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BBH NY Promotes EP to Head of Content Production

Kate MorrisonToday the New York offices of BBH enhanced production capabilities by promoting Kate Morrison, former Executive Producer, to Head of Content Production.

Over the past decade, Morrison has held production roles at various agencies including 180, BSSP and twofifteenmccann; her promotion arrives after spending seven months spent in the EP position and working on the PlayStation “Perfect Day” spot that won a Gold Lion at Cannes. In the newly created role, she will help lead and manage the production of all of the agency’s content.

CCO John Patroulis writes:

“Kate Morrison has made a massive mark on the work at BBH New York…like every producer here, [she] puts the quality of the work first and foremost.”

The promotion is the latest move in BBH New York’s recent expansion: earlier in the year the office hired Carey Head of Barton F. Graf 9000 as Head of Integrated Production and Technology and Art Director Marcos Kotlhar of Brazil’s AlmapBBDO to strengthen its content production offering.

Morrison will report directly to Head.

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BBH Welcomes Densmore as Global Chief Growth Officer

bbhgrowthBBH has welcomed a new global chief growth officer in Michael Densmore, who you may remember from his brief stint (nine months, give or take) on the account planning and business development side at Droga5. Densmore will officially assume his post at BBH’s New York office post-Memorial Day and will work across the agency’s London, New York, Los Angeles, Singapore, Sao Paulo, Shanghai and Mumbai offices, though there will be emphasis on North America-based global businesses.

Prior to joining BBH, Densmore served as chief marketing officer at McKinney. The 20-year ad vet’s additional agency credits include time spent with JWT, Mondernista!, Fallon and W+K.

In a statement, BBH NA CEO Pat Lafferty says, “Creating the new role of Chief Global Growth Officer was a natural next step and Mike will help us continue our momentum. Mike’s been on several sides of the ad and marketing business, and his breadth of experience truly makes him the ideal choice to navigate growth for the agency.”

BBH Producer Mercadal Heads to Ogilvy

rubenmercadalAfter spending the last seven years at BBH London, where he last served as executive producer/partner, Ruben Mercadal has headed to the States to join up with Ogilvy New York in the newly created position of senior film content producer. During his long stay at BBH’s London hub, Mercadal racked up One Show, Clios, D&AD and Cannes Lions for his work on Johnnie Walker’s 2009 campaign, “The Man Who Walked Around the World.” In addition to the whiskey brand, Mercadal served as agency producer for a host of other clients including Axe (remember this from last year?), Audi, Dunlop, Mentos and Barclays.

Prior to BBH, Mercadal worked as a broadcast producer at the London offices of both Publicis and Saatchi & Saatchi. He officially assumed his new role at Ogilvy on Tuesday.

BBH London Fails to ‘Own the Weekend’ for British Newspapers

Using some replacement movie-trailer-guy voiceover and repeating “Owned” is a slippery slope of dumb comedy that risks making the product look much dumber than it should. That’s what we have here in “Own the Weekend,” created by BBH London for the Guardian and Observer weekend editions. There’s even a totally out-of-place intro from Hugh Grant that has nothing to do with the actual ad and makes this silly mess a whole lot messier.

To give a brief description of something that doesn’t have much coherence: the two British newspapers trademark the word “weekend,” presumably because their Saturday and Sunday papers are so wonderful that it’s hard to imagine the concept of the weekend without their titles attached to it. Various gags are built on this idea. The voiceover actor says “Owned” a lot. If the clip doesn’t make much sense to you, that’s because it doesn’t make much sense. How can this spot be so tone-deaf when the same shop and client produced an awesomely sharp spot about the three little pigs in 2012 that won a London International Award?

If you happen to watch the end of the clip – which runs too long at three minutes – you’ll even see an elevator scene that ironically makes the Guardian and Observer look even worse. Two guys are talking about their weekends, and one guy (sane) forgets to use the trademark gag. The other guy (dumb) won’t respond unless his weekend is addressed as “Guardian and Observer weekend.” The sane guy, who the viewer relates to, doesn’t get why everyone has to use the trademark, and the dumb guy laughs at him for not following the crowd. It’s the exact slapstick scene that would be used by some competitor to make the two newspapers look foolish and out-of-touch. Yet, it’s here, making the clients look foolish and out-of-touch, instead.

BBH NY ECD Ari Weiss Takes Us Behind the Cube for PS4′s ‘Perfect Day’

I don’t own a PS4, but I catch myself periodically humming the cover of Lou Reed‘s “Perfect Day” in BBH NY’s video game spot with the same title. For a brief refresher: the 60-second spot shows two gamers as iterations of the characters they’re competing with, such as medieval gladiators and race car drivers. If you watch enough TV, you’re bound to watch it. And it sticks with you, mainly because of the song, but compared to typical ad humor and action, this spot just marches to the beat of a different drummer.

One of those drummers – Ari Weiss, executive creative director of BBH NY – recently sat down with ADC for their Behind the Cube series to talk about the creative decisions that helped shape “Perfect Day.” Weiss talks about how the song actually guided the visuals, how the gamers were established as characters, and how editing set the spot’s unique pacing.

And on a somewhat-related note: ADC just announced they are launching an iPad app to show off their annual work developed in conjunction with Brazilian shop the goodfellas, ADC member/Google Creative Lab motion designer Monica Eunji Kim and U.K.-based creative director, Pete Rossi. It is the first time in the company’s 92-year history that the annual book will not be in print. ADC is also giving away free limited-edition iPad cases to the first 500 people who download the app.

