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Archives: May 2008

Could Google Pick the Next U.S. Prez?


Web savvy has infiltrated the presidential primaries yet again this election season. Numbers released from the Baraq (Wow) Barack Obama camp reveal some damn interesting data.

Turns out, the dude has spent $2.8 million on Google based ads &#151 surprisingly enough very little of that is presumed to have ended up in politically based sites, blogs etc.

So how much did Obama spend total? ClickZ tells us $3.47 million.

More on where his cash is going:

“Like countless commercial advertisers, the Obama camp has gravitated towards performance-based ad buys, and not only on Google. The other top recipients of his campaign’s online ad dollars specialize in cost-per-action ads as well. In addition to Yahoo search ads, payments to performance ad networks including Specific Media, Pulse360, Microsoft-owned DrivePM and AOL-owned Quigo also showed up in FEC filings reflecting spending between January and April.”

Turns out Yahoo only got $180,000 and Microsoft saw practically nothing.

Anybody’s guess as to the implications of this and other Google takeovers &#151 most notably how the relationship would pan out for Google and Obama should he win.

Forrester: Apple Wants to Do Your Home?


James McQuivey, an analyst at Forrester Research Inc., told ComputerWorld that, “The home is the most likely path for Apple, given the other alternatives…In mobile, for example, Apple just can’t go far enough.”

Forrester predicts that in five years, the megalith will be so vital that they’ll have hardware to connect your computer with, yes, wall clocks. WTF?

More from Sr. McQuivey:

“Apple has never been about only selling technologies. What it’s really interested in, at least since Jobs’ return, has been in having a love affair with consumers. And there’s no better place for that love affair to culminate than in the home and the living room.”

So Forrester, you’re predicting Apple will grow? I hope there wasn’t too much money spent figuring that one out. I need another Captain Obvious picture…

Just a note &#151 how awesome is this image? Apple should jump all over the idea, and pretend they hate it. Hmm, who’s to say they aren’t already doing that? I wonder how “Let’s Get it On” feels…

Grey’s “Innovative” Spot for Canon


Let’s Go Digital, a techy little digital imaging online mag. thinks Canon’s newest spot, put together by the folks at Grey is the shiznittle.

“For ‘Journey,’ the new EOS Rebel XSi television commercial, Canon did something innovative with professional digital cameras. Tapping into the creative talents at Grey New York, the advertising team crafted the idea of shooting nearly an entire television commercial using Canon digital still cameras. After the first few seconds of film footage, the commercial goes through a blending of still images stitched together to give the impression of motion.”

Wow guys, that sounds an awful lot like a motion picture &#151 some might even say, a movie?

We regret to inform you that your “innovation” was actually the creative work of Frenchman Louis Lumiere in 1895. But the music is nice. Stick with Maria and the dog.

So who is responsible for this exciting new idea (insert sarcasm emoticon)? None other than (of course) ECD Tor Myhren, CD/AD Stephen Krauss and CD/Copywriter Ari Halper. Bravo.

Check out the spot here.

Update: The innovative part is what got to me. Sounded like they were taking credit for the invention of the motion picture. So maybe it’s the hacks I should be gribbling with, but this type of over promotion of work is soooo Grey. Yes, the piece is interesting, but innovation in advertising happens once, maybe twice a year and this isn’t one of those times.

Perfect Time for a Crash

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Bad day gone wrong. First, the DMV royally screwed me, then I found out my laptop (which crashed last night) will need to be out for five days. I’ll do what I can in the meantime on my limping-but-kinda-functioning POS Toshiba.

Basically, all the nice little bookmarks, automatic passwords, documents, pictures and all that are lost and gone forever. So the upside is I get to start fresh and the downside is that I’ve lost everything digital.

Why didn’t I back up, you ask? Ah, but of course I did. And then a bottle of water spilled on my drive (last week). You don’t care about this, but it’s why things were slow today.

Back to it as best I can tomorrow.

