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McCann Spain Presents ‘The Other Letter’ for IKEA

McCann Spain and IKEA get sentimental for the holidays with longform online spot “The Other Letter.”

The ad opens with a provocative question: “Why do we insist on not getting our children the things they really want for Christmas?” Then the video introduces the experiment the agency conducted with ten families, in which they ask children to write a letter to the Three Wise Men (which is a cultural variant on letters to Santa), with predictable results. The twist comes with the follow-up question, asking the children what they want from their parents. Rather than ask for additional toys or material items, the children’s responses tug at the heartstrings. One child asks to spend more time with his parents and “to do more experiments at home,” another wants to be listened to more, one child asks for more meals as a family, another to spend a whole day with his parents. “You always try to substitute. To fill what’s missing with a new toy,” responds one mother, touched by her child’s letter. “They have far too many toys anyway,” says another.

The ad ends with the message, “At Christmas things can get a bit jumbled. There’s nothing like home for getting your head in order,” which finally (tangentially) ties the message to the brand. It also invites audience participation via the hashtag #LaOtraCarta. It’s a bit heavy on the sentimentality, but then this is the holidays. A bigger problem may be that people remember the message, but forget that it has anything to do with IKEA.

There’s also a 60-second broadcast spot delivering a similar message via more traditional means (featured after the jump), but it’s the online effort people will be talking about. Read more

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McCann Melbourne Decks the Halls with Dumb Ways to Die

McCann Melbourne has rolled out another “Dumb Ways to Die” spot supporting Metro Trains Melbourne for the holidays, following this Halloween effort.

The simple 30-second ad is centered around a re-working of “Deck the Halls,” replacing “fa la la la la” with “dumb dumb dumb dumb.” For the song itself, which is available on iTunes, McCann Melbourne teamed up with Emily Lubitz, Tangerine Kitty’s original vocalist for the “Dumb Ways to Die” song and lead singer of Tinpan Orange, along with  members of the Salvation Army Choir. All proceeds from the download will be donated to the Salvation Army Christmas Appeal. In the spot, the song is accompanied by the “Dumb Ways to Die” characters dancing around festively, concluding with Lubitz saying, “Be safe around Christmas, a message from Metro.” Fans of the “Dumb Ways to Die” phenomenon should find plenty to enjoy in the video and may even find they want to download the song to play at holiday parties, with proceeds going to charity designed as an added enticement (although you have to wonder at the choice of charity, given that the Salvation Army has come under scrutiny in recent years for its discrimination against the LGBT community, and in Australia particularly for its handling of sexual abuse claims.) Read more

McCann Takes Its Vitamins

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Following Bayer’s assignment of its newly acquired pharma brands to JWT and BBDO earlier this week, another big OTC name has made an agency shift: McCann will be AOR for the vitamin side of RB, formerly Reckitt Benckiser, moving forward.

The British RB owns quite a few familiar brands (Durex, Clearasil, Scholl, etc.), but its “vitamins, minerals and supplements” unit includes, most prominently, Airborne and products like “MegaRed®, number 1 in the healthy heart segment, Move Free® the number 2 in joint care,” which the company has owned since its 2012 acquisition of Schiff Nutrition.

From the McCann press release:

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FitzCo//McCann Earns it for Coca-Cola, Walmart


FitzCo//McCann created a holiday spot for Coca-Cola and Walmart entitled “Earn It” which features a sentimental twist designed to tug at heartstrings for the holidays.

The spot shows a teenager working odd jobs around the holidays to earn some extra money. After finally earning enough money he heads to Walmart to make his purchase, which is revealed in the next scene. Without giving too much away we can say that the spot is built around this reveal, which positions Coca-Cola and Walmart alongside some cute holiday sentimentality. Splitting an ad between two brands is no easy feet, but FitzCo//McCann manages to avoid shortchanging either party. In the opening shot, the protagonist is seen thumbing through a Walmart catalog while drinking a Coke. One of his money making schemes involves selling bottles of the soft drink for $1.25 each and he drinks a bottle again at the conclusion of “Earn It.” It also works surprisingly well with Coca-Cola’s larger “Open Happiness” campaign, albeit with the kind of sentimentality that might seem too much at any other time of year. Read more

Gwen Stefani Stars in McCann XBC’s ‘Priceless Surprises’ for MasterCard

McCann XBC teamed up with Gwen Stefani in a new 30-second broadcast spot for MasterCard directed by Wondros’ Sophie Muller.

The spot focuses on MasterCard’s integration with Apple Pay and the “priceless surprises” the company is giving away to customers using the new feature. Stefani works a rocket launcher, sending these surprises — including a hand bag, concert tickets (to see Stefani, naturally) and a “golf experience” represented by a golf kart — flying through the air toward unsuspecting MasterCard users. At the end of the spot, an unsuspecting fan rocking Stefani’s old haircut wins a chance to meet the woman herself.

It’s pretty basic stuff, with McCann XBC and MasterCard counting on Stefani’s star power to win over viewers and the potential prizes to get them excited for MasterCard’s Apple Pay integration. The choice of Stefani isn’t simply a nostalgic one for the brand, as the singer’s recent single “Spark The Fire” is used as the spot’s soundtrack and she has both a solo album and an album with No Doubt in the works.

