Sears is moving its account from one WPP Group company to another, After 43 years handling the account, Ogilvy & Mather will relinquish the account to sister agency Young & Rubicam, which has worked on portions of the account since 1993. In a twist that questions the point of the review in the first place given today's agency conglomerates, O % M employees who will be left behind after the October 1 hand off, may end up moving to Y & R to handle the account.
With the launch of a new campaign, Nike has made official the mini-trend towards celebrating less than stick figure sized woman. Following Dove's much talked about campaign, Nike has launched a series of print ads that celebrates big butts, thunder thighs and tomboy knees. The big 'ol booty is pushing aside the anorexic runway model and Ms. Magazine Founder Gloria Steinem is very happy about it telling Ad Age, "It is a change that women and some men, too have been agitating for 35 years. I spent 15 years of my life pleading for ads that reflected our readers by age, race and ethnicity. We could demonstrate that women responded better to ads that were more inclusive of them, but they just weren't coming." The campaign comes from Wieden & Kennedy
Atari will host a graffiti-thon street festival on August 24 to promote the release of it graffiti-based game "Getting Up: Contents Under Pressure" by designer Marc Ecko. At the event, held August 24th on 22nd Street between 10th and 11th Avenues from 12:00PM - 8:00PM, 20 artists will spray-paint 48 by 8 foot replicas of New York's blue-bird subway cars.
A lineup of graffiti artists, from the notorious COPE2 to T-KID, who first started writing on trains as early as 1974, will spend the day doing full color murals on the vintage trains. Other participating graf writers include Dash, West, Ces, Sonic, Iz the Wiz, Min, Duro, Wane, Wen, Dero, Cycle, Smith, Lady Pink, Doc, Kel 1st, Mare139, Crash, Daze, Ghost, and the Tats Crew.
Derogatory headline aside, Jessica Simpson realizes all her fans are not stick-figured, tiny little size 1 and 2 chicklets (who is?) and, according to her spokesperson, include "girls from 90 pounds all the way up to 300 pounds." With that realization, Simpson has launched a line of plus-sized jeans for women available through Avenue stores. Sizes range from 12 to 26 and cost about $60.
Joe Jaffe, upon seeing BMW's RFP letter to agencies, offers the manufacturer some advice. His advice comes in the form several bullet points along with a bit of self promotion for his new book which we really, really want to read but the post office, apparently, can't seem to find us. One of Jaffe's suggestions. While we haven't seen BMW's letter ourselves, Jaffe feels BMW is being "delusional, greedy, unrealistic or all three. You want an 'agency' to reach a 'broader, more diverse audience' on roughly half of last year's budget; you're looking for a shop that can create integrated marketing aimed at a niche audience; you feel the need to turn $1 into $5 and state that 'if you don't have a track record of creating stuff like this, this is probably the wrong opportunity for your agency' - come on, why stop there: if it were me running this pitch, I'd demand that the 'shop' come up with a 3-step program to cure both cancer and AIDS, and while we're at it, let's throw in ending poverty in Africa, which seems to be all the rage right now. Aim high my friends, aim high." Point taken but on the flip side, why aim low?
Recently, Miller beer tapped an all star line up of hip hop personalities to promote its Miller Genuine Draft brand. Rappers like Common, Q-Tip, Cypress Hill, Talib Kweli, and Big Boi of Outkast kicked off the 1st ever "Flavor 2 Savor" concert series as an "acknowledgment of the influence, and pivotal role that urban music has played in shaping popular culture."
Culture critic and self professed brand bouncer Bucky Turco wonders why these black community icons would knowingly work with Miller, part of SABMiller which was recently criticized for its treatment of black workers. Turco said in an email to Adrants, "MC's like Common, Talib Kweli, Q-Tip, and Cypress Hill constitute a strong part of the black intelligentsia and they tend to be brand conscious. It is surprising that the leaders of black thought in hip hop would be so supportive of Miller since it is owned by SABMiller, (the SAB standing for South African Breweries), the world's 2nd largest brewer, and the 3rd largest company in South Africa behind DeBeers and Anglo American Corp. SAB has often been criticized for exploiting its black workers and, for their intense marketing efforts to the poor black working class, especially miners. Something tells me no one told these guys what the SAB stands for."
Adopting the next new buzz word, Coke has embarked on an "experiential" marketing concept that will, as Ad Age writes, "interpret what the marketer calls the brand's 'optimism' through a series of short films and breakthrough bottle designs." The project, called M5, involves five design shops which will create "iconic" designs that will affect packaging and other branding elements all designed to increase appeal to younger generations. The new designs will debut beginning in September. The first is called "Love Being" and was designed by Designers Republic in London.
While the endeavor to make the brand relevant again is worthy and commendable, the endless marketing blather used to describe the effort is quite comical and well worth wallowing in for a while.
In the "Um...WOW" category, Adidas said it would buy Reebok for $3.8 billion. Who new merger madness would hit the sneaker category. Adidas CEO and Chairman Herbert Hainer said in a statement, "We will expand our geographic reach, particularly in North America, and create a footwear, apparel and hardware offering that addresses a broader spectrum of consumers and demographics. With Reebok, we are advancing our position on the playing field of the sporting goods industry and are improving our financial strength to drive increased shareholder value." Watch out, Nike.
On her arrangement with several magazines to use images of Lexus vehicles in editorial, Lexus VP of Marketing Deborah Wahl Meyer told Ad Age, "I'm not talking about pushing anyone to do this We highly respect what a journalist and editor do. We're not talking about crossing any boundaries that are well established." Clearly, the simple act of asking certainly crosses the line. It places journalist in a compromising position. They have been influenced whether they decided to go along with the request or not. Don't worry. We haven't turned into a myopic infant. We know this stuff been going on forever but slowly and surely the line between editorial and advertising is becoming obliterated. Uninfluenced, independent commentary is becoming increasingly difficult to find.
As evil as this may sound, people still have brains, whether marketers realize this or not, and they will adjust to this blurring of reality. Though, it's just not something that needs to be there in the first place. Lending a bit of humor to this magazine product placement trend is the hilariously clandestine, hush-hush attitude both sides have taken on as if knowing which publishers and which marketers are in bed together is as important as codes to detonate a nuclear device.
Joey deVilla, a Technical Community Development Coordinator for back office software company Tucows, Inc., publishes a personal weblog on which he recently recounted an experience he had with moving company Quick Boys, mentioned in the comment section of a post he had made about Toronto movers. One of the commenters to the post, who deVilla knew, shared a bad experience with Quick Boys and recommended others steer clear of the company.