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Sonic’s ‘Two Guys’ Get ‘Rehired’ in Social Media Publicity Stunt

For eight years, NYC-based former “The Colbert Report” writer Peter Grosz (driver’s seat) and Chicago-based improv comedian T.J. Jagodowski (passenger’s seat), were best know as “those two guys” from the Sonic Drive-In spots. While noshing on fast food from the front seat of their car, the duo’s silly inane (and mostly improvised) slice-o-life conversation made unlikely stars of the pair. That is, until the two were “phased out” two years ago.

Since then, Sonic left indie Kansas-City, MO-based Barkley after a 17-year run to name GSP+P as the chain’s new AOR. Perhaps inspired by a drive-in serenade video that caught fire on YouTube last month with over 1.2 million views, Goodby decided to slowly re-introduce the brand’s longtime spokesdudes via social media. As Jeff Goodby told The New York Times in this gargantuan feature that ran this morning, the two guys “were put away a little too early because if they stayed around they really would have come into their own in the social media context.”

Over the last few weeks, Grosz and Jagodowski seemed to plead for their old jobs back via Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and a few “self-produced” videos posted to YouTube. Now, before we start declaring this a shoo-in for every social media award in adland, let’s look at the numbers: 158 followers on Twitter, 10,701 “Likes” on Facebook, nine connections on LinkedIn, and 3,100 views on their most popular YouTube video (excluding the video which is a direct response to the aforementioned drive-in “serenade” video).

Even if it’s not quite the social media sensation that some are making it out to be, at least it’s nice to see “those two guys” back in the saddle. Now, what happened to all of those other Sonic spokespeople? Credits and another video follow after the jump.

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Laid-Off GS+P Employees Implore Other Agencies to “Grab Some Goodby”

Last week, sweeping layoffs at GS+P left, by some estimates, hundreds jobless. As one commenter noted on our post last week,”Great. This just made the freelance market in SF about a billion times tougher.” No, it probably wasn’t most sensitive of statements, but it undoubtedly carries a good amount of truth with it. When that many people are let go in a market the size of San Francisco, it’s an uphill battle.

But, resolute recent ex-Goodby employees are attempting to turn lemons into lemonade. JD Beebe, an NYC-based copywriter/strategist/producer/consultant and GS+P alum created “Grab Some Goodby,” a site dedicated to finding his fallen comrades new jobs. To get the word out, Beebe’s enlisted the help of NYC’S Goodby alumni group on Facebook.

So, how about it, agency recruiters? If you want to find some recently jobless San Franciscans with experience working at one of the country’s most well-known creative shops, look no further. And, ex-GS+P employees, feel free to upload your mugshot and relevant info to the site.

Jeff Goodby Sends Us a Note Regarding Staff Cuts

We’ve been hearing about it for the past few hours on the Spy line and now we’ve received word straight from the source that it’s true that Goodby, Silverstein + Partners is cutting staff today. The numbers are all over the place according to tipster comments (we’re hearing in the hundreds and words such as “staggering” have been used), but the agency co-namesake wouldn’t divulge specifics. Read his note to us verbatim below:

“Today, we at Goodby, Silverstein & Partners have begun adjusting the size of our staff in the wake of losing Sprint and parting ways with Hewlett-Packard.  We don’t divulge the number of people or the percentage of our staff affected, but it’s commensurate with the numbers you’d have for accounts this size.

It pains us immensely to do this stuff, but we have a responsibility to the people here to maintain a healthy, vigorous company going forward.  We will have that, and are confident about the work we are doing right now on all fronts.

It is an emotional day.  These people are not just co-workers but friends.  As always in these situations, we will help them find other positions with an open heart and no doubt welcome many of them back someday.

Thanks for respecting their privacy about all this in the meantime.


Jeff Goodby


Goodby, Silverstein & Partners

San Francisco”

Comcast Doesn’t Need Your Teary Apology

From Goodby and prodco O Positive comes new television campaign “Homecoming” for Comcast’s Triple-Play cable TV, Internet, and telephone service, Xfinity.

