Centricity Blog

"That Guy"

Posted July 12, 2010 by in Marketing, Uncategorized

I was having lunch with a friend of mine a couple of weeks ago. When I walked in with my iPhone headphones in, listening to the latest podcast of This American Life. After giving him the obligatory hello hug he looked at me and said “ah, tell me you’re not ‘that guy.’”.

“That guy?” I wonder.

“Yeah, ‘that guy’ who walks around stores with his headphones in, oblivious to rest the world. Please don’t be ‘that guy.’”

“ Uh oh, I hate to say it, but I am that guy.”  For I am. I am the person who is walking around Home Depot with the white headphones attached to my ears. Isolated in my own private world.

Am I really “that guy”?  I really don’t like “that guy”. He irritates me.

A couple of months ago I was at a concert sitting next to “that guy.” I know you know who I’m talking about. That guy who yells “I love you man” to the male lead singer during every quiet moment of the show. Screams a high pitch “Yes, this is my favorite” during the first two bars of every single song and sings at the top of his lungs with enthusiastic, beer soaked, pitch. Yes, I did sit next to “that guy”.

I went home and talked to one of my daughters about “that guy”. She opened my eyes when she said “Dad, everyone has ‘that guy’ where they work.” She went on to describe who “that guy” is at the restaurant where she works. You know, “that older guy who flirts with the teenage waitresses then leaves his number with the tip.” She said the girls go to the back and say “’that guy’ at table eight.”

I can be late and say “Sorry I was late, I got behind ‘that guy’ on the freeway” and everyone knows exactly who I’m talking about. Or go to a movie and hope you are not sitting in front of “that guy.” Wait, how about “that guy” at the football game? Church? On the golf course?  Or “that guy” in the check out line at the grocery store.

That got me thinking. How do I define “that guy”?

He (or she) is definitely a cliché’. They are doing the same thing that a myriad of others have done. And their behavior has to be irritating to the general public… or at least to you and me.

How do you define “that guy?”

Can an artist be “that guy”? When I thought about it, “that guy” as an artist is the one that doesn’t communicate with me for any other reason but to sell me stuff. “That guy” really irritates me.

So what do you think?

Do you have any other people who are “that guy”?

What makes an artist “that guy”?

What are you doing to not be “that guy?”

About The Author: Steve Ford

Steve Ford started as an engineer at LA's famed Mama Jo's studio before crossing over to the dark side: marketing. After a stint in artist development and A&R at Sparrow working with Steven Curtis Chapman, BeBe & CeCe Winans, and Out of the Gray, Ford moved onto Star Song and later Myrrh, marketing records by Newsboys, Fernando Ortega, and Amy Grant. He served as general manager at inpop records, signing Superchic(k) and Shane & Shane; he started INO's rock imprint SRE, where he worked with Skillet, Flyleaf, Disciple, and Decypher Down. At Centricity, Ford oversees all aspects of sales and marketing, including radio, packaging, and hair product endorsements. Ford lists racquetball and "books" as his hobbies, which occupy what free time isn't spent discovering obscuro new music.

  1. Rodney said

    That guy lives in every city, every town and works with everybody. Loved the post.

  2. Dale Smith said

    “Isn’t That The Guy” is a 2007 song by Tommy James. Dale

  3. Gina said

    Are girls exempt from the stereotype?

    Sometimes I wonder if we’re all ‘that guy’ in some way… maybe not to the extreme of those mentioned, but it’s impossible to live a life without someone being annoyed by our existance.

    Or maybe that’s just my experience :)

  4. Beau said

    Ah–’that guy’ called me a week ago for the first time in I-don’t-know-how-long trying to sell me something. Classy. [Also, his sales pitch was about how signing up a certain number of people for x would benefit him. Not sure he's cut out for sales, or for having my number.]

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