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Archives: May 2013

Let’s Welcome the Brief, Wondrous Return of DK’s Stanley Piano

We first learned about Stanley last summer, when he was introduced at the Capitol Hill Block Party in Seattle. Everyone’s favorite interactive piano that can take take requests via Twitter is back, this time to play at the Chobani SoHo yogurt bar for the New York-based non-profit Sing for Hope. Digital Kitchen is taking care of the creative legwork and will be broadcasting Stanley on June 1-2.

Stanley has collected nearly 2,200 followers in the past year, which is impressive when you take into account that he is just a musical instrument and doesn’t have thumbs. No word yet on whether Stanley is familiar with Watson, the “Jeopardy” computer, but the two could probably have an interesting electronic bromance if they ever got together in the same room. Anyone who would like to request a song can tweet @StanleyPiano.

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Businessman Spits Hot Fire in Holiday Inn Express Spot

I did not stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night, so you’ll have to forgive me if I’m lacking a certain prowess, but I’ll try my best to cover the latest commercial from the hotel brand and Fallon. The “Stay Smart” campaign launched in 1998 and is back after an extended hiatus. We briefly covered the revival in April, and now, Holiday Inn is re-releasing the second spot to Youtube after it had a successful run in movie theaters.

In the ad, a mayonnaise whiteboy holding his dry-cleaning walks up to a couple of dudes freestyling on a New York street corner. One of the dudes takes the opportunity to diss the whiteboy with a few lines. Instead of recoiling, the whiteboy hands his clothes to his adversary, then drops an impressive verse, subverting every white/black stereotype in the book. Some of his verbal gems include: “But how you gonna let a marketing rep rip your rep/ And slip a depth rhyme scheme your mind only dreams in.” If that’s how one can gain rapping ability, then Lil Wayne may want to consider staying at a Holiday Inn Express while working on his next album. Think about the marketing possibilities of that celebrity/brand marriage…

Most Popular Stories on AgencySpy from the Last 7 Days

Lopez-Knowles, GlobalHue Part Ways

Well, calls to the agency have confirmed tips we’ve received over the last 24 hours that Maria Lopez-Knowles, who’s been with GlobalHue since 2010 and was promoted to president of the multicultural agency’s Latino division and New York hub last year, is leaving for a new gig in the West Coast.

All we know thus far from those in the Spy line is that it’s apparently a CMO job at a media company and her departure “shocked” some at the agency. Anyhow, from what we’re hearing, as of now, there are no immediate plans to replace Lopez-Knowles, who joined GlobalHue three years ago after spending six as an SVP at MRM with a focus on the Hispanic market.

Ogilvy Cuts Staff in Chicago

Details are hazy on this one, but after days of receiving tips including “reorg at ogilvy chicago today. Very high up changes,” we have received confirmation that O&M’s Windy City location has had to cut some staff this week (specifically Wednesday). We’re trying to get more info including numbers, reasons, departments affected, etc. on this but in the meantime, here’s a statement:

“After several years of significant growth, Ogilvy Chicago had a reduction in staff today. This is never an easy course of action, especially at an agency that places such high value on our people and our culture. We took a close look at our costs mid-year and the move was necessary to position ourselves for future success.”

We’ll let you know if and when we find out more.

Friday Morning Stir

What does the workplace of the future look like? PSFK and Hyper Island briefed some students to find out (above). link

-KBS+ has promoted Vikram Tank, who’s been with said agency for three years, to the newly created position of executive director of product, effective immediately.

-SoCal-based chain Coco’s Bakery Restaurant is looking for outside ad help and has tapped DeVito/Verdi West to handle its marketing message.

-Bi-coastal/London-based prodco The Directors Bureau has added UK-based director/artist David Wilson to its roster for commercial and music video representation in the US.

-Jason Taylor has signed up as interactive director with bi-coastal production/design studio Blind.

‘A Chair Named Clarity’ Saves Life in Short Film

While your office chair may be a standard rollie, only capable of swiveling around as you head to the bathroom to put off work, some extraordinary chairs, like the star of A Chair Named Clarity go beyond the call of duty. In a commissioned short film for office supply company Allsteel, writer/director Nickolaus Duarte tells the story of a young chair that travels to the big city for “a hero’s journey” to save his ailing mother (who happens to be human).

Why, you ask? (Humor me and ask). Because Clarity’s human mother gets sick after sitting in an uncomfortable wooden chair. At this point, it would’ve been wise for Clarity’s mother to change chairs, since her child is somehow an office chair. But then, you realize that this three-and-a-half-minute short film is a small piece of branded content that is just trying to eek out a few laughs from viewers and maybe sell some office furniture, so making sense of it might not make too much sense.

Thursday Odds and Ends


-Former Mother/StrawberryFrog Amsterdam creative Maurice Van De Ven has joined MEC as its first executive creative director, a post that calls for him to work with owned/earned media team, MEC Access, among other things.

-Bicoastal/Munich-based prodco Aéro Film has added executive producer Unique Hammond to its L.A. office.

-Fernando Tassinari, former CEO of MRM Worldwide Brazil, has joined demand-side platform Turn to lead its Sao Paolo office.

-It’s a day of appointments, friends, as VFX/design company Smoke & Mirrors has appointed The Mill alum Jeff Stevens as creative director of its New York office.

-Adidas has teamed with United States of Fans/TBWA to help launch its new siloed football boots brand, Nitrocharge (above).

-Facebook is following in Twitter’s footsteps with its own verified pages. link

-The Clio committee is siding with the ADC in a sense, encouraging a 50/50 gender split amongst its 2014 jury. By the way, the Clio Awards will also be shifting schedules next year to coincide with Advertising Week come 2014. Call for entries will now open on Feb 3, 2014. link

Here’s What Else is Going On with MRM

Yes, you may have already read/heard that MRM chief Bill Kolb has been promoted to chairman/CEO of parent McCann Worldgroup’s General Motors account. But alas, there are other things stirring as well within digital/direct-focused MRM, specifically in terms of certain West Coast operations. From what we’ve been told by sources familiar with the matter, MRM Salt Lake City and MRM San Francisco will be combined to create a new unit called MRM/West.

As a result, Lori Feld and Ted Tsandes will serve as managing director and executive creative director of MRM/West, respectively. From what we’ve been told by those on the Spy line, MRM SF managing director, Patricia Berns, and VP/project management Jim Ewing are no longer with the agency. MRM would not comment on either’s status, but we’ve received word that Jim Wayand, a Microsoft alum who was mentioned among those departed, still remains on board as SVP/global business lead. As for the new leadership team, Feld has spent 13 years within the McCann/MRM fold and Tsandes a decade in its creative department. Both have worked out of the SLC office.

Advertising Jobs: Apartment Therapy, Lipman Hearne, JWT Action

This week, Apartment Therapy is hiring a digital account executive, while Lipman Hearne needs a media supervisor. JWT Action is seeking a digital media planner, and Decision Counsel is on the hunt for a project manager. Get the scoop on these openings and more below, and find additional just-posted gigs on Mediabistro.

Find more great advertising jobs on the AgencySpy job board. Looking to hire? Tap into our network of talented AgencySpy pros and post a risk-free job listing. For real-time openings and employment news, follow @MBJobPost.