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Erik Oster

Erik Oster is a freelance writer and editor from Connecticut. He’s previously written for The New York Egotist, Podium Ventures, and The Faster Times. He still pines for a second season of “Freaks and Geeks.”

Wednesday Odds and Ends

-This promo for FXX’s marathon of The Simpsons imagines apocalyptic ramifications for the event (video above). link

-Deep Focus promoted Ken Kraemer to chief creative officer and Matt Steinwald to group creative director. link

-Chicago-based hybrid advertising and entertainment shop Super Genius produced a new TV show called “Garage Squad,” which premieres August 1st on The Velocity Channel.

-Foursquare unveils new logo. link

-McDonald’s focuses on digital initiatives with an “aggressive sense of urgency.” link

-Survey shows CMO compensation tied to C-suite alliances. link

W+K NY Taps Fred Armisen in Latest for Heineken

You can hardly blame people for not wanting to participate in Heineken’s latest “social experiment” for the brand’s “Routine Interruptions” campaign.

The spot, by W+K New York, sees Fred Armisen anonymously call a payphone and ask whoever picks up to come across the street. Of the thousands called, only five obliged the request, and those who did joined Armisen onstate at The Comedy Cellar (the New York City comedy club most well known from its inclusion in FX’s Louie). It’s a strange approach, but makes a little more sense in the context of Heineken’s “Routine Interruptions” series, which attempts to pull city dwellers out of their usual routines for an adventurous night. Still, the 90 second spot doesn’t do a lot to sell Heineken, as if it weren’t for the logo at the end there would be nothing to tie it to the brand.

“We believe that it’s not just by shouting loud and clear the brand name or brand image that you are going to get consumer engagement,” Heineken USA Chief Marketing Officer Nuno Teles told AdAge. “It’s far more important to share the brand point of view and to engage the consumer through the content.”

Tribal Worldwide Shows ‘How to Dad’ for Peanut Butter Cheerios

Tribal Worldwide, Toronto has a new Canadian online campaign for Peanut Butter Cheerios illustrating “How to Dad.”

The father in the spot is a welcome departure from the idiotic paternal human punchlines still typical in advertising. He gives a quick, ADD style lecture on fathering while touring his house, after being awoken by his son modeling his new horse mask (which he reacts to remarkably well). The product integration is at times a bit awkward, the word “awesome” appears too many times (including twice in one sentence in the line “Because being a dad is awesome, just like new Peanut Butter Cheerios are awesome,”delivered near the spot’s conclusion) and the ending really takes the goofiness level over the top. Still, it’s nice to see dads represented this way, so we’ll chalk it up as a step in the right direction and a sign that perhaps the idiot dad stereotype is finally on its way out.

The campaign also features a Tumblr with fathering advice for those who want to step up their dad game and a #HowToDad hashtag which the brand hopes will generate discussion amongst paternal consumers. Stick around for credits after the jump. Read more

Ogilvy & Mather Embarks on ‘Journey to Extraordinary’ for Holiday Inn

Ogilvy & Mather, New York’s latest campaign for The Holiday Inn examines the inspirational stories of individuals who have made the “Journey to Extraordinary” in a series of web documentaries.

The first in the series explores the story of Scott Rigsby, a double-amputee who was told by doctors at the age of eighteen that he would never run again. Not only did Scott prove the doctors wrong, he went on to become a marathoner, tri-athlete, world record holder, author and motivational speaker. A certain Panama City Holiday Inn location played an important role in his story, keeping Scott from homelessness, and the 3:30 video focuses on Scott’s recovery while staying there and his friendship with hotel owner Julie Hilton.

The “Journey to Extraordinary” series will continue over the course of the summer and into the fall, with a new documentary added weekly via the brand’s Tumblr, Facebook, and Twitter  pages, as well as on YouTube. Stick around for credits after the jump. Read more

Is Arnold Really Selling Its Emmy?

00808_aRwEs3IZ6bY_600x450It appears from a Craigslist post that Boston-based agency Arnold is selling its Emmy Award as part of the agency’s moving sale.

If the post, which points out the award is the real deal and “not a crappy Daytime one” is not a joke, the agency is looking “to place every item in the Arnold Moving Sale with a home that truly wants it” and that includes their Emmy Award. If you’re interested in picking up an Emmy, Arnold suggests you “send us a photo of the perfect spot for it, write us a vaguely threatening email — do whatever you want to show us that you and it were meant to be together. If you’re lucky, we’ll agree with you.”

