We’ve received confirmation that after less than a year at the helm as SVP/group creative director of the multicultural department at Draftfcb Chicago, Michel Rothschild is no longer with the agency. From what those in know tell us, Rothschild actually departed the agency a few weeks back (last day was 2/15 to be exact), and is relocating from the Windy City to NYC. Prior to his gig at DFCB, Rothschild freelanced for the likes of JWT and Dieste and also spent time scripting/directing clips for MTV. No word yet if there are immediate plans to replace, but we’ll let you know.
We had no idea there were remnants of the Coors account still lingering at Draftfcb since it was reported last summer that MillerCoors moved its entire account out of said agency and into the newly created, Chicago-based WPP entity called Cavalry. Yet, a memo we received that was sent from Draftfcb Canada president to staff yesterday evening says otherwise, though as you’ll see after the jump, the relationship between the brew brand and DFCB now truly appears to be over.
Along with the Coors biz now fully aligning with Cavalry (which sources familiar with the matter have confirmed), Mead’s note, which is essentially a recap of a Draftfcb Canada town hall meeting yesterday, mentions the departure of longtime VP/management director, Darrell Hurst as well other management mentions. We’re getting some further clarification and/or official comment on the matters at hand, but from talking to sources, Mead’s note appears to legit. Read verbatim after the jump (FYI, the “John” that Mead refers to in the memo is Draftfcb Canada COO, John Boniface).
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.