It's so much fun to complain about the preponderance of lame agency websites but it's equally pleasing to find an agency website that far surpasses the ad agency status quo. Thanks to Catalano Lellos & Silverstein's Alice Anda, we are pleased to find California-based The Buddy Group. To say the least, the site is quirky with a cafeteria food fight section in which you can send your favorite concoction to a friend, a bathroom Reading Material section in which you can check out the agency's publicity, a Spin the Bottle game in which you can check out agency case studies, an Activity Board that offers games and a Chef's Special section that describe the agencies capabilities. It's truly engaging and a welcome relief for the usual, boring agency blather.
In a recent study, Forrester Research named Critical Mass the best web design firm. Not that there's anything wrong with Critical Mass but Forrester deemed the pool from which this winner would be chosen to be 17. Yes, out of the hundreds of web design firms in the country, just 17 were deemed worthy of consideration. While we understand it's impossible to examine every firm in the country, for the sake of research, we hope this group of 17 was culled from a larger pool.
We're tipped to the fact Wieden + Kennedy is a bit miffed Nike jumped ship for another agency to promote its new Sasquatch driver. Apparently, Nike didn't think W + K could cut it and went to New York agency Trollback, which has done work for Nike before, to create a promotional video/commercial for the new driver. The commercial will air on NBC and on the Golf Channel throughout the month of October. You can view the work here. Oh for the days when clients clients weren't fickle and didn't jump ship every few months. OK, so that's exaggerating a bit. Clients go elsewhere for project work all the time but, for the the agency of record, it's never a pretty subject.
A creative team at an un-named agency has launched, Words & Pictures "a comic strip about the adventures of a creative team in a large advertising agency. Too stupid to create avatars that would give us plausible deniability, everything in the comic is 100% true - with the notable exception of anything that would make us look bad or get us sued. That stuff's made up. New strips are posted every Monday." And, they are funny. Check them out for some industry insiderisms.
Writing on AdJab, Chris Thilk suggests agency reviews, rather than being closed door events relegating the losing agency's work to the Recycle Bin, should become a television reality show pitting 12 agencies against one another for 12 weeks. His premise calls for the public to vote for their favorite agency-created campaign and eliminate the agency-created campaigns they don't like. While we're sure the entire, incestuous ad industry would salivate over this like paparazzi after Jessica Alba's bikini-clad butt, we're not sure "regular people" would care. That is, unless it was done in a way that caused the public to take pity on our pathetic efforts to get them to buy our products. Reality TV's pretty good at conjuring up those endearing emotional moments and a shot of a pair of hot looking, 20-something creatives crying because their campaign was just shot down or a pompous account director berating an intern for ordering roll ups instead of Thai food for an important client meeting might do the trick. Mark? Mark Burnett? Are you reading this?
Examining a couple of pages of Shona Seifert's recently written Proposed Code of Ethics for the Advertising Industry as part of a sentence for her mishandling Ogilvy & Mather funds, New Communications has found striking similarities between Seifert's code and the Adverting Federation of Australia's Agency Code of Ethics and wonders just how much Seifert has learned about ethics. While Seifert does site reference to the Australian code in her code, the similarities are, indeed, striking. Of course, there's aren't too many ways to say, "Don't Cheat. Don't Steal. Be Honest. Work Hard."
Perhaps to help win back some of its lost business or to poke fun at the ad concepting process, Deutsch has launched The Ad Conceptor, a menu-driven, concept-in-a-box parody of ad creation. The site promises to make your Advertising Week enjoyable by providing the tools to come up with a quick idea so you don't get stuck in the office working while everyone else is out partying and depleting the agency's expense budget.
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!"