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The VIA Agency Ropes Golden Corral

GoldenCorral_logo

Yesterday we wrote that casual dining chain Golden Corral was down to three agencies in its search for a new creative lead. Since then, Adweek reported that the chain has made its decision, choosing Portland, Maine-based independent The VIA Agency over other finalists Merkley + Partners and Mullen. According to Kantar Media, the brand spent approximately $55 million on media in 2013.

Prior to the review, Golden Corral had relied on freelancers and in-house production for its advertising, so The VIA Agency will act as its first lead creative agency. Adweek suggested the change in strategy could be due to the chain’s recent soft sales in the overall slumping casual dining category. The VIA Agency, who recently released a new campaign for Three Olives Vodka, has previously worked with restaurant chain Friendly’s, and currently counts Romano’s Macaroni Grill among its clients, which may have helped them land the account. Other prominent clients for the agency include Unilver, Klondike, Perdue and Welch’s.

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Mediabistro Job Fair

Mediabistro Job FairLand your next big gig! Join us on January 27 at the Altman Building in New York City for an incredible opportunity to meet with hiring managers from the top New York media companies, network with other professionals and industry leaders, and land your next job. Register now!

Johnnie Walker Walks On to Anomaly


Diageo has selected Anomaly as its new creative agency of record for Johnnie Walker, Adweek reports, the culmination of a review which launched in October. The decision marks the end of the brand’s fifteen year relationship with BBH, which defended in the review. Other finalists in the review included W+K, Ogilvy & Mather and BBDO. Johnnie Walker spent an estimated $40 million on media in 2013.

Given the success of BBH’s “Keep Walking” campaign, the review came as a surprise to many in the industry, including the agency’s competitors. Upon launching the review, Guy Escolme, the global brand director at Johnnie Walker, stated that ““The brand’s relationship with BBH has been hugely successful, with the agency producing award-winning work of outstanding creativity,” but that “the time is right to invite selected agencies… to look at how we take the brand forward into the future.”

The final selection shouldn’t come as a complete surprise, as Anomaly previously worked with Johnnie Walker on “The Gentleman’s Wager,” the online spot starring Jude Law which came out this summer and ultimately topped 11 million views on YouTube.

The brand’s decision comes right on the heels of the release of BBH’s ambitious “The Next Step” spot celebrating the impending new year. That ad will now serve as the agency’s swan song to their long relationship with the brand.

For Anomaly, meanwhile, the decision follows the agency picking up Budweiser’s “Made In America” festival earlier this month and Panera Bread back in September.

Four Spots Compete to Win Carnival’s BBDO Super Bowl Campaign

Marketing Challenge Site Carnival Corporation

This morning we learned that BBDO will have not one but three spots airing during the next Super Bowl:

  • Bud Light, produced by Energy BBDO out of Chicago
  • Snickers via BBDO New York
  • Carnival Cruise Lines, with creative by the shop’s Atlanta unit

The release we received from Carnival PR this morning tells us a good bit about the last project, which will mark the cruise line’s first Super Bowl appearance. The ad will be directed by Academy Award winner/longtime Christopher Nolan cinematographer Wally Pfister with Cedric the Entertainer playing host.

Here’s the rub: the party responsible for choosing which of four competing concepts will eventually run during the game won’t be anyone at BBDO or Carnival — it will be the public at large. As the Entertainer himself puts it, “the idea is to change people’s misconceptions about cruising.”

Check out the lineup below.

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Blue Hive Goes Further for Ford

Here’s one we missed from a few weeks back. Agency Blue Hive created a new online spot for Ford promoting the new Ford EcoSport and its keyless entry feature, entitled “Go Further.”

In the spot, a tanned beach dude, wearing a very small bathing suit walks along the beach to the tune of The Chordettes’ version of “Lollipop,” which fits the scene well. As he garners stares from onlookers, it becomes clear he’s heading back to his car. But how is he going to open it? Where could he possibly have put his keys? While the onlookers in the ad and viewers alike wonder this, he approaches the car, it beeps, and he gets in and drive away, followed by the suggestive message, “Where you put your keys is up to you.” The message is pretty clear: instead of rummaging around in a sandy bag for your keys after a day at the beach, you can just tuck your key fob in your crotch at the beginning of the day and forget about it. Thanks, Ford!
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Thursday Morning Stir

-Here’s a look at the making of Apple’s “The Song” (video above).

