David Esrati, the most dangerous man in Dayton

Ideas are currency.

And in Dayton Ohio, we used up our quota sometime before 1950, because, frankly, up until then we were on a roll. Inventions poured out of this little city. The cash register, the airplane, the step-ladder, the electric starter and even ice-cube trays. We had a few hits after 1950 like the pop-top and the search engine, but, generally, we ran out of gas.

We did stupid things like slice through downtown with a big elevated highway, and we allowed sprawl like no-ones business (actually- it was great business for a few people in power who profited greatly from insider knowledge), and we let our racism tear this city apart.

That all happened before I got to town and pissed off the powers that be by putting up the wrong kind of garage doors on a garage that came with a $14,500 house. Yes, a house that cost less than a parking spot in NYC for a year. That was the beginning of the attempt to tame this wild new thinker in Dayton.

I’ve been called names, I’ve been assaulted by a Mayor, arrested by another Mayor, I’ve been called a pedophile by a Union Chief- who also picked a fight- and then as I got out of my car- slammed the door on my leg. I’ve had my house shot, my office windows broken 2 nights in a row, I’ve been threatened with bodily harm, and had microphones shut off as I spoke at public meetings. I’ve been thrown out of libraries, locked out of public meetings and written up for peeling paint. I think I’ve even been falsely accused of double dipping my chips.

However, the internet has given me a chance to speak and be heard. I’ve broken stories of illegal campaign donations, payola to our congressman’s wife, torture and deaths in the jail and international men of mystery pulling a fast one on the hapless school board and then the Republican party.

But, when it comes to being recognized as a legitimate voice in the community the door has been slammed shut. For the first three years I applied to be a speaker at TEDx- and rejected.

thumbnail of daytonaaf-letter

Thrown out of Ad Club

And yesterday, I got told that my slides were too political, and we can’t have you speak at Pecha Kucha this Thursday night. Yep, talking about hanging basketball nets instead of putting out political yard signs is too risque for PK. Then the mail had an unsigned letter from AAF Dayton, formerly known as the Dayton Ad Club. My membership dues were being returned and I wasn’t welcome as a member. I’d been a member of the club for at least 25 years, but chose to join Cincinnati last year after they gave the Silver Medal to a guy who just showed up in town about 7 years ago. Hell, he barely made it to the meetings. So much for years of volunteer work, community contributions, and actually hiring people and giving them their first jobs in the business.

Good thing is, Cincinnati still welcomes me.

Now a few friends have said things like, you know, if people keep telling you that you have a tail, at some point you might want to look back and do something about it.

To them, I say, sure thing. I’m sure that people told Rosa Parks, “Lady, look, just go on to the back of the bus and don’t make no stink, Whitey is awful nice to even let us ride on their buses with them”

And, others told Martin Luther King, to just stick to the bible and preaching, all this marching and rabble rousing will just get you thrown in jail or worse.

How do I know that? Here’s the opening of his letter, from the Birmingham jail- I’d highly recommend reading the whole thing.

16 April 1963

My Dear Fellow Clergymen:

While confined here in the Birmingham city jail, I came across your recent statement calling my present activities “unwise and untimely.” Seldom do I pause to answer criticism of my work and ideas. If I sought to answer all the criticisms that cross my desk, my secretaries would have little time for anything other than such correspondence in the course of the day, and I would have no time for constructive work.

Source: Letter from a Birmingham Jail [King, Jr.]

So, since I won’t be able to take the stage on Thursday to talk about “The Long Game of Basketball Net Propaganda” at PK- here’s the banned presentation- please share it with everyone.

Banned in Dayton:

And if you’re wondering about my other 2 PK presentations

And when we stop sharing ideas. We’re broke.

You should come to SummitUp — Dayton’s new media confab

SummitUp Conference LogoThis is our fifth year of putting on a super affordable, awesome day-long conference in Dayton. I’ve been working on this from the start- as a member of AAF Dayton- the American Advertising Federation’s local chapter.

SummitUp 2013 is a full day conference dedicated to exploring the integration of creativity, communication, and technology. It takes place on Tuesday, October 15th, 2013, and will be held at Sinclair Community College in Dayton, Ohio. The event features exceptional speakers, and the opportunity to meet and make friends with some of the brightest, most influential minds in modern business. Register Today!

via SummitUp — new media confab.

What’s different about this conference? Mostly- that it’s organized by every marketing and social media organization in Dayton. The goal is to educate and enrich local professionals at an affordable price- right here in Dayton.
The speakers are pretty amazing- with thought leaders sharing their secret sauce to making the most of your marketing dollar.

Please consider joining me on Oct 15th 2013- and help make Dayton a smarter place.

Panhandling my way to Congress wins Gold at American Advertising Federation awards

David Esrati with AAF Dayton gold for his Panhandling my way to Congress  campaign

Hermes Gold with David Esrati, candidate and ad agency owner

Usually when a Dayton ad agency wins a Hermes award at the AAF Dayton (formerly the Dayton Ad Club) annual Hermes award, the agency gives a short acceptance speech thanking the client, talking about how wonderful they are to work with.

I got to make an acceptance speech last night for my agency, The Next Wave, for work we did on my campaign for Congress last year.

“The client sucked, he has no talent” was my opening. Then I went on to remind 406 of my peers that most “political advertising” reflects poorly on our profession. I spoke of the ad done in 1994 by one of our industries greats, Jerry Della Femina, who wrote a full page New York Times ad “Don’t call it advertising.” I asked that if a candidate comes to them with a request to do a “I was born in ________, I went to ___________ school, I’m a (insert profession here) and I’m going to (insert adjective) (insert verb) for you, type ad- to force the candidate to talk about real issues- and make real promises.

Because in real advertising, if the product or service doesn’t perform as advertising- there are real penalties. In politics, they just get elected and re-elected. Unfortunately, this spot- and the one on foreclosures that won a Silver last year, didn’t get seen by enough voters to make a difference. For that to have happened, I would have had to raise at least $15K – a far deal less than Sharen Neuhardt spent on her botched run.

Here is the spot:

Please watch and share.

From winning the Hermes locally, it’s now entered to go to Regionals and then it can go to the National competition. There were over 433 entries, 238 got in ($65 an entry), a majority win bronze awards which aren’t eligible to move up, and each category (this won in the public service category) can  win one, maybe two golds out of a small pool of silvers. Only 24 Golds were awarded.

It’s a very tough competition, with local agencies doing work for Sears, Nike and other global clients. There is incredible talent in this city- much of it under-appreciated by local businesses. One former boss of mine had several entries win Silver for Chinese clients. Dayton can compete on a global stage.

Even though this spot and the foreclosure spot won, I’m most proud of the public information campaign I ran, where I posted video of almost every candidate at every candidates’ night- so that voters can be informed. It’s my goal to implement better ways for informing voters and change the nature of the process from mudslinging and money grubbing to discussions about the issues. To do that, I’ll need your support. Please consider donating to my campaign for City Commission where I’ve committed to run for under $10K.  Donate: http://electesrati.com/donate-2/

Now, out to collect signatures again in the freezing cold. :-)