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Archives: February 2009

TBWA Picks One Up From StrawberryFrog’s Pond


George Nguyen, Group Strategy Director at StrawberryFrog, has been poached by TBWA. George spent just 365 days in the pond’s New York office. Before that, he worked beneath Domenico Vitale at Lowe New York. Nguyen has been tapped to head up TBWA Vietnam’s office as managing director. TBWA is totally focused on emerging markets these days considering the U.S. is currently a big, fat disaster. Nguyen will report to Ian Thubron, CEO of TBWA Hong Kong.

TBWA Group has also recently acquired Vietnam agency, BizSolutions along with its 120 employees in an effort to make an impact on the market. The shop has been rebranded Biz Tequila and falls beneath Nguyen’s direction. Yeah. So. Good luck with that George.

Since, George’s job is now open at the New York office of Da Frog… Hey planners, might want to dust off those resumes, yeah?

More: Strawberry Frog Reuses Cheesy Themes to Deliver Good Message

Thursday Odds and Ends

Update: In my nerdy excitement I put the debut of the movie a week ahead. Sorry. It comes out next Wednesday. There goes my weekend. Sad face.

Tonight Next Thursday at midnight The Watchmen movie debuts. It’s going to be big &#151 both for the comic book (graphic novels, too) and movie industries. This film has been in the works, in one form or another, since 1985 &#151 and tonight, the decades old debate about whether the graphic novel can be adequately translated to film or not, will get legs. Author Alan Moore doesn’t think so, but you can bet your ass he hopes it doesn’t flop; even though he had nothing to do with the movie. Here’s your news round-up.

&#151 Drug makers may soon have to put what equates to nutrition facts on medicine bottles. Example we just made up: Marijuana may cause stonedness. link

&#151 Here’s a list of the top 10 ads that scare the sh*t out of little kids. Also beware if you have a small bladder. link

&#151 Yahoo! Chief Exec. Carol Bartz is outty 5. link

&#151 GM lost $9.6 billion in Q4 2008. That’s a lot of doll hairs. link

&#151 Apparently, old white mid-western journalists wear bow ties. The future looks glib for this mustached blogger. link

&#151 Obama says we need a $3.55 trillion budget overhaul. Ever notice that when they talk in trillions, there’s an extra decimal place? Where is all this money hiding? link

&#151 Take a sneak peek at the BlackBerry Tear. link

&#151 Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) is not Baby Obama, because our president is much less awkward on TV. link

&#151 Who will watch The Watchmen? Hopefully we will, soon. link

&#151 Sometimes, B|Net’s Jim Edwards is spot on. link

Update: Sirius Hits 1 Blog Taking Off


Sirius radio’s top pop-hits channel, Sirius Hits 1, recently got in on the social media game with a new blog called More Mash Up, and has built up its Facebook Fan page as well. The blog itself is rife with content and we’d guess that by now it’s gaining some traffic. Based on the responses we got from our initial story on the subject, we think our advice was spot on.

We’re like the built in video player (though they post the odd YouTube clip as well), the poll that’s been updated regularly &#151 and the behind-the-scenes video of their A-list celebrity guests.

A spy e-mailed us to say that he’s heard the blog mentioned a few times during the show, and a quick click over to the Sirius Hits 1 Web site (not the blog) and you’ll find a link to the blog.

As for Sirius/XM, well they’re still in trouble. But it’s nice to see the SH1 blog coming along.

More:Dear Sirius, Please Get Your Sh*t Together

The Super Bowl v. The Academy Awards


According to TNS Media Intelligence, ABC made $72 million for the ad space it sold during the Oscars. Oh, and as TVWeek pointed out, that was for 26 minutes of advertising. That’s $2.8 milion per minute. The Super Bowl brought NBC $206 million for 44 minutes &#151 which boils down to $4.7 million per minute. If the Oscars had 44 minutes of advertising and we apply the cost/minute ratio (1.69 x 76M), the show would have earned $128 million for ABC.

The difference is $78 million more for NBC &#151 but when you consider how long each network aired Bowl/Oscar related content (before and after the game/show), the cost of obtaining the game/show right from the NFL and the Academy &#151 it’s hard to say which is more cost effective.

One thing is certain &#151 both were entertaining in their own right, and despite the economy we can expect next year’s festivities will bring in gobs of money &#151 unless the economy is completely tanked. Like, dead. Special events like this will probably never cease to be money makers.

