If you were a fan of Draftcb’s almost-expletive filled “Ship My Pants” spot for Kmart, (which we covered back in April) you might be glad to learn that the agency has just released a holiday follow-up, “Ship My Trousers,” which hopes to recapture the viral success (over 20 million views) of that spot. Draftcb’s sequel follows the formula of the original very, very closely. In fact, “Ship My Trousers” uses the same actors, and most of the same lines, as the original “Ship My Pants” spot. It’s pretty much the same ad, just adapted for characters from Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. If you enjoyed the original “Ship My Pants,” chances are you’ll find the sequel amusing as well. If you didn’t, you probably won’t want to bother watching “Ship My Trousers” above. Personally, while I don’t understand what characters from A Christmas Carol are doing shopping at Kmart, the “I just shipped my bed” guy’s delivery just about makes up for it. Idea for next time: hire the actor who played Clay Davis on The Wire to say “sheeeip.” Credits after the jump. Read more
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You may have read about the controversy surrounding Draftcb Chicago’s new Joe Boxer spot for Kmart, “Show Your Joe.” If you actually watch the spot (featured above) and have any sense, you may wonder what all the fuss is about. Kmart, of course, is no stranger to controversial advertising: a recent Kmart spot featured Satan and Genghis Khan, and their “Ship My Pants” spot is still our favorite of the bunch.
“Show Your Joe” opens with a group of tuxedo-wearing men behind a curtain, ringing bells. After a few seconds the curtain is whisked away to reveal the men clad in only boxer shorts from the waist down, and they begin playing “Jingle Bells” by shaking their hips. Presumably the, uh, bells, are tucked away somewhere in those boxers. The men perform the chorus of the song…and that’s it. To be clear: there’s nothing all that risque about the execution — the camera is panned way out and these dudes are in boxers, okay? No junk visible. Repeat: no junk visible.
The holiday effort is a little juvenile perhaps, but offensive? Hardly. The most offensive thing about it may be that it’s not all that funny. Either the cries to arms are coming from those who feel this ad violates the “sanctity of Christmas” (you can see these people riding around in cars with “Put the Christ back in Christmas” bumper stickers and complaining about government handouts), or they are the typically hypocritical complaints that arise from anything remotely provocative associated with male body parts. Overtly sexualizing women in every single women’s underwear ad ever? That’s okay. Suggesting that a group of guys are playing “Jingle Bells” with parts tucked away in their boxers, away from view? Congratulations, you’ve just awakened the seven horses of the apocalypse.
Kmart has reportedly refused to pull the ad, despite a long list of complaints on their Facebook page (although a quick glance at the page while writing this turned up at least as many comments supporting the ad). Good for them. If anything, the controversy will just call more attention to the spot, Kmart and Joe Boxer. Let us know what you think about the so-called controversy surrounding “Show Your Joe” in the comments section. Credits after the jump. Read more
Draftcb, the agency behind the “Ship My Pants” spot, continue their trend of employing off-the-wall humor in their campaign for Kmart.
In their latest spot, “Boardroom,” a boss asks a room full of evil workers — including Genghis Khan and Satan — for evil ideas to make layaway “as inconvenient as possible.” Genghis Khan suggests blackout dates, Satan offers up limitations like no clothes, and “Guy Who Always Takes the Last Donut” comes up with in-store only. The meeting is interrupted when a nun walks in, to which the boss running the meeting calmly replies “I believe we have the room until 11:30, sister.” I’m not quite sure why the nun is so unfazed upon seeing Satan in the flesh. You’d think she’d attempt to throw some holy water at him or something, at least. The spot ends by informing viewers of Kmarts “Shop Your Way” layaway policy — basically the opposite of all the evil ideas thrown out at the board meeting.
“Boardroom” is worth a quick chuckle, even if it’s not quite as funny as the “Ship My Pants” spot, and should gain Kmart some visibility. And we all know Kmart needs all the help it can get. Maybe that nun can pray for them, too.
