Tankards away

leaves of grass

Keen observers will note that I haven’t posted to this damn blog in something like 6 months. This was due to a combination of factors: social media fatigue, a lack of time & energy (having a second baby 7 months ago may have had something to do with it), and the sneaking suspicion that I’d run out of things to say.

I said to myself a while ago that it would really take something of monumental and singular significance to get me to dust off the blog again. And then one day recently that something arrived in my life, in the form of the immortal tankard of Paul Colman.

Paul’s one of the keen planning minds at W+K London, and writes a blog that somehow combines insightful social observation, sport, and socks. Three years ago, Paul was given a german beer tankard as a gift.  He wondered how far around the world it could go using only the tangled connections of the global plannersphere. And thus was born the tankard challenge.

Paul and I met once in London, although by the evidence we studiously avoided actually talking to each other (and yes, I’m carrying a baby in the picture – my daughter was 2 months old).

Now what’s incredibly odd is that Paul seems to have come up with the idea for the tankard challenge on the exact same day that I met him. How’s that for a meaningful coincidence?

Since that day, the tankard has spent the last 3 years wending its way around the globe, no doubt trying to find me, and arrived here a couple of weeks ago via Shanghai, Sydney, and New York. I received it from none other than the lovely and irrepressible Faris Yakob.

It couldn’t have picked a nicer time to visit, as the Canadian fall colours were out in full force. We went for long walks to take it all in.

true colours
Not only that, but it was Thanksgiving weekend (which we Canadians celebrate in mid-October, a month and a half earlier than in the US, which always made more sense to me than having a major holiday 4 weeks before Christmas) and the tankard had a place of honour at the family gathering.
A few days later I went to San Francisco for the excellent and already legendary Planningness conference, giving the tankard a chance to catch up on the latest in brand communication theory and meet some of its leading practitioners.
It listened to Grant McCracken explain his upcoming book, Chief Culture Officer…
It was eyed suspiciously by Rob & Adrian from Zeus Jones
It brokered an uneasy truce between Ed and Dino
Ed and dino
Before finally being enthusiastically embraced by the mad genius behind the whole conference, Mark Lewis:
And finishing the evening with the hard-to-win approval of Gareth Kay.
It almost ended up being used as a prop in one agency’s final round Volkswagen pitch, but in the end cooler heads prevailed and Y&R’s Eva Hasson volunteered to take it with her back to Israel. And the journey continues…

Published by jasonoke

Global Client Leader, WPP Married to @meredithoke. I have some kids. I travel. I eat. I internet.

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