Sometime last year, the data scientists at Trivago figured out a simple metric for identifying potential customers: If you can't afford a belt, you probably are in the market for a good deal on a hotel room. Thus, an advertising campaign was born. In a commercial that started airing last year, a pitchman who would ultimately become known as Trivago Guy began captivating television viewers. Bedraggled, bleary-eyed, and, to connect with the target audience, beltless, Trivago Guy looks like he has spent the last 20 years draining hotel room mini-bars dry while leaving the pillows untouched. And yet who can deny the easygoing but absolute assurance he projects when explaining what to look for in an online hotel reservation service?
#trivagoGuy, in short, was a hit. But now that he has apparently captured the unshaven-and-beltless traveler demographic, Trivago has decided to give him a makeover. Share a photo of what he should look like on social media, and you can win a five-day trip to Berlin.
In the old days, of course, only new CEOs were allowed to wreck winning ad campaigns. Now, thanks to the democritization of media, we all can.
We think our Adam Smith Cashmere belt in Chocolate Sandwich Cookie is exactly what Trivago Guy needs to perfect his look. And to emphasize this fact, we're having a sale, from now through August 30, or until we run out of belts, whichever comes first. Regular price $90. Sale price $50, shipping included. We're sure Trivago Guy himself would approve — he knows a deal when he sees one.
Thanks to all who entered our recent contest. This time, only a small number of participants achieved a perfect score. The question that stumped many of you? Number 2, the one about what beings on Neptune would probably wear if they existed and had feet. While we're sure they would appreciate the easy style and Italian craftsmanship of the Hydrogen-1 Neptunians, Neptune also has an average temperature of around -328 F (as our hint page revealed). That's even colder than it gets it in NYC, in the midst of a polar vortex — so the Sorel Caribou Reserve Lined Pac Boots were the correct answer.
Four of you got that one and all the other questions correct. Thus, we assigned you each a number and ran these number through the True Random Number Service. The lucky winner? Adam Dewitz. Adam, let us know your size and mailing address, and we'll connect you with your new pair of Neptunians, just in time for summer.
Those of you who came up short, take heart. We'll be announcing a new contest soon.
We filed our taxes. The Timberwolves' season is mercifully over. And the days are getting long enough to golf until 8:15 (if our country club wasn't covered in 2 inches of fresh snow). Life is good (except for the part about snow), so we’re having a contest.
This time we're teaming with our favorite supplier of casualuxe footwear: Hydrogen-1. Take our latest quiz, and you may win a pair of limited-edition "Neptunians" — aka the striking suede slip-ons pictured above.
If you're wondering, their rich hue is officially known as "Capri blue," after the waters that surround the Italian island whose beaches are so desirable it was attracting tourists even before cruise ships were invented. (Roman emperor Augustus had a summer palace there.)
The Neptunians are manufactured in Italy, in the Le Marche region, where four out of every ten residents are employed in the footwear industry and the other six know an awful lot about elasticized gores and textured toe-foxing. The Neptunians feature blue suede leather, a full leather lining, and a vibe that practically guarantees sunny skies overhead and competent bartenders near at hand. Retail price, $355. But one of you people is going to get a pair for free.
Here's how this works.
1) Take the quiz. The deadline to submit is 11:59 PM CST on May 15.
2) Everyone who scores 100 percent on the quiz and tweets the link will be entered into a drawing we'll hold the week after the contest closes. Winner gets the Neptunians. (Note: These shoes come in whole sizes 7 – 12. If your feet are bigger than that and you win, you will have to cut off your toes.)
3) We'll announce the lucky winner, and share this information with Hero Nakatani, the proprietor of Hydrogen-1. Hero will take it from there, providing you with instructions on how to order your shoes.
