And Now for Something Completely Different

I am not what anyone would call a traditionalist.

Some people enjoy the term “out of a box” thinker. I call bullshit on that overused term. Someone once said to me, “I’d call you out of the box, but I don’t think you know where the fucking box is.” So there’s that.

Then there’s “thought leaders.” If anyone needs to call themselves one of those, they’re following a well-worn path set out by someone else then declaring it their own.

Something is about to launch at my job and I’m pretty proud of what’s going to happen. The idea isn’t original. It’s been done a thousand times over in multiple places.

It’s really not the idea of something that can capture the imagination of an audience. I think it’s the execution. That’s where the magic happens.

That’s where I can be a magician.

For the first time since I put a rhino and elephants on carpet, that crackle in the air, a tingle along the back of my neck and a nervous anticipation in the pit of my stomach inhabits. It could be a failure. A monumental disaster.

Or another opportunity to strike treasure, capture the imagination and generate the enthusiasm of an audience.

A while back, I considered my career. The first half, its journey into journalism — a soul-crushing purgatory of endless human-suffering and un-empathetic politicians with parent issues. I left there for marketing, a much more satisfying home for my creative spirit.

For many years, I could not resolve these two halves, struggling to explain why I chose each. How can I sum up more than two decades of labor with one word:


That word resolved my inner demons and released me from my chrysalis, allowing me to accept my entire career and resolve it to the direction I needed to go.

This new campaign tells a story. It integrates all the elements needed for effectiveness throughout the campaign. But it also allows the company to tell the story of the science that makes what we do so very compelling.

We’ve launched the prelude to the story with the first chapter arriving on April 2.

I hope to check in here occasionally to give a few insights into the campaign, its elements and how its layered, integrated components work together to make a complete piece.

This campaign — which is largely social media but with several traditional online and print advertisements sprinkled throughout — uses the hashtag #Prepare4Impossible. In many ways, this is my own impossible task: To top something I did at a Fortune 500 corporation with a much smaller budget and to a much smaller but very targeted audience.

I’ve been preparing for this impossible task. And now it begins.

This is the road less traveled. Join me.


TenCate Protective Fabrics Facebook

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Michael Cheek

With more than 20 years of communication experience, Michael Cheek offers solid marketing expertise, especially in the digital frontier. He currently resides in Georgia but he's open to relocate anywhere the opportunities take him. Learn more at You can follow him on Twitter at and see more about his professional experience at Reach him via e-mail at

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