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Dentsu

‘Follow Your NOLA’ Gets 360i Two More Years in the Big Easy

follow your nola

Been to New Orleans lately?

It truly is a tale of two cities. The lower wards are still — yes, still — trying to recover from Katrina. However, if you stroll down Bourbon, Canal, Freret, and Frenchmen (mark it down), it is arguably the best French Quarter ever.

The New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation (That’s CVB to you and me) proudly lays responsibility for that rebound at the feet of 360i. The New York-based ad agency (a branch of Dentsu Inc. based in Toyko) began running the city’s tourism advertising campaigns in 2012 with much fanfare and bead-throwing.

Its success and payoff after the jump…

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PlayStation Vita Brings ‘Assassin’s Creed’ to Life on the Subway

From Deutsch LA comes the above spot for PlayStation Vita, Sony’s latest portable gaming console that, at the lofty price tag of $250, is selling slower than Dreamcast, Sega’s final console before it dropped out of the console-making business completely.

Yes, PlayStation’s pricing model has gotten itself in some financial trouble over the last few years. While PlayStation built up its reputation for having the best video game titles and competitive technology since the release of its first console in 1995, the company got a little greedy with the release of PS3 and PlayStation Vita. Both of these systems are what most gaming experts would agree are the most technologically capable in their respective console categories, but six years after its release, Sony is still refusing to drop the price on the PS3 under $250. Meanwhile, in spite of the Vita’s sluggish sales since it debuted on the international market earlier this year, Sony is still not dropping its price tag. For you to truly understand the above spot for the Assassin’s Creed 3 bundle pack for Vita, you need to understand the position that Deutsch is in.

Unlike the campaign for the PSP, PlayStation’s earlier handheld platform that was marketed to casual gamers, Deutsch is aiming to hit the video game fanatics that are willing to shell out $250 in exchange for constant stimulation at all times. Look at it this way, thieves are probably more likely to rob iPhones on the subway these days instead of foreign-looking, clunky devices. Add to that the promise of a violent murder during your morning commute, and perhaps Sony can move some Vitas during the holiday season without lowering the price. Credits after the jump.

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McDermott Leaving Dentsu

Sources close to the hip confirm that Brian McDermott, who was appointed as chief creative officer of Dentsu America last June, is leaving the agency. We haven’t been given a timetable for McDermott’s departure, but we’ve been told that the exec is moving out of the New York area. McDermott (pictured) was initially promoted to his CCO post a year ago after spending a year as managing director/ECD at McGarryBowen, which of course operates under the ever-growing Dentsu West umbrella.

Prior to his Dentsu relationship, McDermott worked as a creative director and GCD at Y&R and McCann Erickson, respectively. Spies allege that Dentsu is eyeing Paul Bernasconi, who sold his Oasis International Group to the Japan-based network over a decade ago, as McDermott’s successor. We’ve reached out to Dentsu to get some clarification on the matter. Stay tuned…

Starting 4/1, Dentsu LA Will Be Known as ATTIK LA

Yes, we’ve received confirmation that the Dentsu network is making some shifts in the West Coast, mainly that starting April 1 (no joke), the agency will re-brand its Los Angeles office as ATTIK LA. Leading the new operation will be Ric Peralta, who once served as CEO of ATTIK, then moved into the president post-Dentsu acquisition in 2007. Peralta will be back in the mix as CEO of the agency network’s West Coast operations.

As a result of the impending merger, Dentsu had to make some cuts in the region, and from what we hear, 6-8 staffers were affected across departments in the West Coast region. Dentsu tells us it was part of the process in order to offer “a more robust offering.”

More Dentsu News? More Dentsu News…This Time Concerning a CCO

Who would’ve thunk we’d have two Dentsu items back-to-back in one day, but before you release the hounds, let us tell you that the agency’s U.S. network has a new chief creative officer in Brian McDermott, who, conveniently enough, happened to serve as MD/ECD at Dentsu-owned McGarryBowen. During his time at McGB, McDermott worked on accounts including Chase, Marriott and Sharp and prior to joining said agency, he worked at familiar agencies including BBDO, McCann Erickson and Y&R. Now as CCO, McDermott will take on accounts including that of an aforementioned automaker from Japan.

