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Mcgarrybowen

The Motorola RAZR: Droid Redux

If you watched football yesterday (which, considering all of the close games that were decided by a final drive, you probably should have), you undoubtedly saw the above Verizon spot for the new Motorola RAZR. “Wait, ‘new’ Motorola RAZR?” you might have asked yourself with a mouth full of beer and nachos. “Wasn’t that the phone I gave to that teenage scenester in exchange for a cigarette when the iPhone debuted like four years ago?”

Yes, Motorola’s latest product is turning back the clock a few years. If you can remember the days when the original Motorola RAZR debuted in early 2004, you’ll recall it was a mighty simpler time for cellphones. “Back in those days,” you’ll fondly tell your children, “a phone’s merit was decided by its slim portability, not the quality of escort service it could find you at last call.” Hell, even ask AgencySpy editor Kiran Aditham, and he’ll probably relate the fond memories he had with his Motorola RAZR, before the bespectacled turtlenecked modern-day Edison at Apple HQ created a product that immediately rendered Kiran and his mobile device of choice uncool.

But, as Motorola made known last month, the company is debuting a new, sleek phone that they’re calling the RAZR in homage to the company’s successful old model, one capable of running the new Android “Ice Cream Sandwich” OS debuting at the beginning of next year. As the new “Android king” is debuting for Verizon, the wireless providers’ AOR Mcgarrybowen was charged with making the above ad, which we’re being told is a “teaser” to a launch spot that will be unveiled this Wednesday on prime-time TV. So, dear readers, what say you? Is a phone chopping everything in its path in half going to garner the necessary buzz to challenge the iPhone? Will it at least get current Android users to switch phones? Credits after the jump.

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McGarryBowen, Dentsu Pledge Origami Cranes for Japan

Five months after Japan experienced its worst earthquake ever (and the seventh largest in world history), the country is still reeling from the effects of the disaster. Of course, with the press giving less attention to Japan and more of a focus toward recent events, Japan’s struggles might be getting the cold shoulder from the public eye.

In an effort to continue supporting Japan, McGarryBowen Labs and Dentsu are teaming with GlobalGiving to give financial support and relief to the victims of the natural disaster. Calling their project “Kizuna Cranes,” supporters are asked to select an origami crane design from somewhere around the world, pledge to sponsor the crane with a donation, cut out the crane’s design and fold it accordingly, and watch it as it travels from sponsor to sport across the globe. Learn more about the cranes, what “kizuna” means and how you can participate in the project here. In the meantime, how do you think it compares to relief efforts from BBH, AKQA, TBWA, Grey and Google from earlier this year?

McGarryBowen Wins United Continental

As we’re hearing from tipsters and Ad Age reports, the newly merged Chicago-based United Continental Holdings is handing over its advertising and media duties to McGarryBowen and indie marketing shop Horizon after a five-month review, with billings valued near an estimated $100 million.

McGarryBowen is on one hell of a winning streak, completing a new business trifecta that began with winning Sears in late May and continued with nabbing Burger King a week later. Indeed, the hottest agency in Chicago has become the hottest agency in the country in only a few months. Meanwhile, we recall Rob Schwartzhubris-laden Tweet back in June, when the TBWA CCO responded to losing Mars’ business by declaring with certainty that his agency would win United. Ouch.

In a statement, senior VP of marketing at United Continental Mark Bergsrud said, “We are excited to work with McGarryBowen to develop a marketing communications program that will enable us to tell the story of the new United.” United and Continental merged in October. The incumbents on the account were Minneapolis-based Barrie D’Rozario Murphy and Publicis Groupe-owned Kaplan Thaler Group handling creative, with BDM also handling media.

Buckley, Eakins Out at McGarryBowen

So, once again, a simple call can suffice to confirm our tipsters’ comments as we’ve been told that both Jonathan Buckley and Warren Eakins are no longer with McGarryBowen. Buckley served as COO at the agency while Eakins had an eight-year run at McGB, signing on as executive creative director after spending five years as an art director at W+K. During his time, the latter worked on campaigns for Droid, Brahma Beer and Reebok. Buckley, meanwhile, was one of the agency’s original employees.

Miracle Whip Offers $25K to Newlyweds/Divorcees

Divorce is generally no laughing matter. Really, marriage is no laughing matter either. So, why are Kraft Miracle Whip and McgarryBowen Chicago poking fun of both in a new campaign called “Not for Every Relationship?” Because just as marriage isn’t the right decision for everyone, not everyone likes Miracle Whip more than mayonnaise…or something like that.

