Agency.com Has Hipster Orgasm On YouTube

agency_com_subway.jpg

Attention ad agencies. Don't DON'T. DO NOT DO THIS. Do not create a video where you publicly masturbate, backslap and attempt to hipify yourself with viral goodness in front of the industry all in the name of cool factor and winning new business. Watch this video so you'll never do this to yourselves. Agency.com created a video of themselves pitching the Subway business as the pitch itself and uploaded it to YouTube. Everyone in the industry needs to watch this. Not because it's good but because it makes ad agency people look dumb and sound really stupid. It's filled with mindless business blather, self-important ad speak, fist bumps, fashionably un-tucked shirts and way too many utterances of the word "dude." It's painful to watch.

UPDATE: This work is for a sanctioned agency pitch. Agency.com Communications Manager Dan Cordella tells us, "SUBWAY Restaurants SFAFT Group is currently conducting a search for a new interactive agency. They gave all participants, including Agency.com, the option to submit a short video of the team/company, which is a fairly standard procedure in an agency review process. Agency.com wanted to show how viral could work instead of just telling them about it in a video or written response."

UPDATE II: And the blog.

NOTE: This version of the video has been sanitized with most of the original embarressing elements edited out.

by Steve Hall    Aug- 1-06   Click to Comment   
Topic: Agencies, Video, Worst   

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Comments



Comments

ouch. from the comments -

"Has anyone noticed that the people that are complimenting this insanely boring movie have never posted a video to youtube, have never been viewed, and are all in their mid-30s? Nice try agency.com, but sending ppl who work for you to give something a good rating doesn't make it 'viral.' It makes it wannabe viral. I hope subway knows better than to hire hack artists who would post something like this and send their friends to it in an attempt to make it appear popular."

another example of ad agencies not getting the client and not following the brief. i can almost hear the creative director saying "if they asked for a five minute video, why not give them a 10 minute video - it'll be twice as good!"

Posted by: Ed Lee on August 1, 2006 3:42 PM

Sad thing is this viral is actually a success - you posted it, we watched it. For subway it's actually worked as a viral - even if the agency came across looking like fools.

Posted by: jim on August 1, 2006 4:29 PM

What I dont understand is the point of this video... Was it to promote agency.com as "out-of-the-box" thinkers, or was it to promote Subway? Did they even win the account? Ive worked with various folks at Subway on branding activities and I feel that this misses the mark. All it shows is that this agency will do its best to understand Subway using a hands-on approach. Blah...

Posted by: Sean on August 1, 2006 4:34 PM

It's funny how bi-polar all the comments are. Personally I think it's spot on. These guys look loveable and clients want great people to work with - not know-it-all sour pusses. I'd work with this crew. Come to think of it - will you guys pitch Coca Cola??!

Posted by: Teets on August 1, 2006 4:35 PM

looks like someone from their agency decided to post on the comments over on adfreak... nasty!

Posted by: brent on August 1, 2006 4:44 PM

I am not from Agency.com and I have to aplaud Agency.com for being themselves and not being PC (politically correct) just because they were being filmed!

Kudos to Agency.com for taking a chance. Any other agency out there putting themselves out on the line?

Posted by: John Kopanas on August 1, 2006 5:18 PM

You are all talking about it - so its working.

Posted by: adwatcher on August 1, 2006 5:23 PM

john, i think you've missed the point of the comments. It wasn't about them being(or not being) PC, it was about the actual content.
As for other agencies "putting themselves out on the line" - everyday. The work is representative of the agency. Crappy work=crappy agency.
This is a shitty video that makes agency folk look like dumbasses=agency.com looks like a bunch of dumbasses.
In our current world of the ADD consumer.. why the hell did they think someone would watch a 3 minute video.. let alone their 9 minute video?!?!

On a final note: to put yourself out there(esp. on youtube) is an open invitation for criticism.. and the fact that they're faking youtube comments and now arguing on blogs to "defend" their work is pathetic.... they(being an interactive agency) should have known better... or at least expected this.

Posted by: brent on August 1, 2006 5:25 PM

My goodness, Brent is an angry doobie today...

I don't think this video was made for the consumer, but for the pitch itself. Why its being so hotly debated, I'm not sure.

Also, if Agency.com is posting, I would assume that their competitors are too? Just a thought.

Posted by: Lily Chin on August 1, 2006 5:48 PM

At least a couple of times in my life I have been the client trying to sit through stupid Ad Agency presentations from little kids trying to beg for my business. I don't give a flip about awards or how cool the staff is and I don't want to waste my time sitting throgh it. I want to know if you can do the job, make me money, put butts in the seats, and how are you going to approach the business. Watching a video like this one, no.

