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TBWA/Chiat Day

We Hear: Infiniti No Longer with TBWA

*EMBARGOED* 2014 Infinti Q50

To follow up on a story Adweek posted a whole three weeks ago (we know, we know), we did receive word today that TBWA\Chiat Day will officially no longer serve as the AOR for Infiniti after more than fifteen years.

In late June we heard that a total of seven agencies were chasing the account, and two weeks later sources told Adweek that CP+B, BBH, GS&P and Anomaly were the only ones left standing.

On an interesting side note, General Motors poached Infiniti CEO Johan de Nysschen earlier this month in the middle of the review–a move that certainly disrupted the process a bit.

In other words, expect news on which agency won the business to arrive shortly.

UPDATE: The pitch is ongoing and TBWA will continue working with Infiniti through the end of this year.

TBWA/Chiat Day Taps Bret Michaels in ‘Tough Love’ for Nissan

TBWA/Chiat Day tapped reality star/former Poison singer/sole proprietor of bandana manufacturers in 2014 Bret Michaels in their latest campaign for Nissan, entitled “Tough Love.”

The centerpiece of the new campaign, which celebrates the toughness of Nissan’s line of commercial vans, is a music video of Michaels covering “Endless Love,” the schmaltzy 1981 hit written by Lionel Richie. Just what you always wanted. The video alludes to a series of six product demonstrations at Nissan’s Arizona Testing Center while Michaels belts the tune into a golden microphone. Videos of the product demonstrations, featuring Michaels, are also available, and viewers who survive the full length of the music video are prompted to choose one of them to view. As it turns out, they’re a lot easier to stomach than the music video, and not just because they’re shorter. Credits and two product demonstration videos after the jump. Read more

TBWA Explores ‘Gas Station’ Fears for Nissan Sentra

TBWA Toronto has a new spot for Nissan Sentra that explores fears of filling up, horror movie style.

The 60-second “Gas Station” opens on a man arriving at a creepy, dimly-lit gas station. Soon the station comes to life, as the man is relentlessly attacked by the gas pumps, which also do a number on his car. Eventually, another man, driving a Nissan Sentra, comes to the rescue, beckoning him to hop in. This is followed by the message, “Don’t Fear Filling Up,” and boast of the Sentra’s “Better combined fuel economy than Civic.” In a spot that spends so much time on a ridiculous fuel-fearing message, you’d think they’d focus a little more than a quick flash of text on the Sentra’s fuel economy, but instead most of the 60 seconds are spent on building up unconvincing horror atmosphere. Stick around for credits after the jump. Read more

TBWA\Media Arts Lab Spreads the Love for Apple

Apple may be moving more ads in-house, but it seems that TBWA\Media Arts Lab isn’t out of fuel just yet, as evident from their new spot for the MacBook Air.

Entitled “Stickers,” the 30-second spot illustrates MacBook Air users’ individual passions through a rapid-fire viewing of the laptop decorated with different stickers from a variety of users, followed by the tagline “The notebook people love.” It’s a bit of a return to previous strategies for TBWA and Apple, emphasizing the passionate devotion of its users. If you can’t keep up with all the different stickers featured, you can also see them individually on the “Stickers” page of the Apple website. The approach is reminiscent of Google’s recent “Play Your Heart Out” spot, as Adweek points out. But where that spot focuses on different pop culture obsessions facilitated by Google, Apple’s spot is more about how people customize their Air to make it their own. Whether this is enough of a distinction to truly differentiate the spot may come down to a matter of opinion. Feel free to weigh in with yours in the comments section.

TBWA\Toronto Forecasts Sunshine and Savings for Zealios

Trapped inside with a ghostly pallor and a wicked deadline? TBWA\Toronto and Zealios have teamed up to give you a fresh dose of Vitamin D (with a discount).

Zealios, a Berkeley, CA based line of  sunscreen products, is using the sun as a star to help the pasty set score coupons for sunscreen. With the help of a web app, users go outside in order to get 50% off Zealios Sun Barrier (client and agency figured out a fun way to create a sun activated digital coupon using ambient light sensors in mobile devices).

In addition to getting some cheap(er) sunscreen, consumers also receive a bunch of reasons why eating your lunch outside can be good for your health–as well as tips on how to stay safe while doing it.

