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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.”

Tuesday Morning Stir


-Aardman Animations created a 70-second spot entitled “Brigitte, Bruno and Ben” for Bristol microfinance charity Deki (video above)

-Two master colorists and a veteran executive producer joined forces to launch Apache Digital, a color-only specialist house in Santa Monica. link

-Yahoo purchases mobile analytics firm Flurry. link

-Mobile ad spending jumps, still trails user growth. link

-Target uses YouTube stars to market to millenials. link

-Facebook’s acquisition of Occulus Rift is complete. link

-USA Swimming attempts to get more youngsters into the pool with new campaign. link

Monday Odds and Ends


-Anomally gets dramatic for Dick’s Sporting Goods (video above). link

-Numerous tipsters and commenters pointed out the similarities between Grip Limited’s “The Waiting Game” for Taco Bell and Rajeev Basu‘s award-winning “Waiting in Line 3D” from last year. Ad ripoff? Let us know what you think in the comments section.

-Weird Al‘s guide to modern marketing. link

-Tribal Worldwide, London unveils a new website for Fitness First. link

-New York-based integrated marketing services holding company The CHR Group, announced that it has acquired EmeryMartin Consulting and appointed Betsy Emery Martin chairman of The CHR Group’s digital practice. link

-Bicoastal music shop Butter Music and Sound has signed senior composer/creative director Mike MacAllister. link

-Independent agency Giant Spoon announced today the addition of Mikael Greenlief and Caleb Smith as senior strategists.

The Barbarian Group Adds CFO, Head of Account Management

Barbarian-Group

Digital shop The Barbarian Group has announced the addition of Alex White as chief financial officer and Sherri Chambers as head of account management, Adweek reports. Both are new positions at the agency. White and Chambers report to CEO Sophie Kelly, who took over for co-founder Benjamin Palmer last October.

White joined July 1st, and is responsible for “financial and strategic planning, managing and negotiating client contracts and implementing a new financial infrastructure.” He was a consultant CFO at Loveurope before forming his own consultancy, Rawcliffe, last June. He has also served stints as CFO for Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe/Y&R, Grey Global Group and McCann Erickson.

Chambers most recently served as a global business director at JWT New York, following a stint as group brand director at 72andSunny. She has also worked at Goodby, Silverstein & Partners and Strawberryfrog. Chambers began her new role today and is responsible for overseeing the management of all accounts, with the stated goal of “expanding existing relationships.”

“The combination of Alex’s sharp financial acumen and Sherri’s proven track record in client relations will complement the agency’s executive team as we strengthen our focus on business development,” said Kelly, in a statement.

Energy BBDO Imagines a ‘Smaller World’ for Rosetta Stone

Energy BBDO created a new anthem ad for Rosetta Stone entitled “Create a Smaller World.”

As the title suggests, the 60-second spot imagines how much smaller the world would seem if everyone learned, “just one more language.” According to the spot, “unlikely conversations would be likely,” “strangers would be friends,” and “collaboration would be king.” While the execution stumbles at times, it’s a good idea well tied to the brand’s message. It’s not too hard to imagine someone who has been toying with the idea of picking up a language being inspired to do so by the ad. Whether that will lead them to shell out the considerable cost for Rosetta Stone, however, is another matter, with the company banking on hooking people with a free three day trial offer. Credits after the jump. Read more

TBWA Hunt Lascaris Encourages Youth Travel for Student Flights

TBWA Hunt Lascaris has a new campaign for Student Flights promoting youth travel with the message, “Travel Before it’s Not Fun Anymore.”

The campaign features two funny spots showing grandparents out of their element in more youth-friendly travel destinations: Bangkok and Amsterdam. In “Grandpa,” featured above, an elderly man somehow finds himself at a Thai strip club. He incredulously (and suggestively) holds a ping pong ball, while uncomfortably sizing up his surroundings. The spot manages to do a lot with a little, finding humor in its suggestive content and the perfect expression on the man’s face.