Posted by: roy on August 1, 2006 5:52 PM

I think Roy's comments are spot on. Lily also raises a good point that if they are hyping themselves on these boards, competition is likely bashing them as well. The hot debate is likely because they set themselves up for criticism and are now receiving it.

What is good about this video is that it shows the inner workings of an agency and the thought process that one goes thru when trying to come up with an innovative pitch to win biz. Whether its a crappy end result or brilliant, its still good learning for all those youngsters out there. But kids, please dont try this at home cuz if you go, you gotta go big!

Posted by: Sean on August 1, 2006 6:04 PM

Brent man, settle down. Are you that embarassed? Agencies have been doing this kind of thing for many, many years. These guys just went the extra step (which I too question) of putting it out there for angry people like you to beat up. I don't think they did anything breakthrough in here, but I certainly don't feel like a need a shower after watching it either.

Posted by: pgd on August 1, 2006 6:34 PM

Yikes. Thanks for the cautionary tale.

Posted by: closethipster on August 1, 2006 6:58 PM

1) We all know, and from my own blog experience, that the critics are the ones to comment. So probably safe to say the comments here aren't a fair representation.
2) I found the video intriguing although NOTHING happens. I could watch many more minutes, but what I didn't get was the pitch. I was waiting for it at the end - Agency.com?
3) With 2 said, I think Agency.com was going for the "medium is the message" move. In this case I don't think it worked. If I was Subway I would've applauded their efforts but not given them the biz on account of creating a 9 minute video featuring themselves in played out scenarios. I was really turned off by the 1st scene that was clearly fabricated.
4) Agency.com probably does some good work, and if anything they accomplished something here. They got people talking about this and now 1000s have heard of them. Don't know if any publicity is good publicity, but in this case I might now be intrigued to learn more about their work if I was looking for and ad agency.

Posted by: Christen on August 1, 2006 6:58 PM

Nothing wrong with trying to stir a viral buzz online -- as long it's the right buzz. And let's be sure not to confuse "viral" or "buzz" with "effective." Did the thing "succeed?" At becoming viral, yes. But for the wrong reasons. In case you're not clear, go to technorati and search "Mel Gibson." Word to agency.com: sneaky idea, but it's not about you. Might want to get with Mel re: damage control.

Posted by: G.B. Veerman on August 1, 2006 7:08 PM

my apologies on the harshness of my choice of language... it was "one of those days" and i decided to take out the agression on the folks over at agency.com.... it was too easy.. sorry.. :)

Posted by: brent on August 1, 2006 8:07 PM

Subway has just launched a new sub called "The Agency.com." It's a super-sized sandwich with no meat, but lots of cheese. It takes you 9 minutes to eat it and then you throw up.

(I just gave my self a fist-bump for that, cuz if I comment, I comment big.)

Posted by: David Jones on August 1, 2006 8:41 PM

How does this do anything to promote the subway brand? I didn't learn anything new about Subway, no mention of sandwich's anything. As a viral, this is good to promote agency.com but where is the benefit to the client.

It wasn't a bad video production wise, a little corny but interesting. But bottom line, why post a 'viral' for the client when the video is about who 'you' are?

Posted by: Stu on August 1, 2006 9:44 PM

@David Jones:

Spot on, man. Spot on.

One fist bump to you.

Posted by: Jeff Clark on August 2, 2006 12:03 AM

If Subway is a dorky brand - which it is- Agency dot com is their guy.

Posted by: rat on August 2, 2006 12:55 AM

Wow. This is bad, real bad, in every conceivable way. Some might think this is a 'creative' way to use youtube to impress the crap out of prospects, but come on, potential clients like a bit of discretion. Not only did you make yourselves look like idiots, but you made the client look pretty stupid too.

Part of me wants to applaud the effort to use youtube to promote part of the pitch, but it appears that you misused your creative minds in this case. You made them appear to be thinking about the business challenge (account person territory) or thinking about the consumer insight (planner territory). Next time, let your creatives do what I hope (for your sake) they are good at doing - creating killer work that consumers actually want to spend time with.

Posted by: ExAdGuy on August 2, 2006 12:55 AM

Agency.com's new fist-bump slogan: if we fail, we fail big!

Posted by: Nathan Schock on August 2, 2006 1:15 AM

When we site an act of bravery in any endeavor, that act must come with a large measure of humility and honesty, which this video couldn't be further from.

