My husband and I go grocery shopping once a week.  We look at what we have on hand at home, plan lunches and meals for the week, and make a list of the items we need. We go together because that's just what we always do, and also, we help keep each other in check so we don't spend unnecessarily. It turns into a major excursion with the little guy - we need either a shopping cart and a stroller, or TWO shopping carts (one for the baby) so it's no small task. And most importantly, we attempt to stick to our list as best as possible...but maybe once in awhile we have moments of weakness and get a few treats.

At our weekly grocery run on Monday evening, chips were on our list. Right away, we spotted something different in the chip aisle...these shiny silver bags of Doritos Jacked.  But there were no flavors on the bags, only "test numbers". I told my husband that I didn't want to buy them, I didn't want to risk that I wouldn't like the flavor we chose.  But I kept thinking about these chips.  I thought about them when we got home.  I thought about them the next morning at work when I was thinking of something to blog about for today. Why would I not try these chips? I mean - yes, I could hate the flavors and wish I hadn't purchased them...but what if they were one of the greatest things I'd ever tasted? I could miss out on something amazing! I was obviously obsessed with these Doritos. So what if they are $4.29 per bag! And they couldn't be wouldn't make sense for Doritos to put out something that tastes terrible and aggravate customers. So...over my lunch break I took a short drive to the grocery store and purchased all three bags.  I thought if anything, it would be a fun activity for the Old Hatters to taste test the flavors and maybe it could spark something cool to blog about. And everybody loves free snacks.

There were three different colored bags - Red, Orange, and Blue. I asked everyone to taste each kind and write down their thoughts about the flavor. In doing so, I really got to thinking about Participatory Marketing. 

I am typically a fan of the marketing and advertising done by Frito Lay/Doritos.  Their commercials are usually pretty funny and are very memorable. One thing that I really like though is that in the last few years, they've been all about getting fans/consumers involved with their products.  What's really cool about a lot of their commercials, for example, is that since 2006, Frito Lay has offered fans a chance to submit commercials as part of a "Crash the Super Bowl" contest. 

Some of my all time favorite Doritos commercials were fan ideas, including these two:



The current promotion is a little vague (maybe intentionally?), but centers around the idea of being "Bold". Doritos is asking fans to try all three flavors and vote for their favorite on this site:

Voting begins on April 29. When you vote, you are eligible to win a prize. Every day for 60 days, they'll be giving away an ounce of gold. I didn't know what the connection with "gold" was other than it rhymes with bold, so I googled it and found out that the word Doritos means "little bits of gold" in Spanish.  Who knew?

I love all of the ways Doritos is getting fans/consumers involved in their marketing. It seems that they are all about advertising with people rather than at them. Getting people to actively participate in the marketing of a brand is something that is becoming a goal for many companies as more and more people (like myself) are relying on ratings and recommendations from others to influence what they buy, where they travel, what they eat, and more. 

I think that fan involvement and engagement is a goal for a lot of our clients...and it should be.  If fans feel like their voice is being heard, I think they feel much more connected, they establish a feeling of loyalty to their team, and they will advocate on behalf of the team/program to others, giving those valuable recommendations that so many people listen to. Part of my job here at Old Hat is developing products to sell to our customers and I'm going to be thinking about things centered around Fan Involvement, because I think that adds a lot of value for our clients.


Now - back to the fun - our results from the Doritos Taste Testing...

Everyone was pretty much in consensus that the Orange and Red bags were pretty good and the Blue bag was not so good. For the Red bag, comments about the flavor included, "Spicy Salsa with Nacho Cheese", "Spicy Ranch", "Spicy Chili Cheese", and "Way Too Spicy!".  You get the picture...they were hot!  My thoughts on the flavor were that it kind of tasted like a hot buffalo wing with blue cheese. The Orange bag was really intriguing and we definitely thought the chips had an Asian-inspired flavor. Comments included, "Spicy Thai Ginger", "Sweet and Sour", "Tangy", "Orange Chicken", and "Surprisingly Good". These were actually my favorite because they tasted so different than any other chip I've tried. Pretty much everyone disliked the chips in the Blue bag. Comments were, "Burnt BBQ", "Chipotle Cowboy", "No, just No", and "Sweet and Spicy". Traci actually picked up on a slight chocolate flavor at first bite and sure enough, when we looked at the ingredients they listed Chocolate Liquor and Cocoa as components. Very interesting. Perhaps these are a Mexican Mole flavor?