The way they’re treating the award, you’d think it was a Grammy.

Pinterest Hires Unilever Marketer as Head of Brand

149dfb4Pinterest has hired David Rubin as the company’s new head of brand, Adweek reports. “He will lead Pinterest’s global brand marketing, helping define the company’s brand strategy, identify key audiences and manage its marketing initiatives,” the company said yesterday.

Rubin arrives at Pinterest from Unilever, where he has worked since 1999. He most recently served as vice president in charge of marketing hair care products and is most well-known for his work on Axe.

The move is just the latest from Pinterest as the company attempts grow its marketing business to compete with other social services like Twitter and Facebook. Pinterest recently added promoted pins, allowing brands a kind of DIY advertising platform through the social service. They’ve also beefed up their measurement tools and back in May hired Twitter veteran Lisa Manowitz as head of partnerships. The leap to effective marketing has proven a difficult one for social media sites, and Rubin will have his work cut out for him with competition from major players like Facebook and Twitter.

Wunderman Taps NBA Marketing Exec Jamie Gallo

Jamie Gallo copyWunderman has announced the hiring of Jamie Gallo as president of its New York office, “responsible for delivering the full spectrum of Wunderman’s brand experience, customer engagement, data and analytics, and World Health offerings to clients and prospects.” He will report to Wunderman North america President Kass Sells.

Gallo arrives at Wunderman from the NBA, where he was executive vice president, global marketing. During his tenure he helped rebrand the WNBA, led social media initiative and increased online sales of tickets and branded merchandise. Prior to the NBA, Gallo was president of TBWA\Chiat\Day in New York, working with clients such as Nissan, Pepsi, Absolut, Accenture and GSK.

In his new position, Gallo will work with such high profile brands as Best Buy, Citibank, Coca-Cola, Land Rover, Marriott and United Airlines. He has identified finding additional talent to work alongside Wunderman global creative director Lincoln Bjorkman as a top priority. Read more

Wednesday Morning Stir


-At The Drum Live, agencies were challenged to respond to a creative brief from Unilver in just a few hours (video above). link

-The most hated social media company is… link

-Chief happiness officer is the newest, creepiest job in corporate America. link

-Huge redesigns Zumba’s website. link

-Millenial moms rely on recommendations from peers “far more than traditional advertising.” link

-Target’s new app makes its print ads shoppable. link

Tuesday Odds and Ends


-W+K, ESPN released the outtakes from the recent Metallica “This is SportsCenter” ad (video above).

-Heavy metal seems to be a common punchline for advertisers lately. link

-Audience-targeted television advertising company Simulmedia announced the hiring of Mark Green in the newly-created position of senior vice president, product strategy. link

-London-based production and animation company Not To Scale has added Chatswood, Australia-based team Mirari (director Jimmy Yuan and producer Michelle Xie) to its directorial roster. link

-Michelle Phan sued over music rights by electronic dance music label Ultra. link

-Iris Mobile announced today that it has been named the Mobile Messaging Agency of Record for Wet Seal.

One Twenty Three West Trades Montana’s BBQ for Goods/Services

What can you pay for with barbecue?

A massage, yoga and MMA lessons, flowers and a psychic reading, at least according to One Two Three West’s new spot for Montana’s Cookhouse & Bar. The agency supposedly only paid for the actor/host, while the rest of the people in the spot are real employees of businesses with whom they bartered barbecue for goods and services. They do add some believability by showing some people refuse the transaction, and if hungry and presented with a big plate of barbecue goodness it’s not hard to imagine agreeing to such a bargain. It’s a clever idea, regardless of authenticity, although they certainly could have trimmed some of the fat off the spot’s two minutes. “Paid For In BBQ” will run “in cinemas across Canada, on TSN and online pre-roll,” with a number of smaller spots showing the individual transactions hosted on the brand’s Facebook and Twitter pages.

“We thought the best way to create awareness of the new Best of BBQ Sampler Event at Montana’s would be to literally bring the BBQ food to people in a creative way,” said Scot Keith, founder and managing director, One Twenty Three West. “It allowed us to create a number of great content opportunities and was a lot of fun to do.”

Stick around for “MMA Paid For In BBQ” and “Psychic Reading Paid For In BBQ,” along with credits, after the jump. Read more

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