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Wednesday Morning Stir

-We don’t know quite what to make of this “Cowboys” spot for Slo Down Wines (video above).

-The Drum chooses its favorite ads of 2014.

-Digiday looks as “4 campaigns that stood out in 2014.”

-An ad for Unilver’s Regenerate toothpaste has been banned for promoting misleading information.

-The Advertising Standards Authority in the UK banned a Belvedere vodka ad, as well as e-cigarette ads from two brands.

-Adweek talks with JWT CEO Bob Jeffrey, who will soon step down from that role.

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Sprint Confirms Deutsch Win


Late yesterday, America’s third largest wireless service provider finally confirmed what’s been common knowledge within the industry for nearly six weeks: Deutsch LA will be its new strategic/creative agency of record for national television advertising.

Multiple leakers told the ad trades that the review, which began in earnest this September, had turned into a competition between Deutsch CCO Pete Favat and former colleague/Arnold President Pam Hamlin by early November. An internal note from Hamlin to Arnold staffers facilitated our speculative (A+B) – B = A post.

At the time, sources told us that the client had yet to confirm the win and had even floated the possibility of extending the review and bringing in more agencies to compete for the account. Such concerns proved unfounded, though contract negotiations apparently took some time to finalize; Sprint ran Deutsch’s first work earlier this month while claiming that the shop was simply “doing some work for us on a project basis.

The client gave the exclusive to AdAge, confirming that Deutsch will take over the lead creative/strategic role from Figliulo & Partners (though that shop “will remain on the roster” as well). In his official statement, soon-to-depart CMO Jeff Hallock writes:

“We went through an intense selection process and we are confident in the capabilities of our new partner.”

As Adweek notes, the client spends $450 million on TV spots each year; its estimated annual revenue is $30 million.

Tuesday Odds and Ends

-Check out this whacky “Crisp Concert” for Glico (video above).

-Adweek talks with “5 Agency Leaders on Which Industry Changes Keep Them Up at Night.”

-AdAge examines “How Brands Are Manufacturing Christmas Cheer in China.”

-Take a look at an infographic showing “How Worried Digital Advertisers Are About Viewability.”

-Mashable looks at “6 trends redefining the way we watch television.”

-Director Ringan Ledwidge discusses Sainsbury’s controversial Christmas ad.

We Hear: Mello Yello to Ames Scullin O’Haire?


Earlier today, a source told us that Coca-Cola has selected Atlanta agency Ames Scullin O’Haire as the new creative AOR for its Mello Yello brand, taking over for BFG Communications.

We’ve yet to receive official confirmation of the change, but the agency itself issued the following response:

“At this time Ames Scullin O’Haire Advertising cannot confirm nor deny we will be agency of record for Mello Yello moving forward.”

Coca-Cola’s corporate communications office has not responded to our request for comment, but we expect to see a related press release soon. For context, AdAge reported in August of 2013 that the brand was planning a “comeback” – and a change in AOR would presumably amount to a next step in that effort (the parent company chose BFG as it moved to relaunch the beverage in 2011 via the “My Name Is Mello Yello” campaign).

This is the latest recent rumor of an account leaving BFG following unconfirmed tips over the past several months which held that Snyder’s-Lance and RJR/Camel were also moving on; the latter client is now purportedly with Havas Chicago.

Updates as we receive them.

Holiday Card Roundup, Part 4: Oh Yes, There’s More

Mother London was named global agency of record for Jesus (who it turns out bears a passing resemblance to Iggy Pop), and got him to walk around London for the agency’s holiday card. “It’s a leap of faith, but I’m excited about it,” Jesus said of the appointment.

-Creative agency VIVA got our attention with this snarky holiday card mocking holiday card conventions. It’s brought to you by a “young, attractive, ethnically ambiguous male under 30.”

Even more holiday cards after the jump…

Read more

360i Appoints Jeff Anderson as Group Creative Director


Digital agency 360i announced the naming of Jeff Anderson as group creative director, The Drum reports. He will work out of the New York office and report to Pierre Lipton, who took over as 360i’s chief creative officer in October.

Anderson arrives at 360i from CHI&Partners, where he had served as  an executive creative director since November of 2011. Prior to CHI&Partners, Anderson spend around a year and half as an associate creative director at Goodby Silverstein & Partners, working on Chevrolet’s “Mayan Apocalypse” Super Bowl ad while with that agency. Prior to that, Anderson served a two year stint as an art director with Droga5.

“360i’s energy and momentum are palpable,” Anderson said. “Combine that with Pierre’s creative vision, a relentless curiosity and unequalled capability in the industry, and the decision was easy.”

Huge Parties It Up for Crate and Barrel

New York agency Huge teamed up with production company STORY and director Laurie Rubin for a pair of holiday broadcast ads promoting Crate and Barrel.

Huge’s creative teamed worked with Rubin, Crate and Barrel product specialists and food stylists to  assemble a holiday tableau for each spot decked out with Crate and Barrel products. Each table setting also is designed to reflect a different personality, showing the range of tastes the brand can cater to. Set to singer Stacey Marcus’ rendition of “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year,” each spot keeps the table settings front and center, uncluttered by narrative or voiceover, ending with the tagline, “Design for the way you celebrate.”

The team created 19 different tabletop settings for the pair of spots, but Rubin says they easily could have created more. “Crate & Barrel has so much great stuff, it was tough to winnow it down,” she said. “We ‘auditioned’ a lot of arrangements to arrive at those that told the best story about the range.” Read more

Bloomin’ Brands Shifts Media Account to MediaVest


Bloomin’ Brands has selected MediaVest to handle its media account following a review, Adweek reported yesterday. The most recognizable brand in the Bloomin’ empire is Outback Steakhouse, but other brands include Carrabba’s Italian Grill and Bonefish Grill. Annual media spending for Bloomin’ Brands is estimated at $150 million, according to Kantar Media.

Other finalists in the review included Mindshare and incumbent Carat, who had held the account since 2007. The review was managed by Joanne Davis Consulting in New York.

Bloomin’ Brands Chief Marketing Officer Michael Kappit cited “confidence in the quality of the team, insights on our brands and business building ideas” in a prepared statement about the appointment, adding, “We also felt a strong sense of connection with them.”

Update: This post previously mentioned Horizon Media as a review participant. This was an error. Horizon Media did not participate in this review.

Tuesday Morning Stir

-DDB California launched a “Skinny Santa” holiday campaign for Brita (video above).

-“When Does Leaning Hard Into Celebrity Become Lazy and Dangerous?” asks Grey New York President and Worldwide CCO Tor Myhren.

-The Drum talks with Scott Ross, chief technology officer at DigitasLBi.

-Digiday examines Pornhub’s content-marketing strategy.

-Here’s “The Best Real-Time Marketing of 2014″ according to AdAge.

-Facebook proved a better distribution tool than YouTube for Apple’s holiday ad.

-Here are “The best agency holiday cards of 2014″ according to Digiday.

Monday Odds and Ends

-Freshpet goes viral with “13 Dogs and 1 Cat Eating with Human Hands” (video above).

-Barton F. Graf 9000 added some seasonal additions to its “Dead Mouse Theatre” campaign for Tomcat.

-Italy’s antitrust authority fined TripAdvisor for failing to prevent false reviews.

-The Drum looks at “four publishers who killed their comment sections in 2014.”

-Havas is acquiring experiential/PR agency Formula, which will now be known as Havas Formula.

-Facebook introduces “Find Apps” ad feed.