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The Martin Agency

Pillsbury Doughboy Giggles for Geico

What?!? Is that the Pillsbury Doughboy being used in a non-Pillsbury advertisement? Is that even legal? This is a big deal! Wait, is it a big deal? I mean, it’s not like they’re competitors of Geico’s. You can’t insure your car with baking products and you can’t bake with car insurance. Wait, can you? No…no, you can’t. Yet.

What we have here is an ad-crossover of sorts, which, if you think about it, wouldn’t be that surprising if brands weren’t so super protective of their copyrighted material. You’d think that someone would learn a lesson from Who Framed Roger Rabbit? about that joys of allowing your brands to interact with others. So it’s refreshing to see Pillsbury play ball with Geico and The Martin Agency for a joke about the giggly little Pillsbury Doughboy getting the pat-down from the TSA on his way to a baking convention. Man, that little guy really loves being touched, huh? Credits after the jump.

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Martin Nabs Benjamin Moore Creative, Media Biz

Just over a month after reuniting with Timberland, Richmond, VA’s own The Martin Agency has won AOR duties for Berkshire Hathaway-owned paint manufacturer, Benjamin Moore. According to a statement from the paint brand’s CMO, David Melançon, choosing Martin, which will be tasked with handling North American creative as well as U.S. media buying/planning for BM, wasn’t too difficult. “… We wanted a partner who is highly collaborative,” he says. “It didn’t take much convincing for us to see that Martin is an ideal fit for us and has a proven track record of integrity and creativity.”

In making its decision, Melancon adds that Benjamin Moore opted to meet “quietly with a select few agencies, spending ample collaboration and brainstorm time with the strategic and creative teams” instead of going through the normal review process. According to the parties involved, Martin Agency, which takes over for Mullen on the Benjamin Moore biz, is already working on a print campaign for its new client that will debut this month as well as a full campaign that will roll out later this year.

W+K Alum Martinez Lands CD Gig at Martin Agency

W+K vet Jordi Martinez has headed to Richmond, VA to assume a creative director position at the Martin Agency. Martinez, who just started in his new role this week, will be “ applying his knowledge of the digital space” to various accounts and helping out with new business efforts at Martin, which of course currently boasts a client roster that includes Geico, Pizza Hut, Mentos, the JFK Presidential Library, etc..

During his five-plus years at W+K, Martinez worked out of both the agency’s Portland HQ and the Amsterdam office. While he was at the latter serving as creative technology director, Martinez spearheaded W+K’s Dam Armada unit, which was launched in 2011 and focused on digital solutions, programming and product development. Along with Dam Armada, Martinez worked on the Honda Insight “Let it Shine” Vimeo takeover from 2009 as well as the digital component of Nike’s multi-award-winning “Write the Future” campaign. Martinez’s new boss at Martin, CCO Joe Alexander, says of his new hire, “Jordi’s the complete package—a great talent and an even better dude. He immediately gives us deeper depth across multiple disciplines, especially creative tech.”

To the Wannabe and/or Budding QBs Out There, Pizza Hut, Martin Agency Salute You

Now that pro football fans are stuck in the two-week limbo between the NFL championship games and the Super Bowl (no one gives a shit about the Pro Bowl), let’s try to fill the void with something we overlooked last week that is, well, football-related. Here’s a new effort from Martin Agency for Pizza Hut called “Hut Hut Hut,” which as you can imagine, plays off the latter’s name while highlighting the standard call made by quarterbacks to get the ball rolling, so to speak.

Instead of hiring actual NFL stars, though, this somewhat inviting clip, which is part of Martin’s Super Bowl push for the the Hut, salutes the fans, whether they be high-school football players, average joes, parents and/or their kids. The web effort from Martin also happened to serve as a call for viewers to submit their own “hut hut” clips to Pizza Hut’s Facebook page in the hopes of cutting a user-generated version to air in time for the Super Bowl pre-game run-up. Unfortunately, deadline expired on Jan. 20, but we’ll see what agency and client came up with on Feb. 3. Credits after the jump.

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Martin Agency Renews Relationship with Timberland

After hearing this news, we’ve been unable to shake the sounds of Q-Tip busting verses about “Timbos on my toes” on Beastie Boys’ “Get it Together,” but yes, folks, this is indeed how it goes. After well over a decade apart, Richmond, VA’s own Timberland and The Martin Agency have reunited as the former has tapped the latter to develop cross-channel advertising for its outdoor  industrial work boot dubbed the Hyperion.

