Tag Archives: Recas

Ask A Co-op Expert – Everything You Need to Feel Comfortable Selling Co-op

 

Ask A Co-op Expert – Everything You Need to Feel Comfortable Selling Co-op

 

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Dear Tim,

Can you provide a step-by-step overview demonstrating how to approach an advertiser with co-op, what to do next, etc? I feel comfortable with the basics, having perused Recas.com database and having read some of the tutorials. I just don’t know exactly what to do and when to do it. When I approach a customer, I want to make sure I can answer all their questions.

Thanks!
Co-op Newbie

Dear Co-op Newbie,

Your service provides all the basic co-op advertising information. More guidance and support are available from our team (support@recas.com) but off the record, using co-op is really a step-by-step process using the e-mail sales leads or any other info on the recas.com Co-op site. Get started and then by reading some of our previous blog posts too.

Step 1: Understand the basics

Looking at a co-op plan, just understand that there’s a brand with a sales promotion program for local retailers. Know the fundamentals on what’s involved in the co-op process (accruals, participation, reimbursement, etc.) and maybe check out the manufacturer’s Web site for more info on their product. Generally you’re just positioning yourself to help the retailer with this. As in all things, you shouldn’t worry about having all the answers; nobody does…but you have the resources and the willingness to find out.

Step 2: Find your local dealers

Are there retailers in your market that carry the manufacturer’s product line? Use the dealer link on the co-op plan to find out who they are and ask yourself, “If they do or do not currently advertise with us, will helping them with their co-op garner more advertising?” Remember, you’ll only be able to help local retailers with this and not the major accounts of the world—they already have people for this.

Step 3: Review the local retailer’s brand promotion plan

Review the manufacturer’s co-op plan (and possibly print a copy for your meeting). Make sure you know the accrual and the participation to assess what kind of promotion might make sense for the retailer as part of their overall advertising schedule. You or the dealer may need to check with their manufacturer sales rep or the co-op administrator for specifics.

You can estimate a retailer’s co-op balance by having them ballpark their total purchases with the manufacturer over the course of the accrual period (i.e., $100,000 in wholesale purchases with a 2% accrual is $2,000 in available co-op).

Step 4: Showcase the manufacturer’s ad materials

Your most effective approach is to use the promotional ad materials found in the Ad Material Warehouse created by the manufacturer for the products they sell. These are linked directly from the co-op plan, and in many cases you can just insert their store information on the manufacturer ads for the presentation to help them visualize their ad in the paper.

The ads on recas.com are for spec ad presentation to the dealer and need to be confirmed and possibly updated by the manufacturer. The ads provide a basis for a conversation with your retailer about capitalizing on the manufacturer’s national promotion.

Step 5: Assist local dealers with co-op

I recommend approaching the local dealer with a bundled ad schedule along with the prepared ad material for a turn-key presentation. A base proposal document is available through Recas.com for this purpose. Recas subscribers have access to an automated proposal generator that can bundle the proposed schedule with the ad for a professional look. Regardless of what you use, you want to be able to present the retailer with a total package containing what, where, and how much this program can do for their business.

 If the customer is comfortable with the co-op process and their available resources, you can get them started. You will just need to help them manage the co-op process through your publication: get manufacturer ad approval, place the schedule and provide co-op invoicing for reimbursement.

Continued next week…we’ll continue with Step 6—Helping your local dealers with their co-op accruals, Step 7—Helping your local dealers with reimbursement, and asking questions such as, “There appears to be an advertising program to help with the products you carry; has anyone told you about this?”

In the meantime, don’t be overwhelmed – one step at a time. 

 

Tim BrennanTim Brennan
tbrennan@recas.com
309-678-8745
www.recas.com

Sales Leads Delivered to Your Inbox

Sales LScreen Shot 2016-02-24 at 2.56.23 PMeads Delivered to Your Inbox

Sales Leads Delivered?  Did you know Recas subscribers get Sales Lead e-mails sent directly to their Inbox? It is a great first step in building new co-op sales as well as a reminder to follow up with timely products. Whether you are just getting started or have been using co-op for years, you want to get this e-mail!

What’s in the e-mail?  

Link to manufacturer Web site

Link to co-op plan information

Link to related manufacturer ad materials in the Recas Ad Material Warehouse

Link to dealers in your area

 

What should I do upon receiving the email?

