Writing on his blog, Idiot Flags, independent marketing consultant Stephen Ban comments on the closing of JWT's Chicago office and the general demise of ad agencies in general. Some gems:
"Agency networks create "conflict agencies" with new names -- effectively admitting that their brands are meaningless, and rendering the differentiation between and among the original agencies irrelevant"
By now, you all know Mullen is moving from its majestic estate in the woods on Massachusetts' North Shore into the city of Boston. The agency's new digs will be at 40 Broad Street. While the move will take place soon, you can check in on the status of construction here. Yea, they're just video loops but still. And if you really have nothing else at all to do today, you can jon the agency's Facebook fan page.
We've seen all manner of antics from agencies vying for accounts but we really like this one from Boston's Captains of Industry. In a video, Founder and Creative Director Ted Page sits down to tell inform us if his agency doesn't win a solar energy account in 2009, he will literally eat his shorts on camera and post the video to YouTube.
To promote its own agency merits, The Gate Worldwide produced a Hit List of Sacred Cows (pdf) it will happily execute on your behalf.
Irksome ethical heifers include "Marketing should be judged by sales," "Teams create the best solutions," "Success breeds success," and -- our personal favourite -- "The customer is always right." (We'd kill that shit ourselves. With a rusty scimitar.*)
The Hit List is going out to CMOs, along with the following message: "If any of these sacred cows are roaming your office, don't worry. The Gate Worldwide will help you kill them" -- followed by a name and a direct line you can call. Nice touch.
- An account supervisor at Lowe in Zurich has asked us to yank a recent post featuring a vampire whose fangs are made of OB tampons. It's unapproved client work. (That means it's not running anywhere and, he says, it never will.) I guess this means God does exist.
- Quite possibly the most amazing brownies ever.
- Wisconsin rebrands. We're still not going.
- Coke Zero's The Morning After (always a promising title).
- George Parker says sorry for using one of his favourite pet names on Susan Bratton, but manages to get some pokes in about an interview she did with Julie Roehm. You remember her, right? No? Probably best.
- Obama's face for Turkish bank.
Agency Guava threw together this spot in which a Blackberry literally shoots through Apple. (Both are helpfully represented as fruits, and the tagline hypes BB's first-ever touchscreen model.)
Crystal-clear and slightly reminiscent of a long genre of late-'90s films where bullets penetrated human flesh at high-speed, ripping it to ribbons in slow-mo. (We like pulpy shit.) But I wouldn't throw myself behind the current iteration of BlackBerry's Storm for any amount of money, let alone pro-bono.
- White paper in comic book form.
- Meg Whitman for CA gov.
- Two sides of Arnold -- the disgruntled and the loyalists -- come to blows.
- Neo-conservatism's golden child.
- Barbie's birthday Beetle.
- Ugh, dude. Only in Iowa.
- "If they did do it, you'd expect them to be flaunting it. Unless there's no one left in the fucking building to do it!"
It's round five. ATTIK, as it did four times before, is out with the fifth version of its "experimental design book," NoiseFive. The book chronicles the history of the agency from its humble beginnings in Huddersfield England to its expansion across multiple continents, the previous four Noise books and, the purpose of the books, an explosive orgasm of design.
Coca-Cola VP of Design David Butler described the book saying, "NoiseFive makes you think. What would happen if the world's biggest brands were all design-driven? The scale of impact on business and culture could be incredible. With NoiseFive, I am reminded of ATTIK's relentless focus on innovation and look forward to the future we're designing together."
- Flashback to Madonna's banned Like a Prayer ad for Pepsi.
- Wolff Olins brings minimalist flickr magic -- and a forum for inquiry -- to "scientific" cosmetic brand Living Proof.
- Tracking (corporate accounts on) Twitter.
- The Guardian makes good observations about Twitter (scroll down to the bulletpoints).
- Ogilvy-branded solutions to a recession. Take that hype with a few spoonfuls of salt. Hat tip to our favourite mad man.
- JWT launches a blog called Anxiety Index.
- ScapeNation: another tween-targeting web destination, brought to you by Red Tettemer.
To promote the New York City Coalition Against Hunger, Agencies in Action and Bill Oberlander at Cossette produced a triage of cynical spoofs on well-known ad campaigns. (See iPod and HSBC variants.)
The goal: to get Manhattan's agency creatives to volunteer at soup kitchens and food pantries at least once monthly. So far, six agencies have committed: Arnold Worldwide, Cossette, DiMassimo Goldstein, Gotham, Kirshenbaum Bond & Partners and TBWA\Chiat\Day.
In the event that you need more convincing, or just feel compelled to show your face at another social gathering, hit up the AIA kickoff reception on Thursday, March 12 at 7pm. It all happens at the Cossette office on 415 Mad Ave, 3rd floor.
More intelligence at the website.