It appears that the Grey New York president/CCO Tor Myhren and crew have fully embraced the title of group creative director, which the agency surprisingly never used until the appointments of Leo Savage and Jeff Stamp to said role on the Gillette biz last week. Now, another pair has assumed the position of GCD, namely five-year Grey NY vet Sean Crane and Joe Mongognia, who arrives from Deutsch NY.
Prior to Deutsch, the latter spent several years as a senior art director at JWT New York, working with clients ranging from Halls to Domino’s to Sunsilk, and also had stints as an ACD and/or CD at Ogilvy Mather London/New York. Anyhow, wouldn’t you know it, we do happen have a memo handy from Myhren that just went out to staff a short while ago and offers some nice background on Grey NY’s newest GCDs as well as their remit. Peep it after the jump.
Let’s shift gears on the Grey front for a moment from the usual New York happenings to San Francisco as the agency has welcomed Milan Martin as president of its Bay Area branch. Martin joins Grey SF after spending nearly three years as managing director/chief strategist at Anthem Worldwide. Prior to Anthem, the exec had a four-year stint at Gyro, where he last served as president of its New York office. During his career, Martin also spent a decade at both the New York and London offices of Ogilvy, where he served as account director and led brand management for the likes of IBM, Gillette, AT&T, Anheuser-Busch and Virgin.
Martin, who will lead a staff of 50 at Grey SF, replaces Brad Fogel, who left the agency on his own a couple of months ago and now serves as COO for Innocean USA.
Yes, before you even ask, we do have the memo, which, somewhat surprisingly, reveals that the title of group creative director hasn’t been used at the agency before. As has been the norm, a memo to staff from president/CCO Tor Myhren landed in our tips box and this time, says most importantly that Leo Savage and Jeff Stamp, creative directors on the Gillette biz, have indeed been promoted to GCDs. Savage has spent the last 18 months, give or take, as a creative director at Grey, while Stamp joined the agency after working at the likes of Campfire and Possible. Anyhow, we’ll let Tor take it away after the jump and provide details on the pair and the new position.
On the football field, Peyton Manning runs the Denver Broncos with a robotic efficiency fitting of a man with a giant, shiny forehead. His younger brother Eli roams the sidelines for the New York Giants with the mopey glare of a six-year-old who wants to pick his nose but can’t because cameras are watching. Usually, the funniest thing about the Manning brothers is that they’re so unfunny. They’re stiff and white. But every once in a while – don’t forget the acclaimed “Football Cops” – they unleash some comedy genius for a football-related commercial.
The newest addition to the Manning oeuvre is a fake R&B music video created by Grey for DirecTV and NFL Sunday Ticket. #footballonyourphone. Remember that hashtag. It’s going viral, because a company that deals with an incredibly popular sport got two huge stars to subvert their normal personalities and completely buy-in to a goofy campaign that could’ve been an abandoned Lonely Island digital short. In the first 12 hours or so after it hit Youtube, the clip reared in 100k views.
Everything about the spot is smart, right down to the tiny Archie Manning cameo and the best/worst hair design you’ll see this year until American Hustle, starring Bradley Cooper’s curled terribleness, hits theaters. Peyton may be known as the more gregarious of the two brothers, but Eli is a vastly underrated comedian in his commercials. He ends up stealing this show with some odd riffs on milk, blouses, and Alexander Graham Bell. Pay attention, brands: This is how you go viral.
By now, word is out and widespread that Ogilvy has taken the reins on the E*Trade account, which WPP sibling Grey NY of course resigned at the end of June. Whether they keep the baby or not is a story yet to be told, but according to the Spy line, O&M was one of the frontrunners on the business from the get-go. Anyhow, we’ve read recently installed E*Trade CMO Liza Landsman‘s perspective. Now, let’s pass the mic and read Ogilvy’s courtesy of New York COO Lou Aversano. Read on below and after the jump.
And now, your silly aside of the day courtesy of, yes, another memo from Grey New York, which our tips box has been adequately filled with over the last couple of years. The latest opus comes from Grey NY president/CCO Tor Myhren, who decided to bless his staffers on this, the hottest of weeks in the Big Apple, by letting them wear shorts all this week. Why? Well, agency staffers helped find candidates for the apparent “hiring spree” Grey’s on (we’re assuming the newly won Gillette biz has plenty to do with it). Anyways, consider us jealous once we dare step outside and roast. Read on if you’d like, though we did redact a couple of the names just to be fair.
“I’m fighting against every fiber of my being as I write this. But it’s hot out there. Like, really hot. And as [redacted] has pointed out, you guys did a great job helping us fill the ridiculous amount of new hires we needed over the past few months. So it is with absolutely zero pleasure that I announce you can all wear shorts for the rest of the week. Run home now and change, [redacted], because this is the day you’ve been waiting for.
Michael and I agree this offer is only good for the rest of this week, so enjoy it people. You’ve earned it.
