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Mother Picks Up HTC Global Biz (Updated)

We’ve been hearing about it since the morn, and now we know it to be true. Following a review that started at the end of 2011, Mother has landed the gig as global agency for smartphone manufacturer HTC.  If you remember, HTC picked Deutsch LA to handle North American creative, media and digital nearly three years ago (here’s a reminder of said agency’s first work for the brand back in the fall of ’09).

The story goes, though, that rather than work with regional agencies on campaigns, HTC decided to look for a “single global brand idea.” Deutsch was in fact involved in the final pitch as was Saatchi & Saatchi’s American and Asian regional agencies, but Mother won out.

HTC’s VP, global marketing Greg Fisher says in a statement, “‘We have very big plans for 2012, and beyond, to drive the HTC brand consistently and with impact globally. We needed to find a creative partner to take this journey with us and to create a breakthrough global campaign framework we can extend across the world. A partner who understands our brand and who can transform the way we connect with our consumers. The partner is Mother and we are very excited at what the future will bring with them.”

Since Mother had already picked up the HTC EMEA account last August, the transition shouldn’t be too much of a shock to the system. As expected, the agency will handle traditional advertising, digital and retail for the brand.

Update: OK, now we’re just confused. Here’s an update from the HTC camp:

“HTC is in fact working with Mother London on an exciting new global campaign that will start launching around the world in a future campaign. They’ve served as the creative lead for this project. However, no changes are being made to their current creative agencies of record, including Deutsch LA. They’ve been a long-standing, valued agency for HTC and intend to maintain the relationship for the North America business.”

We’ll look into this more tomorrow.

Update 2: Ok, now we’re a little clearer. Sources familiar with the matter tell us that Mother’s role regards an upcoming global “campaign framework” for HTC. Deutsch LA still remains the North American AOR, global digital AOR and will be supporting this effort while Mother will lead it. The work will be initially coming out of Mother’s London office, though no timetable has been set as to when it will officially launch.

Mother NY Appoints Sixth Partner

After 18 months at Mother, Angelina Vieira Barocas has been named a partner at the agency’s New York office, joining Andrew Deitchman, Paul Malmstrom, Tom Webster, Michael Ian Kaye and Pernilla Ammann. Barocas, a Six Flags and Bugaboo alum if you remember, joined Mother in August 2010 as managing director in NY. As far as agency experience goes, Barocas spent 10 years on the account side at W+K. Mother co-founder/partner Malmstrom sums it up best in a statement, saying, “Tough like leather, warm like the Portuguese sun. Angie has just the right touch to steer this unruly organism where it both wants and needs to be.”


Mother Sells ‘Psychic T-Shirts’

This holiday season, Mother London is opting for something a little less “merry” and little more supernatural.

100 blank t-shirts were sent to LA-based psychic Lucinda Clare, a seer whose work has led her to crime-solving positions at U.S. police departments and the infamous Scotland Yard. Clare has (apparently) foretold the destinies of the t-shirts’ eventual wearers, with her predictions somehow displayed on the shirts once the wearers receive them. For the steep price of £100 (or approximately $156), those anxious about what 2012 has in store can purchase one of the shirts by number here, with 100% of proceeds being donated to Age UK, the UK’s largest charity for elderly people.

Before you decide your fortune is worth $156.00, there are some catches. First, the t-shirt must be selected only by number, as there is no size or color guide. If it doesn’t fit, does that mean it’s not meant for you? Second, if you order this thing before Friday, December 16, the shirt will arrive with an exclusive audio recording of Clare going in-depth about your individual fortune. Third, according to the announce, “A warning, though. One T-shirt is unavailable for sale. Miss Clare has refused to say what she saw when predicting this garment.” Finally, of course, there’s always that chance that fortune-telling isn’t, you know, “real.” But, if you’re too embarrassed to admit that you actually believe in this stuff, you can always tell your friends and co-workers you did it for charity, right?

