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Party Party!

Reminder: We’re Throwing Down Our Spring Formal Tonight

Ok, so it’s not so formal but it’s that time of the year for another AgencySpy party. We figured we’d throw a little reminder your way and if you’re in the happy hour mood this evening and in NYC, head our way. It’s quick and painless as it’s only from 6:30-8:30 and in Times Square at a joint called Tonic. We just want to say hi and promise to make any sort of speech short and…yeah, we’ll let you decide. Here is the RSVP link if you’re interested.

Pizza-Craving Agency Sends Out RFP to Local Hollywood Haunts

This has all the makings of a Friday item. L.A.-based integrated agency Big Picture Group, which seems to have a focus on interactive and broadcast efforts for TV shows, decided to take their weekly Friday free staff lunch benefit one step forward. BPG staffers seem to have an appetite for pizza (like most of us do) and today starting at 12:30 PST, eight local pizzerias will be vying for guaranteed Friday business over the next 12 weeks. Lordy, believe it or not, the agency, which has selected staffers to play judge and jury, sent out an RFP and it reads as follows:

“Once a week, we break for lunch to enjoy the best pizza in town. No debate – the best. Does this get your competitive juices (and tomato sauce) flowing? We hope so.

We’d like to invite you to respond to our “Request for Pizza.” Winner gets our business.

Design Requirements
Pies can be round, square, thick or thin. You’re the artist. We’re just the guys and gals with smiles on our faces. One large pie of your choosing is all it takes to show your stuff.

Technical and Infrastructure Requirements
No “virtual” pizzas accepted. No virtual ovens, virtual Parmesan shakers, or virtual pizza cutters. All tasters will be real live, real hungry people.

Assumptions and Agreements
After a taste test showcasing local pizza shops, our employees will vote on their favorite. We’ll let you know by the Monday following “Taste Test Friday” if your pie took the prize.

Basis for Award of Contract
Winner to be determined by:
•       Yummm-factor
•       Presentation, ingredients, authenticity
•       Intangibles

Anticipated Selection Schedule
“Taste Test Friday” will take place on March 30, 2012 at 12:30pm.  The winning shop will be rewarded our business once a week for 3 months.

Delivery is to begin the following “Pizza Friday” with bpg guaranteeing the purchase of 5 (or 6) large pies for 12 consecutive weeks.”

Now, as New Yorkers, we know how people here can be pretty snobbish about our pizza and we don’t really see SoCal as a choice destination for the delicious dish (doesn’t everyone just hit up In-N-Out over there?). But perhaps, we’re missing something and now, we’ll know where to go on our next visit to the West Coast. Damn, is it lunchtime yet?

This is What a Carmichael Lynch Anniversary Bash Looks Like

This year marks the 50th anniversary of Minneapolis agency Carmichael Lynch, which began blowing out the candles last Friday with what looks like a St. Patrick’s Day-themed party that included, you know, the usual mix of fire-breathing and martinis. We’ve been told that the shindig, which took place in a Minneapolis restaurant called Solera and included 500 guests, some of whom participated in CL’s takeoff of The Gong Show called The O’Gong Show, is just the start of a year-long celebration that will include digital efforts, guerilla marketing and events.

Guess staying in business for half-a-century, despite major client shifts and the usual agency ups and downs, merits such a lengthy bash . We’re more intrigued, though, by the then-and-now shot of the original CL crew, striking a pose in 1962 and 2012. From l-r: Lee Lynch (co-founder), Sue Crolick, Jack Carmichael (co-founder) and Dave VanGieson.

You can check out a slideshow of some historical Carmichael Lynch images including notable ads from the past here.

SXSWi Party Recap: The Barbarian Group and Tumblr ‘Robotrip’

SXSW Interactive 2012 went out with a bang this year, as Tumblr and the Barbarian Group took over one of Austin’s most famous indoor/outdoor venue, Mohawk.

Aside from holding claim to maybe the best venue in Austin, the Barbarians were able to bring SXSW Interactive’s most-impressive musical lineup to the show, with the bill including the likes of Japandroids, Kool Keith, Bear in Heaven, Matthew Dear, and Wavves (pictured above). While advertising industry concertgoers schmoozed in the upstairs VIP era, the standing area near the stage was at a constant level of intensity, featuring relentless moshing and body-passing, especially during Wavves’ set.

Outside, the waiting line snaked around the block. But, a lucky few had access to the R/GA Shuttle, a double-decker bus that carted around R/GA employees and their clients throughout the course of the conference. Why wait in an hour-long line when you can peer over the fence from the comfort of a party bus?

The “Robotrip” party (I don’t know what’s up with the name, either) served as the perfect transition from SXSW Interactive to the Music portion of the festival. Sure, you could’ve celebrated across town at GSD&M’s “Industry Party,” or you could’ve rocked out with some Barbarians and a ton of non-industry, non-badge-holding music fans dancing feverishly to their favorite bands. To be frank, I’m happy I picked the latter. Now, on to Music!

SXSWi Recap: A Draftfcb Excursion to Molotov

During today’s SXSW Interactive, we not only caught Jimmy Fallon as we mentioned before, but hit up Draftfcb’s event at the same venue as last year, the Molotov off of 6th street in Austin. Once again, the rooftop desk played host to the agency’s annual soiree, which brought in a majority of Chicago hub folks mixed in with some network folks for good measure.