1. Harry Truman
2. Winston Churchill
3. Johnny Depp
4. William Faulkner
5. Clark Gable
6. Dean Martin
7. Hunter S. Thompson
8. Humphrey Bogart
9. Franklin Roosevelt
Many of you scored 100 percent — nice work! But of course there was the tiebreaker question too, and that was, by design, somewhat difficult. Namely: What do these nine men have in common? No, they are not all Freemasons, and no, they are not all dead, although Johnny Depp does fall victim to an annual death hoax. One entry did correctly note that they are all white. But the answer we were looking for is that whiskey was/is their preferred poison, either drunk straight or as the main spirit in their favorite cocktail. Of course, bourbon is the main spirit in our favorite cocktail, The Magnificent Bastard.
Only two entrants got this correct: Andrew Klein and Maxwell Bernt. Because there can only be one winner, we needed a tiebreaker tiebreaker. So we flipped a coin. Andrew was heads and Maxwell was tails. And the winner is...
And, Andrew, while fate was not on your side in the tiebreaker tiebreaker, we'd still like to offer you a consolation prize in the form of a tie. Tell us which of our ties you'd like, and we'll send one out to you.
Thanks to everyone who played and we'll see you again next year.
There are just 4 days left in the 4th-Annual Allyn Scura Eyewear Challenge. Simply identify the 9 bespectacled or sunglassified men above and be entered to win a free pair of Allyn Scura frames, or $125 towards one of their wide selection of vintage frames. It's your choice.
Go here for the entry form and larger pictures. Good luck.
Welcome to the 4rd Kind-of-Annual Allyn Scura Eyewear Challenge, sponsored by our all-time favorite eyewear and sunglass outfitter, Allyn Scura.
THE CHALLENGE: Identify the nine bespectacled or sunglassified MBs above and you will be entered to win a pair of Allyn Scura frames ($175 value) or a $125 credit you can apply toward any vintage frames Allyn Scura carries. It's up to you.
To enter simply fill out the form below with the names of the men pictured, and, in the unlikely event of a tie, what they all have in common. One entry per person. USA only. Good luck. The deadline for this contest is Monday, March 31 at midnight CDT.
It is time to announce the winners of our contest. There are two, and they are each getting a made-to-measure shirt from our favorite online custom shirtmaker, Deo Veritas, because they a.) correctly answered all the questions on our our quiz and b.) were lucky enough to have their entry number chosen by the random number generator at random.org.
Congratulations, Paul Loya and Patrick Duffin! May we suggest something in purple gingham?
Deo Veritas owner Vinnie Sikka will be in touch with details, and if you feel like tweeting your good fortune to the world, we will not object! (And if you want to keep it all to yourself, that's fine too.).
Meanwhile, if your name is neither Paul Loya nor Patrick Duffin, do not despair. Starting on March 1 we're doing our 4th-annual (if you don't count 2013) Allyn Scura Eyewear Challenge, where you ID famous people wearing glasses and the winner picks up a free pair of Allyn Scura frames. For April we're working on something with our new favorite shoemaker, Hydrogen-1.
Finally, we'd like to give a shout-out to the surprisingly large number of you who guessed that gin is the secret ingredient in our Buckley tie. Our tie manufacturer tells us it's impossible to create a tie with an ABV of 5% or higher, but given your seeming desire for such a product, we're asking him to experiment harder. For the record, here is the Deo Veritas Quiz with the correct answers in bold:
1. What is the secret ingredient that gives our Buckley ties their rakish confidence?
b. First-rate Ivy League education c. White wooly fibers that resemble Gandalf's beard
2. What was Joseph Kandell’s job description at his previous gig?
a. Communications officer b. Consumer-facing legacy accessories specialist
c. Book publishing editorial assistant
d. User experience designer
3. How many cuff styles does Deo Veritas offer? a. 8
4. Which material is not used in the construction of our Pretty Nice Rack?
a. Solid white oak
b. Oil-impregnated bronze
c. Eight-point buck antlers d. Medical-grade silicone
5. Do you have to have health insurance to purchase a Buscemi?
c. It depends on whether Obamacare is repealed or not. d. Strictly speaking, no. But it couldn’t hurt.