BBH ECD Ari Weiss Talks UNICEF’s ‘Good Shirts’ in Latest ‘Behind the Cube’ Clip

ADC Behind The Cube: BBH’s Ari Weiss discusses “Good Shirts” from ADC Global Network on Vimeo.

Last week, we brought you news of ADC’s “Behind the Cube” video for Student Thesis Gold Cube winner Dani Wolf. This week, ADC has a new “Behind the Cube” installment, featuring BBH New York executive creative director Ari Weiss.

Weiss discusses UNICEF’s “Good Shirts” campaign — which sold t-shirts depicting an item of aid, priced at the amount it cost UNICEF to donate that item — and its unexpected success. As a driving force behind the campaign, Weiss believed “Good Shirts” would be the “conversation piece” of the campaign, building buzz and getting more people to donate. Instead, the idea really took off, and the t-shirts raised around half a million dollars — including the sale of a $300,000 shirt to an anonymous San Francisco buyer. It’s an interesting look at the process behind one of the more buzzworthy Gold Cube campaigns from last year, including a look at some of the excellent t-shirt designs, and an excellent reminder that sometimes even the creatives behind a campaign can be surprised by its results.

What Do Lou Reed and PS4 Have in Common? BBH NY Has the Answer

Sometimes, choosing the perfect song to set the mood can elevate a spot from good to great. That’s the case with BBH NY’s choice of Lou Reed’s “Perfect Day” in the latest ad that’s part of the ongoing “Greatness Awaits’ campaign for Playstation 4 (Sony also launched a new site to accompany the campaign here).

The song works as the perfect backdrop to the spot, conveying the feeling of a perfect day battling friends in a variety of games. Lou Reed’s classic song’s somber undertones fit perfectly with the onscreen mayhem, while the lyrics suggest that a day of slaughtering each other onscreen can in fact be a perfect day. I would have appreciated hearing the original version of the song, rather than having the actors in the spot sing it, but I guess BBH NY has decided it better underscores the theme of the effort to have the actors speaking the words directly. At any rate, the song choice is admirable and really makes the spot, which also does a pretty good job conveying the possibilities of the system without including any actual gameplay footage. It feels like a big step up from the earlier PS4 work, a more fully-realized conceptualization of the idea behind the campaign. Hopefully, the next time we see an ad for the system though, it will include some gameplay.

If you didn’t already really want a PS4 (you did) you do now. Or at least when it  hits shelves Nov. 15. Credits after the jump.

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Newell Rubbermaid Transfers Biz to BBH/ PHD

newellrubber

In case you haven’t read, Newell Rubbermaid, which has previously worked with Minneapolis-based Carmichael Lynch and Definition 6, has shifted its business to BBH and PHD as lead creative and media agency, respectively. BBH, which also works with leading brands including Johnnie Walker, British Airways, KFC, Audi, Barclays Bank, Westin Hotels & Resorts, and Axe, will support work by the global agency network including offices in London, Sao Paulo and Shanghai.

In a statement,  Richard Davies, chief marketing/insights officer of Newell Rubbermaid, says, “For the first time, we are aligning all our brands and categories behind one set of agency partners to drive big ideas that create a strong point of difference for consumers. BBH and PHD are the best in the business at what they do.  With their partnership, we now have the power to achieve much greater scale, reach and impact as we invest behind growing our brands worldwide.”

The new agency relationship has started two days ago and will go into full effect in early 2014.

Here’s a PlayStation Ad for Winning Stuff Seen in a Different PlayStation Ad

During the NBA Finals last month, PlayStation debuted a new mini-film from BBH NY titled “Greatness Awaits” which featured a wide array of game characters and a whimsical narrator talking sternly to the camera (much like in this 2009 spot BBH NY did for Johnnie Walker). With over 5 million YouTube plays, the big budget ad was hailed as a mild success, falling somewhere between “Hedgehog Reacts to Fart” and “One Direction Crash Barbie’s Party! 1D Dolls Party All Night! OMG !.::Original Video::.

To the untrained eye, it would appear that the spot’s success was owed to its subtle nods to some of PlayStation’s biggest titles paired with the sort of over-the-top visual effects that gamers subsist upon. However, any true gamer knows that the ad’s success is owed predominantly to the elaborate costuming employed, causing PlayStation to make a second ad in order to offer the costumes as prizes of some sort. Yes, it’s an ad for an ad, or “Adception” if you will.

Anyway, gamers can bid of the costumes from the spot using trophy points or something that they earn by being good at video games. Then everyone will play dress-up and have a great time. Learn more at bidforgreatness.com and view credits after the jump.

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BBH Finally Finds New North American CEO

It took six months and change, but BBH has finally selected a new CEO for North America in Patrick Lafferty, who joins said agency after spending two-and-a-half years at McCann and the last 18 months as its North American COO. Lafferty replaces Greg Andersen, who was one of those affected by BBH’s major “restructuring” last fall. Lafferty, who will officially assume his CEO title at BBH this summer and based out of its New York office, rounds out a leadership team that includes CCO John Patroulis, CSO Sarah Watson and chairman, Emma Cookson.

Lafferty’s soon-to-be boss, BBH Group CEO Gwyn Jones, says in a statement, “Patrick has a really calm authority and such a rich body of experience. He has seen and done a lot both within and beyond our industry – embracing client side, media ownership and the military. We have great strategic and creative strength in the business, and I think Pat will bring outstanding leadership to that offering. On top of all that – I think he is just a great person.”

As you’d expect, Lafferty, who was, yes, a former platoon leader/company commander in the U.S. Army, will be tasked with running both BBH New York, which of course handles Axe and now Playstation, and L.A., which services clients including Red Bull. During his career, the exec has also worked on the account side at Leo Burnett and as CMO at Travel Channel.

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