The Ad Council and the US Army join forces, enlisting AdPack to help them encourage teens to stay in school. The result? Boost Up. The gimmick? Branded tissues by Zim-squared (sorry, we can't make that symbol without getting our post all fudgey) for at-risk youth throughout NYC.
That's almost too inspirational for words. You know what? Pencils would have been more useful. Or even green recess balls with good bounce to them. We can't think of anything to say to this mediocre effort besides you guys suck. You would probably have sucked less if you ran these kids over with recruiter vans. And we're almost 99% sure those tissues you're so generously doling out don't come in neat tiki man-shaped boxes, either.
With nowhere left to run, agencies like Ogilvy are biting the bit and listing goals for minority hiring in '07, which include such ambitions as 16% minority new hires at exec level and 33% at the general level. Interpublic's created a minority incubator to nurture them through those first few payless, sleepless years in agency life. And others, like Arnold Worldwide multicultural programs director Tiffany Warren, are simply prostrating themselves in desperation: "I beg, I plead with [young minorities]: I tell them they'll make a real difference," she says.
Despite best intentions by agencies, however, nobody is out of the clear yet. A major critique of Ogilvy's percentage goals is that agencies can't gauge at the outset who or how many they'll hire, fire and promote in a given year. Additionally, the definition for "minority" is left up to the agencies themselves, meaning for the few who blanket "nonwhites" under the term, women remain an unprotected scarcity. You also get a symptomatic reverse-racism effect that can be awkward for the minority, agency and other employees involved: "You've got to have senior, visible minorities who can act as validation" that the industry has opportunities, says Ogilvy co-CEO Bill Gray.
Is there any way merit gets to play into this? Nobody wants to walk around knowing they get the Gucci suit because big O had a minority deficit.
Agency Brown of Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada throws together a little Spinal Tap tribute to demonstrate why it's just cooler to be "one louder" than the other cats out there. These are the same guys who did that "we're always on" lightswitch thing that we made fun of last year.
We'll cut them some slack this time because we like that weird skeleton shirt that Nigel Tufnel has on. It's funny the things that endear a campaign to you. We still, however, think Brown can be corny as all hell with this somewhat feeble "toot our own horns" shtick.
DRGM Las Vegas celebrates its agency femmes by creating a pin-up calendar of said women - except they're all being parodied by the agency men.
DRGM creative director Bernice Bamburak explains, "[T]hese guys make us look sexier than we are -- did you see the legs on Miss July?" She also notes that clients, who know both the men and women in the agency, love the idea. Last year the women parodied the agency men.
We need to create a compendium of all the ways this pin-up concept has been abused in the name of things like cheese, theatre, coffins and even fat as pets. What happened to the days when things were simple and we just took pictures of girls with pom-poms and team-coordinated bikinis?
Oddcast, the guys responsible for this year's It's Red Again campaign, just launched U-DOO in tangent with MySpace.
U-DOO enables you to create unique user avatars and ringtones for your phone so instead of staring at an image of your buddy with his mouth hanging open every time he calls, you can look at an animated version of him while bobbing your head to his theme song. If there's anything better than that, we might just spontaneously combust, because that's a fate too sweet to miss.
Read more about U-DOO here. It ain't no iPhone but we're sure they'll get along just fine.
It shocked us a little that for 2006 somebody will actually get credit for doing more than being you or spending money. But instead of dicking around like its counterparts, AdWeek stays on track by asking vital questions like, "What's more important, growth or creativity?" which they say contained the big answer for which agencies deserve the gold stars for blood, sweat and tears.
And that's why they've awarded Global Agency of the Year to TBWA, which orchestrated the oft-spoofed but beloved Mac v. PC campaign.
AdWeek also gave Goodby, Silverstein & Partners the coveted US Agency of the Year Award for their "Got Milk?" campaign, featuring an odd alien twist and even some scandal in '05.
Hats off to Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, to TBWA and to AdWeek. They deserve an award for not shirking the responsibility of doling out much-earned credit in favour of that consumer-as-marketer hype. But we can't just blame Ad Age and Time for slacking when lately even major brands prefer to beg for ads instead of creating something themselves.
But hey, it's a fine line between generating legit consumer interactivity and generating yourself out of a job, yeah?
VH1's reality series I Love New York gets pretty for its debut with agency Version2, which positions New York as a bachelorette and, in this representative spot, guides Lucy-in-the-Sky-eyed viewers through a menagerie of NY-loving suitors up to a mansion at its heart, where eager young guns will aim for penetration. Federico Saenz-Recio of the "Flavor of Love" series is credited for lead design and animation.
We dig the harmonious marriage between the ghetto fabulous and psychedelic qualities of the campaign, even if we doubt the show will move us education-wise. But hey, reality TV is just another way of saying the consumer is king, so what do we know?
Late last Friday, Altoids awarded its creative duties to San Francisco's Hal Riney causing those on the 31st floor of incumbent Leo Burnett in Chicago to, well, get a little unhappy. Though we love Burnett and think the early Altoids work was wonderful, we must say it is, perhaps, time for a change. In fairly clandestine review, we're told Burnett was bested by Dial House, BBDO and Crispin. Chin up, Leo. It was probably the client's fault anyway, right?
Steve's Take: Surprise. Well, not really. You, yes you are the Agency of the Year! Mirroring Time's footsteps they promise they thought of it before Time published), Advertising Age has named the consumer the Ad Agency of the Year. Cool but we're sorta feeling sad for all those hard working agencies and any number of social media companies that made this possible in the first place. Of course, that's a pointless chicken and egg analogy but the notion of consumer control in the marketing space is, for sure, a powerful one.
We could list all the fun stuff that led up to this (Mentos, LonelyGirl15, etc.) but we're sure you've heard it all before. Agencies, we feel your pain at getting ripped off this year but take solace in consumer's love for marketing. Or something like that. But also note the slap upside the head you just got and realize you can't keep doing the same old thing lest their won't be any agencies left in the future to consider for this top spot. (Doesn't Jonah look imposingly hip in that pic? :-) )
Cahan Associates Founder Bill Cahan who, in a video on his agency's site and on YouTube, says he's concerned about the video featuring just him but them proceeds to feature just himself in the video. In oh-so-tired, oh-so-overdone close crop, shaky camera, ego-centric style, the video goes on in wondrously blatherific style explaining how the agency wants people/clients whose hearts beat a little faster, whose palms are sweaty and who are not quite sure what they are going to get. Now that sounds like a smart client doesn't it? Anyway, Cahan says he's not going to use buzzwords and then, yes, proceeds to use them.