Tuesday, January 19, 2010

a message to you, rudy (Ford update)

Last week a friend put me in touch with someone who works for an agency that handles Ford product placement. I sent an e-mail letter to briefly explain our plans in the hope that we could turn the ear of someone in a position to throw us a bone. So far I haven't had a reply, and I plan to send a brief query this week to beg for some response even if it amounts to, "Stop your fooling around." Even that would be helpful as I could move on to plan B since it's time to straighten right out and start digging for a used vehicle that we can afford. Anyhow, I thought I'd post my letter here (all names have been changed to protect the identities of the innocent). Let me know if you think I sold the idea well.

Mr. Kipling,

I am far from knowledgeable about marketing and I am a long way from having a formal proposal for Shere Khan, so I hope you will humor me and forgive my (possibly) knuckle-headed ideas. When the notion of the trip that my special-lady-friend and I (we are married but I hate the word spouse) are planning came up in conversation with Mowgli he was very encouraging and at least wanted to put us in touch with you. I have thanked Mowgli for the time he took from his ridiculously busy day for this and I should like to thank you too. Keeping that in mind, I will try to keep this message brief and include links to the on-line stuff that mrs. a-go-go and I have produced so you can look them over if you think it worthy.

Mowgli gave a taste of what he knows about our plans but I should expand on that. mrs. a-go-go and I have been wishing to make this cross country trip for some time. We regularly make road trip excursions but none have been more than a week. We would like to make this a long (several months) trip to cross the huge stretches of the US and Canada that we have never seen. mrs. a-go-go has been very active on-line for years producing blogs, educational materials, photo journals, and most importantly to her, friends all over the world. Nearly all these friends are people we have never met face to face. When we travel mrs. a-go-go makes a point of looking up who she knows from the internet world in that location and asking for face to face meet ups. So far every meeting has been a marvelous success and we come away feeling like old friends despite having never met in person. mrs. a-go-go loves to disprove the theory that an internet friend cannot be a close bond.

We began to seriously think out our trip when mrs. a-go-go completed her degree last June. While researching vehicles for our trip I stumbled on the new (to the US) Shere Khan Transit Connect and a light went on. The name just begged to be a part of our plans. We went for a test drive and I measured the inside of the little van and started dreaming in three dimensions about what I could do with it. We're a long way from wealthy and will be making this trip on a shoe string. Unfortunately this puts the new car price tag for the Transit Connect out of our budget. The natural next thought was, "Hey! maybe Shere Khan would want to help us out if our trip could popularize their van with people who miss the AM van and the Mestfalia conversions!" Yeah, yeah, swell idea, but it's not the sort of thing I know how to pitch. We started writing about our plans and I looked up Shere Khan's official sponsorship proposal submission web site. So far the responses have been form letters. That hasn't surprised me. What we want to do is a long way from the big organized events they seem to look for.

We don't have a monstrous amount of exposure to offer, but mrs. a-go-go has generated a significant following and over 600,000 views of her photography at:

The collection of our travel photos is at:

So, what do we want from Shere Khan? A free Transit Connect would be swell, but I realize that is probably a pipe dream. A super low price deal on one would do nicely even if it happens to be one that can't be sold as new for some reason. An auto show floor model with mileage and a bizarre paint job, something Shere Khan wants to unload... Uh-huh... hey! it's just a thought.

What can we do for Shere Khan? mrs. a-go-go is a fabulous photographer. We'd be taking their little van to some beautiful places. We'd be camping out in a unique little vehicle that people would want to ask about. We'd drive it all over hell and gone to cities, towns, and national parks (for six months if we can stretch it that far) and Shere Khan could have their advertising message on its billboard sides. Lastly we'd write all about it. Again, I doubt that we can generate what would be called huge numbers, but in the week and a half since we started goin' with the a-go-gos our stat counter has gone from 14 to 49 first time visitors per day. Not much yet, but we drew almost fifty new readers to a blog that is still wet behind the ears.

OK, I have blathered enough. I hope that all this will be of some interest to you, and perhaps to Shere Khan. It would be a huge help just to have the response of a real human telling me I'm crazy instead of an automatic form letter.

Thank you ever so much for your time and attention.
mr. a-go-go

So whadya think? What does a guy have to do to get Shere Khan to notice him?


  1. Quit saying you don't have the numbers. This guy doesn't know that. Push the numbers you do have, they are impressive on their own. I would punch up the info about where you are going and exactly who would be seeing this marvel of all traveling machines. Also, too wordy, but very good ideas. Edit and send. I think you have a good chance.

  2. thank you....it had already been sent this way (with names changed)...hmm...if we were to be traveling across multiple states then anyone looking would see it, right? hmm...thinking thinking. thanks!

  3. Love the Jungle Book references. I could just "see" and "hear" the Disney Talespin cartoon in my mind. For I'm sure you will always have "another tale to spin". The traveling billboard is a good idea. I hope it works.

  4. I agree with dkzoky.
    You really have to keep it short and to the point. These companies are on interested in you. They want to see if they can make money out of this. You are writing them a business proposal.When you write to Kia make it business like, just put down your ideas. Then link to your blog so they can see how lovable you guys are.
    They want to make money with this,and one thing big companies love is to be associated with a good cause. If you tell them, for example, that while on your trip you will be taking pictures of yourself with the Kia everywhere you go and selling these on etsy and giving all profits to Charity X. That would make them listen. You could even ask them to match your total donation. Say you would write about that on blogs, twitter about it daily, facebook it. Use any "trendy" marketing tool available online!
    Get other companies to join in, get a donated laptop, a GPS etc
    Come on guys! You can do this! This is a business deal you are laying out! Get busy!



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