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Kirshenbaum Bond

You Said It: Wendy’s Got It All Wrong

Check this headline out from Brandweek today: “Analysts Question Wendy’s Flight to ‘Quality’ Positioning.” Duh. We all (meaning you commenters, too) said that way back when in January when it was announced that their new slogan would be “Waaaay better than fast food.” Just sayin’. We were all way on top of that hot mess.

Brandweek says that CMO Ken Calwell, who returned to the company after seven years at Domino’s, has dictated a new policy: Target adults with a quality message.

Bob Bertini, a Wendy’s spokesperson told Agency Spy that in light of the recent purchase of Wendy’s by Arby’s that the new broadcast spots

“-is the continued evolution of the current “Waaaay Better Than Fast Food” campaign from Kirshenbaum Bond (introduced in Feb). Yesterday, he characterized the campaign as a “breath of fresh air” compared to the previous “Red Wig” campaign. So, the current campaign is moving forward. Branding is very strong and the campaign is working well for us. However, our goal is to continue to improve the campaign to make it work even harder for us.”

Yeah, improvement would be a very good thing. These current efforts are nowhere need as sound and clear as the red wig or the now, infamous “Where’s The Beef” campaigns. That last one? That was geeenius.

More: Hardee’s, Burger King, Wendy’s And KP+B

Hardee’s, Burger King, Wendy’s And KP+B

I gotta say, who ever did the voice over on this Hardee’s ad created by the Los Angeles based Mendelsohn/Zien, I adore. It’s the dry, sardonic tone. Call me a jaded Gen Y’er, but I appreciate it. I also dig on the simplicity of the ad – clean and to the point.

The spot is in support of Hardee’s new push to the economically downtrodden (isn’t that almost everyone?). Five years after Hardee’s introduced their Thickburgers, the chain has created a smaller version – Little Thickburgers. Brad Haley, Hardee’s EVP of Marketing for Hardee’s restaurants said in QSR magazine:

“The only complaint some people have ever had about our Thickburgers is that they were either too big or too expensive to order as much as they would like, particularly in this challenging economic environment. So, we created Little Thickburgers specifically for those people.”

Mendelsohn/Zien has been holding down Hardee’s for years, since 2001. They were the ones to snag Paris Hilton for the “That’s Hot” commercial, in 2005. The agency has this whole burger thing on lock. They’ve have also retained Carl Jr.’s as a client since 1995. And yes, they’ve used Paris Hilton to rep that brand, as well. What do you expect? They’re from LA.

Both brands are part of the CKE family of restaurants, which recently sailed into Wall Street with quarterly profits above expectations.

On that fast food note, Crispin’s Burger King is still weathering the shaky economy, but Wendy’s? Not so much. Kirshenbaum Bond’s client has seen lower profits then competitors, a dismal roll out of a new slogan and a buy out in the past view months. Lets see if Bond can hold onto the account…

More: From Wendy’s To An Advertising Firm

The First Advertising Hedge Fund


In August, MDC Partners announced the formation of Varick Media Management, which is the first company that allows media trading in real time across all online exchanges, ad networks and websites. This is part of kirshenbaum bond + partners, by the way. From the website:

“Similar to the way that hedge funds pool investment and algorithmically trade, we’d like to think we are extremely similar. Instead of investing in the financial markets, we’re investing our clients money within the media markets aiming to return a very solid ROI for each individual client. Think of us as the first advertising hedge fund.”

They’ve even coined a new term – Mediatrage, which describes the algorithmics and stats they use to trade media. Using some fancy math and partnerships with Google / DoubleClick AdX, Yahoo! RightMedia, Microsoft AdECN, AOL Spot Market, et al., Varick is looking to be a real player. Whether it will work? Remains to be seen, but isn’t it nice how they’re messing with the status quo.

Somewhere GroupM’s Meyer Lansky aka Irwin Gottlieb is mulling this over and is like, “why didn’t I think of that?”

