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We Hear: Changes Pending at Moxie

moxie

This week we’ve received several tips regarding the Atlanta homebase of Moxie Interactive. We have no confirmation from the agency itself, but we can summarize the claims:

One tipster writes that the agency is preparing for a large-scale reorganization that may lead to layoffs focusing on the accounts side.

Another tipster tells us that these changes, driven by leaders of both the Atlanta and New York offices, were “shopped” to marquee client Verizon Wireless as a sort of strategic preview–and that the client then leaked the plans to staff.

That tipster calls the move “the worst-kept secret in Atlanta” (other than the fact that the Braves always choke in the post-season), writing that someone somewhere has seen “the plan” and that cuts, if they do occur, will be at the management level.

Whether these rumors turn out to be true or not, there have been changes at Moxie in recent months. You may recall that the agency merged with fellow Publicis shop Engauge back in March and that two ACDs made headlines (on this blog at least) in June by leaving to join 22squared.

Updates as they arrive.

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CP+B Warns Parents on Behalf of Boys and Girls Clubs of America

This CP+B PSA for Boys and Girls Clubs of America, which received a New York Times writeup today, is a little frightening.

It’s far cry from the generally upbeat messages this group has shared in the past. If anything, it reminds us of the famous “It’s 10 PM. Do you know where your children are?” line (which was not a paid ad but was created by an on-air promoter).

The copy goes on to clarify:

“…they’re out on their own, out with nowhere to go, out with nothing to do, out all afternoon when anything can happen.”

Now we’re scared–and we always knew not to play on the train tracks or accept gifts from strangers.

CP+B CD Sue Anderson told Andrew Adam Newman that it’s all about fundraising, because parents will be more likely to give when they sense that the kids’ safety depends on their donations.

Effective! For the music snobs in our audience, we’d also like to note the excellent use of “Fratres” by our greatest living composer, Arvo Pärt. Yes, we hate superlatives too, but it’s true.

Read more

Wednesday Odds and Ends

-This spot for mobile provider Airtel in India has polarized viewers, some of whom find it offensive (video above). link

-The California Tobacco Control Program has selected San Francisco-based independent agency Duncan/Channon as its advertising Agency of Record following a review. link

-AKQA announced today the opening of its first office in India. link

-Imperial Woodpecker announced that Sam Brown has joined their roster for commercial representation in the U.S. He will still be represented by Rogue Films in the U.K.

-Creative studio Splice has expanded its visual effects department with the addition of VFX artist Patricio Fernandez. link

-The social media metrics brands should care about. link

-Creative editorial company Spot Welders has announced the addition of editor Tom Vogt. link

-Post-production studio Arsenal FX has announced the appointment of Kira Karlstrom as business development executive.

Jude Law Stars in Anomaly’s Lengthy ‘The Gentleman’s Wager’ for Johnnie Walker

In the latest sign that the digital ad lengths are getting out of control, Anomaly tapped Jude Law for a six minute “short film” long ad promoting Johnnie Walker Blue Label.

When Law admires a wealthy friend’s boat, with the friend going on about the ship’s unique aspects and building circumstances, he makes a gentleman’s wager to win the seafaring vessel with a dance. Unsure why he would do this, when he can’t really dance, Law nevertheless prepares a choreographed effort to impress the friend and win the boat. It’s an entertaining enough set up, but the dance scene itself leaves a lot to be desired and drags on far too long. While not without its charm, “The Gentleman’s Wager” really could have been told in half its running time. Stay with us for credits after the jump. Read more

GoDaddy Grows Up

Internet domain clearinghouse and noted soft-core Super Bowl commercial creator GoDaddy recently announced that that it has “matured.” In fact, in a recent Adweek interview, the company announced it would stop making those questionable advertisements.

“We’ve evolved,” CMO Barb Rechterman said in a statement. “Our new brand of Super Bowl commercials will make it crystal clear what we do and who we stand for. We may be changing our approach, but as we’ve always said, we don’t care what the critics think. We are all about our customers.”

GoDaddy recently appointed Barton F. Graf 9000 (BFG9000) as its AOR after a stint with Deutsch, and now the brand is growing up. Sort of.

They have not outgrown Danica Patrick, who stars in this ad called “Air Wrench.” The goal of the company’s semi-rebranding is to target small businesses. From CMO Barb Rechterman:

“This commercial marks another milestone in our brand evolution. The ad definitely uses humor, as our past campaigns have, but this new campaign is not solely about driving brand awareness — it promotes more than domain names by plugging Website Builder.”

