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World Open Education Week With Dr. Gary Michelson and Alya Michelson

World Open Education Week begins on March 10th and Dr. Gary Michelson and his wife, Alya Michelson, say that it’s an excellent direction for the country’s education system. As co-founders of a foundation that is intended to increase the availability of open digital textbooks in order to make higher education more widely available, you could say that World Open Education Week is right up their alley.

That’s because World Open Education Week is all about making educational materials, and some instruction, available to everyone at no cost.

A free education, available to every child, is one of the core values of America, but World Open Education Week is about something more than that. It’s about making higher education freely available too. Read more

How To Turn Email Subscribers Into Engaged Social Customers

Email marketing has long been an important channel for brands to reach subscribers for their latest deals, promotions, and content. In fact, marketers sent over 838 billion emails in 2013.

But the trouble with inbox marketing is that it happens in vacuum…nobody hears it when a consumer “clicks”.

When you keep a consumer in a private platform to make purchase decisions- you are missing the opportunity to establish a direct dialogue with a potential customer – and their audiences. Thanks to the proliferation of social & mobile platforms, there are now best practices for turning your subscriber list into engaged social customers.

By giving your email subscribers an opportunity to respond publicly via social channels – you can take your silent subscribers and turn them into engaged social participants who then spread your branded message to their audiences. When you give subscribers the ability to respond to a private email offer directly on social media- you dramatically increase your reach and amplification. Emerging technology now allows brands to then directly reach out to those interested consumers with the resources to complete a conversion. Read more

Grey Takes Over Papa John’s Biz

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Well, the official word trickled into the inbox a bit late on this, but nonetheless, in case you haven’t heard, Grey has taken over as national AOR for Papa John’s (will this affect his Peyton Manning bonding sessions? Only time will tell). From what we’ve been told, Grey beat out Arnold, BBDO and Doner for the pizza chain’s biz , which calls for a refresh of TV creative as well as integration of digital advertising and social media. Approximately 20 agencies in all participated in the initial RFP process, which kicked off last November. Grey takes over on Papa John’s biz for Ft. Lauderdale-based, Omnicom-owned Zimmerman, which chose not to defend.

In a statement, Papa John’s CMO Bob Kraut says, ” Everyone was impressed with the Grey team and their in-depth understanding of our brand and the QSR pizza category. Grey provided keen insights and strategy, which, combined with excellent creative, will help take the Papa John’s brand to the next level. We’re looking forward to working closely with them and welcome them to the Papa John’s team.”

Papa John’s spending is valued at $120 million.

Friday Odds and Ends

-So whatever became of the remains of Atomic Playpen (aka Atomic)? Well, fellow Minneapolis-based Snap Agency has acquired the remaining assets of the Playpen including web development work (which included efforts for Best Buy, General Mills, Target, and Mall of America), the former Atomic Playpen website as well as other digital channels.

-And we’ll close out Valentine’s Day with a few more ditties including the one from Raleigh, NC-based agency Baldwin& Instagram effort for Burt’s Bees (above).

-Speaking of Instagram V-Day efforts, Honda (with the help of RPA) is claiming to be the first brand to utilize Instagram Direct to collaborate with fans and customers on a song that will appear on a limited-edition heart-shaped LP. Honda is asking users to post photos or videos to Instagram of what they love about today and caption it using #LoveToday. Their responses will then be incorporated into the lyrics of the track used in the Honda Civic “Today Is Pretty Great” campaign featuring the band Vintage Trouble, and will be given away to the first 500 users. link

-Critical Mass and Pride Toronto have teamed up to send a special Olympics-themed Valentine’s Day message via a campaign called #LoveSochi. link

-Meanwhile, a few Miami Ad School students have come up with a way for creative duos to send some love to their art director or copywriting partner. link

Wednesday Odds and Ends

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-Simone Oppenheimer has moved from Y&R to sister WPP agency Ogilvy to assume the role of director of business development for North America. She replaces Daniel Korn, who joined up with mcgarrybowen.

