Yes, we can weave these disparate elements into a single blog post!

By John Nycz

This spring I joined almost 20 fraternity brothers for a steelhead fishing trip in western Michigan. We were a week late for the steelhead run, but managed a great time, consumed copious amounts of alcohol, and ate way too much incredible food. Pretty much exactly like when we were in college, with the exception of the fact that I was now bald and some among us had really learned how to cook!

Immersion Marketing

Joining us on the trip was Ty Damon. Ty is both a friend, and a respected mentor. He IS actually a marketing genius. Ty headed up GM’s “R*Works” marketing think tank, which was merged with Jack Morton (both with Interpublic Group) in 2011. Earlier this year he retired from his position as Executive Director of Jack Morton’s Detroit agency. Ty is now forcing Marketing MBA candidates to think outside of boxes and turn in infographics for all their projects at Detroit’s College for Creative Studies. In all his spare time, he also heads the Michigan Chapter of The National Ski Patrol.

I couldn’t resist the chance to corner Ty and have a conversation about where we should be setting strategy for TTV. He was polite enough to ask about our focus on tactical marketing support, and query about how we approached content marketing, then he stopped me mid sentence:

“Wait, you don’t do ‘content marketing’ anymore. That’s not sexy enough. That’s too 2012. You do Immersion Marketing!”

Accordingly, stay tuned as we update web copy and collateral to reflect our newly re-branded capabilities as “Immersion Marketing” experts!

Cooking My Phone

So, while fishing, I must have failed to correctly secure the dry bag used to protect my phone, wallet, and fishing license from the Pere Marquette river. Clearly, I was so excited about the ‘Immersion Marketing’ idea that I immediately immersed my phone in the river. The Samsung was not soaked, but it was wet. I powered it back on. The screen quickly morphed to look like what Jim Morrison may have seen during an acid trip, then faded to black. I began searching the kitchen for a bag of rice to dehydrate the device in.

Ty had a better idea. He had read that if you put the phone in the oven at 175 degrees it will not melt, but will dry the phone completely. In fact, Ty had successfully done it. I had obvious trepidation with the concept. However, in the absence of a bag of rice, and after a few more cocktails, I acquiesced. At approximately 11:00 PM, we carefully set the oven to 175 degrees and placed the phone, battery removed, on a cookie sheet inside. After all, I held Ty’s opinions in such high regard that I had already decided to initiate a re-branding of our service offerings. What could possibly go wrong here?


Having spent almost a decade working in the Operational Excellence consulting space, I knew about FMEA (Failure Mode and Effects Analysis). A FMEA is a tool used by production and process professionals to estimate and prioritize the propensity for different modes of failure in a process, and the severity of the impact of those failures. We should have done an FMEA on drying my phone in the oven. As it turns out, we missed a catastrophic failure mode:

We did not factor in the possibility of another fishing lodge guest (possibly imbibed) changing the oven setting to 425 degrees to preheat a pizza, then walking off and going to bed. Thank God for smoke alarms.

There, we did it!  Immersion Marketing, a cooked Samsung, and a FMEA all cohesively presented within the context of a single  post. My work here is complete.

Please feel free to comment if you have ever done anything that dumb with your mobile device!