We’ve received confirmation that Benjamin Bittman, who’s spent approximately three years serving as digital development director at Anomaly, has left the agency. From what we’ve been told, Bittman is taking some time off and heading to Italy. According to those in the know, the parting of ways is an amicable one as we’ve been told that Bittman “did an outstanding job” and “as he was a unique talent and the digital space is constantly changing,” Anomaly is reviewing its next steps in terms of replacement plans. During his career, the 15-year ad vet had a lengthy stint on the marketing side at TBWA\Worldwide and had a relatively brief stint as EVP/chief marketing officer at Saatchi & Saatchi New York.
As mentioned above, we’ve received confirmation that both Ian Daly and Chris Rorie have left Anomaly NY. Daly (pictured) if you recall was promoted to joint head of planning over six months ago alongside Aisea Laungaue (who also departed earlier this year). The exec had been with Anomaly for nearly two years, initially serving as planning director on accounts including Budweiser and Converse while at the agency. During his career, Daly also served as a senior planner at Grey on award-winning campaigns for DirecTV among other pieces of business.
Rorie, meanwhile, had been with Anomaly for nearly two years, serving as head of data & strategic analysis and prior to his work at said agency, held similar roles at the likes of PHD, Digitas and MRM. No word yet if there are immediate plans to replace either party, but from what we hear on the Spy line, both are heading to TBWA\Media Arts Lab.
Anomaly has launched a new MINI Roller Coaster spot as part of their NOT NORMAL campaign for the automaker’s Canadian division.
The ad features people riding atop a customized version of the BMW-owned brand, strapped in to a roller coaster car attached to the MINI’s roof, screaming, holding cotton candy, and generally acting as if they’re on a looping coaster and not a British vehicle obeying the speed limit. Onlookers, meanwhile, wonder what the hell is wrong with these people. The genesis for this idea, ostensibly, is to show that the MINI is “not normal,” and the people treating a ride on the MINI as if they were at Six Flags certainly could be described as such (although they may have crossed over into “crazy”). I realize there are safety concerns involved, but I have to wonder if maybe they could have done a little more to make the ride on the MINI seem exciting (you know, like a roller coaster) and less like some kind of experimental therapy. But maybe that’s just me.
If you’ve ever wondered how to turn your car’s roof into a roller coaster car, you should definitely check out the “making of” video after the jump (along with credits). We’re pretty sure you’ll get pulled over for that one, though.
If you know a runner or are one yourself, you know that plodding on a path day after day requires a reason. Some take the pain to lose weight, while others are addicted to the runner’s high. Running can be the foundation of a community or the motivation for recovery. In Dick’s Sporting Goods’ latest campaign created by Greenpoint Pictures and Anomaly NY, 13 runners share their personal stories. Starting on March 7th, one video has been released every week. Beneath each story, viewers can click to buy gear or share their own story via the #RunFor Facebook campaign.
For an organization that seems like your bludgeoning American sports store next door, Dick’s appeals to a wider audience with this series of sensitive portraits. We’re all athletes to some degree, and running is an activity we have in common, whether we hobbled along in middle school gym or undertook a couple marathons. In Week 12’s video, cancer survivor Meggan Janota says what should be the sub-tagline of this campaign: “You run by yourself, but you’re not alone.” By capturing this community, Dick’s Sporting Goods inspires and drives.
Credits after the jump
Let the staffing news continue. Sources were spot-on with this one as Anomaly, fresh off of its Super Bowl double-feature for Budweiser (the Clydesdale “Brotherhood” and Black Crown spots, specifically) has indeed promoted Aisea Laungaue and Ian Daly to joint heads of planning. Anomaly founding partner Jason DeLand sings their praises, telling us simply, “They are fucking awesome.”
Both Laungaue and Daly (pictured) have been with Anomaly for 18 months, give or take, working out of the agency’s New York office. Prior to Anomaly, the former spent six years at various Saatchi offices, last serving as VP/planning director at said agency’s New York hub. Daly, meanwhile, spent two years as VP/senior planner at Grey NY, where he led efforts on the DirecTV account among others.
