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Archives: August 2009

Monday Odds and Ends

-Disney acquired Marvel for $4 billion in cash and stock, finally making the Spider Man/Hannah Montana crossover a reality. link

-Y&R is switching up football pros with regular, hardworking joes in upcoming Campbell Soup Chunky ads. link

-Minnesota and Wisconsin tourism departments have teamed up for radio ads to promote a little interstate travel, don’tcha know. link

-Cablevision-owned weekly trade Newsday nixes longtime advertiser Verizon because of direct competition. It’s not like the newspaper industry needs the money or anything. link

-Roger Federer reinvents the monogram with his Nike-branded attire. link

-Speaking of Nike, W+K London’s launched a new set of soccer (nee football)-themed spots for the brand. link

-CBS has sold 65% of ad inventory for next year’s Super Bowl, a number which will undoubtedly be boosted by the game’s fugly new logo. link

-The East Communist bloc knows how to rock to a polka-fied rendition of “Tainted Love” in a spot for J20 juice drink. link

-Telecom giant Orange acquired U.K.-based online ad firm Unanimis. link

-The Village Voice takes a look at the culture (and lucrative consumer market) of sneakerheads. link

More: “Friday Odds and Ends

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!

Denver Egotist: “the pickle ad we’d all like to do, but never would”


Yes, this pickle looks like a penis. Especially when set against the drooling maybe-topless woman who is holding said pickle as though she is about to fellashe (made-up-word) it. As TheDenverEgotist points out, the ad can be seen in Heeb magazine (real publication), who will apparently accept any ad that comes with money paper-clipped to the envelope.

Also, if that bar of copy going across her chest is covering her nipples, them’s the oddest-placed breasts of all times and places.
Guss’ pickles anyone?

Via TheDenverEgotist

More:Never Put Your Penis in a Toaster

Palm Ad Disses Americans, Lawn Bowlers, The Elderly

The first moments of this Canadian Palm Pre ad tells you everything you need to know about how America’s Hat (aka Canada) feels about, well, America. “Unlike our neighbors to the south, Canadians are an active people. And we need a phone that keeps up with us.” Well f*ck you too, country of ill will shillers (we kid, no one cares about Canada).

The lines are spouted by a skinny guy who can’t tie a tie, whose job is to introduce Canadians to the Palm Pre. He goes to a roller-derby where no one has heard of the pre and then a lawn-bowling match where no one has heard of Wikipedia. And no one has cell phones because (said an old lawn bowler lady) “I don’t need a phone.” Which kind of kills skinny’s argument that Canadians on the move need phones that can keep up with them. In Old Lady Bowler’s case, the JitterBug makes more sense. And a cup of Metamusil.

Via Gizmodo

More:The First Palm Pre Spot, From Moderista!

The CLIOs Tempts Fate with Call for Entries Ad


The CLIO Awards has launched its 2010 call for entries, which judging by the all-too-symbolic print ad above, is probably destined for doom. Using a cringeworthy tagline like “Do Something that Means Everything”, the CLIOs must be hoping that blind optimism will prevail. But when they ask the question, “how much does it mean to you?”, I think at this point by using the deathly image for their campaign, they have to know the answer.

Via Copyranter

More: “Ronald and The King Square Off for Madison Ave Walk of Fame Honors

Dear PHD and TBWA, Please Call Us

It’s sort of awkward to have to do this, but here we are, asking PHD and Chiat to call us. Why? We’ve tried calling you but for one reason or another can’t get anyone on the phone. Leaving messages got old last week when we tried to call you then. What’s the story about? Well you’ll know when you give us a ring. Needless to say, you’ll want to get on this one like, now. K? K. Whoever calls first, wins.

Phone: 212.547.7935
Email: agencyspy at


Note: If this seems ridiculous, for us to be publicly asking for a phone call, we agree that it is. It’s end of summer and people vacate or they see that it’s AgencySpy calling again and bla bla who wants to deal with that sh*t. Or we called the wrong person. Or we emailed (you know who you are), and noticed you’ve been missing from IM for like, a week. And every time we catch (your assistant) online, she signs off. Coincidence? Probably. But, come on. We’re trying to give you a chance to explain. Right now. Call.

More:Amy Auerbach Left PHD to Join Initiative

Woman’s Breasts Misused for Crappy Oven-hawking Pun


My first question is why is that woman in the same room as Captain Baldy McTurtleNeck? My second question is at what point did woman stop sitting on chairs like that (not comfortable!). My third question is what the hell happened to America’s love of the fern?

Via MakeTheLogoBigger, shared by @mmmarce

More:Craigslist Ad of the Day: Creative Director Needs a Sexy Female Personal Assistant

ANA’s 2009 Multicultural Excellence Awards Nominees Are…


There’s some debate going on about the relevance of multicultural awards. Whether it’s the work of the worker being awarded, singling out an outstanding campaign as a multicultural-success can be perceived as a negative thing. One argument is: why can’t all the work run in the same category, regardless of target market/whoever made it, and let’s judge that way.