-Bi-coastal production company Tool has restructured its creative leadership a tad, promoting four to creative directors including ACD/digital art director Michael Sevilla, creative technologist Bartek Drozdz, ACD/digital art director Matt Gase, and senior interactive developer Patrick Gunderson. The new CDs will now work in pairs. with Sevilla and Drozdz comprising one and Gase and Gunderson the other (pictured l-r above: Drozd, Sevilla, Gase, Gunderson). link

-New York-based production company IDENTITY has signed Tony Barry to its directorial roster.

-L.A.-based entertainment-focused agency mOcean has welcomed Brumby Boylston as GCD, entertainment marketing and David Kleinman as managing director of entertainment marketing.

-In other 2013 Gunn Report results, Leo Burnett Worldwide topped the “All Gunns Blazing” category while McCann was recognized as Most Awarded Individual Agency and won Top Digital Campaign for, you guessed it, “Dumb Ways to Die.”

-360i U.S. CEO Sarah Hofstetter has been promoted to global CEO at the Dentsu-owned agency. She succeeds Bryan Weiner, who retains the title of 360i chairman. link

-WPP/GroupM agency MEC has released its fourth annual Review Preview, which recaps significant takeaways from 2013 and focuses on trends for this year. link

 

‘Home Spas Provide Exercise Without Exhaustion’ Says ThermoSpas

Many New Year’s resolutions include adopting a fitness program, a trend for 2014 noted by the home spa providers at ThermoSpas. Health and fitness professionals agree that regular use of a hot tub or swim spa is beneficial to long term health. Home spa systems are an easy way to keep your New Year’s resolution to stay fit from the comfort of our own home. Read more

Orci’s New Honda Campaign Features Soccer Song, About Soccer

Okay, so my Spanish may be a little rusty but I’m pretty sure the chorus to “Canción de Futbol” — the new song written by the band Kinky for Orci’s new Hispanic campaign for the 2014 Honda Civic Coupe — is “This song, song of soccer.” That being said, the song, which acts as the centerpiece for Orci’s “Gol!Gol!” campaign, is actually kind of catchy.

With the 2014 World Cup less than six months away, Orci decided to capitalize on people’s rabid obsession with the sport of soccer (I apologize to all international readers for using the term “soccer” but I’m American and am required to by law), as well as the popularity of Mexican electronic band Kinky. Orci wanted to tie fans’ youthful excitement for their favorite sport with the more fun, youthful features of the 2014 Honda Civic Coupe, using the song as a link between the two. “The same young, fun, excitement also applies to the 2014 Civic Coupe, so the song and futbol theme were a natural fit,” explains executive creative director Ricardo Cardenas.

“Gol!Gol!” — filmed by well-known Mexican director Diego Luna — features a couple of young soccer fans driving to a match in their new 2014 Honda Civic Coupe, singing along to “Canción de Futbol.” They soon realize that people they pass are also singing along to the song’s chorus, and dancing goofily — including star player Rafa Marquez. That’s pretty much the gist of “Gol!Gol!” — people jamming out to “Canción de Futbol.” Kinky’s song really is the heart of this campaign, and everything else seems built around it. You can check out the full, two minute version above, and keep an eye out for the 30 and 15 second versions which will air on national Spanish network and cable TV. The campaign was just launched today, and also includes online and mobile executions. Orci will also be taking over Honda’s Hispanic Twitter feed @HondaLatino for the “Gol!Gol!” campaign. “Canción de Futbol,” meanwhile, will receive an iTunes release later in the year. Credits after the jump. Read more

Atmosphere Proximity Tweets Carol Parodies for the Holidays


Instead of caroling door to door, digital agency Atmosphere Proximity (who, you may remember were named North American digital AOR for Emirates back in June) is caroling tweet to tweet with their Twitter account.

