From the mountains to the mud and back again —
Six years ago, I was catching my breath at over 13,000 feet and staring at Switzerland’s most iconic mountain. I sat atop the Breithorn’s summit glacier and across the valley of Zermatt before me, the Matterhorn stood tall in all its intimidating glory. Ice crystals were swirling in the thin air, and I was taking a picture of a stick of deodorant. Yeah. Old Spice Matterhorn.
During my Junior year at Bryant University, I stumbled across the most epic internship of all time. I was researching “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like” campaign for my advertising class and in doing so, discovered that Old Spice’s Adventure Internship would choose two men to send on the summer trip of a lifetime in support of promoting their brand new Fresh Collection line of deodorants. One would go to Fiji, and one to Matterhorn. I had to apply!
Other than some basic information and qualifying experience, the application really had one determinant question. “What does your dream job smell like?” That was it. I could tell they wanted to know that the guy they picked could nail the brand voice. He would, after all, be blogging and writing social posts about the adventures along the way.
I think I wrote something about a giant snowboarding waffle. It’s hard to remember the exact thing now, but it was ridiculous enough to get an interview, and after that, I got picked! I became the Old Spice Matterhorn intern and in June of 2010, I spent a couple weeks traveling Europe.
More specifically, I was promoting the Matterhorn line in Zermatt, Switzerland by way of snowboarding, climbing, paragliding, helicopter flights, wearing lederhosen and playing the alpenhorn, and even donning a nylon tux and attempting to get a date Bond-style. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen Bond in a stretchy tuxedo costume, but he probably couldn’t rock it any better! And I did end up getting two lovely Swiss gals to join me for a martini. Shaken, not stirred.
Let’s just say, it was one hell of an experience. One that really became the catalyst for me realizing that documenting my adventures could be a real career path! There it was. I would combine my experience in media production, with my studies in marketing, and create adventure content. This was before “content” was commonly spoken marketing industry jargon, and social media was just taking off.