Posted by: fillirey on August 2, 2006 1:22 AM

it's kind of annoying, but who cares? it's a window into a fictional couple of days preparing for stupid pitches. you weren't obliged to watch and comment, but you did. plus, it seems everyone misses the fact that they say it isn't the actual pitch; it's to get to know the people. it's clever. not as clever as "caffeine + creativity = crazy delicious" though. apparently you are an O.G. in the viral game Brent. Being one of the first to adopt a Lazy Sunday reference as a personal mantra definitely makes you an expert. Keeping it this long makes you hard core. Enough of this b.s., I'm going back my site, numanumaguy.com

Posted by: whatevas on August 2, 2006 1:48 AM

...and what the hell is a fist-bump? are you guys masturbating to this blog under your desk?

Posted by: whatevas on August 2, 2006 1:52 AM

gee, aren't i lucky, my comments got someone going to my website...does that make it viral?

All joking aside, thanks for visiting my website. I'm glad you took a personal interest in whether or not people talked about your subway pitch disaster. Sorry, I mean agency.com's subway pitch disaster. Anyhow, I was flattered with how you could say "who cares," and then follow it up by attacking a random tag on my half-ass blog. You really must care if you felt obliged to watch the video, read my comments, go to my site for ammo, then comment here. And knowing that someone out there cares makes me feel all warm inside, especially if that caring has anything to do w/ my site. So again - Thanks.

Posted by: brent on August 2, 2006 2:24 AM

cranky + comments = crazy delicious!

Posted by: whateva on August 2, 2006 7:33 AM

Lets discuss the part where someone chases after a Hasidic gentleman and asking if he's "allowed to touch women"...how is it possible to be so condescending? Did they edit out the part where someone ran down a woman of color and told her to put down the KFC and get her badass self into Subway?

Posted by: spare_me on August 2, 2006 9:03 AM

Snarktastic! The comments war here is way better than the video.

But still, like someone said over at Ad Freak - only agency types are watching and talking about it. That was not really the viral intended, I'm sure.

Sincerely,

Fist-bumping dude with an untucked shirt who rolls big.

Posted by: Jetpacks on August 2, 2006 9:09 AM

We're HIPSTERS, damnit. Not HISPTERS [sic]. C'mon adblog dude!

Posted by: Montey King on August 2, 2006 9:54 AM

My point was just that if you put yourself out there and take risks you will have things that don't always work out for you and will sometimes make you look like a rock star. When you are always being careful and not putting yourself out there you will of course never make blunders and be criticized but then again you will never be a rock star. Even if it is only for a day!

Posted by: John Kopanas on August 2, 2006 9:56 AM

someone made "We roll big" t-shirts ... does that make it viral?

http://www.spreadshirt.net/shop.php?op=article&article_id=3404773#top

Posted by: Boyakasha on August 2, 2006 9:57 AM

YES, the t-shirts make it viral

Posted by: addarling on August 2, 2006 10:10 AM

For the love of God, an advertising blog posting a link to something advertising-related (especially when it's the meat of an instructive 'what not to wear' lesson) does NOT, I repeat, NOT, make that thing viral. Viral is what happens when people who aren't stakeholders in something start passing it around voluntarily to other non-stakeholders. That will never happen with this, because it's so ridiculously boring that nobody outside of the advertising sphere would ever stoop low enough to care.

Posted by: mp on August 2, 2006 11:38 AM

Yet another self-centered 'how do you like us now' agency circle jerk... Why agency.com thinks anyone would care about this is beyond me.

My advice to future mockumentary makers: pick up the book 'Where the Suckers Moon' by Randall Rothenberg--A true insider's account on Wieden & Kennedy's pitch and loss of Subaru in the '90s. It's a great read, very intuitive and should probably take about as much time to get through as this video.

Posted by: Thor on August 2, 2006 11:39 AM

I must be dumb, stupid and mindless because I actually thought it was entertaining.

Posted by: John on August 2, 2006 11:39 AM

Whether or not the agency I work for would take this approach is not for me to say...

However, I disagree with you Steve. I think this video makes them look HUMAN. I also think this takes balls...

I applaud Agency.com for this.

Peter Corbett
http://www.blattnerbrunner.com

Posted by: Peter Corbett on August 2, 2006 11:53 AM

Nice website. Looks like a bad Boone Oakley.

No fist-pump for you.

