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Archives: October 2013

Thursday Odds and Ends

- West Coast-based Digital Domain 3.0 has promoted Oscar-winning VFX supervisor (for Curious Case of Benjamin Button) Eric Barba to chief creative officer/senior VFX supervisor.

-In honor of the holiday and one of our favorite films, we couldn’t resist posting this original 1978 trailer for Halloween (above).

-DDB Chicago has created a mobile app as part of a campaign to promote theOpening the Vaults: The Wonders of the 1893 World’s Fair Exhibit at the Field Museum.  Play Store link; App Store link

-Starcom and Turner Broadcasting, home to TNT, TBS, truTV and Adult Swim, have formed a year-long marketing and research partnership developed for the 2013-14 Upfront.

-Hilton Head, SC-based agency BFG has welcomed Ryan Wofford as director of digital strategy. In addition to Wofford, who will be based in BFG’s Atlanta office and lead digital efforts for clients like Campari and Treasury Wine Estates, the agency has brought on Matt Holliday in the newly created role of content strategist.

-Yahoo says engagement and productivity are up after 86′ing working from home. link

-FYI, deadline for One Club’s Automobile Advertising of the Year Awards has been extended to Nov. 8. link


Happy Halloween, kids, have fun and be safe!

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Trick or Treat Sasquatch this Halloween via space150′s Effort for Jack Link’s

This past Sunday, Minneapolis-based space 150 launched its #tricksasquatch or #treatsasquatch social campaign for Jack Link’s, for which it serves as digital AOR.

I’m not sure if Sasquatch or beef jerky have all that much to do with Halloween, but I wouldn’t have minded getting beef jerky while trick or treating as a kid, so it kind of works I guess. After asking fans of the brand whether they would trick or treat the Jack Link’s mascot, Sasquatch is sending personalized responses based on whether fans want to trick or treat him. Fans could even receive a photo or video response from the hairy jerky mascot. Jack Link’s is also ”engaging fans through a brand and Halloween relevant keyword strategy.” They are retweeting the responses from @mesasquatch at @JackLinks and posting photo and video responses on Facebook.

Kevin Papacek, director of marketing for the brand, says, “We love Halloween and our fans love Halloween, which is why we have created an engaging and delightful experience for fans that embodies the Halloween spirit,” in an experimental announce determining how many times the word “Halloween” could feasibly be worked into a sentence.

Pro wrestler James Storm replied to Sasquatch with a video (featured above) in which he leaves the beast a beer and a bag of jerky. How sweet. Or should I say, salty?

FiberOne Opens Eyes, Stomachs, Senses of Humor to ‘The Truth About Diets’

You know that feeling you get when watching something that is supposed to be funny: now there’s pressure on the creators to make you laugh, and since you’re aware of it, you’re harder to impress. FiberOne’s ongoing Snack Drama campaign, created by Saatchi & Saatchi NY, has that prerequisite element, and it still manages to flow with humor that’ll make you laugh, or at least smile.

(Before I proceed, I’d just like to acknowledge the future commenters preparing their disparaging remarks aimed at FiberOne, Saatchi NY, me, AgencySpy, humanity, anyone who has every liked anything. We get it. You don’t think it’s funny. Or you think the campaign is a derivative of 42 other campaigns that were already created. Or you work in advertising but secretly hate your career and suffer from pathological self-loathing. You can disagree, but please do it with some respect. Okay, go ahead now.)

Anyway, “The Truth About Dieting” is funny. It’s a one-minute satire of diets ranging from the hypnotherapy diet to the juice cleanse. If you’ve seen earlier Snack Drama spots, which we covered ten days ago, you will recognize some of the actresses who are whining, screaming, or just going bat-crazy because of their ridiculous diets. There’s surprisingly no product placement, and if you don’t pay close attention, you may not even recognize that it’s an ad at all. So for people who like subtle branding and not-so-subtle humor, this video is for you. A simple yet effective concept that should play well on television.

Honda, RPA Explore Haunted Civic

In one of the more ridiculous clips you’re likely to see this Halloween, Honda sent a paranormal investigator to check out Wilmington, California native Ernie Santos‘ 1996 Honda Civic.

Santos has (supposedly) long complained of paranormal encounters in the Civic, including unexplained noises, items disappearing and reappearing in the trunk and friends complaining that they feel hands on their shoulder when no one else is in the car. When he commented about these occurrences on Honda’s Facebook page, Honda sent “nationally recognized” (whatever that means) paranormal investigator Erik Vanlier of Valley Investigators of the Paranormal to explore his vehicle.

In the video, we see Vanlier do his whole paranormal investigator schtick. He claims to feel a hand on his shoulder and communicates with the spirits, who contact him via “electronic voice phenomena” which sounds suspiciously like a radio dial being tuned in and out to pick up random words. Eventually, Vanlier is able to get the spirits to leave. He is, after all, a “nationally recognized” paranormal investigator. A relived Ernie Santos enters the car and claims it “feels different.”

As you can tell I’m a skeptic when it comes to the whole paranormal investigator thing, and Vanlier isn’t especially convincing. If you’re into this kind of thing and watch any of the slew of paranormal reality shows on TV, you might find this an interesting little clip. If you’re not a paranormal enthusiast and you’re just looking for a little Halloween fun, you might want to look elsewhere. This video is mostly just Erik Vanlier in the back seat of a 1996 Honda Civic screwing around with some electronic devices, unconvincingly playing at making paranormal contact. I don’t mean to be a big downer on Honda’s Halloween theatrics, I just think they could have come up with something a lot more interesting than this.

Windows Phone Tweets ‘Instant Costumes’ Courtesy of T3


It used to be that if you forgot a costume on Halloween you had to find and rob some guy with an eye patch or wrap yourself in toilet paper. Now, thanks to T3 and the Windows Phone, that won’t be entirely necessary.

