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Shumaker Assumes CMO Post at Draftfcb…And Yes, There’s a Memo

shumakerFormer 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.

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Draftfcb, EA Enlist Nerds to ‘Join the Battle’ for ‘Star Wars: The Old Republic’

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.


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Apparently, Draftfcb is Becoming Our New Grey

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,


Here’s Your Carter Murray Memo Regarding Latest DFCB News

You might’ve heard this yesterday, but here’s the verbatim memo from now-official Draftfcb global CEO, Carter Murray, regarding staff. You might have read about Elyssa Phillips‘s appointment as global creative manager, but there’s also Jonathan Harries. From what we’ve been told by sources in the know, Harries until recently had been planning to leave the agency at the end of this year. As part of that transition, we’ve been told that Harries, despite being named executive advisor, global creative back in Oct. 2011 at DFCB, was still parting ways. Well, now what we’ve got some clarification on the exec, who, among other things, is consulting on Mondelez at Draftfcb and is behind the agency nabbing the Beiersdorf account, eventually running it globally after it was consolidated with Draftfcb following the pitch against TBWA at the end of 2010. Here you go from the Murray himself:

“To Everyone at Draftfcb
Re Two Great People

One of the enjoyable parts of this job is recognizing great people. This note is about two individuals who have worked incredibly hard at this agency for many years and whom I have asked to take on more responsibility on behalf of all of us.

I do not know how to work without a strong creative partner and, more importantly, I do not believe that this agency should operate for one day without a Global Chief Creative Officer. In Jonathan Harries we have someone who can do this role flawlessly: someone who respects, attracts and motivates great talent. Jonathan is also someone whom many clients have expressed great respect for over his career.

In my early conversations with Jonathan, his passion for this company and his care for our people and our clients run deep. I have found that we also have similar points of view on great work, and on the importance for us to get this consistently out the door in every office.

Looking forward, Jonathan will lead the charge, with my full partnership and support, to make sure that we have an unfair share of creative talent, that we are unwavering in making certain that we never rest in getting the best creative solutions in front of our clients, and that we apply our creativity more effectively to build our client base further.

The other person that I have asked to step into a larger role is Elyssa Phillips.

Elyssa is someone who has worked tirelessly at FCB and later Draftfcb for 20+ years.  Most recently she has managed to help build the creative network in the company.  Awards are not everything, but they are a good measure of progress, and if you speak to anyone in our creative community, you will hear that she has been a pivotal part of the agency doubling its performance in Cannes for the last three years.

Since meeting Elyssa, she has always spoken of and put others before herself. She has demonstrated the hardest thing in a global role – to make a difference through earned respect and persuasion, not through force of title.

Elyssa knows and loves this agency and, together with her very broad skill set, is a huge asset for us. So I have asked her to become our Chief of Staff.

Elyssa will be a sounding board for me on key decisions and also a driving force to make sure that I and the global leadership team are as effective as possible in our jobs. She will also remain in her role to help make sure that we are relentless in constantly wanting to improve our creative product and in managing our network’s creative community.

There is a lot to do in the coming months and I believe that having these two people in these roles will make us a stronger and better place. If you have a moment, I hope you will have a chance to congratulate them.

Best as always,


And Now, a Message from Carter Murray to Draftfcb Staff

It took six months, but from what we gather from the memo just sent to us below, Carter Murray has finally assumed the CEO post at Draftfcb Worldwide. Murray was announced as global CEO of the IPG-owned network back in March, taking over for Laurence Boschetto. Previously, Murray served as Y&R North America president/CEO. Anyhow, you can read Murray’s seemingly heartfelt intro to staff at DFCB. Guess you can call it a rallying cry of sorts for an agency that has retained its Kmart business and picked up ad duties for Aramark in the past month. Read on.

“If you are reading this, you are one of the 8,000-plus Draftfcb team that gets up every morning and goes to work to try to make a difference for your clients and this agency.

Today is my first day on the job as the new CEO. To say I am thrilled to finally be here, and cannot wait to get started, would be an understatement.