  1. Click on the dealer locator link for a list of local dealer(s).
  2. Research accruals–click on the co-op plan link to find the Accrual Contact. Contact the person listed to find out how much money the local dealer(s) has accrued.
  3. Click on the Ad Material link to find artwork and create a spec ad for the proposal.
  4. Click on co-op plan link in the lead to link to our Proposal Generator to create a professional proposal (subscription required) or create a proposal using software of your choice. When presenting your advertising proposal to the local dealer, be sure to include the following:
    • The co-op plan from the manufacturer to show that they will pay a portion of the ad (use co-op plan link).
    • The proposed ad with both product and dealer information (use the related manufacturer ad materials link).
    • The schedule that will give them the best bang for their buck in the paper.
    • Information explaining how your paper will help them manage the co-op process including ad verification, placement and co-op invoicing for reimbursement.
  5. Set up an appointment with the local dealer.

There’s always another way.

If your local dealer(s) does not have any money accrued through the formal co-op plan, contact the manufacturer’s sales rep for your area to see if something else can be arranged. Remember, this is a commissioned salesperson who wants to sell more products. If they see a true opportunity, they will find a way to work with you. First though, they have to be sold on your company’s reach in the market and the ability of your proposed advertising campaign to show results.

We have plenty of people here to help you get through the stumbling blocks you might have so be sure to contact us at support@recas.com if you have any questions.  Find out more about the sales leads we provide and how they can make you money at www.recas.com.

 

Tim BrennanTim Brennan
tbrennan@recas.com
309-678-8745
www.recas.com

10 Ways Co-op Makes Advertising Experts

Top10HeadingC1307_S_72_C_R10 Ways Co-op Makes Advertising Experts

  1. Co-op advertising will increase the reach and frequency of not only the brand, but also of the store’s name, thus increasing their traffic and sales overall.
  2. With the manufacturers paying for portions of advertising and promotion, this can stretch your retailers’ advertising budget.
  3. By using co-op advertising on national brand merchandise, retailers tie in with the manufacturer’s national advertising and identify their store as the national brand outlet in an area.
  4. For many advertisers, using the manufacturer-created ad materials can upgrade the look of their ads with minimal design time from your production department.
  5. Ads paid with co-op dollars can mean a new or larger volume contract with your paper, and therefore reduce the retailers’ cost per ad, making their ad budget go even further.
  6. Co-op advertised brands will help sell other products once the consumer is in the store.
  7. Supplementing retailers’ ad budgets with manufacturers’ funds will help the retailers be more competitive in the marketplace and enable them to build on the success of their advertising.
  8. Unused co-op accruals cost retailers money in potential advertising promotions that could lead to more sales and further purchases from manufacturers.
  9. If retailers don’t use it, they lose it—and so does your paper. Not to mention a competing media outlet could sell against you using the very same co-op funds if you don’t get there first.
  10. Co-op accruals are the retailers’ money, money actually paid by the retailer when they purchased the products for resale. They will appreciate your help in using what they have coming to them.
If you’re looking for information or ideas to start your co-op initiative, contact us today at sales@recas.com.  Trust us, wee know we can find more than just 10 Ways Co-op Makes Advertising Experts. Why stop at ten?  www.recas.com

Tim BrennanTim Brennan
tbrennan@recas.com
309-678-8745
www.recas.com


Co-op Advertising…go ahead and Google it. I dare you.

MoneyInWalletHC1601_M_150_C_RCo-op Advertising…go ahead and Google it. I dare you.  In a lot of places there seems to be a publisher perception that co-op, brand programs are non-existent or at least less viable in today’s retail environment. Again, I say nonsense. Go ahead and Google it…I’ll wait.
About 98,000,000 results, right? Per one of my favorite quotes from Aldous Huxley (who has a lot of them), “Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.” The results will show a wide variety of information… definitions from a lot of sources, articles from many places, sales resources, agency and media assistance, some manufacturer plans and materials, etc. Co-op advertising turns out to be a catchall term that can mean a lot of things revolving around shared marketing, so let’s get more particular.
Google “co-op advertising guidelines”…again, I’ll wait.
About 12,900,000 results, right? Well, that narrows it down. And what you’ll find here is a little more particular to manufacturer brand advertising plans for the local dealer base and the agencies that help to manage them. You should find more than a few examples of specific manufacturer plan details that will resonate with local stores in your neck of the woods. Of course, with that many results in the search, there’s a lot of crap…old information, irrelevant detail and the like.
Recas by Ad-Builder helps to boil this down into a more usable fashion for sales executives through a lot of direct contact with manufacturers and their agencies about their . We tailor this with as much detail as they’ll provide us to help the local media help their SMB channel partners that invariably need more assistance with their advertising than the manufacturer can deal with. Recas tailors the manufacturer co-op plan when possible with sample ad material, current consumer promotions, and linkage to the manufacturer’s store locators so that you can literally know the details of the brand advertising plan, have sample promotions and materials to show, and know who the brand resellers are in your market area. You can absolutely develop more co-op leads in any market than you will ever be able to follow up on.
The question then becomes, what to do with all of that, and there’s really not one simple answer to that. Each brand has its own complexities and every dealer has its own viewpoint on what it’s worth to their business. In the media sales environment you really should have a process that your reps can count on when their accounts bring it up. You can even link to a solution from Advertising for Dummies here:

http://www.dummies.com/how-to/content/how-to-use-an-advertising-coop-program.html

There are a lot of players in this space and the winners all provide turnkey solutions for using the available co-op resources. From dealer proposal to accrual reclamation, this is not brain surgery and can be accomplished with a small amount of effort. The first step is to recognize that you have a problem and overcome your denial. There are lots of opportunities all around you and we’ll discuss them more in this space over the coming months…or feel free to reach out to me anytime.
If you need a co-op target for this month, go and talk to any of the Heating-Air Conditioning companies in your market…all of the brands they sell (Carrier, Trane, Lennox, etc.) have lucrative co-op offerings…and if they’re not busy, they should be.

Tim BrennanTim Brennan
tbrennan@recas.com
309-678-8745
www.recas.com

Co-op = Math + Creative

02052915280023lams_S_72_C_RCo-op = Math + Creative  How much co-op money is available in my market? What level of opportunity do I have with my local dealer of Brand X? What kind of revenue could I generate by focusing on Category Y? I get asked these questions fairly often and most can be answered pretty easily with basic math.

Unfortunately, most Americans are pretty bad at math, which is part of the problem with co-op advertising… it’s all math-based. Generally these programs all provide a small percentage of purchases as the base funding mechanism for the dealer brand promotion budget. This percentage can vary from less than 1% to over 10% of the wholesale purchases dealers make for the brand inventory involved. And each manufacturer’s percentage will be a little different, which can become vexing for the local dealer trying to keep track of the monies involved.

Some manufacturers will take the entirety of the previous year’s business and apply the co-op accrual percentage to give the dealer a full budget for the plan’s performance period…these generally make it a bit easier for the players involved. This allocation can be planned for and included in a dealer’s advertising budget cycle as they work out their plan for the year. Many other manufacturers however will base their co-op allotment on current year’s business, which adds to the co-op pool with every product order. These plans create a moving target for the dealer to try to keep up with and often lead to underutilized co-op budgets or completely untapped resources.

This is where the math comes in.

With any approach to a local brand dealer, you should bring whatever details are available for their brand’s co-op offering. When the plan lists that the co-op accrual varies or the plan is specially arranged through the manufacturer rep (more on that next time), simply work from a base average of 2-3% of wholesale volume. If the dealer is unaware of how much co-op money might be available, just ask the very simple question of “about how much business have you done in Brand X this year?” With whatever ballpark number they give you, use the calculator on your phone and multiply it by the accrual percentage to get your answer. This will give you an idea of whether this is something to pursue and if so, connect with the manufacturer directly or their sales rep to nail down the exact figure.

Doing this you’ll soon figure out that your dealer needs to be moving more than $10,000 in product volume to make a dent in any decent advertising (i.e., $10,000 x 2% = $200 co-op). With some stores, you’ll find that $200 in a lot of different pockets, which can definitely transform what they might be able to do with you.

Once you’ve used the left-brained analytics to sketch out the possible budget, add in your right-brained creativity to apply whatever ad materials you have for the brand to show the dealer how they could apply that to their advertising schedule. Co-op should rarely be the entirety of the advertiser’s spend with you, but with the right dealer and brands, this should really increase the exposure you can provide.

Use both sides of your brain to give your accounts the right solutions.

Tim BrennanTim Brennan
tbrennan@recas.com
309-678-8745
www.recas.com

Co-op Funds – Never Assume

FishHookWormHC1310_S_72_C_RNever Assume!  I had the good fortune to travel to a new market this past week for 4-legged sales calls to non-advertisers with a newspaper client. Of the 8 preset appointments we struck unused co-op funding in each and every location…it was really like shooting fish in a barrel.

