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Johnsonville Hands Over Creative Duties to Droga5


Wisconsin sausage brand Johnsonville has selected Droga5 to handle its creative duties, following a review, Adweek reports. Annual media spending for the brand is estimated at approximately $30 million. Media buying and planning were not included in the review, and will remain at Compass Point Media.

Other finalists in the review, as previously reported by Adweek, were Fallon, CP+B and incumbent agency Cramer-Krasselt. Cramer-Krasselt had handled creative duties for the brand since 2008.

The news follows a slew of account wins for Droga5 this year, including Clearasil, Quilted Northern, Jockey, Dixie, and Airwick, for which the agency recently debuted its first work. For Cramer-Krasselt, meanwhile, Johnsonville is the latest in a line of setbacks. In August, Cramer-Krasselt declined to defend in a review for Patrón, after opting out of a review or resigning from Panera Bread (depending on whose story you believe) back in June. The agency was one of three finalists in a review for Hilton’s Hampton review, but that account ultimately went to GSD&M.

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Cramer Krasselt Gets Scary for Knott’s Berry Farm

Cramer Krasselt launched a campaign promoting Knott’s Berry Farm’s annual Knott’s Scary Farm event with a series of short horror videos for broadcast and online.

Created in collaboration with production company Vitamin Pictures, the gritty videos are populated by creepy clowns, demented dentists and hungry zombies, giving viewers an idea of what to expect at Knott’s Scary Farm. In “Clown,” for example, the camera follows a woman as she makes her way through a creepy abandoned room with children’s toys and balloons strewn across the floor. As she turns a corner, a demonic looking clown pops out to greet her. The spot ends with the tagline, “Whatever you’re imagining, it’s here.”

“It was great to be hired to make these little horror films for Knott’s,” Vitamin Creative Director Danny DelPurgatorio says. “There were severed heads, body parts, blood and gooey stuff all over the place. It was a dream come true.” Read more

Cramer-Krasselt, The Atlantic Take Porsche for a Joy Ride

Sponsored content, native advertising and wearable technology, oh my!

Here’s a campaign that combines all of our favorite buzz phrases. Re:think, the in-house creative marketing group at The Atlantic, teamed up with Cramer-Krasselt and Omnicom Media Group to make a short film promoting client Porsche.

The campaign has its own page, and the mag’s PR team is pitching it to all the media trades. The “short film” itself is fairly self-explanatory:

In short, every driver got a slightly different thrill out of the experience…which reminds us that Masters of Sex is a pretty decent show.

No creative credits for this one yet, but we do have a quote:

“Art of the Thrill is one of The Atlantic’s first programs to be presented in a new responsive format for sponsor content. The design-first approach offers greater flexibility in both presentation and interactivity, allowing Atlantic Re:think and advertisers to produce more immersive, engaging, visually rich content experiences.”

Got that?

We Hear: ECD No Longer with Cramer-Krasselt

cramer krasseltWhile we have very little to go on at the moment, a tipster tells us that Larry Hampel, who spent nearly a decade at Cramer-Krasselt and most recently held the executive creative director title, is no longer with the agency.

Things we do know: Hampel joined the agency almost exactly ten years ago to become one of the co-creative directors in its then-new New York office. This move followed a ten-year stint running Hampel/Stefanides, the agency he co-founded with fellow CD Dean Stefanides. His work during that period includes multiple PSAs attributed the Ad Council.

A tipster pointed us toward Hampel’s LinkedIn profile, which lists his current position as “Chief Creative Officer, Self-Employed” and has his stint with Cramer-Krasselt ending this year.

Unfortunately, we have not received word from the agency today so we can’t elaborate on the details of the story. More information as it arrives.

Patrón Searches for New Agency to Handle Creative, Media

patronPatrón is looking for a new agency to handle creative and media duties and has issued a review, Adweek reported yesterday.

Incumbent agency Cramer-Krasselt was invited to defend in the review, but declined, a Patrón representative told Adweek. Patrón Global Chief Marketing Officer Lee Applbaum, who joined the company from Target in November, is reportedly the “key decision maker in the search.”

“We’re looking for a highly strategic and creative agency partner,” Applbaum said in a statement. “Our selected partner will possess a track record of success in marketing luxury brands.”

The review, which is being managed by Santa Monica-based consultancy Select Resources International, is expected to conclude in November. Patrón spent around $42 million in measured media last year.