More: Irwin Gottlieb Does Not Give A Fuck

Media Kitchen Cooks Up Curiosity

Gary The Puppet’s Magical Internet Adventure

This Kirshenbaum Bond video has been out for about a month, but regardless of its age, I had to post it. I just watched it, with my jaw looking like that of a large mouth bass. “Shocking” was the word that bounced around my head as the video rolled. This copy accompanied the video:

“Created for Media Kitchen and Venture Day. I guess it was shown on a big screen for a bunch of important people, which is awesome.

Shot over the course of two days, edited on the third day. DP & Steadicam by Kyle Fassenella, Directed and Written by (me) Justin Johnson, starring Gary the puppet (Ben Ross, Erik Beck).

Shot on location at Tumblr, Next New Networks, Gawker, College Humor, and CBS Interactive.”

If I had all those cool friends, I’d probably want to make something a little less strange. But that’s just me. I imagine SuperSpy and DL would have a lot more to say, but it’s only Tuesday and I’m just not in that kind of mood.

Thoughts? Comments? Learn more about MediaKitchenTV here.

Richard’s Lunch Makes Us Barf (Just A Little)

Richard Kirshenbaum invites you to lunch to chat about “creativity, and personal style, and art, and weird inspiring things” during his new TV show, “Creative Lunch.” Check out the video above of Richard on Deutsch’s Big Idea if you’ve never seen the man in action. Hey… Holy shit! Is Richard going to be the new Tim Gunn, but with feathered hair? Wait… the press release goes on to read:

“-its about those stories that usually aren’t told but should be – like mistakes that are blessings in disguise, or inspired moments that change the course of a project, or life. Its candid, witty, insightful, and entertaining.”

Shiiit. He’s the new Oprah! Well, actually no, since the show airs on Plum, the television station for rich, white folks in places like Aspen and Nantucket. Why is Richie qualified to speak on such a wide array of topics to other rich white folks like Matt Lauer and heiress Dylan Lauren? According to the press release:

“Richard’s diverse interests include penning plays, and writing, and his latest book “Closing the Deal” a relationship help book for women has been published in nine languages.”

Oh, sorry. You know when you feel like you’re going to barf in your mouth, like it creeps up the back of your throat and burns a little? That’s what happened. Right then. I’m sure many of the (very cool) KBP employees can relate.

For 50K, Agencies Get Powned By Disney + Julie Roehm



Disney is “is looking for BIG ideas that break the traditional movie-marketing concepts,” according to a document issued to agencies that Brandweek got its hands upon. This brief goes on to say that Disney “will pay $50,000 for your time and own all your ideas and concepts.” Agencies preparing for presentations in this project based review include Kirshenbaum Bond + Partners; Droga5, StrawberryFrog and Wieden + Kennedy, Cutwater in San Francisco; and DraftFCB in Chicago.

Rewind. Excuse us? For $50K, you get totally powned. They want to own your ideas, forever and ever and ever. Make millions of them, while you struggle to pay the staff who created those awesome concepts. Other brands have gone this route including Hilton, and Kraft. We’re not against brands attempting to own your ideas. That’s business. This is the jungle baby. In many cases, maybe some of these folks just want to add Disney to their roster, boost their agency profile and so, lie down for the lion. Two unnamed agencies pushed back. We’re going to guess one was Droga. We applaud whoever they were. However, this is a no-no. Don’t do it! If you guys go in for this, then Disney knows it really does hold the industry by the balls. Other brands will follow suit and, and, and… this is the way it has always gone. It’s cyclical and totally depressing.

Seriously? You guys are gonna go for this? Yes, it’s great to have Disney on the client list and yes, maybe you have some groundbreaking idea for movie marketing you want out in the world, but you guys are willing to set the course of I.P. ownership for the rest of the advertising business?