Miracle Whip is offering 25 large to one lucky couple who submit an original video explaining how the condiment spread in some way held a marriage together or split it apart. We’re actually guessing a lot of couples submit videos to this contest, further proving that people will do anything for money. What does this have to do with Miracle Whip’s brand positioning at all? If you recall, after Miracle Whip failed at becoming the go-to condiment of the hip twenty-something urban target demographic, it chose to become “controversial,” which was first manifested in the brand’s “Take a Side” campaign from earlier this year.

The Huffington Post might be asking whether or not this campaign makes light of divorce, but perhaps all Kraft wants is people giving the brand any attention at all. If that’s gained by some sort of manufactured controversy, well, so be it?

Sears Rains Cold, Hard Facts Up in Here

Sigh. It feels like only yesterday that Sears announced that it was moving its ad business almost completely away from Y&R Chicago to McGarryBowen’s Windy City offices. And, just like that, we have our very first TV spot for the brand from McGarryBowen. Time flies when your agency is also winning Burger King and is being considered one of the frontrunners for United Airlines’ business, doesn’t it?

So how is Sears “new look?” Well, we’ll note the absence of Brett Favre in this and the introduction of the “Truth Room” in this spot, where some guy drops some knowledge on new, young homeowners who think they can buy Sears’ vast selection of low-priced appliances anywhere. Also, as this was uploaded to the “BlueApplianceCrew” YouTube account, perhaps Sears’ trademark league of helpful and knowledgeable employees are staying on for the agency switch.

What do you think? Did Sears make the right decision with the agency change, now targeting young couples cashing in on the housing “buyer’s market?” And, does the ad target these people well?

Report: McGarryBowen Ready to Take on the King

Suffice it to say that it’s been a helluva month for McGarryBowen, which is following up its Sears win last week by being named the U.S. creative agency for Burger King according to AdAge. As you all know, CP+B and the fast-food chain parted ways back in March after seven years. The trade reports that the BK biz is worth about $300 million and the work will be handled out of McGarry’s New York office. We reached out to the agency for comment but have yet to hear back.

Report: Sears Biz Now in McGarryBowen’s Hands

Well, the close 18-year relationship between Sears and Y&R Chicago has come to an end, for the most part. Six months after the brand’s advertising account went back into play, Sears reportedly intends to hire McGarryBowen as its new lead creative/strategic AOR, thought the NYT’s Media Decoder reports that Y&R will still work perhaps on a project basis with the company. In addition, MD claims that Peterson Milla Hooks will create campaigns for Kmart’s apparel and home lines. McGarryBowen beat out the likes of Hill Holliday, Fallon and Connors, Cosmopolous according to the report, which you can read here.

Update: The Y&R camp wants to clarify that it will still be working on the Craftsman tools, DieHard automotive supplies and Kenmore appliances campaigns, in addition to other special projects.

McGarryBowen Loses Piece of Pfizer to Digitas

Eighteen months or so after losing a piece of the Viagra business to R/GA, Digitas has realigned with Pfizer as sources familiar with the matter confirm that the latter agency has been handed AOR duties for the Chantix (aka Varenicline) business. The account for the smoking cessation drug had previously been handled by McGarryBowen, which took over for McCann in early 2009 (as we know, it wouldn’t be the last time we’d see this happen in ’09). Pfizer hasn’t responded as of yet to our request for comment.

Update: We’ve been told by tipsters that Chantix is now being handled by Digitas HEALTH, which has already been working on the digital part of the account.

Mcgarrybowen Sparks Love/Hate Debate for Miracle Whip

Mcgarrybowen, Chicago makes a bold (good/bad?) move in its latest “Take A Side” campaign for Miracle Whip, which features a  variety of “celebrities” and the like speaking their peace on whether they prefer the Kraft spread or not.

Everyone from James Carville to Pauly D get  in on the action, voicing their opinions about the whip all leading to, wait for it, a YouTube page where consumers can view the celebrity debate and are also encouraged to take either a hate or love stance via a poll. Kraft claims this to be a first-of-its-kind marketing approach in the U.S., though, it brings back memories of the whole gravy vs sauce debate a few years back.  As an added bonus, visitors to the channel can register to receive free samples, yippee!

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