So what happens when an ad exec is unhappy with what he sees around him? He gets everyone in his agency to get behind his pet project for pro bono account work. And that's just what Paul Venables, founder of San Francisco's Venables Bell & Partners did when he became upset of the plight of public schools in Marin county California.
Driving around Marin you'd not necessarily realize there were many problems. It's a very upscale and beautiful area but the state has cut $55 million in school aid and things are not going so well on the public school front.
- Burger King and Crispin Porter + Bogusky have ended their seven year relationship.
- The Chicago Sun Times has let go ad critic Lewis Lazare.
- A sex doll commits suicide in an ad all to promote a dating site.
- Super hottie Tehmeena Afzal is out with another video. This one's for a local car dealer and she's wearing less clothing than she ever has before.
In a SXSW panel entitled Branded Entertainment: Do Brands Hurt Good Storytelling Proximity SVP Matt Di Paola said there is a fine line between selling and story telling. Each can't cross too far over the line of the other. Branded story telling must align with the brand's business, not a creative brief. The partnership is much bigger than a simple creative project.
Making a distinction, Di Paola said Product placement is not story telling. Product placement is a media buy. Story telling is a deep partnership between brand and content.
Disrupt Group Co-Founder Shira Lazar Says ad agencies are the new studios. For content creators, Lazar said the relationship must go beyond just business. Successful creative relationships require more than the simple exchange of money.
In a SXSW panel which took on a refreshing discussion-based approach entitled Bend Over? Surprise! Agencies Are Screwing You, one of the attendees made the point brands should be wary of paying an agency to use a free tool to speak the brand's voice calling it a slippery slope and a waste of money.
Agencies are paying good money for the so called social media guru who, if just a little bit of background research were done, could easily be found to have no experience at all. Be wary of the sharks was the advice given.
Here's a couple on interesting pieces of work from Jung von Matt/Elbe. The first, for Mercedes Benz calls attention to the vehicle's Pre-safe precrash system which works to automatically avoid accidents. The agency created projections which is placed on walls near hard to see corners which allowed drivers to see around the corner thereby helping to avoid potential collisions.
The second, for a local concert hall, the agency held a live concert...for cows. Yes. Why? Because apparently cows produce more milk when they listen to classical music. What does this have to do with a concert hall? Well, the agency introduced a brand of milk from these cows. The milk bottle labels contained information about the concert hall. It all seemed to work brilliantly giving the concert hall its most financially successful season ever.
Euro RSCG 4G in Bulgaria has eschewed the slow-loading Flashturbation agency website of yesteryear and has transformed their site into a search engine. Except you can only search from a pull down menu which offers up the usual, boring crap like About Us, Clients and Services among others.
On a more positive note, links across the top of the site point to the agency's blog, Twitter feed, flickr account, LinkedIn page and Facebook page.Of course, there's also a link at the top to the Euro RSCG Worldwide site...which is replete with the usual Flashturbation.
Wars are won one battle at a time.
We are informed this xtranormal video of an agency pitching a client is based on actual events. Having been in the business for quite some time, we are not surprised at all by the rampant idiocy, self-importance and downright sleazy behavior displayed.
If you haven't experienced a situation like this yet in your career, wait a while. We, sadly, guarantee you will.
Footnote: We've witnessed equally absurd behavior from the agency side as well.
In a refreshing departure from the ad industry's obsessive focus on awards which mean nothing to the general public, we are pleased to see that 180LA is giving a nod to awards "regular" people have heard of: Guinness World Records.
To highlight the winter weather prowess of the Mitsubishi Outlader and Outlander Sport, 180LA traveled to Ghost Lake near Calgary, Alberta in an attempt to break as menay Guinness World Records as they could in a 24 hour period.
Boston agency Captains of Industry is not a big agency. But it wants marketing directors to know it has big ideas. And staff that's not still wearing diapers and playing with pink ponies. Hey, it's fun to work with hot young things but when it comes to managing your multi-million dollar budget, glasses and a bald spot aren't such a bad thing.
- Former agency guy Cornelio Prick (seriously) and Hugh Prick (seriously) sick and tired of syndicated columnists giving half-ass answers to people and have launched their own Q&A site, Dear Pricks.
- McKee Wallwork Cleveland is out with their annual ADBOWL, real-time website that tracks what consumers think of Super Bowl ads. And it's an iPhone app too!