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Today, And Every Day, We Should All Appreciate Nate

When I sat down with the Wasabi marketing department in late 2019 to talk about a bold new marketing campaign, things were admittedly a bit different in the world of business, nevermind the world beyond. I had an idea that would hopefully get some attention while at the same time shine a light on some of the most unsung heroes of every business. I had recently attended a conference of self-described Spiceheads (gearheads or IT nerds) who shared an overwhelming frustration with their lack of visibility, decision making authority and appreciation at the virtual executive roundtable. Whether installing and configuring our computer hardware, software, systems, networks, printers and scanners or providing timely support for service issues and requests, the IT Decision Makers are at the foundation of any company worth its salt. But, as we know, sometimes they don’t get the respect and acknowledgement they deserve.

As I explained to my team, we needed to embrace a strategy that would speak directly to these absolutely essential members of every company. We needed to connect with them on their terms, tell their story, and maybe have a little fun along the way.

Many people don’t know this about our CEO, David Friend (he’s too humble to share it himself), but he does have a bit of a musical background. You see, back in the 70s, David was the co-founder of ARP Synthesizers. Dave, with a GRAMMY or two under his belt, saw first hand the power of music to connect to broad audiences in his years chasing rock bands for endorsements like The Who, Stevie Wonder, Led Zeppelin, Herbie Hancock, and hundreds of others. What if Dave wrote an anthem to give voice to the IT Decision Makers and celebrated their first-hand experience? If we could thread the viral needle, I thought we had a golden opportunity to create a song that would generate organic reach and engagement on social media, if executed correctly.

I knew that in order to create something that was sticky we’d need to work with someone that has experience in vlogging and video marketing. Lucky enough, our own Director of Brand Julie Barry, had worked with the famous YouTuber Penn Holderness in a past life. And so the seed of the #MigratewithNate campaign was born!

So Penn and Dave collaborated on a catchy musical piece – they both share a soft spot for the band Toto. But who was this song for, specifically?? Who is this person, and how do they feel about their jobs? What were the unique challenges IT Decision Makers face in their everyday lives? Unreasonable bosses, blazing hot server rooms, unintentional nudity – everything was on the table. We needed to heighten the IT worker’s plight to bombastic, nay operatic, and even absurd heights. The long suffering IT departments around the world would finally get their day in the social media sun.

Once we gave this person a persona, the concept, music and lyrics just fell on to the paper…and Nate was born. We went through an exhaustive casting process to make sure we had the right “look” and sound for our Nate and his office buddies. With an incredible assist from the team over at Walk West, we wrote, shot and edited the #MigratewithNate campaign in a couple of months. I am so proud of the results. I hope, as we laugh along with Nate and feel his pain, that we also take his message to heart. For so many reasons, now more than ever, it’s time to migrate your data to the cloud. Listen to Nate, migrate before it’s too late.

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