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The Martin Agency

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.”

Speaking of the Martin Agency…

While we address this sudden sense of deja vu, let us tell you that The Martin Agency has nabbed a new SVP/group creative director in Jorge Calleja, who is heading to the Richmond, VA-based operation after a two-year stint at Sid Lee Amsterdam. During his time as a creative director at Sid Lee, Calleja led creative work on Red Bull and global Adidas projects among other accounts.

Prior to Sid Lee, Calleja served as a global creative director on Coca-Cola, Lego and Honda. During his career, Calleja has worked at the likes of Goodby, where we held the title of senior art director and was involved with campaigns including “Got Milk?” as well as those for HP, Sprint, Hyundai and Rolling Rock.

Costa Leaving Martin for Chiat LA

We’ve received confirmation that Martin Agency SVP/group creative director Fabio Costa will be leaving the agency for a gig at TBWA\Chiat\Day LA, though we haven’t been apprised yet of his soon-to-be title. Costa joined Martin 18 months ago and subsequently led creative on efforts for Comcast and Mentos including the “Spider Swiper” app. Prior to Martin Agency, Costa had a yearlong stint as partner/creative director at Ogilvy and worked as a CD for three years at Cutwater before that. During his time at Cutwater, Costa worked on campaigns for Ubisoft’s Assassins Creed among others.

The Martin camp tells us that they’re “sad to see Fabio leaving, but we wish him the best,” adding that he’s taking an opportunity that was “too hard to pass up.” From what we’ve been told, Costa will be joining Chiat LA in August.

John Norman Takes Some Time Off

We’ve been getting a few tips this afternoon about John Norman, CCO at the Martin Agency who sent the note below to staff letting then know that he’s taking leave for a few weeks, though we’re still not sure what the circumstances are regarding his brief departure. Here’s what we were forwarded:

“Hello my friends,

These past few months have been challenging to say the least, and we have all worked our asses off on current clients and a number of crazy pitches. I have found myself burning the candle at both ends for longer than I would have liked.

I have decided to take a sabbatical and regroup for a few weeks and spend some time with my family and myself, getting recharged for the remainder of 2012.

I look forward to seeing you all in June.

Word,

Jno.”

Prior to joining Martin at the end of 2009, Norman served as a creative at W+K Amsterdam and was one of the minds behind Coca-Cola’s award-winning “Happiness Factory while at the latter agency. We’ll see you back in June, sir.

Comcast Channels the Everly Brothers in New Spot

From the Martin Agency and Tool director Geordie Stephens comes a new TV spot for Comcast inspired by the Everly Brothers’ much beloved 1958 hit, “All I Have to Do is Dream.” In “Stream, Stream, Stream,” TV-addicted men and women hum the chorus for “All I Have to Do is Dream,” replacing the word “dream” for “stream” to emphasize Comcast’s new Streampix service (see what they did there?). It’s a nice video depiction of this 2009 article from The Onion.

Outside of the Martin Agency’s work, those looking for a slightly more “original” musical ode to Comcast can bump the new viral hip-hop track “Ridin Around and Fixin It,” a lyrical tribute to the day-to-day duties of a Comcast cable repair person. And, if you prefer something a bit more down-tempo and sensual, there’s always the slow jam “I Can Fix Your Cable” for those late-night candle-lit grind sessions. Music video below and credits after the jump.

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Martin Agency Promotes Lear to VP/CD

The Martin Agency promotions continue as Mike Lear has been bumped up from VP/ACD to VP/creative director at the Richmond, VA operation. During the last year alone, Lear has served as a copywriter on the Mentos digital shorts starring that hippie character Dragee and helped the brand launch its UP2U gum line. Lear has actually been with Martin since 2004, joining initially as a senior copywriter before being promoted to ACD at the end of 2006. While at his current employer, Lear has also moonlighted as an instructor/lecturer at VCU Brandcenter.

Before Martin Agency, Lear spent two years as a senior copywriter at Crispin Porter + Bogusky and held the same title at the ikes of WestWayne (which rebranded as 22squared in 2007) during his career. Now as VP/CD, Lear will continue to primarily focus on Mentos as well as American Cancer Society efforts.

Alexander Promoted to ECD at Martin Agency

We’ve received confirmation that Martin Agency CCO John Norman has promoted group creative director Joe Alexander to ECD. Alexander has been with Martin for nearly two decades (!), working on accounts including Wal-Mart (most recently, the popular Yodeling Cat holiday effort) as well as the American Cancer Society and the JFK Presidential Library and Museum.  In addition, this week, the Martin Agency launched an in-house project led by Alexander that’s aimed at helping a fellow employee who’s battling cancer.

Prior to Martin, Alexander had a brief stint as a creative director at TBWA\Chiat\Day and held copywriting jobs at the likes of Campbell Mithun early on in his career.

FYI, The Martin Agency Has a New Website

This was news to us, but Richmond, VA’s own The Martin Agency, which as you know has provided (and/or subjected) us with 10 million Geico ads as well as yodeling cats and Mentos shorts among other things over the years, has launched its new, winding web destination. It’s a nice compilation portfolio and agency info, but we have to say the tile format is a bit disorienting and it’s a rather long trip because the more you scroll down, the more content shows up. Guess that’s a testament to the agency’s body of work, accolades, etc. Take a stroll if you so choose.

Walmart to America: Here’s a Cat Yodeling Christmas Tunes

Those eyes. THOSE PIERCING EYES.

For their second project for Walmart since taking over digital AOR duties from incumbent R/GA two weeks ago, the Martin Agency is giving America its new favorite holiday character–a yodeling cat with a love of Christmas. Supposedly, the yodeling, creepy-faced creature is promoting Walmart’s line of internet-ready electronics (with a new spot based around said feline vocalist set to launch later this month), but the video features little in the way of branding save for that little ornament that pops in at the 47-second mark.

So, readers, do you “get it?” Are you wondering to yourself, as many YouTube commenters are, “What the hell?” Well, as the Martin Agency knows (and all other agencies working in the digital sphere should know by now), if you want a video to go viral, all you need to do is put a cat in it. If you think that this is a strategy you might forget, just hum Beyonce’s “Single Ladies” to yourself when sent a creative brief and insert the words “If they like it, then you probably put a cat in it.” It’s a simple and very effective strategy; since the video was posted to YouTube on Monday, it’s already gained almost 50,000 views. Credits, and lyrics so viewers can yodel along at home, follow after the jump.

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