Just An Online Minute... Mixing Your Access 360 Media With Tonic

Access 360 Media Party, Tonic, New York
October 29, 2008

The last time I was at Tonic, it was for a friend's 22nd birthday party last year. It was fun, but it's never my go-to place. I mean, come on, why would I forego my knitting circle or pre-AARP prep courses? But seriously, I was surprised to see that a business would select the location to host its post OVAB-Digital Media Summit cocktail wind-down. As I approached, the sizzling red "Tonic" sign gave me flashbacks to foregone shots and as I waited for my +1 to show up, I realized I had no clue what kind of party this was going to be. Come on in...

I walked up the stairs with Matt Caldecutt of Trylon PR, who I haven't had a chance to catch up with this week due to my unshakable cold, making this a lovely opportunity to mix business with friend time. We encountered Ross Hyzer and Steven (name withheld for security purposes. Not really) at the welcome table. If you arrived at that party cranky, Steven was having none of it! Happy-time showers of rainbows burst out of every single one of his pores. The guy is just frickin' nice. Ross is his own story. By day he's an Executive Assistant at Access 360 Media (A3M). By night, he probably fights the hork demons and hits the stage to hopefully induce laughter, not thrown vegetables. In short, he's a comedian.

What's not funny and very serious is that it's not hard to like Lon Otremba, CEO of A3M. Why? His little piece of the media world considers 12-34 year olds "young adult consumers." I'll take that. In fact, I'll take that and run with it, because think about it -- especially in more metropolitan areas where everyone is trying to appear younger, isn't purchasing behavior more about mental perception of age? In fact, you may not realize it, but you might be purchasing 5-10 years younger than your true age. I'm saying. With that, A3M nails consumers with their messages through in-store video, online, and on your mobile device.

They're also friends with OTX. Specifically, Julanne Schiffer, SVP, Client Partnerships, Media & Entertainment Insights. I could have talked to her all night. We nerded out about traditional media types and resistance to change as well as the type of research that gets us all warm inside. Julanne is part of the OTX trifecta that also includes Jim Forrest, Ph.D. and SVP Advertising and Brand Insights and another not yet named guy.

Oh hey! I forgot to tell you who else was hanging out a few feet away from the mystery food, which we'll get to, don't you worry. Roman Tsunder, President and founder of A3M, stepped up and went right in for a hug "because I'm Russian." I was a little stiff, not because I'm a hug hater, but first-time hugs always jar me, and frankly, I didn't want to infect the poor guy with the plague I'm carrying. Bill Powers, EVP, Sales for A3M, was the complete opposite -- a little surly, probably a little uncomfortable with the glistening buttocks cascading out of a black thong dancing larger than life on the video screen above him (or maybe that was me. Uncomfortable, not on the screen), but likeable nonetheless.

Want to ride a tangent with me? Their West Coast office is on Electric Avenue. I couldn't get that song out of my head all night. I'd also like to thank Sudafed for that. You want to know about the food, don't you? With this episode of Just An Online Minute, I present to you, for the very first time, the one, the only...

...Chicken Wellington??

Yes, Chicken Wellington. It lurked across the table from chicken satay, a more recognizable party food. Bridging the divide were crumbled egg yolks, diced red onions, capers, caviar, sour cream, and crumbled egg whites... but nothing to put them on. I was so confused. It's like a huge slab of nova lox was missing, right? Katie Smith-Adair from Morris King and recent Oregonian transplant (she's been in NYC but a year!) painted a lovely picture of some fella in the kitchen chortling and just mowing through a huge plate of pilfered smoked salmon.

Standing at a little round table by the chicken satay chafing dish were two lovely ladies from Fuse, Kristin and Alexis (you can correct me, I only had a half hidden nametag to go on). Kristin is the not-too-proud new owner of a BlackBerry Curve exactly like mine. She's having a hard time loving it, which is typical. There's a weird love learning curve with that thing due to wonky wording and bad help menus. Yes yes, I know, your iPhone is so much cooler. Kristin, stay strong, you'll love it as much as I love mine now.

Cliff's Notes! Tonic as a venue: What what! When the crowd is purely one controlled by a digital nerd guest list, public honking and "grab-assing," as my dad would say, is null. Food: What? What was up with that? A3M people: What what! Ross Hyzer, doorguy/comedian/ferret enthusiast: What what! PR person overheard snarling at another PR person not to worry about being competition: What?

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