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TBWA\Singapore Explores the Real Dollhouses of Airbnb

When TBWA won Airbnb back in September, we were very curious to see what sort of work the agency would do for its client.

It’s fair to say that Airbnb’s campaigns to date have differed dramatically, and the latest from TBWA’s Singapore office is no exception. Pereira & O’Dell’s May ad was a simple collection of landscapes and interiors while VCCP’s work from earlier this month told an animated version of a Cold War story.

The most impressive fact about the new TBWA spot? It was shot in one take and without any form of computer-generated imagery. It’s a beautiful day in this neighborhood:

The release tells us that the work was inspired by real-life Airbnb listings ranging from a “fairytale gingerbread house” (California, of course) to a surprisingly wide selection of treehouses.

Credits and behind the scenes clip after the jump.

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Sid Lee Adds Four Creative Hires

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The New York office of Sid Lee announced today the addition of four creatives to its full-time team, effective immediately: Design Director Verena Michelitsch, Co-Creative Director Cecilia Azcarate, Senior Creative Andre Gidoin and Copywriter Dana Tiel.

Michelitsch arrives from boutique design agency RoAndCo, where she has served as a senior designer since January of 2013. She established herself as a founding member of Graz, Austria-based design studio En Garde before moving back to New York in 2011 to pursue freelance work for Sagmeister & Walsh and Pentagram Design, where she was responsible for “handling a variety of branding, illustration and art direction projects over the years.”

Azcarate arrives from M&C Saatchi, where she served as an associate creative director. Her work has been recognized with a variety of awards, including Webby Awards, D&AD, Eurobest and Epica. She has also held art director positions with Johannes Leonardo in New York, and Happiness Brussels and Anouk & Company in Belgium.

Gidoin joins Sid Lee from Leo Burnett New York, where he arrived in early 2013 as a senior art director. Prior to that he spent around four years serving as an interactive art director for Leo Burnett in Milan. A 2009 graduate of Oslo’s Westerdals School of Communication, Gidoin has been named to one of the top 16 young creatives in the world by Young Guns for two consecutive years.

Tiel joins Sid Lee from Grey New York, where she has served as a copywriter since arriving in 2012. She previously served as a copywriter at SapientNitro. A 2011 graduate of New York’s School of Visual Arts, she has earned a Cannes Young Lion Award, in addition to multiple One Show awards, a Clio, an international Andy and an ADC Young Gun Award.

W+K Portland Launches First Work for Weight Watchers

W+K Portland has launched a new campaign for Weight Watchers, its first for the brand since winning creative duties back in April.

In a new 60-second spot, W+K drops the celebrity-driven approach taken by previous agency McCann (whose latest work featured Jessica Simpson), instead going for a universal theme of “eating your feelings.” The ad, entitled “If You’re Happy…” is set to an adaption of the popular children’s song “If You’re Happy And You Know It” by Tony Babino. “If you’re happy and you know it, eat a snack,” he sings at the beginning of the spot over shots of people happily enjoying ice cream, burgers and cake. Around 15 seconds in the tune changes to “If you’re sad…” and later on to such feelings as “bored,” “lonely” and “sleepy” before finally ending with “If you’re human and you know it, eat your feelings, eat a snack” and ending with the tagline, “Help with the hard part” before finally showing the Weight Watchers logo.

It’s an interesting tactic, tapping into the insight that people associate eating with all types of emotions rather than relying on a celebrity endorsement, which seems to be the standard for the category. W+K seems to be banking on the empathy and relatability of the message being more persuasive than association with celebrity.

According to The New York Times, the ad will “be introduced broadly on Sunday” with an emphasis on “programming apt to draw multiple members of a household” like “the midseason finale of The Walking Dead on AMC on Sunday and the season finale of The Voice on NBC on Dec. 15.” The ad will also “appear widely in cinemas,” which Lesya Lysyj, president of Weight Watchers in North America, told The New York Times “…is great because you’re sitting there with your huge thing of popcorn.”

“We’ve never actually said that weight loss is easy, but when you use celebrities and show before-and-after photos, what you’re doing is kind of implying that it is easy,” she added, explaining the move away from celebrity endorsements. Read more

Mother and Stella ‘Give Beautifully’ for the Holidays

Mother and client Stella Artois released a series of spots this week that put a light twist on the sentimental holiday classic: real-life stories starring real-life people!

The campaign, which will roll out over the globe in the coming weeks, centers on a series of short films illustrating truly unexpected gifts in an effort to showcase “loss and redemption, love and community, timeless romance and artistic beauty.”

Here’s the first film, “Lights,” which coincidentally stars the owner of a Christmas tree farm:

Three more below.

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Santa, Not Polar Bears, Stars in Ogilvy’s Holiday Spot for Coca-Cola

Ogilvy teamed up with Coca-Cola Germany for “Make Someone Happy,” the brand’s holiday ad which notably replaces the polar bears of recent years with Santa, also a longtime holiday standby for the brand. According to AdAge, this “marks the first time since 2011 that the brand’s classic Santa character has been the centerpiece of its holiday TV campaign in the U.S.,” although that publication points out that the polar bears will still have “a supporting role for store-level retail executions.”

