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Archives: October 2010

Christine O’Donnell’s Halloween Nightmares Have All Come True

It’s been a tough run for Senate hopeful Christine O’Donnell, and to round off the week, someone finally put out an ad portraying her as a witch (I suppose this isn’t too surprising). But that’s the price you pay for telling Bill Maher you’ve dabbled in witchcraft.

Let’s not forget about Ladybug Gate, aka the blue balls story heard round the world, aka this week’s biggest non-story (in the sense that this kind of piece isn’t a first for Gawker). Either way, the ad happened, at the behest of The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), which went so far as to include “a computer chip that features a cackling witch”.

Let me take a second to say that NPR has been running a train on political ads, finding ways to talk about the upcoming election ads like a passive aggressive coworker trying to get you to come to his potentially lame halloween party. If you’re one of those magical people who manages to keep the fliers from entering your mailbox and never watches TV, this may come as a surprise to you: the ads this year are 3 parts crazy, one part pointless.

Also pointless: holding an opinion on political advertising (well, the direct mail kind anyway), because the consensus, according to NPR, people just don’t like it. But getting printed materials in an undecided voter’s hands is effective, say campaign consultants, even if the only time the voter sees it is as she takes it to the trash. And so it’s with that in mind that a cackling postcard makes sense, if you’re AFSCME, who couldn’t have picked a better time to put their ad out.

Read the full story here.

More: “Christine O’Donnell to Sean Hannity: No More National Media for Me

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It’s Scotch-O’clock at Buddy Media

Damn. Buddy Media has had a big couple of months. And though it’s annoying to rewrite what you may have read on their blog, here’s why the crew of social media keepers-of-order has reason to be cheerful as we enter Halloween/Rally-to-Restore-Sanity weekend.

- $23 million in funding came in a couple months ago

- They moved into a http://www.businessinsider.com/buddy-media-office-2010-10#mce_temp_url# more recently than that

- Today, WPP announced that they’ll be investing $5 million in the  company

Not familiar with Buddy Media? Maybe you’re familiar with Vitrue or Context Optional, which have been the New York company’s main competitors for some time. Er, had been. The start-up’s product is a social media messaging/monitoring/building platform that taps into Facebook and lets you do anything. Seriously, it’s robust as hell. Having been through the tutorial twice and following their efforts since 2008, when they were building Facebook apps (a feature now built in to their platform), I’m still only a novice with the program. But it’s capable of a lot, and the offering keeps growing.

Publishing, monitoring, building custom pages and analytics are well used features. However, the service has been hugely popular among agencies, 300 of them according to a company resource. That’s due in part to the ability to white label the platform. Agencies that run multiple social accounts are able to easily monitor and publish their work from one place. At the end of the month, shops tack a software fee (or something similar) onto their invoices, and in the process, save time that would be used muddling about in Facebook’s back-end. There’s gotta be a better way to say that.

So by now you’re waiting for the punch-line. And here it is – Buddy Media has, since its inception, been reliant on Facebook to do business. I don’t know how their relationship works, but it seems like every other week Facebook adds more ways for users (brands included) to track and build using Facebook.com. This isn’t meant to sound speculative, like Facebook is going to mess with Buddy Media. Just the contrary, the companies appear to be in a symbiotic relationship. So kudos to Buddy Media, and have fun tonight.

*While full time at mediabistro, I worked with one of Buddy Media’s employees, Joe Ciarallo, who is a contributor to PRNewser.

More: “Social Media Trends Tracked by Buddy Media

Friday Odds and Ends

-Microsoft brings Windows Phone 7 to Facebook. link

-Panasonic kills Technics dead. Boooo. link

-DDB, Tribal DDB launch healthcare unit DDB Remedy. link

-MetLife ships U.S. creative from Y&R to Crispin. link

-Fast Company has a new creative and photography director. link

-McDonald’s manager in Brazil wins $17K lawsuit over the fast-food chain making him fat. link

-If Thomas Jefferson got his hands on Final Cut Pro, here’s how attack ads would look like. link

-The Oprah network’s new logo: um, colorful. link

-Brian Ries at The Daily Beast recalls BBDO’s Facebook hijacking side-project. link

Have a safe, happy Halloween, folks!

Most Popular Stories on AgencySpy from the Last 7 Days

Does Anyone Still Work at VB&P?

