So…this went down today at Ogilvy’s New York headquarters and seeing as we love all things zombies, we couldn’t resist posting. Tipsters say that this particular group of undead interrupted client meetings with the agency’s CEO Miles Young among other things. From what we’re hearing from those in the know, though, this morning’s zombie invasion was part of an internal effort to make staffers aware of the fact that O&M will have a Super Bowl ad for Time Warner Cable airing in local markets that promotes AMC’s juggernaut, The Walking Dead. While it probably made for a fun Friday at Ogilvy, we believe this serves as a better metaphor for any given Monday.
To follow up on our post from 10 days ago regarding the split between iShares and MRM, we’ve received a bit more clarification from sources familiar with the matter. First off, a tipster who reached out to us the day after our initial post was somewhat accurate with their info that iShares has actually been partnering with Ogilvy on what was MRM’s portion of the business (digital/relationship marketing) for quite some time now.
While we’re not sure for how long exactly, our sources confirm that not only has O&M already been working with iShares on this part of the business, but following a pitch last week, the agency has now taken on the exchange-traded funds company’s account in full. As a result, O&M’s responsibilities now include brand advertising as well as digital. This marks a reunion for iShares and Ogilvy, who last worked together in 2009 before the former decided to shift its advertising and relationship marketing business to McCann and MRM, respectively. No word on whether McCann defended the account last week. Once again, iShares has yet to comment, but we’ll keep you posted if we somehow get through.
Sources familiar with the matter have confirmed that Ogilvy & Mather did indeed pitch as of the last week or so for the Caesars Entertainment business, but alas, didn’t make the final cut. You might remember that the casino/hotel/entertainment brand had worked with the likes of GSD&M and BBDO for a spell. While it selects its AOR proper, Caesars has made some agency decisions in the past few months, tapping Rokkan as its digital partner among other things. We’ll keep you posted if and when things develop.
According to our magic 8-ball (and sources), signs point to yes that Greg Gerstner, currently a creative director/copywriter at Ogilvy NY, will be joining up with BBDO “sometime this month.” Details are somewhat hazy at the moment, but from what we’re hearing, the senior creative will most likely be assuming a CD post and work across various accounts at the Omnicom-owned agency.
Gerstner has spent the last six-and-a-half years at O&M, initially joining the agency as a senior copywriter and subsequently moving up the ranks. During his time at the agency, Gerstner worked primarily on the IBM account, helping lead creative on projects including last year’s U.S. Open data wall (see below). During his career, Gerstner has also spent some time as a copywriter at the likes of T.A.G. (now twofifteenmccann), TBWA\Chiat\Day and the now-defunct Cliff Freeman & Partners. Update: Yes, we’ve received concrete word that Gerstner is indeed joining BBDO later this month as a CD on various accounts.
We’ve received word from an agency spokesperson that confirms what tipsters and others alike have been saying since late last week, that Ogilvy did indeed cut staff in New York. From what we’ve been told, four percent of staff across departments were affected at the agency’s HQ, though how that translates into actual numbers was not revealed. Those familiar with the matter offer three reasons for the staff reductions: 1) changes in the advertising industry 2) client spending outlook for 2013 and 3) O&M’s ongoing “agenda to align talent based on client needs.” If and when we get more info on the matter, we’ll keep you posted.
After just an eight-month stint as EVP/MD for Starcom MediaVest’s Performance Marketing division, Dasher Lowe has headed elsewhere, joining up with Ogilvy Chicago as managing director of its OgilvyOne team. Lowe, who assumes his new post effective immediately, will focus on biz growth via CRM, digital and direct marketing efforts.
Prior to OgilvyOne and SMG, Lowe, currently also a board member of the Chicago Association of Direct Marketing, spent the majority of his career at Draftfcb Chicago (nearly 20 years). During his tenure at said agency, Lowe held a few senior-level positions including, EVP, managing director and SVP of its CRM and direct disciplines.
From Oglivy’s Chicago office comes a new campaign that’s made the re-tweeted by various O&M handles for Shout that reminds the American public the root cause of their dull, miserable existence is their choice of stain-remover. “Reprogramming America for Fun” comprises a bevy of new spots that features kids being kids, running joyfully around and allowing the outside world to ruin the clothing their parents spend a wad of cash to purchase for them.
Do you find yourself yelling at your child for getting messy? Well, stop it, you unpatriotic fuddy duddy! Blame your inferior stain remover, not your American-made spawn! What is this, China?!?
Included in the campaign, as you might have guessed, is a branded Facebook-scraping app. Available at for download here, “Reprogramming America” takes your profile info, including your profile pic, city you reside it, and your employer, and treats you to a 60-second barrage of face-pieing, tomato-throwing, and coffee-spilling personalized mini-movie with the goal of making your smile, thereby making you so overcome with joy that you immediately immediately drive to Sam’s Club and purchase Shout in bulk. That’s how this social media marketing stuff works, right?
Moms, will you pass around Reprogramming America? If not, did you at least find the kid with the burrito cute?
Today is International Day of Peace. While Leo Burnett London is blowing up hate over Cambridge, Ogilvy Chicago and OgilvyEntertainment are asking Xbox Live viewers to relinquish their weapons. Using imagery that evokes the start of a first-person shooter game, Ogilvy has replaced the requisite machine gun with a white flag and request for peace. “In honor of International Peace Day, we’re asking you to put your weapons down.”
Likely a lot of players will go ahead with their Halo quest (“I just finished my work and got settled with my cheetos!”) and if you’re in the gaming-is-cathartic camp, you’d wonder how else these players are going to release their aggression. Maybe some kids will go for a jog in the park, but a few families will definitely get a tantrum at the dinner table. Ogilvy wins points for world peace, but not so much for suburban tranquility. At least they’re helping to spread the word. The video will be aired online and via social media channels and in England, France, Italy, Germany, and Spain, reaching nearly two million gamers.
As the old Stephen King story tells us, “sometimes they come back.” We’ve received word from those in the know that after leaving Ogilvy just a few months ago to join up with mobile ad/gaming startup, Tap.Me., Ian Sohn is returning to his former employer. We haven’t received specifics as of yet such as title, but it appears that Sohn will be rejoining O&M’s Chicago office as early as next week. The exec previously spent five years at the agency, last serving as SVP/group director of Ogilvy PR’s 360° Digital Influence practice, where he led engagements for clients including Huggies, SC Johnson, CDW, Ford and Marriott.
Prior to O&M, Sohn worked on the marketing/strategy side at the likes of Nokia and MKTG.
That didn’t take long. A few days after reporting that Beam narrowed its review down to Ogilvy, the Martin Agency and Deutsch New York, the corporation has declared O&M Chicago as its creative agency of record for its Pinnacle Vodka brand.
In a statement, Deb Boyda, GM for Beam’s Venture Category business, says, “We are excited to bring Ogilvy on board to our Beam Pinnacle family. Pinnacle’s classic unflavored vodka was the U.S. market’s fastest-growing non-flavored imported vodka in 2011. As we continue to pioneer some of the most exciting flavors in the vodka category, including the outstanding success of the Pinnacle line of Whipped dessert-flavored vodkas, we look forward to the creative contributions Ogilvy can make as our partner in growth.” Beam, if you need total recall, acquired Pinnacle back in May.