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Arnold Worldwide

Lord Stanley Never Could Have Envisioned ‘The Smackley Cup’

Usually, city rivalries related to sporting match-ups involve wacky wagers from politicians. The mayor of City X wants 100 pounds of cheese from the governor of City Y if City X wins the Super Bowl. But for the 2013 Stanley Cup between the Boston Bruins and the Chicago Blackhawks, the wacky wagers are getting social and, well, smack-talky. The folks over at Arnold Boston and Leo Burnett in Chicago are using the Stanley Cup to launch their own trash-talking competition for charity: The Smackley Cup. Agency employees and random fans from all over are encouraged to tweet using #smacktalkboston or #smacktalkchicago. Once the series concludes, the agency supporting the loser of the Stanley Cup will have to donate 10 cents per tweet and retweet to a charity AND wear the opposing team’s sweater in the office the following day. That sort of masochism always makes for fun water cooler talk.

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A Quick Follow-Up to the Volvo Review, If We May

As you may have read/heard, Volvo has announced that its launched its global creative review, but here’s a quick follow-up to the initial report. First off, here’s a statement from Robert LePlae, Arnold global CEO who assumed his post at the agency last summer and whose agency has been invited to defend, regarding the automaker’s move: “There’s new global leadership at Volvo who are rightly coming in and looking at all aspects of the business, specifically the centrally created advertising in Amsterdam. I’m new too at Arnold and we’ve done our own assessment. This leaves us eager and confident for the opportunity to show Volvo what we can do.”

Sources familiar with the matter add that while Adage reported that it was a global review, they say that Volvo’s move affects the centrally created advertising in Amsterdam only (which serves as central contact on the account for Arnold). The North American work out of Boston, and other local markets around the world, meanwhile, is not under review.

Cigarettes and Bodily Waste: The Ugly Truth

Lately, there’s a lot of content to cover on the bathroom humor beat. Yesterday, we reviewed some poop comedy for the new Clorox campaign. Today, we have a 30-second spot titled “Poop vs. Pee” from Arnold Worldwide and truth, the anti-smoking organization. This ad takes a radical shift in tone from meaningless poop jokes. There may be some uncomfortable chuckling here, but the point is to make the viewer aware of two facts: methane, a chemical in dog poop, can be found in cigarette smoke; urea, a chemical in cat pee, is also used in cigarettes. As you’ll see in the clip, there are some silly sound effects and visual representations to make it obvious that bodily excrement is gross, and in turn, chemicals found in our waste shouldn’t be voluntarily inhaled.

On truth’s website, you can read about their strategy for raising awareness, which is echoed in the commercial. They don’t tell people to stop smoking, because that sort of pitch doesn’t work on little children, let alone addicted smokers. So, to get the point across, they appeal to their target audience with alternative methods, such as disgusting facts. Stripping away moralistic lecturing in favor of poop jokes might just be bizarre enough to catch someone’s attention. Credits after the jump.

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Another Day, Another Classy (and ‘Nerdy’) Arnold Farewell

We’ve seen our fair share of agency folks essentially burn bridges on their way out of their gigs over the years, but in recent weeks, select Arnold staffers have given us the flipside with some positive farewell notes. A little over a week after copywriter Richard Tseng left Arnold in rather poetic fashion, we now have this goodbye sent late last week from one Steve Viglione, who’s spent the last two-and-a-half years at said agency as a marketing analyst.

Considering Viglione’s title at Arnold, the graphic above (click for larger version) complete with lines, data points and shifts detailing his time at the agency makes perfect sense. You can see the full-size graphic along with the parting staffer’s complete note, which begins with the line “Saddle up. I’m about to drop the nerdiest farewell email ever written,” here.

Arnold Worldwide Brands Volvos for ‘Real People’

Shots fired! According to this new car spot from Arnold Worldwide, Volvos are for real people, but Mercedes-Benzes are for snooty women of the 1% who preen at themselves in rearview mirrors. This is some good, clean class warfare, automobile-style, and luxury brands better watch out.

A few years ago, a Volvo was a boring car for people who needed affordable transportation. Now, the price hasn’t changed much, but the image has shifted slowly. It’s not that crazy to think that someone with enough money would pick a Volvo over a Benz. And the new spot tugs at the right cords of today’s economic realities to make the comparison seem not only feasible, but preferable. There are also a few campaign teasers on Facebook that flesh out the appeal of Volvo as “luxury for real people,” including: If your dog has a wardrobe, the Volvo s60 probably isn’t for you. Now they’re going after snobby women and people who dress up their dogs! More shots fired, Volvo. I’m in. Credits after the jump.

