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Sid Lee Announces New Creative Leadership

Tom and Jeffrey

Sid Lee has announced the promotions of Tom Koukodimos and Jeffrey DaSilva to the positions of executive creative directors, jointly taking creative leadership of the agency’s Toronto office. Koukodimos and DaSilva have served as creative directors at Sid Lee since arriving in 2012 and 2013, respectively. Executive Creative Director Dave Roberts is leaving Sid Lee Toronto after four years, in order to return to Sid Lee Montreal for a new global assignment.

Tom and Jeffrey were behind such recent work as the “We the North” campaign for the Toronto Raptors and “It’s a Bloody Big Deal” for Toronto FC. In their new positions, the pair will oversee creative leadership on all Toronto accounts, including Coca Cola Canada, Maple Leafs Sports & Entertainment, Post Media, Google Canada, Marks, Sport Chek, PC Financial and TJX Canada.

Prior to joining Sid Lee, Tom was a creative director at Cossette, working on McDonald’s. Jeffrey worked on Google at Mullen in Boston before returning to Canada to join Sid Lee in 2013. Read more

The ‘World’s Smartest Creative Agency’ Is…

anxious ad creative

So WARC, or the UK-based World Advertising Research Center, released a list today. WARC, for those who don’t know it, describes itself as “an online service offering advertising best practice, evidence and insights from the world’s leading brands.”

The “WARC 100″ is an annual compendium of “the world’s 100 best campaigns and companies, based on their performance in effectiveness and strategy competitions”. In other words, the organization assigns value to award-winning ads via a not-quite secret methodology in order to determine which campaigns and agencies were “smartest.”

On to the results: Omnicom defeated WPP in the “smartest holding company in the world” category, so we eagerly await Sir Sorrell’s response.

You’re more interested in creative, though, so here’s the list.

And the winner is…

Read more

Innocean Debuts New Work for NRG

NRG recently announced that the energy company has chosen Innocean as its full-service advertising partner, and the agency debuted its first campaign for the brand in time for the opening of the NFL season.

Its 30-second broadcast spot imagines an old-time football team — complete with leather helmets — preparing to take on the (modern day) Philadelphia Eagles. “Let’s go out there and give ‘em heck,” says the team’s captain, adding “We’re going to go out there and really give them the business.” When the team, emerges from the locker room and sees their competitors, however, they quickly turn and run. “The old game just can’t compete,” says the voiceover, “especially when it comes to energy. Solar power is here.”

It’s not a bad analogy for old forms of energy, many of which have been around since the leather helmet days, in comparison with clean solar energy. The basic concept and approach also seem pretty adaptable to future applications, so more in this same vein from Innocean in the future.

“NRG chose Innocean because they understood that we aren’t bound by convention,” said Brad Fogel, chief operating officer, Innocean USA. “We are young and agile enough to break rules and create a spot-on integrated brand campaign that shows consumers, you actually have a choice in who you want to supply the energy to power up your day-to-day lives. And if you have that choice, why don’t you choose a company that believes in doing the right thing instead of the same thing?”

Read more

Havas Worldwide Introduces ‘The Breath Holder’ in Clever PSA

Havas Worldwide, Helsinki has launched a new PSA entitled “The Breath Holder.”

In it, we see a young kid practicing holding his breath. Each time, he seems to make it a bit longer, and keeps track of his times. At first it may seem like he’s doing this out of boredom, or perhaps to make a go at the record, but his real reason is revealed at the conclusion of the spot. We won’t give anything away, but you can check out the clever 60-second spot for yourself above. Read more

Publicis Seattle Highlights Les Schwab’s Customer Service


Publicis Seattle has released two new ads for family-owned tire chain Les Schwab highlighting the company’s dedication to customer service.

Publicis Seattle created the two television spots based on real-life customer stories. Each ad features the customer reading their letter to Les Schwab, praising the exceptional customer service they received. In “Stranded Nanny,” for example, a woman tells the story of how her car broke down on her way home from work. She knocked on a door asking for help, and the man who answered happened to own a local Les Schwab. He fixed her car, without pay, and she was quickly on her way.

The other spot, “RV Weekend,” takes a similar approach. The spots will air across western US markets including Washington, Oregon, Idaho, California, Utah, Nevada, Colorado and Montana. Read more

Blast Radius Celebrates Amsterdam for Onitsuka Tiger

Blast Radius continues its “My Town My Tracks” campaign for ASICS’ Onitsuka Tiger, promoting the Harandia MT,  “a sneaker-boot inspired by winter running and crafted for the colder months in an urban environment.”

