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Agency Conference Disrupted by SNAKE!

Today in Important Agency News, a contact who previously worked at Atlanta’s IQ Agency shared a little public service announcement via IQ’s head of HR yesterday.

Seems that a conference call at the agency’s headquarters in Atlanta was rudely “disrupted” by a member of an often-overlooked demographic: the copperhead snake.

IQ agency snake!

Like many of the other varieties of snakes in advertising, this one is often misunderstood. The copperhead is poisonous and its bites do require medical attention, but they’re almost never fatal. And the best advice for dealing with such a creature is, of course, to leave it the hell alone.

As the sometimes-great Samuel L. Jackson once said, “We have to put a barrier between us and the snakes” — but the team at IQ simply finished their conference call before finding an undisclosed method for returning the snake to its natural habitat.

Insert your “motherf*cking snakes on this motherf*cking conference call” jokes here.

Barton F. Graf 9000 Presents ‘Dead Mouse Theatre’ for Tomcat

Barton F. Graf 9000 delivers one of the stranger campaigns you’re likely to see this week, with “Dead Mouse Theatre” for Tomcat mousetraps.

In the campaign, Barton F. Graf 9000 dreams up a solution for all the dead mice left in the wake of Tomcat, repurposing the corpses as puppets for theatrical purposes. It’s a pretty dark premise, but it’s certainly attention-grabbing. In the best of the 30-second spots (or my favorite, at least), a washed-up old-timey baseball player named Fitzy Gibbons revisits the scene of his downfall when questioned by a young fan. Other spots feature a leprechaun confronting a gangster who stole his gold and a lifelong friendship destroyed by a Viking raid. Strange stuff, indeed. Read more

Billy Eichner Is So Pissed at Burger King

For nearly twenty-four hours, comedian Billy Eichner of “Billy on the Street” fame has been accusing Burger King of ripping him off.

While we didn’t think he was a particularly good fit for the last season of Parks and Recreation, he has won the attention of pretty much everyone in media today. The “controversy” received coverage on TODAY, Time, Gawker, Variety, etc., and Mashable even made its own “did BK rip off BE?” video.

Here’s the ad:

…and a clip of Eichner asking the public for its take on Miley Cyrus after the jump.

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Filmmaker Claims New GEICO Spot Ripped Him Off

Comedian/filmmaker John Freiler took issue with GEICO today.

Specifically, in a tumblr post and a series of related tweets, Freiler claims that the newest spot from The Martin Agency stole its premise from a film he and his co-creators released last year:

“GEICO, a company that is essentially a sentient collection of irritating pop-up ads for your TV, copied our film down to its marrow. This is not awesome or fun or great.”

Here’s the film in question, which scored more than six million views by inverting all the cliches that drive the horror genre:

…and the latest GEICO spot after the jump.

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Blind Item: The Dreaded Drug Test

don't let the door hit you on the way out

If you’re hungry for a bit of dirt, this classic from the Blind Item file contains some facts about a certain mid-sized agency owned by a certain major holding company in a certain city that may or may not be New York. The agency:

  • Compiles “dossiers” on the bad behavior of its own executives
  • Uses random drug tests to get rid of unwanted employees (if they refuse to take the test, the axe falls)
  • Gets rid of “disappeared” victims by cleaning out their offices in the middle of the workday with no warning to co-workers
  • Has far more than your usual share of paranoia, backstabbing and tests of loyalty to top leaders

There’s more.

Read more

Omnicom Wants You to Spend More on Digital

money bagsThis won’t go over well. In a story we missed yesterday, Omnicom media operations CEO Daryl Simm told The Wall Street Journal that everyone needs to spend less money on TV spots and more money on…digital video.

This isn’t exactly a surprise. Simm argues that it’s just a way of re-framing the same old relationships:

“Online video ad spending is growing at a considerably faster pace than overall media budgets have been growing…So TV money is traveling to all of those other alternatives.”

And how large is the shift?

