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Grey

Grey NY Gets Painfully Awkward with Rob Lowe for DirecTV

Last month, Grey New York debuted a new campaign for DirecTV, introducing the world to Super Creepy Rob Lowe and Less Attractive Rob Lowe in the process. Now the agency is back with a follow-up effort, this time contrasting DirecTV spokesman Rob Lowe with cable subscriber Painfully Awkward Rob Lowe.

The new 30-second spot follows in the same cringe comedy formula as its predecessors. Like Less Attractive Rob Lowe, the new character has made some questionable choices about his appearance, including winged hair, a fanny pack and khakis hiked up to Urkel height. He also doesn’t do well around other people, as, after commenting that you have to wait forever for cable providers to show up he notes, “I hope it isn’t a girl…or a guy.”

With the success of the previous ads, it was only a matter of time before Grey rolled out a successor, and it looks like we can expect more from the campaign as well. According to Adweek, there are “at least two more spots from Grey New York” on the way, begging the question, which Rob Lowe will we see next? Read more

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Grey London Names Nils Leonard Chairman

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Grey London announced yesterday that Chief Creative Officer Nils Leonard is being promoted to the role of chairman. Leonard will continue on in his previous role while also being tasked with driving innovation across the company.

Leonard first joined Grey London back in 2007, becoming an executive creative director and then chief creative officer at the agency. Prior to Grey London, Leonard served as head of art/creative director at United and senior designer/art director at Abbot Mead Vickers BBDO. Prior to that he spent five years as head of art/design at Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe/Y&R. Among his best-known work at Grey London is Vodafone’s “Kiss” and McVities recent campaign featuring kittens and puppies, which Time magazine called “the cutest thing ever put on television.” Read more

Andreas Dahlqvist Joins Grey NY as CCO

Andreas DWunderman isn’t the only New York agency to name a new chief creative officer today. This morning, principals at Grey NY announced the hiring of Andreas Dahlqvist.

Dahlqvist, who co-founded DDB Stockholm in 2004 and served as ECD/managing partner there for several years, most recently held the titles of vice chairman, McCann New York and deputy global CCO for brands within the larger McCann organization (which he joined in 2011).

He also served as global CCO at the GM-focused Commonwealth//McCann, and his name appears atop all of that agency’s latest campaigns. His most memorable AgencySpy appearance to date occurred as part of the dress-alike project “Partnerganger,” which may or may not have been inspired by the Ogilvy tumblr “Work Twinsies.”

The release tells us that the new CCO, who has won “every major creative award,” will oversee Grey’s entire 500-strong creative department. President/Worldwide CCO Tor Myhren writes:

“Few people in this industry have done what Andreas has…started his own agency from scratch and built it into the best digital agency on the planet.”

Dahlqvist will report to/work closely with Myrhen and North American CEO Michael Houston.

Memo from those two after the jump.

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Grey NY, Ad Council Launch ‘Healthy Mouth’ PSAs

With Halloween and its accompanying sugary assault on young teeth just over three weeks away, Grey New York and the Ad Council have released a series of “Healthy Mouth” PSAs reminding parents to make sure their kids practice proper oral hygiene.

The PSAs are based on the insight that despite tooth decay being the “single most common chronic childhood disease” (yeah, we weren’t aware that it qualified as a “disease” either), a recent Ad Council survey found that 75 percent of parents admit that their kids sometimes forget to brush. So to show parents that just two minutes a day of making sure their kids take care of their teeth can make a lifetime impact, Grey New York crafted a series of PSAs about things you can’t teach your kids in two minutes. It’s a clever approach, and highlights just how little effort is needed on the part of parents to ensure proper oral hygiene. In one 30-second spot (featured above), a man gives his daughter a crash course on bike riding. In other spots a man spends 30 seconds teaching his child manners and a woman attempts to teach her son to cook. Read more

Grey NY Reimagines ‘Impossible’ for Canon

This morning, Canon announced a “massive rebranding initiative” led by its creative AOR Grey New York.

The project runs under the new tagline “See Impossible,” and it includes several elements: a new logo, new tagline and new “digital hub” at a new URL that’s worth a click for the 3D spinning cube.

The general idea is to move Canon from being a producer of camera technology to being a sort of creative partner. First video spot, starring an aspiring filmmaker who refused to move to L.A.:

According to the copy, Canon wants to go “beyond photography.” Another spot below.

