Bonitamedia’s Weblog

Creating a lasting impression for small business

Faith Restored! (well – at least temporarily)

Creativity in marketing seems to be a lost art. David Ogilvy once suggested that 1 out of 100 ads are decent (thereby implying the rest are average or worse). Campaigns seem to have lost their luster – until this morning…

As I do on at 8am on the 3rd Thursday of the month, I attended the board of directors meeting for the Bonita Springs Chamber of Commerce. It was a typical meeting, where we received updates on the various happenings at the Chamber and so on. Nothing special – not until the end that is…

I had a few minutes to spare and started talking to a friend of mine, Bill Shikany, from Walter Shikany’s Funeral Home in Bonita Springs. What I heard was pure marketing genius!

A couple of days ago, Bill received a call from Nashville, TN, from Chris Waters. Chris is with Sony/BNA Records and represents seasoned artists like Kenny Chesney to newcomers like The Lost Trailers. The conversation went something like this:

CW – “HI, Mr. Shikany? This is Chris Waters. I am with Sony/BNA Records in Nashville, TN. How’s business? Are you busy right now?”

BS – “I have a few moments now. How can I help you?”

CW – “Have you ever heard of WWGR Gator Country 101.9?”

BS -“Yes I have. Their offices are here in town.”

CW – “Here’s my dilemma. I represent a new country act, The Lost Trailers, and WWGR Gator Country has had their new single for quite some time and is supposed to be playing it – but they aren’t. Would you do me a favor?”

BS – “What did you have in mind?”

CW- ” Would you please have your driver get in your Hearse and drive over to the station. Get Justin Tylerr, the program manager and ask him to please put The Lost Trailer’s CD in the back of your car. Tell Justin that Chris Waters said the new single, How ‘Bout You Don’t is dead on WWGR Gator Country, because they certainly haven’t played it!”

BS – “Sure thing. I’m on my way”

Now, I know what you’re thinking, anything from the guy in TN has some serious b@lls for calling a guy he never met to do a favor. But the story continues…

Bill arrives at the station and asks for the DJ. Bill asks him for the Lost Trailers CD. The Justin responds…”was I supposed to burn you a copy?” “No,” says Bill. “Mr. Chris Waters with Sony/BNA Records asked me to come by and have you put the CD in the back of my car (points to the Hearse) because evidently it is dead.” Justin and marketing director see the car and realize what is going on. Within 10 minutes the new single is being played.

Bill Shikany and Justin Taylor

Bill Shikany and Justin Tylerr

Justin following Mr. Waters' instructions to a "T"

Justin following Mr. Waters instructions

Absolutely awesome thinking! Coming from a large corporation, I am truly shocked. Mr. Waters stepped out of his comfort zone and created a cost-effective, dynamic, sure-to-get-notice campaign that accomplished his goal – getting The Lost Trailers heard on the #1 country station in SouthWest Florida. All it took was a little creativity and remembering the old adage “nothing ventured, nothing gained”.

Imagine if we all had the guts to run with our instincts! I’ve been told that your “gut” reaction is always the best, your “first guess” on a test is usually right?

If you are interested in learning more about this group that Chris went to such great extremes to promote, please visit

Chris Waters – if you’re out there, I just want you to know, I LOVE THIS! Let us hear how and why you came up with this idea, how you got hold of Bill, and more importantly, what the people of SWFL think of your new group!


November 20, 2008 - Posted by | Business tips, Marketing in SWFL, SWFL Hodge Podge | , , , , , , , ,


  1. I just received this email from Chris Waters…
    “I’m here – obviously Southwest Florida does love The Lost Trailers. They just came off a top 10 song “Holler Back” from their new CD bearing the same title (send me your address and I’ll be glad to mail you a copy of the new CD). We (BNA Records/Sony BMG) are now working with country radio to play the second single from the CD called “How Bout You Don’t” which just entered the top 40 country charts.

    It can be a challenge to get a new song added to a radio station’s playlist. My position with BNA records is all about that challenge. The genre can be somewhat saturated with great talent and great country songs. My passion for my artists must outweigh the competition and be conveyed to country radio in order to win. In other words there is some pretty “stiff” competition out there?

    Having said that, I was having lunch with the VP of BNA Records, Bryan Frasher and the Northeast Promotions Manager RJ Meacham earlier this week. We were casually discussing work. Out of frustration I said, “I haven’t been able to get The Lost Trailers any airplay at WWGR and I’m tempted to send Justin Tyler (program director) a hearse to pickup the single.” Bryan and RJ laughed and said, “That would certainly get his attention.” That’s all the motivation I needed to type “funeral home Bonita Springs, FL” into my Google search engine. I picked up the phone and was lucky enough to get Bill Shikany on the line – what an awesome guy! I feel like I made a friend for … ahhhh … LIFE … eehh.

    And now you know the rest of the story!

    Chris Waters


    Manager Southeast Promotion”

    Chris – thanks for the comments and the background! I look forward to hearing these guys!

    Comment by bonitamedia | November 21, 2008

  2. This is so funny… and brilliant.

    The best ideas are usually the ones that make you laugh.

    A quick note to Sony/BNA Records in Nashville: Chris Waters deserves a raise.


    Comment by Olivier Blanchard | November 21, 2008

  3. LOL!

    Comment by Chris Griffith | November 21, 2008

  4. He Might restore faith in a stranger but, to those that know him we know the real TRUTH behind his motive’s!! LOL

    Comment by alley's | December 1, 2008


    Comment by alley's | December 1, 2008

  6. @alley’s
    Not sure who is the one with questionable motives here… Why would you comment like that? I am not one to over-moderate, but you should at least backup your comments

    Comment by bonitamedia | December 2, 2008

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