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W+K Lands Weight Watchers

Weight WatchersWeight Watchers, a McCann Erickson New York client for the past seven years who spends roughly $150 million on measured media annually, has switched agencies to Wieden+Kennedy, Adweek reports.

According to Adweek, the move came without any agency review. Lesya Lysyi, the Weight Watchers president who took over this past November, worked with W+K as chief marketing officer at Heineken USA. Adweek also wrote that “it’s not immediately clear how this appointment will affect Weight Watchers’ digital agency, Ogilvy & Mather,” noting that Weight Watchers appointed Dan Crowe chief technology officer at the same time Lysyi became president.

The latest in McCann’s line of celebrity-centered work for Weight Watchers, as you may remember, featured Jessica Simpson.

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Storytelling for Media ProfessionalsStarting April 22, this in-person workshop will teach you the specific ways to incorporate storytelling into your personal and professional life. Students will examine the role of storytelling in business and put their newfound skills into practice with a series of improvisation, writing, and presentation exercises designed to help them uncover personal stories. Register now! 

Martin Williams Launches Kill Kancer for Mary Beth Mueller

Minneapolis-based agency Martin Williams, fresh off rebranding Mall of America, has teamed up with Mary Beth Mueller (widow of Soul Asylum bassist Karl Mueller) in a campaign launching Kill Kancer, “a nonprofit aimed to raise awareness for preventable types of cancer.”

Following her husband’s death approximately nine years ago, Mueller started The Karl Fund at the University of Minnesota “to support breakthrough cancer research.” Kill Kancer is an extension of The Karl Fund, “a nonprofit positioned to inform the younger generation to take proactive measures on preventing cancer.”

“Cancer is the leading cause of death in Minnesota and since I have been personally affected by the terrible disease, I’ve made it my life’s mission to support the fight. After much research, I found there is a lot information on diagnosing cancer but limited information about prevention,” explained Mueller. “Through Kill Kancer, I hope to give our younger generation information that is useful to them concerning prevention as well as an outlet to have open dialogue about the illness.”

The backbone of Martin Williams’ campaign is the Kill Kancer website the team designed providing cancer prevention information and a community portal where visitors can post content. At the center of the site (and the campaign) is the above video, directed by Dan Huiting. The video features appearances from Minneapolis-based artists such as Slug from Atmosphere, Ashley Dubose from NBC’s “The Voice,” street artist HOTTEA, and rapper/community activist and teacher Toki Wright. Martin Williams will also be hosting a benefit concert for Kill Kancer today at The Cedar Cultural Center, including performances by by Dave Pirner of Soul Asylum, Silverback Colony, Communist Daughter, Willie Murphy & Special Guests, and Taj Raj. Irksome intentional misspelling of “Kancer” aside, this is an important campaign that differs from countless other cancer awareness campaigns by providing important information about preventative measures people can take to reduce the risk of certain cancers. Since most people don’t even realize there are cancer prevention methods, this is an invaluable cause that could do a lot of good.

“Pro Bono work is extremely important to us,” said Tom Moudry, CEO and chief creative officer, Martin Williams. “Working on Kill Kancer from the ground up has been an unforgettable experience, especially for someone who gave the Minneapolis music scene so much and was such a lovely guy.”

BooneOakley Pits Master Vs. Master for Bojangles

Charlotte full-service independent agency BooneOakley created a new campaign for Bojangles’ Restaurants, the first spot of which stars recent Master’s champion Bubba Watson.

The spot, created to promote Bojangles’ breakfast offerings, is meant to give a “a public face to Bojangles’ internal biscuit-quality efforts.” Apparently, every Bojangles location has an official “Biscuit Maker,” who has undergone at least 40 hours of training for the position, on staff. (For some reason, they don’t mention this in the ad.) The 30-second broadcast spot pits one of these biscuit makers against Bubba Watson in a celebrity competition parody (wakka wakka). Watson kneads his dough with his driver before launching the biscuits toward the oven. At the end of the ad, Watson tees off on a completed biscuit, causing it to explode  — according to BooneOakley’s PR team, this was done at Watson’s insistence.

