Last week, before the assembled multitudes at the Spark Awards, I kissed my sister three times.
Now, my little sister is a playfully rambunctious wit with a smile in her soul who looks 15 years her own junior, and I joyfully plant a smooch on her cheek or head when the opportunity arises, which is episodic at best given her lack of proximity (700 miles) and allergy to felines, like the one who rules my home.
So I kiss her. But these kisses are not the romantic glottal engagements that fire up the machinery of arousal in men’s and women’s hearts. They are but a peck.
All of which is academic because my sister wasn’t actually in attendance at the Spark Awards. The kiss was metaphorical, conjured by Michigan State football coach Duffy Daugherty, who left behind his mortal coil in 1987.
Daugherty, asked about the feeling of fulfillment from earning neither a win nor a loss, but a tie, compared it to kissing your sister. It’s a kiss…but it’s your sister.
Hall of Fame baseball player George Brett added that losing is like kissing your grandmother with her teeth out. What experiences exactly he employed to set this benchmark is a question I’d prefer not to consider.
Anyway, I didn’t actually, metaphorically kiss my sister, because I didn’t tie. I finished second. What is finishing second like? Where’s Duffy Daugherty when you need him?
The communications department at Trident United Way entered three categories in the Spark Awards, the annual “best of” in the Charleston marketing arena. Each of our submissions earned a place in the finals, which is some small level of validation, no? I mean, we made the tournament, won a few games and earned a spot in the Final Four.
Each of our submissions garnered oral recognition, a certificate and a photo with our local AMA’s lovely and talented president. It was nice, like a kiss. But it was second place.
And three second place finishes, well, now it’s getting close to grandmother territory. It’s less kiss than kiss off.
The great philosopher, Ricky Bobby, from that cinematic classic Talladega Nights, offers no comfort. He said “second place is first loser.”
So thank you, The Brandon Agency, for relegating our spectacular campaign video, produced by the amazing video firm Lunch & Recess, to first loser.*
And a big fish face to you, South Carolina Aquarium, for dropping our social media campaign to sister-kissing territory.*
And Gina Ellis-Strother, a most worthy 2015 Marketer of the Year, your grace and dignity, your professionalism, your evident aptitude and accomplishments, to all of that I say, thhhhhppppp. Our nominee Peter Wertimer, president of advertising at Chernoff Newman and an icon of local marketing communications, may have finished second, but he remains our prince of marketing.*
Still, just to be safe, if he ever meets my sister, he should just shake her hand.
* Truth is, while we’re really proud of our work, and of our ad agency and video firm, we have a Marxist view of these awards. Groucho Marx, that is. I’m not sure we’d want to win any award whose standards are so low that we could win one. Besides, have you seen the work of Brandon, the Aquarium and Gina at Charleston County Parks?