Above, you can see us with Bruce Fougere, SVP, director of innovation at DFCB Chi who joined from the Martin Agency (where he spent four years as VP/CD) a few months back. We can’t complain about rooftop decks and 80-degree weather, as well as conversation about the background and digital landscape as we know it. We will try to reveal more once the week progresses, and here’s a couple of other snapshots from the two-level building below. The main purpose of the Draftfcb party was to promote “White Space,” which promoted “open minds,” “open bar” and “open air.” Here’s DJ Trentino, who served as DJ for the three-hour event.

Advertisers and Improv Comedians ‘Sell Out for Sound Lounge’

Creatives, you no doubt have at least one magnificent idea that you’ve been shelving for a client who “gets it” and is “worthy of it.” Well, how about taking that potentially award-winning concept and attempting to cash it in for $1000? Let’s be honest, it’s probably a better idea than assuming your brilliance will ever actually be produced.

The Great Sell Out,” presented by the Sound Lounge and the Upright Citizens Brigade, pits advertisers and improv comedians against each other in a battle for a cool grand. To enter, competitors must create a commercial for a fake Sound Lounge-brand product, which can be anything from soda to abandoned animals to inflatable tablet computers. The satirical spots must be either :30 or :60 in length, and anyone with a funny enough idea is encouraged to enter.

Should you choose to compete, submit your commercial to sellout@soundlounge.com by this coming Wednesday. The public will then have an opportunity to vote on their favorites, and the top 5 will be shown on March 22 at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre in Manhattan’s East Village. Hey, if your ad’s good enough, you might even get a job out of it.

CP Proximity Barcelona Celebrates 14 Years with Mural, Video

14 years might seem like an odd anniversary to commemorate like CP Proximity Barcelona does in the above video. But, the agency deftly defends its choice in an email to us, saying, “We want to feast that any fight (has its) reward, and though one stumbles often and falls, though clients get lost, though professionals (leave) an agency (for another) one, it is always necessary to (rise), look at the front and to continue forward.” Well, no argument here.

Yes, the entire video is in Spanish. But, the illustrations tell a familiar story, one of a growing staff, new clients, new offices and new challenges. As CP Proximity’s road map takes us to present day, a quote from agency president and chairman Joaquim Ramis is revealed. In English, it translates to “They say the biggest ideas are born in garages. We were born in a warehouse.” Congrats on 14 years, guys.

Hey, There’s an ‘Eyebrow-Raising’ Billboard in Times Square

Around midnight EST tomorrow, those within view of a television will watch a giant glowing ball shimmy slowly down a pole, ushering in 2012 AD (CE if you want to get weird about it). Some will cheer, some will toast, some will mumble made-up lyrics to “Auld Lang Syne,” and many will grab a significant other or stranger and engage them in a full-on lip-lock. Each of these, the last especially, is unavoidable. Why? Because it is tradition, so deal with it.

So, what better time for gay social network site Manhunt to drum up some publicity by placing the above billboard in Times Square? Located at the corner of Broadway and 47th Street, Manhunt’s billboard, which will be up through Jan. 6, was described to us in an email as “raising some eyebrows” and featuring “two sweaty guys in dog tags about to make out.” In the days since the “Zero Feet Away” campaign rolled out, it’s already greatly offended one L.A. mom, despite the fact that a similar Michael Kors billboard (depicting a woman placing her hand inside a man’s briefs) has been the subject of no such controversy. Most curiously will be how much (if any) airtime the Manhunt ad gets during the broadcast of ABC’s “New Year’s Rockin’ Eve,” where the American public will be subjected to performances by Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber, and (new mother?) Beyonce.

Thanks for tuning in this year, spies, and let’s look forward to these final few months as we plunge headlong into the Apocalypse. Have an awesome New Year’s Eve, click here for the actual lyrics to “Auld Lang Syne,” and watch Mariah Carey do whatever it is she does below.

Introducing a New Way to Spy on Other Agencies’ Holiday Parties

Due to a shoddy economy, the extravagant holiday party is no longer a staple in many industries. But, it remains an important part of the advertising calendar. Agency one-upmanship tends to carry over from the office to the office party, where “classy” gives way to “fun” before it gives way to “debauchery.” Sure, those bastards across the street might have beaten you on that pitch. And, yeah, maybe they do have more attractive employees and nicer couches than your agency. But, did they get as tanked as your CCO did at the holiday party? Well, now you have proof.

From DraftFCB SF comes “Agency Peephole,” a kind of creepy new site that is agencies a inside look at competitors’ holiday parties. As DraftFCB puts it in the announce, “Why party alone when we can party together?” Agencies wishing to participate can do so by following a simply 3-step process:

1. Get Instragram  (only available for iPhone until next year).

2. Shoot “bad ass” party photos.

3. Tag your photos with the hashtag #agencypeephole in the comments section.

Already had your holiday party? No worries, as you can still upload a photo album to Agency Peephole’s site. Thus far, eight agencies are participating, and we expect to see a lot more join by the end of the week. So, get ready to celebrate with (or against) other agencies around the world, and, as always, party on.

Agency Maintains Holiday Spirit Despite Getting Jacked

We’ve been told that the surveillance footage above is legit and that New York-based agency Fearless Group did indeed get robbed by someone who looks like he deserves the title of “Grinch.” But instead of pouting about their loss, the folks at FG have used the caught-on-tape theft as the basis of their holiday party invite. Apparently, the thief made off with their physical invitations as well, though we’re not sure why the hell anyone would want to steal holiday party invites. This part makes us scratch our heads about the whole, but what the hell, it beats some of the others we’ve received.

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