A little bit of staffing news for you this afternoon as TBWA\Chiat\Day NY has added to its creative department by welcoming Mother alums Erik Holmdahl and Beth Ryan, art director and copywriter, respectively, to the fold as CDs. The pair spent the last year, give or take, at Mother helping lead creative for Stella and Microsoft but spent the majority of their careers at BBH, with both working for over a half-decade at the latter agency on campaigns for the likes of Sprite, Axe and Google. Prior to BBH, Holmdahl worked at StrawberryFrog for a few years while Ryan put in the same amount of time at DDB Seattle.
The pair’s new boss and former BBH colleague, Matt Ian, who joined up with TBWA\C\D NY as creative chief from Deutsch LA this past summer, speaks highly (obviously) of the new hires, saying in a statement, “We hear the term ‘hybrid creative’ thrown around a lot, but I haven’t met too many who are genuinely ambidextrous. When I worked with them at BBH, I quickly came to realize that Beth and Erik are as strong digitally as they are with the traditional work. They think simply and inventively. They can give you an innovative idea for an app or a digital platform, and then turn around and hit a home run with a TV script.”
Along with the new CDs, Chiat NY has also brought on former Anomaly Toronto director of design Melatan Riden in a similar role as design director.
In August of 2012, we blurbed about four creative twentysomethings (Digitaria writer/designer Grant Spanier, account planner/former Campbell Mithun Lucky 13 intern Laura Fitzpatrick, former CM copywriter Vince Koci and filmmaker Jake Woodbridge) going on a brief roadtrip out west “in search of inspiration — risking life, limb and Dysentery in the name of creative enlightenment.” Well, nobody got Dysentery, but more than a year later, the travelers are looking for some Kickstarter funding to help turn their 15-day roadtrip footage into a fully-produced documentary. The total cost: $30,000.
The three-minute-and-twenty-second pitch video offers a sneak peek of the journey and quite a few talking heads. The questions seem to focus on the origin of creativity, mainly about whether the American West is the most creative region in the country. As a Northeasterner, my reflexive response requires me to disagree with that idea completely, but it can’t hurt to ask. In the name of (social) science, right?
And as someone who took a cross-country roadtrip with a video camera myself, I can understand the allure of driving out west. The West Coast may not be more creative than the East Coast, or the Midwest, or wherever you live, but there are different creative approaches and mindsets out there, and exploring whatever those differences may be is an impressive creative endeavor in its own right. I’m interested to see what their finished project turns up.
He began his foray into the world of turning himself into a walking billboard for money with IWearYourShirt.com, a website where people could volunteer to wear sponsors; t-shirts around for a fee because they were really hard up or something. Next, Sadler decided to take his experiments into human commercialism to the next level with BuyMyLastName.com, a site that allowed him to auction off his last name for the entirety of 2013 for $45,500 to Headsets.com.
Now, evidently out of ideas, Jason HeadphonesDotCom will auction off his name once more for 2014 before taking his great-grandfather’s name until he dies or gets bored. What’s in it for brands? Well, check out this little nugget from the press release:
The company associates $250,000 in sales and just over $6 million of advertising impressions in less than two months directly to purchasing the rights to Jason’s last name. “The publicity impact was beyond belief. Our recognition factor jumped right away and still lasts now. Best $45k I have ever spent,” said Mike Faith, Headsets.com CEO.
So, there you have it, if you’re a brand on par with Headsets.com. The winning sponsor will also have their brand name appear on the cover of Jason’s new book (which you’ll find info about at, what else, SponsorMyBook.com), so really, you can’t go wrong. Bid at BuyMyLastName.com.
In honor of Robert Feuille, a copywriter who passed away from testicular cancer at the age of 28, Texas agency Sanders/Wingo, who we’re giving some extended love to in honor of the cause, have created The Beard League, a way to turn Movember into a creative competition while donating money to Feuille’s family.
During the month of November, 31 teams of beard-growing dudes will submit funny photos of themselves in the hopes that it will convince people to donate to their team. Why are there 31 teams when there are only 30 days in November? The answer is not yet clear, but each of the contestants is also documenting their growth process with daily photos of their facial hair.