Perhaps even more effective is “Grandma,”  which manages the same accomplishment. It shows a grandmother in an Amsterdam coffee house, who is very clearly stoned out of her mind (which has probably worked wonders for her rheumatoid arthritis). The situation makes for a really funny 30-second spot, despite a complete lack of dialogue and little going on aside from the grandmother. Stick around for “Grandma” and credits after the jump. Read more

Starcom Defends in A-B InBev Review

Starcom-MediaVest

Starcom, which is in already in the process of defending global media duties on Samsung, is now also defending in a review of Anheuser-Busch InBev’s U.S. business, Adweek reports.

Starcom has handled media planning and research for Anheuser-Busch InBev since November of 2011. Anheuser-Busch InBev began contacting agencies back in April, so the move doesn’t come as a surprise. It does, however, pose a challenge for the agency as they attempt to defend on two reviews for large clients simultaneously. Starcom was, on the other hand, selected as media planning and buying agency of record for Choose Chicago at around the same time. Read more

Monday Morning Stir

-Carlton Draught re-aired this cheesy 80s commercial to go along with the brand’s throwback 70s can design for its 150th anniversary (video above). link

-Facebook tests buy button for e-commerce purchases. link

-Seven ways brands are failing at sponsored social. link

-EE and Age UK have partnered to launch Techy Tea Party Day, “a nationwide campaign which aims to tackle ‘digital exclusion’ among the older generation.” link

-Study finds that determining ad ROI, attribution is nearly impossible. link

-The best social media campaigns of 2014. link

Friday Odds and Ends

-Mr. Sketch reveals the secret to scented markers (video above).

-Affinity Credit Union advises you not to give your money to a fat cat. link

-AdAge names new deputy managing editor. link

-Airbnb generates online buzz from suggestive new logo. link

-Yahoo’s advertising problems in five charts. link

-Twitter has announced the acquisition of CardSpring, “a platform that allows developers to create electronic coupons, loyalty cards and virtual currencies which all work with credit cards.” link

-Global strategic branding firm Siegel+Gale announced the appointment of Kevin Grady to global head of content and design today. link

Three Agencies Compete for Tic-Tac’s Creative Business

img-thingFerrero U.S.A. “is in the late stages of a creative review for its Tic Tac brand,” Adweek reports, with three agencies awaiting a selection from the brand according to the publication’s sources.

Omnicom Group’s Merkley + Partners is purportedly defending against two unidentified agencies. The review is for the brand’s creative business, with media responsibilities remaining with PHD, also an Onicom unit. Merkley + Partners has held creative duties for Tic Tac since 2004, expanding their role in 2007 to include digital and advertising on new Tic Tac flavors.

According to Kantar Media, Tic Tac’s media spending approached $14 million last year. Ferrro U.S.A.’s spending reached around $55 million, including its popular Ferrero Rocher chocolate and Nutella brands.

Wongdoody Channels Cartman for Coffee Bean

Wongdoody has launched a new campaign for The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, their first for the beverage retailer, and the brand’s largest campaign to date.

A 30-second online spot entitled “Cool Kew” (featured above), debuted late last month. It consists almost entirely of an argument between two guys on whether their drinks are “cool” or “kew” (a pronunciation they clearly stole from Eric Cartman). You think their argument is finally over around the 20 second mark, but it just starts up again, in an attempt to find humor in audience expectations that really doesn’t work. There’s also a 15-second version of the spot (which makes sense) and an extended 90-second version (which does not).

More interesting is the campaign’s Instagram component, called #PurpleStrawCam, which encourages consumers to cut off a piece of their purple Coffee Bean straw to use as a makeshift camera filter and submit the results to The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf’s Instagram page. The purple straw creates an unusual effect and contributes to some interesting photos. The campaign also includes Pinterest, Vine and other social components, as well as outdoor and radio.

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