The “Air Wrench” commercial will run during broadcasts of NASCAR races and other sporting events on ESPN this summer. GoDaddy will also use social media to promote the spot. The budget was undisclosed.

Note: BGF9000 was not involved in this campaign.

W+K Portland Declares Kevin Durant ‘The Baddest’ for Nike

“I don’t want to talk about who’s the best. I want to talk about who’s the baddest,” says Dick Gregory, while chilling at a basketball court at the beginning of W+K Portland’s new spot for Nike, “The Baddest.”

After listing some historical candidates for “the baddest,” such as Connie Hawkins, Artis Gilmore, George Gervin, Spencer Haywood, and David Thompson, the spot goes on to make a case for Kevin Durant as “the baddest” right now, through video footage and a variety of testimonials. The well-edited 60-second spot also spends some time explaining what the title of “the baddest” means, with comparisons including “bad like a good Thanksgiving meal,” “bad like money” and “bad like black coffee.” It all makes for a fun, very watchable spot, regardless of whether or not you agree with Nike and W+K’s  choice for the title of “the baddest.” Stick around for credits after the jump. Read more

The New Yorker Hires SS+K as AOR for Its 90th Anniversary

newyorker-website

Few magazines have the staying power of The New Yorker. The Conde Nast publication is aiming to skew younger by creating a new website (seen above), and doing away with that dreaded paywall for a limited time. It has also hired SS+K as its AOR just in time for its 90th anniversary. Agency co-founder Rob Shepardson writes:

“There are few brands that we’d be more excited to work with than The New Yorker. For decades, it has occupied a unique spot in American culture as the gold standard for writing, whether reporting, commentary, or criticism.”

Following a review, The New Yorker determined after 90 years it was time to partner with an AOR; the classic rag joins the SS+K fold along with the likes of Wells Fargo, Starbucks, HBO & E*TRADE.

The New Yorker spent $22.7 million on measured media in 2012 and $19.5 million in 2013 according to Kantar Media. The magazine spent $2.7 million on measured media in the first quarter of 2014.

Leo Burnett Tugs on Heartstrings for Ronald McDonald House

Leo Burnett gets emotional for Ronald McDonald House Charities with their new spot, “Dad’s Voice.”

The 60-second ad highlights the emotional impact of the charity providing home-to-home accommodation for families with a child in the hospital. “It’s only a voice, everyone has one,” a narrator intones at the opening of the spot. “But this, this is dad’s voice. Dad’s voice is, well, dad’s.” Going on to list some of the voice’s idiosyncrasies, the spot concludes, “Dad’s voice is the sound of home, even when they’re not at home.”

It’s a pretty straightforward approach, but it makes a real emotional impact, delivering on a relevant insight for the charity. It helps that the approach is tender without being cloying, choosing not to oversell the drama of the situation but rather sticking to what viewers can relate to. Stick around for credits after the jump. Read more

FITCH Promotes Alasdair Lennox to ECD

AlasdairThis morning brings news of several promotions within the creative department of London-based FITCH–most significantly, the agency promoted Alasdair Lennox, creative director and frequent conference speaker, to the role of ECD.

In his new role, Lennox will direct creative direction for four studios and a team of international creative and design directors.

Lennox first joined the agency as a designer way back in 1998, advancing to the position of design director before ascending to his most recent role as CD for Europe and Russia.

According to the release, he has “solved complex commercial and strategic challenges” for clients including Adidas and Apple.

The agency also announced the promotion of design directors Phil Heys and John Regan to CD roles in the London office; they will report directly to Lennox.

FITCH’s most recent campaign of note was a promotion for Adidas’ World Cup Identity.

TBWA Explores ‘Gas Station’ Fears for Nissan Sentra

TBWA Toronto has a new spot for Nissan Sentra that explores fears of filling up, horror movie style.

The 60-second “Gas Station” opens on a man arriving at a creepy, dimly-lit gas station. Soon the station comes to life, as the man is relentlessly attacked by the gas pumps, which also do a number on his car. Eventually, another man, driving a Nissan Sentra, comes to the rescue, beckoning him to hop in. This is followed by the message, “Don’t Fear Filling Up,” and boast of the Sentra’s “Better combined fuel economy than Civic.” In a spot that spends so much time on a ridiculous fuel-fearing message, you’d think they’d focus a little more than a quick flash of text on the Sentra’s fuel economy, but instead most of the 60 seconds are spent on building up unconvincing horror atmosphere. Stick around for credits after the jump. Read more

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