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.
- The networks never saw a meme they didn't want to jump on so it is without surprise they're all slapping ads for their shows up on celeb site PerezHilton.
- Dammit, online customers are good for the music business!
- This Fall, New York City taxi cabs will begin showing NBC programming. Come on! We don't want to be distracted from the city's eye candy now do we?
- Anyone with the name Hamish McLennan is bound to attract attention and the Hamish McLennan that is the CEO of Y$R did just that with the terse firing of the agency's vp world creative director Michael Patti who was said to be under delivering.
- Conde Nast is going after brides-to-be on MySpace with a page offering Brides.com video and photo content.
If you work in advertising, you've certainly seen the hilarious but extremely truthful parody Truth in Advertising. It was only a matter of time before the classic got an update and, today, it got a big one. This parody of the parody, called The Truth in Ad Sales does a great job uncovering what really happens between a media agency and a media seller and how the final sales pitch makes it to the conference room for presentation. It's British so it's be funny even if it isn't but it is so it's worth watching. It's got all your favorite Wanker and Bugger All commentary complete with mention of social media and "MyTube." Hmm, MyTube. Now there's a possibility. Oh wait. Silly us. The porn industry has already jumped on that one.
We all know traditional advertising is dead. We all know the traditional agency is dead. We all know agencies love to tell us that as if we didn't already know it somehow setting the one doing the telling apart from the rest when, in most cases, it's just words. Because, after all, when the blatherific, attempt-to-differentiate pontification is brushed aside, everyone does the same thing: make ads.But, somehow, we like this "we're different" promotional video for new agency Tattoo Projects which has done recent work for Dodge, Charles Schwab and Midwest Airlines.
- A case is made for the implementation of browser level ad filtering.
- New York City cabs get decked out like bulls to promote televised bull riding on cable channel Versus.
- Sprint is on the hunt for a new creative agency for its $1.6 billion creative account.
- Advertising Age's Jonah Bllom likes the new Wall Street Journal.
- Qwest won't jack you up, mobsters recycle, Mini beats SUV in bullfight and more new commercial in Advertising Age's TV Spot of the Week.
- Merrill Lynch says U.S. ad spending will increase 2.9 percent in 2007. Traditional slows but isn't dead.
- In response to FOX's cancellation of The O.C., tweens and teens mourn throughout the nation.
- England has now banned the advertising of cheese during children's programming.
- The Webber Dance School is has placed footstep patterns on treadmills in health club so people can try to learn the steps while working out on the treadmill. Nifty, indeed.
Our Singapore correspondent tells us there's drama over at Leo Burnett Asia-Pacific writing, "Linda Locke, the award winning Regional Creative Director and so-called 'Dragon Lady' of Leo Burnett Asia-Pacific has been ousted from her perch high atop the network's creative ladder. Based in Singapore, Locke has been with Leo Burnett for nearly a decade - first as the ECD of the network's Singapore office after which she was vaulted to Chairman\ Executive Creative Director. Locke added the Regional CD title to her card shortly thereafter.
Saatchi and Saatchi CEO Kevin Roberts reveals that Lovemarks, allegedly written by him and out for three years running, is not actually a book but a "new-business development tool" according to AdAge in a video interview. Indeed, what appears to be text on sheets between bound paper to all who encounter it is actually the elaborate first phase of a 10-year scheme to refurbish the ethos and image of the Publicis Groupe agency, according to Roberts.
The confession comes just in time for phase two of the zany scheme which also appears in chimerical book form: The Lovemarks Effect: Winning the Consumer Revolution. This too is part of the effort to change S and S "from an ad agency to an ideas company to become the Lovemarks company," explains Roberts.
Ironic how much changes from high school, when the last thing you want is to be known for your lovemarks. Clearly Saatchi and Saatchi is onto something we aren't.
Here's what we think (er, hope?) is our last holiday card of '07. T3 The Think Tank sent us a game in which you pose as an elf and tip penguins.
Far from the benign polar friends we met in Happy Feet, the birds talk trash and also emit holiday wishes from T3 employees when you knock them over. (We located T3 founder Gay Gaddis' wish. It's for nice penguin shoes.)
Great incentive for a little digital abuse. The game is simple but strangely addictive.