Tim Cusack's Blog
Tag Archives: cycling

Grabbing Your Heart and Mind…in Sixty Seconds

The majority of TV and radio ads are made in blocks of 30 or 60 seconds. Depending on the entertainment level, an ad can last forever or fly by in a flash. A dumbed-down, idiotic 60-second radio ad can feel like several hours. However, a well written and produced ad with funny and meaningful moments can be extremely captivating, grabbing your attention and making 60 seconds feel like 10.

An example of a powerfully emotional ad experience is the Chrysler Super Bowl commercial from two years ago. The unheard of two-minute ad for the Chrysler 200, starring the rapper Eminem, was so well written and produced that over 16 million YouTube viewers wanted to watch A TV AD again and again. The emotional appeal was so strong that seeing it once was not enough.

On the flip side of pulling heart-strings is the Australian-accented, Geico gecko talking about car insurance. This series of ads has been so appealing that when I’ve found myself in the company of a real lizard, I expect it to stand on hind legs and talk to me – like an old friend. The Geico gecko is akin to a real person and now a media personality. If he were lecturing, I’d go hear him speak.

The next time you need an a radio, TV or Internet ad be sure to keep it meaningful or fun – or both. But, as they say in the biz, “Keep it real!”

Listen to this wild 60-second spot for Freewheeler Wheeler Bike Shop written and produced by Tim Cusack.


Working in the Slipstream

Riding in the Slipstream

Riding in the Slipstream

In early spring and late fall in the Midwest you’ll hear sounds of honking geese flying overhead. When your eyes find the source of the sound, you’ll witness nature’s aerodynamic efficiency in the “V” formation of the flock, otherwise known as the ‘slipstream.’

To conserve energy and increase endurance find the slipstream. NASCAR racers, long distance runners and cyclists all know that by placing themselves just inches behind the one in front of them, they can travel at the same speed with 30% less effort.

A great event to witness the slipstream in action is the Tour de France. A stage or segment of this race can be 120 miles long, but if you watch the last few miles you’ll see the same colored team jerseys line up single-file four to five deep, everyone peddling as fast as they can. One by one the lead cyclist or lead-out rider will peal off the front, each in turn keeping the pace as fast as possible, until the team sprinter is delivered yards from the finish to catapult (hopefully) across the finish line first.

Now think about how you can use this same brilliant concept in your workplace. Sharing leadership opportunities, speaking words of encouragement, staying strong for someone on your team is creating a process for conserving energy, boosting performance and increasing endurance – a slipstream.

This also works in our personal lives. When my son loses a tennis match his coach consoles and encourages him. When my daughter trips up on a few notes during a piano recital, her teacher reminds her how much she got right. In both of these examples, the leader is breaking the headwinds of life – creating a slipstream making it easier to endure the long flight of life.