“We are counseling our clients to move between 10% to 25% of TV dollar to online video, depending on the target audience…A significant portion of the dollars are actually going back to TV owners for their online properties.”

But:

“The amount of quality online video is still an issue…What does it mean for a brand to be associated with a particular piece of content? And what does that mean for the consideration of that brand by consumers?”

Despite all this, Simm says that “The desire for more measurement and accountability is getting higher and higher.”

His message to traditional ad folk: expect more of the things you don’t like.

Tribal Worldwide Creates Robotripping, Puking Robot App

Tribal Worldwide has a new campaign discouraging teen cough syrup abuse on behalf of the Consumer Healthcare Products Association and the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids.

Rather than take a typical scare-tactic approach, Tribal Worldwide instead decided to make a fun game. The game, entitled “DXM Labworks” lets players get a robot all messed up on DXM (the psychoactive ingredient, dextromethorphan, in some cough syrups) and see what the effects are like (spoiler alert: the robot pukes a lot). Billing the app as “your chance to see the effects of abusing DXM without trying it yourself,” the idea is that teens will try out the game and see an unglamorous portrayal of the effects of the drug.

“It’s not a sexy drug –- there’s loss of motor control, slurred speech and, of course, the uncontrollable puking,” Kinney Edwards, executive creative director at Tribal, explained to Mashable. “Social disapproval really matters to teens, and they can see first-hand how embarrassing and not cool this is.”

The campaign is mostly aimed at “on the fence” teens, those who are considering experimenting with the drug and perhaps researching its effects online. By presenting them with a game that simulates the effects of the drug, Tribal hopes the teens will make the judgement that DXM’s negative effects are not something they want to experience. The agency decided that teens easily dismiss PSAs but that they might be more receptive to a fun, mobile game. And what’s not fun about a robot puking?

BETC and Andy’s Recreate 1984 in 007-Style Peugeot Spot

On a day filled with short film commercials, here’s a spot recycling/paying tribute to an earlier Peugeot ad by French agency BETC.

We weren’t familiar with the 1984 original “Bombardier”; because it’s all French, David Hasselhoff, Tom Selleck and Burt Reynolds are conspicuously absent.

The real star here is the post-production team: the release tells us that 90 percent of the film is, in fact, 3D animation.

And here we thought the bold stuntmen really did chase the new 208 GTi in a combat helicopter.

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Here’s How to (Allegedly) Break into Advertising

Jason Scott, who has worked as an integrated creative at Wieden+Kennedy London for the past year, knows how to get into advertising.

How do we know that he knows? Because he’s created a related “single-serving site” page in the style of “Barack Obama is your new bicycle” called “Ways to get into advertising” — and today he’s been tweeting its jokes directly at the agencies mentioned therein.

Now we’re going to give him a little more attention.

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BBDO NY Teams Up with Tim & Eric, Jeff Goldblum for GE Lighting

BBDO New York has received a fair deal of attention for its recent work for GE, including an Emmy nomination for wistfully surreal “Childlike Imagination.” More recent spots like “Ideas are Scary” and “The Boy Who Beeps” followed in a similar tone, celebrating ideas and innovation in imaginative ways. So the agency’s fake infomercial for GE Lighting, directed by Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim (better known as Tim & Eric) and starring Jeff Goldblum, comes right out of left field.

The over two minute-long mock infomercial (mockfomercial?), entitled “Enhance Your Lighting” sees Goldblum playing “Terry Quatro, Famous Person” as he hocks the GE Link light bulb, which offers “successful guy lighting at normal guy prices.” It’s also so easy to install, you can do it while painting a portrait of yourself. It should come as no surprise that the spot is all over the place with random humor, but Goldlum plays the part perfectly and when it’s on it can be pretty funny. And while it may seem like an odd approach for the brand, especially coming off BBDO’s recent spots, it should garner some attention for the new product as the YouTube views (currently at around 115,000) inevitably pile up. Read more

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