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R/GA Attempts to Individualize the Music Listening Experience with ‘One Copy Song’

To create buzz and some PR pickup for his new single, “Pass it On,” Swedish rapper Adam Tensta turned to R/GA for a viral lift. R/GA’s solution, “One Copy Song,” is a Facebook app that allows one person worldwide to hear Tensta’s new track at a time. Yes, if you want to hear Tensta’s new track as of this post’s publication, you have to wait in line behind at least 100 other people.

According to a statement from R/GA, “One Copy Song makes the release of a song an intimate experience, bringing you closer to the artist and the community. Moreover, it brings back the anticipation around the release of new music that’s been lost in the digital age.” And, for an extra social media push, users can actually “cut” the line, moving up in order to hear the aptly titled “Pass It On” by tweeting about it, watching Tensta’s music video for his track “Like a Punk” on YouTube or listening to his song “Before U Know It” on Spotify. Users can also access a world map on the Facebook app that tracks where in the world the song has been listened to. The app is set for a full launch for any artist’s use this summer.

Now, as this is a PR move/soft launch, I would highly doubt that Tensta’s results will be indicative of artists who try One Copy Song in the future. After all, we live in an era where we expect any intellectual property to be instantly accessed online at a moment’s notice. And, as a young artist trying to make a breakthrough into stardom, wouldn’t you want as many people to hear your songs as possible? Waiting in line, even with the opportunity to budge others, isn’t (and never has been) much of an incentive to do anything, besides looking for a hoppin’ bar.

Even for artists that are already big, wouldn’t following Radiohead’s pay-what-you-want model for In Rainbows or Jay-Z and Kayne West’s Watch the Throne iTunes launch be a much better way to restore the “anticipation” R/GA talks about? I could be wrong, but for an Internet-driven world where instant gratification is a means for valuing content, I don’t foresee One Copy Song as a sustainable model for music distribution.

R/GA Offers Interesting Historical Timeline


Speaking of R/GA, with tomorrow’s mandatory Facebook Timeline conversion for Pages fast approaching, said shop has finally adhered and delved into its history, which of course began in the film industry. The agency for the digital age’s Timeline offers a nice glimpse at a company that started in computer-assisted filmmaking courtesy of Bob and Richard Greenberg and, of course, has now evolved into the global operation you know today. Since we’re partial to sci-fi/horror, we figured we’d show you another image that provides the background on the brothers Greenberg’s work on Alien. See the rest of the Timeline here. Meanwhile, we’re still on the fence about Timeline, but here are some tips if you need.



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!

R/GA Staffers Reflect on the Technologies of Yore

And now, here’s a little lunchtime filler for you tech geeks who want to wax nostalgic for a few minutes. As you’ll see above, a bunch of folks from R/GA decided to take a look back on the technologies that either played an instrumental part in their upbringing or were just hard to ignore at the time. Whether it be the original Nintendo, a Commodore, floppy disks, a 14.4 modem, beepers or chatting on ICQ, pretty much all the bases from yesterday are covered in this purposely antiquated-looking video called, yes, “Retro Tech.” It sure has an I Love the 80′s feel to it, don’t it? Now, who wants to take us on in Duck Hunt?

R/GA Officially Welcomes Chris Bradley

OK, folks, the saga is over and R/GA has finally rolled out a full-fledged announce confirming that former Big Fuel executive creative director Chris Bradley has joined the agency for the digital age as ECD on the MasterCard account. Along with providing a better photo of the man (which shows he might bear a slight resemblance to Gary Oldman), we might as well also shed some light on his days at Big Fuel. During his brief stay at the social media agency, Bradley worked on initiatives across BF’s past and present clients including GM, T-Mobile, Microsoft, Philips and Chevy (he oversaw the “Chevy Camaro 2 Million” Facebook campaign, for example).

