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DDB Promotes State Farm’s Other Services

DDB Chicago is taking a break from reviving old Saturday Night Live characters to remind viewers that State Farm offers financial services, life and home insurance.

Two weeks ago, DDB Chicago launched the campaign with the sentimental spot “Never” (featured after the jump), depicting a man who says he’ll never get married getting married, having kids, moving to the suburbs and buying a minivan. Now, the agency has unleashed the next ad in the campaign, the similarly-minded “At Last.” The spot continues aiming for the heart, depicting a second marriage between a man and a woman who each have children. “Sometimes at last doesn’t happen at first,” says a voiceover as the couple tie the know. “Your dad just kissed my mom,” says the daughter and hugs her new brother as the voiceover ties the scene to State Farm: “Turning two worlds into one takes love, helping protect that world takes State Farm.” The spot debuted yesterday on ABC.

“It’s important for us to shift the way people think about us instead of just reinforcing what they already think,” Patty Morris, director-marketing and brand content at State Farm, explained to AdAge. “It’s all about the balance.”

The campaign will continue to roll out over the next 6-8 weeks, with at least two additional ads planned. According to AdAge these include a spot about a young man leaving home and a woman retiring early thanks to savvy financial planning. “They show things working out, but not how you planned,” said John Maxham, chief creative officer at DDB. “Theres a great human truth to that. And State Farm is there with you to handle these twists and turns.” Read more

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New Creative Hires at DDB Montreal and SapientNitro’s la comunidad

DDB-Logo-1-300x195DDB Canada and the agency’s Montreal office announced several major hires.

Monique Brosseau joins the shop as VP/managing director; she most recently spent seven years in the EVP/GM role at ZenithOptimedia Canada, and her 20+ year career includes stints in similar positions at Publicis as well as top PR firm Edelman and cosmetics brand L’Oreal.

Etienne Bastien will be VP/creative director for the DDB Canada organization. Prior to joining the organiztion, he spent more than a year in a creative director position at TBWA’s Montreal office as well as three years as a senior creative at BBDO Montreal. In addition to the general CD role, Bastien will serve as co-creative lead on the shop’s Volkswagen account.

The agency’s Montreal office also announced five new staffers: art directors Arnaud Tartier and Arnaud Deneux, who join from Bleublancrouge and Palm+Havas, respectively; copywriters Emmanuel Chevallier from Marcel Paris and Ben Duquette from Bleublancrouge; and group account director Jacques Blanchet, previously with JWT.

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adam&eveDDB Introduces ‘Could I Be Any Clearer?’ Christmas Cards for Harvey Nichols

Last year, adam&eveDDB’s “Sorry, I Spent It On Myself” holiday campaign for English department store Harvey Nichols turned heads with its ode to utter selfishness, eventually winning four Grand Prix awards at Cannes.

This year, adam&eveDDB is back with a spiritual successor entitled “Could I Be Any Clearer?” In the spot, a woman talks about her beloved Auntie Val and how, while good-intentioned, she always gives disappointing gifts. So, without any worry at all about Val’s feelings, she gives her a card describing exactly what she wants — Charlotte Olympia silver Octavia sandals from Harvey Nichols — and lets her know that seasons greetings will be “very awkward” if she doesn’t get what she wants. Auntie Val, predictably enough, looks pretty annoyed by the card. Like last year, the campaign extends beyond the broadcast spots, with real life “Could I Be Any Clearer?” cards available to purchase at Harvey Nichols. You can even create your customizable version online.

The ad doesn’t have the same impact as its predecessor, and, because of that ad, its reveal moment is entirely expected. Still, we imagine that Harvey Nichols will sell its share of “Could I Be Any Clearer?” cards — hopefully to those looking for a cheeky gag to play on friends, rather than entitled jerks. Read more

adam&eveDDB Introduces a ‘Memorable Guest’ for Maille

With the holidays around the corner, it is the season of awkward conversations with relatives and family friends you’d rather forget. Picking up on this, adam&eveDDB explores a conversation a young man has with one particularly tactless guest, who makes a lasting impression for all the wrong reasons.

The woman tells the young man of the holiday she took with her husband in Greece. He initially appears bored, but soon the conversation veers from the mundane to the uncomfortable as the woman talks about the “very secluded balconies” in the hotel room and the opportunities they afforded. We’ll avoid giving away too much as the cringe comedy involved is fairly dependent on some level of shock value, but let’s just say things degenerate from there. It’s easily one of the funniest holiday ads we’ve seen. The comedy it manages to pull off is no easy feet either, as this kind of thing easily derails from awkward funny to just awkward. But the perfectly paced writing and stellar performances from the actors hold everything together with just the right amount of cringe. At the end of the spot, the camera cuts to a jar of Maille mustard, with the tagline “Be a memorable guest for the right reason” explaining the scene preceding it. The spot itself is more than memorable, and should get its fair share of attention leading up to those awkward holiday parties. Read more

DDB Canada Works Out Ears for Sony

DDB Canada crafted a new campaign for Sony, promoting its Hi-Res Audio collection via two 30-second broadcast spots.

The ads aim for a weird sort of humor, with each showing people working out their ears in preparation of the intense experience they’ll get from Sony’s products. In practice, this ends up looking a bit creepy, as in “Ear Crunches.” The spot opens on a man as he takes off his cowboy hat and, with the aid of some special effects, begins some vigorous ear crunches. “Ear Workout” (featured after the jump) is more or less the same concept, with each spot ending with the tagline “Get Your Ears Ready” before showing the range of products in Sony’s Hi-Res Audio collection. Strange as the approach may be, it’s refreshing to see audio equipment advertised for sounding good rather than as a fashion accessory worn by celebrity athletes. Still, it would have been nice if DDB Canada could have mixed up the formula a bit more between the two ads.
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DDB Brussels Attempts to Stop People from Googling Medical Symptoms

Belgium’s Flemish government recently commissioned DDB Brussels to come up with a way to get people to stop googling their medical symptoms, leading to myriad, and potentially harmful, (self) misdiagnoses.

