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Secret Weapon CD on Deutsch McDonald’s Campaign: ‘Flattering’ but ‘Annoying’

Anyone notice that the recent Taco Bell “Ronald McDonald” spot bears a very slight resemblance to this 2002 Secret Weapon ad for Jack in the Box?

Secret Weapon founder/creative director Richard Sittig did–and he told Felix Gilette of Bloomberg Businessweek all about it today.

You know you want some key quotes after the jump.

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W+K, Maxwell House Shoot for Good, Not Great

In a world with Starbucks at every corner and small, fancy artisinal coffee shops sprouting up everywhere, it would be counterproductive for an instant coffee brand to try to compete. So W+K starts a different conversation for Maxwell House, asking, “Whatever happened to good?”

The new “Say Good Morning to a Good Day” campaign features a series of broadcast and web spots centering around an affable, middle-aged everyman (everydad?) who laments that with all the attention on phrases like “Awesome,” “Amazing,” and “That’s epic, bro!” people have forgotten about “good.” In the 30-second spot, he goes on to explain that good is “Swinging to get on base” or “choosing not to overshoot the moon, but instead to land right on it.” This all makes “good” seem pretty appealing, with the spot ending with the resurrected “Good to the Last Drop” tagline.

While some may question the choice of admitting your product isn’t “amazing,” the strategy makes sense for Maxwell House, whose coffee is, at best, “good enough,” and whose best bet is to convince the older generation that all the fuss over fancy coffee just isn’t worth it. W+K pull off the execution really well, making the “good” approach about as persuasive as it can be. Credits after the jump. Read more

The Mars Agency Unveils International Rebrand

The Mars Agency Logo

The Mars Agency, formerly known as MARS, “the new-age leader in next generation shopper marketing,” announces an international rebrand today.

The reinvention impacts all of the agency’s entities throughout the U.S., U.K, and Canada, a result of the agency’s vision expanding “far beyond the traditional definition of shopper marketing to lead the charge in next generation integrated marketing.” This announcement comes on the heels of several international client wins, including being added to the Chobani roster last November. The 42-year-old, Southfield, MI-based agency was also named the first or second place independent shopper marketing agency in The Hub Magazine for the seventh consecutive year.

“At one point in time, advertising simply meant producing an ad and placing it,” explained Ken Barnett, global CEO of The Mars Agency. “Today the discipline of marketing has moved beyond traditional advertising and must incorporate every medium that connects brands with consumers and shoppers, including digital and social. We’re redefining our role to provide broad solutions that impact our clients and grow their businesses at every point of the marketing spectrum.”

The Mars Agency sees the rebranding as an opportunity to reposition “itself to create brand experiences that deliver sustainable, profitable results” for itself and its clients. “Staying out front of the curve The Mars Agency pushes the boundaries while maintaining its status as one of the top agencies in North America,” said Derek Joynt, senior vice president, general manager of The Mars Agency in Toronto, Canada.

Huge Hires Tim Nolan as GCD from BBH Labs

8bb4241e6565c9e74627fb8242214606Today we got confirmation that former BBH Labs creative director Tim Nolan is group creative director at Huge as of this week.

We have no official statement or press release (and you didn’t want to read one anyway), but we do have a bit of background: before joining BBH, Nolan worked at JWT for just over a year, contributing to such accounts as Johnson & Johnson.

Prior to the stint at JWT, Nolan worked creative at DUMBO’s HUSH as well as Firstborn and Poke.

Amsterdam Worldwide Launches New Global Brand Platform for Warsteiner

Last year, Amsterdam Worldwide was tapped to lead the Warsteiner Beer business, and their work with the brand can now be seen in their recent global brand platform, intended to “refresh the brand in its existing markets, and firmly establish it in emerging markets.”

The campaign, which kicked off in Germany on the 10th and will roll out gradually in over 60 markets worldwide, features television, print, and “high levels of digital media activity across the board.” Amsterdam Worldwide clearly wants to target the young and the young at heart (such as the 45 year-old skateboarder in the “Do It Right” television spot featured above), as evidenced by the online documentaries meant to supplement the television campaign which include profiles of a skydiver and a graffiti artist.

“Traditional beer advertising is cluttered with a lot of clichés and not particularly inspiring insights – we had a chance with Warsteiner to break away from that mould and celebrate a brand culture that lives and breathes an intense commitment to creating a truly premium beer,” explains Amsterdam Worldwide’ s Strategic Director, Uli Kurtenbach. “It was a natural step to inspire Warsteiner’s consumers to take on their own lives with the same enthusiasm.”

Stick around for credits and a profile of “Freefly Rob” after the jump. Read more

Saatchi & Saatchi Belgrade Helps Solve Case of Murdered Journalist

In December, Saatchi & Saatchi Belgrade launched a provocative campaign called “Chronicles of Threats” for Serbian Commission for the Investigation of Murders of Journalists and Office of the OSCE’s Representative on Freedom of the Media.