Main entry: Sell Out
Pronunciation: \ˈsel-ˌaut\
Function: noun
Date: 1859
1: the act or an instance of selling out 2: something sold out; especially : something (as a concert or contest) for which all tickets are sold 3: one who betrays a cause for personal advancement.

We very rarely use the word sell out. It no longer applies in many instances considering the time we live in, but in this case? SELL OUTS!

Something else totally depressing? Julie Roehm is involved. Back from the media cyclone, Julie was contacted to help pick the initial list of agencies. She was on the phone calls for the agency briefings, but supposedly, is no longer involved in the process. This just gets ickier and ickier.

You Decide: KBP’s New Spots For Mohegan Sun

KP+B’s Izzy DeBellis is the lead CD on Broadway theme spots for client Mohegan Sun. This is a new direction for the brand. Izzy is seems to be to go to man when it comes to new directions for the agency. He was the CD on the new Wendy’s spots, as well. Anyway, Kirshenbaum was responsible for the brands previous efforts, which were more focused on non-gambling activities like massages.

“How do we communicate, for an casino, an optimistic, joyous point of view? It’s similar to when I was a kid and I was at recess. I felt safe. It’s not sexy or edgy, but it’s fun, just not in a ‘I’m going to get into trouble tomorrow’ way like Vegas is,” said Isidoro Debellis told AdWeak. “Yes, gambling is a part of it, but it’s not the whole story. What is more joyous and optimistic than a musical?”

Why StrawberryFrog Resigned The Mega Account


Kirshenbaum Bond recently won the Mega brands account. Da Frog had resigned the account. Just like you, we always wonder why agencies resign accounts. Was it a frustrating CMO? Was lack of cash? Normally, you never find out, but today, Scott Goodson has posted his agnecy’s reasons for kicking Mega to the curb.

Read it all here.

KB+P Picks One Up From Da Frog

Kirshenbaum this. Kirshenbaum that. Why is it that every time we turn around this week we hear Kirshenbaum. Kirshenbaum nails Avon! Kirshenbaum unload its new Wendy’s spots! Mega Brands, maker of Mega Bloks and Rose Art, has shifted its estimated $20 million creative and media planning account to Kirshenbaum Bond + Partners after StrawberryFrog resigned the account.

You may have seen Da Frog’s last effort for the toy maker. If not, check out the quirky spot above titled, “Creativity to the Rescue.” We don’t get if these were for the adults or the kids or what the companion site was like. It’s cute and all, but we kinda feel like we’re missing something here that helps one make sense of the video. Anyway, AdWeak is reporting that Kirshenbaum’s first work for the brand will hit the airwaves in time for the back-to-school shopping season.

KBP’s Open Mind, $60M And General Hunger


MDC’s Kirshenbaum Bond + Partners has been banging out Wendy’s spots, but will now have to make room for Avon’s fragrance business. The shop won the estimated $60M account [via Adweak]. SoHo Square, a WPP shop, will continue to be the lead on skincare, wellness and recruitment efforts.

AdWeak is also reporting that Kirshenbaum is hungry to bring on 50 bodies across all departments, including creative and account management. Get those resumes dusted off, kids.

We’re interested in learning more about Open Mind, a division of KBP. The website describes it as a strategy team specializing in “customized insight services, including innovative qualitative and quantitative research, team facilitation, brand repositioning, and strategic consulting. open mind has become known for innovative, “hybrid” research, using multiple research approaches to uncover deep, “ownable” insights, and for actionable strategic thinking that takes into account constantly changing consumer behavior and the hyper-change happening in the media landscape.”

Seriously… hybrid research. What does that mean? Ownable insights. Uh-hunh. Hyper change. Why is it that agencies are always striving to sound like William Gibson?

Open Mind cites the USA Network, COMEDY CENTRAL, Univision, HBO and numerous other stations as clients. Plus some travel destinations and oddly, Applegate Farms.

We’d love to see some of Open Mind’s work and learn a little more about all that junk in their opening statement. Let’s see the goods. Anyone?