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Archives: December 2008

Do You Support The Humanitarian Lion?

Have you heard about the movement to create the Humanitarion Lion award for Cannes? If not, check out the short video above to learn more about this potentially wonderful award. The premise: Agencies have a year to create a great idea that somehow helps the world, sponsorships are made available, and the winner’s idea gets the accolades and the money to make their idea come to life.

What can it be? Anything &#151 a product, movie, program, hands across America, or whatever. Contingencies: each agency entering Cannes in any category must create an idea and submit it on a one page Word document. Entry is free, though, and the award itself is worth 14 points &#151 making it the most valuable, and therefore highly sought after. Great, right?

We think so &#151 but do you? What problems could arise from such a project? We’ll let you hash it out below, but in the meantime watch the video above for more info, then hop over to the Humanitarian Lion Web site if you want more info.

The video below is in support of the idea, and puts Whopper Virgins in its place. Two birds, one virgin.


More:Crispin Porter’s Whopper Whoppers

Mediabistro Course

Copywriting: Creative Ad Writing

Copywriting: Creative Ad WritingWork with a freelance copywriter to build your advertising portfolio and land more copywriting jobs! Starting January 12, Kim Taylor will teach you how to make a complete ad using graphics and photos, write strong headlines and body copy for various advertising media, work from a creative brief, and jumpstart your ad portfolio. Register now!

AgencySpy’s Top Stories of 2008


Well it’s the last day of 2008, and what a year it has been. When will the years slow down, already? We guess, never. To help you remember why 2008 was so special for SuperSpy and me, check out our top 10 stories from the last 12 months (these are the ones you read most). You laughed with us, you cried because you were laughing at my foibles, and we cried for writing about things like steak tartare (also known as ground beef with capers!).

But we were glad to spend 2008 with you, and hope 2009 will bring us even closer together in our pursuit to get the inside news out to you &#151 unfettered, raw and real. Just like tartare! Happy New Year, y’all.

1. Deep Desk Dickin’ 3: Sex In An Advertising Office

2. Bob Garfield’s Open Letter to Omnicom President-CEO John Wren: Stop the Homophobia

3. AgencySpy Exclusive: GSD&M’s Fires CD over E-Mail Scandal; Internal Paranoia Skyrockets

4. Breaking: Starbucks Giving Away Coffee So You’ll Vote

5. Sex-Tape Staffers May Have Been Fired

6. How Not to Manage Layoffs

7. The Morning After: CE Layoffs Said to Continue

8. No Wukkas: The Best Headhunters In The Business

9. Campbell Ewald Detroit in a World of Hurt

10. BBDO Cutting 189 Jobs Across North America

More:The Ten Worst Ads Of 2008: CP+B, Saatchi, KB+P And More

TechCrunch Depresses Everyone


TechCrunch co-editor Michael Arrington has spoken with lots of people whose content-based Web sites rely on display advertising dollars, and they all say things will suck in 2009. The story was so compelling and fact-driven that the Washington Post picked it up.

Hunh. Try this quote on for size.

“Just how bad will it be? I’ve heard estimates of 30%&#15180% revenue drops over the next three months from companies that serve a variety of content (games sites, tech news, celebrity news, political news, etc.),” said Arrington. “The median pessimism point is around 50%. The people I’ve spoken with work at large public companies and small one-person blog shops. Absolutely no one I spoke with said they expect an up quarter.”

Well, that notion goes without saying. Let’s just hope we don’t revert to hellish pop-ups and all that to offset the loss. Come on people &#151 get out your spinning signs!


More:Political Ad Spending hits $2.2 Billion in 2008

Low on Marketing Cash? Get a Sign Spinner

The LA Times reported today about the first-ever sign spinning contest between a bunch of those guys you see standing outside strip malls in the summer heat holding flat signs for Quizno’s or whatever. If you haven’t seen one of these sign-spinners doing their thing, take an extra moment the next time you pass one to revel in the acrobatics.

Local business owners take note: for about $15 an hour you can hire one of these guys to entertain passersby, while at the same time pointing them toward your store. You’ll save money on a billboard and help a college kid buy beer &#151 so naturally this advertising option is a win win.

The company that claims to have pioneered the trend is called Arrow Advertising, which was started…wait for it…by guys who used to stand on corners doing the same job as a sign post.

Click continued to see another spinning clip.

More:R/GA Knows It’s All About Your Space

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“I’m Just Sayin’” Covers Ads, And They’re Like, Totally Serious About it

Sexist and Stupid Ads (Episode 34) from ImJustSayin on Vimeo.

The Denver Egotist shared the above video with us. The show, called “I’m Just Sayin’” is an unscripted four minute conversation between three women. We’ve seen it somewhere before, but check out what they have to say about a few of the ads we’ve covered here on AgencSpy.

We particularly like the comments about 35 plus year-old male creative directors who seem to think ads with women as sexual objects are effective. Apparently, that theme is kinda sorta passe.

