Advertising's most lovable curmudgeon, George Parker of AdHurl and AdScam fame has finished his book, MadScam: Kick-Ass Advertising Without the Madison Avenue Price Tag which is sure to ruffle a few feathers as it Parker reveals the inner working of the ad agency business, it's over reliance on the cool and its seeming inability to focus on what's important: The Idea. If you've read either of Parker's sites, you know this book will be like a bad burrito that's decided to set up house in your intestines while it turns the innards of the agency business inside out. if you dare, you can pre-order it on Amazon here. It's not out until December. You can read the book's preface, written by Ogilvy & Mather VP and Global Creative Director Steve Hayden here.
- George Parker thinks every agency vying for the Heineken account is out of their minds and says it's a forgone conclusion the account is going to Red Brick Road.
- Samuel L. Jackson calls the cell phones of your friends and family with customized messages to invite them to see his new movie, Snakes on a Plane.
- Altoids is auctioning off three tins of its new Chocolate Dipped Mints on ebay.
- Another wizened George Parker insight: Saatchi has set Youth Connection, a new division focusing on, well, the youthful. George says don't bother, "None of them ever last, because no one in advertising really has a clue what's going on in a kids head."
- This dude is really looking forward to Snakes on A Plane.
- Currently under construction, Madonna will appear on an 8 story billboard outside Hollywood's Roosevelt Hotel for H&M.
- If you're into magazine inserts, Ron Redfern has them for you here.
Dieste Harmel & Partners' Creative Director Mack Simpson tell us the story of an ad campaign he created several years ago for Anheuser-Busch's Tequiza, how his campaign was mentioned in Koren Zailckas' book Smashed and how he feels somewhat responsible for contributing to this girl's and others binge drinking at a toung age. Of course, Simpson and the rest of know, as he writes, "advertising is incapable of holding a gun to someone's head and ordering them to chug a beer bong," but the idea that advertising, in some way, might contribute to that, gives pause.
It just doesn't stop. No matter what we do, the Agency.com fist bump fest just will not leave the building. Not to mention those Brokeback Mountain Parodies Here's yet another spoof of the agency's Subway Pitch Video called Douchebag Mountain that mashes up Brokeback with the boys from Agency.com. We don't know what all this will accomplish for Agency.com or what harm will befall them but we do know this whole thing is officially a viral. We also know people in this insecure industry love to one up themselves by beating the shit out of their competition whenever the opportunity presents itself.
- Fridge maker (and wine storage maker) Sub-Zero has launched a weblog which focuses on wine.
- A reader writes, "Just read on Candyaddict.com that Altoids is coming out with "chocolate dipped mints." Any truth to the rumor that they bagged Leo Burnett after that awful sour challenge campaign? That's the word..."
- Getty Images made licensing images easier (or so they say) with their new rights-ready licensing service.
- Nokia has a couple of new spots, created by Lowe Singapore, that do the whole individuality is cool, mind/body/spirit thing. (1, 2)
- In the "huh?" and "WTF" categories comes this weblog called Shoot My Blog which exists for no other reason that to solicit from people pipcture of the Shoot My Blog blog.
Hmm. It seems Agency.com might have been better off using this Super Pitch game created by Hadrian's Wall for their client Magnecote. The game takes all the work out of creating a super-hip YouTube video and boils the whole thing down to a few clicks. The object of the game is to win the advertising account of one of three fictional clients; rafts magazine CozyNook, cardboard box manufacturer Blumsfeld Floomer or "nihilist, anti-fashion" brand Überboff. Witty commentary and industry insiderism accompany the game.
Players choose a team from eight agency types, including planner "The Brit," creative director "40 Going On 16," and president "Linda From New York." The team builds their presentation using tools organized into six categories. Then the player conducts the pitch. Nodding or frowning clients offer a progress report. A final score either wins the new business, or doesn't. We say give this one a whirl and see if you all can come up with a better pitch than Agency.com did.
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.
In this post-9/11, knee-jerk world, it's probably best not to leave props that look like bombs laying around unoccupied floors of your building. Apparently, that's what one agency in Atlanta's Proscenium building at Peachtree and 14th did which, yesterday, caused the building to be briefly evacuated while a bomb squad was called to check it out. The package had in it eight red cylindrical objects, with the word "dynamite" on their sides, attached to a device that looked like a timer.
- West coast ad agency Ralston360 has a new, nicely done section of their site that aims to educate clients and potential clients on the merits of podcasting.
- Sans Amanda Congdon Rocketboom has landed its second sponsorship with Rechargeable Recycling Battery Corporation.
- Adrants reader Chris Kieff informs us he was told by Google he cold not use the fairly generic phrase "leaps and bounds: because it had recently been trademarked. He wonders how long before "Hello," "Welcome," and "Dear Customer" are trademarked.
- Ads is Japan are just plain weird. Then again, they probably think ours are strange too.
BigHeads Founder John Palumbo writes to tell of the trials and tribulations he goes through when trying to offer his services to agencies, many of which view anything other than their own idea as competition. We're just going to let John tell the story in his own words because we get a kick out of how it validates just about every fickle, nervous, running-scared agency mindset we've personally witnessed.
"I thought you'd find it interesting to hear how much bullshit we are running into when we speak to agencies about using BigHeads as a product for their clients As you know...we envision BigHeads to be both client- and agency-friendly (in other words...something clients could use and something agencies could use for their clients). Well...the agency approach is somewhat of a joke."