In each case, the business owner simply had no time to do the discovery on the do’s and don’t’s of the co-op plan and really had no desire to take time out of their busy schedule to reach out to the manufacturer contact for understanding. All of these businesses were successful in their own right, yet were willingly wasting hundreds and sometimes thousands of dollars in manufacturer ad support. Based on our authorized accrual research after the fact and basic math in presentations (about how much business have you done this year with this brand? Well 1% of $500,000 is $5,000), we estimated that those 8 non-advertiser calls had more than $40,000 in co-op money with the potential for over $60,000 in advertising solutions. Some of these accounts were not advertising anywhere at all…but hopefully now they will be.

These local dealer assumptions were not unique to this market nor are their challenges in understanding the manufacturer co-op policies totally unfounded. There are likely several businesses like these in your market with similar feelings. Their thinking is that the co-op plan is mysterious because the manufacturer doesn’t want them to use it, which is not the case at all. The key is making it easy for these beleaguered business owners who are as cut to the bone as we are.

One. Do the math for them. Roughly estimate their co-op accrual by multiplying “about how much business they do with the brand” by the plan’s accrual percentage. Then do the math for them on how much more reach and frequency they could get with their advertising by including co-op.

Two. Show them how it looks. Work out spec creative for them with each media product that makes sense for them. What would a newspaper ad look like? How about a single-sheet insert? And hey, what about a banner ad linking to a landing page with your newspaper ad?

Three. Explain how they get paid back. Co-op is like a rebate program for advertising where they have to submit all of the documentation to get credit on their account. If you can, offer to get them the needed documentation and the claim address to send it.

Dont be afraid to ask questions and never assume your accounts are well schooled in co-op. If you haven’t seen them running brand materials in their ads, chances are that they’re just like the 8 accounts I saw. And I’m thinking that $60,000 would help your budget goals also.

Tim BrennanTim Brennan

tbrennan@recas.com
309-678-8745
www.recas.com

The Sad Truth of Unused Co-Op Advertising Dollars

The Sad Truth of Unused Co-Op Dollars.   Regardless of how much these programs are touted by the manufacturer or the media, large amounts of any brand co-op program budget go unspent. And despite the misguided conception of many, manufacturers do indeed want their channel partners to take advantage of these programs since it gives them localized brand advertising at attractive media rates. Some manufacturers will have programs to move this money through different dealer programs to boost sales volume but many brands will still have large pools of unspent allocations on the books come year’s end.

So why do local dealers just watch these budgets dry up and blow away each and every year? Well, lots of reasons…

Complexities…because the earnings involved in these programs intersect with purchase volume, sales is involved to ensure communication and product availability. And because the advertising intersects with brand presentation in many media options, marketing is involved to make sure ads meet any compliance rules. And because the program involves dealer reimbursement for the advertising, finance is involved to verify auditing rules and validate payments. The more cooks, the more ingredients in the soup…

Small earnings and reimbursement percentages…because co-op funding is based on small percentages of wholesale purchases over different timeframes, a dealer can easily lose track of what kind of budgets are available. Beyond that, only a percentage of the total ad costs are paid back to dealers and usually as a credit on their account. The details involved can be tricky for one or two brands, let alone those stores that might have multiple vendors with co-op programs. Basic math skills are needed to work through the process, but even a little money back on advertising helps the bottom line.

Dealer trust…because the program appears complicated, the dealer perception can be that it’s not worth the headache. Advertising itself can be complicated enough without adding all of these other factors into the mix. The advertising content may be difficult to work into what the dealer usually tries to accomplish and there may have been instances that it was tried in the past and not covered under the program guidelines. if you can show how the creative can fit together simply and effectively while showcasing their local brand, it can certainly help take away the misgivings the dealer may have.

Paper shuffle…because marketing needs to approve the ad before publication and finance needs to see documentation after the fact, there are added steps in the process for someone to handle. Left to their own devices, the local dealers have no one beyond themselves to handle these steps, which are simple necessities in the co-op process. If your solution can gather all of the relevant material as part of the plan, at the very least it helps take care of details they won’t need to cover.

Co-op won’t sell your media solutions, but there is a reason that certain media types are approved for these programs. Most local players need to see what your solution can provide and how you can help their business by taking care of the details. Otherwise, dealers will continue to use what they can easily and the rest will simply go away again next year.

