Minneapolis has long been known as a creative hotspot, and helping to cement that reputation is Colle & McVoy. It's known as one of the best places to work (in the eyes of such diverse pubs as Outside magazine and Advertising Age) and for it smart ideas and design-savvy work. Among the latter are efforts for clients such as Land O Lakes, including the recent FarmFamilies website, highlighting the farming families within the company's dairy farmers co-operative, and Caribou Coffee, patron of innovative ideas that include personalizable packaging that pays homage to cancer survivors. The agency was also behind the memorable Heart Rescue Project for the Medtronic Foundation, a frightening, yet useful site that educates viewers on how to help someone who experiences cardiac arrest.
Leading the creative charge at the agency is Chief Creative Officer Mike Caguin, whose past stints were at shops such as Butler, Shine, Stern & Partners and TBWA/Chiat/Day. Beyond advertising, he's an outdoor sports junkie who's completed ten marathons and an Ironman. But that's not the most suprising thing about him, as you'll learn in this week's installment of Six Things.
1. He has an unwavering obsession with all things Bigfoot, paranormal and alien. Despite rational evidence to the contrary, and attempted convincing from his children, Mike is a believer. The proof is everywhere on TV.
2. He played varsity badminton in high school and went undefeated for two years. Yes, badminton was a varsity sport. When friends decided to quit the varsity soccer team because they disliked the coach, Mike joined them to form the varsity badminton team, which was coached by the art teacher. Not the first time an odd pairing produced great results.
3. Before advertising, he had a number of interesting jobs -- tangentially related to the culinary arts. He had several jobs as a dishwasher and actually kind of liked them. His first official job at 14 was washing dishes at a Baltimore restaurant and he had several more over the years, including in the dining hall at school. He thinks here's something cathartic about just putting your head down and powering through an undesirable job -- it builds grit and proves that egg yolk is the hardest schmutz to remove from dishware. Later, he moved onto cutlery -- selling knives (and sucking at it). For six months during college he peddled Cutco knives door-to-door after responding to a newspaper ad. He learned that he'd never excel at cold calling and that building a powerful network can make or break you. It also nurtured an entrepreneurial spirit in him that never died.
4. He bikes year round (in Minnesota!). What started out as a personal challenge eight seasons ago has become an addiction. The coldest day he's ridden was 20 below with a 60 below wind chill, on icy, snow-packed roads. He makes it a point to ride on the coldest day of the year. Survival is all about layers. Each challenging ride is a constant running of physical diagnostics (Feet safe? Check. Hands safe? Check). The intense mental focus to get safely from point A to point B he finds strangely relaxing.
5. He once did a handstand during a client call. To kill the boredom and make everyone laugh during a conference call, he flipped onto his hands, unbeknownst to the client. It worked. Everyone was re-energized and the client approved the work.
6. For the record, he's half Filipino and half Italian. And his last name is pronounced "Cog-in" -- it rhymes with noggin or toboggan. It's a rare day when someone guesses his ethnic background or can pronounce his last name correctly. But now we know.