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Thursday Morning Stir

-Finland’s hasan & partners created this sentimental spot for department store Stockman (video above).

-London agency Gravity Road hired former GS&P CD Pete Conolly to lead its creative work and former Leo Burnett London MD Katie Lee as its first managing director.

-UK/Ireland-based water brand Volvic chose London agency HeyHuman to create and run a “multi-media brand activation campaign” in 2015.

-DDB Düsseldorf creates “the world’s universal typeface,” now available for download.

-Women now hold a quarter of top ad agency positions…in the UK.

-The true meaning behind 35 top brand names.

-The&Partnership hired former NME and Top Gear editor Conor McNicholas to launch “content agency” AllTogetherNow, the tenth business within a group that also includes CHI&Partners and m/SIX.

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Wednesday Odds and Ends

-Lululemon gets positive in its latest ad, which has broke one million views on YouTube (video above).

-The Martin Agency will be AOR for Kraft’s Sabra hummus brand.

-Post-production company Therapy Studios announced the addition of rep Michel Waxman of MBW Represents.

-Havas Chicago partners with Vine sensation BatDad for Reynolds Aluminum Foil. offers a voicemail service for “People who love to rant, and the creepers who love to listen.”

-”Speechless,” the latest series of “No More” domestic violence and sexual assault awareness PSAs, featuring current and former NFL players, will debut during NFL broadcasts tomorrow.

-Half of Facebook users in the UK and US report they use the site less often than they used to, according to research from GlobalWebIndex.

-Twitter will begin tracking which apps you use.

McCann Saves Snowmen for Zurich Insurance

McCann has crafted a new ad for Zurich Insurance looking ahead to spring, which may seem appealing to you, but is certainly less so for the snowmen depicted in the ad, entitled “Save the Snowmen.”

The spot opens on a series of snowmen, melting slowly, and the message, “The first day of spring, somewhere in the Alps.” A dejected child pushes, while another boy replaces one of his snowman’s button eyes. Then a climate-controlled Zurich truck rolls up, filled with other snowmen, and takes them higher into the mountains. From the truck, the snowmen ride a ski lift and trek still further up, pulled by cross country skiers. Eventually they find themselves high up on a mountain peak, safe from the spring thaw.

It all makes for a cute little story, hard as it may be to relate with a negative portrayal of spring as another harsh winter is approaching. But while it’s an entertaining little ad, it’s so far removed from being related to Zurich’s services that many won’t realize what the ad is even for. Unless, of course, they insure snowmen.  Read more

BBH Sheds Light on Youth Cardiac Risk in PSA for CRY

BBH London created a PSA campaign for Cardiac Risk in the Young (CRY), a UK charity founded in 1995 which “raises awareness about sudden cardiac deaths in young people resulting from undiagnosed heart conditions.”

In a 60-second PSA video, a group of young men engage in a game of rugby. Throughout the spot we hear a heartbeat, adding an element of unease, until at one point the hearbeat speeds up and one of the boys falls to the ground. The message, “An undiagnosed heart condition can kill an apparently healthy young person instantly. Don’t wait until it’s too late. Get your heart tested.” It’s a harrowing message, bringing attention to an issue many don’t know about. Crafted to shock and startle viewers, it just may succeed in its goal of getting young people tested for heart conditions.

The spot was created by BBH London Assistant Producer David Lynch (not to be confused with that David Lynch), with help from Creative Directors Nick Kidney and Kevin Stark in adapting the original script. “I knew about CRY through a friend who was helped by them in the past,” Lynch said. “I wrote a script and showed it to my then producer, Ruben Mercadal. He said I should run with it. As I’m an Assistant TV Producer and not a Creative, I sought help from two of BBH’s best Creative Directors..To my surprise they were of the same opinion as Ruben and said if I ever get the chance to make it, they would love to mentor me through it.”

BBH then enlisted director AG Rojas and Park Pictures to bring the project, which Lynch called a “particularly emotive and rewarding campaign to work on,” to light. “Once we began production, it became clear that so many of the people who helped us had also been affected – or knew someone who had been affected – in some way,” he added.

Read more

Mercedes-Benz to Create New European Unit; BBDO Wins China Business


Today Mercedes-Benz announced its first major “global agency realignment” since 2006. The big winners appear to be BBDO, Merkley+Partners, and the custom team that will come from a “pooling” of creative talent in Europe.

