Apparently, Hollywood has an advertising movie trend in the making. In April, we reported Desperate Housewives's Eva Longoria would star in Deep in the Heart of Texas, a movie about a snotty Beverly Hills diva who gets uprooted and moved to San Antonio to head her ad agency's new Hispanic division. Now, FOX just purchased a script written by Derek Guiley and David Schneiderman (Chasing Liberty) which, as the logline explains, will focus on "Four out-of-touch advertising executives (who) decide to take a seminar class in order to get back in touch with what is "cool," and they end up in a high school and find themselves falling into the roles they were in as teenagers." It sounds stupid but if done well, it could be funny. Of course, the realities of our business will, as always, be butchered and misrepresented.
Along with Google, UPS, Sprint-Nextel, Yum Brands and Heast, Mullen was named as having one of the top cafeterias by U.S. News & World Report. Having eaten at the Mullen cafeteria a couple time, I can tell the publicity is well deserved. The food there is great and nothing like you'd expect to see in or near, for that matter, any agency. Since the agency is located in a giant mansion on an estate in the woods north of Boston, going out for lunch is a bit of a trip so having a great place to eat in the agency is a necessity. The cafeteria, run Culinary Institute of America grad Liz Walkowicz, serves 420 employees with a staff of nine. Hmm. Maybe they'll invite us up there to sample the cuisine again. After all, it's been a while since I knocked on their door looking for a job.
Each morning after my three mile excuse for a workout, I head over to the local Dunkin Donuts to pick up an iced latte. Hey, I know it doesn't sound very manly but it just seems to taste a lot better than regular coffee. Anyway, each day I look at my Dunkin Donuts cup, branded with the new tagline "America Runs on Dunkin," and think, finally, an agency and a company that hit on a message which actually means something. Recently, there's been loser taglines like "Bold Moves" and "Leap Ahead" so it's refreshing to see Hill Holiday, Dunkin Donuts' agency, come up with a winner in "America Runs on Dunkin."
I love the tagline because it speaks directly to the "fuel" that many Americans depend on to get going in the morning. Just like re-fueling a car, that morning stop at the local Dunkin Donuts fills the tank with energy to keep one running all day long. While a 2003 research study found taglines not very effective, "America Runs on Dunkin" just feels right as well as actually says something, an admirable accomplishment in comparison to most meaningless taglines littering the current advertising landscape.
- This just isn't worth mentioning but it involves a catfight and breasts, two things this publication can't seem to ignore. Our apologies in advance.
- Some train stations to to great lengths to keep their stations clean and they want everyone to know about it.
- We swore we'd never again mention a million dollar homepage but this one is a bit different. It;s selling space on the side of a building. Oh wait. Not an actual building. Just pixels on an image of a building. OK. Sorry. It's just the same old crap with new clothes on.
- It's a pretty good bet Nike wishes this guy was wearing a different shirt.
- From time to time, we all hear those stories about upper management embezzling funds. Mack Simpson has recrafted a story he told us back in 2003 about a CFO at the company who worked for who shot himself after stealing $6.5 million dollars. It's an unfortunate story worth revisiting.
- Sometimes ads are so incredibly bad, there's actually good. This may or may not be one of those times.
- CoBRANDiT has summed up the recent Word of Mouth Marketing conference with a collection of video interviews which include Robert Scoble, Pete Blackshaw and other agency honchos.
As reported in Ethics Crisis, Tampa Ad Agency Cheap TV Spots is putting its moral and political views into play and has refused to do business with any client in areas that, according to agency spokesman Jeffrey Hilton, "seek to weaken the nation with these ignorant and ultimately counterproductive attitudes." The areas the agency will not serve are South Dakota, Omaha, NE and Black Jack, MO.
The agency feels recent legislation in these areas "cast aside American values." The South Dakota legislature recently approved a bill to prohibit abortions in that state. Nebraska legislators passed laws segregating Omaha schools into black, Hispanic and white districts. Black Jack, Missouri city council members rejected a measure allowing unmarried couples with multiple children to live together, resulting in the possible eviction of such families from their homes.
Everyone's entitled to an opinion. Aside from that, in this business, it's admirable when an agency turns down business for any reason.
Last year Young and Rubicam CEO Ann Fudge stepped down as CEO of the agency after a rough patch. While Fudge hasn't completely packed and will retain Chairman-CEO of Y&R Brands, Hamish McClennan has been tapped to step in as CEO of Y&R Advertising. McClennan has a tough job ahead as the agency works to right itself.
And while we thought we had spies in all places, George Parker, once again, digs a little deeper into his network spies and finds Steve Blamer, who headed FCB for less than a year before it recently merged with Draft, scored a $7 million golden parachute. The deal was made between Blamer and IPG CEO Michael Roth earlier this week. Unsurprisingly, these exit deals occur all the time but it's always a bit annoying to see this level of payout when the money could, oh, fund a third world country for an entire year. Of course, our bitching about it just makes us look envious and morally bankrupt because, if we were in Blamer's shoes, we'd probably the $7 million with a giant smile on our face, hire someone else to run Adrants and go travel the world. So, lest we incur the wrath those who like to dish it out, we'll just shut up about the whole thing right now.
Despite all the negativity you might read on Adrants, there are a great many minds in the advertising industry. Many of those minds work within the wall of an advertising agency or in a client marketing organization. Just as many work outside those walls as consultants, freelancers, speakers, authors, journalists, serial entrepreneuers and the like. Todd Copelvitz, a member of the first group for a period of time, is now a member of the latter group. Copelvitz has been very active in the interactive space for at least 15 years, most recently in the area of agency-side interactive and social media for several Dallas ad agencies.
Todd, who says agencies and media companies have become lazy in the face of the fast changing media landscape and shifting media consumption patterns, suggests all of those in the latter group get off their collective asses, stop bitching about what's wrong with the ad industry and put all those pontifications into practice by starting a company that leaves the old behind and acknowledges the new. Many people have made this call before. Some, because it's easy. Others, because it's a "those who can't do, teach" kind of thing. Further, some do it simply because it's what their good at. Todd hopes to turn theory into practice.
Fifteen year agency vet John Palumbo is approaching the creation of his new ad agency, BigHeads, very differently than most. Rather than staffing the agency with jaded agency types, many of whom can't get out of their own way, Palumbo, he firmly believes there are no longer any rules governing advertising, has hired a cadre of "big heads" including a New York City bike messenger, a reality TV producer, the date doctor the movie Hitch was based on and twin dancers from Crazy Horse in Las Vegas. If some new ideas can't come out of that mash up of personality types, the whol business might as well roll up its ego-infested carpet and give up. He's doing something right because Braun, Ramada Worldwide and Remy USA have slipped some business his way.
Adland has an interesting interview with Draft New Zealand Creative Director Chris Hunter. Adland queries Hunter about the seeming proliferation of ambient advertising in the country, the Kiwi mentality, the power of the idea in relation to the media used to convey that idea and how much she loves "men with legs like muscle-trees run around in teeny shorts and slam into each other in big sweating piles." Give it a read.