Bartle Bogle Hegarty
So how does BBH NY follow-up their critically acclaimed Kiefer Sutherland-starring AXE spot, “Susan Glenn,” which may or may not feature apocalyptic imagery and Illuminati symbolism? With the above spot, “Office Love,” which chronicles the budding workplace romance between a supple pair of breasts and immaculate head of hair.
Set to Austin folk icon Daniel Johnston‘s heartbreaking “True Love Will Find You in the End,” hair and breasts’ relationship evolves from stealing quick glances across cubicles to finally approaching each other during the nightly commute. The spot aims to convince men of a supposed universal truth: While men first notice a female’s breasts, women first notice a man’s hair. Of course, this is not always true from the male perspective. (There’s a reason than “ass man” is a well-known archetype, after all.) But, it’s enough to make impressionable young men start becoming very self-conscious about their hair, though I don’t know if the shaggy look will last long against increasingly popular retro pompadour that hipsters and Jon Hamm are bringing back into the public eye.
Yes, there’s still an hint of the AXE spots of old in here, but BBH NY is making the brand come off as, dare we say it, almost clever. Ladies, what’s your take?
BBH New York has promoted Nate Able and Caprice Yu to creative directors. If the names don’t ring a bell, perhaps the respective campaigns that the creatives have worked on in recent times will. Able, who joined BBH NY last year from what is now twofifteenmccann, most recently served as ACD on Axe’s “Susan Glenn” effort while Yu was an art director on the multi-award-winning Google Chrome campaign that included “Dear Sophie” and “It Gets Better.”
Along with her two tours of duty at BBH NY (the first lasted four years), Yu has honed her craft at CP+B and 180 Amsterdam during her career. Able, meanwhile, served as an art director on the “Believe” campaign for Halo 3 while at twofifteenmccann (then T.A.G.). Now as creative directors at BBH, Yu will help lead the Cole Haan and Google teams while Able will do the same for Johnnie Walker and UNICEF.
File this little gem under “Too Good Not to Share.” After receiving this in our Anonymous Tips box, I’ve sent it to multiple people and received the same response from everyone, “I can’t stop watching this.”
In mid-July, BBH NY unveiled “Susan Glenn,” an AXE spot that shirks the brand’s usual creative emphasis on machismo and easy sex for something that men might find a little more meaningful: the high school dream girl archetype. People within the advertising industry have praised it quite a bit, pleasantly surprised by AXE’s new direction and Kiefer Sutherland‘s cameo appearance. However, according to YouTube user TheGroxt, there may be something sinister brewing at BBH.
In this 15-minute frame-by-frame bout of paranoia and religious posturing, TheGroxt points out numerous imagery in “Susan Glenn” that conspiracy theorists and deeply religious folks will undoubtedly by horrifyingly shocking and deeply disturbing. For example, the skateboarder in the high school hallway shot is actually looking at the list that TheGroxt interprets as “The Lamb’s Book of Life,” also known as Jesus’ list that determines who will be allowed into heaven come Judgement Day. Later, when Susan Glenn emerges from a coffee shop in a hail of sparks an fire, she is actually experiencing the rapture and ascending to heaven. Because, obviously, BBH knew that the best way to turn unbelievers to Jesus is to do so by selling noxious body spray.
Now, this may sound silly to some (read: “sane people”), but check out the comments on YouTube. “Another great analysis. Praise Jesus,” says YouTube users GovernorJerryBrown. “Yeah, they definitely seem evil and appear to be herding along the clueless other three,” says ginslinger1, referencing the cheerleaders who TheGroxt interprets as angels of the Lord. Surely, the omnipotent readers of AgencySpy can find even more symbolic references upon close inspection. Have at it!
Tis a busy post-July 4th for Publicis Groupe as Maurice Levy and his France-based holding company have now acquired the remaining 51 percent stake from BBH founders Nigel Bogle and Sir John Hegarty as well as 100 percent of the shares of Brazilian agency Neogama/BBH.
Publicis Groupe originally acquired a 49 percent stake in BBH 10 years ago when it bought up Bcom3. Regarding the full sale of his 30-year-old agency, which just racked up 21 Cannes Lions this year, BBH’s Bogle says in a statement, “The decision was very clear. We were looking for an opportunity that would ensure that our agency maintained a high degree of autonomy and could continue to abide by the values characterized by the black sheep. The key point for us was the preservation of our operational independence in managing the BBH brand, which has produced almost uninterrupted growth for thirty years. The new ownership not only ensures our autonomy, but brings us considerable advantages through Publicis Groupe’s resources and global infrastructure.”