The agency came up with a pretty intriguing solution, buying Google Adwords for the top 100 searched symptoms and directing searchers to the Gezondheid en Wetenschap (Health and Science) website through a message stating, “Don’t Google it, check a reliable source.” They also made a promotional clip (featured above) for the campaign, introducing the issue of the perils of self-diagnosing via Google search. “I have a deadly disease, and I’m going to die in six weeks,” says a man with a solemn expression on his face. Suddenly, though, his expression relaxes and he adds, “Or at least that’s what I thought when I used Google to diagnose my twitching eyelid.” It’s a good way to get your attention, using the most dire of scenarios to draw attention to the ineffectiveness of using a tool like Google for self diagnosis, as 75 percent of the population does. Since, on the Internet, “anyone can be a doctor,” the video states, you’re likely to find the wrong solution, which can potentially make things worse (as it illustrates through comic exaggeration). It’s a clever campaign, and by placing the information in the right place at the right time, DDB Brussels just may help change people’s behavior. Read more

adam&eveDDB Celebrates Holiday Materialism for Mulberry

In adam&eveDDB’s Christmas spot for Mulberry, a grandmother “wins Christmas’ with a Mulberry bag, trumping some pretty stiff competition in the process.

The ad follows a young woman as she opens a series of presents, beginning with a pointillist portrait of her painted by her sister. Each gift gets more over the top and ridiculous, verging into the absurd, until the girl’s reaction to the Mulberry bag from her grandmother reveals it to be the best gift of all. It’s an interesting approach, forgoing the typical sentimentality of holiday advertising for a tongue-in-cheek celebration of materialism. adam&eveDDB pulls it off well, slowly ramping up the absurdity and not taking itself too seriously while still effectively promoting the brand. That the agency was able to produce both the heartwarming “Monty The Penguin” ad for John Lewis and this, pretty much its polar opposite, shows impressive range. Read more

adam&eveDDB Crafts Holiday Epic for John Lewis

adam&eveDDB crafted what is sure to be one of the most talked about holiday ads of the year with “Monty The Penguin” for John Lewis.

Of course, this hardly comes a surprise, given the pair’s track record with holiday advertising. But “Monty The Penguin” still manages to stand out. The two-minute ad tells the story of a boy and his best friend, a penguin named Monty. We follow them through scenes of their day-to-day activities, and get an idea of their relationship through a charming montage set to a cover of the John Lennon-penned “Real Love” by Tom Odell. Somewhere along the way it becomes apparent that Monty is missing something, as he wistfully watches couples in the park and in movies. The conflict reaches its adorable conclusion on Christmas morning, coupled by a reveal that is effective even if it doesn’t come as a surprise.

The broadcast spot, which cost around $1.6 million dollars to make, is part of John Lewis’ overall $11 million holiday campaign. It is supported by a children’s book called Monty’s Christmas, an audio app version of the book narrated by Dermot O’Leary, a single release of Tom Odell‘s version of “Real Love,” and an in-store experiential event called Monty’s Den, created in partnership with Samsung and including Monty’s Goggles, an Occulus Rift like technology created using Google Cardboard.

“At John Lewis, this time of year is all about helping our customers create their dream Christmas,” Craig Inglis, marketing director at John Lewis, told Adweek. “We hope this uplifting tale of Sam’s love for his friend Monty will remind people of the magic of Christmas through a child’s eyes and inspire them to think how they can make the festive season extra special for their friends and loved ones.”

We Hear: Big Changes Coming to DDB New York

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Today we received word of some big changes brewing at DDB New York.

The first hint came in June when the agency hired Chris Brown, who had been CEO of DDB Group Australia since 2012, to run its New York office. (Peter Hempel, CEO of DDB NY since 2005, is now chief executive of the larger DDB Group.)

Since then, DDB NY won the Iams and Eukanuba pet food brands accounts and began planning its larger restructuring; the biggest announcement in the near future will be the hiring of a new chief creative officer to lead the office’s newest incarnation. We don’t know exactly when the news will drop, but the change is coming — this yet-to-be-named CCO will aim to make the most of DDB New York’s existing talent while pushing for new business.

In the meantime, however, “restructuring” unfortunately means downsizing. Today the agency let what we believe to be a small percentage of its New York staffers go in the interest of better aligning its team with the coming changes.

We hear that DDB’s shift will include more leadership moves and that its long-term goal is to create a more efficient operation in Manhattan to better serve both current and future clients (while pitching some new business that might not have been considered in the past). No word on which departments were hit hardest today.

In short, expect significant announcements from DDB in the coming days and weeks. Updates when we receive them.

DDB Chicago Names Jack Perone CSO

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DDB Chicago has named Jack Perone as its new chief strategy officer, AdAge reports. Perone takes over for John Kottman, who leaves for New York to become director of strategy for DDB’s North America operations.

Perone arrives at DDB Chicago as an 18 year veteran at JWT, most recently serving as VP-director of strategic planning. In that position, Perone was responsible for managing the planning department, overseeing agency accounts and generating new business — including Tylenol, Motrin, Kit Kat, Grand Marnier, Special K and the University of Toronto. Prior to JWT, Perone worked at FCB as an account executive, McCann Erickson as account supervisor and Lowe SMS as account director. Read more

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