This is an issue borne of the advertising industry’s evolutionary sluggishness. The challenge is figuring out how to recognize multicultural work/creators without diminishing their efforts at the same time. The awards recognize ANA member companies and other marketers for their multicultural campaigns that ran between May 2008 and April 2009. Here’s the finalists:

African American
McDonald’s Mom’s Trust, Burrell
Procter & Gamble’s My Black is Beautiful, Burrell Communications Grp
State Farm Insurance, Sanders/Wingo

Allstate Insurance, Kang & Lee Advertising
California Department of Public Health, APARTNERSHIP, INC.
JCPenney, interTrend Communications

Campaign with Significant Results
Chivas Regal 18, Santiago ROI
Johnson & Johnson &#151 AMBI, Spike DDB
McDonald’s, Burrell

Digital Media
Allstate Insurance, Lapiz
JCPenney, interTrend Communications
U.S. Army, Sensis

General Market Category
The Ad Council & Office of Women’s Health, Muse Communications
Microsoft, Crispin Porter & Bogusky
MillerCoors &#151 Miller High Life, Saatchi & Saatchi

Allstate Insurance, Lapiz
Comcast, Grupo Gallegos
UNICEF’s Tap Project, Casanova Pendrill

Comcast, Grupo Gallegos
McDonald’s McCafe, Burrell
Walmart, Lopez Negrete Communications

The ANA’s 11th Annual Multicultural Marketing & Diversity Conference. The event will run from October 4-6 at The Arizona Biltmore in Phoenix, AZ. More info, here.

More:Ronald and The King Square Off for Madison Ave Walk of Fame Honors

No Wukkas: MARC USA is Great Regardless of Skin Color, Other Shallow Things


In what may be the most poorly written job posting, ever, today we bring you a MARC USA sr. copywriter listing (which a spy sent us!). It calls for a copywriter who can “write better Headlines than this” and “has some long copy and body copy in [his/her] bag of tricks to”. Also, in case you were worried, MARC USA maintains “a work environment where you can do great work regardless of the color of your skin or any other shallow reason that might have you feeling discriminated upon!!!” We added some notes.

“The Pittsburgh office of MARC USA is hiring a Senior Copywriter. [First mistake, Pittsburgh]

Clearly though, you’ll write much more than headlines though. So you should have some long copy and body copy in your bag of tricks too. [Usually though, things aren't clear unless you make them clear, though]

While your focus is on the brand work for national brands (broadcast and all forms of print) the environment is totally about integration. [like, totes]. As such, you’re [FAIL] sandbox will also include Interactive, Direct, PR, and any other strategic ways to speak to the consumers. [So like, we're totally integratedable, and junk]

Agency experience is an absolute must. Must have at least five years of copy experience. [Inefficiency! Too many musts and fragmenty sentences. This must be from a former AgencySpy writer]

Please send us your resume and an e-book or a link to your online portfolio[There's nothing wrong with this, but f*ck your couch]:

MARC USA is proud of our commitment to maintaining a work environment where you can do great work regardless of the color of your skin or any other shallow reason that might have you feeling discriminated upon!!! Please also let me know if this sentence is grammatically correct.” [Well, that one sentence is correct. You know what? The whole thing is a work of art.]

Here’s hoping there are other copywriter jobs in Pittsburgh because we feel bad for whoever has to deal with this. Click here for the listing.

More:No Wukkas: Y&R San Francisco

The Mannings Take on the Donald(s) in Oreo Lickfest

NFL star/ubiquitous pitchman Peyton Manning and bro Eli (no slouch himself in the QB ranks) are following up their victory over the Williams sisters in the Oreo Double Stuf Racing League with a battle against a new foe: follically stupefying mogul Donald Trump.

Draftfcb New York’s latest Oreo spot features the group in Trump’s boardroom, where the Donald not only challenges the Mannings to a lick-off of the new Golden Double Stuf line, but introduces his teammate, SNL’s resident impersonator Darrell Hammond who plays a Trump doppelganger complete with bizarre hairdo, squint, smug look and all.

The spot, which thankfully cuts before we get to see Trump’s oral techniques, is also complemented by a Facebook presence where you can go and enter to win a chance to meet the Mannings and share a $10,000 grand prize.

More: “Sony Pits Peyton Against Justin in Ping Pong Battle

NYT: Microsoft Finally Grows a Pair


In a lengthy new report, New York Times scribe Devin Leonard goes into the trenches to cover the escalating “ad war” between Apple and Microsoft, getting in-depth perspective from both TBWA\Chiat\Day and Crispin as well as a quote from former McCann CD Jeff Musser, who says Microsoft “never really seemed to get marketing” and that Vista was “a bad product.”

But with his piece, Leonard is looking to show the recent marketing emergence of/rebuttal from the Redmond, WA monolith, who after spending 71% less on ads than Apple in ’08, has dropped around $163 million on spots in just the first six months of this year.

Still, while Leonard touches on other points including the cultural differences in advertising between the two sparring brands, one of the more interesting implications from the article is that Crispin and MS are on some of sort of revenge marketing kick when it comes to Apple. Crispin ECD Rob Reilly even tells the NYT, “As the tone of their campaign became more and more negative, we were like, ‘We gotta do something.’” But was TBWA and Apple even targeting Microsoft directly with their continuing “Get a Mac” campaign to begin with? Even if they are or aren’t, why would MS waste ad dollars attacking a brand whose Macs are accessible to Microsoft products?

Now, with both brands gearing up for a fall ad blitz, it looks like it’s too little too late to raise these questions.


More: “Microsoft COO Abruptly Ceases Cartwheeling