We’ve been told Carter Murray is announcing this news to staff as we speak. Yes, Lee Garfinkel, who’s spent nearly the last three years at what is now Havas, where he last served as chairman/CCO of global brands, has taken the top seat at Draftfcb New York. As CEO of DFCB NY, Garfinkel will not only run the fort but work in tandem with NY CCO, Javier Campopiano. Regarding the hire, his new boss Murray says, “Some of the best agency leaders have come from creative backgrounds and I believe that Lee, with his strong creative reputation, is absolutely the right CEO for our New York office at this time. With our world-class chief creative officer Javi Campopiano already in place and Lee as CEO, we have high ambitions for the future of the office. Lee will help ensure that we create strong and memorable campaigns in the years ahead for our clients.”
During his 30-plus years in the ad biz, Garfinkel also served as EVP/ECD at BBDO, chairman at Lowe and chairman/CCO at DDB. While Garfinkel joins DFCB, Debra Coughlin, who’s served as EVP/global CMO for the past two-and-a-half years, is moving out of the leadership role in NY (though sources tell us she’ll be working with Carter Murray somewhat on new biz efforts). Regarding Coughlin, Murray adds, “Debra, one of the smartest marketers I know and a consummate professional, has been truly understanding of my strategic desire to focus more aggressively on the creative product. So, while she transitions out of the New York role, she will be making sure things go as smoothly as possible until Lee joins forces with Javi and the rest of the New York team in January.”
Just two weeks ago, we were covering the first wave of Nabi spots from Draftfcb, a pair of 30-second ads that favorably compared kid-friendly Nabi tablets to Kindle devices a la Microsoft vs. Apple. Our Erik Oster found them to be informational and appealing. However, these two new spots, “Fear Not Question” and “Swagger,” drop the comparison technique for an unconvincing plea for Nabi to be a lifestyle brand.
“Fear No Question” presents the Nabi brand as classroom-friendly, going right after a parent’s sense of idealistic learning, so in turn, that parent will go right for his/her wallet. It’s a boring and safe play that may have worked out if Draftfcb hadn’t already launched the Kindle attacks that are much more memorable.
“Swagger” goes straight after the kids. Promoting Nabi headphones – think Beats for kids – the spot shows a little kid walking down a school hallway in slow-motion as he gives headnods to his friends and long stares to the girl he probably has a crush on. This is more Fubu than Fuhu. This is also just a bad commercial, corny and overdone, even for a children’s market. The tagline of “Everyone Needs a Theme Song” actually has a nice ring to it, but the visual execution is too silly. The clip almost plays like a mocking comedy skit of itself.
At 30 seconds, both ads are easy to watch and easy to forget. ”Swagger” and credits after the jump.
Following on the heels of the massively successful centennial “Daily Twist” campaign, Draftcb has teamed up with media agency PHD, which won JC Decaux’s “Fame – The Agency Edition” competition and secured €150,000 of media space, for an outdoor campaign dubbed “Dublin Twist.”
“Dublin Twist” celebrates unique landmarks and events around Dublin, by depicting them in the medium of Oreo. The fifteen “twists” include Oreo depictions of the maze at Iveagh Gardens, the Bram Stoker festival, the Hugh Lane Gallery, the Abbey Theatre, the Dublin Writers Museum, and others. Draftfcb London’s ECD David Harris describes the aim of the campaign: “Through the iconic images of OREOs, this campaign invites people to get together and discover the less well known, more unconventional parts of Dublin,” he said. The sixteenth and final “twist” on Dublin institutions will be based on a winning suggestion from one of of TheJournal.ie’s readers.
In addition to the aforementioned installations, the campaign will also transform Dublin public transportation. In addition to public bus wraps, a wrapped train called the Oreo Express will dispense Oreo samples at Dublin’s Pearse Station. That is going to make some kids very, very happy. On October 28th, the brand will support runners of the Dublin Marathon with a good luck message and goody bag contribution. The campaign runs through November 4th and also includes print, experiential and social media aspects.