If you live in a region where Comcast is the only cable service option available (as I do), you no doubt have gotten into three or four yelling matches with their “customer service representatives” when your service inexplicably goes haywire or completely disappears for weeks on end. If you’ll recall, Comcast made the Final Four in Consumerist‘s “Worst Company in America” tournament last year (after winning in 2010), only being knocked out of contention by evil ocean-ruiner, BP. This was, mind you, after Comcast was caught begging its employees to vote for competitor Charter Communications in the tournament.

It’s no wonder many Comcast subscribers turn to alternative services after their struggles lead to bouts of crippling depression. Some, like the woman in the above spot, turn to Verizon’s fiber optic network, FiOS. But, Comcast doesn’t mind, as they know you’ll come crawling back sooner or later. (They always do, don’t they?) So, when your foolish hubris spins wildly out of control, remember that Comcast knew you were stupid all along. That random increase on your monthly bill is actually punishment for feeling entitled. Credits, and one more spot that features crying and hugging, follow after the jump.

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Google, TNT Welcome Back the NBA with New Spots

On Christmas Day, the NBA returned after a 5-month lockout put the entire 2011-2012 season in jeopardy. The league’s shortened 66-game season kicked off with some very exciting games on Sunday which included a Chicago Bulls last-second come-from-behind win at the L.A. Lakers, perennial losers the L.A. Clippers looking unstoppable with the addition of point guard Chris Paul, and the Miami Heat avenging last season’s championship series by drowning the Dallas Mavericks. Also, we had Kevin Durant‘s disgusting shoes for some reason.

Of course, advertisers couldn’t be happier that America’s second most-popular professional sports league is back. Aside from media buyers rejoicing that prime time sports will continue well into 2012 after the NFL season comes to a close, creative types are giving a nod to the NBA. Above, NBA commentators Bill Walton, Steve Kerr, Kenny Smith, Spero Dedes and Jon Berry star in a new spot for Google+ from GS+P. The spot is one of three highlighting Google+’s “Hangouts” feature (the other two were created internally by Google Creative Labs), a critically adored but oft-ignored feature of the social network that has lost considerable buzz since its launch five months ago. Aside from the “Big Red-Head” and his buddies doing a very nice job commenting on an backyard game of hoops, the campaign features a spot that uses “Hangouts” to watch the Muppets rock out to David Bowie and Queen’s classic collaboration, “Under Pressure.” Like The Muppets (currently in theaters), it’s well-worth a viewing.

Also, we would be remiss not to give some mention to TNT’s epic opening day promo, “Forever,” which was directed by Sedna Films’ Drew Watkins. The above spot delighted NBA fans across the county (Kiran and I included) by pairing today’s superstars with legends of the game. Above, you’ll see the impossible become a reality, including Magic Johnson and Kobe Bryant running out on court together, Brandon Jennings playing alongside Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and Michael Jordan fist-bumping Derrick Rose to Drew Holcomb and the Neighbors’ track “Live Forever.” Considering how upset and jaded NBA fans got over the course of the lockout, it’s stunning that TNT of all things was able to remind us why we love this game so much.

We Hear: Is Goodby Losing Sprint? (Updated: Yes, They Are)

Jeez louise, in just the last half-hour, we’ve been inundated with tips from various spies that say Sprint is parting ways with Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, which has been working on the business since early 2007. We count seven tips in about 20 minutes (all different IPs) and here’s one of the most telling ones if true, verbatim: “At 11:20 GSP sent an email saying rush agency meeting, they are losing all sprint business, silverstein got the call from sprint an hour ago.” Tipsters add that the San Francisco stalwart has “180 days to close down the account.”

Suffice it to say that it’s been quite an interesting last few months at GS&P, what with the Chevy review, the HP split and now this if it’s legit. We’re checking with several of our Goodby contacts to see what’s really going on with this matter. Stay tuned…

Update: Well, looks like we were right. A Goodby spokesperson issued this statement: “Today we got a call from Sprint that after five years of working together we’ll be parting ways. We are phenomenally proud of the work we’ve done for the brand. We are moving on and are open for business.”

Good luck, Digitas. After the jump, a spy sent us what appears to be a celebratory note from the Publicis Groupe agency’s North American CEO Colin Kinsella. Read on.