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McCann Saves Snowmen for Zurich Insurance

McCann has crafted a new ad for Zurich Insurance looking ahead to spring, which may seem appealing to you, but is certainly less so for the snowmen depicted in the ad, entitled “Save the Snowmen.”

The spot opens on a series of snowmen, melting slowly, and the message, “The first day of spring, somewhere in the Alps.” A dejected child pushes, while another boy replaces one of his snowman’s button eyes. Then a climate-controlled Zurich truck rolls up, filled with other snowmen, and takes them higher into the mountains. From the truck, the snowmen ride a ski lift and trek still further up, pulled by cross country skiers. Eventually they find themselves high up on a mountain peak, safe from the spring thaw.

It all makes for a cute little story, hard as it may be to relate with a negative portrayal of spring as another harsh winter is approaching. But while it’s an entertaining little ad, it’s so far removed from being related to Zurich’s services that many won’t realize what the ad is even for. Unless, of course, they insure snowmen.  Read more

McCann NY Targets ‘Generation Image’ for Nikon

McCann New York has launched a campaign for Nikon targeted at millenials for the holiday season.

In a new 30-second online spot, the brand celebrates “Generation Image,” as a young woman states “My generation creates tens of thousands of images literally in the blink of an eye. Our images speak for us.” She then asks, “Are yours saying enough?”

The ad is aimed at addressing declining digital camera sales as young people are taking more pictures than ever, but taking them with their smartphones rather than cameras. “I Am Generation Image” is a plea for higher quality images, suggesting that if millenials really care so much about images they should step up their game to a Nikon digital camera.

“Many people who get started taking images on smartphones want to upgrade to a more advanced camera,” Larry Platt, an executive creative director at McCann Erickson New York, told The New York Times. “It’s really about the proper product to make sure you’re getting across your message.”

A second online spot outlines another campaign component: Nikon is giving out a Nikon D750 D.S.L.R camera to select recipients and hosting their images on the campaign site iamgenerationimage.com in an attempt to show viewers how a Nikon can help them take their images to the next level. Nikon and McCann New York certainly have their work cut out for them. A recent CNBC article characterized the digital camera market as in “free fall.” But Nikon is convinced the campaign, with a budget estimated at $5-7 million can help, with Lisa Baxt, associate general manager for communications of the Nikon Inc. division of the Nikon Corporation in Melville, N.Y. citing a “a shift from convenience to quality, in that a more authentic story is told with a better photo,” in The New York Times. Read more

We Hear: McCann Erickson May Have Won the New York Lottery

271px-New_York_Lottery.svgThe agency’s position at the moment is “talk to the state,” but we (and someone at Adweek) hear that McCann Erickson may have drawn the winning numbers in the New York Lottery creative pitch.

We first heard of the alleged McCann win near the end of the day Friday, when an unverified source named the Lottery as McCann’s newest client and sources outside the agency told us that they’d heard murmurs of victory coming from New York.

That would appear to be news to McCann. This morning, an agency spokesperson told us that the shop has no comment because, Adweek article aside, the State of New York has yet to name the lucky party. Longtime incumbent DDB says the same.

Here’s what we do know: after launching the review back in April, the New York State Gaming Commission narrowed the field to McCann, DDB and FCB Garfinkel in August. The New York Lottery’s annual media spend “approaches $50M,” and Adweek also claims that IPG’s UM won the media pitch.

Updates as we receive them; based on the gossip, we expect the official decision to arrive soon.

Commonwealth McCann, Chevy Know You Want a Truck


Commonwealth McCann has debuted a new campaign for the Chevy Colorado entitled “You Know You Want a Truck.”

In the “Focus Groups” spot above, they polled groups including “guys with bears,” “single women,” “rich housewives,” children and the elderly. The results? Truck guys are 85% more handsome, 76% more resourceful and 100 percent more likely to have an awesome pet. Other spots include the creation of “Truck Guy” deodorant and a “Trucked Out” dating profile. Each spot presents itself in a documentary style (and claims to use “real people, not actors”) but also features a playful tone that shows the brand isn’t taking things too seriously.

“The films are centered around the idea that there is an inner truck guy in everyone,” said Paul Edwards, U.S. vice president, Chevrolet marketing. “The game-changing Chevrolet Colorado will enable people to unleash their inner truckness.” Read more

McCann Australia Scares Up Another ‘Dumb Ways to Die’

Everyone’s favorite PSA campaign promoting an obscure public transportation system is back via McCann Australia and John Mescall (who you may recall was recently promoted to the global ECD role).

The PSA has gone well beyond reminding riders to be careful when entering and exiting the train; over the summer the animated whatever-you-call-thems helped sell insurance, and now they’re here to remind us that Halloween might not be the safest time of year for kids…we think?

First, the “trailer”:

This time, we might even call the campaign “experiential” since its YouTube page asks viewers to choose whether they want a trick or a treat.

Read more

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