Tim Brennan Tim Brennan
tbrennan@recas.com
309-678-8745
www.recas.com

What’s a few BILLION dollars, right?

What’s a few billion dollars, right?

Right now is a time when there are a couple high-profile reports on co-op advertising usage. One came out last year from Borrell Associates with a focus on the changing face of co-op programs with the inclusion of digital spending options. In the study of 3,741 SMBs, they found broad adoption of digital platforms although complications with many programs showed fairly slow dealer progress with their brand partners in co-op support. Borrell also compared business co-op spending versus a similar study they did in 2012 and released the overall media detail report.

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Why would you say newspaper spending is down? Could it be your sales reps don’t know co-op well? Maybe your dealers don’t know it very well? Maybe you don’t know it very well? And 9% in 3 years…wow.

Tallying total available co-op at $36 Billion, Borrell goes on to estimate unused co-op at $14 Billion…both figures I would argue are underestimated. Co-op budgets are small percentages of wholesale purchases across a vast array of business categories and brands and often lost by accounts in the shuffle of day-to-day priorities. I’ve seen estimates that range much higher on both scores with guesses as high as 48% of total co-op going unused. Of course it’s all mostly speculation since it would be near impossible to gather anything close to a real number. Let’s all just agree that it’s a lot.

The real question comes down to why. Here are the responses the dealers gave:

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It’s always been part of the media sales gig to help walk local advertisers through the process involved. Their main concern is making the cash register ring and they spend very little time overall with marketing since they’re the ones answering the phones, sweeping the floors, ordering inventory, helping customers, etc. Most brand dealers know they have co-op, but may be a little muddy on the details and how to make it pay for itself.

There’s another study from the folks at Brandmuscle who last month released their 2016 State of Local Marketing report. It gets a little more granular on the detail but boils down to the same thing. Your local advertisers need help with this stuff. And if you won’t, who will?

Feel free to reach out to me directly and I’d be happy to send along copies of these reports. I could give you some specifics on who, what, where, and how we could help in your market…just say when. What’s a few billion dollars, right?

Tim Brennan, VP of Strategic Sales for Recas

tbrennabrennan_timn@recas.com
309-678-8745
www.recas.com

Co-Branding Focus your Advertising

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magnifying glass for co-op

Co-op advertising is generally just branded advertising with financial support from the supplier. One of my favorite clients over the years focused on the brand promotion aspect of the advertising sale first and foremost with a nod toward the potential reimbursement under the co-op guidelines. Her approach in the local market was that the dealer should advertise the branded promotions through local media to capitalize on the manufacturer’s national push and tell area consumers where to take advantage of it.

Her vision of the process was really co-branding the local store to the manufacturer product with frequent advertising. This built a strong association of the local store with the brand and should provide some long-term recognition to play off any other manufacturer promotion. Since any national advertising by the manufacturer really just focuses on the “what and why” of the product messaging, she looked to leverage the same brand message with her clients to focus on “where” for the local audience. She was VERY successful with this approach.

Her work with the local advertiser targeted the specific need for brand association with her audience and, while she would provide the co-op plan detail and manage the brand compliance work, co-op reimbursement was secondary to the conversation. She would be happy to explain how co-op worked and what to submit for plan reimbursement, but left those details for the advertiser to manage on their own. She worked exclusively on the co-branding concept regardless of whether the dealer had enough (or any) co-op money for the campaign simply because this was the best way to drive traffic and sales.

How could this concept work for you? What sort of local brand champions might you find in your market for Allstate Insurance, Benjamin Moore Paints, Castrol Motor Oil, Delsey Luggage, Emerson Air Conditioners, etc?

For those that would like to target a specific consumer promotion tied to a major manufacturer brand in June, there are plenty to choose from. In the motorcycle category you can aim at your Honda, Victory, or Yamaha dealers…in the tire category you can aim at your Goodyear, Hankook, or Michelin dealers…in the boating category, there’s expiring co-op plans with Honda Marine and Suzuki Marine. There are always branded opportunities…

Sometimes the process just needs a brand and an aggressive local reseller, so you don’t have to overthink the co-op detail. Just look for your local brand champion.

Tim Brennan
tbrennan@recas.com
www.recas.com

Who’s in the Spotlight? Vice President of Recas Strategic Development – Tim Brennan

Meet Tim Brennan, VP of Strategic Development at Recas! Tim is going on 15 years with MultiAd and is very passionate about what he does for Recas co-op advertising. Here, he tells us about his time with MultiAd and some interesting facts about himself.