After a two-month, internally run review, Martin won out over a few undisclosed agencies for the assignment, and as a result, is tasked with strategic and creative development for Hyperion and first work for the line is expected to break in fall of this year. Regarding the Timberland–sorry, make that Timberland PRO–decision to hire Martin, which takes over for Mullen on the biz, the brand’s director of marketing, Susan Emerick, says in a statement, “After looking at several very fine agencies, we chose The Martin Agency because they demonstrated a deep understanding of our product and can bring the benefits of our work boots to life in a very strategic and creatively compelling way. In our category, people have an intensely personal relationship with their boots. We believe The Martin Agency team will harness that emotion and use it to help us build a great story with our end consumer.”

Timberland PRO wouldn’t disclose billings either, but as a result of its move, the brand renews a relationship with Martin Agency that initially spanned from 1997-2001.

Walmart Appeals to Crazy People for ‘Call of Duty’ Midnight Release

With the Harry Potter series of novels completed, the only products that can get weirdos to hang out in a store until midnight are video games. And, with the release of Call of Duty: Black Ops II coming next week, “America’s Chain,” Walmart, is trying to convince weirdos to specifically hang out in their store with this new spot from The Martin Agency.

Believe it or not, this spot was directed by Ruben Fleischer, better known to most as the director of Zombieland. For those that are unaware, a large portion of the Black Ops series is dedicated to killing and/or running from zombies. So, this selection actually makes a good amount of sense.

Perhaps even more shocking, Walmart enlisted the help of Academy Award-winning composer of The Social Network, Trent Reznor, to create the music playing in the background as our protagonist runs to safety. It’s strange to consider that Reznor, better known to most of you as that angry guy from Nine Inch Nails, is now having his “Theme from Call of Duty: Black Ops IIarrangement used to convince nerds to go to Walmart. But hey, Trent Reznor’s gotta eat just like everyone else. You don’t want Trent Reznor to starve to death, do you? Also, we can probably safely assume that Trent had no idea his music for the game would end up in a Walmart ad. Credits after the jump.

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Martin Agency Officially Bestows CCO Title Upon Joe Alexander

We were wondering why that sense of deja vu was creeping over us. Four months after first reporting that Joe Alexander was essentially replacing John Norman as the creative leader of the Martin Agency, the Richmond, VA operation has finally anointed the former as chief creative officer.

Suffice it to say that it’s been a pretty quick ascent to the Martin mountaintop for Alexander, who only in February was named ECD at the agency before succeeding Norman a few months later. Then again, perhaps it’s merited considering the new CCO has been with Martin Agency for nearly two decades. During his lengthy stay, Alexander has led creative on campaigns for the likes of Wal-Mart, UPS and JFK Library, most recently serving as CD on the “Clouds Over Cuba” online doc for the last client. At the very least, we’ve got a new headshot to use this time.

Martin Agency Cuts 6% of Staff

We first started hearing grumblings about this late last week, and now we’ve received official word that The Martin Agency announced a staff reduction across departments today. As a result, 38 people, or six percent of the agency’s workforce, has been let go including 35 in Martin’s Richmond HQ and three in New York. We’ve been told that among other things, “a decrease in productive client spending” and a need for “internal realigning” were reasons for the cuts.

According to the Martin camp, “Employees affected by this reduction will be offered outplacement counseling, and job search assistance as well as severance and extended heath care coverage. Additionally, the agency is “offering to pay any company one half of the first month’s new salary (up to $4000) for any employee hired in the next 30 days.”

With the cuts, current Martin Agency headcount now stands at 564.

Martin Promotes Patterson to CD

Fresh off of changing its creative leadership, Richmond, VA’s own The Martin Agency is making more moves in the department as it’s promoted ACD/copywriter Trent Patterson to creative director. Patterson has spent the last four years at Martin, helping lead creative on several campaigns for Wal-Mart (some of which earned him a couple of One Show Pencils this year). Now as a CD, Patterson will still work some on the retail giant, but will primarily be heading up creative on Martin’s Comcast business.

Prior to joining the Martin Agency, Patterson spent nearly eight years as an ACD/copywriter at GSD&M, where he worked on a variety of accounts including Southwest Airlines, the U.S. Olympic Committee, BMW and 7-Eleven.

Alexander to Succeed Norman as Martin Agency Creative Boss

So, what started as a sabbatical is becoming a complete departure as the Martin Agency has confirmed that it’s officially parting ways with chief creative officer John Norman at month’s end. While no new CCO will be appointed at this point, we’ve been told that Joe Alexander (pictured), a two-decade Martin vet who was promoted to executive creative director a few months ago, will take over as the creative lead across accounts at the Richmond, VA-based agency once Norman’s departure is complete. No word on what lies ahead for Norman, who joined Martin Agency two-and-a-half years ago from W+K Amsterdam, but we’ve been told the agency “wishes him the best” and adds that the departure was “amicable.”

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