Posted by: tom lout on August 2, 2006 11:56 AM

Its pretty amazing to read all these posts on quite a few advertising blogs. And see how - haters in an effort to say something isn't viral - actually make it viral within the ad community. And make Agency.com - a place fairly forgotten become more relavent than it's ever been in the last 6 years. Famous or infamous people will debate. But you guys are making friggin T-shirts for them now. People are taking sidess. Love it or hate it - passing it around. There's chatter (Im guessing this is the longest comment string ever for a post), debate and passion. None of this was happeing before they posted their video. Just because we're ad people and passing this around and participating doesn't discount it from being successfully spread. Do you really think they made it for some farmer in Montana or mom in a suburb somewhere to be entertained? They made this for ad people to watch, think about, talk about, and spread. And that's what we're doing.

Posted by: Jeff on August 2, 2006 11:59 AM

Here is yet another example where stupid ad agency people, who obviously were in the middle-lower Bell curve in school, seem to think enthusiasm is more important than intelligence.

Is there an insight into how the interactive medium can add value to the physical offering in a way that will build frequency and loyalty, increase check size and same-store sales? A analysis of potential challenges the brand is having on a store-to-store up to national level? Any demonstration that the people at Agency.com understand the fast-food business operationally? How money is made? The role of communications channels? Anything that the clients, who have undoubtedly spent many more hours in different stores, might not have heard before?

Nope. Just a bunch of idiots who walked down the street in midtown Manhattan, stole jobs from entry-level service workers for a day, insulted passers-by, and otherwise did NOTHING to indicate any potential for being anything other than wacky asshole hipsters who condescend to the brand, those that work there, and those who eat there, and certainly aren't there to make Subway a more successful business. The sad part is that they seem incapable of the shame they should feel.

A 'passionate' moron is still a moron. Hire some smart people, Agency. They cost a little more, but you don't have to buy as many sandwiches or resort to pathetic crap like this.

Posted by: Pitch Consultant on August 2, 2006 12:26 PM

So...did they get the business or not - someone must know or are Subway too embarrassed to tell the world they hired agency.com?

Posted by: Bearman on August 2, 2006 12:27 PM

At 8,000 views, up from 2,000 yesterday, I'd say this has achieved a certain degree of viral success within the ad industry which is the only audience it was intended for in the first place. Actually, no. It was intended for a few people at Subway. Based on that, good or bad, it's a wildly successful endeavor for Agency.com. However, it does make one ask the age old question: Is any publicity really good publicity?

Posted by: Steve Hall on August 2, 2006 12:27 PM

I work in advertising, like many of you. Therefore, like many of you, I must be an expert.


The vid is shite

agency.com are wankers

G'night

Posted by: Anton on August 2, 2006 12:35 PM

OK ... viral purists. So it's not viral, unless you count all of you who have come to watch it and comment. It is definitely buzzworthy. And I think the publicity is definitely good ... people are making t-shirts, and it is sparking conversation. why hate these guys for trying? sounds like penis envy to me.

Posted by: Booyakasha on August 2, 2006 12:46 PM

Hey Brent, come back. I'm having a SNACK ATTACK MUTHAF**KER!

Posted by: whatevas on August 2, 2006 1:04 PM

Jeff, sorry, but that's a blatantly reductive take. If you want to conclude that this is a success simply because people are talking about it, you might wanna talk to HR at Agency.com. Pitch Consultant's right: what's the point of drumming up all this attention if the best idea contained in your pitch is 'hey let's hire someone to work at Subway for a day'. What happened to respecting your audience? Does anyone who's actually had a modicum of success in the ad world think that's a remotely useful idea?

This whole think reeks of schoolkids playing dress-up, right down to the stylized title burns and the "6 inch vs. 12 inch" jokes. There's no consideration for the client's needs, no discernible strategy, and no evidence to prove that Agency.com are anything beyond utterly mesmerized by the sound of their own voices and the glint of the red light on their handicams. In short, there's no there there, and now we all know it, which means you can be damned sure this little stunt did them more harm than good, comments and t-shirts or not.

Posted by: mp on August 2, 2006 1:18 PM

i think a lot of seemingly smart people are missing the point. they say it's a video to introduce the team. it's selling agency.com, not subway. it's not the pitch. there is no strategy to present. please remove the bunched up panties from your buttcrack.

Posted by: missingthepoint? on August 2, 2006 1:30 PM

It's also labeled "part 1" leading one to believe there's more to come.

Posted by: Steve Hall on August 2, 2006 1:43 PM

I agree with 'missing the point' because many of you are. Obviously, this is a video to introduce the team - that's it.

Big deal, why does it bother so many of you anyway?

Posted by: bigdeal on August 2, 2006 2:06 PM

does ANYONE KNOW IF THEY WON THE FUCKING BUISNESS?? that will be the end-all to this whole thing!!