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Remember Remember, It’s Still Freaking ‘Movember’ (Updated)

Even though we’re halfway through November and everyone’s now itching to get away for the Thanksgiving holiday, we’d be remiss not to mention that this month of course also signifies “Movember,” the annual event where agency people among others grow facial hair for good causes. We’ve glossed over some of the Movember efforts thus far (for shame), so we’re glad GS&P reminded us this morning via their own project dubbed “Goodby Silverstein & Moustaches.”

The GS&M initiative is being led by the agency’s creative coordinator and “team captain” Bryce Cline, who says, “The team Goodby Silverstein & Moustaches is something that ‘The Pit,’ those of us who sit on [third] floor who are interns and Creative Coordinators, are doing. We take pictures everyday of our moustaches and are compiling visuals with the pictures. But we wanted it to be bigger than us so we put up posters all over the agency hoping others may join.”

So far, about 17 Goodby staffers have joined in the GS&M effort, the goal of which is to help promote men’s health. Donations, meanwhile, have totaled approximately $420 thus far, though perhaps the poster featuring the giddy agency namesakes above might help the cause. But where oh where is Mr. Goodby’s stache?

While we’re on the subject and Movember, we should also mention that fellow Bay Area agency Pereira & O’Dell has also gotten in on the action. We mentioned it briefly at the beginning of the month, but might as well refresh your memory since we do kinda dig their Movember logo (below).

Update: Well, more agencies want in on the Movember coverage, so we’ll oblige. Peep Organic Detroit and Draftfcb SF’s salutes after the jump.

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Just So We’re Clear on the Goodby/Chevy Relationship

For some reason, Bob Marshall’s piece yesterday on the Mother work for Chevy was misconstrued by some, including our old pal George Parker, who as we all know is never one to pull punches and once again, he didn’t disappoint. Parker and a few others (but NOT the actual commenters) interpreted Bob’s post as some sort of death knell for the Goodby/Chevy relationship, though it was really anything but.

It was meant to provide some background on Chevy’s agency relationships and recent related events before eventually segueing into the focal point of the post, which was Mother’s actual work for the automaker. Anyhow, to put you all at ease, though this shouldn’t have really been an issue in the first place (or warranted a response for that matter), we’ll tell you first and foremost that Goodby is still Chevrolet’s main agency.

Chevy’s work with Mother is strictly a digital assignment around the Centennial, though  Goodby also got a digital assignment promoting the same thing, which will break next week.  According to sources, Mother’s work is more “historical”; Goodby’s is “personalized and tech-forward.” Goodby still has all the brand work, not to mention this Centennial project (there will also be a Centennial TV spot launching the week of the World Series).

Now, if everyone actually read Bob’s initial post in the first place (like most commenters seemed to have), we wouldn’t have had to waste your time with this follow-up. Carry on.


Apparently, Rick Dennis Has Left the Building

We’re trying to get some official confirmation on the matter, but multiple sources are telling us that Goodby has parted ways with Rick Dennis after just 15 months (hell, we have even been told there was a party last night in his honor). Dennis, if you remember, joined GS&P’s Detroit office and served as ECD on the Chevrolet business. The exec joined Goodby after spending nine years at BBDO Detroit, where he eventually wound up as executive creative director.

‘Fireflies’ Gear Up for 4th Annual Bike Ride from SF to LA

Though AgencySpy is generally tasked with reporting on dark side of the advertising industry, we want to remind our readers that we get off just as much on uplifting news as we do soul-crushing news. After all, marketing types have been known to pay big bucks for bi-polar tendencies.

From time to time, agencies band together for real charity, not just the stuff that wins awards. One example of this is annual Fireflies ride (pic from last year’s event above), an advertising professional-led bike ride to raise money for City of Hope, a comprehensive cancer center located near Los Angeles. Now in its fourth year, the riders start at GS+P in San Francisco and embark on a 550 mile journey, ending at the Mill in L.A. The six-day trek is scheduled to begin on Friday, Sept. 23, with a breakfast served in GS+P’s parking lot.

In addition to GS+P and the Mill, other organizations supporting the ride include Believe Media, 180, Alive & Well, Deutsch L.A., Prettybird, RSA Films, Union and Zoic Studios. AICP will recognize the event tonight at the AICP Show and Next Awards in San Francisco, where riders will be on hand to take donations and give information about Fireflies. Okay, so an award show is involved in some way, but at least in this instance the event isn’t getting an award, right?