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Archives: March 2011

Wednesday Morning Stir

-Aussie native Stewart Reeves moved to LA and joined the roster of Arcade Edit.

-Creative resource hub Bullet added Amy Hull as its MD and Barry Sonders as producer.

-Oprah tweets for viewers. link

-Amazon dares music labels to sue it because of the cloud. link

-News Corp to dump MySpace on Vevo? link

-Skittles ads just get stranger and stranger. The one above comes to us courtesy of BBDO Toronto. link

We Hear: Draftfcb, Colossal Squid Getting Cozy?

Sources familiar with the matter tell us that while nothing’s signed, sealed and delivered as of yet, we could soon be well on our way to seeing Draftfcb acquire Colossal Squid, the Chicago-based digital shop that has worked with agencies including CP+B and Tribal DDB and counts clients including Kmart, Kimberly-Clark and Alberto Culver.

While our sources deny tips saying that Colossal Squid is going “belly up,” we’ll see how the shop’s staff count, approximately 50-60 from what we’ve been told (though tipsters say way less), will be affected if and when a deal goes through. Draftfcb, meanwhile, offered a curt “no comment.” Last month, CS cut a handful of staff due to the ol’ “realigning with client initiatives.”

Tuesday Odds and Ends

-Kraft Mac & Cheese/CP+B’s tweet-inspired spots continue to roll out. link

-JWT NY alum Joe Calabrese joined Deutsch NY as EVP, director of content production.

-SapientNitro was appointed AOR for Skoda Auto Russia.

-Big Spaceship welcomed Matthew Lipson as VP of client strategy & engagement and Becca Beacham as client engagement manager.

-Accenture’s agency search is nearing the one-year mark. link

-Comedy Central has a new EVP of marketing. link

-Someone’s crazy enough to predict that Windows Phone 7 will outsell Blackberries and iPhones by 2015. link

-W+K London’s Neil Christie calls agency billings “bullshit.” link

Samsung Goes Super Slo-Mo for Smartphone

According to the date at the beginning of this spot, this piece of performance art and camera trickery takes place more than eight months from now. If that’s true, the Samsung Galaxy Ace is the most advanced phone ever. It’s from the future!

Samsung commissioned “Colectivo De Arte” to perform their super slow-motion routine during one fine (future) day in Jerez, a city in southwestern Spain. With how slow they’re going, you would think that has to build a ton of muscle over time, similar to Tai Chi or that sort of thing. It’s definitely a new spin on the “flash mob” marketing phenomenon, as it requires some special effects and precise film work to get the full, stop-motion animation style visual component. With the help of production company The Viral Factory, the performers were given choreography instructions via headset, and were probably bored out of their minds pretty early on into the whole routine.

And, hey, Samsung probably enjoyed the opportunity to showcase all of those Galaxy Ace posters that show up in the background. Credits after the jump.

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M&C Saatchi Tries to Redeem Three-O Vodka

Suffice to say, we were none too pleased with Three Olives’ first foray into TV advertising nearly two years ago. But, hey, we’re always up for a good redemption tale and now that NYC boutique Agent16 is out of the picture, Three-O parent company Proximo and its new AOR for the brand, M&C Saatchi, are giving it another go with a $10 million TV campaign (same cost as the old one).

Animation supplants the lame sight gags from years past in this latest effort, which features a handful of spots all inspired by the old “so and so walks into a bar” setup for a joke. It’s no laugh riot by any means, but the “Sugar Daddies” ad above already has us chuckling more than we were back in 2009. The visual presentation come to us courtesy of artist/illustrator Ant Blades out of the U.K., who helps make this campaign stand out–well, at least when it comes to the cluttered vodka field. But is it more fun than beer robots and dance parties, though? While we ponder this, check out two more spots from the campaign, which will also include print and social media (of course) tie-ins, as well as credits after the jump.

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Michael Carey Assumes Top Marketing Post at McCann West

McCann West has carved out a new position for one Michael Carey, who joins the agency as SVP, director of marketing. Carey, who will lead growth strategy and marketing in both McCann LA and San Fran, arrives from Arnold Boston, where he spent a dozen years and most recently served as SVP, director of brand experience for clients including McDonald’s, Carnival Cruises, Volvo, Ocean Spray, New Balance and Progressive. While at Arnold, Carey pulled double-duty as an executive member of the Arnold general agency pitch team.

