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Patrick Coffee

I write stuff for Mediabistro and NYMag.com, do freelance consulting work, and waste time on Twitter. You can send me pitches at patrick (at) mediabistro (dot) com or use the anonymous tip box.

Sprint Confirms Deutsch Win

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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.

Biggest Posts of the Past 7 Days

Holiday Card Roundup, Part 2: Ugly Sweaters, Murals, Drones and More

It seems like we just finished the first round of our 2014 agency holiday card review, doesn’t it?

In this latest edition of the holiday roundup, we start with DigitasLBi, which played on an evergreen theme by asking users, “Which ugly holiday sweater are you?

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We were the “Free Dickie,” though we do find ourselves to be pretty damn predictable. The page is worth a visit for the questions, but the disapproving looks from someone’s “knitting expert” grandma are even better. Most importantly, Digitas donates to Goodwill every time someone completes the quiz.

After the jump, Austin’s GSD&M team up with an indie legend.

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W+K New York, Delta Airlines Give Back for Christmas

In the spirit of the season, Wieden+Kennedy’s latest for Delta Airlines launched today.

Here’s the story behind the spot: the client followed up on its Fall “No Bag Left Behind” by creating a limited run of the starring bear bag for Children’s Miracle Network. A team of pilots and flight attendants then filled dozens of the bags with presents and delivered them to kids at Scottish Rite Hospital for children in Atlanta.

The result was this spot:

Don’t try to tell us that you weren’t moved.

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Rauxa Shows Off Dentegra’s Great Teeth

Dental insurance providers are certainly not the most colorful clients on paper. But Rauxa’s goal in this newest campaign for client Dentegra was to create spots that are “absolutely nothing like traditional dental insurance ads.”

The agency tells us that the campaign is getting more attention than your average promotion for such a staid industry; it’s definitely all over the place, but it all falls under the tagline “With Great Teeth, Anything Is Possible.”

Here’s the first spot:

Three more after the jump.

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McCann Takes Its Vitamins

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Following Bayer’s assignment of its newly acquired pharma brands to JWT and BBDO earlier this week, another big OTC name has made an agency shift: McCann will be AOR for the vitamin side of RB, formerly Reckitt Benckiser, moving forward.

The British RB owns quite a few familiar brands (Durex, Clearasil, Scholl, etc.), but its “vitamins, minerals and supplements” unit includes, most prominently, Airborne and products like “MegaRed®, number 1 in the healthy heart segment, Move Free® the number 2 in joint care,” which the company has owned since its 2012 acquisition of Schiff Nutrition.

From the McCann press release:

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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 Corporation, 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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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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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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Three Agencies Hold Shootout at Golden Corral

In what our friends at Adweek are calling a trend, three agencies are currently involved in a review for the Golden Corral account: Mullen, Merkley + Partners and VIA.

Adweek compares the review to two recent “casual dining” wins (TBWA’s Buffalo Wild Wings score and Panera’s move from Cramer-Krasselt to Anomaly, but not Publicis’ Red Lobster account) and quotes a spokesperson saying that a decision “could come as early as this week.”

The account is not as small as one might think: the chain spent $55M on media last year.

Here’s its latest spot, starring a fairly standard augmented food lineup:

While Golden Corral has worked with Horizon Media on the buying front for some time and will continue to do so, the chain did not mention a creative AOR on any of its recent campaigns.

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