-Some advertisers, including Honda and Carmex, are pulling ads from the VH1 show Sorority Sisters following viewer backlash.

-Fast Company picks “The 20 Best Ads of 2014.”

-AdAge takes a look at YouTube’s most popular ads of 2014.

-Old Navy launched this “White Elephant” holiday Vine campaign.

-The Drum examines “Why creatives need time to play.”

-Hootsuite unveils 40 minute brand holiday video of an owl in front of a fire.

Advertising Jobs: The Ad Council, Smartfish Group, Magnani Caruso Dutton

This week, The Ad Council is hiring a campaign manager, and Smartfish Group is looking for a graphic designer. Magnani Caruso Dutton needs an account director, while Gyro is seeking a project manager. Get the scoop on these openings and more below, and find additional just-posted gigs on Mediabistro.

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Find more great advertising jobs on the AgencySpy job board. Looking to hire? Tap into our network of talented AgencySpy pros and post a risk-free job listing. For real-time openings and employment news, follow @MBJobPost.

Mission Media Makes It Happen for Microsoft

Here’s your latest entry in the “heart-warming holiday film that doubles as an advertisement” category via London-based agency Mission Media and production studio We Are Films. It’s all about promoting client Microsoft’s new Lumia phone and that thing we call Skype.

Yes, Virginia, there is a twist:

Sappy!

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Wednesday Odds and Ends

-TM Advertising released “I am a March of Dimes Baby,” voiced by Chris Pratt (video above).

-Indianapolis independent, full-service agency Young & Laramore announced the beginning of a new partnership with Boulder, Colorado-based camping gear manufacturer Kelty.

-Lowe Roche promoted Mark Mason and Jane Murray, both creative directors, to executive creative director roles.

-UK-based creative agency Brave is relaunching audio brand Technics after a six year absence with the music download platform Technics Tracks.

-Rochester-based agency Partners + Napier announced the appointment of two new presidents: Sarah Hanson, formerly chief growth officer, will head the agency’s Rochester office; and Matt Dowshen, formerly managing director, will serve as president of the agency’s New York boutique.

-Wellcom has rebranded to Wellcom Worldwide following the acquisition of theLab, USA, and announced the appointments of Andrew Sidwell and Chris Grawe to the roles of managing director and creative services director, respectively.

-Kia Motors Europe announced the appointment of SapientNitro as its lead digital agency following a review, tasking the agency with “evolving its internet portal across Europe, taking responsibility for everything from concept development, user experience and design to implementation and support.”

-Loyola Marymount University’s M-School asked students to “rebrand” Los Angeles — and the results are in.

mcgarrybowen Surprises Customer with Carol-Fueled Shopping Spree for Sears

mcgarrybowen employs a different type of social engagement with its new “#MoreToYou” holiday campaign for Sears, which debuts with “Kirsten’s Holiday Shopping Spree at Sears” (featured above).

In the spot, Kirsten laments the difficulty of finding gifts for her large family and then hears her doorbell ring. At her door is “Brad from Sears” there to bring hear some good news: Sears saw Kirsten’s tweet complaining about the difficulties of holiday shopping and has decided to give her a shopping spree so she can cross everyone off her list. She’s pretty excited by the shopping spree, and the prospect of getting all her shopping done in one place, if a bit taken aback at the carolers suggesting presents for her family. The spot ends by asking viewers to tweet using the hashtag #MoreToYou for a chance to “surprise and delight another customer in the future” (their words).

“#MoreToYou” is supported by Sears social media team and blogger engagement, with “Kirsten’s Holiday Shopping Spree at Sears” as the latest chapter in an ongoing campaign. Read more

We Hear: Staffing Changes at Factory Design Labs

Factory DesignWe have yet to receive an official statement from the agency after multiple requests, but we can confirm that some staffing changes have occurred at Denver-based Factory Design Labs.

The most visible move comes atop the shop: Scott Mellin, who until recently served as CEO, now occupies the chief brand officer role. Agency founder Jonas Tempel has stepped in to assume the chief position moving forward; he served as both CEO and creative director for several years before launching a separate project called Beatport, and he has held the Chairman/Special Projects title since 2010.

We hear that other staffers are no longer with Factory’s Denver office, but we do not have concrete details at the moment.

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