More:The Super Bowl Tweet Aggregator

The Nielson Ratings Are Screwy, And Perez Hilton Got 14 Million Views in One Day


We ran a post a few weeks back about why advertising with Perez Hilton makes more sense than advertising on TV. It was meant to be tongue in cheek &#151 and focused on his site because it garners so much traffic, but obviously the Web’s major players are a good bet for ad spends if their content jives with your clientele. Well, Nielsen sorta rebuked us (though certainly inadvertently) when they announced after the Oscars that more people are watching TV than ever before, so it’s still a good medium. But then we learned Hilton sucked up 14 million views in a single day &#151 also due to the Oscars.

First things first. Is it any surprise that a company (Nielsen) whose major role and money making power comes from TV ratings published a report stating that TV is still a viable medium? Awfully convenient. Maybe we should say it’s oddly convenient. Either way, that’s what they said, and good for them.

A report from August 2008 says it costs $54,000 per day to advertise with Perez. How much does a 30 second spot during Idol cost? Oh yeah, and it only plays for 30 seconds, once. And oh yeah, your ad stays up on Perez’s site for 24 hours where all 8 million of his regular readers will see it.

Sorry, we rehash too much. The point is that although people are watching TV, we should remember that 14 million is a huge number. Just remember it.

And another thing &#151 the majority of the news coverage regarding Nielsen’s ground-breaking report focused on the portion saying more people are watching TV. Have we considered the fact that in the last 12 months, a ridiculous number of “consumers” have been laid off from work and are all sitting at home watching TV? Or maybe the TV is on while they surf gossip sites or upload resumes. So, sure they are watching &#151 but they’d probably not be if their job hadn’t been cut, and since they’re just scraping buy, they won’t be buying anything anyway.

More:Why Advertising on Perez Hilton Beats the Hell Outta TV

Could Enfatico Really Be Gone in 6 Months?


Following up on Tuesday’s news that Enfatico underwent a round of layoffs that left 100 or so people without work, here’s what’s being said of the situation around the Web.

&#151 Brand Republic via George Parker: “My final forecast… Enfatico will be rolled into Grey or Y&R within six months… And the agency of the future will rapidly become the agency of the past.” Here’s their official piece.

&#151 Adweek via David Gianatasio and Eleftheria Parpis: They said nothing about the situation, just reported it.

&#151 AdAge via Rupal Parekh: “In a September sit-down interview with Ad Age, Mr. Boone said Enfatico had previously turned away some new-business opportunities, and estimated the agency would bring a new client onto its roster in six to nine months.”

&#151 B|Net via Jim Edwards: “Dell’s spending on SG&A has declined 12 percent over the last year. In Q3 it spent $1.6 billion. That was down from Q2 when it spent $1.8 billion. And that was down from Q1 when it spent $1.9 billion. It’s a pretty good bet that Dell’s Q4 earnings, out in a couple of days, will show another decline in the budget.”

&#151 Tribble Ad Agency via The Founder: “The reason Enfatico can be ‘called out’ is because it’s a single client ad agency, meaning just look at Dell’s financials to tell you what is going on at Enfatico. Numbers like this can (and normally are) hidden by other advertising agencies because they have other clients they can claim they are receiving funds from. Currently Enfatico has no such crutch. So what’s the answer?”

&#151 AdAged via GEO: “To the best of my knowledge, Enfatico has yet to produce a single ad for its only client, Dell. I’m sure that failure should not be borne by the people being schmised by the agency. I’m sure there are Enfatties at the ‘C-level’ shaking their heads, tsk-ing, destroying and expensing car-service to their country places.”

More:We Hear: Layoffs Have Begun at Enfatico

You Should Have Seen This, Says Copywriter


Finally, someone has taken the time to cull the 99 things we all should have seen on the inter Webs by now. If you haven’t Where The Hell is Matt or I’m the Juggernaut B*tch! (“get that shit out my face b*tch”) or the other 97 fantasmic videos here, get on it at YouShouldHaveSeenThis.

YSHST is the brainchild of Berlin Cameron copywriter Greg Rutter, who admits that his e-mail letting us know about the site was a lame attempt at self promotion. He probably didn’t think we’d publish that.

The site is “Rutter’s definitive list of the 99 things you should have already experienced on the internet unless you’re a loser or old or something.” Damn, now you have to check it out. Greg you should Digg this &#151 Digg likes lists.

And thanks man, for doing the dirty work so we can waste the latter half of Friday. Rickedy, Do.