T3, no stranger to Twitter campaigns for the Windows Phone, has unveiled a new “Halloween Reinvented” social campaign.

The idea is simple: go here and choose from a variety of “instant costumes” to download; then share your pics with the #HalloweenReinvented hashtag. Instant costumes include a vampire, pirate, creepy clown, mummy, and mustache dude. It’s a fun little idea that shows off a novel use of the Windows Phone. If you need another reason to get behind the instant costumes idea, know that @BrandWriter Brian Thompson, the man responsible for Passive Aggressive Notepads, is on the case. So go get your digital costume, share your pics on Twitter and in our comments section, if you feel so inclined. It will save you a lot of toilet paper. Happy Halloween everyone.

Media Kitchen Parts Ways with Pinkerton

pinkertonsmallDetails are somewhat vague at this point, but sources familiar with the matter confirm that Charles Pinkerton, who’s been with kbs+ and its media arm, Media Kitchen, for nearly a dozen years, is no longer with the agency. During his lengthy stay within the kbs+ fold, Pinkerton moved up from director of interactive media and marketing to partner/director of client services at Media Kitchen in 2006 to his most recent role as partner/director of communication insights at MK.

No word yet on if there are plans to replace Pinkerton, but during his career, the 25-year ad vet also worked as a planner at Campbell Mithun early on before serving in senior exec roles at the likes of Horizon, Ammirati Puris Lintas and The Martin Agency.

Burt’s Bees Adds Halloween Faves to ‘Classic Vines’

A few weeks ago we shared Burt’s Bees “Classic Vines” series: interpretations of classic literature using products from their “classics” collection animated in the Vine 6-second format from Baldwin& and animator Jethro Ames. Now, Burt’s Bees has rolled out two new classics for Halloween.

Their selections shouldn’t surprise anyone: The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr.Hyde (featured above) both get the Burt’s treatment. Both Vines are pretty much what you’d expect. In The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, the headless horseman is portrayed as a stick of lip balm whose cap has fallen off. Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, I think, works a little better. Dr. Jekyll, portrayed by Burt’s Bees Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream, drinks his concoction and is transformed into Mr. Hyde — portrayed by hand salve. Nothing mind-boggling here, but the way that the product changes during the transformation is a nice touch. If you liked this approach when Burt’s Bees introduced it, you’ll welcome these new Halloween additions. If you thought the idea was stupid, these will do nothing to change your mind. Stay tuned for “Sleepy Hollow,” along with credits, after the jump. Read more

Op-Ed: Will Ads Ruin Instagram?

Virginstagramsminia Alber-Glanstaetten, group director of planning at Huge, has returned with her monthly column for this here site, now discussing a rather hot topic that would be ads on Instagram? Will it be good or bad for the Facebook-owned service? Well, without further ado, let’s see what the author thinks. Take it away.

Last week, Instagram teased its plan to introduce advertisements into users’ feeds with a few tasteful shots: a gauzy, Americana-inspired photo from Levi’s and a quirky and colorful bird’s eye view from Instagram itself. Commentators are justifiably focused on what the ads look like on a platform that gained popularity in large part because of its emphasis on great images. Instagram has pledged that ads will conform to the high visual standards expected by the community and reassured users that the privacy and ownership of their photos will continue to be protected.

We’ll see. As an Instagram user, I’m irritated that my feed will now involve brands pushing their agenda in my face amongst the folks that I have selected to follow. Of course, it’s no surprise that Instagram decided to monetize its platform, or that yet another social media network is touting the advantages of data at its fingertips, especially the ability to target ads more effectively. And media planners will seize on a new opportunity for ad placement—while InstaAds might not drive a lot of revenue, they will boost brand reach and exposure.

Read more

Thursday Morning Stir

-WPP/GroupM agency Maxus once again lands in the news roundup as it’s now won L’Oréal’s media planning and buying account in the UK and Ireland. The contract will begin Jan 1. and is worth around £135m (approximately $216m) in billings. Maxus beat out PHD and ZenithOptimedia in the review.

-More U.K. news as former Mother creative directors Alex Holder and Oli Beale are joining Stuart Smith and Ben Moore as partners at Anomaly London. Holder and Beale will also serve as CDs.

-Twelve-year-old bi-coastal production company Harpoon Pictures has signed director Tony Franklin for commercial representation.

-Astrid van Essen will join the London office of MediaMonks, which works with the likes of Saatchi, Mother and AMV BBDO, as managing director, effective Nov. 1.

-According to Tel Aviv-based BBR Saatchi & Saatchi, there’s really no fancy presentation necessary in a new spot for the Ford Focus (above).

BBDO Bumps Up Burns to MD in SF

Marc BurnssmallAfter spending the last five years in management roles in various BBDO offices, most recently serving as SVP/group account director on AT&T Wireless at the agency, Marc Burns will now fill the vacant position of managing director at BBDO San Francisco, where’s he’s been working out of for the last year. During his time on the AT&T biz, Burns helped lead teams behind efforts including the youth-focused “You’ve got a Case” starring Will Arnett and the V-Day-themed “Shout Your Love from the Mountaintop.”

Burns’s history with BBDO, though, actually dates back to 1996, when we started out in the mailroom at the agency’s Australian operations before spent the next few years as a senior account manager at Clemenger BBDO. In between his two stints within the BBDO network, Burns held account roles at Leo Burnett and worked on client side for a couple of years at Mitsubishi. Now at BBDO SF, the new MD fills out a leadership team that includes president/CEO Jim Lesser, ECD (and Goodby alum) Craig Mangan and director of strategic planning, Matt Herrmann.