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Anomaly

Taylor-Hayford Leaving Anomaly

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.”

Mark Foster, Kimbra, A-Trak Collaborate for Converse

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.

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Super Bowl Ad Ripoff: Budweiser vs. Pepsi

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?”

Anomaly Opens Doors in Amsterdam

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.

Sheena Brady Winds Up on the East Coast

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.

So, Who Won the NBC Sports Pitch?

So yes, there was a review for the NBC Sports Network, which will be the new name come January 2, 2012 for what is currently known as Versus (you know, the cable channel that shows some Stanley Cup playoff games and still airs Bloodsport every other day). From the looks of it, NBC Universal is ready to go head-to-head with ESPN so with NBC Sports Network, they will soon have their own 24/7 cable platform (as of January 2, you will also see a new NBC Sports logo).

With the launch of the new network, logo, etc., of course, comes the advertising part. As we mentioned, there was an agency review and from what our spies are telling us, BBDO, Droga5, Brooklyn Brothers, Mother and Anomaly all took part, but in the end, it was Anomaly that came out the winner. Anomaly has confirmed that there was a review and that it did participate, but referred all other inquiries to NBC Sports. We obliged and are waiting to hear back.

 

The Vaccines Release Crowdsourced, Instagram Music Video

In July, we got word that UK indie rockers The Vaccines, record label Sony Music and agency Anomaly London were banding together to release the first Instagram crowdsourced music video for the new single, “Wetsuit.” Over 3000 images from 30 countries and one “epic summer” later, we have the finished product (above) in all of its super-hip, vintage-hued, square-shaped glory. We now have iPhone-produced photographic evidence that the summer of 2011 was almost exactly like the summer of 1971, right?

Okay, so maybe the idea of creating a music video using a social photo-sharing tool like Instagram sounded much better on paper than it looks in execution, but what were we expecting? Maybe it’s because the actual song for this video is kind of dull, but it feels a bit underwhelming, doesn’t it?

But, creating a visually groundbreaking music video wasn’t really the goal, as the Vaccines’ frontman Justin Young says in the announce, “This felt like the ultimate interaction. Instagram was suggested to give photos taken on people’s phone a nice warm feel. It’s great to be able to make the fans part of our art.” A look at the band’s Facebook page shows that fans’ reactions the video are overwhelmingly positive. After all, this wasn’t created for advertising bloggers; it was created for the Vaccines’ devoted fan base, who include seeing the band play live as a highlight of their summer. From this perspective, the social media experiment was wildly successful in the eyes of the intended target audience.

Rokkan: Not For Sale

Despite a few tips we’ve received over the last few days saying otherwise, we’ve been told that no, New York-based digital shop Rokkan is not plotting to sell to Anomaly. A spokesperson tells us,  “…there has not been any conversation about acquisition. We do work with Anomaly from time to time, but that’s really it.” So, guess that answers that for the time being.

In other news regarding Rokkan, which won digital AOR duties for Stoli a few months back (example of work here), the agency’s hired DailyCandy.com and Frog Design alum Heather Ricciardi as executive user experience director. As her new title implies, Ricciardi will help lead Rokkan’s UX team.

Converse, Anomaly Take Road Trip of Sorts with Pro Skater

Apparently 16 hours or so is all it takes to get from Los Angeles to Vegas via skateboard according to this new Converse short film that promotes the Ka-One sneaker and comes to us, yet again, from New York’s Anomaly. After spending 2010 consorting with hip musical acts  like Hot Chip, Vampire Weekend and Kid Cudi, the agency is turning its focus to the skater set with this clip starring pro Kenny Anderson.

Call it a day in the life if you will, but from the looks of it, Anderson, who seems to be balancing, gliding and riding on just the front end of his board throughout his entire interstate excursion, can rally the masses like Rocky running through the streets of Philly. The Converse branding is once again kept to a minimum during this road trip, which seems like no sweat off Anderson’s shoulders. Credits after the jump.

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MDC Acquires Majority Stake in Anomaly

Miles Nadal & Co.’s acquisition spree continues as MDC Partners has now nabbed a majority partnership stake in Anomaly, the seven-year-old New York/London shop that counts clients such as Converse (recent work here), Umbro & Cole Haan, Budweiser, Sony, P&G, Pepsi, Motorola and Diageo.

With the acquisition, MDC plans to establish Anomaly bases in China, Brazil and mainland Europe. The latter shop’s co-founder, Carl Johnson, explains the reason for the deal in a statement, saying, “Given the degree of independence we have all become used to, it was essential that we are ‘fuelled’ not ‘controlled’ – MDC not only understands this but embraces it. Their ability to help foster growth while maintaining an entrepreneurial spirit is incredibly important to the culture of Anomaly and consequently, makes MDC the perfect partner for us.”

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