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DDB

DDB California Names Todd Grantham President, CEO

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DDB California has named Todd Grantham as the agency’s new president and CEO, based out of the agency’s San Francisco office, Adweek reports. Grantham fills the role vacated by Mike Harris in June.

Grantham arrives at DDB California from Goodby Silverstein & Partners, where he served as director of new business and associate partner. He originally arrived at Goodby back in 1996 and has held roles at the agency including  associate director of account management and managing director. He’s worked with clients such as Chevrolet, Saturn Adobe, Hewlett-Packard, Yahoo and Quaker Oats.

DDB North America President Mark O’Brien “cited Grantham’s brand experience, people skills and ‘respect for creativity’” in making the hire, according to Adweek. Grantham’s experience in developing new business was undoubtedly another factor, as the agency looks to rebound from losing Well Fargo to BBDO in March. Top accounts at the agency currently include ConAgra Foods and Clorox.

DDB’s Rodgers Townsend Agency Livens Up the Office for The Hartford

DDB’s Rodgers Townsend agency, St. Louis, pumps some life into the office (via jams) for The Hartford, in the latest iteration of its “Play On” campaign.

The agency collaborated with The Hartford, which provides insurance to small companies, for the interactive YouTube video. Viewers choose a genre of music, and then the office breaks into a spontaneous dance party, before promptly returning back to work. It’s well worth a view for a quick chuckle. We recommend “Retro Tech” and “Renaissance,” although you can’t really go wrong.

“We wanted to connect people to the message, when the unforeseen happens, The Hartford helps businesses prevail,” Steve Jones, assistant VP-marketing, small commercial at The Hartford, explained to AdAge. “This time, we wanted to do something fun and engaging that’s right for social channels and online.”

DDB Revives Rob Schneider’s Career for State Farm

Here we thought last week’s BBDO Throwback Thursday campaign for Twix would fill our 90s nostalgia quotient for the month.

But a coming campaign created by DDB Chicago to promote State Farm promises to pack in more former Saturday Night Live stars than an Adam Sandler movie.

Here’s the first spot:

Nice to see Rob Schneider get work when he’s not busy blaming Big Pharma for Robin Williams’ suicide.

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DDB Johannesburg Isn’t Impressed by Your Car Ads

This week DDB’s Johannesburg, South Africa shop showed us the latest in what we might call a trend: a legitimate car ad parodying its own subgenre.

Of course, DDB isn’t the first party to poke fun at the cliches that make up so many auto spots.

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DDB California Brings Back ‘Snap Into a Slim Jim’

DDB California brings back Slim Jim’s classic “Snap Into a Slim Jim” tagline in their latest campaign for the brand.

The new campaign targets the 18-25 crowd, most of whom are probably too young to remember the line as delivered by Randy Savage in its original incarnation. Still, it’s a memorable tagline and bringing it back will stoke nostalgia in the slightly older set. The 30-second spot reintroducing the line “Snap Into It,” unfortunately, is less memorable. With the only lines in the ad rhymes playing on meat sticks: bro sticks, pro sticks, hooray sticks, meat chicks, tree sticks, etc., the onscreen action focuses on one group of friends’ epic day, concluding with a goat party. “Snap into a goat party, snap into a slim jim,” the spot concludes. As you can imagine, it’s a tad on the goofy side, but the tagline’s return is a welcome one. A series of 15-second ads, also featuring the classic tagline, pit Slim Jims against a generic competitor in a series of ridiculous situations.

“It’s what people know and love about the brand,” group creative director Travis Parr told Adweek, reffering to the old tagline. “ConAgra worried it had too much baggage or might make them seem old. But they finally decided it was cool.” Credits and the 15-second “Possum” after the jump. Read more

DDB Examines Downside to Self-Driving Cars for Centraal Beheer Achmea

DDB & Tribal Worldwide, Amsterdam tackles the issue of self-driving cars in their latest spot for Dutch insurance company Centraal Beheer Achmea.

