Once upon a time, there was a little town called Boston that wasn't so little when it came to advertising. Then the agency M & A spree began and, combined with the mass exodus of national brands, agency after agency skipped town or shuttered their doors forever. For years, the town has lived in the shadow of New York but that may be about to change.
Today, Cadillac awarded close to half its national and regional creative business to Modernista, a very cool agency in Boston that, aside from work they've done for Hummer, many may never have heard of before. This, of course, is no watershed moment nor will there be a flood of national brands flooding Boston's Boylston Street (a misnomer. really since most agencies have found homes elsewhere in the city) but to see Modernista kick some Leo Burnett butt surely pleases the underdog agencies around the country.
Countering all that is sacred about the James Bond franchise, the producers of the film have decided to throw any semblance of respect for the brand to the wind and accept $14 million from Ford to allow the automaker to place its Mondeo in the the upcoming James Bond film, Casino Royale, starring Daniel Craig. While Ford certainly makes a decent car or two, the Ford brand and all it stands for is so counter to what the James Bond brand has imbued into culture over the past 40 years that we simply have to believe the producers behind this movie have thrown up their arms and said, "Fuck it. No one's gonna go see this movie anyway so we might as well get some cash now."
OK, we're a few days late in sharing this but a spoof video showing how Microsoft would brand the iPod is hilarious, true and indicative of the horrific packaging and marketing most brands puke out of their verbal diarrhea spewing mouths. Give it a watch then show it to everyone in your company and watch them squirm as they embarrassingly acknowledge, "Uh, yea, we did that once too."
Laughably describing AOL as some sort of "icon of pop culture," Mercedes Benz has signed a deal with AOL to "spotlight a new generation of artists through the premier online music destination AOL Music." Mercedes-Benz and AOL Music launched "On Our Radar," a feature that lets fans wallow in discovery of new music. It's part of the car manufacturer's yearlong collaboration with AOL Music on its Breakers program, which showcases a selection of developing artists. The partnership will promote the new Mercedes-Benz C-Class while bringing new artists to what Mercedes and AOL believe to be "the eyes and ears of trendsetting, young music fans."
Just one letter away from becoming the ad industry's most hilarious brand management hire, Megan Stooke has been chosen to handle Hummer's marketing. Stooke replaces Liz Vanzura and will work with Hummer agency Modernista in Boston. Hopefully, there won't be too many jokes circulating around the uber-cool, hardwood floored warehouse offices of the agency when Stroke...uh...Stook shows up to massage the agency's Hummer work.
On its Media Orchard weblog, communications agency Idea Grove has re-written Nike's new Kobe Bryant ad replacing airy, superfluous puffery such as "Love me of hate me, it's one or the other. Always has been. Hate my game, my swagger. Hate my fadeaway, my hunger" etc." with more realistic verse such as "Hate my lies, my infidelity" etc. Check out the complete re-write here. It's pretty good.
Fully embracing the notion and value of consumer generated content, MasterCard, during the Oscars, will air two commercial which say basically nothing. The ads, Sailboat and Typewriter, will follow the customary format of listing prices for various items and closing with the final item labeled "priceless." However, the item lines in these ads will be left blank. The ads will close encouraging people to go to priceless.com, click on "Write a Priceless Ad Contest" and complete the commercial by filling in the blanks using their own words.
Beginning March 13 and continuing for six and one half months during episodes of Procter & Gamble Productions' Guiding Light and As The World Turns on CBS, a multi-digit numerical code will appear on screen which viewers can match with the code they obtained off DaytimeDollars.com to win $500. It's a win-win straight forward strategy to increase viewership and ratings providing increased visibility of Procter & Gamble's and other advertisers' products as well as potentially increased ad revenue for CBS.
Perhaps anticipating the needs to distance itself from its own $32 million tax mistake, tax preparation firm H & R Block, according to AdWeek, will this week brief five agencies on its $100 million account. In the loop will be Deutsch/LA, Arnold, DDB/Chicago, Campbell Mithun and Mullen. Currently, most H & R Block work is handled by Campbell Mithun. Played properly, there's a great inside joke to be leveraged in future campaigns.
If you can't get publicity with a great product, create a crappy one and get lots of publicity. This has been Jones Soda's tactic for quite some time. Bt creating flavors such as Brussel Sprout, Broccoli Casserole and Turkey soda, Jones Soda found itself featured on Good Morning America and Jay Leno. Jones Soda Founder Peter Van Stolk thinks he has the key to publicity saying, "I've been in business 10 years and launched 80 flavors, and none of the great-tasting ones ever got on Jay Leno." While it may be stunt marketing, it's paid off handsomely with revenue jumping 18 percent to $24.7 million in the first nine months of 2005. Perhaps Hanes should sell underwear with celebrity skid marks. That's get them on Stern and the likes of Fark in no time.