While agencies are still going through layoffs, the folks at Venables Bell & Partners seem to have tons of free time to make dreck like this video. From the bullshit storyline, it sounds like Venables is looking to rebrand? Huh? Ya, I still don’t know who they are, and Biggie Smalls might be rolling over in his grave after this clip that looks like a ripoff of the late rapper’s “Hypnotize” video. Wait, is this a plug for a new Jersey Shore, based in San Fran? Because that’s what it looks like. I’d love to see how much of the company budget they blew on this piece of crap. And monogrammed hats…REALLY VB & P DOUCHES? REALLY??

Update: Like our commenters say, sources tell us that individual employees got together, wrote and produced the video without VB&P management knowing about the video or its content. They entered it in a talent show and won. From what we hear, the VB&P brand has nothing to do with this.  Here’s a link for reference.

StrawberryFrog Partner Fullerton Departs for McCann

StrawberryFrog founder/chairman Scott Goodson confirms to AgencySpy that partner Heather Fullerton is no longer with the agency as she’s split for McCann NY. McCann didn’t provide comment at the moment, but according to Goodson, “Heather decided to join McCann because they offered her a massive salary and promises that it wants to change from a dinosaur into a Frog. We are fans of Heather, she made incredible contribution[s] to StrawberryFrog by leading our Morgan Stanley and Starbucks and we will be cheering her on from the pond.”

As a side note, we’ve been hearing from sources that SFrog is “evolving as an agency” and  “continue[s] to make leaps in the future,” but we’re still trying to get clarification on what this exactly means. In the meantime, let’s go back five years and reminisce about the agency courtesy of USA Today, shall we?

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Leo Burnett Down Under Goes (Not So) Overboard

The tagline for this Bundaberg Rum spot reads, “The Thinking Mans Rum,” which makes one think what the French toast they were on when concocting this ditty. The outlandishness of it all makes it funny, and there is a message, but have you ever seen anything like this for a rum? Yea yea, I know you have.

Everybody wants to be crazy; crazy is the hot trend right now and even those who don’t belong on the crazy train are jumping aboard. What just happened to clever, smart creative?

Anyways, the story goes that in 1888, a group of sugar millers faced an overwhelming oversupply of molasses and came up with Bundaberg, which brings us to the idea: What would happen if they applied their thinking to today’s problems? Apparently, an alligator would get shot between the eyes with a blow gun that shoots explosive golf tees, destroying the gator and leaving everyone else to go about enjoying the day. Now you go and do the same.

Ken Jeong, Dwight Howard Get Beastly in Latest Adidas Ad

They’re baaaaack, folks as NBA star Dwight Howard and actor/comedian Ken Jeong (aka Slim Chin) bust out more of the funny in 180 LA’s latest spot in its “Fast Don’t Lie” effort for Adidas (the music video that kickstarted it all has racked up 1.3 million YouTube views according to the agency). The latest Stacy Wall-directed joint, dubbed “The Beast,” features sky-whips, a pile of Benjamins, a cheetah and of course, the hi-top sneakers that the ad’s promoting. It’s “sing-song time”, people. Credits after the jump.

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The SF Egotist Returns with a Beat Report

As part of our ongoing collaboration with The Egotist network, AgencySpy returns to the streets of San Francisco to get a picture of the current ad scene in the Bay Area. Take it away, Egotist.

So we meant to get this write-up to Agency Spy earlier in the week, but with all the insanity in this city around the Giants in the World Series, we didn’t get it done. Honestly, we don’t know how any clients are getting anything out of their agencies while the playoffs are on. Half the creatives we know were skipping work to go to the NLCS. And now that the World Series starts at 4:57pm here, bars like Grumpy’s and MoMo’s are packed with ad people by 4:00.

Anyway, in the spirit of the MLB fever that’s gripped the city, we’ll do a cute little baseball-related write-up of what’s going down in the SF ad world. Read on after the jump…

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No Wukkas: MTV Scratch Seeks Innovative Project Director

From brand strategy to product development, MTV Scratch does it all. Now, the cross-functional company is looking for a creative project director, who can manage short- and long-term undertakings for its strategic partners. This is a full-time freelance position, so if you’re okay with forgoing benefits for working with a cutting-edge team, keep reading.

If hired, you’ll oversee the execution of various projects, including brainstorming sessions, project-management, client-management, development of presentations and marketing campaigns that span all media and platforms. You’ll be exercising your leadership, organizational, writing and research skills here, so you really need to be a true renaissance person. Read more

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