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mcgarrybowen Surprises Customer with Carol-Fueled Shopping Spree for Sears

mcgarrybowen employs a different type of social engagement with its new “#MoreToYou” holiday campaign for Sears, which debuts with “Kirsten’s Holiday Shopping Spree at Sears” (featured above).

In the spot, Kirsten laments the difficulty of finding gifts for her large family and then hears her doorbell ring. At her door is “Brad from Sears” there to bring hear some good news: Sears saw Kirsten’s tweet complaining about the difficulties of holiday shopping and has decided to give her a shopping spree so she can cross everyone off her list. She’s pretty excited by the shopping spree, and the prospect of getting all her shopping done in one place, if a bit taken aback at the carolers suggesting presents for her family. The spot ends by asking viewers to tweet using the hashtag #MoreToYou for a chance to “surprise and delight another customer in the future” (their words).

“#MoreToYou” is supported by Sears social media team and blogger engagement, with “Kirsten’s Holiday Shopping Spree at Sears” as the latest chapter in an ongoing campaign. Read more

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mcgarrybowen Names First CCO

Mark KIn news we missed, mcgarrybowen followed the debut of its first work for new client Intel and staffing changes at its New York and San Francisco offices by announcing the appointment of its first CCO: New York MD/ECD Mark Koelfgen.

The agency did not send out a release, choosing instead to confirm Koelfgen’s promotion at its town hall event on Friday.

mcgarrybowen hired Koelfgen directly from GSD&M, where he served as ACD, in 2005; prior to joining GSD&M, he worked as an ACD at Deutsch New York after beginning his copywriting career at DDB/Tracy Locke in Dallas. mcgarrybowen hired Koelfgen as a creative director, and he worked on the Reebok and Brahma beer accounts before being promoted to the MD/ECD position in the agency’s New York office in 2009.

Koelfgen’s accomplishments during his tenure at mcgarrybowen include the successful launch of Verizon’s Droid brand, which led to the agency’s subsequent victory in the Verizon Mobile pitch (a pitch on which he was lead creative).

The agency says that they picked him after searching for candidates both internally and externally. As a member of the New York leadership team, the new CCO will work closely with mbNY President Tom Sewell and Global CSO Jennifer Zimmerman while reporting directly to co-founder Gordon Bowen (who currently oversees global creative strategy).

In addition to Verizon, Koelfgen’s portfolio includes work for Pepsi, AT&T, Microsoft, American Airlines, IKEA, Snapple and more.

Jim Parsons Stars in mcgarrybowen’s First Efforts for Intel

Ubiquitous Big Bang Theory actor Jim Parsons stars in Intel’s new holiday campaign, the first work from agency McGarryBowen since being named agency of record in October.

The first spot for the holiday campaign (featured above) breaks Monday, and the campaign will run for six weeks as the other ads gradually roll out. In it Parsons plays himself, running amok a restricted access area at Intel and gawking at Intel’s RealSense technology, until he is eventually thrown out by a security guard who tells him not to talk about anything he saw. Parsons’ broadcast spots will be backed by a social media campaign featuring companion videos and photos.

“The decision to approach this in a comedic way was one that intrigued me from the beginning,” Gordon Bowen, chairman and chief creative officer of McGarryBowen, told The New York Times. The campaign “is really just the beginning,” Bowen added. “It sets us up for a campaign that tells you there’s a new Intel that is bringing things to market that will surprise and delight you.”

Staffing Cuts at mcgarrybowen New York and Chicago

mcgarry logo

We just confirmed a series of tips we received today regarding staffing changes/reductions at mcgarrybowen‘s offices in New York and Chicago.

Much of the recent news for the agency has been positive: earlier this month it won the Intel account and debuted campaigns for Verizon and Courtyard by Marriott, among others.

As of today, however, at least two dozen employees are no longer with the agency. Here’s the official statement:

“As our clients’ marketing and business needs continue to evolve rapidly, so too must we. Today we realigned our North American teams, which resulted in a staff reduction of less than 4 percent in our New York and Chicago offices.”

Tipsters held that the total number dismissed was less than 10 in Chicago and up to 30 in New York; the 4 percent quote seems to confirm the overall total if not the estimates for each office.

mcgarrybowen has seen some major changes over the past six months: Tom Sewell took over the presidency in May before the agency lost Pizza Hut to Deutsch LA, and today brought news that parent company Dentsu Aegis had purchased the London-based mobile specialty agency Fetch Media, which will work with the other agencies on its roster.

But as of this moment, we have no word on the reason behind the realignment or the departments affected.

mcgarrybowen Presents ‘The Fall with James Franco’ for Droid Turbo

mcgarrybowen New York is launching a new broadcast spot for the Droid Turbo entitled “The Fall with James Franco.”