The second spot in the campaign will run in late spring/early summer and feature sportsfisherman Guy Eaker of the Bass Master series (you can’t wait, right?), with future celebrity spots in the campaign undetermined. Brief credits after the jump. Read more

Sid Lee Stokes Northern Pride for Raptors

Just in time for the playoffs, Sid Lee has launched a new spot for the Toronto Raptors which the Starks could totally get behind (there’s even a wolf). The new spot stokes fans’ anticipation of the upcoming games and northern pride with the tagline, “#WeTheNorth.”

The 60-second, Stark-approved spot starts with the line “We the north: In many ways we’re in a league of our own; one step removed; just beyond the boundaries…” and uses the Raptors’ distance from other NBA teams as a point of pride, a rallying call. “If that makes us outsiders, we’re in,” concludes the voiceover before a “Let’s go Raptors” chant emerges from the background. “#WeTheNorth,” which just launched yesterday, is part of a larger rebranding effort for the Raptors. If fans weren’t already excited for the Raptors’ bid in the NBA playoffs (starting tomorrow, against the Nets), the well-produced spot, which mixes game footage with stylized shots of a snowy Canada, should do its part to psyche them up. Credits after the jump.  Read more

Bonfire Labs Adds Three Top-Level Hires

Tim PriesJohn_Hunt_5 copyJudy Leung

Creative content agency Bonfire Labs continues its growth with the addition of three top-level hires: executive producer Tim Pries, producer John Hunt and designer Judy Leung. The company, which grew by 33% last year, sees the hires as a means “to accommodate burgeoning client demand and enhance its staff infrastructure.”

Executive producer Tim Pries is already a familiar face around Bonfire Labs, having worked with many of the Bonfire crew throughout his career. His most recent collaboration came while he was an executive producer at Google’s Brand Studio. Before that position, Pries served as executive producer at Goodby, Silverstein & Partners’ post/motion division, eLevel, where he worked alongside several Bonfire alums creating work for the likes of TDAmeritrade, Chevy, Sprint, HP, Adobe, Cisco, YouTube, NBA and Comcast. He began his career at the San Francisco based VFX studio, Radium.

John Hunt arrives at Bonfire following eight seasons as a live-action producer on the Discovery Channel’s MythBusters. His resume also includes work on Emmy Award-winning legal drama The Practice, and showson FOX, Animal Planet, and Australia’s Nine Network. In addition, Hunt “has been a presenter on educational programming at the National Science Teachers Association Conference, and produced digital media for Discovery in partnership with General Electric.”

Judy Leung “is accomplished in multiple design disciplines, ranging from graphic design and typography through to photo color correction and retouching.” She has previously worked with the Pacifica Chamber of Commerce, Hyphen Magazine and as a team lead for Minted.

“We are pleased to add these uniquely talented individuals to the roster of talent already at Bonfire Labs,” said Bonfire Labs’ managing director Jim Bartel. “Each of them will make a valuable contribution as we continue to leverage our unique position in the industry.”

RPA Shows off Mandalay Bay with ‘Resortist’ Extension

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RPA has a new print and outdoor campaign for Mandalay Bay, extending their “Resortist” campaign.

The campaign strategy “is to further differentiate the resort by injecting the advertising executions with new electricity in a welcoming way befitting of a 120-acre resort.”

Read more

House of Radon Takes Electrolux’s Tumblr Live

Stockholm-based creative agency House of Radon is taking Electrolux‘s food-based Tumblr, “Now We’re Cooking,” live this April 22-24th for its over one million followers.

The agency will be live-streaming 15 different recipes from an early breakfast to a bedtime snack. It will have the “same look and feel” the site normally maintains, but with the difference that everything is being done live, with creatives grading everything in real time. This is no small venture, as “Over 1,000 props will be used to style all dishes and approximately 100 different “Now You’re Cooking” posters will be used in the live-stream.” Check out the teaser above for a glimpse of the campaign, and head on over to “Now We’re Cooking” on April 22nd to see how House of Radon pulls it off. Stick around for credits after the jump. Read more

Victors & Spoils Goes Traditional with New Work for Bank Midwest

Victors & Spoils eschews crowdsourcing or digital aspects for their new campaign for Bank Midwest.

