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Young & Rubicam

Y&R Consolidates Retail and Shopping Capabilities Under Labstore Banner

John BirdToday we learned that Young & Rubicam plans to consolidate its retail and shopper marketing capabilities in launching Labstore, a unified network.

The project first launched in Spain in 2001 and expanded to several Latin American markets in 2012; it will now include shopper/retail capabilities in all Y&R offices worldwide with the goal of unifying these services across Y&R’s global network.

The project will be led by John Bird, co-founder of Australia/New Zealand retail agency IdeaWorks; he will move to New York for the new role and assume the title of Global Managing Director.

What does this mean for Y&R employees? A spokesperson confirms that the agency is not moving people at the moment–simply uniting the global network’s existing services under the Labstore banner and opening Labstore units within the offices of both Y&R and VML.

Y&R Helps Bring the Beats to Save the Cedars

We didn’t realize that trees make their own beats until we saw this latest entry in your springtime awards show submission lineup via Y&R Dubai.

As with like-minded work from DDB, et al, the spot brings attention to a non-profit addressing a social/environmental problem–in this case, the destruction of Lebanon’s cedar forests by (we assume) the local foresting industry.

Turns out these trees create a sort of internal “rhythm” of their own. The “Save the Music” org, which has absolutely nothing to do with anyone named Britney, recruited a popular area DJ to turn these ambient soundwaves into something that might just get the kids to dance.

Even if you don’t like European house music, the production process is compelling–as is the contrast between epic landscapes and insular club shots.

Credits after the jump.

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Y&R New York Get Patriotic for Ball Park

Where’s the ball park? That’s one question that comes to mind after viewing Y&R New York’s patriotic spot for Ball Park’s new premium hot dog, Park’s Finest, the latest iteration of the “So American You Can Taste It” campaign. The other being: “Hey guys, are you sure you want to celebrate the invention of the cotton gin? It did kind of lead to the expansion of slavery in the Antebellum South.”

The goofy, 30-second spot, called “Greatest Invention Ever,” sees a man holding an eagle positing that Ball Park’s Park’s Finest are America’s greatest invention, much to the chagrin of Eli Whitney and Benjamin Franklin. Its ridiculous brand of humor seems somewhat studied, and mostly fails to hit the mark. The spot ends with a group of guys grilling up the new premium dogs, and, in a nice touch, the smoke forms a map of the United States. That there isn’t a ball park at any point in the spot feels like a miss though, as it’s a clear association with the brand. (And, hey, ties right in with the whole “greatest American invention” thing.)

The new Park’s Finest ads will air across broadcast and cable networks, as well as on Pandora radio, beginning this week. The larger “So American You Can Taste It” campaign also includes digital, social, shopper marketing and PR elements. Stick around for credits after the jump. Read more

Y&R Reveals Car Fox Den

If you’ve watched Car Fax’s spots featuring their Car Fox mascot and wondered where exactly he lives and how he gets his information (who are you?), Y&R’s new Car Fax spot will leave you one very satisfied, strange individual by answering both of these questions.

Y&R’s new 30 second spot, “Mole” introduces the Car Fox den, which acts as the center of the Car Fox’s elaborate operation (and presumably also his home). It also introduces another animal working in conjunction with the Car Fox and his team to “dig up” accident reports (I think you can guess this one). The spot builds on a character people immediately associate with brand (thanks, puns) to promote its selling points, which makes it easier to overlook its cheesiness. Also, I’m pretty sure fox dens aren’t 100 feet underground, but whatever. Credits after the jump. Read more

The Results of Y&R’s ‘Brand Madness’ May Surprise You

Brand MadnessIn honor of the NCAA March Madness tournament, Y&R created their own “Brand Madness” tournament using their proprietary BrandAsset Valuator database, and there are quite a few upsets.

To create the brackets, brands were seeded 1 through 16 in their respective divisions using their BrandAsset score — “their overall performance as a brand,” based on their performance in the categories of differentiation, relevance, esteem and knowledge. Once seeded, brands competed against each other one on one based on differentiation, “the leading indicator of future growth.”
Some may find the brackets’ champion a bit of a head scratcher: New Orleans (who narrowly defeated Facebook for the title). Y&R had this to say about the results: “Adults surveyed find NOLA very authentic, daring, dynamic, and energetic — attributes highly correlated with Differntiation. Facebook is strong on these metrics too, but that fractional edge put New Orleans over the top. Does that mean Americans are quitting Facebook to move to New Orleans? Probably not. But perhaps we’ll see a rise in selfies taken on Bourbon Street.”
For the full results, head on over to Y&R’s “Brand Madness” site.

Y&R Loses Sears’ KCD Biz

craftsman

We’ve received confirmation that the decade-long relationship between Sears and Y&R Midwest (formerly Y&R Chicago) has basically come to an end this week as the agency has lost the retailer’s Kenmore Craftsman Diehard (or more commonly referred to as KCD) account. Here’s a statement from Y&R below:

“After a long and rewarding relationship, Y&R Midwest and the Kenmore, Craftsman and Die Hard brands have parted ways. With the strength of these three brands at their highest levels in 10 years, and having picked up Cannes Lions, SXSW Interactive and other awards in recognition of our campaigns, we feel extremely proud of our work throughout the past 10 years.  We wish the Sears team the best in their future endeavors.”
No confirmation as of yet, but from what we’ve heard on a few folks on the Spy line, the KCD biz (which we hear has “shrunk’ somewhat over the years) has moved over to Havas Worldwide Chicago. We’re checking on agency appointment and will get back to you when we hear more.

