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Thursday Morning Stir

-ESPN Films’ latest entry in the 30 for 30 Shorts series, “The High Five,” debuted on Grantland yesterday (trailer above). link

-Rent-A-Center opted to retain Mindshare Chicago as its media AOR following a competitive review. link

-Advertising technology company Tremor Video announced the hiring of Jay Baum as vice president, agency business development. link

-Brand consultancy Interbrand announced the appointment of Josh Feldmeth as CEO of Interbrand, North America. link

-Zulu Alpha Kilo promotes the Collingwood Elvis Festival. link

-NowThis News moves toward 15-second videos, rebrands as NowThis. link

-Nike launches “Chase Summer” campaign targeting women. link

-Why your social media strategy sucks. link

-Mobile ads fuel soaring Facebook profits. link

Mystery Box and The Harmon Brothers Get Violent, Messy for VidAngel

Creating an ad for a client whose main product aims to “protect” audiences from “the bosoms, blood and bad words” on YouTube and in movies is quite a challenge, but The Harmon Brothers (the guys behind the Poopouri spots) certainly got the job done with some help from production company Mystery Box and David Ackerman of Ackermania in this spot for VidAngel (a company co-founded by executive producer Jeffrey Harmon):

We’re not sure how the Fearful Parent target audience will take the campaign, and since we don’t have kids yet (thank God) we can’t say whether it would lead us to consider paying for the service. But it does serve as a nice showcase for Ackermania’s unfettered approach to advertising.

For once, the behind-the-scenes clip is worth watching as well after the jump.

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Wednesday Odds and Ends

-This promo for FXX’s marathon of The Simpsons imagines apocalyptic ramifications for the event (video above). link

-Deep Focus promoted Ken Kraemer to chief creative officer and Matt Steinwald to group creative director. link

-Chicago-based hybrid advertising and entertainment shop Super Genius produced a new TV show called “Garage Squad,” which premieres August 1st on The Velocity Channel.

-Foursquare unveils new logo. link

-McDonald’s focuses on digital initiatives with an “aggressive sense of urgency.” link

-Survey shows CMO compensation tied to C-suite alliances. link

W+K NY Taps Fred Armisen in Latest for Heineken

You can hardly blame people for not wanting to participate in Heineken’s latest “social experiment” for the brand’s “Routine Interruptions” campaign.

The spot, by W+K New York, sees Fred Armisen anonymously call a payphone and ask whoever picks up to come across the street. Of the thousands called, only five obliged the request, and those who did joined Armisen onstate at The Comedy Cellar (the New York City comedy club most well known from its inclusion in FX’s Louie). It’s a strange approach, but makes a little more sense in the context of Heineken’s “Routine Interruptions” series, which attempts to pull city dwellers out of their usual routines for an adventurous night. Still, the 90 second spot doesn’t do a lot to sell Heineken, as if it weren’t for the logo at the end there would be nothing to tie it to the brand.

“We believe that it’s not just by shouting loud and clear the brand name or brand image that you are going to get consumer engagement,” Heineken USA Chief Marketing Officer Nuno Teles told AdAge. “It’s far more important to share the brand point of view and to engage the consumer through the content.”

Venables Bell and Reebok Serve Up a Side of Bacon for the 2014 CrossFit Games

BACON

If you thought bacon was merely the provenance of artisanal hipsters and long past the food du jour, the fellows at Venables Bell & Partners, USA found a new way for client Reebok to reach pig heaven.

Since we tend to eat our bacon more for fun and less for sport, we were intrigued to learn that bacon is also a key snack for those on the Paleo Diet, which counts hardcore members of the  CrossFit community as disciples. We all know how great bacon tastes, but did you know CrossFit types post bacon-inspired selfies and memes touting its salty goodness as they put themselves through punishing workouts?

In honor of the impending CrossFit Games, Reebok thought it would be a fun idea to serve up some “Reebok Bacon” to the cult of CrossFit and the fans that cheer them on in the stands.

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Tribal Worldwide Shows ‘How to Dad’ for Peanut Butter Cheerios

Tribal Worldwide, Toronto has a new Canadian online campaign for Peanut Butter Cheerios illustrating “How to Dad.”

