Minorities In Media Karaoke Night, Wicked Willy's, New York
January 11, 2011
I stared out the windows during OMMA Agency of the Year with trepidation. Where was the snow? Would I get caught in it later? Did I want to tempt fate in my not so practical suede boots in order to cover the Minorities in Media party at Wicked Willy's? I grabbed my hearty Ohio "I've walked to Taco Bell in Lake Effect Snow in sneakers" sensibilities around me and darted off into the quickly chilling NYC darkness.
Now, if you've ever made the mistake of falling into Wicked Willy's you already know that it's fratty... and weird. The place is weird. I popped in last February and actually caught a really great band (and that band ended up being the band of choice for a certain former adver-blogger), but it wasn't long before the band was kicked off and replaced with stripper poles.
Because that is the first sign of a classy joint - stripper poles open to the public.
When I arrived for Minorities in Media, the poles were already erected and the crowd was already properly sauced. I was immediately greeted by the 8ft tall co-founder of Minorities in Media, SmartClip's Ian Soares. He was mid embrace with co-founder Adam Eldridge of SmartClip.
I squeezed by the beer pong tables, three of which had been set up for maximum competition. Up the stairs to the "private" party area I went, and before I hit the top stair my nose was tickling with the insta-drool scent of chicken wings. Plopped on tables around the backroom were piles of discarded bones and Styrofoam containers of other munchables.
In the back I met Nora Hao and Carla Meker of M2M. I also met Amanda Gibbs, a media planner at Zenith and Vanessa McPhill, a media planner at Mindshare. They were with Chris Clarke of PHD, who you may have seen a few times in this column. He would like you to know it just seems like he's out frequently.
Karaoke got started and even though I wasn't participating, I still got that tingle of nervousness for anyone else who was.
Two trays packed with clear liquor shots whizzed by me, no doubt delivering liquid courage to the mass of partygoers. Augh, the smell. My liver curdled.
First on stage was the brave Jordan Pique, Account Executive at Buzzlogic, who did not disrespect Frank Sinatra with his performance of New York, New York. He was followed by a mish mosh of characters recycling their backup singers, yell-singing through Bon Jovi, Prince, and Biz Markie.
As the party creeped toward the 9:30 p.m. mark, the snow began to fall more aggressively. Lindsey Port from MiM sponsor Jun Group was worried about her flight to Chicago, which had already been cancelled once.
While cringing at an ear piercing singalong wailer, I ran into "token white guy" Smartclip's Seth Ingram. He was hanging out with Romon Lipscomb of InteractiveOne and Brian Anderson, EVP digital of Vidal. I will be seeing Anderson again tonight at the MEDIA Agency of the Year Award Show, that is, if he didn't partake in beer pong.
Before heading out, I had a chance to talk photog work with Ron Johnson, Account Manager at InteractiveOne and Hillary Gilmore of MOG.
It seems that MiM are staying true to their social vs business networking goal, and it seems that this works just fine for sponsors like Mog Music Network, The Weather Channel, RocketFuel, Outrigger Media, and others. They raffled off some pretty serious items like Wine of The Month Club, a "gift certificate for $100.00 to the restaurant of your choice", and a Roku player. The bar was open, and there was free food. When will sponsors demand more? And if they don't, I'd say we can now identify sponsors who see value in industry types just hanging out and getting buzzed up.