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WPP

Lincoln Partners with Matthew McConaughey

Lincoln Motor Company has partnered with recent Oscar-winner Matthew McConaughey on a multiyear campaign promoting the Lincoln MKZ, Adweek reports.

In a press release, McConaughey claimed to be a long-time admirer of the brand. “Lincoln is an iconic, American brand and I like where they are heading with their transformation,” he said. “I had the chance to drive the new MKC around Texas and I think they’re doing a good job.”

The spots in the campaign, which will be handled by shop within WPP’s Team Detroit division, will be unscripted, although the brand and director Nicolas Winding Refn (Drive) created a storyline around the MKC for the actor to work with emphasizing the joy of driving. You can check out the trailer above to get an idea of what to expect from Lincoln and McConaughey.

“Matthew is a natural fit with Lincoln and where we are going as a brand,” said Matt VanDyke, director, global Lincoln. “The transformation of Lincoln is well underway. With the MKC coming to market in a hot, competitive segment, now is the perfect opportunity to share to a wider audience what our brand offers. Matthew is the ideal personality to help us tell this story, and it is only the beginning of what we trust will be a fantastic relationship.”

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eBay Hires WPP’s MediaCom and Omnicom’s Goodby for Support

ebay

In April, eBay began looking to revamp its brand and image. The online clearinghouse put out a review not for an agency of record but for shops to work on a global brand project (which speaks to last week’s conversation on the state of the AOR).

eBay found two agencies to fit the bill: WPP’s MediaCom and Omnicom’s Goodby, Silverstein and Partners. The two will act in much-needed supportive roles to handle media and creative.

Surprisingly, the agencies released no celebratory comment. We do have this from eBay to AdAge:

“As our brand evolves, we’re constantly looking for new ways to inspire and engage our buyers and sellers around the world. We have recently engaged Goodby Silverstein and Partners and Mediacom as one of our agency partners to help us explore how to continue telling the story of eBay.”

The company spent $51 million on U.S. measured media last year; this total includes spending for subsidiaries PayPal and StubHub.

Maxus Won NBC Universal’s $175 Million Digital Review

1-maxus

Thanks to this report from MediaPost, we now know that Maxus (part of the WPP’s GroupM) has been awarded NBC Universal’s domestic digital media duties after a review. The annual ad spend is reported to be near $175 million.

It was only a couple of months ago when Maxus made headlines by poaching its new North American CEO Steve Williams from his former home at PHD. Ironically, the celebratory quote in the story as become more prophetic today:

“We are confident that Steve will help us take Maxus to a new level,” said [GroupM North America CEO Kelly] Clark. “I know from competing against Steve that he can be a very potent force, so I’m delighted he’s now on our team.”

The account will be handled out of Los Angeles and New York. Maxus and GroupM officials could not be immediately reached for comment. Welcome to that new level.

WPP: ‘U.S., U.K. Advertising Is Still in Strong Demand.’

sir-martin-sorrellSir Martin Sorrell is back (like he ever left) and still smirking like the Grinch after a Christmas rummage sale.

According to a release published in the Wall Street JournalWPP reported “strong demand for advertising in the U.S. and U.K. in the first five months of the year”, though “sales growth was held back by the strength of the U.K. pound.”

So the pound was just too strong for its own good. An interesting side note: Ad sales in the U.K. did outpace U.S. totals, with numbers rising 7% and 4.6% respectively. As Marty put it:

“All in all, 2014 looks likely to be another demanding year, as a strong United Kingdom pound and weak faster growth market currencies continue to take their toll on our reported results, but if budgets and quarter one revised forecasts are met, 2014 will be another strong year.”

While the release is ostensibly a financial report, we read it as another step in Sorrell’s quest to crown himself King of All Industry Thought Leaders.

STUDY: Social Media Advertising Doesn’t Work So Well

wtf

Yesterday, we brought you the story of a well-off British gent discussing how WPP’s GroupM will double its Twitter advertising budget to $100 million for 2014.

Today in what may seem like an attempt to show him up, Gallup released its latest study into the wild. It tells the world something the rest of us have known for years: Social media advertising is as good as flushing $100 bills down the toilet.

Here’s why those Benjamins are swirling down the drain.

