SES San Francisco, mustache power and one lucky winner

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Sometimes we work super hard at Raven to plan, develop and execute really cool contests.

And sometimes we, um, don’t.

Our SES San Francisco giveaway was one of those other times. As our own supersmart Taylor Pratt will be at SES speaking on a panel about SEO competitor analysis, an extra last-minute ticket fell into our lap. Why not give it away as bizarrely as possible?

Thus, our mustache-centric contest was quickly born—and wow, has it been entertaining. We witnessed Photoshop masterpieces, pictures of kids, dads, lady ‘staches and more. We read entries both entertaining and inexplicable.

But in the end only one Internet-marketer-with-an-opinion-on-mustaches could win the pass. And that winner, who’ll be attending SES August 15-19 with an all-access pass worth more than $2,500, is … Rick Galan!

Read Rick’s excellent entry

“One should abso-freaking-lutely attend SES with a mustache. And by one, I mean Jon. I mean, seriously.

Jon with 'stache

I can’t see a better way to take Raven to the next level of professionalism. I’ve never seen Jon with facial hair.. but someone as manly and burly as he is could surely pull something off by SES.

I would join up and grow my own nosebuddy.. but I have a particular problem – I can’t grow facial hair well at all. I end up looking like Captain Jack Sparrow.. but you know.. without all the Johnny Depp underneath it. So you see the issue.

BUT! If I win the pass.. I will try my best to grow a cookieduster by the time the conference is upon us. And when people mock, laugh & point at my ridiculous lip-caterpillar, I will proudly announce that I did it for the RAVEN! I trust you’ll make the right choice.”

Did Jon force us to choose this one because it calls him manly and outfits him with an impossibly amazing ‘stache? Possibly. But we can’t wait to see Rick and his facial hair represent for Raven. We loved lots of other entries, too.

Other favorites

  • We’re suckers for bullet points, and Shane Keener‘s list of ‘stache support included such gems as “it’s there to catch all the missing data that you can’t write down while you are taking notes at SES” and “it shows everyone that you don’t take yourself too seriously. That way you get into all of the cool after hours parties and stuff.” Plus he sent us this weird photo! We have no idea where he is (circus? Halloween?) or what’s up with that wand.

  • Shane Keener mustache

  • Props are also due to Zac Stafford, who lived to tell the tale of a mustache gone wrong. “This is a sore subject for me, and it’s a little too soon to talk about,” he wrote. “I grew a mustache for Movember to raise money to fight prostate cancer. My ‘stache then decided to start making reservations in my name, showing up all over town acting like me, hitting on my boss, trying to ruin my life, etc. So after a dramatic falling out/restraining order, my answer would be no. One should not attend SES with a moustache. There, you happy now?”
  • Another crowd favorite was Mike Ramsey, who described his mustache thusly: “slightly golden, but oh so gentle, Hungarian big and bushy beginning from the middle of the upper lip and pulled to the side mustache that made most women, men, and small animals want me with a desire that could only be explained in religious context.”
  • I personally enjoyed the logic behind Kenny Chung’s entry: “Mustaches are a staple of the porn industry. Porn websites are also usually the most cutting edge in terms of new technology and SEO tactics. Think of all the conversations you could start about HTML5 video players, video thumbnail previews or preroll ads!”

‘Stache photos

Although ‘stache photos weren’t mandatory, we sure enjoyed laughing at them. Mike Halvorsen‘s awe-inducing, for-real mustache was a favorite on our Facebook page.

Mike Halvorsen mustache

Lady ‘staches represented, too. While others glued on a reasonable facsimile, Madelynn Martiniere went with the Sharpie method.

Madelynn Martinière mustache

So while we could only give away one ticket, we love everyone who entered a little more now, cookieduster or no. Thanks for showing us your ‘stachey side.