While we’re on the topic of Anomaly today, we should tell you that Kwame Taylor-Hayford has indeed turned in his notice at the agency, where he’s spent just under a year and currently serves as head of integrated production. From what we’ve been told, Taylor-Hayford will be staying on at Anomaly (which we’re hearing also participated in the Mini pitch) until July 2 but will then be leaving to “focus on personal things.”
Prior to Anomaly, Taylor-Hayford spent three-and-a-half years at Saatchi Saatchi, where he last served in a similar role as VP/head of integrated production and worked on notable campaigns including JCPenney’s “Beware of the Doghouse.”
If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Converse seems to be taking this adage to heart, producing another installment of its “Three Artists One Song” campaign by Anomaly.
The campaign has created unlikely collaborators in the past, including joining New Order’s Bernard Sumner with Hot Chip and Hot City and Soulja Boy with Matt and Kim and Andrew W.K. For the track and music video “Warrior,” Converse and Anomaly are bringing together DJ and Kid Sister/M.I.A. collaborator A-Trak, Mark Foster of seemingly overnight indie pop sensation Foster the People, and New Zealand-based singer/songwriter, Kimbra.
As with past collaborations, the actual track is a pleasant surprise. But, the video, featuring a lucha libre underground wrestling fight club, is where this unlikely trio shines. Credits after the jump.
On Sunday, Anomaly debuted the above Super Bowl spot for Budweiser, “Eternal Optimism.” In 60 seconds, Budweiser parallels its own history with that of the country of its birth, starting from the end of Prohibition and concluding in the era of pop-up hip-hop concerts aka “present day.” Yes, it’s a bit silly to imagine that Budweiser was the drink of choice for patrons of Studio 54, but it’s always fun to see how advertisers choose to depict (or rewrite) U.S. history. It’s also interesting to note that, as one tipster suggests, Anomaly’s representation of the last century closely resembles TBWA/Chiat/Day’s 2009 Obama inauguration spot for Pepsi.
Before we turn to you, dear readers, for finger pointing/waving, let’s discuss the similarities and differences of these two spots.
Similarities: Flapper girls, the end of WWII, greasers, Studio 54, break dancing, and grunge body-passing.
Differences: Hippies vs. Moon landing, Berlin Wall vs. the “Miracle on Ice,” and Budweiser’s use of the dance party.
Given this evidence, is this case an ad ripoff? Is this a case of coincidence? Or, is this, as they say, “just what happens?”
Another day, another MDC Partners-related item. Days after merging Vitro and Skinny, the agency holding company announced the opening of Anomaly Amsterdam. Back in February, MDC acquired a majority stake in the New York/London-based shop, which last picked up the NBC Sports Network account according to sources.
Anyhow, back to Amsterdam. The new Anomaly office will be led by managing director Hazelle Klonhammer, who spent over a decade at W+K Amsterdam and has also worked at 180, Modernista! and Amirati Puris Lintas in Sydney. Joining Klonhammer at Anomaly’s new digs is one Richard Mulder, a former Nike brand communications manager who will now assume the role of agency partner at Anomaly Amsterdam. With Anomaly’s Euro bases seemingly covered for the time being, the agency and its parent are setting their sights on the booming Brazilian market in 2012 according to a statement from Anomaly CEO/partner Carl Johnson.
So, our question from nearly two weeks ago has been answered as we’ve received confirmation that Wieden + Kennedy alum Sheena Brady has moved from Portland to New York to take on a job at Anomaly, which just picked up the NBC Sports Network business if you recall. We’re still getting exact title, etc., but we’re assuming it’s something pertaining to her bread ‘n butter, which is copywriting/creative directing. Some of the Gold Film Lion-winning creative’s most recent projects while at W+K include the Nike “Black Mamba” short.