Hint: put your shades on before aiming your iPhone at that big orb up there.

Credits after the jump.

Read more

TBWA Hunt Lascaris Encourages Youth Travel for Student Flights

TBWA Hunt Lascaris has a new campaign for Student Flights promoting youth travel with the message, “Travel Before it’s Not Fun Anymore.”

The campaign features two funny spots showing grandparents out of their element in more youth-friendly travel destinations: Bangkok and Amsterdam. In “Grandpa,” featured above, an elderly man somehow finds himself at a Thai strip club. He incredulously (and suggestively) holds a ping pong ball, while uncomfortably sizing up his surroundings. The spot manages to do a lot with a little, finding humor in its suggestive content and the perfect expression on the man’s face.

Perhaps even more effective is “Grandma,”  which manages the same accomplishment. It shows a grandmother in an Amsterdam coffee house, who is very clearly stoned out of her mind (which has probably worked wonders for her rheumatoid arthritis). The situation makes for a really funny 30-second spot, despite a complete lack of dialogue and little going on aside from the grandmother. Stick around for “Grandma” and credits after the jump. Read more

Two TBWA Staffing Updates

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Today we learned more about the status of two now-former TBWA executives: TBWA\Chiat\Day ECD Patrick O’Neill has joined a startup and George Nguyen is no longer managing director or chief strategy officer at TBWA\Toronto.

The news about O’Neill, who left the agency back in January in a move that inspired quite a bit of speculation on this very blog, broke yesterday with the announcement that his new position would be CCO at Theranos, a consumer healthcare tech company based in Silicon Valley that focuses on offering testing services outside the lab at its many “testing centers” (some of which have recently appeared in Walgreens).

Read more

Like Apple Technology, TBWA May Be Updated Very Soon

Your Verse

For more than 30 years, TBWA/Media Arts Lab has enjoyed one of the most prized advertising accounts on the planet. After reports from the New York Post et al. and that entity called “Madison Avenue”agencies are salivating for a bite of the Apple.

The dirty laundry aired in the form of internal emails during the Samsung trial in April and the subsequent reports that Apple would create more of its own ads in-house may have had something to do with this latest development.

Moreover, word is that whichever outside firm may eventually work on the account will also answer to Jimmy Iovine, president and grand poobah of Beats headphones, BeatsMusic and all other things By Dre that were recently acquired by Apple.

Read more

New President/CEO at TBWA Worldwide

Troy Ruhanen

This evening brings news that Troy Ruhanen will succeed Tom Carroll to become the new President/CEO of TBWA Worldwide. (Jean-Marie Dru will retain his position as Chairman of the Agency Network.)

Ruhanen, a member of the AAF Hall of Fame who first earned your Spy’s attention back in 2009 when BBDO created the Deputy Chairman North America position to give him a promotion, spent the last ten months as EVP of the larger Omnicom Group.

In the past, he held several executive positions at BBDO, running the AT&T business prior to being promoted to Deputy Chairman and then CEO of the Americas to oversee its operations in both the Northern and Southern hemispheres. Before joining Team Omnicom, he also spent three years as Managing Director of Leo Burnett’s office in his native Sydney.

In what’s sure to be a controversial quote, Ruhanen writes that his appointment is “a great honor” due primarily to TBWA’s “unique strategic method in Disruption®”, which “attracts talent, unlike others, and produces work that creates a competitive advantage.”

Deputy Director Leaves TBWA

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In a quick bit of staffing news before the long weekend, Deputy Director/Head of Account Management Justin Manfredi left his position at TBWA’s Digital Arts Network this week.

Manfredi, who worked in accounts at JWT, Deutsch New York/LA and San Francisco’s AKQA, joined TBWA approximately one year ago. The hire was part of a move the agency made to “ramp up” its digital West Coast staff in 2013. Manfredi joined along with 72andSunny/W+K NY alum Larry Lac, former Ignited analytics lead Eric Fader, and Vaino Leskinen of TBWA Helsinki.

Before joining TBWA, Manfredi served as Senior Integrated Account Director at David&Goliath. The agency describes his new role as “client side” work with Activision, but at the moment we have no details on title or responsibilities.

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