…The Blog

I am currently working for a credit union in the marketing department and in all of the jobs I have had throughout my life, I have had some involvement with marketing. Besides my work history though, I am fascinated by marketing, advertising, branding and social media. I am the type of person who doesn’t always fast forward through the commercial and will analyze a commercial or an ad (it drives my wife crazy). I find myself critiquing how the ad, commercial or campaign was done and things I might have done differently. I have a passion for social media and the role it can play in marketing and get excited thinking about where social media is going and how it is changing the marketing world. I like to immerse myself into marketing and learn as much as I can and see what the next big idea is going to be.

I finally decided I needed a place to put all these thoughts and ideas, somewhere that I could explore them further and maybe even get some feedback or collaboration on them. Not that all my thoughts are great or even make sense, but they are important to me and what helps keep my marketing mind developing. In here you are going to find a collection of my marketing ideas, my thoughts on certain ads or campaigns and reviews of articles or books that have read.

…The Author (Gary Balakoff)

In trying to decide what to write about myself, I got stumped for a bit. What do I put down, my readers don’t need a written history of my life, they just need a look into who I am. Then I realized my Twitter bio was just the right amount of info to share, so I took that and came up with this:

  • MINI Cooper owner, Cleveland Browns and Indians fan, all around sports nut, 311 fan, Star Wars geek, Pop-Culture/Genre geek, work @ a Credit Union doing marketing and passing on financial knowledge, explorer of Social Media,
    Live in Philly (Conshy, PA)

Now, while the majority of my posts will center on marketing, don’t be surprised if a post or two on these topics find their way in. Besides I think it is best to keep things interesting and mix it up a little bit.

…The Title

What is Gone To Plaid? I got this question a few times while building my blog so I thought, why not give a little explanation. When I decided to start this blog I was brainstorming on what the focus would be and what to call it. I figured out quickly that I was going to discuss my views and thoughts on current marketing, but was having trouble coming up with a title. I started to rattle off ideas to myself and kept coming up with ones like My Crazy Thoughts on Marketing or The Nutty Things I Think about Marketing. I liked this direction because it tied into what the focus of the blog is, I just couldn’t find the right way to express that without it sounding vanilla. Then I started to think about synonyms for crazy and thought of the word ludicrous. I like this word, but didn’t want to imply that my thoughts were stupid or unreasonable. This is where my pop-culture mind took over and went to Spaceballs, one of the best comedies of all time (if you haven’t seen it, do yourself a favor).

There is a part in the movie where the “bad guys” need to jump to light speed, but they want to go really fast so they choose ludicrous speed. When they make the jump to ludicrous speed and the spaceship gets going really, really fast it starts to glow in a bright plaid pattern. They end up flying right past the “good guys”, who state, “They’ve gone to plaid”. So here is an illustration of what went through my mind to make this connection:

  • They’ve gone to plaid quote->ludicrous speed makes you go to plaid->my blog is a collection of my ludicrous thoughts on marketing->I am going to call it Gone to Plaid.

I also wanted to give my blog a sub-title to give more of a description of what the blog was about, so naturally I turned to Spaceballs again and used a quote from the movie. The characters are talking about problems with the radar and Michael Winslow’s character says “I’ve lost the bleeps, I’ve lost the sweeps and I’ve lost the creeps.” So I converted that into
my sub-title.

Here are the two scenes I am talking about for your viewing pleasure:


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