New York advertising agency Barker/DZP apologized Monday to local firefighter Robert Keiley for creating an ad which indicated Keiley he had been at the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, when in fact he was not. Keiley joined the Fire Department in 2004.
Keiley, who also works as a model, was under the impression the ad would be for fire prevention when he agreed to the photoshoot. But his photograph appeared without his knowledge or permission in an ad for a local law firm that specializes in September 11 legal cases, with the words "I Was There."
"We deeply regret any offense to Mr. Keiley, other firefighters or anyone else that has been hurt by this ad," said Keith McKay, business operations manager for Barker/DZP. Agency president John Barker said Barker/DZP purchased the stock photo of Keiley and, in a statement, said, "At no time did we have any idea, or could we have had any knowledge, that the person in the photo, Robert Keiley, was an actual firefighter, much less a New York City firefighter. This unfortunate coincidence makes the ad into something we never intended it to be."
If you attended SXSW this year, you know it was very different than prior years. How was it different? Marketers and agencies finally gave the conference credence and attended in droves. BlogAds did a bit of follow up analysis and concluded agency presence at SXSW has increased 1,000 percent.
Of the 100 or so agencies BlogAds found in attendance at SXSW this year, Leo Burnett tops the list with 56 (updated to 65) people at the conference. Rounding out the top 10 are Saatchi, Digitas, JWT, SapientNitro, BBDO, HUGE, Ogilvy, DraftFCB and R/GA.
The list also examines attendance in 2009 and draws comparison. The numbers are stunning. Two years ago, there were literally no agency personnel at the conference. This year, attendance was in the hundreds.
If you tweet about Kraft Macaroni & Cheese today, your tweet could be in a commercial on TV tonight. Kraft and its agency, Crispin Porter + Bogusky, are monitoring Twitter for tweets that mention Mac & Cheese. Five tweets will be picked for inclusion in five commercial which will be written and filmed today. One ad will air during Conan and Lopez and the other four will be viewable on the brand's Facebook page.
Kraft Macaroni & Cheese Senior Brand manager Noelle O'Meara told Mashable the tactic may be repeated if today's efforts go well. She also said the immediacy of social media has nudged marketers ever closer to real-time marketing.
Get tweeting, people!
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.