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Archives: March 2009

Oh Coca-Cola Circa 1995, Your Ideas!


Last week we reminisced about Lisa Frank and all that goodness, but today we’re reminded by Pip of OK brand soda. Back in 1993, the Coca-Cola company decided to do a study on what the most recognizable words are across the globe. Turns out the second one is Coke. The first? It’s “OK.”

So they made a soda based on that and tried to market it to Generation X, but they were too caught up with their Kurt Cobain and their music to really care.

The funny thing about it &#151 Coke hired the same guy who pioneered New Coke to run the project. Good call, douchebags, since his previous venture was such a success.

The whole campaign, though somewhat original because you know, they were going to change the cans around every once in awhile or whatever, was a flop. But you knew that because right now you’re either drinking a Coke or a Pepsi or booze. Please let it be the latter.

More:Lisa Frank, Good Times

Monday Odds And Ends


&#151 Yooter Interactive is going virtual just in case the money stops coming in. link

&#151 There’s some vitriol regarding Liz Ross, formerly of Tribal DDB, in this Adweek story. Check out the comments. link

&#151 Nielsen is dropping 1,600 jobs. Brandweek? link

&#151 Live radio ads? Oy. link

&#151 Celebs using Twitter? What will they think of next? link

&#151 This casino wants its employees to do more for less. Where have we heard that before? link

&#151 Pres. Obama was all like, look you’re not getting a bail out, Big 3, until you jump through the following hoops…link

&#151 Just because Perez Hilton only had one sponsor logo on his birthday party step-and-repeat doesn’t mean his brand is dead…er does it? There’s a recession on, people. But what happened to Dell? link

&#151 Ugh, this is Times-worthy news? link

Correction: The 3 Minute AdAge is (not) No More


Update: 3 Minute AdAge producer Hoag Levins tells us that 3 Minute AdAge still exists, though they are producing fewer shows.

Sources tell us that AdAge’s daily video offering, 3 Minute AdAge, is (not) no more. Citing budget constraints and lack of sponsorship, our source says the video show was axed cut back about two weeks ago. At least one video team employee was let go, we’re told.

The show wasn’t our favorite. This isn’t to say that we’re experts at the video thing, eh hem, TWIA. But we’re just glad that the head of our video dept. isn’t stodgy and likes it when we do goofy things. The goal in video, people, is doing the opposite of what you’d consider standard.

More:George Lois on the AdAge of Old

Oh F*ck. Online Advertising Only Grew By Like, 11% in 2008


OK this has got to stop already. A report from PricewaterhouseCoopers says that (dun dun duuun) online advertising grew by 10.6% in 2008. The Wall Street Journal, in its infinite wisdom, pins this as a bad thing since, after all, 2007 saw 27% growth.

Yeah yeah, there’s a recession. And since there was so much growth, everyone and their brother got into the online adspace selling game, and holy crap ad space got devalued amidst a ricockulous recession. Can this stop being a surprise, please?

Furthermore, what happened to the days when 6% growth (slow and steady, as it’s known) was the standard. We all like to make a buck by doing, um, nothing, but 26%? Come on, why in a million years would anyone in their right mind expect those numbers to persist? Let’s be happy with 10% and return to being happy that pop-ups are no longer the norm. Notha beer, Nahmie?


U.S. Ad Spending Fell 2.6% in 2008

How Not to Get Caught Having Sex at the Office

This seemed appropriate for obvious reasons. If those reasons aren’t obvious to you, click the link below.

More:Deep Desk Dickin’ 3: Sex In An Advertising Office

The 4A’s Got a Shiny New Board to Guide the (Digi) Biz


They say the camel is a horse designed by committee, so let’s apply that notion to digital advertising and the 4A’s (whatever that stands for) digital board which was, uh, just created. A little late, no? This should be fun.

First thing, a bunch of high profile agencies are represented despite the face that two of them are truly “digital” but whatever. The “leaders” are Bob Greenberg, R/GA’s CEO and chairman of the six-person body; David Sable, CCO of Wunderman; and Ogilvy North America CEO Carla Hendra; Razorfish CEO, Clark Kokich; Laura Lang, Digitas CEO; Organic chairman Jonathan Nelson.

So let’s forget that Ogilvy and Digitas outsource their work to digital shops. But it could be worse, like say if BBDO was listed. We know one addie whose blood would boil at that notion. But, what’s the goal of this group, (also) forgetting that it represents both digital and traditional and maybe the name isn’t so accurate.

Adweek’s Brian Morrissey writes, “Like the industry overall, the 4A’s is attempting to solve a dilemma. As more communication and media becomes digital, the line blurs between traditional and digital agencies. At the same time, digital shops are still different, for the most part, from their traditional brethren.”

Hell yeah they are. Have you been to R/GA. I mean, their walls are white, and JWT well they’ve got pink and green and sh*t all over the place. Yeah, totally different.

Morrissey goes on, “One task for the new board is to help the 4A’s develop educational programs and advise on public policy positions, such as new regulations on collecting consumer data online. The 4A’s also said it would give ‘expert perspectives on how traditional agencies can better transition to new agency models.’”

OK fair enough. Regulation is an important aspect of the business and so is hand-holding some of the older agencies as they try to hang on while the digital kids run circles around them. Circles and circles, I mean, there’s smoke coming from the ground y’all.