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Arnold Cuts Staff in Boston

Despite what we’ve been hearing on the Spy line, sources familiar with the matter tell us that this had nothing to do with a supposed loss of its portion of the Panasonic biz, especially since those in the know tell us that the agency is still working with the brand, which awarded its biz to the Havas-owned agency at the end of 2009. The Arnold camp tells us, “Our recent  staffing adjustments were made in response to the ebbs and flows in our business and to ensure we have the skill sets required to match our client’s changing needs.”

From what we’ve been told, 15 people across departments were affected at Arnold’s Boston hub and the move was made due to the usual ebbs and flows of the industry.

Progressive Knows Bad Drivers Want to Make Out with Your Car

From Arnold comes the latest TV spot for Progressive, “Rate Suckers,” helmed by director Ruben Fleischer (of  pretty great Zombieland and pretty terrible Gangster Squad fame). Depicting bad drivers as the soul-sucking, rate-hiking leeches they are, the ad also introduces Progressive’s new “Snapshot” technology.

“Snapshot,” a little device that sticks underneath your dashboard, ostensibly counts how many times a driver slams on the brakes, calculates the time of day and how many miles a car has driven. Then it rewards good drivers with Pez or something, but as the spot doesn’t say what the hell it is, none of this really matters now does it?

Noticeably absent from this spot is Flo, Progressive’s chipper apron-ed spokesperson. I know that we, the car insurance-purchasing consumers, were always supposed to really like Flo because everyone in Progressive’s ads sure did. However, the Flo-lessness of this spot reminds me that I kind of hate Flo, and I hope to never see her ever again. Credits after the jump.

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Stussy, Arnold Amsterdam Say Yes to Weed-Infused Food

Nancy Reagan should look the other way. For Stussy’s aptly titled “Baked” campaign, Arnold Amsterdam is rolling out a series of foodie videos that mix fine-dining with street-legal drug ingredients like marijuana and salvia. Chef Misha Sukya–full of the requisite tattoos that make me think he didn’t have to audition too hard to get the role of a weed chef–takes the viewer through the cooking process as he whips up a creative menu including baked veal in a Salvia Divinorum Crut with Magic Truffles and Marijuana. If that’s not primed for your palette, there’s always the Morning Glory Ravioli with Coquilles, Damiana & Marijuana.

In the videos, don’t forget to check out the t-shirts on Chef Misha. You can find Stussy Amsterdam clothing and a BAKED cookbook on the FreshCotton website, if interested. “Just Say No” doesn’t apply if it tastes good. Sorry, Nancy.

Credits and a making-of clip with chef Misha after the jump.

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Arnold Celebrates Perennial Link Between Jack Daniel’s, Rock & Roll


The folks at Arnold, which of course underwent a bit of creative restructuring last week, have returned with a new campaign for Jack Daniel’s, veering from the folksier, Americana-themed efforts of past years to highlight the Tennesee Whiskey brand’s longstanding relationship with rock ‘n roll.

Never mind the association with artists like Kid Rock or those insatiable rockers in Motley Crue (the latter of whom, if you remember, even featured a likeness of a JD bottle on the cover of their must-read autobiography, The Dirt). Rock’s alliance with Jack Daniel’s goes way deeper according to this Arnold’s new TV/web effort for the brand called “Legend.”

Photographer Danny Clinch plays a key role in “Legend,” and along with his work (see a behind-the-scenes clip here) and shots in and out of legendary venues, the campaign features everyone from Frank Sinatra to Bad Brains. The tagged :30 clip above lets you scroll though frame-by-frame and you can peep the web component here.

Havas Shifts North American Digital Volvo Work to Arnold

Well, at least they’re keeping it within family. We’ve been told by sources familiar with the matter that Arnold Worldwide–we hear specifically the Boston office–will take over on the North American unit of Volvo’s portion of digital duties for its parent company, Havas, which has technically worked on the automaker’s biz since the early ’90s via Euro NY.We’ve been told that this is traditional digital work, not the other tidbits including social, etc..

How this affects “client-conflicted” LBi, which also handles digital duties for Volvo, we’re not quite clear. To be honest, this is a clusterfuck, but we can at least confirm the Havas-Arnold move. Regardless, our sources emphasize that this move serves the NA digital biz, not international, which is still handled by LBi and Havas. Once we receive some more clarification on the matter, we’ll holler, but first we need some Advil for the headache.

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