In the 60-second spot, set to the Jimmy Durante version of the song of the same name, we see Santa drinking a Coke while thumbing through a book called “How to Make Someone Happy.” The ad then focuses on a series of small good deeds performed by people to make others (often strangers) happy, such as a man giving up his umbrella to a passer-by during a snowstorm and a young man giving a stranger waiting for a train a bottle of Coke. At the end of the spot, Santa has a surprise for everyone. “Make Someone Happy’ manages to communicate a holiday-specific sentiment while also functioning as a continuation of Coca-Cola’s general “Open Happiness” campaign.

Andy McMillin, VP of the Coca-Cola trademark for North America, told AdAge that while the polar bears are ” a very important equity for us,” Santa was a better fit with the message to “look beyond the presents and focus on the true spirit of the holidays,” adding that the character “just fits that so well as the ultimate symbol of giving and caring and bringing joy to others.”

“Make Someone Happy” will debut on NBC Thanksgiving day, and will run until the end of December on broadcast and cable channels including NBC, ABC, ABC Family, USA, Lifetime, TBS and Food Network.

mcgarrybowen Names First CCO

Mark KIn news we missed, mcgarrybowen followed the debut of its first work for new client Intel and staffing changes at its New York and San Francisco offices by announcing the appointment of its first CCO: New York MD/ECD Mark Koelfgen.

The agency did not send out a release, choosing instead to confirm Koelfgen’s promotion at its town hall event on Friday.

mcgarrybowen hired Koelfgen directly from GSD&M, where he served as ACD, in 2005; prior to joining GSD&M, he worked as an ACD at Deutsch New York after beginning his copywriting career at DDB/Tracy Locke in Dallas. mcgarrybowen hired Koelfgen as a creative director, and he worked on the Reebok and Brahma beer accounts before being promoted to the MD/ECD position in the agency’s New York office in 2009.

Koelfgen’s accomplishments during his tenure at mcgarrybowen include the successful launch of Verizon’s Droid brand, which led to the agency’s subsequent victory in the Verizon Mobile pitch (a pitch on which he was lead creative).

The agency says that they picked him after searching for candidates both internally and externally. As a member of the New York leadership team, the new CCO will work closely with mbNY President Tom Sewell and Global CSO Jennifer Zimmerman while reporting directly to co-founder Gordon Bowen (who currently oversees global creative strategy).

In addition to Verizon, Koelfgen’s portfolio includes work for Pepsi, AT&T, Microsoft, American Airlines, IKEA, Snapple and more.

Grey NY Introduces Yet Another Rob Lowe for DirecTV

Grey New York has introduced yet another Rob Lowe in its ongoing campaign for DirecTV.

Following on the heels of “Painfully Awkward Rob Lowe,” which apparently drew some criticism from shy bladder sufferers, the agency has returned with the self-explanatory “Scrawny Arms Rob Lowe.” The formula is the same as in previous spots, with Rob Lowe introducing himself as a DirecTV customer before a more unfortunate version of himself, who also happens to be a cable customer, comes along for comparison. In the new spot Scrawny Arms Rob Lowe watches ping-pong on a small screen and attempts to open a jar of mayonnaise. Like previous ads, it ends with Lowe saying “Don’t be like this me.”

While it may be that the series is running out of steam, “Scrawny Arms Rob Lowe” just seems like the weakest of the bunch so far. Whereas “Super Creepy Rob Lowe” and “Painfully Awkward Rob Lowe” found convincing ways of tying Lowe’s alter egos to the inferior quality of cable, “Scrawny Arms Rob Lowe” feels like an empty gimmick. Let’s hope Grey can up the ante with the inevitable follow-up and recapture the potential of this campaign. Read more

Tuesday Morning Stir


-Leo Burnett created this spot for Freeview (video above).

-Marketing Land examines how Coke and Denny’s respond to real-time events on Twitter.

-Creative Review picks “Eight of the best Christmas window displays.”

-Ruffles went from spending around 29 percent of its ad budget on digital in 2013 to nearly 100 percent this year.

-Barilla names 360i as its first U.S. digital agency of record.

-United Colors of Benetton collaborates with the United Nations in support of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.

-Adweek shares “5 Social Media Hacks Every Marketer Should Know.”

Leo Burnett Ties Samsung to High Fashion in New Campaign

Last week saw the debut of Leo Burnett Chicago’s latest work for client Samsung. The spot looks to tie the client to high fashion brand Swarovski via a series of bling-worthy tech accessories.

In the one-minute ad (double-length version here), a particularly fashionable young woman manages to navigate her way through the various inconveniences of modern Lisbon without flinching…all while calling our attention to her fancy phone case and watch band.

The ad is called “Changes” and the campaign tagline is “Dress your device up, no matter what the occasion.”

Details and credits after the jump.

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We Hear: S.C. Johnson Business Currently in Review

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Last Friday, Chicago Business Journal reported on some changes in the status of the very large S.C. Johnson business — primarily the fact that portions of it had “quietly” moved from Ogilvy Chicago to Energy BBDO in recent months.

This week, multiple sources claim that the general report is accurate, that the company has been sending more of its creative work to the BBDO side, and that an ongoing creative review could see more business changing hands.

Neither client nor agencies have officially responded to our requests for comment, but two things are clear: S.C. Johnson has yet to complete its first major agency review since breaking with FCB (then DraftFCB) in 2011 and Energy BBDO currently handles a larger share of the business than it did last year. This is what a company spokesperson told the Chicago publication:

“[The company is] going through a review exercise…it’s typical we would do this as contracts are up.”

The biggest unknown at the moment is how many brands, exactly, have moved from one agency to another.

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