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Friday Morning Stir

-Parents talk about back-to-school for Canadian Tire (video above). link

-Y&R, VML create talking water fountain for Drink Up initiative. link

-Former content strategy leader at J. Walter Thompson and Hill Holliday, director of branded content at Condé Nast becomes Travel + Leisure‘s new editor. link

-The Samsung Note ad featuring designer Mark Hunter accused of sexism has been removed from YouTube. link

-Avoid these seven sins of social media marketing. link

-Abercrombie & Fitch is dropping the logo from its clothing. link

‘Johnny Football’ Goes Lululemon in Snickers Spot

Since this is pre-football week, here’s a BBDO ad for Snickers that tells us that Johnny Manziel is trying to improve upon his personal “brand” after a rough start.

Rather than simply sweating because he was pick #22 in the first round of the draft, he’s sweating here because he has yet to meet his daily calorie count.

Manziel also stars in a new Nissan ad launched today, but we have to wonder whether he will become the celebrity he was born to be given the fact that he’ll be watching the season opener from the sidelines.

Maybe he just needs to serve as the butt of the joke in his next ad.

Read more

Thursday Odds and Ends

-F/Nazca Saatchi & Saatchi creates this spot promoting the Mizuno UpHill Marathon in Serra do Rio Rastro, Brazil (video above).

-Saatchi & Saatchi South China has added Ringo Fai as digital planning director and Steven Yip as digital senior project manager. link

-Vice Director of Global Marketing Jonathan Hunt leaves to become global vice president, marketing and partnerships at Vox Media. link

-How Facebook plays content gatekeeper. link

-Paul Roebuck returns to BBDO as executive vice president, worldwide senior business director on Johnson & Johnson. link

-Executive Creative Producer Luis Aguiluz is leaving Deutsch LA after three and a half years to join the ACNE production house.

DDB’s Rodgers Townsend Agency Livens Up the Office for The Hartford

DDB’s Rodgers Townsend agency, St. Louis, pumps some life into the office (via jams) for The Hartford, in the latest iteration of its “Play On” campaign.

The agency collaborated with The Hartford, which provides insurance to small companies, for the interactive YouTube video. Viewers choose a genre of music, and then the office breaks into a spontaneous dance party, before promptly returning back to work. It’s well worth a view for a quick chuckle. We recommend “Retro Tech” and “Renaissance,” although you can’t really go wrong.

“We wanted to connect people to the message, when the unforeseen happens, The Hartford helps businesses prevail,” Steve Jones, assistant VP-marketing, small commercial at The Hartford, explained to AdAge. “This time, we wanted to do something fun and engaging that’s right for social channels and online.”

Toth+Co Enlists Drew Brees for Wrangler

With football season around the corner, Toth+CO enlists Drew Brees in their latest spot for Wrangler’s new Advanced Comfort Jeans. And the results are…exactly what you’d expect from a Drew Brees Wrangler ad.

Brees sits on a cooler on the back of a truck, plays some football with his buddies and his son, and takes his lady out to dinner. Pretty generic stuff. Interspersed with this footage are graphics of Wrangler’s “4-way flex technology” which offers “20% stronger” reinforced fibers. And the spot ends, of course, with Brees delivering the longtime tagline of “Real. Comfortable. Jeans.” There’s nothing fresh here, but fans of Brees, and football fans who can’t wait for the new season, should still find it a welcome sight. Read more

David Fincher Spots Expand on New W+K Gap Campaign

The hottest story in the ad world today concerns the newly-released TV components of a campaign that had a few scratching their heads last week: W+K’s “Dress Normal” for new client Gap.

These ads, directed by David Fincher, add a bit of narrative heft to a campaign previously consisting of celebrities in everyday poses. The first one, “Golf”, elaborates on the “it’s OK if your clothes are a little boring” theme with a bit of spontaneously unconventional romance:

Three more and credits below.

Read more

Deb Boyda Appointed as Razorfish’s Central Region President

3d4fe0dRazorfish has appointed Deb Boyda as president of its central region, based in Chicago, MediaPost reports.

Boyda will report directly to Razorfish North America CEO Shannon Denton in her new role, effective September 2nd. She will be responsible for overseeing profitablity and growth in the Chicago and Austin offices, as well as directing the region’s client base, which includes Kraft, Citi Retail Services and Car2Go.

Boyda arrives at Razorfish from Beam Global Spirits & Wine, where she served as vice president and general manager. During her three year stint at the company, she was responsible for marketing top Beam brands, including Skinnygirl, Courvoisier and Pinnacle. Prior to Beam, she served as president of brand group Interplay Ideas for almost four years and vice president, content for Miller Brewing Company for two. She last worked on the agency side as a managing partner of Ogivly & Mather from 2004-2006, where she led the team on Dove’s award-winning “Real Beauty” campaign. The Harvard graduate began her career at Euro RSCG, where she stayed for 13 years and worked her way up to managing partner before leaving to become senior vice president at Leo Burnett. Read more

Doner’s Latest Effort for Fiat Turns from Cute to Threatening

Doner’s latest spot promoting the Fiat starts out cute and sweet before taking a menacing turn.

The 54-second animated effort, entitled “Helpful Critters,” opens on a group of woodland critters talking up the Fiat 500′s gas mileage in a casual, conversational tone. “Do you get such crappy gas mileage, they know your name at the gas station? a bunny rabbit asks in a squeaky voice. “Why you hatin’ on the earth? With the Fiat 500, just think of the money you’d save,” adds a squirrel.

Things take a sinister turn around the midway point with the rabbit saying, “We think you should get a Fiat, if you know what’s good for you,” as her face suddenly changes from a smile to an evil glare. The critters then suggest that they know several members of the bear community and you could go missing (presumably murdered) if you don’t buy a Fiat.

It’s both reminiscent of Italian mafia stereotypes and the classic South Park episode “Woodland Critter Christmas” for its cuteness-turned-evil tone. Needless to say, threatening to murder potential customers is an odd approach for a car commercial.

W+K and ESPN Give College Football Fans a Moment in the Spotlight

W+K New York isn’t the only agency that’s been focused on football recently — and for good reason.

Not only is the NFL about to start things up again, but this year’s college football season will be the first in history to discard the traditional Bowl Championship Series for a true four-team seeded playoff.

The first spot in W+K’s new campaign to promote client ESPN’s college coverage casts fandom as a universal experience…something everyone has “in common”:

A second :15 spot, which also debuts today, highlights some possible shakeups in the world of collegiate pigskin: will the new format allow an underdog to win the day?

Read more

Intel Begins Creative Review

intel-logo-blue1Intel has just launched a creative review, which is being held internally, AdAge reports.

Sources close to the matter told the publication that Intel, “reached out to a small number of agencies.” While incumbent agency Venables Bell & Partners is believed to be participating in the review, the agency declined to comment. VB+P was named Intel’s lead global agency back in 2009, although Intel has worked with a number of agencies since then. Last summer, VB+P was once again named Intel’s lead agency, and launched the “Look Inside” campaign for the brand earlier this year.

The review follows the appointment of a new chief marketing officer, Steven Fund, in May. While it’s unclear whether Intel’s other agency relationships will be changed, one executive suggested to AdAge that other reviews could be forthcoming. Intel spent $85 million on measured media last year, according to Kantar Media, and has already spent $44 million in the first half of 2014.

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