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Taco Bell Sends Digital Creative Duties to Deutsch

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Today we can confirm that responsibilities for Taco Bell’s digital creative work have shifted from DigitasLBi to Deutsch.

The company’s last real agency shakeup began back in 2012, when FCB (nee DraftFCB) lost the digital creative business to Digitas right after the latter opened its San Francisco office. FCB remained the brand’s official AOR at the time, but the account eventually shifted to Deutsch after a series of what AdAge described as “jump-ball pitches” involving both shops.

You may note that this new business follows Deutsch winning sister Yum Brands chain Pizza Hut in July; the agency’s first ads for that client debuted last month.

A source tells us, however, that the real reason behind the move was the October launch of Taco Bell’s new mobile ordering app.

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Deutsch LA Gets Aggressive for Sprint

Deutsch LA announces Sprint’s latest price offering in the new 30-second broadcast spot, “Cut Your Plan in Half.”

In the spot, Sprint promises customers who bring in an old Verizon or AT&T bill and turn in their phone that Sprint will cut their rate in half. It’s an ambitious (and/or desperate) offering from the struggling company, and Deutsch LA keeps the message simple and focused, while also following through on President/CEO Maurcelo Claure‘s promise that the company would be “more aggressive” in its advertising by directly calling out its competitors. Customers talk about their troublesome bills with AT&T and Verizon before announcing they’re switching to Sprint and (literally) cutting their old bills in half. The spot debuted this past Friday on national networks and cable during primetime, and will be supported by a Spanish-language spot and print ads.

Despite the launch of this spot by Deutsch LA, the agency’s preceding ad for the brand, and heavy rumors that Deutsch has already won the account, Sprint maintains that the creative review is still in progress, according to AdAge. Sprint spokesman Dave Mellin told that publication, “Deutsch L.A. did the creative work on this campaign.They are doing some work for us on a project basis.”

Sprint’s review was initially announced back in September, with the field narrowing to five agencies a month later. According to some sources, it then came down to a race between Deutsch LA and Arnold. Despite claims that Deutsch has been awarded the account, including a linked internal memo from Arnold  (which we reported on last month), Sprint continues to avoid making an official decision.

Deutsch NY Brings All 12 Days of Christmas to Life for PNC

Today is the day that Deutsch NY client PNC Bank releases its annual “Christmas Price Index,” which helps put the old 12-day carol in perspective by pricing every gift on the list.

A release tells us that the agency noted that the song had hit an all-time low in popularity this year and sought to reinvigorate it by presenting users with a “modern twist” on each item.

The corresponding “The Great Carol Comeback” site features an intro explaining PNC’s role in the project as well as a page for each present. First comes the partridge in his pear tree, which has risen in price thanks to both inflation and a healthy tech addiction (readers should click for the full interactive book experience):

partridge

We liked the Grinch-worthy ending. Next: the videos.

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New Pizza Hut Campaign Challenges Italians to Taste Sriracha

The new Pizza Hut campaign doesn’t include full credits from AOR Deutsch LA.

But the spots, which earned coverage in both Adweek and The New York Times this week, mark a change in direction for the newly rebranded company.

First, a trip to the town of Boring, Maryland with your favorite announcer Dick Vitale:

After the jump: a visit to Bland and somewhere in Italy.

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We Hear: Deutsch LA Set to Win Sprint

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We hear that the battle is over and that Deutsch LA is in final negotiations regarding the Sprint account, though nothing is official at this moment.

Multiple sources told us over the past few weeks that the final two agencies were Arnold and Deutsch, and this morning Arnold sent an internal memo to staff confirming that it had not won the business.

We knew as early as October via multiple tipsters that the group of five agencies competing for the business had narrowed to two and that the final round of the review would pit Deutsch CCO Pete Favat against Arnold global president Pam Hamlin, with whom he worked closely during his 13 years at the latter agency.

Sprint never confirmed any of this, though its new CEO/president Maurcelo Claure didn’t hesitate to tell all interested media outlets that the company would cancel its “Framily” plan in the interest of increasingly “simple” and “aggressive” messaging.

If true, this would be the latest, biggest win for Deutsch’s West Coast team, which won Pizza Hut over the summer before the company announced its new, Sriracha-flavored identity. Deutsch has also made multiple staffing changes in recent months, hiring ECDs from W+K as well as a new CTO.

Internal memo from Hamlin after the jump.

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Sherwin-Williams Confirms Deutsch NY Win

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On Monday we reported that Deutsch New York had won a portion of the Sherwin-Williams account, and yesterday the company confirmed the news with a press release. Specifically, Deutsch won the Diversified Brands Division of S-W and will “assume all marketing responsibilities, including media planning and buying, for the portfolio of brands.”

The brands involved include Minwax, Krylon, Purdy, Thompson’s WaterSeal, Dutch Boy, Pratt & Lambert, Dupli-Color, and others.