As a side note, we’ve been told by those who know that McDermott was also a guitarist in McCann NY’s Advertising-Week-Battle-of- the Band-winning band, “More F**king Cowbell”.

 

 

Valerie Heine is Taking a Break from Dentsu

We’ve received confirmation that Valerie Heine, Dentsu’s EVP/group account director on Toyota, is parting ways with the agency…for the time being. Heine is gearing up for a fall return to the agency, but for the summer, she is taking a sabbatical for personal reasons. A search is currently underway for her seemingly temporary replacement. Heine has served as EVP/GAD for four years at Dentsu, where she’s been a part of the senior executive team and is basically running the Toyota corporate account.

The exec has some history with the Japanese automaker, having spent nine years as VP, director for Lexus while at Saatchi & Saatchi’s Team One unit.  The 30-year ad vet has also logged in time at BBDO and Arnold Worldwide.

Will Travis Out at Dentsu

We’ve heard from sources that Dentsu America CEO Will Travis was let go by the agency this week. No specifics were given, but his departure comes just two weeks after creative director Paul Laffy left the agency. If you remember, Travis recently went on a 3,500-mile bike race through the Andes and documented his adventures for AgencySpy.

The now-former chief exec spent the last year-plus as CEO and nearly two-and-a-half years in total at Dentsu. Prior to that, he was at ATTIK for just about a decade. Well, I guess now we know why our proposed drinks meetup never came to fruition.

Paul Laffy Out at Dentsu

We’ve received confirmation that Paul Laffy is no longer with Dentsu America. Laffy had been a lead creative director at the agency for approximately four years. He arrived from Ogilvy (after being recruited by then-Dentsu America EVP/CCO Mike Wilson), where he was a senior art director. Prior to that, Laffy spent six years at Mullen as AD/senior AD.

Word from spies is that Laffy’s departure, which happened just recently, was due to his issues with working on the Toyota account. Just last month, Dentsu NY happened to launch a new corporate campaign for the automaker that featured its Sienna minivan.

Vladimir Leveque Resurfaces at Dentsu

After leaving the ad game for a year to ride his motorcycle cross-country and learn how to tattoo, Vladimir Leveque, whose resume includes stints at Young & Rubicam, UniWorld Group and Kirshenbaum Bond & Partners (Media Kitchen), has returned to the agency world to take on a VP, group media director post at Dentsu.

Leveque’s goal: “Keeping it simple and smart.” Before leaving to find himself, Leveque picked up a Media Plan of the Year Award in 2008 and in ’07, won a 40 Under 40 Marketing Excellence Award, which honors the top forty leading African American marketers. Back at Dentsu, Leveque will oversee media across all accounts, including Canon.

Though he is returning to the ad biz, he won’t lose touch with the road as he continues to ride his bike and regularly contributes to Full Throttle Magazine. Read an, um, enlightening Q+A to find out what makes the man tick.

Dentsu CEO to Celebrate New Year with 3,500-Mile Bike Race

With breaking news dribbling in like molasses this week, it’s refreshing to get a human interest story that concerns someone within the industry. Will Travis loves his extreme sports it appears and having spent his first full year as CEO of Dentsu America, the exec is celebrating by taking part in what is known as the Dakar Rally, a 3,500-mile race through the Andes that begins and ends in Buenos Aires.

Travis’s mode of hi-speed transportation will be a BMW 1200 GS Adventure motorcycle, that will hopefully serve him and his Raw Hyde team well through the 12-day trek, where contestants bike through dunes, deserts and mountains at a pace of 300 miles a day. We sure as hell wouldn’t do it, so good on you Will. As for background, Travis has been with Dentsu for two-and-a-half  years, is a board member of Promax BDA and spent over 10 years at ATTIK, where he ultimately ended up as president. You can follow his Dakar Rally exploits here.

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