Well, well, well… that old gal Fallon seems to having her ninth wind. This is the fourth win in a row for the Minneapolis agency, which has clearly come out on the other side of some hard times. The shop has expanded their Nestle business from dog food to include the beverage accounts.
The Publicis agency has also recently added Boston Market Corp., Alpo and Totinoâ€™s frozen pizza products. Sure, you’re thinking – “please… how much can that really amount to in dollar bills?” Hold up just a second, yeah? Consider that 1) Fallon has been wandering around in the dark for ages. Let’s just let the lady have her day in the sun and say congratulations okay? 2) We’re in a terrible recession and the agency is on a winning streak.
Although, I’m not sure anyone should be surprised. Fallon was born during the recession of the 1980s from grit and $100,000. Fred Senn, Pat Fallon, Tom McElligott, Irv Fish and Nancy Riceauspiciously marketed their new shop under the banner of “outsmart” rather than “outspend.” It worked then. Why shouldn’t it work now?
Damn Gina, Fallon’s on the move; today the agency announced it’s third win in a little over two months. This time, Nestle Purina’s ALPO is the new account but in late January they took home Tostino’s pizza rolls (estimated at $25 million) and in December 08, nabbed the $30 million AOR spot for Boston Market.
We had heard Fallon was pitching like crazy — but that was usually followed up by, “but they’re not winning any.” Not anymore.
“Tidy Cats’ litter has been up for review. The account was estimated at $15M and has gone to Avrett Free. The agency was already taking care of Nestle’s Purina brand. The account had been with Berlin Cameron United for almost eleven years. Fallon, JWT and Colle + MCvoy had pitched for the business, as well. Oh, poor Fallon.”
Is Fallon Minneapolis crawling its way out of the shitter? Maybe so. Maybe it’s all that offi-sod some folks have put in their cubicles. Perhaps, it has something to do with the return of creative Chris Wiggins? Or, maybe, the pendulum has just swung a little right. It always does.
Fallon has recently won the Boston Market account. People are chatting about work they’ve done namely, the recent commercials for The Ladders – love or hate ‘em – they are generating noise. Take a look at the moderate bump in The Ladders Alexa stats below. Not , but nice enough.
The agency has also been creating work for United Arab Emirates-based Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, which will kick off in 2009. It’s worth noting that the bank has ended its relationship with the NYSE, but hey – work is work, no?
And really, Fallon has been struggling for a long time. It’s nice to see them make a few headlines, grab some work.
Submitted for your approval, here is Fallon’s next installment for TheLadders. This time, we’re hunting chairs in the African plains, literally cruising through a herd of shitty desk chairs as they run from the dangerous rifle-toting “hunters” in their LandRover.
Like so many water buffalo, gazelles or zebra high-tailing it from, well, poachers, the chairs run run run until bang the biggest of them all is shot with a tranquilizer dart. We don’t want to kill the chair, just subdue it long enough to get some unqualified asshole’s large overpaid behind in it. Cue suffocation by $100k bullshit.
The new spot for The Ladders from Fallon US is a bit of a planning and buying train wreck. Sorry, but this ad is definitely making us believe the hype – 2009 is going to suck balls.
The ad above played during The Fiesta Bowl last night, which makes you wonder about the media buy that went down. The Bowl clocked 12M viewers. However, in 2006, the US Census reported that only 5.6 percent of individual income earners made $100+ year. And in this climate with Madoff and mortgages going belly up that number has definitely dropped. Sure, college football rakes in recent college grads as well as die hard, more affluent alums, but one has to wonder how many watchers are bagging the really big dough?
This begs the question – do you really need to shit all over those folks at the middle of the ladder or even, the bottom? Previously, the job site ran an ad that featured a tennis player. It achieved the same message without crapping on the little guy. In tonight’s spot, we see little godzillas who can’t get the attention of a sales clerk. What happened?
How many people were turned off by the message? You could argue it doesn’t matter if 10% (1.2M) now feel badly about the site. They weren’t going to use it anyway, right? But the trick with luxury is to create a feeling of aspiration. Not aversion to your brand.
Hope all that dough you guys coughed up for media time was worth it. Seems like there would be better avenues to tap the folks you want than a straight up media blitz. Silicon Alley Insider estimates the site will generate $60 million in revenue in 2008, up from about $35 million in 2007. The Ladders didn’t start using broadcast campaigns until just this year. They were doing just fine. Hope this turns out to be worth it. According to Alexa, there was no spike in traffic for The Ladders tonight, so perhaps not. Of course, we’ll check back in on these stats in a few hours.
