Battle of the Brands: First Round, Randoms Region

The University of Iowa vs. Iowa State University

While the Battle of the Brands is no replacement for the Iowa Corn’s Cy-Hawk Series, we’re happy to introduce a match-up between the two in-state rivals that happens on a digital playing field. Keep in mind, you’re voting for the brand, not the quality of a football team. (Clear jab at Iowa State). You’re also not voting for the best basketball team in the state either. (Clear jab at Iowa). So who’s it going to be? So what makes a great academic brand? Who are we kidding? This is Herky vs. Cy and we know it. Vote for your favorite and let UNI grads play spoiler. Farokhmanesh to the face! (That’s a jab at Kansas).lessing_flynn_battle_of_the_brands_random_region

Iowa Energy vs. Iowa Cubs

Air Conditioning: Advantage Iowa Energy. Hot Dog Gun: Advantage Iowa Cubs.

Imagine the Iowa Energy without Curtis Stinson. (We’re making up for the Iowa State jab from earlier). The Iowa Energy won the NBA Development League crown and are affiliated with the Bulls, Hornets and Wizards. Even Lebron James won’t have a chance to ruin this brand. These guys put on a pretty good show at the Well as we’ve covered on this blog.

The Iowa Cubs have been shooting hot dogs, t-shirts and other projectiles from the field for as long as any of you can remember. The racing B-Bops burgers never get old. The I-Cubs are a summer past time in Des Moines and offer something for everyone. It’s a minor league mashup of epic proportions. Well, maybe not epic, but definitely two of Iowa’s best sports attractions going head-to-head.

Tassel Ridge Winery vs. Jasper Winery

If you want to look at a model for how a brand makes the most out of social media, look no further than Tassel Ridge Winery on Twitter. Engaging with TRW on Twitter is more like having a conversation with a real person – which is how it should be. You don’t get to 7,800 plus followers without engaging others with more than just talk about wine. They claim to have put “Iowa wine making on the map” and we like that direction just fine.

Networking. Community Events. There’s usually something interesting happening at Jasper Winery. They’ve embraced Des Moines’ Social Media Community and it’s paid off big time. The folks at Jasper are more than accommodating which is why we hosted our first DSM: SUSHIBOMB at their Des Moines location. Wine tastings, vineyard tours and a good time can be found at Jasper. Find out what they’re up to this week on their Facebook page.

Historic Valley Junction vs. Historic East Village

We can definitely say this match-up is Historic. Someone call a trademark attorney. We like both of these spots for offering local flavor and local ownership. The Junction offers everything from an old fountain shop, to the Theatrical shop, Art Galleries and antiques. Search the Business Directory here. Also, be sure to check out the Thursday Night Farmer’s Market in the Junction all summer long.

If the Junction is Aging Hippie Heaven, then the revitalized is East Village is Hipster heaven. Boutiques like Aimee, killer t-shirts from 8/7 Central, maternity and kids clothes from Urban Belly highlight a long list of East Village businesses. All the cool kids are there. Not to mention some great places for coffee, dining and art. It’s the battle of the shopping districts. Shop on.

Iowa Speedway vs. The Amana Colonies

Picture an Amish guy in a Indi-car. No wait a minute. Don’t do that, the Amish aren’t big on cars. And the Amana colonies aren’t Amish at all. Although they are often mistaken as Amish. Not since Weird Al Yankovich came out with Amish Paradise have we been this jazzed about the Amana Colonies. But that doesn’t make sense either, we just wanted to put a link to a Weird Al video. In all seriousness, The Amana Colonies offer one of the more unique travel destinations in Iowa. With over 60 shops, golf, tasty German food, art galleries and studios the Amana Colonies have some serious game. You may even churn butter once or twice living in an Amana paradise.

Also off I-80 is the Iowa Speedway. As our logo might suggest, we often feel the need, the need for speed here on AdMavericks. Apologies to Maverick and the Goose. We digress. The track is owned and operated by U.S. Motorsport Corporation and designed by former NASCAR Champion Rusty Wallace. If you know racing, you know that doesn’t suck. The Iowa Speedway offers everything from racing to concerts just 30 miles east of Des Moines. This is ghost rider requesting a fly by. “The Germans who aren’t Amish are on Speed” match should be interesting…


Kum & Go vs. Hon Office Furniture

Morning Face. Name our cup. Store Wars. Chances are you’ve heard of all three Kum & Go campaigns. Hard to argue that a convenience story does a better job of integrated marketing than the folks at Kum & Go. From pimping gas pumps to retweeting about boxer shorts, Kum & Go has some serious brand game.

Let’s face it. It kind of sucks having to go to work. The folks at Hon Office Furniture try to make it a little more comfortable. Pimping your office ain’t easy, but Hon can help. Everything from chairs, tables, work stations, tables and filing systems. So take your raggedy chair and drop it in the dumpster. Hon has enough office chairs you’ll soon be grabbing your fountain drink from Kum & Go, siting in your chair and cranking some Fat Joe, do the rock-a-way and lean back, lean back. (Writing these are kind of hard).

Mars Cafe vs. Smokey Row

While a reference to David Bowie’s Life on Mars didn’t materialize, it doesn’t really matter. Life at Mars Cafe has been pretty excellent. (See what we did there?) What was once a college coffee shop has become a hot spot for the Des Moines community. People go here to network, Do Work or embrace the Des Moines Start-up Community. Oh yeah, the coffee is awesome and they even have beer. What more do you want from a coffee shop? There is definitely Life at Mars.

Did you know that Smokey Row has four locations? Des Moines, Pleasantville, Oskaloosa and you can even bring a friend and can go Dutch in Pella. Sorry. They offer a delicious lunch menu of homemade goodies, ice-cream treats as well as a robust menu of specialty blends. The eclectic décor and warm atmosphere brings our own, Jess Held, in for a little worky worky at least once a week.

Tasty Tacos vs. Pancheros

To be sure – this is like comparing gold bars to gold coins. It’s gold either way, baby. Because whether it’s a fresh burrito or a fresh taco you crave, Panchero’s and Tasty’s are the veritable gold standards in their respective mega arenas of Mexican awesomeness. Fresh-pressed tortilla burrito deliciousness or fluffy, flaky freshly fried flower taco greatness? Try choosing between them and you’ll later regret not telling off your dietician and simply devouring both. Remember, you can count calories but you can’t put a price on pleasure. And you can have as much pleasure as you please – topped with sour cream and cheese – at either of these makers of Mexican magic. They say it right at Tasty’s – “Nada es Impossible!”

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Voting for the Randoms Region will end on July 22 at noon CST.


To view the entire bracket, click here.

To vote for the Play-In Game 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.)