Mother, Cumberland Part Ways

After spending nearly two years together, Mother New York and Brooklyn-based Cumberland Packing Corp., which is responsible for Sweet ‘N Low among several other products, have “mutually agreed” to call it quits. Back in January 2010, Mother beat out the likes of Lowe, Dentsu America, Doner and Gotham for the Cumberland AOR duties. During their brief relationship (well, if two years sounds brief to you), Mother worked on everything from advertising to package design for the brand.

Of course, with a preemptive PR strike such as this, all the pleasantries come out, with Cumberland CEO Steven Eisenstadt saying in a statement, “Mother employs some of the kindest and most talented people I know. We will miss working with them and will always hold them in the highest regard.” No word on whether Cumberland’s launching a review in the immediate future, but from what sources familiar with the matter tell us, there were differing views on the direction the business should go. Prior to Mother, fellow New York shop Pedone handled the account.

Mother, Chevy Make First Stop While Traveling ‘The Road We’re On’

In late August, Jeff Goodby and GM’s global marketing chief Joel Ewanick had a scuffle over GS+P’s consistency with work for Chevy, with each man using Automotive News as their platform of choice. With many in Detroit predicting a J. Lo and P. Diddy-sized breakup, word broke that Chevy was awarding Mother a project , one that GM’s director of product and brand communications Pat Morrissey assured the press was a “one-off digital assignment.” Goodby responded to the news in Adweek saying simply, “I’m fine and open about having other good agencies like Mother work on the business.” That bring us to today, where everything’s well and good in the Motor City, right?

Today, Mother unveiled the digital assignment for Chevy’s Centennial Celebration, “The Road We’re On.” Awash in images of rural Americana, the campaign’s website features an interactive map where users can see Chevy’s history unfold through the eyes of drivers in towns that Chevy’s presence has greatly impacted. Starting Nov. 3, visitors to the site can also “pinpoint” their own locations on the map, sharing their stories and experiences with Chevrolet.

Included on the campaign’s website are a series of short films created by Mother that visit locations that are integral parts of Chevy’s 100-year history. The first stop is Bridgeville, PA, a town of about 5,000 located about eight miles southwest of Pittsburgh. Bridgeville is home to Colussy Chevrolet, one of the country’s oldest dealerships of the brand and a place that Bridgeville’s population evidently feels a sense of pride in. With consumers currently asking Chrysler why Detroit actually means Brampton, Ontario, could this feel-good, red white & blue tribute to Chevy win over those looking to buy American? Credits after the jump.

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Method Man, Sour Patch Kids Roll Deep

You know what’s a real thug-ass candy? Sour Patch Kids, that’s what. Know how I know? Because Method Man, the 40-year-old rapper and actor of Wu-Tang Clan and How High fame, made a music video co-starring Sour Patch Kids running around his crib and messing around in his recording studio. If you don’t think teens and young adults can connect with this sort of product/celebrity placement on an emotional level, well, you just don’t get it.

From Mother NY comes the greatest Method Man-related collaboration since he teamed up with Mary J. Blige for the 1995 hit, “I’ll Be There for You/You’re All I Need to Get By.” This new track from Meth, “World Gone Sour (The Lost Kids),” will also be featured in a new Sour Patch Kids video game. However there’s no word as of now as to whether or not it will be featured on Method Man’s new album, The Crystal Meth, expected to be released this year after a string of delays.

To be perfectly honest, I’m amazed that Mother NY got a rap legend like Method Man to be the new spokesperson for this Kraft Foods candy brand, and I applaud Method Man for doing something more child-friendly as his focus is shifting from being a hardened representative of East Coast rap to being a family man. But, as has happened with names like Ice Cube, the target audience for this campaign doesn’t remember 36 Chambers or the impact that album had on the pop music landscape.

So, it’s kind of bittersweet that today’s youth might only think of Method Man as “that Sour Patch Kids guy,” as they probably already think of Ice Cube as “that TBS sitcom guy” or Dr. Dre as “that Dr. Pepper guy.” Admittedly, I saw Ray Charles play live before he passed away, and though I had heard of his impact on music (which was obviously much more significant than any of the aforementioned rappers) and in some way understood it, it was hard not to think of him as “that guy from the Pepsi commercials.” But, at the end of the day, maybe that’s alright. At least a new generation of consumers will know the stars of yesteryear in some way. Credits after the jump.

