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DraftFCB

Cox Sitcom Short on Situations, Comedy

There can only be one Phil Dunphy. And as much as Draftfcb would like you to pretend Paul Hattery is the second-coming of TV’s ultimate patriarchal dweeb, it’s not even close.

Paul Hattery is the main attraction in Cox Communication’s unique commercial/sitcom campaign Home with the Hatterys–a fake show about a family of four struggling with slow download speeds and other telecom-related hijinks. The original spot (above) was supposed to run as a one-off commercial, but after a positive reception, Cox and Draftfcb turned the idea into an ad sitcom with one-minute “episodes.”

The initial premise holds some value, straddling the parody v. pastiche boundary for a mockumentary like Modern Family. But, with 11 episodes, there are only so many DSL gags you can sit through before the humor dries up. Stale writing does in Paul’s character; he’s just a shallow sketch of Dunphy, mostly a consequence of one-minute clips that rely on soft one-liners. Although, when he drills his wife in the face with a dodgeball, you might crack a smile.

Interesting side note: The Home with the Hatterys opening credits play for 20 seconds even though the episodes last a minute; the Modern Family credit sequence plays for 10 seconds, and the episodes run for 22 minutes. There’s probably a more efficient way for Draftfcb to use their time. Credits after the jump.

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O’Keefe Leaving Draftfcb

Sources familiar with the matter have confirmed to us that Tom O’Keefe, a DraftFCB vet who’s spent nearly 20-plus years in the ad biz, is leaving the agency. From what we’re hearing, O’Keefe, who most recently served as executive creative director, North America at the agency, is moving on from DFCB to head up his own shop. Word on the Spy line is that O’Keefe has been lured away from Draft Chicago by Nick Paul, formerly EVP/global chief growth officer at the agency, though we’ve yet to receive official confirmation on this. We’ve also been told by sources that he has been exploring the possibility of opening his own shop, though he has not finalized any plans.

As for O’Keefe, the outgoing exec (no timetable yet on his official departure date) initially joined Draftfcb in 1990 and eventually served as executive creative director in the agency’s San Francisco office before moving a decade ago to take on the same role at the agency’s Chicago hub. We’ll keep you posted when we learn more.

Chicken + Football + Couches = Couchgating

Couchgating isn’t a word, and the idea that friends join together to sit on couches and eat mystery meat chicken on football Sundays has been around for quite some time. However, anachronism aside, KFC’s new “Couchgating” spot is worth a watch. Draftfcb Chicago produced the ad, which shows a few gridiron junkies talking smack about why more people need to sit on their lazy asses eating crispy strips.

Is KFC food disgusting? Yes. Will it lead to an early death? Probably, depending on genetics. But, the dialogue in the commercial is completely irrelevant. Draftfcb created a successful ad because of two things: slow zooms and an NFL Films soundtrack. I could listen to that music for hours regardless of what’s on the screen. All that’s missing is some John Facenda or Harry Kalas voiceover. If we could see Terry Bradshaw throwing a wobbly Super Bowl touchdown and then chomping on some Yobogoya, that would be even better.

Although going for two might take on an entirely new meaning… Credits after the jump.

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Bryce Joins Draftfcb OC as ECD

It didn’t take long for newly installed Draftfcb Orange County chief creative officer Eric Springer to get down to business as the exec’s kicking 2013 off by recruiting a right-hand man in Michael Bryce, who joins the agency as EVP/executive creative director. Bryce most recently spent the last year as a creative director at 72andSunny, working on Activision and the notable Samsung GS II campaign.

The new hire, though, spent the majority of his ad career at Deutsch LA (nearly 14 years), where he managed the U.S. Playstation account (he helped lead creative on the nifty “Michael” campaign for the brand) and also led work for clients such as CiCi’s Pizza, DirecTV and TGIFridays. Now at Draftfcb OC, Bryce will help his new boss Eric Springer steward the Taco Bell business (of course) and lead the soon-to-be-opened satellite office in LA (we’ve been told that the agency is in the process of looking for the right space).

Draftfcb GCD Applebaum Heading to JWT

We’ve received confirmation that Jill Applebaum, who’s spent nearly two years at Draftfcb New York, is heading to JWT’s Big Apple hub. From what we’ve been told, Applebaum is starting her new gig as a creative director at JWT on Jan 2 (tipsters add that she’ll be working on Skinny Cow and Smirnoff North America among other accounts). During her time at DFCB NY, Applebaum not only helped lead creative on the SeaWorld business, but was also a CD on the agency’s notable work for Oreo including the “Pride Cookie” and its Wicked Witch of the West-styled Halloween effort, which earned some props from Buzzfeed.

According to those in the know, Applebaum will work at Draft NY through year’s end. Prior to joining said agency, Applebaum spent over a decade at Y&R/BrandBuzz, moving up from ACD to creative director and working with clients such as Burt’s Bees, Jaguar, Dymo, Sharpie and LG. During her career, the creative vet also spent time at DMB&B and Ogilvy.

