand – we've got to get a beer to even this out! And a car or motorcycle account.


We even made this spec logo for the good folks at Ardent, but they've already got their thing under control, in-house.

A local whiskey could also be nice.