Happy Friday, everyone. And to the Rangers fans among you, happy Home Opener Day as well.
This season is particularly exciting for us because one of our clients, Nolan Ryan’s Beef, is beginning their reign as official beef and hot dog sponsor of the Texas Rangers. While this probably isn’t the most shocking news you’ve heard all week, it does mean you can look forward to some pretty tasty food at the ballpark this year.
It’s been a scramble to get everything done in time for today’s game, but it’s also been a lot of fun. One of our first assignments was to create a ten-second jumbotron animation to promote dollar dog nights. Now, to be fair, dollar dogs kind of sell themselves. Apparently, senior designer Charlie Howlett recognized this and chose to use it to his advantage.
Everyone, meet Howdy, the official Hot Dog of Nolan Ryan’s Beef. Be sure to keep an eye out for him next time you’re at the ballpark.
Recently, I caught up with Charlie outside the Schaefer men’s room to see what he had to say about creating a new American icon.
Scott: So Charlie, what do you have to say about creating a new American icon?
Charlie: I can only hope he becomes an American icon.
S: You’re being too modest. So how did Howdy come about?
C: It was pretty natural, actually.
S: Care to expand on that?
C: Well, [creative director] Todd and I got the assignment and decided we needed to create a character – a walking hot dog. So I sketched him out on the window with a dry erase marker and we knew we were onto something special.
S: Were you worried the client wouldn’t go for him?
C: We always hope that clients will find the humor…
S: Slow down, I can’t type that fast.
C: Well, you should record it. That’s what real journalists do.
S: I’m not a real journalist, Charlie.
C: Fine. We. Always. Hope…
S: Stop it.
C: (laughs) We always hope clients will find the humor in what we do. Luckily, the NRB folks loved it.
S: So how did we land on the name Howdy?
C: We had been tossing some names around, but it was the client who suggested “Howdy.” That’s when we knew they loved him as much as we did. (pauses) We thought he had legs before…
C: …but that’s when we knew he could really run.
S: (groans louder)
C: That’s the truth, Scott. That’s how it happened.
S: Sure it is. Anything else?
C: Actually, seeing Howdy helped my (3-year-old) son get a better idea of what I do all day.
S: Well, not all day, but that’s cool. So is he a fan of Howdy?
C: He is.
S: That’s how you know you nailed it. Well, thanks for taking the time to chat with me, Charlie.
C: My pleasure, Scott. I’m going to go get a hot dog. It’s Opening Day, you know.
S: I did know that. That’s what this blog is about.
C: So are you going to take me out to the ballgame? You know, take me out to the crowd?
S: Okay, I think we’re done here.