When a bunch of agency creatives get together and brainstorm a new ad campaign, some of the racier concepts get left in the conference room after the campaign is approved by the client taken to the market. When Ford had Ogilvy and Mather create a campaign for is new SportKa, one of racier and un-approved concepts found its way virally to market. The concept is a clip - based on an originally "approved" concept for the SportKa showing a pigeon getting his due when trying to land on the hood - that shows a cat getting its head cut off by the cars sunroof. (View it courtesy of Viralmeister)
In typical corporate denial, Ford is decrying this concept as "abhorrent" saying, "It was done as a proposal somewhere deep down in the bowels of the agency. As soon as we saw it we said absolutely not. We are appalled - this is not something we want to be associated with." But one can be assured they are quite pleased it is floating around the web, receiving press from the distinguished Financial Times of London and the equally distinguished Adrants located in a quaint little prep school town called Groton.
Independent Wieden & Kennedy has launched a school, called 12, for aspiring advertising professionals. It's a 13 month program in which student will do real work for real clients. While any good school should cost good money, and this one does at $13,000 a year, it seems strange that an ad agency would make someone pay to work on their clients. While clients worked on by 12 students will be charged a reduced rate, Wieden will still pull in that fee as well as the $13,000 per year for each student in the program. Sounds like Wieden is getting a good deal here. OK, I'll admit there's something in it for the students as well.
A new Yankee Group study of consumer media habits identifies the rapid spread of media fragmentation and consumer audience segment's multi-tasking approach to media consumption. This growing fragmentation yields a double edged sword for advertisers. Fragmentation and multi-tasking begets deeper and more effective targeting yet creates daunting marketing challenges.
Procter & Gamble has launched an agency review which calls for the "redesign its media planning agencies into communications planning agencies." Acknowledging its concerns over waning audiences and increased costs of traditional media, P & G, in an agency review, will ask agencies to re-create themselves to embrace a broader range of consumer communication. An early adopter of media optimization, P & G's agency request for a broader approach to consumer planning, which, in essence, would include anything a consumer comes into contact with, asks agencies to rely less the traditional "tonnage" approach to media and more on "non-media" approaches such as product integration, video game advertising, package design, SMS marketing, IM advertising and musical tour sponsorships.
While this harkens back to many of the pontifications we have heard before regarding P & G's desire to revolutionize its approach to marketing, this time, albeit slowly, it might stick. Agencies and media shops are averse to change but two billion media dollars gets attention. One can't help but hope P & G's pontifications become reality.