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What is your role at MultiAd?

I am the Vice President of Strategic Development at Recas, a division of MultiAd. That means that I help build co-op advertising solutions between manufacturers and media operations for local dealers. We work to help businesses utilize the advantages of manufacturer brand programs in print, broadcast and digital media with direct and indirect support.

What’s your favorite part of your job?

The people. I’ve had the privilege of meeting and working with some top-notch folks around the country over the years. I love their passion for the advertising business and have learned a lot in the process. With the transition from “old media” to “new media,” there’s been a huge learning curve for everyone in making the process work for local businesses. That’s been my passion from the very beginning. I like helping the local business hang on and thrive in the age of the big box, which is usually done through consistency in message and strong partner affiliations. It’s still very much a people business.

What past jobs/experiences have helped you along the way in your career?

I’ve been in the business of brand sales promotion for over 25 years, and have worked a lot in the field of co-op advertising and market development support, which helped me build my skills. My first job out of college as Co-op Administrator at Fair Discount Department Store helped start my career with a solid foundation in how manufacturers help local businesses advertise to move inventory. From there, I was able to move up as advertising director for the company, where I managed an advertising team to develop the marketing and sales promotions for our regional discount department stores. After moving on to a decade of local business in newspapers, my skills in co-op advertising eventually led me to MultiAd. That’s where I began working on products and strategies to build advertising with media clients in our AdBuilder Graphics, Creator Ad Production and Recas solutions.

How long have you been with MultiAd?

Well, I actually started out as a client for a lot of years. I brought Recas into the Fair in 1989 (when it was paper and micro-fiche). I also worked with Recas through two different newspapers in New England until I was recruited over in 1999. I started at MultiAd as a business development manager in the Northeast and became the Vice President of Recas Strategic Development almost two years ago.

What’s a typical day at work like for you?

Never a dull moment…although I kind of miss the dull moments. It’s usually a mix of client calls and consultations along with work on new business on every end of the advertising spectrum from media, manufacturers and retailers. When the phone rings, it could be anything from a new rep at a small community paper to a brand manager with a major manufacturer, usually with questions on the complexities of co-op advertising and media.

What’s your fondest memory of your time at MultiAd?

That’s a tough one. It’s hard to not pull out some funny anecdotes that really shouldn’t be shared here. In my role working with many sometimes competing entities, I have to be a living, breathing non-disclosure act. There have been a lot of great times in great places over the years. MultiAd helped me step foot in each of the contiguous states so far, and that’s been pretty cool. It’s a pretty big and diverse country.

Do you have any fears?

Articles like this.

Tim_Brennan

What’s the best dish you can cook?

Outside of the grill, the best I can do is boil water. Love my grill time though.

Do you have any hobbies? What do you like to do in your free time?

By necessity, home improvement. I bought a house back in 2003 that needed pretty much everything replaced except the foundation. After 11 years of a lot of trial and error, it’s actually a pretty neat place that I capped off with a new deck and pergola last year. Plus I’ve carved my way to a pretty neat view of New Hampshire scenery after years of chainsaw and bonfire activity.

Tim_Brennan_House2

If you could hang out with any celebrity for a day, who would you choose and why?

I’m not a big fan of our myopic celebrity culture. I’d rather sit down and have a beer with any random stranger to get their viewpoint of the world.

What kind of music do you listen to? Do you have a favorite musician/band?

My music tastes are all over the place and hard to peg. Anyone scrolling through my collection may be a bit mystified by the variety. I guess my favorite band would be The Killers. My wife has had a crush on the lead singer Brandon Flowers for a while and we’ve seen them in California, Massachusettes and Connecticut, and on a strange whim at Wembley Stadium in London last year. Good stuff.

What are your greatest personal and professional achievements?

Another tough one. All of my achievements have involved the collaboration of others and I consider them all mutual successes. I guess one of the better ones would be the 10th anniversary I’ll celebrate with my wife Doreen this year. Obviously, she’s a very patient and forgiving soul.

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Do you have any pets?

Dogs. Currently Cricket, a Portuguese Water Dog, who hates the water, and Meiko, a Shih Tzu, who thinks he’s a much bigger dog than he is. I did once have a great Golden Retriever named Bailey, who I took on a sabbatical around the country back in 2002. He peed in 32 states along with the Atlantic, Pacific and the Gulf of Mexico. Great dog.

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4202 monument valley car bailey