As a result of the transaction, Hegarty will now pass the baton to Neogama founder Alexandre Gama, who will take over as worldwide CCO. In addition, 30-year BBH vet Simon Sherwood will now assume the role of group chairman, Gwyn Jones, who joined the agency in 1987, becomes group CEO while Zag chief exec Neil Munn will take on the dual role of group chief operating officer. As for Hegarty and Bogle, the founding pair will serve on the Publicis Groupe management board (along with Levy, Sherwood, Jean-Yves Naouri, Jean-Michel Etienne and ZenithOptimedia global CEO Steve King), focusing on client business and mentoring of management. Gwyn Jones, meanwhile, will oversee day-to-day operations for BBH’s global management team.
We’re still not sure quite what to make of this short film called “Pickle,” but it comes to us from BBH New York copywriter Katie Facada and ACD/copywriter and author Peter Rosch, who corralled several of their agency colleagues to take part in front of camera and behind-the-scenes for his contribution to the 48 Hour Film Project. Rosch, who directed this effort and also currently serves as a scribe on campaigns for Axe, Weather Channel and UNICEF at BBH, gives us a quick tale about a young chap who looks like a bit like Shia LaBoeuf and appears to be trying to make amends of some sort.
But, it’s not going quite as planned. Perhaps it’s part of a 12-step program, which makes sense considering that Rosch himself tells the tale of his recovery from alcoholism when commenting on his first book, My Dead Friend Sarah: A Novel. Cant’s gripe too much considering the timeframe Rosch and crew were given. Prior to BBH, Rosch worked as a senior creative at the likes of BMB, Lowe & Partners and BBDO.
Outside of the Austin Convention Center this morning, I heard a man yelling, “Hotspots! Get your Hotspots!” After speaking with him for a while, I learned that he was a homeless man offering free WiFi hotspots for SXSW conference attendees who find themselves unable to connect to the Internet.
As you know, being caught without a WiFi connection at SXSW is equivalent to being forced to fight a minotaur without the aid of a sharp weapon: You feel frightened, vulnerable, and totally useless. To help people conquer the SXSW beast, BBH is taking the “Street Newspapers” model and giving it a modern, digital update. Throughout the festival, BBH strategically placing homeless individuals around downtown Austin with cards that explain the Homeless Hotspots program. Should individuals find themselves in a WiFi dead zone, they can contact the person that gave them the card, and the person will find and provide them with a hotspot for the suggested donation for $2 per 15 minutes of service, with all proceeds going to support the Front Steps Shelter.
BBH New York has tapped Lora Schulson as its new head of integrated production. Schulson has spent the last four years at Y&R NY, during which time she served as co-executive director of content production (alongside Nathy Aviram), worked on spots for the NHL and Vh1 among others and even had a minute to sing the praises of E*Trade’s 2010 Super Bowl ad for us.
Prior to Y&R, Schulson spent a decade as a senior producer at both TBWA\Chiat\Day’s LA and NY offices. BBH NY’s latest hire will officially assume her post on Jan. 23.
It took yours truly 2-3 years to learn to become a decent enough piano player, so I approached this campaign from BBH’s five-year-old “brand invention” division ZAG with a bit of skepticism and/or jealousy. But, from the looks of it, keyboardist David Sides works wonders with his tutorials as documented in this clip that’s part of an effort to promote a piece of software dubbed the “Playground Sessions.” BBH/ZAG teamed up with digital creative software firm Rain and NYU program CREATE to develop the web tool and accompanying video that stars a guy named Will White.
The clip starts from the climactic moment before diving backwards to take viewers through White’s journey as he learns to play piano in 30 days. It all leads up to a concert of sorts, though we have wonder if White is only playing that one song at the show. End result aside, those of you aching to learn how play Train’s headache-inducing “Soul Sister” among other tunes can fork over $150 for the Playground Sessions software. If you want to talk point-of-sale marketing, look no further than the end of the clip.
Sounds like a preposterous question, doesn’t it? But yet it’s the basis of a new campaign from BBH New York and Threadless for UNICEF that aims to aid humanitarian efforts in the crisis-ridden Horn of Africa, which includes nations like Somalia and Ethiopia. Yes, the price that’s listed for the aid item that’s desperately needed in the region is the price you pay for the cotton T, the most expensive of which costs $300,000 and represents how much one cargo flight demands to provide assistance in the Horn.
Says BBH NY ECD Ari Weiss, who joined the agency from 180LA back in March, “We’re literally letting people wear their donation as a source of pride and as a means to spread the word. If friends get a little competitive over who’s being more altruistic, all the better.” Other items on the T-shirt list include one representing basic family water kits ($125.55) as well as one for an emergency tent ($1,939.36). We believe this is way more worthwhile than donating to the Human Fund. Go here to see the full list and take part.