The campaign featured a threatening letter in one of the country’s most widely circulated newspapers, with an accompanying video on the news outlet’s website, intended to shake public indifference to violence against journalists and rally “media outlets and journalists to document real and threatened acts of violence towards editorial staff, writers and photographers.”

“Chronicles of Threats” succeeded in getting the public’s attention. Thousands called the police in response to the threat, and soon it was featured on the news. When the stunt was revealed, it sparked debate about the kind of threats journalists receive daily. But the campaign also led to the reopening of three cases of murdered journalists, and in one case — Slavko Curuvija, “the most influential independent journalist reporting during the Milosevic regime,” who was murdered 15 years ago — to the arrest of the perpetrators of the crime.

Saatchi & Saatchi Belgrade’s executive creative director Veljko Golubovic commented: “I think the “Chronicles of Threats” campaign is a great example of true power of modern communications. Even one simple idea can move mountains and push the whole society forward. What was impossible yesterday is today’s reality. Our idea was initiation of the chain reaction that led to solving a murder case. And more than that it changed the way people feel and think about journalists.” Stick around for credits after the jump. Read more

AMP Agency, John Hancock Create Digital Boston Marathon Mosaic

We Run TogetherAs you may have gathered, the Boston Marathon is a pretty big deal to natives of the city. So, with the marathon on the horizon, AMP Agency created the #WeRunTogether digital mozaic for John Hancock, who have sponsored the Boston Marathon since 1985.

Designed to bring together the Boston Marathon running community in anticipation of the event on April 21st, the digital mozaic invites marathon enthusiasts to share their reasons for participating in the form of photos, videos and/or text. All of the submitted content is then aggregated into the mozaic visualization. AMP hopes that by “creating a shared space for conversations around the race, John Hancock was able to show its commitment and support for the Boston Marathon, drive national awareness of their sponsorship and promote their non-profit fundraising partnership with CrowdRise.”

AMP also worked with John Hancock to create a suite of eCards featuring the “We Run Together” theme, housed over at www.OpenMe.com/bostonmarathon.

Obviously, the mozaic takes on added significance in the wake of last year’s tragedy, a sign of the marathon community coming together to move forward in the wake of such an event. “It has been an emotional year for this city,” said Gary Colen, CEO at AMP Agency. “Our hope in this effort was to celebrate the perseverance of this city, whether you are running or not.”

CP+B Boulder Names Ralph Watson CCO

Ralph_WatsonCrispin Porter & Bogusky Boulder have announced the appointment of Ralph Watson as the office’s new chief creative officer, AdAge reports.

After the departure of worldwide chief creative officer Rob Reilly in December, CP+B “announced a new, decentralized model that gave its offices in various cities more autonomy.” Watson joins the agency from BBDO, where he led the Bud Light account. Before that he was at Goodby Detroit, where he oversaw Chevrolet. The industry veteran has also spent time with Leonard/Monahan, Team One, Arnold and Saatchi & Saatchi New York. He has created award-winning work for clients such as Miller High Life, Fruit by the Foot, and AT&T.

IPG Launches New Pharma-Focused Agency ID Health

IDHIPG’s ID Media hopes to own an unfilled niche with the launch of ID Health, an agency specializing in healthcare and pharmaceutical clients.

Michael Maher, former SVP of marketing for Digitas Health, will run the new agency as president reporting to ID Media CEO Lynn Fantom.

The idea summarized in the release holds that customers navigating a changing healthcare industry demand more accountability from the brands involved–and that these companies in turn need an agency that can “[reach and engage] more targeted patient populations.”

There’s more talk of “tightened budget[s]“, “tighter budgets and tougher-to-reach targets” and “extend[ing] the value of [the] marketing dollar” than usual in this release, so we’ll assume that price will be ID Health’s key differentiator.

Maher was a natural choice to lead the new agency, with a portfolio including some of the biggest names in the field: Sanofi, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Pfizer and Novartis.

PMK-BNC Launches Digital Marketing Agency Vowel

vowelToday brings word that PMK*BNC will absorb the Baltimore-based social marketing agency Spokes in order to create a new all-digital unit called Vowel.

Based in New York, Vowel will be run by PMK*BNC COO Joseph Assad, and its offerings fall heavily on the marketing side of the agency equation: video and other digital content creation combined with social media management, analytics, “influencer marketing” and media relations.

Spokes’ co-founders will assume leading roles in the new entity: Jeff Diamond will be SVP and Matt Kennerson will be senior developer. Their shared portfolio includes work for Intel, UNIQLO, Virgin Mobile USA, and Rdio.

The team at Vowel also includes “senior-level staff with vast editorial and content experience” writing for publications like Blackbook, Billboard and People.

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