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Grey London Unveils ‘The Swell’ for Volvo

Grey London has launched its first global campaign for Volvo since winning creative duties last December, which takes a different approach to automobile advertising.

In the 60-second “The Swell,” the first shot is from the passenger side perspective. As the camera zooms out (while panning around the car) we see that the door is open and the car is parked at a deserted beach. “To feel, to really feel, is a rare thing these days,” intones the voiceover as we see the car’s driver (presumably) riding a surfboard and taking in the surroundings. As the camera submerges into the water, we see the tagline, “Seek feeling.”

The unusual spot breaks today on Volvo’s YouTube account and website, and will broadcast in Germany, Australia, France, Turkey and Belgium at the end of this year, and the UK in 2015.

“The last thing the world needs is another overly-retouched car, hooning down a mountain road to a soft rock soundtrack,” Hollie Newton, Grey London’s global creative director told Campaign. “There’s a defiant, slightly renegade Swedish spirit to Volvo that simply doesn’t fit with the bland world of car advertising. And thank God for that.”

Grey NY Gets Creepy with Rob Lowe for DirecTV

Grey New York has a new campaign for DirecTV, utilizing the services of Rob Lowe.

Lowe plays himself and “Creepy Rob Lowe” in the 30-second spot “Creepy.” Regular Lowe has DirecTV, while “Creepy Rob Lowe” has cable, which causes him to do creepy things like watch people swim at the rec center when his cable is out. While it’s a bit of a logical stretch, the character (complete with creepy facial hair) is kind of funny and a welcome change for the brand.

“Less Attractive” features a similarly-minded character, the schlubby, balding “Less Attractive Rob Lowe.” While not as funny as “Creepy” and even more nonsensical, it’s still entertaining to see Rob Lowe dressed up as a balding, paunchy version of himself. The format for the ads leaves itself open to plenty of possibilities with other celebrities in the future, so this could be a long-running campaign if it catches on. Read more

Grey NY Lands Lean Cuisine

lean-cuisine-220Nestlé brand Stouffer’s Lean Cuisine is handing off its creative business to Grey New York, following a review that also included 360i, Santo and incumbent agency JWT New York, Adweek reports. According to Kantar Media, the brand spent $30 million on measured media last year, down from $33 million in 2012.

JWT New York won creative duties on Lean Cuisine back in 2011, following its split with Havas Worldwide (then Euro RSCG) in late 2010, after over ten years with the agency. Adweek initially reported the review back in June. The review was just the latest shake up for Nestlé, which is also in the process of searching for an agency for a new corporate image effort, as well as conducting a digital review, as the company attempts to shift to a perception as a “health and wellness” company. It also follows the company’s decision to award its U.S. media and planning business to WPP’s GroupM media group last year. Both Grey New York and Nestlé declined comment to Adweek on the agency’s appointment.

Grey, NY Launches Global Effort for Marriott

Grey, New York teamed up with production company Supply&Demand and director David Holm in its new global campaign for Marriott Hotels & Resorts, shot in Instanbul, Turkey.

Supply&Demand sent Holm to Instanbul early, to allow a week of scouting prior to awarding the job and Holm’s scouting session ended up providing much of the inspiration for the 60-second spot.

“David’s earlier work ended up becoming our style guide for the shoot,” acknowledged Creative Director Denise O’Bleness. “His images, ideas and research went as far as Marriott’s global print campaign that also uses his beautifully composed shots…”

The spot is well-shot and composed, with the beauty of Instanbul providing most of the appeal. “Let’s go somewhere brilliant” says a text overlay shortly after the opening shots of the city. “Travel is a journey” reads another message over the spot’s generic soundtrack, leading into the “Travel brilliantly” tagline.
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Tim Howard Travels (with Love) for Marriott

Today Marriott launched the extension of its earlier #LoveTravels promo campaign with the help of Grey New York on the PR side and its own creative agency behind the scenes.

#LoveTravels initially served to celebrate the D.C. area’s Capital Pride event via a “provocative portrait series” featuring Jason Collins and other gay athletes.

This extension starring newly minted football superstar Tim Howard, however, is another thing. Its first spot is less an ad than an interview:

There are more in that vein.

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