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Archives: December 2009

Domino’s Hopes to Turn it All Around

“Dominos tastes like cardboard,” reads a Tweet used in the opening sequence of a documentary called “The Pizza Turnaround” made by the pizza maker. The 4:21 long clip begins with Domino’s staff lamenting negative feedback from consumers. They literally print Twitter comments, focus group findings, etc, and hang the remarks on the wall for all to see. It’s the kind of acceptance and transparency that the company was forced to see thanks to social media.

Commentary from focus groups and Tweets dominate the Crispin-made clip, which ends with a cautionary “to be continued.” You can expect to see evidence of the purported turnaround in part 2.

More:Subway Is To Crispin Porter’s Domino’s, What 50 Cent Is To Kayne West

Bob Jeffrey on 2009: “No Question the Worst Year in Advertising”

For the J. Walter Thompson agency, 2009 was about as rough as it can get &#151 as was the case for most of the ad shops you can name without thinking. But when word broke that JWT Chicago, an agency that shares a lobby with Ogilvy Chicago, was set to close &#151 the industry collectively gasped. Maybe that’s why Bob Jeffrey, chairman and CEO of JWT Worldwide, called 2009 “the worst year in advertising,” in the video below.

And it was, for us anyway, as the word “layoff” became synonymous with “AgencySpy” &#151 we’ve reported at least 100 layoff stories (though with much less frequency lately). We’re looking forward to officially retiring the @AdAgencyLayoffs feed, but that’s not going to be for awhile.

As we bear down on the new year it’s important to remember these things. That’s why this week we’ll be bringing you listicles with links to the bigger news of the year. Maybe from the ashes we’ll figure out what 2010′s Phoenix will be. Our best guess: diversified revenue streams. Lame, yes. But if one thing is for sure, it’s advertising’s inability to support itself when the rest of the world craps their pants, bringing to mind a phrase coined by the Jewish Defense League: “never again.”

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

Your Taxi Cab Ride Just Got Artsier


Commerce gives way to a bit of culture as Show Media, a Las Vegas-based company that owns about 50% of the ad space on taxi cab roofs in NYC, will feature artwork instead of the usual ads throughout January.

Three artists including Yoko Ono, Alex Katz and Shirin Neshat will have their work adorned on a 14″ x 48″ space on 160 cabs each in the Big Apple. According to the New York Times, the project–called “Art Adds”–is costing Show $100,000 in lost revenue.

While they’re sadly not doing anything to erase the annoying Channel 7 news ticker when you hop in a yellow cab, Show Media’s co-owner John Amato tells the NYT that the timing was right to capitalize with a little high art. “I thought it was time to take a step back. January’s a slow month,” he says. “I could have cut my rates but instead I decided to hit the mute button and give something back to the city.”

Via Gothamist

More: “Beware of Giant Crashing Cell Phones

Church: Now Clothing Optional (SFW)

(We’re just glad you could make it.)

The United Church of Canada is not a Canadian bacon cult, as we’d hoped. Alas, they have their own beliefs, creeds and interchurch dialog, as churches do. They also have a semi-nude campaign to get you in the pews. What’s sort of funny is that while in church, the most fun you can have is undressing the other sleepy attendants. You know you’ve done it.

Advertising Agency: Smith Roberts Creative Communications, Toronto, Canada
Creative Directors: Malcolm Roberts, Brian Smith
Art Director: Jenny Luong
Copywriter: Omid Amidi
Photographer: Tom Feiler
Published: November 2009

Via AdsOfTheWorld

More:‘Liberal’ New Zealand Church Questions Christ’s Conception

Most Popular Stories on AgencySpy From the Last 7 Days

Xmas Eve Odds and Ends

-Twitter passes 60 million international unique users. link

-Steve Jobs is reported to be “extremely happy” with the Apple Tablet, which is rumored to be unveiled on Jan. 26th. link

-The Nutcracker + Dan Wieden = The Nut Buster. link

-Facebook will surpass MySpace in ad revenues in 2010. link

-Nokia presents a Finnish Christmas, courtesy of Wunderman UK. link

-It’s not quite American Idol, but Mickey D employees are getting the chance to show off their pipes be the “voice” of the brand. link

-Ho-ho-no! An Italian ad agency responds to ad budget cuts by beheading St. Nick. link

-2010 promises only “scant relief” for the ad industry. link

-Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello denies that Sony was involved in the “Killing in the Name” campaign. link

More: “Wednesday Odds and Ends

Happy Friggin’ Holidays From AgencySpy

Marlboro Subliminal MessageThe most amazing bloopers are here

It’s officially winter, a point exacerbated by the Hoth-like weather currently slamming the fly-overs (and headed for NYC!), and with the cold and snow comes a few days off for you all. If you’re reading this from your desk area, sorry. If you’re among the lucky at-homers, what the fuck are you doing reading this blog? It’s your day off, go do something that makes you happy. For example, as of the time of this post, Spike is showing ‘A New Hope’ &#151 a story about family, furry cute things and spaceships that go pew-pew. Love us or hate us, we appreciate your help making this site less crappy (still working on that), and your many visits tell us at least one thing: your clients pay for our ability to do this. We’ll see you next week.

More:Happy Explodey Christmas, Love Vicky

Squash that Noise: Ad Loudness Act Passes the House


There’s some possible relief for those of us who have to scramble for the remote to combat the volume spike during commercial breaks. Congresswoman Anna Eshoo‘s nicely titled Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation (CALM) Act passed the House of Representatives last week and has a sponsor in the Senate.

Eshoo, who introduced the bill back in June 2008, tells the AP, “This problem has existed for more than 50 years, but no one has properly addressed it. Under the CALM Act, consumers will no longer have to dive for the mute button.”

While Eshoo’s bill originally advised that TV ads could be no louder than the average maximum loudness of the programs they accompany, she amended the bill to instead adopt guidelines regarding the transition between programming and ads that were developed by the TV industry.

Via Yahoo! Finance

More: “Ad Groups Band Together to Oppose Tobacco Ad Restrictions

Honda, RPA Sued for Trademark Violation


Nothing like a little litigation to ring in the holidays. An environmental group called Save the Earth Enterprises is suing Honda Motor Corp. US and its agency RPA for using its “Save the Earth” slogan in a recent ad campaign for the Honda Civic 2010.

If you remember, the commercial features a hippie type sporting a “Save the Earth” t-shirt and getting out of his 70′s Civic CCC. As he strolls on the sidewalk, time lapse footage takes us through different eras of the t-shirt (slogan intact) and the Civic itself. Well, Save the Earth founder Neal Pargman says his organization wants nothing to do with the campaign. In a statement, he says, “The Honda ad campaign confused people into thinking that we endorsed Honda or were affiliated with Honda. We aren’t affiliated with them and don’t endorse them.”

Pargman, who says he’s been selling merchandise bearing the Save the Earth trademark since 1972 and holds a U.S.-registered trademark, says the automaker is using the trademark without permission and has ignored cease-and-desist letters from the organization. In turn, the group is looking to recover Honda’s profits from the ad campaign and put the kibosh on future use by Honda of the group’s trademark.

More: “Honda Lets it Shine

AdMob/Google Deal Likely Delayed Again

Do Not Pass Go.jpg

Google’s acquisition will likely be delayed by a Federal Trade Commission request for more details from Google. The FTC has already delayed the sale once, making a similar request for info earlier this winter. It’s all part of this full-scale anti-trust move facing the software company. AdMob is a mobile advertising unit that in November, 2007, had 1.72 billion impressions. It’s nearly 2010 people.

Full story, here.

More:AdMob Unviels iPhone App Tracking