In the last installment of “My Town My Tracks,” Blast Radius focused on Erik Garbo, a student of Italian and Japanese descent living in Milan. This time, Blast Radius focuses on its own city, Amsterdam, and Tosao, a young entrepreneur of Japanese and Dutch descent. As in previous installments of the campaign, Tosao takes viewers on a tour of his neighborhood — De Jordaan, in the northwest section of the city — while introducing his friends and favorite hangouts.

“Onitsuka Tiger is a brand for all seasons and this is evident in our AW14 models,” said Lisa Hogg, Onitsuka Tiger’s head of brand management. “We present our new collection in Amsterdam, a city of cultural secrets where every street, canal and courtyard has a story. Tosao’s My Town My Tracks through De Jordaan reflects our brand values and belief in individuality and urban culture.”

In addition to the video, the campaign also includes print elements, with stills captured by photographer Fleur Bolt, and social components on Twitter and Instagram. Read more

W+K Portland Brings Back Mandroid for Old Spice

Back in July, W+K Portland introduced a new robot character with a series of ads in which Old Spice products help him smell like a man.

Now, the agency is a back with another spot for the campaign, featuring the (vaguely creepy) character, promoting Old Spice deodorant and body wash. This time around, he’s hanging out in a hot tub with a few giggly women in bikinis. Soon, however, he starts malfunctioning (again), because robots and water don’t mix. (The women, miraculously, are not electrocuted.) It’s very much in line with the previous spots, so if you liked those, chances are you’ll find this one amusing, too. If not, you’ll probably long for a screaming Terry Crews.

GSD&M Brings Back ‘Aim High’ for the Air Force

GSD&M has a new campaign for the Air Force, bringing back the slogan “Aim High,” after a fifteen year absence.

The campaign, entitled “American Airmen,” launched Monday with two spots and a website. In “New Frontiers,” Airforce Chief of Staff General Mark A. Welsh III becomes the first Air Force general to be featured in an advertisement. The 30-second spot seeks to inspire with a celebration of technological innovation from the Air Force, such as breaking the sound barrier, and space exploration. “America’s Future,” meanwhile, draws on U.S. Air Force Academy commencement speeches from former Presidents John F. Kennedy, Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush.

The campaign also includes online video content entitled “Barrier Breakers’ hosted on the Air Force website, and a multi-platform digital media buy, which will make the Air Force the first military branch to partner with PlayStation via a link on the PlayStation store menu. It will also make use of mobile advertising platform TapJoy and Spotify, where “users will view ‘Barrier Breakers’ video content while a custom playlist generator suggests music based on their current selections.”

The campaign arrives as the Air Force faces bad publicity for its decision to deny reenlistment to an atheist airman for refusing to sign an oath including the phrase “So help me God.” Read more

OKRP Holds Pet Focus Group for Big Lots

Chicago-based agency O’Keefe Reinhard & Paul has a new campaign for Big Lots, promoting its pet food and merchandise offerings with a focus group for pets.

Instead of writing a scripted ad, the agency got a group of pets together for “Pet Focus Group,” a digital video series. The videos feature moderators treating the group of pets like a focus group, with actors asking questions about Big Lots products and interacting with dogs, cats, and other pets. O’Keefe Reinhard & Paul chose to cast improvisational actors to interact with the pets, under the assumption that the animals would create funny situations on their own.

“We realized that instead of scripting this, it would be so much more fun to let pets be pets, and get really good improvisers to react in real time to whatever those animals are doing,” explains Sue Gillan, creative director at OKRP. And because you have these human facilitators in the room with the pets, they get to do the heavy lifting around uncovering the quality of the products without the event feeling commercialized. The result feels like a genuine discovery of the products.”

Stick around for “Cats Only” and “Pets with Style.” Read more

Ogilvy Unveils Morning Anthem for IKEA

Ogilvy unveiled a new “Morning Anthem” ad for IKEA, the latest in the deluge of advertising from the brand in recent weeks.

The 30-second spot focuses on bedrooms and bathrooms and how the retailer can help make your morning rush a little less stressful. It does a good job of incorporating IKEA products like “organized wardrobes that help you pull it together” and a bathroom organizer that gets “big families out the door” into a peak at the morning routines of a couple of busy families.

The focus on mornings, bedrooms and bathrooms stems from a study IKEA conducted into the morning routines in eight major cities, which has informed all its recent morning-focused marketing, such as SMFB’s “Where Good Days Start” interactive campaign. Accompanying the new spot is a campaign extension called “First :59,” including a website hosting advice from bloggers and designers on how parents can make their mornings easier, as well as a “First 59″ Pinterest board.

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