In the spot, James Franco is on a rooftop balcony attempting to help a lady friend retrieve a red scarf when he slips and falls. Most of the ad actually takes place with Franco in midair, in slow-motion, as he uses the phone to tell his friend to meet him downstairs and find a safe landing. He safely lands in a dumpster and then charges his phone in a restaurant, as the spot plugs the Droid Turbo’s ability to charge in fifteen minutes. It’s a pretty ridiculous way to get to this plug, so much so that it might actually detract from the message — even if it makes for a somewhat memorable spot. Read more

mcgarrybowen Wins Intel

intel-logoWe knew that Intel had launched a global creative agency review back in August, but today we received an internal note from mcgarrybowen New York president Tom Sewell (who moved up from account management in May) congratulating the team for winning the pitch.

Here it is:

Tom Sewell
9:45 AM (45 minutes ago)

I’m proud to announce that Intel has named mcgarrybowen its global agency of record.

Thanks so much to every one of you. And congratulations.

The news broke last night when Intel CMO Steven Fund announced it on Twitter; AdAge published the scoop first while we were eating dinner and not checking Twitter.

For context: Venables Bell & Partners had been Intel’s AOR since 2009.  DDB also handled some campaigns, though the agency did not work with Intel at the time the review was announced. No word on which shops mcgarrybowen beat to win the business.

mcgarrybowen Celebrates Fun for Courtyard by Marriott

mcgarrybowen has a new campaign for Courtyard by Marriott entitled “Make Room for a Little Fun,” which launched last week.

Aimed at millenials, the campaign is based on the insight that the demographic loves to travel (as opposed to those who see travel as a necessity for work). The strategy is readily apparent in the spot “Cattle Drive) (above). In it, an excited young man rides up and approaches a cattle driver who seems to be slogging through his day, offering him a caffeinated pick-me-up and noting the “sweet” free wi-fi. Other spots in the campaign take the humorous approach to the Yukon, an antiquated carriage, and a Viking ship. Each spot delivers the message “Some people have to travel for work. Some people get to travel for work,” followed by the “Make Room for a Little Fun” tagline.

Each spot was captured on-location in Norway, making use of the country’s varying landscapes. The campaign marks a shift in approach for the brand, as its humor is a stark contrast from past campaigns, which targeted a different demographic. Stick around for “Vikings” and “Yukon” after the jump. Read more

mcgarrybowen Celebrates ‘Mr. Amazing’ for Verizon

mcgarrybowen launched a spot for Verzion, entitled “Mr. Amazing,” which celebrates the company’s XLTE service and football season.

In the spot, some rather fantastical football leads into a man screaming “Yeah” at a field day type event, accompanied by the voiceover, “Don’t just dream about being the hero, make it happen.” The man, it is revealed, is streaming a football game at his daughter’s event, much to the relief of another father present. “So be that guy,” Verizon implores at the end of the spot, “with Verizon XLTE.” It’s a bit of an odd sendoff, as the phrasing of “that guy’ the way they use it usually has a negative connotation. It’s almost as if they can’t decide whether they want to make fun of the protagonist (who screams “Yeah!” after the initial fantasy segment) or celebrate him as “Mr. Amazing” and instead the spot attempts to do both. Read more

mcgarrybowen Plays iPhone Homewrecker for Verizon

mcgarrybowen has a new ad for Verizon Wireless, advertising the company’s iPhone trade-in offer allowing customers to trade in their old iPhone and for a new one, supposedly for free.

In the spot, a man reading a newspaper comes across a print ad highlighting the deal and is intrigued, reading the offer out loud. His iPhone overhears, saying, “Did you say something, Paul?” For the remainder of the spot, Siri attempts to remind Paul of the good times they’ve had together in an attempt to stop him from trading the phone in. The efforts are for naught though, as he eventually gets to Verizon to make the deal, followed by the fine print explaining that the transaction is nowhere near as straightforward as just pictured.

Finding sympathy with the to-be-replaced phone may seem like kind of an odd tactic, but it ends up being a good source of humor and makes the spot memorable. And the approach is executed well, with Siri’s attempts to stop the trade-in well thought out and naturally paced with Paul’s trip to the Verizon store. Read more

Pizza Hut Names Deutsch LA Lead Creative Agency

pizzahutsmallPizza Hut has named Deutsch Los Angeles as its new lead creative agency, AdAge reports, taking over duties for McgarryBowen immediately. Deutsch is already lead creative agency for Pizza Hut’s Yum! Brands sister Taco Bell.

McgarryBowen won lead creative duties in a review this past September that included incumbent The Martin Agency, but now Pizza Hut has decided to change direction yet again. The Martin Agency had held the role since 2009. Pizza Hut’s move comes amidst slumping sales figures and the brand is looking to evolve its image. The company spent $247.4 million on measured media last year. Read more