The “Dublin Twist” campaign is a fun and playful extension of the idea from a successful (also fun and playful) campaign. It’s really a can’t miss. What’s not to like about minimalist interpretations of a city’s lesser-known landmarks and events, depicted using only Oreo cookies? Let’s hope Oreo continues this “twist” trend further, as it has worked excellently for the brand and offers a seemingly endless array of possible variations. Credits and more images after the jump Read more
Draftcb has unveiled two new spots for the Nabi, its first campaign for Fuhu since becoming their agency of record in September.
Fuhu has done incredibly well for themselves with the Nabi, a soft-edged tablet designed for children, even being named “the fastest growing company in America” by Inc. There’s certainly no change in strategy from Draftcb for these two new spots. “Good Morning” and “Glow in the Dark” tout the Nabi’s kid-friendly features via comparison with the Kindle, which comes out looking sorely lacking in the kid-friendly department.
If you are going to buy your kids a tablet, I suppose it should be one that’s made for them, right? These spots do a good job extolling the Nabi as the perfect option for children. In “Good Morning” (featured above) that means talking about the Nabi’s “time controls” — in this case, a good morning song to wake up to. The Nabi does its thing before asking a silent Kindle what its good morning song is.
“Glow in the Dark,” meanwhile, highlights Nabi’s glow in the dark feature. No surprise there. Also not a surprise: the Kindle does not glow in the dark. Score: Nabi 2, Kindle 0. Plus, the Nabi just looks like something a kid would want to play with. So make that Nabi 3, Kindle 0.
We see plenty of these “direct comparison to our biggest competitor” ads with tech gadgets, but few seem to take the wind out of the competition the way these ads sucker punch the Kindle. At least for the Nabi’s target audience. If I were shopping around for a tablet for a child, this campaign would have me convinced that the Nabi is the way to go. Thankfully, I won’t find myself in that situation any time soon. Credits and “Glow in the Dark” after the jump. Read more
Former Publicis USA chief marketing officer Chris Shumaker has now assumed the same title at Draftfcb, taking on CMO duties for North America. This actually marks the second tour of duty at DFCB for Shumaker, who served as global CMO at what was FCB prior to the merger in 2006.
During his career, Shumaker also spent nearly a decade at the Martin Agency, serving as SVP/director of development and working with a client roster ranging from UPS to Quizno’s. And yes, we’ve obtained a memo from sources that was sent from DFCB global CEO Carter Murray to staff regarding Shumaker’s arrival. This marks Murray’s second major hire following that of global chief strategy officer Nigel Jones and EVP/strategic planning Vita Harris earlier this month. Anyhow, see note regarding Shumaker below and after the jump.
“Date 26 September 2013
From Carter Murray
To Everyone at Draftfcb North America
Re Welcoming Chris Shumaker
I wanted first to thank everyone I have met in my first two weeks for the incredibly warm welcome to the company. It has been very humbling and inspiring.
This note is to share more news that I think is a step forward for all of us. Chris Shumaker is joining our team as our Chief Marketing Officer for North America, a new role at our agency.
Draftfcb San Francisco went the live-action route to show the immersive nature of the new free-to-play (up to a point) massive-multiplayer online game Star Wars: The Old Republic.
The whole thing looks more like a movie trailer than one for a video game. Groups of people gradually take to the streets, wielding familiar Jedi/Sith weapons, using mind control and otherwise looking fierce/menacing while drums pound in the background. A voiceover declares, “We are no longer friends, or neighbors: today, we choose a side and join the battle,” as a melee breaks out.
The live-action nature of the spot (which even foregoes including actual gameplay footage) underscores the immersive nature of Star Wars: The Old Republic, which puts players “at the center of [their] own story-driven Star Wars saga,” which takes place over 3,000 years before the original films. Players can choose to play not just as Jedi or Sith, but also as a Bounty Hunter, or from other iconic roles. Players can enjoy the story-driven game up to level 50 for free (with restrictions), or choose to become a subscriber for unlimited game access. So, to be fair, this isn’t exactly a “free game” as there are serious restrictions to the free-to-play mode and it’s used more as a way to ease gamers into paying for a subscription if they want to finish the game and enjoy all its features.
