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Grey New York Plugs Features, Kills Cat for Ally in New Spots

Grey New York aims for the funny bone with two new spots for Ally Bank, but they mostly miss the mark.

The more humorous of the two spots, “Nothing Hidden,” (featured above) opens with a man asking an Ally representative if Ally really has no hidden fees on savings accounts. He mentions that he’s worried about “hidden things.” When the representative asks why, he flashes to a series of memories of his father attempting to hide the fact that he’s a crime boss. It’s not exactly laugh-inducing, but also not bad enough to induce frustration or anger. Or maybe I’m just in a good mood today.

The second spot, “New Ways,” tries harder and makes a lot less sense. A woman speaking to an Ally representative asks if it’s true that she can reach Ally 24 hours a day, but there are no branches. She tells the representative that she’s “really reluctant to try new things.” When the representative asks why, we get another series of flashbacks. Like I said, this one makes a lot less sense, and tries a little too hard to be zanily funny. (Why would anyone tell a robotic dog to drink water?) The spot is also less successful in that the Ally feature it talks about doesn’t tie in as well with the flashbacks. Plus, people like cats; they don’t want to see them die on TV.

Credits and cat-killing spot after the jump.  Read more

Yep, Grey Adds More GCDs to Fold, This Time a Cannes Gold-Winning Pair

While we await the next Carter Murray memo to Draftfcb staff, Grey makes a comeback with yet another pair of additions to the group creative director position. The New York office of the latter WPP agency has now welcomed  Nick Pringle and Steve Wakelam as GCDs. The Cannes Gold Lion-winning duo hail from DDB Sydney, where they were creative directors on Volkswagen. Anyhow, Tor yet again has word on the new arrivals.

“I am psyched to say they are now GCDs at Grey, running the Febreze, Ally and P&G Global Corporate accounts.

Friends for the past 15 years, Nick (left/bald) and Steve (right/hair) have worked together, moved countries together and had a baby together. Well, Nick and his wife had the baby, Steve was nearby with hot towels. As for their advertising careers, they have taken a less than traditional route. In fact they both started out as account guys, decided they wanted to make stuff, moved into creative and spent 8 years in various London agencies including Leo Burnett, BBH and CHI. They then packed up and headed to Australia, where they spent five years as the hottest team Down Under, running accounts like Volkswagen, Virgin, Wrigley, Levi’s, McDonald’s and Boag’s Draught. It was in Australia that they developed a powerful integrated approach to building brands through all things digital, mobile and experiential as well as film and print. Next it was on to NYC, where they spent the past 6 months as GCDs helping start up and launch Goodby Silverstein’s office here in the city.

Nick is a wheeler-dealer urban art collector, an averagely good swimmer and has recently taken up woodworking. He grew up in Kent, England. His first introduction to the business was packing 20,000 copies of ‘Ogilvy on Advertising’ in a factory in Maidstone. After walking out with a copy concealed in his pants, he decided to get a job as an account man in London. His time as an account guy at DMB&B ended after three years when he moved into the creative department. For all of 2012 Nick was ranked the number 2 creative in Australia. I think this means they actually rank their creatives in Australia, which is weird. But hey, if you’re gonna be ranked, being number 2 in the entire country ain’t bad.

Steve was once the drummer in a band that got to number 175 in the UK charts (selling 72 singles), has been halfway through writing a book for 5 years now, and has a fetish for watches. He grew up in Marlow, England. After a short and unremarkable stint as an account manager, he switched to being a creative. Always a keen writer, he ignored his passion and became an art director instead. The rest, as they say, is history. He’s since picked up every award known to man, and for all of 2012 Steve was ranked Australia’s number 1 creative. This, I’m sure, pisses off Nick to no end.

These guys have helped build smart brands through all medias, while cleaning up in all the major award shows including Grand Prix at the CLIOS, Grand Prix at the Spikes, four yellow pencils at D&AD, and three golds at One Show to add to their five golds at Cannes. And that’s just in the last few years.

I strongly suggest you check out their work at, then come say hello to our new team.

But wait, don’t say ‘hello.’ They’re English and kind of Australian. So say something like ‘Good day, matey!’ or ‘Cheerio,’ which Wikipedia says is considered friendly and more informal.



Collins Latest to Assume GCD Post at Grey NY

So what did I miss? Oh yeah, this. Shit. Oh well, after about a week away from the action, yours truly is back and ready to roll, so what better way to shake the rust off than, you guessed it, reporting about another Grey NY group creative director appointment. The latest to assume to said title is one Michael Collins, the self-proclaimed “creative tsar” who’s been with Grey for over a decade. By our count, Collins is the seventh creative to make GCD at Grey since the agency first adopted the title a month ago. We’re thinking they’ve taken to it. At this point, you know what to expect after the jump, folks, read on.

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Grey Welcomes Lee St. James as ECD

Yes, you read that correctly, Grey NY has now hired an executive creative director–not group creative director for a change this month–in Lee St. James. Prior to joining Grey as its newest ECD, St. James spent several years as a senior creative at Publicis New York on brands like UBS and Sanofi as well as a half-decade as SVP/CD at Saatchi & Saatchi NY. We rather appreciate the portrait shot of the CLIO/Effie/ANDY-winning St. James, who you can find out more about in, yes, another memo from you know who below and after the jump.


“We’ve got a new ECD in the house. His name is Lee St. James, and he’ll be partnering with Dave Cohen to run all GSK brands. Lee will also help with a lot of new biz pitches moving forward.

Lee has run big brands and helped spearhead creative change at great agencies like TBWA/Chiat/Day, Publicis and Saatchi & Saatchi. He understands global branding, and what it takes to create big creative platforms that work across cultures and regions. Pepsi, Jet Blue, P&G, Tylenol, Wall Street Journal and Amstel Light are a few of the brands he’s guided.

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Grey NY Continues GCD Appointment Spree

In case you needed further proof that Grey New York has fully embraced the group creative director title, the agency has appointed yet another pair to the position this week, namely Elaine McCormick and Fran Sheff-Mauer (pictured l-r). The creative duo has been working together for over a quarter-century and for the past several years at Grey NY, picking up Cannes Lions, One Show prizes and Effies along the way. As if you even have to ask at this point, yes, we’ve obtained the memo sent to staff from you know who that offers some insight into the agency’s latest GCDs as well as their remit. Maybe we should just create a separate tips box at this point. Anyhow, check it out if you’d like after the jump.

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Grey NY Appoints Another Pair to GCD

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.

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Martin Assumes President Post at Grey SF

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.

Grey NY Promotes Gillette Creatives to GCD, Which Happens to Be a New Title at the Agency


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.

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The Manning Brothers Flex Funk For DirecTV


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.

Here’s the Ogilvy Memo Regarding E*Trade Win

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.


July 23, 2013


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