Once upon a time, there was a little town called Boston that wasn't so little when it came to advertising. Then the agency M & A spree began and, combined with the mass exodus of national brands, agency after agency skipped town or shuttered their doors forever. For years, the town has lived in the shadow of New York but that may be about to change.
Today, Cadillac awarded close to half its national and regional creative business to Modernista, a very cool agency in Boston that, aside from work they've done for Hummer, many may never have heard of before. This, of course, is no watershed moment nor will there be a flood of national brands flooding Boston's Boylston Street (a misnomer. really since most agencies have found homes elsewhere in the city) but to see Modernista kick some Leo Burnett butt surely pleases the underdog agencies around the country.
A tipster tells us Bill Westbrook, who just rejoined Fallon as Vice Chairman does the voiceover work for Wachovia's TV ads. A side job like that is all well and good except, perhaps, when a client at the agency Westbrook just joined is a competitor of Wachovia. Yes, Fallon handles Citibank. As thew tipsters says, it "should make for an interesting first meeting with Citibank."
Countering all that is sacred about the James Bond franchise, the producers of the film have decided to throw any semblance of respect for the brand to the wind and accept $14 million from Ford to allow the automaker to place its Mondeo in the the upcoming James Bond film, Casino Royale, starring Daniel Craig. While Ford certainly makes a decent car or two, the Ford brand and all it stands for is so counter to what the James Bond brand has imbued into culture over the past 40 years that we simply have to believe the producers behind this movie have thrown up their arms and said, "Fuck it. No one's gonna go see this movie anyway so we might as well get some cash now."
Everyone who works in marketing and any business touching it must read this article. On CBSNews.com, Dick Meyer wrote an editorial hammering home points we've touched on here before such as the portrayal of men as idiots in advertising, the hyper-political correctness foisted upon the industry and society at large and the acceptance, what scholar Charles Murray relates to "ecumenical niceness," of kids dressing and behaving like thugs fueled by marketers and the entertainment industry elevating "thug culture" to culture at large. If that's a lot to digest, just read the article and think long and hard about what cultural imagery you mirror in your marketing. Don't cop out using the tired, "Oh we're just identifying with culture," and turn a blind eye to what you are perpetuating.
Street art site Wooster Collective is running a weird How To series, a part of which is called Lepos' How To Plan A Viral Marketing Campaign. The section contains a truer than fiction, step by step guide on how to create a viral campaign from using borrowed ideas, other's artwork, cheap labor and street youth. The tutorial then points to the "real" Where's Lepos viral site. Funny stuff.
You know, it wasn't until I wrote, "the power of a bug's wings" to describe this new VW Golf GT commercial that I realized what the hell the concept was behind this spot. I haven't heard a VW referred to as a bug for so long, the spot just didn't make sense. Punch buggy, yea. But not bug. Of course, I could be interpreting this completely wrong and the concept's really about the relationship between a tsetse fly and the new Golf's TSI, whatever that is. Give it a watch and tell us what went on in that creative conference room when this thing was dreamed up.
OK, we're a few days late in sharing this but a spoof video showing how Microsoft would brand the iPod is hilarious, true and indicative of the horrific packaging and marketing most brands puke out of their verbal diarrhea spewing mouths. Give it a watch then show it to everyone in your company and watch them squirm as they embarrassingly acknowledge, "Uh, yea, we did that once too."