More:Hey BBDO, Creative Commandment #7 Is: Thou Shall Not Steal From Spike Jonze

Peter Arnell: Svengali, Hypnotist, Basement Chemist


If Peter Arnell can be lauded for anything it’s his ability to garner huge sums of money from clients that can afford to be charmed. That’s a nice way of saying Arnell basically duped PepsiCo out of an estimated $45 million dollars &#151 a purported $10 million for one little smiling Pepsi logo and another $35 million for Tropicana’s redesign and a subsequent campaign which was rendered useless just weeks after its debut.

Some would argue that Arnell is pure genius; others might call him a hack &#151 but no matter the opinion, the man has accomplished a lot in terms of bringing home the bacon. But what’s made him so successful? We’re truly baffled by his most recent successes, mostly because we’ve seen his presentation skills. Unimpressive. That can’t be it. Furthermore, he’s managed to garner gobs of bad press for his biggest client PepsiCo within months of their respective design launches (Tropicana, Pepsi). And they haven’t so much as whimpered about it.

One industry pro put it to us like this, “(Arnell’s) so successful because he’s like a witch doctor. he’s had enough success already that there is an aura that he’s the best, that’s he going to get the job done. so people walk into the room expecting that he’s going to save them with his herbs and potions and 50 page design pdfs.”

Another said, “Arnell is a brilliant guy who worked his ass off… ever been to his office? DKNY, SAMSUNG, HANES, Home Depot…not bad..”

Witchdoctor? We smell a Sci-Fi channel original movie about a quorum of high-level adverati who bamboozle their clients with salt rubs, mineral baths and meat cologne. Who knows, maybe they use homemade roofies here and there.

So we leave it to you all to help sort this out. It’s honestly intriguing to ponder what makes Arnell such a powerhouse in this industry, when there’s so little evidence of the “genius” PepsiCo paid for. At least none that we’ve seen. Consider the vast marketing cutbacks, then think about Arnell’s latest news clips, and please share with us what you think has led to his success. Seriously &#151 we’re not looking for the hater remarks that are undoubtedly brewing inside you &#151 let’s aim the ship at productivity, mmk?


More:Arnell’s Latest ‘Design’ Debacle: Tropicana Returns to Orange with Protruding Straw

Crispin Debuts Old Navy Work


While Gap has long been battling slow moving sales, Old Navy is the captain of that sinking ship with same store sales down 34% in January. That’s where Cripsin Porter’s new campaign comes in.

A new flier has been circulating that looks a bit like a celebrity magazine. You know them right? The People’s and the US Weekly’s of the U.S.? The magazines whose sales are down 11 percent from July through December? Yeah, so the Cripsin circular looks like one of these and features mock-models the agency is calling “Supermodelquins” that are supposed to appeal to the young mom demo.

In the beginning, back in ’94, Old Navy was a star with its discounted fashions. Until, everyone started offering such fashions and some of them did it better, like Target. Old Navy President, Tom Wyatt said: “We walked away from our customer,” he said, citing an ad campaign that broke last April and featured a gold-lame bikini. “That is not what a 25- to 35-year-old mom is looking for,” he said.

The broadcast spots, which begin airing tonight, portray mannequins inside Old Navy stores talking to each and making jokes about value.

Analysts have said that: “The positioning part isn’t even half the battle,” said Morningstar analyst Joseph Beaulieu. “They’ve got to get merchandising right.”

“There are a lot of people that portray value, but no one portrays value with our quirky spirit,” Wyatt said. “Old Navy has always owned fun.”

So, this new effort from Crispin is supposed to be fun rather than what adjective you might be thinking of – creepy, off-putting, mistimed, etc., etc. However, when asked if the agency was going to start sourcing more fashion clients Alex Bogusky told AdAge that: “It could be fun. But right now it’s more of a matter of doing a good job with these guys. … It’s hard not to love the idea of making something available to more people [who] in December maybe decided they can’t afford to spend on certain things this year.”

More: CP+B Lays Off 60, Cites Economy


Chris Brown’s in a Movie; Sucks to be His Co-stars

Remember that time Chris Brown hit Rihanna and now everything he’s ever touched has turned to poop? Yeah, well the pain will probably spread to the co-stars in his upcoming film, Bone Deep. They include Paul Walker, Hayden Christensen and T.I.

Word on the street is the marketing crew has (wisely) considered pulling Brown’s image from posters and commercials. You can bet Walker, Christensen and T.I. are hoping they do.

Gawker via Wooha

Chris Brown’s Wrigley Ads ‘Suspended’ ‘Until the Matter is Resolved’, Milk Campaign Ends This Week