P.S. In two hours I’m strategically off to LA for the rest of the week and won’t have to witness this atrocity. So in my head, it never really happened.”
It’s been a busy week on the Grey front. Just days after it was announced that the agency promoted chief operating officer Michael Houston to CEO, North America, we’ve received confirmation that the Grey camp has welcomed Zachary Treuhaft as its new chief digital officer. Treuhaft joins Grey from Kansas City-based WPP sibling VML, where he spent the last two-and-a-half years as managing director. We’ve been told that the CDO position is a new one at Grey (Doug Livingston, who left the agency a few months ago if you recall, actually served as EVP/director of digital integration. As seems to be the norm with Grey items, we’ve received a memo regarding Treuhaft’s arrival from the agency’s new CEO. Read on below and after the jump.
“I’m pleased to announce the appointment of Zak Treuhaft as Chief Digital Officer for Grey New York. Zak joins us from WPP’s global digital agency, VML, where he served as Co-Managing Director of their New York operation responsible for revenue growth, performance, staffing and cultural development of the agency.
Prior to running VML, Zak served as a WPP Fellow in its selective, high-caliber management training program, where he worked as the Director of Product Strategy and Business Development at 24/7 Real Media and led a unique technology partnership between Omniture, Google and 24/7 Real Media. He has also held various other integrated positions such as Group Account Director and Senior Strategist within other digital shops.
Michael Houston continues moving up the charts at Grey New York. Houston, who’s been with the agency for nearly six years and most recently served as chief operating officer, has now assumed the position of CEO at the agency. We’ve obtained the memo to staff from Grey Group CEO/chairman Jim Heekin regarding the promotion of Houston, who spent five years at KBS+ prior to joining Grey and also played host on one of our episodes of Cubes. Read on:
This well-deserved promotion is a logical next step for Michael who with Tor has been such a vital factor in our New York success: building a first-class management team, transforming our creative performance and digital prowess, forging a culture of innovation and compiling a new business track record second to none.
In his expanded new leadership role, Michael will oversee Grey North American offices comprised of New York, San Francisco, Canada, including Toronto and Vancouver as well as Grey Activation and PR and Wing, working with their respective presidents.
Grey has tremendous potential in North America as we approach our 100th anniversary. Michael is a natural to capitalize on our momentum, extend our “Famously Effective” culture and best practices and expand our integrated offering to fuel our growth with great clients across the region.
Please give Michael your congratulations on this milestone and your full support as he hits the ground running.
GREYgroup | Famously effective since 1917
Jim Heekin, Chairman & CEO”
Well, this certainly comes as a surprise this morning. We’ve received what appears to be a legit memo sent from Grey New York president/CCO Tor Myhren and COO Michael Houston to staff regarding one of the agency’s most well-regarded accounts. Read on:
“After a spectacularly successful six-year run, we are resigning the E*TRADE Financial account.
We think it’s in both Grey’s and E*TRADE’s best interests. Think of the history we’ve made. It’s worth celebrating.
Across six Super Bowls, the street-wise baby became synonymous with the E*TRADE brand’s maverick, consumer-championing DNA, proving online investing is so easy a baby can do it.
The E*TRADE baby set new records for popularity and effectiveness in the Super Bowl, delivering sales success and unprecedented media buzz in broadcast, print and social media. The commercials were ranked among the “most popular” on the game by CBS, USA TODAY, ADWEEK, ADVERTISING AGE, TIME, TIVO and NIELSEN, generating over 60 million YouTube views. In addition, creative recognition for the baby and his friends included Effies, One Show, London International, AICP and D&AD honors. And it was also voted the best campaign in America two straight years by the Wall Street Journal.
E*TRADE, and all the terrific people we’ve worked with, have our everlasting gratitude and best wishes for continued success. We will always look back on this relationship as one of the best and most famously effective in Grey’s history.
Of course, we will do everything in our power to ensure a smooth transition over the coming months.
Thanks to everyone for all you’ve done on this game-changing account for Grey. Let us never forget this was the brand and the work that began our turnaround.
Tor and Michael.”
Sources familiar with the matter tell us it’s legit, and if you want to recall some of the good times between Grey and its financial client, see above and below. From what we hear from, Grey “just though it’s time” to part ways with E*Trade, which we’ve been told has gone through seven CEOs since the relationship began.
Sources familiar with the matter confirm that John Paul Thurlow, who’s spent just over two years at Grey New York serving as VP/sole global digital creative director across its beauty accounts including Pantene and Clairol, is no longer with the agency. From what we’ve been told, Thurlow was “let go.” Prior to his stint at Grey, the Brooklyn-based creative has also had fairly lengthy CD stints in London at the likes of LBi and Critical Mass.
Along with his 15-plus years of agency experience, Thurlow perhaps more interestingly moonlights as an illustrator whose Covers series has been featured in Juxtapoz among other trades. Regarding his exit from Grey, which we hear is currently ramping up staff on its recently won Gillette biz, one tipster laments that Thurlow “deserved a hell of a lot better.”