Sep 7, 2012

With a great brand, media coverage is much easier

Tony Treadway

We love it when one of the great brands we represent gets great media coverage. Here is an example as we applaud the Texas Pete brand for being an icon that is an easy reach back for thousands of journalists who grew up with a bottle of Texas Pete on their table as a kid and default to the brand as they take to their keyboards to write an article.

Case in point is an article this week in the Charlotte Observer by Kathleen Purvis on her thoughts on the thousands of delegates attending the Democratic National Convention there, and what they may take away from the convention in that great city. You can’t buy this kind of media coverage and it’s why branding is so important to a company’s existence and success.

Congratulations to Ann, Glenn, Steve and Stan at TW Garner for this nice hit in media coverage and for allowing Creative Energy to play a role in growing the brand even more.

Take a moment to read the article titled…

Take us with you, DNC

It’s taken months to get ready for the Democratic National Convention, and our visitors are only going to stick around for a few days. Maybe some of them will want to take the Carolinas with them when they go.

We hope they’ve gotten to taste things they didn’t expect, like shrimp and grits or whatever style of barbecue they turned out to like.

When they pack to leave Charlotte, we’d suggest considering a few distinctively Carolinas products for cooking souvenirs. (We’ll skip barbecue sauces, because the Charlotte 2012 Host Committee already picked a pack of those. You can buy them at for $35.)

These products are inexpensive and easy to find in most supermarkets or specialty stores. How to get them through the airport is up to you:

1. Texas Pete. Not as molten as Tabasco, not as vinegary as Frank’s, it’s a particularly flavorful hot sauce. It’s made in  Winston-Salem and it’s served on everything from collard greens to hot dogs and chicken wings. Available: Any supermarket for around 99 cents for a 6-ounce bottle.

2. Duke’s mayonnaise. Concocted during World War I by Eugenia Duke of Greenville, S.C., it’s the mayonnaise of serious Southern food fans, particularly for things like pimento cheese and potato salad. Available: In any supermarket, for around $3.99 for a 32-ounce jar.

3. Pimento cheese. It’s one of the South’s great food inventions, a blend of grated sharp cheese, diced pimentos and mayonnaise. Use it as a sandwich filling, a cracker spread, even a celery-stuffer. A number of Carolinas brands have fervent fans, including Palmetto Cheese, Augusta’s Creations, Penny’s, Ruth’s and Stan’s. But it’s easy to make for yourself (see recipe). Available: In any supermarket deli, ranging from $4.99 to $5.99 for a 12-ounce tub.

4. Southern Biscuit brand flour. Southern flours are made from wheat that’s lower in protein so they produce less gluten, the stretchy bands that let bread rise. The result is more tender biscuits and pie crusts and softer poundcakes. This brand is made by Midstate Mills in Newton, about 50 miles northwest of Charlotte, one of the few North Carolina-made flours left. Any supermarket, $3.75 for a 5-pound bag.

5. Moravian cookies. A religious group that settled what became Winston-Salem, the Moravians brought distinctive baked goods. The cookies are rolled so thin, they’re incredibly crispy. They’re usually sold in tubes by a couple of companies, including Salem Baking Co. Available: At Reid’s Fine Foods, 2823 Selwyn Ave., or some Harris-Teeters, usually for $8.99. Or order online,

6. Lance Crackers. Everyone from factory workers to school kids gets through the day with “a pack of nabs,” the Southern nickname for cheese crackers. Lance Crackers come in flavors from peanut butter to cheese. Want to see where they’re made? Take the Lynx light-rail line south and you’ll pass the factory. Available: Any supermarket or drugstore and most vending machines; $3.15 for a box of eight “packs.”

7. Grits. Top grits with country ham gravy, a little of your breakfast eggs, even shrimp. Stir cheese or butter into them. Just don’t put sugar on them – they’re not Cream of Wheat. If you want the best, skip instant and get true stone-ground grits, such as Anson Mills grits from South Carolina or Old School Grits from Albemarle, just north of Charlotte. Available: 7th Street Public Market uptown; $6.75 for a 12-ounce bag of Anson Mills or $4 for a 32-ounce bag of Old School.

8. Mount Olive pickles. You might find these in your supermarkets at home, but we wanted to point out: They’re made in Mount Olive, about 200 miles east of Charlotte. Available: Any supermarket, in a dozen sizes and types, ranging in price from $2.55 to $4.

9. Cheerwine. Made in Salisbury, northeast of Charlotte, Cheerwine isn’t a wine. It’s a cola/cherry soda. Combined with ginger ale and pineapple juice, it makes a great church punch. Available: Any supermarket or vending machine, $3.89 for a six-pack.

10. Blenheim’s ginger ale. Made in Dillon, S.C., it is a terrific ginger ale. Our favorite is Old No. 5, the legendary “hot” ginger ale. It really is spicy enough to make your mouth a little numb, and it’s the perfect mixer with bourbon. Available: Common Market in SouthEnd and Plaza-Midwood. $1.79 or $1.89 a bottle.

Tony Treadway


President & CEO

Regarded in the advertising and PR industry as a top strategist, Tony is considered one of the most respected marketing minds in the business, especially in the $600 billion foodservice industry. As president, he leads Creative Energy in serving a variety of regional and national accounts in the textile, hardware, building materials, electronics, nuclear power and health care markets.