1) Take the quiz. The deadline to submit is 11:59 PM CST on January 31.
2) Everyone who scores 100 percent on the quiz will be entered into a drawing we'll hold the first week of February. We'll choose two winners. Each winner will receive a free custom shirt from Deo Veritas.
3) We'll announce the winners, and share this information with Vinnie Sikka, the proprietor of Deo Veritas. Vinnie will take it from there, providing you with instructions on how to order your complimentary custom shirt.
4) Design your custom shirt at Deoveritas.com, using the simple-to-use online ordering system. You'll have a choice of 170 different fabrics, 12 collar styles, 8 different cuffs, etc. As you experiment with different options, Deo Veritas renders it in 3D to help you visualize your ultimate shirt.
In honor of Repeal Day, we opened a fresh bottle of Bulleit and starting drinking MBs. By the third round, we figured we should spread the Christmas cheer and have a contest. Here’s how it works.
Go to our Twitter feed — @magbas — and retweet our tweet about drinking MBs on Repeal Day.
Then fire off an email to email@example.com with your address, and one of our offshore customer service elves will send you one of our Made in USA Disposable Letterpress Beverage Shields. You’ll be automatically entered in a drawing for a free tie from our new shop.
The contest is in effect until 3PM, Friday December 6, Central Time. At that point, we’ll pick a winner from one of the qualifying entries, and one lucky winner will get his or her choice of tie.
Welcome to the 3rd Annual Allyn Scura Eyewear Challenge, sponsored by our all-time favorite eyewear and sunglass outfitter, Allyn Scura.
The challenge: Identify the nine bespectacled or sunglassified MBs above and you will be entered to win a pair of Allyn Scura frames ($175 value) — like The Legend favored by reigning People "Sexiest Man Alive" Bradley Cooper — or a $100 credit you can apply toward any vintage frames Allyn Scura carries. It's entirely up to you.
To enter simply email firstname.lastname@example.org with the names of the men pictured, and in the unlikely event of a tie — this is the hardest contest yet — what they all have in common. One entry per email address. Good luck. The deadline for this contest is next Friday, March 9th.
We came across this photo of Randy Jackson at the 2011 Billboard Music Awards earlier this week and have been speechless ever since. Seriously, dawg, we're just not feeling it. By our count, Randy's only wearing eleven visible articles of clothing and accessories, and yet we see at least a dozen style misdemeanors!
If you can identify ten or more, send us an email by midnight CT on Memorial Day and we'll throw your name into a hat. On Tuesday, we'll pick one lucky winner, and that winner can pick one of these recommended Mountain and Sackett ties that are guaranteed, in their perfectly executed understatement, to add more style to your wardrobe than there is to be found in whatever extremely large vault Randy Jackson stores his vast collection of shiny baubles. Good luck!
UPDATE: Winner of the Judge Randy Jackson contest is Mark Delich, who offered the following 11 style misdemeanors:
1) Shiny pleather jacket with excessive pockets/snaps
2) Over-sized clock watch
3) Exposed crucifix on necklace
4) Multiple bracelets/cause wrist band
5) Over-sized wedding ring with stones
6) Soul patch
7) Graphic t-shirt with skull
8) Fat man wearing skinny jeans
9) Excessively glossy and pointy shoes
10) Diamond earring
11) Overall age appropriateness
We also would've accepted "fat man wearing skinny jacket," "flooded pants," and "legible clothing."
Ed. note: This contest far exceeded expectations. Thanks to all who entered and we'll do another one soon.
If you're looking for a custom shirt, you've got multiple choices these days. One of our favorites is Deo Veritas. To help celebrate its revamped website and streamlined ordering process, we're collaborating on a contest. All you have to do is take this short shirt quiz.