Overall, a fun activity and I hope we'll find out what all three flavors are (or at least were intended to be) soon!





My wife's car has been in the shop for the past few days.  A few weeks ago the entire suspension system had to be replaced.  That was awesome.  Problem is, the computer component that regulates said suspension system was bad and that's what was causing the suspension problems to begin with.  So a month later, it had to be replaced again.  Under warranty... no big deal.  BUT, that computer component had to be replaced as well so that was another sum of money I hadn't really planned on forking over.  Anyway, the fella at the auto shop told me that the dealership had to reprogram the thing.  They installed it and were to take it over to the dealership first thing Monday for reprogramming.  I'd have it back by end of day Monday.

So Monday comes and I hear nothing from them.  End of day Monday comes and I finally call to see what's up.  No one answers.  So I literally run to the place from work (as I have no automobile) to try to get there before they close.  I arrive and find the guy leaving the place.  I flag him down and give him some version of, "WTF, mate?"  He says, "Oh, man... I totally forgot to call the dealership."  Too late to get the car by this point, I'm another day without the car.  I've already been without it for 5 days and have made due.  But based on his promise that I'd have it back Monday, I made plans for Tuesday that required me AND my wife to have our own automobiles.  And all those plans were shot because dude "forgot" to call the dealership.  It's not like he just couldn't get the job done or that a new problem came up and the project was delayed.  He forgot.

And that made me mad.

Old Hat has many core principles and a brand promise that I've blogged about.  But man... none of that matters if you don't follow the one rule that should be common sense.  Do what you say you're going to do.  And if for some reason you can't, do anything you can do to make it right.  And that's another area that my auto shop failed.  He didn't do what he promised.  And made no attempt to make it right.

I run into so many businesses that stay afloat despite their inability to follow this rule.  They might not be Fortune 500 companies but they've been in business for many years.  But time and time again, they don't do what they say they're going to do. And it boggles my mind that they are still around.  But what that tells me is that if these people can stay in business, think about how successful they could be if they just did what they said they'd do.  

This blog seems like more than a rant than anything offering any real direction.  But I guess what I'm saying is that if you own a business... if you work in a business... if you want to be succesful in whatever it is you're doing... Do what you say you're going to do and your path to success will be a lot smoother.

So, my older sister is about to have a baby! It's the first one, so my whole family is so excited to meet the little boy. A couple months ago, I was trying to think of something to get her that wasn't just clothes or toy, something that would mean more then that. Don't get me wrong, I have already bought that little boy a ton of clothes, but I still wanted to get him something special. So, I started shopping on Amazon, and came across toy boxes. Do you know how much those things are? Well, out of my price range is how much those things are. My dad loves building things, like this table he built me last year. So I told him he should build a toy box and then I could finish it--and thats what happened! 

This past weekend was great weather in Norman, and I got a sander for my birthday (yep..a sander! So exciting!!!) I got to break it in on the toy box. Here it is in mid sanding--you can't really tell, but I'm getting that thing silky smooth. 

The next step was to bring it inside and start staining it. When you stain, you have to apply the color, then wipe it off with a clean sponge thing. So it's like a wax on, wax off kinda thing. My sister picked out the color, and I really like it! its dark and will go great in the nursery. 

I waited a couple hours, watched some TV, did some laundry and then spent Saturday night applying some shiny polyurethane to finish off the toy box. The polyurethane seals the stain and makes the piece shiny (which you can't really tell in the picture, but trust me, its shiny).


Overall, I am really pleased with how this turned out. I am super excited to bring it down to Dallas when I get to meet my nephew! 

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