Channeling the spirits of Lonely Island and many an agency rapper before him, Grey New York producer/production coordinator Adam Defrin has taken it upon himself to write, director, perform in and edit this clip to promote the agency’s monthly open bar outing that it’s dubbed “Dog & Pony.” If you can sit through the clip, which features an apt theme and setting as the first Dog & Pony show is essentially a booze cruise, you’ll catch an odd likeness of Grey NY president/CCO, Toy Myhren, which we guess counts for a ringing endorsement of Defrin’s handiwork. Our only question is, why are the MC/creator and his sidekick wearing sunglasses under the darkest of skies?
Grey New York wants to tell you that “It’s Never Not a Good Time for a Refreshing Mike’s.” Excuse the double negative (what about “It’s Always a Good Time…?), but to draw your attention away from the grammatical errors, they included some very, very random celebrity cameos from actor Martin Landau and rapper Coolio. The 30-second spots include some random rhyming that leads to a series of non-sequitors, hence the random celebrities. Random is the only way to describe this campaign.
Before watching these spots, I hadn’t thought of Landau and Coolio in years. Both are stored away firmly in the Club for G-List Celebrities Who Will Never Be Famous Again. In Landau’s defense, he’s 84 and had a memorable run of “Entourage” a few years back (not to mention his Oscar-winning turn as Bela Lugosi in Ed Wood). Coolio is Coolio. They both picked up paychecks in return for a loss of dignity. That’s advertising for you. Check out the Coolio spot and credits after the jump.
It looks like P&G made its announce ahead of the 1pm EST time that we were hearing about today, as Grey indeed has won the Gillette business, thus ending a review that lasted seven months (judging by the tips box, P&G made the announce as early as 11am today). We were told by those in the know that staffers were on “pins and needles” for the last few days–for obvious reasons–though as far as we know, Grey was tipped to win Gillette as of last week.
Of course, the agency folks can now breathe a sigh of relief and pop open the champagne as their agency’s officially picked up global ad duties for the men’s shaving/grooming brand (hell, we still swear by our Mach 3), which were previously handled by BBDO (the agency’s relationship with Gillette dates back half-a-century). The latter agency along with Saatchi & Saatchi were reported to have been the other finalists in the review.
Update: And as expected, our sources have sent us an internal memo from Grey regarding the Gillette win. After the jump, you can read the agency chairman/CEO Jim Heekin‘s note to staff, who from what we’re hearing will be partying it up tonight:
Marriott and Grey New York are getting that much closer as the brand has now awarded PR duties to the agency, thus expanding a relationship that began last September when the latter succeeded McGarryBowen as AOR for the hotel/resorts brand. No word yet, though, if president/CCO Tor Myhren and now-COO Michael Houston sent a short and sweet memo to staff like last time in regards to this latest win.
Instead, for now, we have this statement from Marriott VP of global brand PR John Wolf, who says, “We chose Grey for its expertise in integrated consumer brand marketing that will help us amplify the innovations Marriott is bringing to market to appeal to Gen X and Gen Y travelers. We were impressed by Grey’s passion, creativity and best-in-class PR practices to maximize the buzz factor across business and lifestyle media.”
We’re checking to see if there was a review for this. While we’re on the subject of Grey, we’re hearing from sources that the agency is still one of the finalists in the Gillette creative pitch and a decision is expected to made by this coming Monday. Update: There was no review for the Marriott PR biz; the appointment just grew out of Grey and the hotel brand’s existing ad relationship. Burson Marsteller, meanwhile, continues to handle corporate PR for Marriott.
Yes, that’s the word on the street/tips line. For the last week, we’ve been hearing that Doug Livingston, who we reported was leaving his post as EVP/director of digital integration, is joining up with McGarryBowen. Now, spies on the ground tell us that it is indeed so, though no title/start date has been disclosed as the usually responsive, Dentsu-owned agency is being unusually quiet about this particular matter. We’re trying to light a fire, but we’ll keep you posted. As mentioned previously, Livingston spent six years in all at Grey and oversaw digital biz dev, recruitment and client assignments while at said agency.
If anyone needs a crash course explaining the differences between American and European cultures, pay attention to this post about taxis. American cabbies are generally considered beasts behind the wheel–especially in New York City, where driving their yellow death machines poorly is not only acceptable, it is encouraged. Cab rides are expensive in American cities, so the drivers try to seduce any possible fare into their jail-like backseats. In Europe, cab drivers are more underdressed chauffeurs than maniacs. The cars are smaller, more energy-efficient, and not always driven by Formula 1 wannabes.