Prior to Big Fuel, as we previously mentioned, Bradley spent time as a senior creative at agencies including Ogilvy’s New York and San Francisco offices, serving as senior partner/GCD on Motorola and Stoli among other accounts at the latter branch. From what sources familiar with the matter tell us, Bradley will assume his post at R/GA on Jan. 24.

H/T to the tipsters, as always.

We Hear: Chris Bradley Heading to R/GA?

Since our post last Friday about now-former Big Fuel ECD Chris Bradley, who left the agency after just 11 months, a handful of spies have emerged from the shadows to tell us that he’s heading to R/GA. The “agency for the digital age” has yet to confirm Bradley’s arrival, though we’re hearing that he’ll assume a similar title at its New York HQ. While we continue prodding and poking R/GA for some clarification on the matter, we’ll remind you that Bradley also held lengthy, high-level creative posts at the likes of Arnold and Ogilvy during his career.

Whittier Takes ECD Job at R/GA

After spending the last year as integrated creative director on Land Rover at Y&R New York, Steve Whittier has headed to R/GA to serve as an ECD on Nike. While he was based in Y&R’s New York office during his yearlong stint, Whittier worked with the London branch as well on global Land Rover launched as well as with other clients such as GE and Airwalk.

Prior to Y&R, Whittier spent over 11 years at Factory Design Labs out of Denver, where he last served as VP/creative director and worked on accounts ranging from Audi to The North Face. During his career, R/GA’s new ECD hire spent time as an art director at the likes of Lowe and McCann and had a spell as a creative director at Leo Burnett’s office in the Ukraine during the ’90s.

So What’s Up with the R/GA, Pfizer Relationship?

In the wake of the ChapStick social media debacle that surrounded the brand’s now-defunct Facebook campaign from a few weeks ago, our tips box has been regularly lit up with allegations that the relationship between ChapStick parent company Pfizer and digital agency R/GA has suffered.

This week’s round of tips go so far as to say that even though R/GA was ready to roll out a “ridic” Facebook app for ChapStick, which has been a client for a few years now, the agency has cut or is in the process of cutting ties with Pfizer because, among other things, of how poorly the corporate giant handled the ChapStick Facebook issue.The last tip sent this morning regarding the matter put it bluntly, “holy sh R/GA just fired Pfizer!”

Since R/GA is not allowed to comment on ChapStick regardless of how good, bad or ugly the situation is, we contacted Pfizer directly and despite all the tips saying otherwise, a spokesperson told us that as of now, the company is currently working with R/GA. Wait, what? Either this person is the last to know, or a syndicate of tipsters is just toying with us and this is all just wishful thinking on their parts. For now, our status is confused, but we’ll hopefully see how this plays out for better or worse in the coming days/weeks.

Modem Alum Effik Lands at R/GA

A month after parting ways with Publicis Modem (like many others before him), Tony Effik has found a new gig as managing director of R/GA’s media & connections department. What does that mean, exactly? Well, Effik will obviously be involved in helping grow the agency for the digital age’s media capabilities and he will also work with R/GA’s digital, strategy and creative teams to integrate paid, owned and earned media for clients.

During his time at Publicis Modem, Effik worked on both sides of the pond, first as chief strategy officer in London for nearly four years then as SVP, strategy & analytics in New York for just over a year. During his career, he’s also had planning gigs at both JWT and M&C Saatchi’s London offices.


Mark Ferdman Lands at R/GA

Well, it looks like Mark Ferdman is back in the conversation. The co-founder of now-defunct Freedom + Partners as well as mobile app Pushkart is headed to R/GA to take on the title of, well, group account director on L’Oreal. Early on in his career, Ferdman of course helped found Firstborn with cousin Michael (now FB’s CEO) in 1997 before opening up Freedom in 2002 (some of you may have been aware that there has been some drama between the two over the years).  Anyhow, the latter shop perhaps most notably developed the Pearl Jam Ten game, sites for soaps as well as a digital platform for USA Network’s The Starter Wife (is that still on the air?).

In his new role at R/GA, Ferdman will be reporting to Dawn Winchester, EVP, chief marketing services officer.