Three Agencies Remain in Hilton’s Hampton Review

hampton-logoHilton is in the final stages of a creative review for its Hampton properties, Adweek reports

Cramer-Krasselt, David&Goliath and GSD&M are preparing for a final presentation, according to Dan Pearlman, CEO of Bob Wolf Partners/TPG, the Santa Monica, Calif.-based consultancy managing the search. The winning agency will handle creative duties for Hampton Inn, Hampton Inn & Suites and Hampton by Hilton for markets “including the U.S., Canada, Europe, Latin America and the Asia-Pacific region.”

Young & Rubicam have been Hampton’s lead agency since 2011, when they took over for Draftfcb. They were defending in the review, which initially included over a dozen agencies, but failed to reach the final stages. Media, digital and public relations will remain with “OMD in Los Angeles, iCrossing in New York and Dallas and Emanate in New York, respectively.” Hilton expects to select their new lead creative agency for their Hampton properties by the end August.

Panera CMO Claims Cramer-Krasselt Opted Out of Review

panera-logo-jpg“Cramer-Krasselt did not fire us,” Panera Bread Chief Marketing Officer Michael Simon told AdAge yesterday, referring to the leaked internal memo stating the agency had resigned from Panera Bread. Instead, Simon claims, “We told them we were going to open it up for review, and they decided not to participate.”

According to Simon, Panera had been reevaluating its marketing strategy due to weakening sales. AdAge writes that the company “had been pushing the agency to bring the advertising to the next level over the last couple months” but that while Cramer-Krasselt had been producing new work, Simon said the ads “weren’t breakthrough enough.” When Panera Bread told Cramer-Krasselt they were opening things up for a review, the agency declined to participate.

“We had a good relationship with the team [at Cramer-Krasselt]. And the work was good, but we were aspiring for great,” said Simon. “We told them we wanted to get more folks in the room and solicit new ideas from them…but incumbent agencies get reticent about bringing in new agencies.”

The review is reportedly underway, with eight undisclosed agencies involved. No request for proposal has been issued yet, as AdAge reports “the next step is to hold chemistry meetings, followed by an assignment for some of the shops.” The review, which will be conducted internally, is expected to last six or seven weeks.

Cramer-Krasselt Resigns Panera Bread

panera-logo-jpgAfter two years with the brand, Cramer-Krasselt has ended its relationship with Panera Bread. Cramer-Krasselt Chairman-CEO Peter Krivkovich announced that the agency would be resigning Panera Bread in an internal memo this morning, AdAge reports.

The memo painted a portrait of a truly dysfunctional relationship between the brand and their lead agency that can be summed up with the phrase “enough is enough.” In it, Krivkovich says “…the constant last-minute shifts in direction, the behind-the-scenes politics, the enormous level of subjectivity that disregards proof of performance — all churn people at a rate that becomes much too much even in this crazy business. The previous agency found that out as well. There is a pattern. And in the end, no amount of money makes it worthwhile.”

Cramer-Kraselt became lead agency on Panera Bread in May 2012, following a review. It had previously been held by Interpublic agency Mullen, which split with Panera citing their own “creative differences.” While it’s not known if a review will result from the resignation, AdAge speculates that “it’s likely one will.” Stick around for a more complete excerpt from the memo following the jump. Read more

Here’s Some Quick Clarification on Cramer-Krasselt Cuts

cramer-krasselt-logoYesterday, we received a few tips about layoffs going down at Cramer-Krasselt’s Chicago hub. Now, we’ve received from clarification on the matter from none other than the agency’s chairman/CEO, Peter Krivkovich, who tells us that there weren’t layoffs per se, and no financial issues were in play, but C-K did part company “with a few individuals whose skill sets no longer matched our needs. And we are replacing those accordingly.” Krivkovich adds that C-K is actually in the process of filling 12 positions, primarily in the digital space as, according to the chief exec, “Our needs are changing rapidly (as is the industry) so with that significant growth in digital and social we need additional skill sets as all those open positions indicate.”

C-K, which also has offices in Milwaukee, New York and Phoenix, currently counts clients including Corona, Porsche and Panera Bread.


Flatt Out at C-K Chicago

After spending over three years serving at Cramer-Krasselt’s Chicago branch, Kevin Flatt is no longer with the agency according to sources familiar with the matter. Flatt initially joined C-K as executive creative director, eventually moving up to SVP/director of design & digital last year.

You might remember Flatt from his year-plus stint at Leo Burnett/Arc Worldwide, which he joined in 2009 as EVP/ECD of the unit’s digital practice, working with clients such as Allstate, Kellogg, McDonald’s and Purina. No word yet on where his next destination is, but during his career, Flatt also spent nearly three years at Tribal Chicago as an ECD and also served in a senior creative role at Fallon. While at C-K Chicago, meanwhile, Flatt oversaw creative on clients including Porsche, Corona Extra, Edward Jones, Sealy, Heinz and Levitra.