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Shawn Paul Wood

Shawn Paul Wood is a PR executive, copywriter and online strategist with more than 20 years’ experience in the field, with 12 of those years as an on-air host and radio news director. In his "free time," he also writes for Talent Zoo‘s Flack Me blog, PR News' Insider, as well as writes and edits for national blog Through The Fence Baseball. For more about SPW, follow him on Twitter @ShawnPaulWood or his agency @WoodworksComms.

Rooster CCO Takes Leave Amid Possible Boycott Over Transphobia

Yes, everyone has the right to an opinion. Many of them, in fact. And yet, the airing of those opinions in public may have adverse effects on one’s career. Who knew?!

Gavin McInnes, chief creative officer of Rooster in New York, has been asked to take “an indefinite leave of absence” following the publication of a post he wrote on transphobia — or fear of transgender people — and how it is, of course, the most “natural” thing in all the world.

Although the post is still available online in various places, the fact that this is what happens when you click on the main link to Thought Catalog hints at the problem behind McInnes’ post:

CCO Rooster Tumblr Post

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Saatchi LA, Busta Rhymes Remix the ‘Swagger Wagon’ for Toyota

Do not adjust your monitors: Busta Rhymes is repping Toyota.

In July, we discussed the automotive industry’s desire to distance itself from the famous “Soccer Mom” demographic. The solution to that problem came, in this case, via Mr. Trevor Tahiem Smith, Jr. and the proven “white people rapping” formula:

While the video does have more than half a million views at the moment, it has yet to approach the levels of its predecessor, which earned 12.5 million clicks and qualified as a runaway success.

The spot will certainly get your attention, but various publications have offered their opinions on its merits – and you may be surprised to learn that they are, for the most part, somewhat critical.

The New York Times Goes to Pot

cannabis leafly

Last week, The New York Times inspired a media ballyhoo when its editorial board asked the U.S. government to lift its ban on marijuana. Beyond inspiring the obvious headlines, that clarion call to legalize pot did something else — it opened the door for a newly formed industry to promote its wares with paid ads.

Leafly, the organization known as “Yelp for Weed”, walked right through those doors with a full-page spot by Heckler Associates of Seattle promoting its mission: to further related educational efforts under the tagline “Just Say Know.”

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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.

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.

Kraft No Longer with Anomaly Toronto

kraft_mac_cheeseKraft Canada wants to make more folks north of the border eat Mac n’ Cheese. In order to achieve this goal, the company took its business from TAXI Canada to Anomaly Toronto a few months ago.

The key word in that partnership was “fun“, which served as the basis of a new, “wacky” campaign designed to “rekindle memories of a happy childhood.”

Now the brand has had a change of heart.

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White Castle Serves Up an Agency Review for the First Time Since 2009

white-castle-304Speaking of meats…for the past five years, Ft. Lauderdale’s  Zimmerman has been creative AOR for the iconic White Castle brand. Before 2009, JWT lead all White Castle creative for 15 years.

Now AdAge tells us that White Castle is shopping again.

Incumbent Zimmerman is still in the running, and the report gives us little in the way of details regarding other candidates. Here’s this word from the home of the Slider:

“We always look at all of our partners on a regular basis, every five to seven years,” said Kim Bartley, White Castle VP-marketing and menu development. The marketer issued a request for proposals to agencies in June and has seven shops in the running, she said. It plans to make a decision by October.

The review comes five months after Grey won the Papa John’s account.

Dulcolax, McCann Health Make 2014′s ‘Crappiest’ Ad to Date

dulcolax-01-2014

At first glance, this spot looks like a scene from The BoxTrolls with the titular characters sitting around a rabbit hole or a spot where a friendly campfire used to be.

Note the tagline “Only you can set them free”. Yes, this is a Dulcolax ad and those guys are poops looking for a way out of some lucky soul’s small intestine.

McCann Health in Shanghai are the culprits masterminds behind this constipation of visuals. According to Adweek, it ran in Singapore newspapers and bus shelters.

 ”Instead of approaching the dramatization from the patient’s [point of view], we approached it from the excrement’s.”

Those with long memories may recall that this isn’t the first time Dulcolax has made a poop joke…

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McDonald’s Has 18 Months to Rebrand…or Else

mcdonalds

A report from Bloomberg’s BusinessWeek tells us that McDonald’s is “setting aside the next 18 months as a period not only to develop the normal lineup of new menu items but also to rebrand itself”. The goal is to change its image from cheap, fast food to something approaching fine(r) dining.

On its last earnings call, McDonald’s CEO Don Thompson said the goal of this soul searching is for the Golden Arches to become “a more trusted and respected brand.”

The implications for current partners DDB and Leo Burnett are less clear.

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eBay Hires WPP’s MediaCom and Omnicom’s Goodby for Support

ebay

In April, eBay began looking to revamp its brand and image. The online clearinghouse put out a review not for an agency of record but for shops to work on a global brand project (which speaks to last week’s conversation on the state of the AOR).

eBay found two agencies to fit the bill: WPP’s MediaCom and Omnicom’s Goodby, Silverstein and Partners. The two will act in much-needed supportive roles to handle media and creative.

Surprisingly, the agencies released no celebratory comment. We do have this from eBay to AdAge:

“As our brand evolves, we’re constantly looking for new ways to inspire and engage our buyers and sellers around the world. We have recently engaged Goodby Silverstein and Partners and Mediacom as one of our agency partners to help us explore how to continue telling the story of eBay.”

The company spent $51 million on U.S. measured media last year; this total includes spending for subsidiaries PayPal and StubHub.

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