The father in the spot is a welcome departure from the idiotic paternal human punchlines still typical in advertising. He gives a quick, ADD style lecture on fathering while touring his house, after being awoken by his son modeling his new horse mask (which he reacts to remarkably well). The product integration is at times a bit awkward, the word “awesome” appears too many times (including twice in one sentence in the line “Because being a dad is awesome, just like new Peanut Butter Cheerios are awesome,”delivered near the spot’s conclusion) and the ending really takes the goofiness level over the top. Still, it’s nice to see dads represented this way, so we’ll chalk it up as a step in the right direction and a sign that perhaps the idiot dad stereotype is finally on its way out.

The campaign also features a Tumblr with fathering advice for those who want to step up their dad game and a #HowToDad hashtag which the brand hopes will generate discussion amongst paternal consumers. Stick around for credits after the jump. Read more

Yahoo’s Downward Ad Spiral Continues (with Visuals)

marissa mayer

Change is mostly a good thing–unless you ask Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer.

Last Tuesday, when Yahoo announced its second-quarter earnings, the company said it had reached an agreement with Alibaba ”to reduce the number of shares it is required to sell in the initial public offering, to 140 million shares from 208 million shares.” This one would prove to be timely as those earnings show a four-percent loss from last quarter.

And why? Advertising, or the lack thereof. This is why Digiday produced four eye-catching (and jaw-dropping, if you are Mayer) graphs that further illustrate that downward spiral.

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Ogilvy & Mather Embarks on ‘Journey to Extraordinary’ for Holiday Inn

Ogilvy & Mather, New York’s latest campaign for The Holiday Inn examines the inspirational stories of individuals who have made the “Journey to Extraordinary” in a series of web documentaries.

The first in the series explores the story of Scott Rigsby, a double-amputee who was told by doctors at the age of eighteen that he would never run again. Not only did Scott prove the doctors wrong, he went on to become a marathoner, tri-athlete, world record holder, author and motivational speaker. A certain Panama City Holiday Inn location played an important role in his story, keeping Scott from homelessness, and the 3:30 video focuses on Scott’s recovery while staying there and his friendship with hotel owner Julie Hilton.

The “Journey to Extraordinary” series will continue over the course of the summer and into the fall, with a new documentary added weekly via the brand’s Tumblr, Facebook, and Twitter  pages, as well as on YouTube. Stick around for credits after the jump. Read more

President/CEO Out at Y&R Canada

YR CA

Today we confirmed that Chris Jordan, CEO of Y&R Canada, is no longer with the agency as of this week.

Here’s the official statement:

“We are thankful to Chris Jordan for his 12 years of leadership at Y&R Canada, and we wish him the very best moving forward.  As we continue to evolve as an agency, we are recognizing the immense value of the leadership of Israel Diaz, EVP, Chief Creative Officer; Carl McMurray, SVP, Chief Financial Officer; Susan Murray, EVP, Chief Marketing Officer; Kasi Bruno, VP, Strategy & Cultural Insights; and Gavin Bayley, SVP, Global Client Leader.  Effective immediately, this talented group comprises the senior leadership team of Y&R Canada, reporting into Y&R North America CEO Matt Anthony and Y&R North America COO Sean Howard.”

Jordan had served as CEO and president of Y&R’s Canadian operations since 2002; prior to joining the agency world, he was chief marketing and sales officer for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Israel Diaz, who moved into the top creative post at Y&R Toronto back in 2011, will assume a more prominent role in Jordan’s absence.

Tipsters claim that the departure is directly related to the Ford account, for which WPP’s shops Y&R, Wunderman and Mindshare recently created the brand-new entity Blue Hive.

We have no specifics on that point or on Jordan’s future plans.

Hispanic Agency Orcí Fits with Honda

We’ve always appreciated the Honda Fit’s “little car that could” vibe, and this new campaign from Orcí, Honda’s AOR for the U.S. Hispanic market, goes the distance in touting the versatility of the subcompact. The work, entitled “#UnBuenFit (A Good Fit”)  spreads the word about the all-new 2015 Honda Fit with TV spots starring comedian Felipe Esparza, the winner of NBC’s Last Coming Standing in 2010 and star of his own stand-up special on Showtime.

The bilingual campaign targets Hispanic Millennials while introducing the model to the US Hispanic market for the first time.

Credits, Spanish version and quotes from Orcí’s CEO after the jump.

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