Whether a veiled agency promotion or just two kooks on bikes, 86 the Onions design intern and UCLA student Steve Ounanian and bike messenger Chris Jahn left Los Angeles on bikes September 5 and north on a 100 mile-per-day, 14 day ride to Starbucks headquarters in Seattle. The purpose of the pair's trip, in a nod to the morning coffee quest, is to examine people's daily rituals - their's and the rituals of others - and understand why routine is so important. The two are documenting the trip with a blog and video clips.
Ounanian says, "The hypothesis is, ritual equals comfort, but it also equals, ironically, both freedom and confinement. There is something about the repetitive task of riding my bike, the machine aspect of it that is alluring. When everything is uncertain, stressful, or even wonderful—you can have control over it by just executing your daily ritual." Ounanian and Jahn are stopping in 14 cities on the way and interviewing people about their daily rituals hoping to understand it's core. Somehow, this is all related to marketing. Or research. Or agency promotion. Or weight loss. Or. Or. Or not.
In early August, we told you Coke had embarked on an "experiential" marketing concept that would, as Ad Age wrote, "interpret what the marketer calls the brand's 'optimism' through a series of short films and breakthrough bottle designs." The project, called M5, involved five design shops which each created "iconic" designs that would affect packaging and other branding elements and were designed to increase appeal to younger generations. Well, the marketing masturbation is complete and the "experiential" designs have launched. Without dispute, the work is great but we're not much for phoofy, frilly, flashy fluff. When we're thirsty and want a Coke, we don't really care what container it comes in. That's just us though. The hipster crowd...that's another story.
Especially enjoyable is the sultry blather that, upon clicking the bottle in the lower right corner of the site, coos gushingly from within and explains the genesis behind the endeavor, oozing, "An icon is transformed..." Oh don't listen to us. The whole thing's pretty cool. The project was created by The Ebeling Group, Hybrid, and the Rock and Roll Agency. Armchair Media created the Website.
Just one day after winning the $400 million Volkswagen account, Crispin Porter + Bogusky has yanked the $45 million Spite account away from Ogilvy & Mather. Here's the funny part yet a very common occurrence when accounts shift. Upon attempting to get comment on the move, Ad Week reports, "Ogilvy referred calls to the client. CP+B executives were unavailable. A Coke representative declined comment." Another circle jerk. What a surprise. You'd think, at least someone would be jumping for joy and willing to talk about $45 million. We just don't understand all this corporate, pass-the-buck, no backbone, media-shy, no comment stance in which grown up professionals insist upon engaging. Alex Bogusky and Coke should be running around exclaiming, "We are fucking stoked!"
In the Wow category, VW has taken its $345 million creative business away from Arnold, the car makers agency for ten years, and handed it to golden boy agency Crispin Porter + Bogusky. In a statement, VW EVP Len Hunt said, "Volkswagen needs to take bold steps to turn this business around in the U.S. and Canada. "We're reviewing all aspects of our operations, and with the addition of CP+B on our team we'll now be equipped to maximize our marketing efforts. U.S. and Canadian consumers have always had a special relationship with this brand and today they want more from it—more interesting products which we now have and more captivating communications which CP+B will help develop."
A weblog, called Displaced Designers, has been launched to aid creative industry individuals in the New Orleans area who have been displaced by hurricane Katrine and are in need of assistance. The blog appeals to those individuals and companies that can provide office space, living space, computers, other business resources and jobs to those who have been affected by Katrina. A valiant effort, indeed.
As part of her sentence for screwing with Ogilvy billing, Shona Seifert, like a school kid writing "I will not snap Sally's bra strap in class" 100 times on the chalk board, has written a code of ethics for the ad industry which is available for download here. Enjoy.
In an effort to passify those who think men are portrayed in advertising as over sexed, neanderthal morons, JWT has announced it will cease characterizing men as boob-fixated, humping jack rabbits. The change in policy follows the release of a book by one of the agency's vice presidents, Marian Salman, who says men have been mocked in advertising for far too long. While true when it comes to illustrating men as clueless buffoons as Verizon did recently, to strip away certain innate behaviors is questionable. Perhaps it's all payback for, until recently, portraying women as clueless, man-serving kitchen maids.
Salman says, "All too often in the marketing arena, we're portraying man as the victim - of his sexual organ or his lust, his emotional neediness, his overinflated ego or his sheer ineptitude." OK, true. That could be toned down a bit but do we want to re-engineer man to appear as if he's become some sexless, robotic, new age, virtue-spewing automaton?
By now, everyone has heard of weblogs. If you haven't, welcome, you are reading one right now. If you think you've read this before, you have. In the interest of espousing the value of weblogs to our industry, we're republishing this little piece of opinionated advice. For various reasons, many people and companies can benefit from blogging. So can ad agencies. Ad agencies are hired for two main reasons. First, and not always most important, is creative. Second is thought leadership - does the agency in question have the smarts to create successful advertising for client companies. Both of these areas of expertise can be shared with the world of potential clients through a weblog.
Right now, agencies might be saying, "What do we need a weblog for? We already have a web site." Great. Take an honest look at it. Is it much more than a creative showcases (if that) and management bios? Aside from a few short paragraphs on your so-called "proprietary process" is there any value there for the reader? Are you offering anything that gives insight into the way your agency thinks and what your opinion is on the current state of advertising? If so, great. Most likely. though it is not.
Sears is moving its account from one WPP Group company to another, After 43 years handling the account, Ogilvy & Mather will relinquish the account to sister agency Young & Rubicam, which has worked on portions of the account since 1993. In a twist that questions the point of the review in the first place given today's agency conglomerates, O % M employees who will be left behind after the October 1 hand off, may end up moving to Y & R to handle the account.
If you've ever wondered how many still images could be placed, rapid fire, dueling banjo-style in a video, this video which promoted an August 5 "Rooftop Ruckus" party for Portland agency Borders Perrin Norrander will answer your question. Collecting every hillbilly, backwater, appalacian, deliverance-style image known to man, BPN has stitched together a cliche of hick-like, jerkwater imagery sure to amuse.