Entries that include all the correct answers will get thrown into a hat, and one lucky winner will get a Deo Veritas custom shirt of his choosing. That's right, any fabric, any options — the winner gets whatever he (or she) wants. In all, this represents a potential $195 value. So get right to it and take the quiz. If you're stumped for answers, here are some good places to look:
Typically, all we ask of a shirt here at MB is that it look good, be relatively maintenance-free, and refrain from making any lengthy remarks about Jesus or the local price of mustache rides. Read Wall, on the other hand, is more ambitious than us. You may have noticed his ad over there in the column to your left, the one pitching shirts that make the world smarter.
Read, it turns out, is a man with a dream, and that dream involves selling these three excellent shirts and using a portion of the proceeds to help fund a school in Tanzania. That sounded noble to us, and wanting to help out, we asked if he'd like to donate a shirt as a prize for one of our contests.
If you're wondering how us getting a free shirt to give to one of our readers qualifies as a noble gesture on our parts, well, what can we say? We're new to this altruism stuff. But Read agreed to our suggestion anyway, so if you want a shot at a shirt of your choosing, follow this link, and play a matching game about the accessorization trademarks of five notorious African dictators.
On Friday, March 4 at midnight CT, we'll put the names of everyone who answered everything correctly in our new Super Bowl XLV hat and name a winner on Monday, March 6. Pick any one you want (we're partial to the awesome jumbo-check navy gingham).
One thing we forgot to mention when we launched the contest is that non-Rx lenses are part of the deal. So if you are a recent Lasik patient and just need a pair of shades, you can turn the AS Legend frame into a pair of sunglasses, like Bradley Cooper has done here.
As Malcolm Fontier founders Malcolm Fontier and Gabrielle Kennedy are testing their new line of bags by eating their way across Europe and are now likely busy foraging for grubs in the jungles of Congo, we're giving away their duffel, dubbed the "New Yorker." What do you have to do to enter the contest? Follow MB by midnight CT tonight (Friday, October 29). We'll pick a winner and announce the lucky Bastard (or Spectacular Bitch) on Monday.
Malcolm Fontier founders Malcolm Fontier and Gabrielle Kennedy are promoting their new carry-on, duffel, and tote by using them on a trip from the cafes of Copenhagen to the mud huts of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Magnificent Bastard is doing its part from its comfy offices in Wisconsin by giving away the duffel, dubbed the "New Yorker." It holds enough duds for an overnight trip (or weekend jaunt if you pack well) and a laptop, too. It's a $285 value. All you have to do to enter is follow MB. Entry deadline is Friday, October 29 and we'll randomly pick a winner on Monday, November 1. (While Malcolm and Gabrielle may be on an international trip, ya gotta live in the United States to claim this prize.)
Meanwhile, if you're like us and have sent your wallet to a fat farm, their Mojito is an affordable option ($29) that efficiently holds all you need: a couple of cards and few twenties.
A reminder to readers that it's the last day to enter the J. Fold "Trooper" Bag giveaway. Just follow @magbas to enter. On Monday we'll give twitRand(); a whirl to pick the winner. Direct message to that lucky contestant: you're gonna love this bag.
Earlier this year we searched high and low for the fine-looking J. Fold Weekend Bag, but they were so hard to find we dubbed it the Lost J. Fold Weekend Bag. The explanation from the folks at J. Fold was they retired the bag because it usually weighed more than its contents, and convinced us to give the "Trooper" a try instead. Their new weekend model is made from leather and (lighter) coated cotton canvas, with a design based on standard-issue Soviet military bags from the '60s and '70s. While it's certainly not as masculine or elegant as, say, the standard-issue Soviet assault rifle, it's built as solidly as one, and has quickly become our favorite 48-hour road/plane-trip bag.
Why are we telling you all this? Because we've gotten our hands on another J. Fold Trooper Bag and we'd like one comrade to share our experience. No drink recipe or poem required to win this time. All you have to do to enter is follow MB on something called Twitter. Entry deadline is Friday, August 20 and we'll randomly pick a winner on Monday, August 23. (Sorry world, ya gotta live in the United States to claim this prize.)