Y&R’s Abby Bralove Wins BlueRock Spontaneous, Scarlett’s ‘Give A Chuck’ Contest

BlueRockSpontaneous and Scarlett collaborated to create the “Give A Chuck” contest for  BlueRock Spontaneous and Scarlett , asking entrants to submit photos and videos of their own, dressed-up versions of Converse’s classic Chuck Taylor sneakers. The three companies presented clients with an invitation to enter the contest as part of their holiday gift-giving. The winners of the contest — judged “by a panel including Olivier Wicki from BlueRock, Johanna Marciano from Scarlett and Brian Bowman of Spontaneous” — were just announced today on a special Tumblr page.

The grand prize (an all-expense-paid weekend trip to South Beach and a $1000 donation to a charity of the winner’s choosing) went to Y&R’s Abby Bralove, who submitted the above stop-motion video of her and her chucks. Abby chose St. Jude’s Research Hospital to receive the $1,000 donation. The contest, which “drew several dozen entries from agency creatives and producers” also handed out three runner-up prizes to Melanie Baublis and Jane Minehan of O&M, who won $500 donations in their names to Doctors Without Borders, and Brian Gonsar of Hill Holliday, who gave his donation to Teach for America.

Latest ‘Behind The Cubes’ Highlights Land Rover Work from Marc Sobier

The latest from the “Behind The Cubes” series showcases Y&R New York executive creative director Marc Sobier and his work for Land Rover.

Sobier discusses working with a group of parkour experts in the “Roam Free” campaign, which takes the practice out of its urban environment and into a natural setting. “Roam Free” was designed to promote Land Rover’s “Terrain Response 2″ which “seamlessly adapts to nature.” So Sobier and crew brought on some of the world’s best parkour experts to do their own stunts and exemplify Land Rover’s new feature in as exciting a way as possible. Sobier marvels at the possibilities of advertising, asking, “In what other business do you get to randomly work with a bunch of cool, free running stunt men?”

Behind The Cubes also showcases Sobier’s “Race The Sun” campaign — also for Land Rover. “Race The Sun,” an “interactive suspense film” that mixed in gaming elements. When filming “Race The Sun” Sobier and crew ran into a rather large problem, the sun, thanks to smoke from nearby forest fires, was nowhere to be seen. Instead of giving up, though, the crew kept filming, and they were rewarded with an especially awe-inspiring sunset perfectly suited for the spot.

You can check out “Behind The Cubes: Roam Free” above and stick around for “Behind The Cubes: Race The Sun” after the jump. Read more

Dell, Y&R New York Show Brothers Can Get Along with Proper Technology

What would it look like if J.K. Rowling was sleepy and directed a Dell commercial? That’s mostly a compliment for “Brothers,” a cutesy spot that doesn’t draw attention to itself, but could’ve done so a little more, considering it’s going to run during the Olympics. With whimsical storytelling and a few colorful scenes, there’s enough material to hold your attention for the time being.

The story focuses on two brothers, the Kavanaughs, who have a strong connection, even as children. They grow up to start a business together, Kavanaugh & Kavanaugh, not to be confused with Kavanagh & Kavanagh, a real law firm in Millville, NJ, I found on Google after watching. The Kavanaugh brothers, who have never been separated, know that they must for their business to succeed. So, one brother heads to Asia to globalize the company. How do they do this? With Dell products and with tablets that aren’t affected by blackouts. There’s a good story here, and I must give credit for the lack of overbearing product placement, but this spot could use a bit more verve. Credits after the jump.

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Y&R Ex-Chairman Ed Ney Passes Away

edneyyrWell, we got forwarded another memo that’s been confirmed legit sent to Y&R staff from CEO David Sable, who’s sent the sad news that chairman emeritus Ed Noonan Ney, who’s been with the agency in various stints since 1951, has passed away at the age of 88. Here’s the memo we got today.

“From David Sable (Y&R)
This morning we received the very sad news that Y&R’s former chairman Ed Ney passed away.
Many of you know him and worked with him. Many more of you simply know how legendary he was in the business.
Ed served as Y&R’s CEO and then Chairman from 1970 to 1989, having joined the agency in 1951.
In the 1970s, Ed was the first to understand that in a changing marketplace our clients would benefit from a full range of marketing communications disciplines. He began acquiring companies, pioneering integrated communications – what he called The Whole Egg back then – and  acquired the companies that became Young & Rubicam Group.

It was a radical concept and transformed not only our agency but the entire industry.

After Y&R, Ed served as the U.S. Ambassador to Canada, where he played a key role in efforts to expand the U.S. – Canada Free Trade Agreement to Mexico. He spent some time after at Burson-Marsteller, chairing their worldwide Board of Advisors.

But we were delighted in 1999 when we persuaded him to come back to our building as Y&R Chairman Emeritus, where he has remained as an inspiration and friend to so many of us.

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