Posted by: Matt on August 2, 2006 2:06 PM

this gives me that same creepy feeling i get when i'm in a staff meeting and my boss comes up with a really, really lousy idea that he thinks is "cool" and "hip" but is really embarrassing, but i know he'll make me implement, anyway.

so glad i don't work there. my job is bad enough.

Posted by: Roy on August 2, 2006 2:23 PM

"Based on that, good or bad, it's a wildly successful endeavor for Agency.com. However, it does make one ask the age old question: Is any publicity really good publicity?
Posted by: Steve Hall on August 2, 2006 12:27 PM"

No, because if their name is brought up in a meeting, everyone who commented on here is going to instantly think of this discussion and tell others about it. If any of us know anything, we know that WOM is effective. Good or bad, now agency.com is directly associated with this one video and the context around it. Personally, I'm going to think of David Jone's comment about the Agency.com Sandwich :)

Now, if they continuously produced videos like this, much to like how everyone loves to hate Burger King, maybe it will turn into an 'any publicity is good publicity', but that would require an actual strategy in place.

Posted by: ariel on August 2, 2006 2:39 PM

plus: if you didnt know agency.com you do now.
plus: lots of attention to subway for free (for the moment)
plus: it's an interesting idea
plus: we're all talking about, we'll all keep debating it, buzz buzz buzz

minus: what are they actually saying about what they are doing subway?
minus: didn't really say much about how much the understand the food service business at all.

we'll see...

-allison q mccarthy

Posted by: allison on August 2, 2006 3:06 PM

it's so fucking lame... This is what happens when creative directors go on holiday and the account exec play w mini dvs.
I'd like to be there when subway tells them they find it lame and that they wasted a lot of people's time with this "adventure" that has no chance of getting mainstream.
No cute cat, no chick in an egg shell, no one falling in a ravine... this will never go viral.
l-a-m-e.

Posted by: dave on August 2, 2006 3:20 PM

Is it really a successful piece for Agency.com? What if Subway should stumble upon these posts? While there are many who are simply bashing Agency.com for the sake of bashing their idea, there are a lot of folks making solid points on how this is neither enticing nor on point. So in this case, I cant really see how any publicity is good publicity...

Posted by: Sean on August 2, 2006 3:28 PM

I knew who agency.com was before I watched it.
Before I watched it- I thought they had a bit on the ball.
After I watched it- I knew they were the perfect agency for Subway- a brand that hasn't had a decent ad campaign ever. Agency.com will continue that fine tradition.
If getting people to talk about it- within the ad community is a good thing- they win.
However- if that's the way we approach a very serious business- we should all be shot.
David Jones deserves a fist bump with the top and bottom taps- right on brother.

Posted by: David Esrati on August 2, 2006 3:45 PM

An unsolicited response in kind to Agency.com from Coudal Partners.

http://www.coudal.com/unsolicited.php

Posted by: Jim Coudal on August 2, 2006 4:14 PM

normaly I don't post crap on youtube but these guys deserve it!

mine is really funny! will subway hire me?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cE0SsmAWI5k

enjoy!

Posted by: crashbanger13 on August 2, 2006 4:38 PM

I agree with Pitch Consultant.

What "thought process" is on display here? That's precisely what the agency came across as lacking, in my opinion.

What is this doing for the client? Besides embarrassing the agency, and perhaps embarrassing others of us in the industry who are trying to convince clients we have an intelligent and informed thought process of some kind.

And yeah, so it's viral and effectively being passed around in the ad community. So what's that doing for Agency.com? Not a whole lotta good from what I read here. So they're getting talked about as having failed or distributed an ineffective video.

and "Missing the Point"... if this video is to serve as an introduction to me of my agency team, I think I may need to go find another team. Not sure how this works to sell these guys, or works to their benefit at all. Overall, would make someone think you can know nothing about nothing, and be considered quite a talent in the ad business.

Posted by: s. on August 2, 2006 5:15 PM

"Hey Brent, come back. I'm having a SNACK ATTACK MUTHAF**KER!" - stop acting like you've never seen a hamilton before.... good to see you're still pimping my site. :)

Posted by: brent on August 2, 2006 5:42 PM

Does viral = good???

agency.com are soon to be known world wide.
Now, remember the Star Wars kid? That was a mega viral success.

Did it show him as a lonely, over weight, friendless kid? Yes.
Did it do any good to him in the process? – No.
Will he be always remembered as the Star Wars kid? – Yes.

This vid stands a chance to be a huge viral success. Unfortunately - for all the wrong reasons.

Posted by: tamir berkman on August 2, 2006 7:44 PM

It may be viral already but that is some career ending bullshit that they posted. I mean who would ever want to work with those fools again?