We've got a winner in the "Shoot the MB Masthead" bike giveaway contest, and it's Sarah V.'s entry which best captured the MB ethos. And it looks cool, too. Also, according to Sarah, she is actually driving the rickshaw. For her efforts she can choose from the Broncks Raw, the Broncks Black, or the Breukelen from contest sponsor Bowery Lane Bicycles.
We're taking Friday, July 2 off as we head to our various cabins even further north of our Pulaski, WI headquarters, so we want to remind you that's the deadline to submit an MB header photo to win a sweet bike from Brooklyn-based Bowery Lane Bicycles. It's nearly a $700 value. All entries must be sent by midnight CT. Winning tip: Get your girlfriend, wife, or mistress striking a pose on a bike. Good luck!
The deal: create an homage to the MB Cocktail and send it to us. It could be anything really: a joke, a sketch on a bar napkin, whatever. Need inspiration? Here are a few samples below:
The Magnificent Bastard cocktail is foolish, even vile, but there's a certain nobility about it too. The MB cocktail is never mercenary. It's in search of an ideal. It has intellectuality, not mere sensuality. It is part of the irony of its fate that it is punished as much for its virtues as well as its vices. No, wait, that's Emma Bovary. The MB cocktail is just a really good drink. It's not as easy to make as, say, a Coke, but once you've tracked down all the ingredients, it's pretty easy. And here's a tip: There is no good way to pour 1/8 oz. of Laphroaig into a teaspoon when you're drunk. Or even when you're sober, unless you're a heart surgeon or something. So call your friends up and make them eight at a time. That way, you're using an ounce of Laphroaig, which is much easier to measure. Plus, you'll have eight times the fun.
Third MB cocktail
SAMPLE SAT ANALOGY 1.) SCOTCH : BOURBON : :
(A) Ed Hardy : Toolbags
(B) Grenadine : Bitters
(C) Sonny : Cher
(D) Apples : Apfelkorn
For commuting and utilitarian riding we prefer platform pedals over clipless -- that way we don't have to change shoes when we get off the bike. But just because we're not clipping in doesn't mean we don't want shoes with some cycling-oriented features. Moving from dressier to more casual, here are four pairs we like.
2.Dromarti Storica. $237.
We're not sure why, but these shoes make us think of vintage catcher's mitts, and we like that: Catcher's mitts for our feet, crafted by Italian designers. Do you want anything less when you're speeding through the city on two wheels?
3.Chrome Midways Sneaker. $90.
Chrome designs for the messenger demographic, so they know all the features it takes to equip your standard mid-top for heavy-duty bike usage: Reinforced shank to support the midsole, reflective material on the heel cup, a "lace garage" to keep your laces out of your chain, etc. Yep, "lace garage." It's that little elastic thing in this pic, and it works. Synthetics alert: The Midway is made from Cordura nylon. Normally we favor natural materials over synthetic ones, but if you want a tough, scuff-resistant shoe, this is the one to get.
4.Keen Coronado Bike Shoe. $80.
Here's a casual option made with canvas and nubuck leather. Like the Chrome Midway, it's also got a shank in the midsole for more pedaling power than you'd get with a traditional sneaker, plus a "a soft rubber forefoot pod for pedal grip." It sounds like marketing BS, but if you've ever experienced the banana-peel-like slip that can happen when you suddenly start pedaling hard on platform pedals while wearing shoes with slick and/or non-grippy soles, you know why this is important.
Knickers are a great bike-to-work option if you work in a bike shop or play bass for a nu-metal revival band. But we like pants that at least flirt with our ankles.
Just a few years ago, casual bike-oriented pants that met this criteria were virtually non-existent. Now, there are more and more to choose from. They tend to be a little bit pricey because they're not produced in great quantities. But if you want a look that makes the transition from bike to boardroom as smooth as a seamless gusseted crotch, they're worth the investment.