But one thing still irks you, we’re sure, is that the shops involved are all pretty darn big. Aren’t the smaller shops the ones having all the problems? Last we checked, R/GA was doing just fine, a’ight. So can they really understand your problems? Sure R/GA is big, but they were once a production house for movies and such. And Ogilvy? Right, moving along.

What do you think of this list? Will you be faithful to the man’s laws? Can 6 people really determine the guidelines for the teenaged digital realm? You know, so tell us.

Full Story

More:Death of Print: Guidelines v. The Bottom Line

San Fran Agency News: Mergers and New Hires

(from left: Scott Aal, Vince Engel and Wayne Buder. Pic via Hardy Wilson / The Chronicle)

Here’s a crazy bit of news: two small San Francisco agencies that have spent eons (nay, years) in competition over the same clients have (dun dun duuun) merged. The two shops, Grant, Scott & Hurley and BuderEngel, are now one, consisting of 28 addies (we did the math right, right?).

The new shop is called Engine Company 1, because it’s in an old firehouse. Oh San Fran, you (no, not you’re, you) so eclectic. Hmm, were any addies laid off in the process of merging the businesses?

More on that here.


Then there’s Jaime Robinson and Lauren Harwell, an ACD team that just signed up with that agency, Pereira & O’Dell, which we told you all about last April. The pair come from Evolution Bureau, an agency of local mehtoriety.

More:New Agency Alert: Piera & O’Dell Are Off To The Races

AdAge’s Digital A-list Turns Brands/Agencies into Superheroes



AdAge published their agency a-list today, and with it came a never-ending onslaught of cartoon super-heroes (drawn by Pete McDonell) that seem to say, “the agencies that worked on these brands are not the superheroes that save the day, but the gods who pointed at the embryonic brands and said, “let there be consumerism, and really cool ads, oh and loads of mmmmmmoooonnnneeeeey.” Do you agree with the a-list?

Oh, and does anyone else think it’s funny that Titt…erm, Twitter’s logo is on the sauperlady’s breast? Anywhere else would have been fine.







akqa final.jpg

Click continued to see this week’s cover.

More:Pics From Last Night’s AdAge Party; Yeah, We Were There

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Brandweek Shuttering?

MediaPost’s MediaDailyNews ran a rumor last week that Nielsen Media is thinking of merging Brandweek with Adweek or Mediaweek. Late last year the Adweek Media Group reorganized the three publications, laying off a number of editorial staff. So if one thing is certain, a reorganized Brandweek wouldn’t be surprising.

Here’s the part where we mention that surviving in this climate is all about your ability to sell ads, which is linked to your traffic/readership. Oh and it’s a good idea to keep costs down, too.

Increasingly, Adweek and Brandweek have been sharing cover stories. Well, homepage content anyway. This speaks to two matters: first, sharing means there’s space that needs to be filled. Second, the sites are similar enough that sharing content is allowable. So on the one hand we have to ask, why have two entities? It’s a question that we’re hoping Brandweek will answer for us.

We’re somewhat frustrated by the Adweek Media Group site design because there’s an exceedingly large quantity of white space and very little of their content pops out. Now, AgencySpy won’t be winning any design awards this millennium, but you if nothing else it’s easy to navigate the day’s news. The sites feel over designed, and what’s worse, the mistake is repeated across the board.

This isn’t to say the content they provide is not relevant. To be, each medium is read widely.

So if Brandweek were to fold into its brethren, we can only imagine it would come as a result of advertising not supporting the bottom line. That’s the inherent issue these days, and few publications (or media companies) have been able to avoid the issue. Let us be the first to say we hope this “news” doesn’t leave the world of rumor.

BrandWeek’s Top Marketers of the Year…and You’re Not One of Them

Your Pitchmen News: Billy & Sully Get a Show, Vince Gets Arrested


Three of the world’s best known TV pitchmen are all off the market, so if you were planning to hire them for your next infomercial you’ll have to look elsewhere.


First up Vince Shlomi, iconic ShamWow shiller and Slapchop salesman, was arrested on felony battery charges last month after getting into a full-on fist fight with a Miami hooker.

“Shlomi told cops he paid [Sasha] Harris about $1000 in cash after she “propositioned him for straight sex.” Shlomi said that when he kissed Harris, she suddenly “bit his tongue and would not let go.” Shlomi then punched Harris several times until she released his tongue. The affidavit…notes that during the 4 AM fight Harris sustained facial fractures and lacerations all over her face…. After freeing his tongue, a bleeding Shlomi ran to the [hotel] lobby, where security summoned cops. Harris refused to cooperate with officers, who recovered $930 from her purse.”

Classy. This is why you never kiss a hooker people.

Then there’s Vince’s rival, Billy Mays. He and Aussie pitchdude Anthony Sullivan (aka Sully) got a deal with the Discovery Channel for a new show, Pitchmen (which until recently was slated to be called, “But wait…there’s more.” The show takes you behind the scenes of the infomercials to the initial meetings with the inventors whose products Sully and Mays have become famous selling.

Actually the hosts are the ones getting pitched to, but that’s neither here nor there. We don’t have a promo for you yet, but it’s been running all weekend on Discovery so go watch some TV already. After all, “the world is just awesome.”

Pitchmen Image, Vince Image

More:Who Does it Best: Billy Mays or Vince?