More:Crispin Porter’s Whopper Whoppers

Will Freezing Cold Temps Destroy Pepsi’s Big New Times Square Campaign?


For those of you who haven’t heard, Pepsi recently rebranded their logo to look more like a smile &#151 and it kinda sorta looks like president-elect Barack Obama’s logo. This week, the soda maker peppered Times Square with posters displaying their pretty new insignia, sneakily melding the “O” shape into words like (See above) “Optimism”.

The posters are part of the “refresh everythingcampaign, But, as temperatures continue to drop in the Big Apple, we wonder if people will love or loathe the new message.

Think about it &#151 you’re one of a few hundred thousand people lodged into the middle of the square, and as you look up holding in a lot of pee and anger, you see Pepsi logos. Everywhere. Just saying &#151 it might not go over so well.

Will they love it or hate it?
( surveys)

More:Pepsi’s New Year’s Campaign is Unlevened

Dell Loses Another Top Level Enfatico Supporter


The news this morning coming from Dell on this last day of 2008 is that president of global operations Mike Cannon is retiring and Chief Marketing Officer Mark Jarvis is also leaving the computer maker.

Jarvis was one of new agency Enfatico’s strongest top level supporters, along with recently departed Casey Jones.

Despite laying off some 9,000 workers over the last year, Dell is struggling to cut costs &#151 an effort that began with consolidating their advertising into Enfatico.

Sources inside Enfatico told AgencySpy they haven’t seen any hint of layoffs, probably because the understaffed agency doesn’t have the infrastructure to warrant cost cutting measures. Per our spy: it’s hectic inside Enfatico.


More:Breaking: Casey Jones No Longer with Dell, Says Rep

The Week in Advertising Episode 11: Holiday Extravaganza

It’s the episode of The Week in Advertising you’ve all not known you were waiting for: the Holiday Extravaganza. This week we’ve got Jon Hamm, though we didn’t do the interview (thanks Zach Galifianakis), a dead santa, a collection of holiday ads you may remember, and a toast to my Mother. What more could you ask for? Enjoy!

More:The Week in Advertising

Fox Anchor Calls Out Chrysler for $200k “Thank You” Ad

Willard thank you.jpg

Fox Business Happy Hour co-anchor Cody Willard called out Chrysler today during an afternoon broadcast. Willard held up a copy of the Wall Street Journal, which had a full page ad (rated at $200k) that stated, “Thank You, America”, (for that huge lump of cash we just conned you out of).

Willard kinda-sorta went off on the recently bailed-out automaker for spending so much money on the ad immediately after receiving part of a $23 billion (with a “b”) bailout. Willard notes that not only could Chrysler have accomplished the same goal with a (free) YouTube video (as one example), but they could also have placed the ad locally &#151 injecting a teensy-amount into the strained Detroit economy.

Can these guys stop screwing up? Seriously! OK here’s the rule. Stop. Spending. Money. Multiply that by two since you’re now playing with Americans’ money &#151 and then give us all free cars, please. You got money, so shouldn’t we get something in return! Oh right, that’s not how welfare works.

Furthermore, it’s insulting to “thank” America to begin with. First of all, nobody came to me asking if I thought it was a good idea. I’m sure you can say the same. So, thanking me after you’ve stolen from me isn’t exactly the right idea. Yes, I could have called/written Senator Clinton telling her I hated the idea, but I did not. Nonetheless, robbing Peter to pay Paul feels stupid.

And what if the bailout doesn’t work? Then what &#151 we lose another $23 billion dollars? The automakers are supposed to view the cash as a loan, but you know who doesn’t see people getting excited about buying a Dodge Ram in the near future? This guy.

More:Should the Big 3 Sell Cars for “Nothing” to Resolve Cash Needs?

LG Sponsoring London New Year’s Fireworks Display


Electronics maker LG is sponsoring London’s fireworks display this year, helping the city ring in the new year by whoring up the deomonstration with LG’s brand colors, red and white.

The electronics maker told the Wall Street Journal that they hope to attach their brand to the optimistic feeling that’s associated with the new year. Good luck avoiding the hangover.

LG will be handing out hats and other paraphernalia before the display begins, and wants people to associate the logo colors with the fireworks colors. Per the article, there won’t be any exploding LG logo madness &#151 just the colors.

Too bad this idea sucks. Look, we’re all about getting the name out there, and we understand why LG and London thought this was a good idea &#151 yay, we need money and you have money so let’s team up…it’ll totally work. Wrongo, dudes. New Year’s is about restarting &#151 and intermingling a brand with that idea is naive, at best. An LG rep told WSJ they don’t want to be crass or crude, but they left that thought behind by going ahead with this plan.

This holiday of holidays is meant to renew the spirit, and even though the spirit is helped along by champagne and other imbibements (made-up word), it doesn’t need some whorey city to slut itself out. Just this once, can’t we just keep our money grubbing hands in our pockets?


More:Pepsi’s New Year’s Campaign is Unlevened