The newest McCann exec, who bears a slight resemblance to The Shield‘s Michael Chiklis, will be based in McCann SF and officially assume his post on April 4. He will then jointly report to SF GM Bob Ellis and LA president Cathy Saidiner.

2011 CLIO Show Celebrates the ‘Golden Age of Creativity’

Well, at least the CLIO’s new theme is less morbid than the one from its 2010 call for entries. The organizers of the event have obviously Mad Men-ed themselves with their promo for the 2011 Awards show, which takes place on May 19 in NYC. For what purpose, we’re not sure, but maybe our esteemed judge and jury can better explain come game time. If you need more info, check out the revamped website here. In the meantime, we have to ask, do the CLIOs still matter to you?

Reilly to Lead Digitas Business Unit

Digitas is turning its focus on B2B as the agency’s announced the formal launch of Digitas Business, which is, yes,  dedicated to B2B marketing and communications. Leading the charge will be Dennis Reilly, who’s spent 16 years at the Publicis/VivaKi unit and currently serves as SVP, marketing. As director of Digitas Business, Reilly’s responsibilities are the ones you’d expect: Driving the growth, strategy, innovation, and execution across the DB client base, which spans energy, insurance and tech industries–so, all the sexy ones in other words.

The goal of Digitas Business will be to meld B2B, B2C , CRM and technologies in digital social and mobile to better serve B2B clients. As for Reilly, during his 16-year tenure, he’s worked with Fidelity Investments, American Express OPEN, LL Bean and Bank of America among other clients.

‘Mad Men’ Creator’s High-Paid Deal on Brink of Collapse

Following the news that AMC drama Mad Men would be pushing its season 5 premiere to around the end of 2011, inside sources from the network are reporting to Deadline that series creator, show-runner, executive producer and head writer Matthew Weiner is in jeopardy of losing his unprecedented $30 million two-year deal with the cable channel.

Though most credit critically-acclaimed shows Mad Men and Breaking Bad for saving AMC by garnering a loyal viewership for a channel that generally broadcasts crappy movies that no one likes, the show’s high-production costs and Weiner’s huge salary aren’t quite worth an average of 2.9 million weekly viewers. To put that number in perspective, FOX’s crime drama Bones pulls in roughly 10 million weekly viewers. I only compare the two because I was surprised to find out Bones was still airing new episodes.

The inside sources say that AMC is asking Weiner to save money by adding product placement into the series, cutting two major cast members and cutting two minutes from each episode to allow for more advertising. Personally, I could stand to see Harry Crane and Ken…Cosgrove!…accounts hit the ol’ dusty trail, but I’d be happier seeing AMC release a statement formally apologizing for Rubicon and The Walking Dead (editor’s note: I love The Walking Dead). Perhaps we’ll never know if (spoilers!) Don turns into Roger Sterling after marrying his secretary, if Sally ever beats up Betty and runs away with Glen, what the sexually-tense future holds for new pantyhose team Peggy and Pete or if Joan ever kills her rape-y, horrible husband.

Update: AMC addressed the matter in an official statement saying, “AMC has officially authorized production of season 5 of Mad Men, triggering our option with Lionsgate. While we are getting a later start than in years past due to ongoing, key non-cast negotiations, Mad Men will be back for a fifth season in early 2012.” Early 2012, you say? We’ll believe it when we see it.

Todd Brandes Out at Digital Kitchen

After two-and-a-half years at Digital Kitchen, managing director/partner Todd Brandes has parted ways with the shop, which has done work for the likes of HBO, Microsoft and Discovery Channel (they still get props for the seedy, brooding True Blood intro).

Despite tipsters’ comments that Brandes–who worked out of DK’s Chicago office–was “fired,” we’ve been told that his departure was amicable, though it’s still undetermined as to why he left or where he’s headed to next. Prior to Digital Kitchen, Brandes spent well over a decade at DDB, working as a global account director on business such as McDonald’s and Anheuser-Busch  before moving up to VP, executive producer . The exec also spent a year as global director of advertising and content for Motorola mobile devices.

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