2.Nonetheless Dispatch Rider Pant. $188.
These pants are made out of wool and recycled plastic water bottles, which means you don't have to feel so guilty the next time you buy a liter of Fiji Water. Sure, you're adding to your carbon footprint by drinking water shipped from halfway around the world -- but you're also letting a sheep keep his coat a little longer! Life is all about balance. Other highlights we like about these pants: machine-washability, and "slimmer anti-sprocket leg openings."
3.Cordarounds Bike to Work Pants. $90.
By day, they're mild-mannered khakis. By night, thanks to strategically placed reflective material that emerges when you roll up the cuffs and turn the back pockets inside out, they light up like a Las Vegas casino. Or maybe that's overstating things a bit, so let's say a Reno casino. Either way, we're pretty sure they're going to be the brightest pair of pants in your wardrobe. Unless you're John Daly.
4.Swrve Indigo Denim Jeans. $100.
We don't advise riding long distances in jeans -- but with these, we feel like we could if we had to. Why? The seamless gusseted crotch, articulated knees, and touch of Lycra. For utilitarian riding, they've got pretty much every feature you could ask for -- cell phone pocket, reflective stripe at the cuff, low waist in the front and high waist in the back, and back pockets big enough to fit a mini U-lock.
HEY! We're giving away a brand spanking new ride from Bowery Lane Bicycles ($695 value) and all you have to do to enter is take a hot photograph with a bike (and preferably a girl) in it. Click for full details and then get art directin'.
It's Bike to Work Week, and to celebrate, we've decided to give away a hand-made steel bike from Bowery Lane Bicycles, a $695 value. If you'd like to win it, take a photo that's suitable for our masthead. It must have a bike in it. A pretty girl wouldn't hurt your chances either. Send it to us by June 18, and if we choose yours, you'll get your choice of Bowery Lane's current three models, the Broncks Raw (our personal favorite), the Broncks Black, or the Breukelen.
A while back, a reader introduced us to Bowery Lane. Based on the look of their bikes, we gave them a tentative thumbs-up, but a steel bike hand-made in the U.S for only $695 sounded too good to be true. Then we discovered that Bowery Lane's bikes are actually manufactured in a Brooklyn-based factory that has been making bikes in the U.S. for almost as long as bikes have been being made, i.e., 1898, and has a great reputation for producing durable, dependable bikes. The founders of Bowery Lane, on the other hand, come from apparel industry backgrounds, and count Ralph Lauren, Bloomingdales, Urban Outfitters, and Barneys amongst their former employers and current clients. That combination of bike industry experience and apparel industry style has resulted in a great-looking but functional line of one-speed city bikes, and we're excited to be offering one to one lucky reader in honor of Bike to Work Week.
We're not great fans of work, but we do like bikes. So we've decided to celebrate Bike to Work Week (May 17-21) by giving away a bike from Bowery Lane Bicycles. The catch? You've got to do a little work for us. Check in Monday for complete details.
This month, we've got a new sponsor, Bull Run Roasting Co., and a new contest. In a nutshell, tell us what you think of the MB Cocktail and you can win enough of our new Magnificent Bastard "Morning After" Roast to keep caffeine coursing through your veins for a year. All in all, it's a $495 package, delivered in monthly installments directly to your home.
Based on recent news, this contest comes just in time. In Boston, Dunkin Donuts is sending coffee drinkers away empty-handed because of water issues caused by recent storms.
If you ask us, this is a great time to take your coffee habit completely into your own hands. So enter our contest today, and you may get all the coffee you need for an entire year (and a grinder and dripper, and two cool handmade coffee mugs, too).
The classic Negroni is simply equal parts gin, Campari, and sweet vermouth. You can do better.
5 parts Plymouth gin
2 parts Campari
1 part Pimm's No. 1 Cup
1 part sweet vermouth
1 part dry vermouth
2 dashes of orange bitters
Quick shake or stir and pour into chilled Martini glass. Garnish with an orange twist.