Battle of the Brands, First Round, Legends Division

B-Bops vs. Jolly Time Popcorn

Six locations in Greater Des Moines and one in Ames serve up one of the best burgers you’ll ever have. Plus, B-Bops has that old school charm from another era and nostalgia, if the food is good – still plays. Bop on down…legends_region_lessing_flynn_battle_of_the_brands

When your tag line is “Oh Yum” you’ve got our attention. And while we haven’t had a chance to try the Sassy Salsa version of Popcorn the folks at Jolly Time make, we’re intrigued. Founded in 1914, Jolly Time has been perfecting the art of pop corn in the state where corn reigns supreme. A jolly time – indeed!

Hy-Vee vs. Blue Bunny

No one creates a better overall grocery shopping experience in Iowa than the folks at Hy-Vee. Consistency between stores is just part of the “Helpful smile in every aisle promise.” And, this whole Curtis Stone campaign is pretty brilliant. While men may not know who he is, my wife won’t stop talking about it. And who buys groceries? Lastly, there’s some rumblings about Hy-Vee making fresh sushi. Word is born!

Sure, Hy-Vee has game, but how are you going to vote against Blue Bunny. They’ve been cranking out ice cream since 1913 and have over 500 flavors. 500 flavors? Is that even possible? Yes. Word is born again! Check out their latest -recipe for fried ice cream and cake sticks. Video and everything. Pass the spoon!

Iowa State Fair vs. Blank Park Zoo

Lasts years’ runner up, the Iowa State Fair has history and tradition, people watching, the Yellow Slide and more interesting and safer ways to use a fryer than these folks. Also doesn’t hurt that Heart opening up for Def Leppard on the Grandstand this year. Pour some fried sugar on me, and you. Get some!

Blank Park has made the phrase “Do the Zoo” a part of every day language. That’s fine marketing, indeed. Seems like the Zoo is everywhere, doesn’t it? And short of letting people swim with the Sea Lions, the Zoo pretty much has everything you’d want in a zoo. Throw in cool events like Zoo Brew, Night Eyes and you’ll be asking yourself how a Zoo manages such a huge events list. Now that’s a lot of Zoo, to do!

DMACC vs. Drake

The biggest institution of higher learning in Iowa, DMACC has more than 30,000 students. DMACC connects people with an education that leads to job opportunities in some of Iowa’s best companies. DMACC is also actively working to reduce its carbon footprint by installing energy saving devices and wind turbines on campuses around the state.  The stigma of “Community College” is gone. The only downside? Señor Ben Chang is not actually teaching here.

The Bulldog, the Drake Relays and one of the finest private academic universities in the country right in Des Moines’ back yard. Known for their Law and Journalism schools, Drake even offers classes on social media. If its good enough for Ari Gold (if only for a short time) it’s good enough for you. Plus, Adam Emmenecker went to Drake and that dude has his own sandwich at Jethro’s!

Mid American Energy vs. Wellmark

If we didn’t have either of these guys we’d be making fire in caves and looking for natural health care solutions for challenges like The Plague and bad cases of the gout. 1.8 million in Iowa and 300,000 in South Dakota count on Wellmark for their health care, while Mid American provides service to over 10,600-square miles in places like Iowa, Illinois, South Dakota and Nebraska. Big energy meets big health care in this battle of utility bills and health care premiums.

Anderson Erickson vs. Tones Spices

We’ve heard stories about people visiting Iowa with coolers to bring AE Dairy products back home with them. That’s the kind of story most brands can only dream of. Their brand and their products are staples in every grocery and convenience store you walk into. So if you’re coming to Iowa, bring some coolers, yep, it’s that good.

Most Iowa spice racks look like an advertisement for Tones Spices. Quality and Flavor is the promise and they consistently deliver. It’s pretty cool when you’re a brand that makes everything in the kitchen tastier. If you’re into cooking, check out some of the events Tones offers here.

EMC vs. Iowa Farm Bureau

You know the jingle. “Count on EMC.” While they have no affiliation to Einstein’s e=mc2, they have been putting insurance formulas together for going on 100 years now. They rank among the top 60 insurance organizations in the United States and are one of the largest property and casualty companies in Iowa.

As their Website tells us, “Sometimes our name throws people. We do love the “Farm” … but we’re not really a “Bureau” … and most of all we work for everyone in “Iowa”. We’re down with that. IFB touts People, Progress and Pride as a key message point – check it out in this video.

Ruan vs. Iowa Realty

A lot of people think Ruan is just a trucking company. For 78 years the Des Moines based company has been doing a lot more than hauling cargo. Ruan does everything from supply chain management, logistics, brokerage services and commercial leasing and then some.

Last year’s final four appearance by Iowa Realty caught a lot of people by surprise. It shouldn’t have. Who promotes themselves more than Realtors? They’re connected through networking, current and former clients they’ve helped with the biggest purchase they’ve probably ever made in their lives. The yard sign is up, Iowa Realty is in it to win it.

Vote Here:

Create your free online surveys with SurveyMonkey, the world’s leading questionnaire tool.

Voting for this bracket will end on Monday, July 27 at Noon CST.


To view the entire bracket, click here.

To vote for the first round of the Randoms Region, click here.

To vote for the first round of the Leaders Region, click here.

To vote for the first round of the Tech Startups Region, click here.

To learn more about Lessing-Flynn’s Battle of the Brands (and watch puppets parodying a musical and people doing the Dougie, click here.)