I thought in this first note I would share some thoughts on what I believe I need to do to help our clients and all of us move forward, including some specifics on what you will see from me over the coming months. I apologize for its length, but after a six-month wait I thought I owed you a detailed first note.

I need to make sure that the most talented people in our industry work at or want to work at Draftfcb, and do all I can to make sure that most of us – most mornings – love coming to work.

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Fougere, DFCB Chicago Part Ways

Sources familiar with the matter confirm that Bruce Fougere, who has spent nearly two years as SVP/director of innovation out of its Chicago office, is leaving the agency. From what sources tell us, Fouguere is parting ways at the end of the month to pursue the usual “other opportunities.”

Fougere joined DraftFCB at the end of 2011 after a nearly five-year stint at The Martin Agency, where he last served as VP/group creative director. During his career, Fougere has worked on the creative side at the likes of McKinney, where he worked on Qwest and Travelocity among other accounts.

The Peruvian Cancer Foundation, Mayo Draftcb Peru Search for Hearts in Unexpected Places

From Mayo Draftcb Peru, the agency behind the amazing water generating billboard for UTEC, comes a truly awe-inspiring campaign for the Peruvian Cancer Foundation.

The Peruvian Cancer Foundation was truly in need of help, having failed to reach its fundraising goal for the past three years. This year, they launched their campaign among the prisoners of Castro Castro Penitenciary, the most dangerous prison in Peru. They gathered the representatives of each pavilion in the prison, showed them video of children struggling with cancer, and asked them to raise as much funds among the other prisoners as they could. The results exceeded expectations, and news of the prisoner’s compassion spread throughout Peru, helping the Peruvian Cancer Foundation break previous fundraising records. Perhaps most inspiring is the positive effect the campaign had on the inmates of the prison. But words can’t really do it justice, check out the video for yourself. There really aren’t enough stories like this one out there.  Read more

NZI Launches First Television Campaign In 8 Years

NZI launched its long-anticipated brand campaign this weekend, along with its creative agency, Draftcb. The campaign is necessary because, according to Karl Armstrong, executive general manager of NZI, “…many business customers don’t know [NZI] by name,” even though they are New Zealand’s leading business insurer.

The campaign creates an animated port town called “Port Avon,” a celebration of a typical New Zealand port town that extends beyond the TV spot to digital, print, direct and ambient advertising.

The clever 60-second spot, “Devil’s Chair,” aired across New Zealand TV Sunday on all channels. “Devil’s Chair” highlights everything that can go wrong at a business, by way of a barrage of small catastrophes all caused by one chair. It’s worth checking out if, like me, you have a soft spot for the unique charm of New Zealand. Or if you have a thing for gratuitous cow excrement. Either way. Read more

Aramark Hands AOR Duties to Draftfcb Chicago

Well, in not-so-breaking news, barely 10 days after renewing its relationship with Kmart and adding the retailer’s fashion business to the fold in the process, Draftfcb Chicago has now nabbed global AOR duties for food/uniform/facility management services company, Aramark. From what the parties involved say, Aramark previously worked with a host of agencies on a project basis and “reviewed a number of firms before deciding to consolidate its business at Draftfcb.”   The new Aramark AOR will handle everything from B2B and brand identity work to 360 advertising efforts.

In a statement, Aramark president/strategic assets & CSO, adds the usual explanation, saying, “We were seeking a partner with the creativity and strategic thinking to complement our business strategy The Draftfcb team displayed that and more, demonstrating the best grasp of our vision for ARAMARK plus the reach of a strong global network.”

Here’s Your Rather Straightforward Comment Regarding Draftfcb, Kmart

As has been widely reported this morning, Draftfcb has renewed its relationship with Kmart and this statement from a spokesperson for parent Sears Holding Co. (the agency referred all inquiries to the client) basically sums it up: “Kmart has concluded its agency review. Draftfcb will retain its AOR status as well as acquire additional responsibilities for our fashion business.” We’ll let you know if a memo falls into our hands, but it looks like the success of “Ship My Pants” and subsequent play-on-words campaigns from DFCB for the retail chain sealed the deal. We’ve been told by folks on the Spy line that McCann NY “finished a very close second.”