The spot at first appears to be a promo for the self-driving car, but while the voiceover extolls the virtues of the technological innovations it leads to all kinds of disastrous accidents as people are distracted by the site of seeing a car with no driver. DDB’s spot crams a lot of slapstick into its 60 seconds, leading into the brand’s “Just Call Us” tagline.

Apparently the spot was correct in its assumption that a self-driving car would function as a large distraction to other drivers and passers-by. “The self-driving car is a hot topic at the moment and we saw it as a great opportunity for Centraal Beheer Achmea’s car insurance,” said Pol Hoenderboom, creative director at DDB & Tribal Worldwide. “Our own ‘self-driving car,’ by the way, did not survive the shoot unscathed. A local driver was so distracted by the situation that he drove straight into our ‘TV ad hero’ car parked on the location.” Stick around for credits after the jump. Read more

McDonald’s Has 18 Months to Rebrand…or Else

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A report from Bloomberg’s BusinessWeek tells us that McDonald’s is “setting aside the next 18 months as a period not only to develop the normal lineup of new menu items but also to rebrand itself”. The goal is to change its image from cheap, fast food to something approaching fine(r) dining.

On its last earnings call, McDonald’s CEO Don Thompson said the goal of this soul searching is for the Golden Arches to become “a more trusted and respected brand.”

The implications for current partners DDB and Leo Burnett are less clear.

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DDB/Tribal Worldwide Amsterdam Get Bouncy in Banned TomTom Spot

How does one sell wearable technology?” is a question the ad industry will have to answer at some point in the very near future as Google Glass makes the awkward transition from a virtual “punch me” sign to what those in the field call “a conversation piece.”

Not all wearables are as in-your-face (literally) as Glass, though. Some are more strategically located.

This spot–released today for Dutch tech client TomTom with creative by DDB and Tribal Worldwide, Amsterdam–just provided us with two prominent answers to the above question…and got itself banned in the process.

We can see why, though nothing in this spot says “Dutch manufacturer of automotive navigation systems, including both stand-alone units and software for personal digital assistants and mobile telephones” to us…

We’re told that the campaign, starring a model (Alexandria Morgan) whose name we’d never encountered before today, aims to offer “a tongue-in-cheek take on the usual slow motion videos featuring women, often found on the internet” while highlighting the benefits of the company’s new workout-friendly smartwatch, complete with ”a built-in heart rate monitor that eliminates the need for an awkward, sometimes uncomfortable chest strap.”

So…success?

Credits if/when we receive them.

Motivational Monday: ‘The Idea Catchers’ by DDB Limelight

In case you’re currently suffering through a case of the late Mondays, DDB Group Asia Pacific (@DDBLimelight) recently released a video entitled “The Idea Catchers.”

According to a blog post on the agency’s website, the video, first imagined by Regional Creative Director Andy Fackrell seeks to honor “the people behind the work who constantly observe, think and meticulously deliver thought-provoking ideas, which have had an impact on popular culture.”

In other words, it’s a defense of advertising creatives everywhere.

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DDB Toronto Targets ‘Junkface’ for Neutrogena

DDB Toronto has a new campaign for Neutrogena discouraging men from washing their junk and their face with the same soap (and offering up Neutrogena Men Face Wash as the perfect solution).

As Adweek points out, the Canadian campaign “assumes that men start low and move up in the shower,” a somewhat dubious assumption. Still, the 60-second spot is not without its (heavily influenced by W+K’s Old Spice) charm. While “Junkface” explains the cause of Junkface, there is little description of the symptoms, although we can reasonably assume they include junk particles in the facial region.

The goofy humor continues on www.stopjunkface.com, which contends that 72% of Canadians have junkface, with Alberta having the most Junkface sufferers at 86%. Men with chinstraps are especially prone to Junkface, and all bounty hunters suffer from it. The site also offers the important reminder to keep knees, owls, and footballs away from your nether regions. No word yet on whether Neutrogena plans to offer a separate line of soap for your junk.

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