Read more

WPP Will Double Its Spending Budget on Twitter in 2014

twitter-wpp

In another headline from Cannes-Lions, WPP Grand Poobah Sir Martin Sorrell told the world that he will double ad spending on “The Twitter” (as he may have called it) from $50 million to $100 million.

The news was announced when Sorrell moderated a discussion between Twitter’s Dick Costolo and Viacom’s Philippe Dauman. Of course he took a jab at rivals Omnicom and Publicis for their recent ill-fated “merger of equals,” but he focused mainly on the differences and commonalities between digital-first and the legacy media giants.

After citing the impressive market valuations and financial stats associated with Twitter’s recent IPO, Sorrell noted that WPP’s GroupM will double its spending with the microblogging platform, boosting its ad spending from $50 million last year to $100 million this year. Based on Sorrell’s figures, that means GroupM contributes nearly a fifth of all of Twitter’s advertising revenues.

Now what would you do with that kind of budget? Maybe not spend it all on Twitter?

WPP’s TAXI Begins Brewing New Relationship with Maxwell House

old maxwell house adThe year was 2010 when WPP rolled out the red carpet and doled out the cash for yet another advertising agency — TAXI.

The Toronto-based shop was bought to stand alone within the group and grow its own offices rather than merging with other units, according to Y&R Brands CEO Peter Stringham.

Apparently that was a good strategy: TAXI just wrangled itself a strong cup of the Kraft Foods empire with Maxwell House. Previously, the account was with W+K Portland.

The change comes only a couple of months after the coffee brand launched a new campaign called “Say Good Morning to a Good Day“; mcgarrybowen ran the account prior to W+K.

Seems that “the last drop” arrives more quickly each year. Stay tuned.

AdPeople Worldwide Signs Former GSD&M GCD to Lead North American Creative

Steve MillerSteve Miller, former group creative director at Austin’s GSD&M, will now be North American ECD for WPP “network agency” AdPeople Worldwide, handling creative solutions for clients like Dell.

Miller worked with some of GSD&M’s biggest clients (BMW, AT&T, etc.) during his ten years there; he most recently led the creative team at health-care focused agency HCB Health. While Miller will stay in Texas for his new position, he hasn’t always been based in Austin. Before moving south, he spent several years with JWT San Francisco on the Sprint account, so he’s not a new face at the WPP table.

According to the release, Miller is digital to the core: his interest in apps and such led him to create his own agency Super Deluxe, which focuses not on creating apps but providing “branded mobile experiences” to clients.

As ECD, Miller will report to AdPeople’s North American MD Simon Hjorth. The move is a return of sorts; as Miller writes:

“I’m looking forward to getting back to the type of dynamic agency environment I enjoy, serving multiple industries and a variety of clients.”

It’s a Four-Shop Race to Fill Honda’s Digital Needs

civic

American Honda Motor Company works hard to keep up with the competition but hasn’t been quite so successful in the hybrid space. Honda’s Prius equivalent may have been called The Insight, but the company recently pitted all three major holding companies against one another in the search for a bit more of that key noun.

Other campaigns have gone viral (shout out to Michael Bolton) and, according to AdWeek, Honda spends approximately $50 million on digital advertising each year.

Now who’s competing for that money?

Read more

Brand Union Names John Shaw to ‘Worldwide Head of Strategy and Planning’ Position

John Shaw

WPP‘s Brand Union has created a new position for agency vet/former Team Red CSO John Shaw.

The new, London-based “Worldwide Head of Strategy and Planning” role will see Shaw reporting directly to Brand Union worldwide CEO Simon Bolton as well as Catherine Gale, chief of the agency’s UK and Ireland operations.

Details in the release are sparse, but Shaw’s career is anything but: prior to Team Red, he served as regional director at Ogilvy Asia Pacific and planning director at W+K, working on the Coca-Cola, Nike and Microsoft accounts.

His resume also includes roles at A.C. Neiman, J Walter Thompson, Wunderman/Y&R and Mars.

This development appears to have been a long time coming. Shaw writes:

“Brand Union’s vision for building a connected and powerful brand experience appeals to me. Simon and I have talked over the years about working together… I’m looking forward to helping develop the worldwide strategic approach.”

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