Oh yeah. This commercial also just badly, badly executed. To quote David Ibsen: The ads are lacking “a clear or effective strategy, are not entertaining, nor are they memorable, or seem to tie to the brand promise.”
Gotta say though – as far as the monster themed commercials go, I’m generally a fan. I adored Garmin’s take. Check it out below.
Need $100k? Who doesn’t. The latest work coming out of Fallon Minneapolis (which can be seen above) put $100,000 where people could see it. And of course, they video-taped the experiment. Why that amount? Duh, theLadders focuses on $100k + jobs only.
The campaign’s execution is media semi-passionate (as Dean Crutchfield would put it), utilizing Web and direct mail points for delivery. Media-passionate, then, would be full use of all media entry points…traditional, new bla bla bla.
The video is our favorite part, and frankly, we’ve been waiting for something worthwhile to come out of the once-on-top-shop. Seriously. These days, we’re cheerleaders for good things. And Fallon’s new work is just that. Look, we’re not saying it’s going to win a pencil, but there’s nothing wrong with pointing it out, sharing the love, not talking about layoffs et al. Btw we’re going to talk about layoffs later today. Ugh.
A note about the DM portion. The agency sent/will send 2,000 plexi-glass boxes (a la video) containing faux $100k to a bunch of top HR folks. Kinda cool, though we’re curious to know what said HRers will do with the box once the point is made…Straight in the trash? Ugly.
Wieden and Kennedy London have some thoughts on the resignation of their long held Starbucks account. On the Welcome To Optimism blog they write:
“It’s been a tough relationship with Starbucks for the past 4 years and their recent business performance only amplified the challenge. We were burning people out and it was affecting morale at the agency. So we decided to resign the account.”
Lots of shops have willing dropped clients from their roster. Crispin resigned Miller in 2007 because of “fundamental differences in strategy and creative.” Cramer-Krasselt also resigned the CareerBuilder.com account in 2007, because they hated the brand’s ethics. Remember that one? That was fun.
Or, there’s the Fallon tactic, where agencies “‘resign’ clients (usually by beating clients to the punch by issuing releases moments before they do)” according to Adweek.
It’s possible that W+K resigned the account with their staffers best interests top of mind and the cost/profit ratio second. The blog entry goes onto to give props to Wieden for kicking Starbucks to the curb despite a very weak economic market. Sure. You got balls, but not so sure you get kudos for bailing on an account because of their financial problems. What – W+K is only there for the good times? What happened to do or die?
Is SSF working? When I say SSF, I could be talking about “soft science fiction” or non-sphincter splitting fistulectomy. Never fear. I am speaking of the joint venture between Saatchi and Fallon. Remember that one? Saatchi & Saatchi and Fallon beget SSF in August 2007. Robert Senior (pictured above), one of the OG founders of Fallon, is charged along with the great and wise oh-obwi-wan Roberts (Kevin, that is). The stated mission of SSF was to fuel growth for Fallon in the U.S. and provide leadership for Saatchi in the U.K. So, is it working?
That’s right, I said charge. In another move reminiscent of an old, stodgy agency that can’t hope to reinvent itself, Fallon Minneapolis “has just launched their version of the Miami Ad School’s Greenhouse
Program called AdKare. This unique program allows students to go to
school inside the walls of Fallon and add a real-world aspect to their
education by working on special projects as well as current clients and
campaigns. For 10 weeks the students will learn, work, think and grow.”
I’m sorry, did she say “unique?” Fallon has partnered with Miami Ad School, which has been sending young addies to work inside agencies for like, a century (hypothetically speaking, of course — putting students in shops is already part of the school’s curriculum). What’s more, why would students want to work there? Hello! Scoff scoff.
My favorite part of the release states, “students will come
and learn from Fallon and in turn we will learn from the young, fresh
talent.” I get the feeling no one will be doing any useful learning. Kids, go to Miami Ad School and leave it at that. They have a great reputation for unearthing awesome creatives.
Update: Miami Ad School has a reputation of putting out talent, and does so by requiring a semester abroad program that takes students out of Minneapolis, Miami, San Francisco or wherever and dropping them in another school. The professors are current or retired addies. But what is Fallon attempting to do by starting AdKare? The agency’s decline, coupled with a failed New York shop and a recent move back to their old digs are just a few moves in a long list of strange behaviors. It doesn’t take an advertising genius to figure out something’s up.