 

Draftfcb NY Wins Amtrak Biz

It looks like our spies were on point yet again as Draftfcb New York has confirmed that it “has been appointed Amtrak’s agency of record.” The agency would not elaborate further and referred all other inquiries to the client, but sources tell us that the 40-year-old passenger train brand held a “mandatory review” after its contract with incumbent Arnold D.C. expired.

Interestingly enough, a spy in the know adds that to greet the new client, walls in the DFCB NY office were painted in Amtrak coloring yesterday and included wording to the effect of, “you’re now free to use electronic devices,” which is supposed to indicate what you can’t do on a plane but can do on Amtrak Acela..or something. Someone please send us pics if this is the case. Anyhow, those familiar tell us that Draftfcb NY will take on a fully integrated assignment for Amtrak including traditional, digital as well as media buying/planning. Billings are estimated at $20 million.

Kmart, DraftFCB Create a Haunting, Visually-Stunning Halloween Spot

It’s always wonderful when brands (and agencies) totally surprise you. That’s the way I felt upon viewing Kmart’s and DraftFCB Chicago’s “Halloween Costume Challenge,” a dark, Matrix-esque new seasonal spot starring dancer Monternez “Monty” Rezel of America’s Got Talent.

In the parking lot of a Kmart store on Chicago’s northwest side (the Addison and Kimball location for those familiar), Rezel set a Guinness World Record by going through 150 costume changes in just over six hours filming this spot. Set to David Condos‘ song “Like Wolves,” the spot freezes Rezel in midair during his dance, with a circle of cameras capturing his moves in 360-degree glory.

For those social mediaites out there (we know you’re out there), the live-stream of the event garnered 148 mentions, 33 retweets and 453,000 impressions. Alright, so those metrics aren’t that amazing (because I wasn’t invited and no one watches live-streams unless someone is breaking the speed of sound), but the end product is. And, really, when you have a spot this good, that’s all that matters. Credits after the jump.

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So, What’s Draftfcb’s Status with Taco Bell at the Moment?

We’ve been hearing spies chirping about what’s happening with the Taco Bell creative account for the last few days, with names like Deutsch LA being thrown into the mix and so forth. Now, we have some clarification on the matter from none other than Draftfcb, which, like the Yum Brands chain’s chief marketing/innovation officer Bryan Niccol stated a few weeks, remains lead creative agency for Taco Bell. But what does the future hold? Here’s a statement from Draftfcb:

“We’re proud of our long-standing role as Taco Bell’s lead agency, the work we continue to produce, and the results we’re achieving together.  As the lead agency, we  sometimes proactively tap into and collaborate with other IPG units to provide Taco Bell with an even greater depth and breadth of resources; these include outstanding companies like Amusement Park, Martin Agency and Deutsch, as well as Weber-Shandwick on select creative projects.”

Before you hit the panic button or anything, isn’t Omnicom CEO John Wren emphasizing the same type of agency collaboration/coordination over at his holding company? Perhaps this is just the hot trend nowadays, who knows. Anyhow, we’ve reached out to Yum Brands as well for further comment/clarification. We’ll keep you posted if and when we hear anything.

Update: Taco Bell did respond and reiterates the fact that Draftfcb is its agency of record and that the brand is “very pleased with their work.” If you need us to hammer it home a third time, let us know.

Anthony Nelson Headed to BBDO

Sources familiar with the matter confirm that Anthony Nelson is joining up with BBDO New York in its content production department next week. Nelson has spent the last 18 months or so at Draftfcb NY, not only serving as EVP/director of integrated production but also helping lead day-to-day in the agency’s creative department ever since the departure of chief creative officer Darren Moran at the end of last year. According to one site, Draftfcb is finally getting down to finding a proper New York CCO, so perhaps Nelson’s split for BBDO makes sense (his last day at DFCB, FYI, is tomorrow).

Anyhow, the departing exec joined Draftfcb NY from CP+B, where he spent five years in the latter’s Boulder HQ working as executive integrated producer for clients ranging from Burger King to Bing to Best Buy.

Draftfcb ECD Teddy Brown Changes Offices

Posting two Draftfcb-related items in one day is purely coincidental, we assure you. Anyhow, we’ve received confirmation that Teddy Brown, who’s spent the last eight-and-a-half years in Draft’s Orange County office, where he served as ECD across accounts including Taco Bell, is moving to the agency’s Chicago hub. Brown is joining up with Draftfcb Chicago as SVP/group creative director and will help lead the shop’s more notable accounts including USPS, Del Monte and Kraft.

During his lengthy stay in the OC, Brown helped lead creative, as noted, on all Taco Bell work, including this year’s “Live Mas” repositioning and  “Operation: Alaska” effort. From what we’ve been told, lead creative on the Yum Brands chain’s account remains in the hands of Draftfcb North American ECD, who is also leading a search for Brown’s successor. Regarding his new SVP/GCD, Draftfcb Chicago CCO Todd Tilford says, “Teddy is an outstanding creative with a truly integrated marketing philosophy, a true professional, and a great human being.”

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