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TBWA/Chiat Day

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).

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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.

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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.

Infiniti Courts Seven Agencies in Global Account Pitch

Infiniti

Infiniti Motor Co. will meet (or has already met) with seven agencies before selecting finalists to pitch for its global creative account, Adweek reports.

The meetings took place this week, and leave Infiniti “on track to complete its search by August,” according to Adweek. Infiniti’s initial request for proposal reported that the brand spends approximately $450 million annually. Among the agencies in the running are Publicis, FCB, Havas Worldwide (pitching with sister shop Arnold), Bartle Bogle Hegarty, M&C Saatchi and Crispin Porter + Bogusky, according to Adweek‘s sources. Interestingly, also pitching is Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, partnering with incumbent Omnicom agency TBWA. After the initial meetings, Infiniti will narrow the field to three or four agencies, a cut that “could come as soon as next week.” Infiniti’s RFP noted that “alternative approaches are paramount as Infiniti cannot outspend its competitors in broadcast,” and identified the U.S., China and Hong Kong as priority markets.

TBWA’s Latest for iPhone 5S Features Unusual Song Choice

While Apple recently announced that it will be taking more of its ads in house, this latest iPhone spot comes from TBWA Media Arts Lab, and features a rather unusual song selection.

The 60-second spot, entitled “Strength,” is a relatively straightforward montage promoting the use of the iPhone 5S for physical fitness. Less straightforward, however, is the spot’s soundtrack. As Adweek reports, “Strength” is set to “The Youth Fitness Song” (also called “Chicken Fat”), which originally appeared as a song from President Kennedy’s national physical fitness program. The song, which was written by Meredith Wilson and performed by Robert Preston in 1961, was distributed to schools and played as an accompaniment to a morning calisthenics routine. Whether the song is meant to stoke Baby Boomer nostalgia or someone on board just thought it would be a fun bit of silliness, “Go, you chicken fat, go” is a pretty strange way to tell people to start exercising (while utilizing their iPhone 5S). Coming on the heels of the recent spot featuring “Gigantic,” it marks something of a trend in unorthodox song selections promoting the 5S.

TBWA\Paris Raises Awareness for Amnesty International France

TBWA\Paris, Amnesty International France’s advertising agency for 10 years, has a new ad for the organization, which is celebrating its 35th anniversary.

The 1:55 film, entitled “Pens,” uses a clever visual device to tell the story of an unnamed protestor. The protestor is arrested, detained and abused, but released following thousands of petitions for his release. Set to a soundtrack performed by Paolo Nutini, with a short, stirring excerpt from Charlie Chaplin’s The Dictator, the spot champions Amnesty’s process of mobilization via the signatures of its supporters. “Pens” is a clear expression of Amnesty Frances’s ““your signature is more powerful than you think” slogan and a powerful encapsulation of what the organization stands for. Stick around for credits after the jump. Read more

Two New Global Appointments at TBWA

TBWA

Today brings news that TBWA has promoted two veterans to key roles on its global leadership team: Luke Eid (second from left) will be Global Innovation Director at TBWA Worldwide and Juuso Myllyrinne (far left) will assume the newly created position of Global Strategy Director for TBWA\Digital Arts Network.

Eid, most recently Managing Partner at TBWA Hong Kong, will work on the digital front or global clients such as Nissan. He writes:

“I’ll work with the network to ensure we continually disrupt our own service offering to reflect these changes and provide clients with solutions that are grounded on the latest consumer behaviors and technologies.”

Eid will collaborate frequently with Myllyrinne, whose most recent position was Executive Director of Digital Strategy for TBWA\Chiat\Day New York. Myllyrinne will also lead TBWA’s “product incubator” Pilot while working directly with DAN president Stuart Sproule (third from left) on creative tech and strategy for global clients.

TBWA\Chiat\Day, Adidas Throw a World Cup House Party

For the Super Bowl, the game is the advertising. For the World Series, ads are a respite. For the World Cup, however, there’s just not as much fanfare. TBWA\Chiat\Day hopes to change that with its new spot for Adidas.

The work features retired legends of football/soccer/futbol (depending on who you ask) David Beckham and Zinedine Zidane, who are bored watching the young guys Gareth Bale and Lucas Moura playing EA Sports’ 2014 FIFA World Cup.

And then, a jewel-encrusted goblet of male bravado spills on the hardwood floor as a real soccer game trashes “Beckhingham Palace.”

Now that you’ve recovered, click through for some credits.

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EVP/ECD Leaves Deutsch LA for Media Arts Lab

Mathias AppelbladIn dated but unreported news, Executive Vice President Mathias Appelblad recently left Deutsch LA for TBWA‘s Media Arts Labwhich has witnessed some executive-level changes as its relationship with sole client Apple shifts.

Appleblad joined Deutsch in February 2013 to assume the then-new role of EVP/Digital Executive Creative Director, creating work for Volkswagen and others. Prior to that move, he spent nearly three years as EVP/ECD at BBDO New York, where he worked on campaigns like GE’s “Ecomagination.”

Appleblad’s agency roots lie overseas with Sweden’s Forsman & Bodenfors; he joined F&B after establishing himself as an art director with various companies and worked on IKEA’s “Dream Kitchen for Everyone (no noise)“ as Interactive Creative Director.

We have no official word on his position at MAL, but we will update this post if we receive more information.

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