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Big Dumb Agencies Get Crapped On Again

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Writing on his blog, Idiot Flags, independent marketing consultant Stephen Ban comments on the closing of JWT's Chicago office and the general demise of ad agencies in general. Some gems:

"Agency networks create "conflict agencies" with new names -- effectively admitting that their brands are meaningless, and rendering the differentiation between and among the original agencies irrelevant"

more »

by Steve Hall    Apr- 6-09    
Topic: Agencies, Opinion



Mullen Makes Move to Boston, Shares Construction Progress

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By now, you all know Mullen is moving from its majestic estate in the woods on Massachusetts' North Shore into the city of Boston. The agency's new digs will be at 40 Broad Street. While the move will take place soon, you can check in on the status of construction here. Yea, they're just video loops but still. And if you really have nothing else at all to do today, you can jon the agency's Facebook fan page.

by Steve Hall    Apr- 6-09    
Topic: Agencies



Pasty White Chicks and Desperate Virgins Need Vacation.

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Hyatt's running a sweepstakes called The Big Welcome, where you can win a bunch of free nights in Unspeakably Awesome parts of the world.

That's cool and all, but the effort's being promoted with two wristslash-worthy attempts at irony.

more »

by Angela Natividad    Apr- 6-09    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Online, Worst



'Hey, Guy, Take a Free PC for Being in Our Ad and Talking About How Special You Are.'

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One of the biggest complaints about CP+B's wacked-out Gates/Seinfeld campaign was that it didn't really do much to push the product. In fact, it didn't mention the product at all.

As you recall, that effort was fast followed by "I'm a PC," which did mention the product, but not in any technical or deeply informative way.

Here's the latest suite of MSFT fumbles, labeled "Laptop Hunters." In this installment, an incredibly smug human being called Giampaolo shows us all how precious, how picky, how tech he is(n't especially) -- while on a quest to find the perfect (MSFT-subsidized) laptop.

more »

by Angela Natividad    Apr- 6-09    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Commercials, Television



Marketing 2.0 Paris: The Streets by Night (Complete with Incriminating Evidence!)

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It's weird about Paris. You get the sense that it's a lot like San Francisco: picturesque, unassuming, discreet by night. But beneath the surface, it's really more like New York: roaming, sleepless. You just don't realize the latter until you're swept up in it, holding on for dear life, then you look around and realize you haven't dreamt for days.

On Monday afternoon at Marketing 2.0, all 250+ speakers, moderators and attendees were invited to dinner at Bistrot Renaissance. Given the girth of our group, we thought the venue would be sizable -- so it was with surprise when I showed up to find it was no bigger than a cafe.

People sat in groups of four or six, wherever they could be squeezed together. (For visitors that popped in just for a drink or something, it must've seemed like every social media zealot in Europe had alighted upon the Renaissance with a vengeance.)

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But claustrophobic spacing breeds intimacy among the far-flung. I was squeezed into a table with a girl from a British agency, Senior Editor Elsbeth Eilander of Tijdschrift voor Marketing, Marketing Exec Cedric Giorgi of Goojet and Sven Markschlager of JagerMeister -- who I knew already, because we'd become Designated Conference Walking Buddies. (Seriously? He talks about Jager ALL. THE. TIME. Did you know that in Germany, older people drink it to settle their stomachs? Or that it's preferred as a mixer in Australia? No? Now you do.)

All told, a pretty low-key night. We did the business-card-exchange thing, and I went home fairly early (around 11), which is great because on Tuesday, all flippin' hell broke loose.

David Armano -- you know the one -- was in town with his wife. We shook hands for the first time on Tuesday afternoon and he casually asked if I'd like to go to dinner. I was like, "Sure," mainly because I had no idea what havoc said dinner would wreak.

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by Angela Natividad    Apr- 5-09    
Topic: Events, Industry Events



Parents Desert Kid For Hogging Ovaltine

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OK so yea. Like this would ever fucking happen. A kid comes home from school only to find his house empty, his parents gone and a note on the fridge which reads, "We told you that there would be consequences for hogging all of the Ovaltine. PS. Don't try to find us."

Seriously?

by Steve Hall    Apr- 4-09    
Topic: Bad, Commercials



It's Time to ... Mow the Lawn!

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Ariel Waldman, and ton of other people - sent in this gem for us all to appreciate. It's ever so similar to another piece of work for a similar product but we just can't seem to locate that in the archives. Update: Thanks to commenter Chris, here's what I couldn't find. And yea. They are both similar because they are both for Wilkinson.

So what the hell are we talking about? Gardening, of course. More specifically, mowing the lawn. But not the kind of lawn you'd use a Cub Cadet or a John Deere to mow. Nope. This kind of lawn requires something from Wilkinson.

Watch.

by Steve Hall    Apr- 4-09    
Topic: Good, Racy, Strange, Video



Marketing 2.0 Paris: Deconstructing Scott Monty

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One of my favourite Marketing 2.0 talks, besides the Paula Berg stuff, was by Scott Monty, Ford Motor Co.'s social media man.

The guy's been alternately lauded and lashed, but I think he's the real deal. It's not even just that he's a nice guy; he's not afraid to express a scathing truth from top-of-mind, even if it stings. Social media's all about that: finding out who people really are, before they can terrace their images.

I didn't take any video (bummer), but I'll let you in on a priceless moment during his Q/A, when Sandrine Plasseraud of We Are Social asked about ROI tracking for social media campaigns.

Monty scoffs and goes, "ROI is a campaign metric; social media is a commitment. [...] What's the ROI of putting your pants on in the morning?"

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by Angela Natividad    Apr- 3-09    
Topic: Brands, Events, Good, Industry Events, Opinion



Homer Simpson Invades French Rail System

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On April Fool's Day, patrons of France's SNCF train service were greeted by the voice of Homer Simpson, who spouted frothy inanities in lieu of the feminine voice that normally makes arrival/departure announcements.

Eight major stations throughout the country were audio-penetrated by the Duff guzzler. Random prattle included stuff like, "The train from Alaska is waiting on platform 7. Watch out for bears!"

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by Angela Natividad    Apr- 3-09    
Topic: Brands, Good, Guerilla, Social



Kiera Knightley Takes Beating In Women's Aid PSA

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In this PSA for Women's Aid, Kiera Knightley gets together with her Atonement director Joe Wright to create this two minute video about domestic violence. Shot as if a scene within a movie, Knightley, who has just returned home from the set, turns to the camera and says, "Sorry, we didn't agree to that. That wasn't in the script," as she's hit by her boyfriend/husband.

more »

by Steve Hall    Apr- 3-09    
Topic: Cause, Celebrity, Good, Video



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