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MRY

MRY West Hires New ECD, Wins Del Monte

brad cohnToday MRY named Brad Cohn ECD of its West Coast office (which is about to turn eight months old). The agency also announced that it will be social/digital AOR for top banana Del Monte.

Cohn has a more extensive agency background than most. While the release tells us that he joined MRY from McCann, where he was ECD on the HP account, his resume indicates that he left twofifteenmccann in 2012 after one year with that shop and five years as VP/ECD at McCann Worldgroup San Francisco and spent the past two and a half years working freelance.

The rest of his history reads like a who’s who of Midwestern agencies: art director/copywriter at BBDO and Doner, ACD at DDB, VP/CD at Y&R, creative director on Coors for FCB Chicago.

On Del Monte, the agency will begin handling the client’s social/digital presence this month — but the first campaign complete with activations aimed at “existing canned food consumers” will arrive in early 2015.

Said campaigns will focus on the E-word, “engagement” — and MRY will be part of a team including Starcom MediaVest Group, Saatchi X, Integer, Juniper Park, and PR Hacker.

No word on which clients Cohn will handle at MRY West, though the agency writes that the Del Monte account now leads its Bay Area office’s roster.

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MRY CEO Britton to Oversee Big Fuel

bigfuel_logo

To update our recent post on MRY‘s status in the wake of this month’s Publicis shakeup, we can confirm that founder/CEO Matt Britton will now oversee the operations of both his own agency and fellow New York shop Big Fuel. The agency founded by Avi Savar announced in 2011 that it would sell to Publicis, where it initially served as a “social media center” for Razorfish, Digitas, Zenith and Starcom).

This week Laura Desmond, CEO of the Starcom Mediavest group that now includes both MRY and Big Fuel, announced that their leaders would report to Britton, who will subsequently report to her.

The move has not been announced outside the newly expanded Starcom because it will not reportedly affect any of the services that either agency provides to clients.

While the leaders of both shops will report to Britton moving forward, they will remain operationally independent from one another. (As a reminder, one of Big Fuel’s most recent major staffing moves was the hire of former Dachis Group ECD Jon Resnik as EVP/ECD.)

MRY Now Part of Starcom MediaVest

mryBefore we received confirmation from agency sources this morning, The Wall Street Journal reported that MRY will indeed become part of the larger Starcom MediaVest Group.

This is just the latest change over at Publicis, which announced last week that Rosetta would fold into Razorfish before a spokesperson clarified that the two shops will remain separate under the shared name.

Apparently, the MRY/Starcom relationship will function in the same way: MRY will continue to operate independently but will fall under the invisible Starcom “umbrella.”

“People familiar with the matter” told the WSJ that it’s all about “[helping] the creative shop leverage SMG’s distribution capabilities”, that “several clients” will work only with MRY, and that there won’t be any subsequent layoffs.

The only staffing change mentioned: MRY founder/CEO Matt Britton will now report to Starcom CEO Laura Desmond and will presumably receive a new title as well.

We reached out to contacts at MRY for comment, but they have yet to respond.

MRY Confirms Tech Layoffs

mry

Today MRY confirmed a series of tips we’ve received regarding layoffs that primarily affected its tech department last week.

In what looks like a strategic shift, the agency let several members of that team go. Tips consistently tell us that six developers are no longer employed at MRY as of last Thursday.

Here’s the official statement from CMO David Berkowitz:

“We unfortunately did have to part ways with a few of our colleagues earlier this month as part of normal reshaping based on industry demand. MRY continues to grow, though, and we have 15 open positions right now across a number of departments.”

None of the positions listed at that link concern developers, suggesting that this news marks a move away from web programming for MRY.

No staffers outside the tech department were affected.

(For context, MRY completed its merger with LBi in February 2013 and earned an inside-the-office profile from Digiday in June of that year.)

Cannes 2014: South by Southern France via MRY

Cannes

After spending the week at the 2014 Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, the good folks over at MRY have pulled together some key takeaways from their experiences overseas. 