Centered around a few television spots,  the campaign emphasizes the human side of Bank Midwest.  The above spot “Listening” focuses on a bank worker on the phone with a client, saying things like “okay” and “uh-huh” before the word “Listening” comes on the screen, accompanied by triumphant music. It’s meant to show that in today’s environment, an actual human listening to you at a bank seems revolutionary. Clearly, this campaign is targeted at an older audience than Victors & Spoils typical work, which explains the more traditional approach. The spots “Knowing Your Name” and “Answering The Phone” follow a similar approach. The campaign, which started running in Colorado and Kansas this week, also includes billboards with simple messages, such as “Listening!” and “Mortgage Experts Who Listen.”

“In a time when so many businesses have stopped focusing on consumers, it’s really exciting that we get to help celebrate the fact that our client, NBH Bank, N.A., still treats people like people. This makes for some pretty revolutionary work,” explained Victor & Spoils Creative Director Chris Cima.

For a campaign described as “revolutionary,” though, the strategy sure calls to mind Tierney’s work for TD Bank in their “Human Truths” and “Bank Human” campaigns. Stick around for “Knowing Your Name” and “Answering The Phone” after the jump. Read more

Arnold Worldwide Introduces Brushing Chews for Milk-Bone

Arnold Worldwide has a new campaign launching the new Brushing Chews for Milk-Bone, which feature “a patented shape that has been developed over the past three years, earning them the trusted Veterinary Oral Health Council’s (VOHC) seal of approval.”

To introduce the new product, Arnold keeps it simple, telling the story of a man and his dog (Ted and Rudy), and explaining how their new Milk-Bone Brushing Biscuit is designed to work as well as a toothbrush to keep dogs’ teeth clean. Because no one wants to brush their dog’s teeth, this is a pretty effective selling point. Ted and Rudy’s story extends beyond the broadcast spot above to a series of online videos, all set against the red backdrop matching Milk-Bone’s packaging, and following roughly the same formula. The campaign strategy is based on the insight that “The more you care for your dog, the happier and healthier he’ll be.” Ted and Rudy’s relationship is intended to to be “funny and adorable” but arrives at something closer to “hokey, but kind of cute.”

“They’re very much a classic comedy duo, with Rudy being the straight man and Ted as the accidental comedian,” explains Arnold creative director Tristan Kincaid. “We put them on a bright red background to give them a simple but visually striking stage for them to tell their stories.”

The campaign also includes social elements, with each of the six online videos (which act as pre-roll video assets on sites including Hulu, AOL, Discovery, TubeMogul and Yahoo) featuring an end card driving traffic to Milk-Bone’s Facebook page. Future social posts will also include Instagram and Twitter. Stick around for credits and a pair of online spots after the jump. Read more

ROKKAN Hires from R/GA and MRY, Launches New Media Offering

rokkan

Publicis Groupe’s ROKKAN has officially launched its new media planning/buying offering, hiring three industry vets in the process:

  • Sean Miller, who will lead the entire strategy department in the SVP role, most recently worked in the strategy/planning department at R/GA New York.
  • Lindsay Williams will lead the offering as VP of media and analytics. She joins the agency from Estee Lauder, where she was global brand director; prior to that role she worked with several clients at Razorfish.
  • Joe Meanor will serve as VP of client partnership. He joins ROKKAN from MRY, where he worked as group director.

CEO/managing partner John Noe explains the offering’s purpose:

“Media is actually something we’ve been doing for several of our clients over the last couple of years, albeit in a bit of an ad-hoc fashion.”

As client requests for paid services increased, Noe and team decided to launch the new offering, which is less an independent unit than a “natural progression” of the agency’s existing services.

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