From Crain’s Cleveland, a Sherwin spokesperson said that the account, which had previously been handled by multiple agencies, went to Deutsch so the client can “‘align portfolio brands’ and ‘drive efficiencies of the portfolio.’”

While the company did not disclose billings on the account, The Wall Street Journal recently reported that its Q3 sales totals rose by 11 percent thanks to acquisitions and sales growth. No word on when to expect new work.

Deutsch LA Introduces ‘Randomly Chosen One’ for Taco Bell

Deutsch LA introduces Taco Bell to Destiny in a new ad promoting the chain’s PS4 Destiny bundle sweepstakes with its Quesarito Big Box.

In the spot, a small guy enjoying a Quesarito Big Box is thrown into the world of Destiny, where a commanding officer refers to him as “The Chosen One” and expect him to lead the vanguard. “I’m from New Jersey, I don’t know what he’s talking about,” the guy says after explaining (in a perhaps too obvious line) that he won bought a Quesarito Big Box and won a PS4. “The Chosen One” manages a blunder near the end of the spot that may make his leader second guess his notions that he’ll lead them to victory, leading into an explanation of the promotion, which runs until November 19th. The spot makes sure to mention that there’s “a winner about every 15 minutes,” a claim that may sound pretty convincing to young viewers with a hankering for some Taco Bell and PS4. Read more

David Povill Rejoins Deutsch L.A. as Creative Director

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Today we learned that copywriter/creative director David Povill has rejoined the Deutsch L.A. creative team.

You may know Povill as the copywriter behind the “Little Darth” spot, and our contact confirms that he has returned to Los Angeles to work on the VW account, among others.

W+K’s Portland office snagged Povill in 2011 after the Super Bowl spot went viral (creative director Eric Springer, who supposedly championed the ad, also left Deutsch in late 2011), and he spent more than three years there as senior copywriter. During that period, he worked on Dodge/Chrysler, Coke, Facebook and, perhaps most notably, the Old Spice “Smellcome to Manhood” campaign.

Before landing at Deutsch for his initial one-year-plus stint, Povill wrote copy for CP+B, TBWA\Chiat\Day, and David&Goliath. (Sources tell us that Povill bears a striking resemblance to this guy, but we can’t confirm that fact.)

Expect new campaigns this Fall.

Deutsch New York to Move Uptown

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In news we missed this week, R/GA isn’t the only New York agency that went shopping for real estate in recent months.

Deutsch New York, which has called the (Google-branded) building at 111 8th Avenue home since 1999, will soon be moving into new uptown digs. The agency recently signed a lease for 330 W. 34th Street, a structure owned by Vornado Realty Trust. In a related call, Vornado described the office as “the low-cost producer and not a bad place to be”, revealing that Deutsch will occupy two floors and 74,346 square feet (a smaller space than its current 134,830 square foot office) and — most importantly — that one of those two floors has a terrace.

Here’s the agency’s official statement:

“Our lease runs through 2018 at 111 8th Avenue, but when we re-upped the lease over a year and a half ago we had already been exploring new spaces and seeking out up and coming neighborhoods. That was one of the key things we were interested in—being able to explore new areas and make our mark, as we did when we moved to 111 8th Avenue in 1999. At that time the Meatpacking district was just that, and, for perspective, the Maritime Hotel was a meth addict treatment center. Our new space is on the edge of the Hudson Yards, an emerging area with character and history that is poised for growth. We’re excited about the move and will begin designing and building out the space shortly, and imagine a move sometime in 2015.”

Finally, the new office will be on the West side adjacent to Penn Station, home to New York’s only Krispy Kreme as well as both the sixth and seventh circles of Hell. So your inevitable Jeffersons reference doesn’t apply.

Deutsch LA Brings Back Ronald McDonalds for Taco Bell


Back in March, Deutsch LA used endorsements from real life Ronald McDonalds to help introduce Taco Bell’s new breakfast menu. Now, the agency has brought back the idea (which was actually recycled, intentionally or not, from an old Jack In The Box campaign), with their latest spot, “Ronalds.”

The 30-second spot features guys named Ronald McDonald sitting around a table and talking about Taco Bell’s breakfast burrito. In what amounts to yet another shot at McDonald’s (which seems to form the crux of Taco Bell’s recent strategy), a moderator asks, “Would you get a burrito from a burger place?” To which one of the Ronalds replies, “You don’t go to a sushi bar and order spaghetti.” That you could easily follow up the question with “Would you get breakfast from a taco place?” makes this seem like a bit of a misstep.

The Ronald McDonalds idea, which seemed stretched thin by the end of the last 30-second spot, now seems even more tired. It feels like it’s time for Deutsch LA to go back to the drawing board and put this idea to rest for good. Credits after the jump. Read more

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