The digital agency is sending their slightly off key Christmas carol parodies to disgruntled Twitter users who tweet angrily about subjects like holiday shopping, travel, seasonal overeating, and the lack of good TV this time of year, using the hashtag #TwitterCarols. I’m no fan of Christmas carols, (and I’m perhaps a bit burnt out on holiday items) so I found these kind of hard to listen to. The parodies fail to generate any real laughs, forcefully changing lyrics to songs like “Carol of the Bells” and “Joy to the World,” which inevitably comes across as more cheesy than clever. Atmosphere Proximity would have done well to listen to Guy Holiday’s advice: their take on a holiday card (at least that’s how it was presented to us) lacks animals, memes and reflection — although there are some minor pop culture references. A sloth or cat would have really spruced things up. So far there are four carol parodies: “Carol of the Malls” (featured above), “Kiss Those Skinny Jeans Goodbye,” “It’s the Best Time to Travel of the Year” and “The Hiatus.” Stay tuned for “Kiss Those Skinny Jeans Goodbye” and “The Hiatus” after the jump. Read more

D&G’s New Blake Griffin/Jack McBrayer Spots for Kia Fail to Deliver

Back in October, we brought you news of David&Goliath’s new campaign for Kia Optima starring L.A. Clippers power forward Blake Griffin and Jack McBrayer (an actor best known for his work on 30 Rock) as a superhero team saving people from non-Kia purchases. We were a bit disappointed with the initial spot, but hoped that the spot’s title “Trailer” indicated it was just a teaser for things to come. Now, David&Goliath have released two new spots for the campaign, “Zipline” (featured above) and “Apologize to You.” Unfortunately, both fail to live up to the potential of the premise.

“Zipline” features Blake Griffin and sidekick Jack McBrayer crashing in on a lame Internet shopping session. They present the Optima as a better option, to a man who is understandably freaked out by this series of events. Griffin and McBrayer have good chemistry together, but the spot fails to capitalize on it and ultimately falls flat. It might help if the two interacted more, instead of seemingly splitting screen time in separate shots.

That “Zipline” is actually the better of the two spots should tell you something about “Apologize to You.” The spot features Griffin and a fire extinguisher-wielding McBrayer demanding a passerby apologize for not selecting the Optima. It’s repetitive to say the least, lacking any real substance in exchange for a failed attempt at cheap laughs. Hopefully, the folks over at David&Goliath can rebound from these efforts, as we still think this campaign has the potential to be funny. Credits and “Apologize to You” after the jump. Read more

David&Goliath Crafts New ‘Beautifully Simple’ Campaign for VIZIO

LA-based agency David&Goliath has crafted a new campaign promoting VIZIO’s M-Series Smart TV and VIZIO Sound Bar, complete with the new tagline, “Beautifully Simple.”

The TV campaign contains three new spots: “So Easy,” “My Station” and “Tiny Dancer.” Each of these was directed by Michael Downing, with cinematography by Masanobu Takayanagi (who has worked on Silver Linings Playbook and Babel). Together, the spots form a kind of narrative, beginning with “So Easy” (featured above). This spot, and the campaign as a whole, play on the fact that children often understand new technology better than their parents. In “So Easy” a young girl helps her dad through problems with his laptop and smartphone. The father then jumps at the opportunity to help his daughter pick a program on VIZIO’s M-Series Smart TV. A cute idea, that is unfortunately followed by the theme-line ”So easy, even an adult can figure it out.” This wouldn’t be a problem, if it wasn’t for the fact that Geico ruined the lines “So easy, even a…” for everyone, forever.

The next spot, “My Station,” is probably my favorite of the bunch, featuring the dad discovering his daughter’s Pandora station. “Tiny Dancer” concludes the series by upping the cute factor, as well as the father’s competence with the M-Series Smart TV. David&Goliath’s approach of creating a series of ads meant to be viewed in a certain order is interesting, and they pull it off by making each of them able to stand alone as well. I just wish they’d get rid of that theme-line.

Clearly targeted at dads, the campaign will run through the college football season on ESPN’s networks and Hulu into early 2014. Stay tuned for the final two spots, as well as credits, after the jump.  Read more

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