These stereotypes, while not always true, make the latest news out of Dusseldorf, Germany, seem par for the course. Grey Worldwide Dusseldorf and Seat Germany created “The Seat Taxi Fare,” a technology that results in a decreased fare every time a cabbie uses the brakes. In the land of awesome architecture, this brand of savings is acceptable; in America, there would be cabbie riots.
The above video gives viewers a chance to see how passengers responded to “The Brake Energy Recovery System.” From a consumer’s perspective, this campaign is fantastic other than the fact that Seat’s slogan is “Enjoyneering.” After I covered last week’s Nissan Juke n-tec, it may be time to save creatives from themselves with an automotive naming intervention. Credits after the jump.
Sources familiar with the matter confirm that Doug Livingston, who has spent nearly six years at Grey and was bumped up 15 months ago to EVP, director of digital integration at the New York hub, is leaving the agency for parts unknown (though we’re sure we’ll find out soon enough and we’re hearing it’s perhaps a “big job”). From what we’ve been told by sources, Grey NY is currently recruiting for a replacement for Livingston in its digital unit, which houses 110 or so staffers including directors of technology, operations, analytics and strategy.
During his last stint at Grey as EVP, Livingston oversaw digital assignments within the agency as well as digital biz dev, recruitment, and training & development efforts.
We’ve been hearing murmurs about this since early last week, and now, sources familiar with the matter fill us in on what could transpire in the coming weeks within the WPP umbrella, specifically for G2. From what we’re being told, G2–which currently operates as its own separate unit under WPP despite being born from Grey and aligned under Grey Global Group (the “parent/child” relationship was never really a thing, though, say sources)–is pretty much set to realign under WPP sibling Ogilvy and become an Ogilvy company.
Sources tell us that G2′s move to peel away from Grey has been discussed by all parties involved since late last year, but it’s been stop and start ever since. Tipsters on the Spy line, though, tell us that G2′s purported realignment was already announced at a recent town hall meeting. Whatever the case, G2′s move to Ogilvy’s New York HQ, aka “The Chocolate Factory,” doesn’t seem too far-fetched when you consider that the former’s recently installed USA CEO, Harvey Kipnis, has a relationship with the latter that dates back to 2003. We’ll try to fill in the blanks once we get some clarification and/or confirmation on the matter.
Why should Bacardi hog all the spotlight? Grey New York has found a new chief marketing officer of its own in Jane Reiss, who has spent the last seven years at the City of New York’s official tourism, marketing & partnerships organization, NYC & Company. Reiss, who officially assumes the role of EVP/CMO at Grey NY effective immediately, served in the same role at her last gig, working on local/global tourism marketing outreach, retail, dining and entertainment marketing initiatives and leading biz dev teams for corporate partnerships with clients like AmEx, AT&T, JetBlue and Coca-Cola. Sounds like a busy job.
Now at Grey NY, Reiss will join the agency’s leadership team that president/CCO Tor Myhren and COO Michael Houston (her predecessor on the CMO position). Prior to NYC & Company, the exec spent nearly two decades at NYC full-service agency Margeotes Fertitta & Partners, last serving as managing director/partner.
By now, you’ve probably read or heard about the news that Grey New York has nabbed the Marriott Hotels & Resorts business, which resided with McGarryBowen for nearly a decade. Anyhow, without any pretense, pomp and/or circumstance, Grey NY prez/CCO Tor Myhren and managing director Michael Houston relayed the good news to staff like this:
“We’re going to keep this short and sweet.
Grey just won the Marriott Hotels and Resorts business, beating out mcgarrybowen and JWT in the final round.
Congratulations, people. This is huge.
The news will hit the press shortly.
Stay tuned for celebration details…
Tor and Michael”
Well, the news definitely did hit the press, but thanks to Marriott’s stellar PR work, it didn’t hit our inbox til late in the evening. No need to repost the reasons why Marriott tapped Grey, but the agency did beat out McGB and JWT for the biz. Meanwhile, Marriott’s agency relationships with MEC, Anomaly, Team One and other creative and specialized agencies throughout its global operations were not affected in this review.