David Berkowitz, Chief Marketing Officer

The biggest surprise for my first year in Cannes was how much the festival resembled another that I’ve been going to for years – South by Southwest. Everywhere along the most populated areas of the Palais and the Croisette were banners for tech brands such as Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, Pinterest, Spotify, and the Mobile Marketing Association. Yachts flew flags of companies such as Celtra, Vibrant Media, and True[x]. Even more traditional brands such as the Daily Mail and Clear Channel were heavily touting their digital offerings. On the main stage, celebrities followed suit, with Patrick Stewart taking a “dronie” (a selfie powered by a drone) for Twitter, and Kanye sharing the secrets behind his famous wedding photo on Instagram. Meanwhile, Volvo Trucks won in B2B for a YouTube campaign, while British Airways triumphed in out-of-home awards for a billboard powered by real-time flight data. 2014 is the year tech totally took over the Lions, and there’s no turning back.

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MRY Names MD for New San Francisco Office

Kingsley TaylorMRY‘s San Francisco office has a new Managing Director.

International agency vet Kingsley Taylor will oversee all “operations, marketing, business development and account servicing” for MRY West, effective immediately. The new office, which opened several weeks ago with approximately ten staffers in a space shared with other Publicis Shops, serves key clients including Adobe, Neutrogena, StubHub and Visa.

Taylor most recently worked as Director of New Business at L.A.’s David&Goliath, but his roots lie in the United Kingdom, where he spent two years in accounts at Oglivy & Mather before transferring to the agency’s New York office; he later held the Senior Partner, Global Business Director position at Ogilvy Los Angeles.

The release notes that Taylor “also served as a client service director at Mile 9″ and “held account management jobs in the U.K. at agencies like WDMP and G2″, working with clients ranging from Qualcomm to British American Tobacco and United Biscuits.

MRY founder/CEO Matt Britton writes:

“Kingsley brings a consultative approach to the business, along with energy, passion and an entrepreneurial style that will build on the great work our group has done out in San Francisco. He is a perfect fit for or culture and exactly who we need to spread the MRY love in the Bay Area.”

Taylor will report directly to Britton.

MRY VISA Spot Marks Michael Sam’s Debut as Spokesman

Michael Sam hasn’t even been drafted yet, but things are looking good for the man who would be the NFL’s first gay player: he’s already signed his first endorsement deal.

Here’s his spot for VISA from MRY and production company Decon, released just in time for the start of the draft:

The message sticks very close to what Sam’s been saying all along: Sure, I’m gay, but it’s no big deal. Just focus on how well I play the game.

Unlike Sam, Auburn’s Greg Robinson got drafted in the second round by The Rams last night. His spot after the jump…

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MRY Launches ‘JägerBonds’ App for Jägermeister

Speaking of MRY today, the agency has teamed up with Jägermeister to create the new app, “JägerBonds.”

The new app “transforms images and videos from multiple users’ social media posts into a video highlight reel of a group’s night out with Jägermeister” — kind of a cool idea, and one that should appeal to the young folks who comprise Jägermeister’s target demographic. Since the app is free, and easy to use, it could catch on with the right crowd. It’s a good example of a social campaign that offers people a service tied to the brand rather than just trying to sell them something.

“When the average Jägermeister consumer goes out, they typically have a drink in one hand and a mobile phone in the other,” says Heather Kozera, director of digital marketing for Sidney Frank Importing Company, Inc. “The JägerBonds app puts Jägermeister in both hands of the consumer, creating a useful and meaningful connection between a great night out and this iconic brand.”

The JägerBonds app is available to download for free at the iTunes and Google Play stores. Users simply connect the app to their social media accounts and invite friends to join along with coded “Bonds.” Then, when everyone posts to social media during their night out, JägerBonds compiles the posts and pairs them with music to document the event.

MRY, which was named the brand’s digital agency of record last October, managed all promotions, in addition to designing and developing the app. Supporting executions include “online and mobile engagements, as well as Out of Home elements in close to a dozen target markets.” MRY described the campaign’s strategy as being “to evolve the way Millennials think of Jägermeister by making the brand name synonymous with ‘uncommonly great nights.’” Check out the video above to see the app in action.