PSFK Knows San Fran


Piers Fawkes’ PSFK has come out with a trend book focused on the San Francisco Bay area. But PSFK Snapshot isn’t your average roundhouse of sites, memorials and must-sees so much as it is, according to blogger Coolhunting, “a compendium of what the writers consider the city’s most interesting and original aspects.”

Tour guide? No. Off the beaten track handbook? Not exactly. PSFK offers this piece as a “valuable tool for ad agency strategic planners & creative directors; brand managers; researchers; and anyone who is looking for fresh ideas &#151 whether they plan to go to San Francisco or not.”

At $30, it sounds like a good buy for the new-to-SF. But as a trend itself, the book is an arterial Not For Tourists &#151 offering the best of the city but with a coffee house feel. Maybe they should have had it printed on napkins for authenticity. Check it out, here.

A Fan’s Last Note


Fredrick Exley, the troubled author of the extraordinary “A Fan’s Notes” said that: “The most difficult thing about striving for adulation is when you finally get the damn thing. Then what have you got? Goofy kids with backpacks knocking on your door.”

Every blogger strives to create and serve a community. I hope I achieved that goal. The blog was about sparking a conversation and taking the piss out of a cloistered business. Who else could remove advertising’s blinders and mess with protocol other than you guys – the forgotten soldiers on the front lines of this creativity war? I thank you for making that shit happen. All the comments, tips, emails and IMs… Thank you, because without you guys getting in their and shooting for the stars, this blog would have been vapor. At it’s best, the blog managed to give a voice to some of the more antiquated aspects of this business, while kicking and screaming about all the truth and all the exciting stuff that never makes it into those pompous press releases. I think you and I, we didn’t do a bad job of it? Legend, no, no, but good start? Hell, yes.

I’m just exhausted. You aren’t goofy kids with backpacks, but you are news hungry ad folk with Blackberrys. I’m just too tired to keep up with the regular hashing of the biz that this type of site demands, while holding down the gig that actually pays my bills. Also, it’s a brand new day here on MB. As I’m sure you’ve noticed, new bloggers have been ever so slowly taking over. It’s time for someone else to helm this ship, while I sip mojitas in a lawn chair on the poop deck.

One of my favorite bloggers, Adverganza, swears I’ll be back unable to stay away from this blogging addiction and hell, that may be true. I do have this Fifth Column thing I badly want to do, but where it will live… not sure yet, but it doesn’t involve blogging. It’s something else.

Regardless, my time at Agency Spy has come to a close (snuffle, sniffle). If you want to contact me, I’ve set up a new email address with an unacceptable, but irresistible nod to Charlie’s Angels: mailforsabrinaduncan at gmail dot com

So, yeah. Word. Here are some of my top rated posts from the close to 1600 I’ve penned in my one-year career:

Tits, Ass And American Apparel’s Backlash

The Story Behind Rausch, EuroRSCG and Sprint

Why Do You Hate The Gap?
Dude, What’s With The Girl Sitting On Your Lap?
Who Is The Sexiest Man In Advertising?
McCann’s Small Time Plan For Applebee’s
Richard’s Lunch Makes Us Barf (Just A Little Bit)

Dem Haters And Juan Cabral
The Entire Social Media Series

Now for the liner notes:
Thanks to George Parker, Tangerine Toad, HighJive, Steve Hall of Adrants, The Tribble Agency, Adweek’s Brian Morrissey, Creativity’s Nick Parish, Source Communications’ Colin Nagy, Michael Hastings-Black of creative shop Desedo, Jonah Bloom from AdAge for his total kindness during some of the blog’s dust-ups (ahem…), Bob Tedeschi at The New York Times, the ever wonderful Ms. Lee, Bill Green at Make The Logo Bigger, Chris Ariens at MB, DownLow (natch) and the numerous nameless tipsters who kept me in the news and out of the dumps when necessary. Thank you all.

Super Spy

IBM Taking “Do it Wrong, Quickly” Mantra to Heart?