The press release, in summary (thanks, Google Translate):

  • Mercedes-Benz has established a “new agency model” based around three creative hubs: Europe, USA and China
  • The company will create a new unit to handle its European creative after conducting “a screening of the European agency landscape”; efforts will be led by Kemper and Kroger in Berlin

Read more

The Martin Agency Asks Salt-N-Pepa to Spice Up Geico

The Martin Agency makes sacreligious use of Salt-N-Pepa’s iconic 90s hit “Push It” — as well as the group itself — in its latest spot for Geico.

The 30-second ad opens on a man trying to pull open a door that says “Push” on it. Soon Salt-N-Pepa show up behind him and break into “Push It” and the man walks in. Next we see the pair in an elevator (with Spinderella in the background), a Lamaze class, and at a football practice while performing the song. “If you’re salt and pepper, you tell people to push it. It’s what you do,” says a voiceover, in the campaign’s familiar formula. “If you want to save 15 percent or more on car insurance, you switch to Geico. It’s what you do.” The Martin Agency then manages to slip in a quick gag after the tagline.

The campaign, whose tagline feels like a response to Esurance’s “Insurance for the modern world” (with that company directly taking on Geico’s “15 percent or more “selling point in its advertising), seems like its running out of steam as its joke runs a bit thin, so bringing in an act nostalgic viewers will be pleased to see make sense. And Salt-N-Pepa’s presence certainly makes the ad more memorable, even if it can’t quite save the tired premise.  Read more

FCKH8′s Little Girls Are Back, Still Swearing

FCKH8 attracted a lot of attention with its recent controversial video featuring young girls in dresses dropping “F-Bombs for Feminism,” addressing issues of gender inequality and violence against women for the for-profit activist t-shirt brand.

If you saw that video, you already know what to expect, as the new video, after a brief introduction from a young boy portraying a violent man stereotype, begins almost identically to its predecessor. The joke is less funny the second time around, but the video eventually differentiates itself when the girls take more of a focus on domestic violence. In the previous video, four girls counted off as a demonstration of the statistic that one in four women will be physically abused in their lifetime. They repeat the tactic here, only this time when the fourth girl counts off she’s wearing makeup to make it look like she’s a battered woman, which the rest of the girls also don for the remainder of the video.

Those who had a problem with the girls talking about violence and rape in the original video will be doubly offended here, but FCKH8 anticipates the backlash when two girls question viewers disturbed by the video, “Isn’t one out of four women beaten the real disgrace?” Those who accuse the company, which normally donates five dollars of every fifteen dollar t-shirt sold to charity, of child exploitation will have less fuel here, as according to the video, “100 percent of the profits from these ‘not a wifebeater’ tanks will go to domestic violence charities.” Viewers who found the shock humor in the original video refreshing or effective, however, may find that the same formula seems stale the second time around, despite the attempts to up the shock factor.

McKinney Wins CarMax

Three weeks ago, we broke the news that CarMax, maker of Super Bowl ads featuring slow claps and puppies, would not be working with New York’s Silver+Partners for its next Big Game spot.

The ensuing review quickly turned into a competition between three southeastern agency offices, and yesterday Adweek reported that McKinney had won the account.

Sources told us that BBDO Atlanta was not the winner, but we didn’t receive responses from McKinney or CarMax before the Adweek post went live. Newly installed CMO Jim Lyski subsequently confirmed the win, writing that the company chose McKinney in order to “tell our unique story and connect the brand with consumers.”

Updates/official statements if we receive them. In the meantime: puppies.

Wednesday Morning Stir

-Richard Sherman and teammate Doug Baldwin criticized the NFL for hypocrisy while working in plugs for Campbell’s, Beats, Martinelli’s and Neff (video above).

-This Australian political campaign ad showing people helping ducks has been watched over 88 million times.

-The ASA banned several Oreo YouTube videos which they claimed were “not clearly identified as marketing communications.”

-BitTorrent launches its first original web series.

-Sony and Deutsch LA settled with the FTC over allegations of deceptive advertising in the PS Vita launch campaign.

-Weedmaps turns to content marketing on YouTube, since it can’t buy ad space on social media sites.

-Digiday shares “Reasons for agencies to give thanks.”

Tuesday Odds and Ends

-Toronto-based agency Smith made a fun video (above) from their launch party this past Thursday night.

-Totino’s turned terrible stock photos into a (crazy) digital campaign.

-Los Angeles studio The Mill announced the addition of Ryan Robertson as executive producer, design.

-Brands’ native ads on Twitter became a liability during the Ferguson controversy last night.

-New FDA labeling requirements could shake up menus at restaurant chains.

-Minneapolis agency Mithun rounds up its recent hires.

-TDA Boulder plans to interview the top candidate for its art director position over two days in Las Vegas.