Currently, Scott “The Hairy Outside” McAfree leads with $440 in donations according to The Bearderboard. Will that be enough to win him The Bearder’s Cup? It’s up to you, donators. And, as a bonus for giving, all who donate will be entered in a drawing to win The Beard League merchandise. If that doesn’t float your boat, know that you donation goes to the Feuille Family Scholarship Fund, which benefits Feuille’s three young children. A pretty cool take on no-shave November, no?
It’s been a while since we’ve heard from Mitchell Caplan, but in it’s rather busy fall, Minneapolis-based agency Olson has appointed the former McCann/Digital Pulp exec as chief marketing officer. Caplan, if you recall, was appointed to a similar role at McCann in summer 2010, at the time reporting directly to McCann North America president Robert LePlae and was responsible for leading marketing strategy and business development for McCann NA. Following its win of the likes of Sharp and Supercuts, it’s been a busy couple of months for Olson, which will have Caplan split time between its offices in Minneapolis and New York and report to CEO, John Partilla.
During his career, Caplan also spent some time at Y&R North America/Y&R Brands in a similar CMO role, where he spent over three-and-a-half years. The new CMO succeeds Bob Molhoek, who has spent a decade’s worth of time at Olson and is now being bumped up to the newly created role of SVP/organic client growth. In a statement, Caplan says, ““This is a very exciting time to be joining Olson. When you look at the client list, the talent, the work and the momentum, you get a very clear picture that this is an agency that has become a major player in North America, while staying very true to the cultural values that makes the agency such an amazing place to work.”
We’ve received confirmation of tips we’ve received that both Claudia Richman and Chetan Bokariya, formerly SVP/regional operations director for San Francisco/Chicago and VP/architect, mobile technology, respectively, are no longer with DigitasLBi. From what we’ve been told, Richman actually departed a few weeks ago while Bokariya’s last day is today. The former is now working on her own consultancy after spending 15 months at Digitas. During her career, Richman had fairly lengthy senior-level stints at Tribal DDB and Energy BBDO. Bokariya, meanwhile spent a couple of years on the technical side at Publicis Groupe’s mobile unit, Phonevalley before joining DigitasLBi.
[Headphones on if your place of employment doesn't like hearing the word "fuck" come flying out of your computer.]
The mere concept of advertising award shows is ridiculous. So, thankfully, one award show in particular isn’t afraid to bask in the silliness of grown men throwing tantrums at not getting a trophy for their spots about pool cleaner or whatever.
This spot for the Shots Awards (taking place November 28th in London, because Brits don’t believe in American Thanksgiving) from BETC London features Damon Collins (co-founder of Joint U.K.), Justin Tindall (ECD of Leo Burnett London) and James Hilton (of AKQA) and many more throwing quickly escalating hissy fits when their names aren’t called. If anything, this just makes me wonder: Would advertising in general be better if it was laden with curse words and people yelling?
With 14 categories and 14 winners (no prizes for participation or second place), Shots is building its brand as a show that disappoints. Even if you don’t win, you might as well go hoping that you’ll see some drunk exec turn over a table, right? Credits after the jump.
No memos this time around, but while sources tell us that Grey New York is still the agency partner of Radio Shack, the latter has had some financial woes that have now cost the former 45-100 staffers in its Big Apple hub. We’ve been told this equates to approximately four percent of the agency office. According to those in the know, there was an all-staff meeting earlier this afternoon letting Grey crew know the situation. Sources add that no one will be laid off until January but the agency just wanted to inform its staff (we hear 1,100 strong and counting) and tell them it’s working to place those affected across WPP. On a positive note, we hear that Grey NY has added 350 staffers this year (a few of which we’ve covered as you know) and is continuing to add to its digital team. Grey picked up the Radio Shack biz in spring 2012 following a six-month review. The electronics retailer previously worked with Sausalito, CA-based BSS&P.
Sources familiar with the matter confirm that Bud Caddell, who has spent the last two-plus years at Deutsch LA, where he initially joined at was dubbed at the time an “invention strategist,” has parted ways with the agency. We’ve been told by sources in the know that the split was amicable and has landed “a nice new gig.” No word yet on where he headed to, but Caddell joined Deutsch after helping launch social venture Common with Alex Bogusky and Rob Schuham. During his career, Caddell also spent time as a strategy director at Victors & Spoils and served for a while as a senior strategist at New York digital firm, Undercurrent. From what we hear, Caddell has headed back to Undercurrent, though in its Los Angeles office.