Posted by: essl on August 2, 2006 8:56 PM

Forgetting all this good/bad, viral/non-viral talk, it seems like Subway asked for a 5 minute pitch and they turned out a ten minute video that's only "Part One."

Now I'm just an ad student, but isn't it bad to make something at least twice as long as what the client requested?

Posted by: jay on August 2, 2006 10:22 PM

looks like Agency.com is enjoying the attention and making lite of the whole thing. It seems they have bought a url for the very line in the video many people are making fun of on the posts.
http://www.whenwerollwerollbig.com/

Posted by: peewee on August 2, 2006 11:11 PM

Pitch Consultant: "The sad part is that they seem incapable of the shame they should feel."

too! damn! funny! and spot on. In all seriousness people, hire this man.

Posted by: rodrigo on August 2, 2006 11:32 PM

OK -- some of you guys need to get real

1) It's SUBWAY. King of franchise and processed meats
2) Quizo's is kicking their collective asses
3) Agency.com is at least ATTEMPTING to understand their business
4) I was in food & bev for 11 years -- THIS IS NOT ROCKET FUCKING SCIENCE
5) OK, so they are a little late on the "viral" game, but you all are talking about it, right?

Give 'em a break. They're showing they care. Which is a lot more than I can say for you 3-martini lunch asswipes.

Posted by: Stinkyfinger on August 3, 2006 1:24 AM

The thing I'm most dissappointed about is that they could have done a great job but instead are bring attention to the digital marketing industry where "we" look like idiots. I wish they had done something that I would want to forward on because it was great. Instead I forwarded it to colleagues because wsa the opposite of great. They were trying to understand Subway's busienss but I want them to understand our business more.

Posted by: Mo P on August 3, 2006 4:44 AM

My years in ad land - including a four-year stint at AGENCY.COM have taught me a few things. One is that boldness and humanity do not justify lack of creativity. Two, not all publicity is good publicity. Three, clients hire people not agencies. I am afraid the approach taken by AGENCY.COM while bold and creating a buzz, fails at intelligently showcasing what should be their biggest asset, their people.

Posted by: natural born ad man on August 3, 2006 7:46 AM

i'm sorry. i didn't get that natural born ad man. could you please repeat it one more time?

Posted by: haywood jablowme on August 3, 2006 8:26 AM

brent, please explain your comment to me. is 'hamilton' some sort of sub-culture slang i don't get for people who are raging against benjamins? you suck. completely. go play with your mini ... penis. i'm sure your best friend thinks it's crazy delicious.

Posted by: whatevas on August 3, 2006 8:30 AM

Anyone who so casually tosses around the word "viral" needs to read this:

http://www.kevinglennon.com/articles/viral.htm

Whether you agree with it or not, you need to consider the point.

As for the Agency.com video? For my $.02, they failed at showing real expertise, they failed at demonstrating deep thinking, and they totally failed at coming across as the kind of people I'd want to work with closely on a long-term basis.

Coudal's response video showed deeper thinking and more humanity:

http://www.coudal.com/unsolicited.php

Posted by: Craig on August 3, 2006 9:01 AM

(i can imagine the pitch now):
"c.d: how can we keep the comments coming now that everyone's gotten tired of our video?
a.d "lets post like a 4th grader and see if we can't pick a fight to keep the comments going"
c.d. + a.e: great idea!

Posted by: brent on August 3, 2006 10:10 AM

If one more person says "Any publicity is good publicity" or "Well OMFG, people are talking about it, so it must be working (ROTFL)", I'm going to take you round back and put you and the rest of us out of our collective misery.

The only time negative publicity is any good is when you're completely unknown to begin with, which applies to neither Subway nor Agency.com in this case. Otherwise, bad publicity is... bad publicity (surprising, I know).

Posted by: thecopyninja on August 3, 2006 10:27 AM

Copyninja just took the words out of my mouth. Moratorium, please.

Posted by: mp on August 3, 2006 11:24 AM

ok, brent. i was being a bit childish. i'll give you that. but, i'm geniuninely curious what "stop acting like you've never seen a hamilton before" means. in all seriousness, please explain it to me. i want to add it to my lexicon if it's cool.

Posted by: whatevas on August 3, 2006 11:33 AM

Is it me, or is everyone just mad that they didn't think of it first ... o wait, neither did Agency.com, and neither did Project Greenlight. I do, however, like the pompous AD. Shows how douchey creatives can be.

Posted by: everyone sucks on August 3, 2006 1:21 PM

Yeah- I know writing about it only gives it cred-
but, I thought that "Pitch Consultant" said something worth repeating:
http://www.thenextwave.biz/tnw/?p=230

And people wonder why we get no respect.

