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And Now, 10 More Ways to Become an Intern, From Mother and IdeasTap

These ten briefs from Mother and creative charity IdeasTap do offer compensation (£500, or approximately $762) to each week’s winner, so as contests and internships go, 10 by 10 is one of the more lucrative opportunities for freelancers and young graduates. Each week, Mother will roll out a new assignment that needs tackling. At the end of the process, the ten winners will have their work shown, and creative bigwigs will ultimately whittle the weekly winners down to one overall winner who gets a six-week paid internship.

The first brief, according to the project website: “Mother want you come up with a concept for a Twitter feed and start it from scratch. The profile with the most followers and the best content in 10 weeks’ time wins.”  Now comes the cost-benefit analysis from potential applicants–at what point does buying fake followers from a social media service cost more than the potential earnings from winning the competition? Let’s hope the eventual winner doesn’t spend £1000 buying followers and winds up snagging the internship. Or let’s hope for it, because that would be ridiculous. Imagine the internship turns into a full-time position, all because an individual gamed the system.

Something makes me think Mother wouldn’t want that. But, according to a recent article in PC Mag, you can buy 1,000 Twitter followers for as little as $5. Let the games begin.

Here’s Some Quick Clarification Regarding Optimum, Mother

Late last week, we received a few tips that Optimum would no longer be working with Mother, the latter of which was tapped nearly a year ago to work on a rebranding assignment for the former that eventually culminated a few months later into this. Well, slow down tipsters. A spokesperson for Optimum parent company Cablevision has clarified the brand’s agency relationships with this statement:

“Cablevision does not employ a traditional ‘agency of record’ structure, rather we work with a variety of different agencies at any given time. We expect to work with Mother NY as we continue to evolve the Optimum brand.”

If you recall, Mother’s most recent work for the brand, which includes the clip below starring crooner Michael Bolton, launched just a couple of weeks ago.

Along with Mother, which of course has now taken the creative helm for Burger King, Optimum’s agency roster has included the likes of fellow NYC shop, Gardner Nelson & Partners.

Virgin Mobile Wants to Colorfully Brainwash Customers

What about the trucker who just had to sit there while a waitress poured fake coffee into an overflowing mug? Or the egg on top of a diner table? The guy swimming with sharks? The wind-up brain toy? The geeky guy playing with a giant ball of yarn? Aloe vera tissues? Yes, all of these things are in the same “Retrain Your Brain” Virgin Mobile commercial, created by Mother NY. The spot is certainly unique, but that doesn’t mean it will get customers to switch from other carriers to Virgin Mobile.

“Retrain Your Brain” was birthed out of focus group findings that suggested customers wouldn’t switch mobile companies even if they were specifically told how much money they could save. So, Mother and Virgin Mobile decided to go with Brazilian triplets, Colonel Meow, and The Flaming Lips frontman Wayne Coyne.

Could it be that most customers just aren’t suited for short-term pay-as-you-go phone plans? (Shh, don’t tell Virgin Mobile). Regardless, the spot looks like a surrealist drug sequence from a bad student film. If you’re going to include Brazilian triplets, you might as well use them. Credits after the jump.

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Call Optimum, Because Michael Bolton Doesn’t Want to Talk to You

Michael Bolton also told me to tell you that, hey, you’re not the only one enraptured with the pop crooner due to his handsome face and sweet, sultry voice. Michael Bolton’s not going to just drop everything and dedicate his entire day to a phone conversation with you. Why would he? He’s rich, single, and famous. Michael Bolton has more important things to do than talk to one of his many fans about their boring lives. Just, don’t call him, okay? Seriously, back off. Consider this a fair warning.

From Mother NY comes a new campaign for Optimum, the phone, Internet and cable provider that changed their logo last year but reminded you that they weren’t in the logo business because they think you’re stupid. This time around, they’re asking you to call them. Not Michael Bolton. Get it? Because dialing the phone is hard. They think you’ve gotten stupider since your last encounter.

Another new spot from Optimum (above) reminds you that for an optimal TV viewing experience, you should move on your chair or other reclining device in front of the TV. Oh, and I would recommend calling Michael Bolton’s number even though Optimum told you not to. There’s a surprise on the other line. Credits for both spots after the jump.

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Here’s a Quick Statement from a Mother Founding Partner Regarding BK

By now, we’re sure you’re aware of Burger King shifting its lead ad duties to Mother, which has been working with the fast-food chain for over a year and rocked the boat just months after joining the roster with ads like this.

Anyhow, we received this statement straight from Mother founding partner Andrew Deitchman, who tells us, “Evolving our relationship with Burger King is very exciting and also something to which we’ve given a lot of thought. Mother is a company where the quality of our output is closely tied to our culture. If it changes too fast, nobody is going to be happy-  neither the Mother culture or the client who bought it. Luckily, we’ve got ourselves a client who recognizes this and who tasks us with the jobs we’re really good at.”


IKEA Looks Down Upon Your Hoarder Lifestyle, is Positive You Will Never Find True Love

From Mother London comes “Make Room for Your Life,” a new campaign for IKEA (you may remember the agency/client’s recent collab) that highlights the benefits of Swedish-designed home storage a reminds you what a ball of filth you’ve become.