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Mother NY and Kyocera Introduce ‘The Echo Temple’

On Sept. 10, the Virgin Mobile FreeFest took over Columbia, Maryland’s historic outdoor concert venue, Merriweather Post Pavilion. Over 50,000 music fans showed up to the free festival, where Virgin Mobile offered a diverse and relevant lineup of artists (including TV on the Radio, Deadmau5 and the Black Keys among others) and a “dance forest” (because why the hell not).

The free admission guaranteed that many were able to reserve their allowance for gas, face paint and drugs instead of a high ticket price, and it was in this mysterious “dance forest” that Mother NY and Kyocera built “The Echo Temple” for face-painted drugged-up youths seeking a weird toy to play with. Relying on cameras and motion-censors, Kyocera supplied interested “musicians” with fans that allowed them to control sound with their entire bodies. As the above video proves, there was dancing, revelry, DJs and a giant cat/lizard monster with an available lap for sitting.

What was the point of “The Echo Temple” (other than its use as a branding opportunity that targeted young hip concert-goers)? The video doesn’t make quite argue that there’s a clear purpose behind it, or that mobile phone manufacturer Kyocera will make a foray into the hot “dance forest accessories” industry anytime soon. But, “The Echo Temple” does allow a crowd become an audible factor in the dance party experience. And, if you’ve ever found yourself in a dance forest surrounded by your best friends you met at a drum circle 20 minutes prior to wandering out into the woods, it’s all about making that connection, you know?

Aloe Blacc, Mother NY Go Downtown with Tanqueray

Aloe Blacc‘s soulful R&B/hip-hop hybrid landed him an early bit fame when his track “I Need a Dollar” was featured as the theme song for HBO’s series How to Make it in America. And, with Tanqueray sponsoring the vocalist’s new music video for, “Tonight Downtown,” Blacc might finally break through to a mainstream audience, or at least those who like to drink their gin in smokey bars.

After winning Tanqueray from W+K back in December, Mother NY has done little for the brand in the vein of full-scale campaigns. But with a four-minute music video, an interactive version that lets users download “Tonight Downtown” and submit their own remixes, as well as a stylish new print campaign featuring actors Michael Pitt and Idris Elba and model/Jack White’s ex-wife Karen Elson (after the jump), it would seem that the agency has spent the last nine months ramping up a re-introduction to the Diageo brand using the slogan, “Tonight We Tanqueray.”

It’s a far cry from W+K’s “Resist Simple” campaign from two years ago, but will start-studded launch events be enough to make Tanqueray the gin of choice for young professionals ready for a night on the town?

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Mitchum Keeps Bad Parents Cool

What do you do if your product lacks an eye-catching design and has an old man’s name? Make up for it with nifty visuals and pretty young people in your television spots.

Mother NY’s and production company Brand New School’s “Love Thy Pits” campaign for Mitchum deodorant has, among other things, set clogs on fire and caused some to cry “ripoff” due to some similarities to recent Old Spice work. But, as this installment is one of a several new spots using the same fast-talking narration and colorful, well art-directed video graphics, Mitchum’s parent company Revlon’s attempts at attracting a younger market share must be paying off.

So, young millennial soccer mom, don’t sweat accidentally kidnapping a neighbor’s kid. Credits after the jump.

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Mitchum Sets Clogs on Fire

Armpits are gross. When they sweat, they get grosser. And, if you’re a hairy dude, armpits can really be, well, the pits. They’re not exactly the kind of place you want a loved one or significant other to spend a lot of time.

This television new spot for Mitchum Advanced Control deodorant is part of Mother’s new campaign for the brand called “Love Thy Pits.” Maybe’s it’s because I have a penchant for listening to annoying pop music, but this spot immediately reminded me of Darwin Deezmusic video for his song, “Radar Detector.” Do not click on that link if you are scared of having a trashy, nonsensical hippie get in your head for the rest of the day. What can we say about “Love Thy Pits?” Well, it looks like Mitchum is targeting young hipster professionals who are more frightened of sweating all over their dress shirts than proving their manliness. Credits after the jump.

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