Posted by: David Esrati on August 3, 2006 3:05 PM

Okay, at first I loathed it and now I love it. Agency.com, you win. They outpretentioused all of us by showing everyone how rediculous we really are with out haircuts, expensive ripped jeans ... nice work ladies.

Posted by: everyone sucks on August 3, 2006 7:35 PM

The joke is on us.

http://www.i-boy.com/weblog/2006/08/joke-is-on-us.html

Posted by: George Nimeh on August 3, 2006 9:50 PM

Is the joke on us?

Maybe not.

I did a Whois lookup on the domain, and it was registered on 2 august ... That's 2 days after the video was on YouTube and after the negative comments started rolling in.

http://www.i-boy.com/weblog/2006/08/fool-me-once.html

This smells bad.

Posted by: George Nimeh on August 3, 2006 10:29 PM

The real joke is on Subway- because all these ad people are writing about this terrible pitch- and making fun of Subway's primary market weakness- taste.
It's not always an ad solution people- sometimes, the client just needs to make a better product.
http://www.thenextwave.biz/tnw/?p=231
it's a post called "fixing advertising isn't always the problem"

Agency.com isn't helping Subway.
Feel free to ad your ideas to the comments on what could be done to help this company improve their advertising.
From an online standpoint- I'd suggest that they stop trying to be a national act and build a system of local sites fed by national but nurtured by each franchisee- to build a community of customers around each shop. RSS could be a great way of distributing special offers and introduce new products-
too bad Agency.com didn't suggest any real strategy in their primp job.

Posted by: David Esrati on August 3, 2006 11:00 PM

No one is fooled. This is just as bad as the Chevy Tahoe bullshit that surfaced and Chevy was practically pushed into a corner where they couldn't say anything but "oh, we did that on purpose because that's how much we care about CGM".

And seriously, it's bullshit to try and fit the old client-pleasing solutions of impressions and demographics to new problems like viral and WOM. It tells nothing of any interaction, engagement or syndication other than volume of buzz.

They put the video on YouTube because I bet that's the only technology/calculations they know how to use to track ANY kind of reporting back to the client. What do you want to bet that they pitch MySpace and YouTube as 'great new strategies'? Please. Wake me up when they actually go after something that is an actual challenge rather than low-hanging-fruit. Bottom feeders are chumps.

The end.

Posted by: ariel on August 3, 2006 11:14 PM

OK, so this guy "Gets It"!!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lkFitDdRzVU


mmm,hmmm tasty!

Posted by: crashbanger13 on August 4, 2006 10:20 AM

You know what else is viral? Kids falling off skateboards and landing on their nuts. This video is more painful to watch. Yes, it's viral and a lot of people are watching it and talking about it, but most of those people are calling these guys douchebags, which I'm pretty sure makes the whole thing a loss.

Posted by: poploser on August 4, 2006 11:52 AM

And now the folks at Advertising Age weigh in...

http://adage.com/outofsite/article?article_id=110870

Posted by: Sean on August 4, 2006 12:53 PM

When addressing the underlying essence and controversy involved in this VIRAL FIASCO, involving agency.com and their new business pitch for the Subway Restaurants account; there is an old advertising adage that comes into play: "Exposure is exposure, as long as they spell your name right"
. . . well, agency.com is about to find out, how this adage applies today, and what the negative-side-effects and aftermath associated with it really are. My guess is, agency.com will get a lot of exposure, but they will end up with the side effect of a negative image that will be remembered, alongside, of their newfound notoriety. Agency.com will be famous for being stupid and naive and non-discreet and having poor judgment (just what their clients do not want their agency to be). The predicament that agency.com finds itself in, is very similar to the negative-side-effects, that formed the current negative images of athlete / actor OJ Simpson and actor Robert Blake; after their involvement with the murder trials of their respective wives. It is also very similar to the to the image and career Michael Jackson had BEFORE, his pedophile accusations and trial; and the image and career Michael Jackson has now AFTER those negative-side-effect events. What was the image OJ Simpson and Robert Blake and Michael Jackson had BEFORE their trials? What is the image OJ Simpson and Robert Blake and Michael Jackson have NOW? What will these respective celebrity images be like, in the FUTURE? Yes, exposure is exposure, but a negative image is also a negative image. When one positive circumstance (a lot of free publicity) happens simultaneously with a negative circumstance (you should not have done that), someone ends up being famous for the wrong reason, or famous in the wrong way. A negative image, no one, regardless of who you are, can afford to have.