The campaign’s first spot, “Living Together,” follows the musical romantic entanglements of a couple whose house is so dirty that they can only communicate to each other through a cover of the Bee Gees’ “Living Together” (performed by British band An Escape Plan). Inject some IKEA whimsy, and the couple unite in a beautiful new living space that would probably take the average person about 6 months to build. But, as this spot as quite an escape from reality, the IKEA storage units assemble themselves and the couple doesn’t fight at all. It’s a twee kid’s dream home.

Peter Wright, IKEA UK and Ireland marketing manager, says of the campaign, “’Make Room for Your Life’ demonstrates our understanding of everyday life at home and the problems that a lack of good storage gives everybody.” Yes, losing your spouse amidst piles of old shit has happened to all of us. So, buy some IKEA storage units or, you know, just throw that crap out or donate it to charity or something. Credits after the jump.

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What The Hell Did We Just Watch? Mother NY Edition

Mother New York, for whatever reason, decided to hype its music composer/mixer/sound designer Michael Coffman, who they affectionately dub “Ice.” Coffman, who has been with the agency for nearly two years, gets to show off his Zoolander/miming skills that make him look like a castoff from a Godard/Truffaut flick. You can read more about this “campaign” here, while we try to remember the lyrics to Wham’s “Careless Whisper.”

Optimum Gets a New Logo But is Still Not in Logo Business

From Mother NY comes a new re-branding campaign for Optimum, an Internet, phone and television company owned by cable giant Cablevision. Though most of us Midwesterners are pretty unfamiliar with the brand, Optimum predominantly serves markets on the East Coast (including Connecticut, New York and New Jersey) and out west (including Colorado, Montana, Utah and Montana).

For Optimum’s first TV branding campaign, Mother, which won the business in April, decided to start simple, with the above spot featuring only the brand’s new Collins-designed logo and four repetitions of of the words “TV, phone and Internet.” Though pretty dull, I’ve found its way of drilling its company’s services into your head is quite effective. Now, if someone asks me what Optimum is, I’ll simply respond, “Oh, they’re like Comcast for the East Coast. They have that logo, but they’re not a logo company.” See? It totally worked.

Also from Mother are a trio of slightly more colorful new spots, each of which argue that, “You, dear consumer, are too busy dealing with your tragically comedic life to have to care about your TV, phone, and/or Internet malfunction. Let us, Optimum take care of it so you don’t have to.” In the above spot, it’s all a bit depressing, that is until you see that little girl sprinting down the street away from her father and training bike. That was just adorable. Two more spots and credits follow after the jump.

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Mother NY Makes Some Cuts

Details are vague at this point (our apologies), but sources familiar with the matter have confirmed that Mother made some cuts in its New York office last night. From what we’re hearing, the number ranges from 5-10 percent of staff in NY. As for reasons, thus far we’ve been told that the cuts were due to both a need to restructure and to better serve client needs. Mother New York’s current client roster includes Virgin Mobile, Burger King (though the fast-food giant is now reportedly expanding/shaking up its agency roster) and eMusic.

We’ll keep you posted if and when we get more details about the staff situation.

A Day in the Life of a Summer Intern: Introducing the ‘Tactus’

Well, the outpouring has been great this week in terms of interns sharing their thoughts. Let’s yell TGIF and ring in the weekend with this installment from Mother NY interns Forde Kay and Emily Edelman. We’ve never heard of a “Tactus” before, but let’s find out more from the pair below (and in the video above).

We (Forde Kay and Emily Edelman) are a killer intern-partnership at Mother New York (if we do say so ourselves). We’re on the Experience team, so we spend all day brainstorming ways that clients can earn the media’s attention, rather than buy it through ad spots or billboards. Mother allows us to be creative, fun, clever, smart, beautiful, and crazy. We are also really good at finding things in the kitchen to make amazing snacks. I, Forde, eat anything that’s in front of me really fast, and I’m sure it’s gross to watch and I, Emily, love bread with Nutella spread on it.
When the two of us came to the Mother office, we were blown away by the inspiration the office and the people in the space offered. Yet, as clever and close to perfection as Mother New York is, there was one problem that we noticed.  All around the office are giant boards for tacking up work. This means that there are also tacks everywhere, which have been kept in cereal bowls that litter the floor like land mines. In fact, our research told us that on average, someone trips twice an hour, and there is an average of one hospital visit a day.
Taking action, we decided to fix this problem as a thank you to Mother for their internship opportunity (but mostly to look really good). After many-a-sketch, many-a-trip to Canal Plastics, and many-a-craft supply, Tactus was born.
Tactus is a tack-holding cactus. It is made using 90-degree PVC elbows, decoupaged cactus imagery, and a heavy duty magnet. Tactus turns the office’s I-beams into Suguaro-like Cacti and provides safe, off-the-ground storage for the office’s 3,256 (very accurate guesstimate) currently-unused tacks. The Tacti’s large magnet can also be held above a floor of spilt tacks, easily collecting them.
Not only did we design and produce the twenty Tacti, we also made a video to inform Mother of the office’s new key feature. When Mother employees filtered into work Monday morning, the Tacti were at home on their I-beam-poles, and the video was waiting in everyone’s inboxes.

Do you have a tack problem? Is your agency in trouble? Contact Forde and Emily at Mother New York, and we will provide you with a *sharp* solution.

As for what this internship has been like, we think we can safely say that it’s been the bomb.