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We hear that due to the changing tides at IBM, when Ogilvy first picked up Leopard, it was as a preventative tactic. Fearing the loss of the ginormous-and-increasingly-digital company (IBM), Ogilvy may have sucked up Leopard.

Here’s why the small shop was an enticing buy:(From a press release circa OgilvyOne purchasing Leopard)

“OgilvyOne also noted that in addition to being able to align sales and marketing, the acquisition also provides OgilvyOne with proprietary technology developed by Leopard for digital asset management. Both companies also share key clients including IBM and SAP.”

Hmm &#151 kinda like that time you felt like were about to get dumped by the cheerleader so you bought the gas station she uses once a week just so you could see her…and she’d pump you. Creepy.

Why else would Ogilvy have bought Leopard? After all, the rule in big advertising is “when you can’t compete, buy the competition.” Especially when they’re good with the cheerleader. But enough speculation.

“Ogilvy has in recent years been challenged to keep up with IBM’s quickly changing marketing needs and decision makers (a few years ago, Abby Kohnstamm who was the key client retired and IBM changed its marketing organization a lot.”

Kohnstamm allegedly has close ties to Shelly Lazarus, the Chairman and CEO of Ogilvy & Mathew Worldwide.

Connecting the dots is a skill best left to prophets and bartenders, so I’m going to leave this one alone. But I will say this &#151 no one likes working with a stranger.

Read more

Chevy Spot Shows Truth in Advertising

This ad speaks to the pure stupidity of some work that’s out there &#151 and our ability as consumers to be wowed by dancing robots. I’m sorry, Honda, your attempt in this category &#151 while noble &#151 really just scares the crap out of everyone.

But this spot flies in the face of Cotroën, and seems to say,”Well we couldn’t think of anything original, so we went with truth.” As far as humor goes, truth takes it.

Making Ends Meet


…requires all sorts of compromise. But this work for Nulaid does no pandering. Click through to the next page to see other examples in this campaign.

Read more

No Bull Intentions


Time to rant a little about shit that has been pissing me off lately.

To begin, pain-in-the-ass spammers are at the heart of a few changes to this site. There are a lot of them (spammers), and they all like to bombard our commenting and tip sections with penis-enlargement info, upskirt videos and Fallon’s contact info.

Nobody wants that.

Being that we don’t want any of this stuff either, we have to require some things that prove to us that a human is typing and not a computer.

Furthermore, this site is run by MediaBistro. Get over it. The vast majority of changes have been made, and the bottom line is a few more ads and the dreaded register-before-you-post. What’s the big fucking deal?

For the scarce few bloggers that have the cojones to tell you who they are (Toad, Parker, etc. &#151 myself), each day is another opportunity to step up to the plate and knock a line drive into the gut of any agency, ad-douche, or hack that makes the mistake of doing something remotely stupid. It’s a good feeling and you love to read about it. So send us tips and we’ll do the rest.

Although new to AS, I’ve also posted all my contact info (Matt Van Hoven,, 651 470 1311) on this site. There’s no profile page yet so deal. So if you have something to say, call and say it &#151 or email, comment, send a tip…whatever. But don’t begin to bitch about having to register. It takes two minutes and anyone with half a brain can click the “do not email me ANYTHING” button. One day, you’ll lose a job or be bored with whatever you’re doing and decide to surf the MB jobs page, so quit you’re fucking complaining about having to register. It’s lame, an old story and nobody gives a shit.

You still get to be anonymous, and it’s not like anyone is going to find out who you are just because you’re registered. I don’t really care and neither does MB &#151 so leave your fears at the door.

Adscam commented on this issue, so check that out if you like. Parker says he doesn’t want us to have his personal information. What are we, Nazis? Are we planning a take over? No, we’re not Nazis. We’re bloggers, Mr. Parker, and we want to talk about advertising. Don’t worry, we’re not going to sneak into your house in the middle of the night and steal your first edition signed “MadScam.”

Wait, didn’t you write that?

Update: Tribble agency is weighing in.