Posted by: Michael Iva on August 4, 2006 4:21 PM

This actually made me embarrassed to work in advertising.

Now I know how lawyers must feel when they see a slip and fall commercial….

Posted by: Andrew on August 4, 2006 5:42 PM

i've posted my pov on this a couple times in the past few days, but i've been doing some research about this Subway pitch. we're all in the industry, hell, AdRants writes about it everyday. Does anyone know if Subway really has put their account up for review? Is anyone's agency currently pitching the business as well?

i'm in no way trying to defend a.com by theorizing they may have made the whole thing up, but this key piece of information seems to be missing from all this discourse.

Anybody out there know?

Posted by: yes have some on August 4, 2006 6:57 PM

Yes, yes. As I posted in an update to this story, this review is real and sanctioned my Subway. Interactive only.

Posted by: Steve Hall on August 4, 2006 7:45 PM

I'm an ex-agency guy who's now on the client side.

Having lived for quite a few years in both worlds -- and having done both traditional and interactive, I can offer the following.

1) A lot of ad agency people are young and self-centered. This leads to them routinely mistaking very average and derivative ideas for stunning brilliance.

2) Most people on the client side know this. We're not horrified, or surprised. We just try to be patient with it, while we wait for the occasional golden egg to appear.

3) Meanwhile, the grown-ups on the client side and the grown-ups on the agency side quietly find each other. We make the best decisions we can together, based on what's important.

4) This video ain't unimportant. All it tells a client is that the agency employs some really enthusiastic kids who don't know a whole lot about business. This isn't news.

5) This video is huge news in the agency community. It's meaningless in the client community. This is a teachable moment: if you're in the agency business, now is a great time to ask yourself something. Do your clients believe you are concerned about the right things?

Posted by: Tom on August 7, 2006 10:39 AM

BEST RESPONSE YET TO THIS P.O.S.

http://www.coudal.com/unsolicited.php

Posted by: ANNON on August 7, 2006 11:28 AM

All the agencies pitching are probably established, so what was the point of this? To show they're pompous, vulgar and therefore hip?

It would have been a really interesting video and not lost its edge had the video been done a more corteous manner.

Posted by: Savi on August 8, 2006 2:22 AM

Like I don't care if, like, it's a circle-jerk or like, whatever...but I can't, like, get past the fact that, like, the copywriter, like, says "like," like three times in, like, one sentence.

Posted by: xqqqme on August 8, 2006 6:07 PM

There is only one ego big enough to have attempted this; Chan fess up "dude"!
The only question I have is: How were we not subjected to your smiling face munching away on a big old twelve inch HAM sub. Now that would have been entertaining!
Please no more, I am full of this Sub sandwich, easy on the onions, heavy on the EGO!

Posted by: Kyle on August 9, 2006 5:17 PM

This is the creation of the CEO(chief ego officer) at Agency.com, Chan !
Good demonstration of ego, self-serving, "forget the client" viral dump.
And please spare us from a "part 2". I would rather subject myself to viewing old "YENTL" clips than view a part 2! I think YENTLY has as much of a connection to
Subway as Agency.com

Posted by: Rick on August 9, 2006 5:24 PM

If there was a mistake made it was in putting this up for other ad agencies to comment and ridicule - this video was made to be mocked. And there in lies the biggest problem - how does that make Subway look? My biggest worry if I were them would have been - once this is viral, and is out of our control - how does it reflect on the client?

Posted by: Spencer on August 29, 2006 1:20 PM

Embarrassingly unfunny. And the fact that they made fun of a Hasidic man's religious beliefs is incredibly bigoted. Whoever okayed that bit should get the axe.

Posted by: Jenny on September 12, 2006 7:15 PM

the real issue here is whether or not subway is at fault. i mean, did they realize that as an ad agency they might have to be responsible for the work? if so, they shold have realized also that the work itself was all part of the package and that they were putting themselves out on the line when they asked to be part of it. so in the end i think it was subway who got the deal going. but it's hard to say for sure since agency.com had been thinking this through in the first place. i just think it could be a matter of timing.

Posted by: Greg Formager on October 12, 2006 9:35 PM

See it

http://www.axishow.com/view_video.php?viewkey=1e61cb8dd3612f26d5ec

Posted by: Davis on January 20, 2007 5:35 AM

Egads peepeles. We need some realization here. What is happening is that people are trying hard to brake moulds but don't realize how to do so in a hip way. They think they are cool, but are not, therefore being completely uncool. Devastating to both brand and identity (corporate). We need corporate ID to replace thought process so product can be sold with emotional response. This is not the ticket to be sold in this matter. Well done.

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