When it is suggested an agency borrowed a previous idea for creative work, as TBWA\Chiat\Day just did with the Apple Eminem commercial, it's usually dismissed as coincidence. When it happens twice, with the same client, no less, notions of coincidence get chucked out the window. Artist Dane Picard exhibited this video artwork in June at an exhibition in Santa Monica located 15 minutes from the LA offices of TBWA\Chiat\Day. Picard's work, images of hands manipulating various objects in front of a black background is eerily similar to the recent Apple iPod Nano spot, launched a few weeks ago, made up of images of hands manipulating the device against a black background. View the work. Compare it to the Nano spot. Decide. Comment.
After the Neil French debacle, one brave agency, Hart+Larsson has posted a recruitment ad to which only Neil French need apply. Neil is instructed to contact the agency at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As they were before, out hot friends in Miami, Crispin Porter + Bogusky have been given a little spoof treatment again, this time riffing on the agency's work for Captain Morgan and that campaign's Wake Up With The King" ad. Funny enough.
Latching on the the ad industry latest scandal dujour, ad comic strip site, Words & Pictures, adds their two cents to the crap-storm Neil French stirred up in a recent speech because of comments he made about women, working and giving 100 percent to the job. French was right when he told Ad Age he's suffering "death by blog."
Oh this is priceless. So we're trying to check the Wieden + Kennedy site to see if they have a particular client and we get lost in a bunch of Flashturbation in the agency's "work we've done" section (thanks for making it so easy to find a client by name, guys) so we bail and check into the html site figuring we'd leave all the puffery behind but no, we get this egoistic blather:
"You will need to install a couple of plug-ins to fully experience our site. That is not because this is another one of those mindlessly flashy Web sites that give you a headache and make you wonder how you could ever sit through a meeting with those people; it's just that there are a couple of cool things we'd like to share with you, and you won't be able to enjoy them without having Flash and QuickTime on your computer. No big deal. Click here to get Flash. Click here to get QuickTime. And if you know you already have them, then click here to enter. Have a nice visit."
What a load of pompous bullshit. If you are going to provide separate Flash and HTML sites then make each fully functional on their own. So yes, W + K, we do wonder why you have a "mindlessly flashy Web site that gives you a headache and makes you wonder how you could ever sit through a meeting with those people."
Reacting to a column UnderScore Marketing's Tom Hespos wrote about marketer's fear and laziness to engage in meaningful conversations with consumers, I wrote a piece calling for the creation of a "Conversation Department," a department whose sole responsibility would be to listen to what is being said about a given brand in blog posts, discussion boards, forums and other methods of group conversation, join the ongoing conversations about the brand and make sure the company properly reacts to conversational opinion by addressing concerns immediately. Today, Tom goes a bit further with this and proposes a structure for a conversation department and how it might be staffed.
The more we talk about listening, joining and learning from conversations, while everyone in a company should be doing this, it makes more and more sense for companies and agencies to created a dedicated conversation department.
To explain the benefits of participating in the agency's 401K plan, Neimen Group dispensed with the usual, boring, overly wordy memo and created a video to get agency employees to attend an informational meeting. With a five dollar bill, some glue, a mini-cam and some humor, the agency illustrated the free money aspect of the agency's employer-contributed 401K plan. Anything to rid the inbox of those lame email memos!
In an interview with Ad Age following comments regarding his belief some women in advertising are crap because of their inability to commit themselves 100 percent to the job due to childcare issues, WPP Creative Chief Niel French defended himself. Unfortunately, he just dug a bigger hole with his answer to Ad Age's last interview question:
So you didn't use the word "crap," then, in reference to women?
"Oh, of course, I did, yes. But I didn't say all female creative directors are crap. If you can't commit yourself to any job then, by definition, you're crap at it. If you can't commit 100 percent to your job, don't pretend you can. Nobody deserves a job unless they can commit to it."
To most people, the world does not revolve around their jobs alone. That era is gone. There are far more important things in life. French is out of touch with reality. Martin Sorrel should be happy he's leaving. Of course, now a debate over the definition of "commit" will likely ensue.
Honda and its agency Weiden + Kennedy are hoping two new spots currently in the works called "Impossible Dream" and "Choir" can match the success of the company's "Cog" and Grr" spots. The "Impossible" spot has a car morphing into a bunch of different vehicles including a boat and a hot air balloon. The "Choir" spot is being created by the team that worked on the "Cog" spot. We can't wait.
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.