Nerds everywhere are seemingly eating this spot up right now, and those faithful to the franchise are undoubtedly going to play this game, but some of the non-Star Wars-obsessed gaming crowd might be left wondering if the gameplay-averse spot is hiding flaws with the game itself. Feel free to check out more and “join the battle” here.
And here we go again, party people. In case you missed the Campaign report this morning, Nigel Jones, who has served as group chairman/chief exec of Publicis UK for the past five years, is the latest to join up with Carter Murray and crew at Draftfcb, where he will assume a global strategy role. And wouldn’t you know it, we’ve obtained another memo sent from DFCB’s global CEO to staff regarding Jones’s arrival as well as the appointment of another. Take heed of this latest opus, dubbed “Planning for Success,” below and after the jump.
”I am writing this a little sooner than planned because, unfortunately, the news below has leaked in the U.K. press today. I thought it important to update you immediately on a great addition to our team.
I am sure we all believe that best-in-class strategy and planning are essential for our success looking forward. In welcoming our new global Chief Strategy Officer Nigel Jones to the team, I believe our global planning capabilities – which are strong in some markets but need to be more consistent in several others – will make a significant leap forward.
Nigel is one of the smartest people with whom I have ever worked – and in the strategy and planning arena, he is an absolute standout with a humbling track record. He is a quite exceptional, curious, thoughtful and determined person, one who always brings some unique perspective to any conversation. I know that he is going to make an immediate impact on our clients and our culture here.
So you can understand him better, I would like to share a few things that show the many dimensions of Nigel Jones:
- Nigel was a semi-professional chess player through his time at Oxford University. He only gave it up when he realised that he would never quite make it to becoming a grand master. He will bring this same intelligent, thought-through approach to any business and brand problem that clients bring to us.
- Nigel ran BMP DDB’s Planning capability during the period when that agency helped redefine brand planning for our industry. To give some perspective to the quality of his department back then, several top CSOs in the U.S. and Europe today worked with and for Nigel.
- During his time in charge of Planning, BMP DDB was Campaign magazine’s “Agency of the Year” three times; it won four times as many IPA Effectiveness Awards as any other agency; it pioneered the introduction of econometrics and the numerical measurement of advertising effectiveness; and it introduced an observational research function – using state-of-the-art digital video techniques to record and then analyse actual consumer behaviour (as opposed to attitudes and claimed behaviour).
- Nigel started a music blog called “A barrel of nails.” This site now has a cult following worldwide and Nigel has become a regular on festival stages at the invitation of avid fans. (Please do not pester him for tickets – I got there first.) We often talk of the importance of music for brands and creative work, and now we have another aficionado in our midst.
Nigel’s full bio will be on our website soon, where you will also see that over his career he has had an absurdly strong new business track record, and extensive management experience as the CEO of three different agencies. Nigel briefly ran Draftfcb in the U.K. before being poached by Publicis, so he is actually a returning member of the Draftfcb team.
I hope that many of you have a chance to welcome Nigel in person soon. I feel very fortunate to have him as one of my key partners on the global leadership team moving forward.We are also fortunate to have another well-respected and talented agency veteran like Vita Harris taking on a new role at the agency. As EVP, Strategic Planning, she will work on key global initiatives spanning research and planning to get to better, more insightful work, reporting into Nigel.
Vita has made significant contributions to our global network, especially in recent years. She is not just respected for her great thinking and the results she produces but also, as I have heard from many sources, because of her passion for our business and her integrity that run deep. Whilst remaining a key partner on our global leadership team, Vita and I are also exploring an exciting new initiative that would take advantage of her many talents…but we will save that news for another note!
Best as ever,
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