His first brush with the law
Johnathan Crawford’s first brush with the law was when the Federal Communication Commission issued him a citation for operating an illegal “pirate” radio station in his hometown of Cincinnati. He was just 15 and deep into electronics, rock and roll and most importantly the magic of radio. It was the beginning of a 25-year career in commercial, legal, radio broadcasting that eventually transitioned to Internet marketing and his own company, Data Dog Interactive. At Data Dog he combined his experience creating and copywriting “theater of the mind” radio ads with his newfound love of email marketing. The result was a company with a lot of creative attitude that pioneered and perfected several lead generation tactics commonly used today. His career continued in the agency world where he became a creative director overseeing the output of a B2B agency, Cultivate Communications, in Milwaukee.The big take away for Crawford was his understanding of how to influence the way people think and feel through marketing. His skills focus on defining how a business can best tell its story with an effective outcome. That is the story behind Mister Message.
At the age of 16, I was deeply passionate about, electronics, rock and roll and the radio business. With the help of school mate Peter Brush, an electronics genius, I built a boot leg AM transmitter broadcasting at 1610 am, just above the broadcast band - but still listenable on any am radio. The transmitter construction led to a full studio in my basement complete with cue-able turntables. It was a lot of fun and many friends tuned in until the Feds busted me. It reached out six miles around my house!
My radio career took me to Chicago’s WLUP, “The Loop”- the pinnacle of big city shock-jock rock radio. There, as an imaginative sales person I developed a two- sided taxi called the Mello Yellow Limo as a promotional vehicle to accompany Coke’s huge ad spend with the station. I learned that creativity can have real value in many ways.
Data Dog, as an agency, was early to the game of email marketing and we took a lot of first steps in establishing value for this medium. Message attitude was critical in making it work as a channel, and this invite to one of our client parties set the tone for the company. Always close to the edge without going over.