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Secret Weapon CD on Deutsch McDonald’s Campaign: ‘Flattering’ but ‘Annoying’

Anyone notice that the recent Taco Bell “Ronald McDonald” spot bears a very slight resemblance to this 2002 Secret Weapon ad for Jack in the Box?

Secret Weapon founder/creative director Richard Sittig did–and he told Felix Gilette of Bloomberg Businessweek all about it today.

You know you want some key quotes after the jump.

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W+K, Maxwell House Shoot for Good, Not Great

In a world with Starbucks at every corner and small, fancy artisinal coffee shops sprouting up everywhere, it would be counterproductive for an instant coffee brand to try to compete. So W+K starts a different conversation for Maxwell House, asking, “Whatever happened to good?”

The new “Say Good Morning to a Good Day” campaign features a series of broadcast and web spots centering around an affable, middle-aged everyman (everydad?) who laments that with all the attention on phrases like “Awesome,” “Amazing,” and “That’s epic, bro!” people have forgotten about “good.” In the 30-second spot, he goes on to explain that good is “Swinging to get on base” or “choosing not to overshoot the moon, but instead to land right on it.” This all makes “good” seem pretty appealing, with the spot ending with the resurrected “Good to the Last Drop” tagline.

While some may question the choice of admitting your product isn’t “amazing,” the strategy makes sense for Maxwell House, whose coffee is, at best, “good enough,” and whose best bet is to convince the older generation that all the fuss over fancy coffee just isn’t worth it. W+K pull off the execution really well, making the “good” approach about as persuasive as it can be. Credits after the jump. Read more

Wednesday Morning Stir

-This mini-documentary examines advertising’s unsung “wall dog” artists (above).

-McCann Erickson Beijing makes drastic cuts to creative staff. link

-Four reactions to Twitter’s Gnip acquisition. link

-Asian governments tighten personal data-gathering laws. link

-Ford to put Mustang atop Empire State Building. link

-And here’s the advertising student GIF blog. link


The Mars Agency Unveils International Rebrand

The Mars Agency Logo

The Mars Agency, formerly known as MARS, “the new-age leader in next generation shopper marketing,” announces an international rebrand today.

The reinvention impacts all of the agency’s entities throughout the U.S., U.K, and Canada, a result of the agency’s vision expanding “far beyond the traditional definition of shopper marketing to lead the charge in next generation integrated marketing.” This announcement comes on the heels of several international client wins, including being added to the Chobani roster last November. The 42-year-old, Southfield, MI-based agency was also named the first or second place independent shopper marketing agency in The Hub Magazine for the seventh consecutive year.

“At one point in time, advertising simply meant producing an ad and placing it,” explained Ken Barnett, global CEO of The Mars Agency. “Today the discipline of marketing has moved beyond traditional advertising and must incorporate every medium that connects brands with consumers and shoppers, including digital and social. We’re redefining our role to provide broad solutions that impact our clients and grow their businesses at every point of the marketing spectrum.”

The Mars Agency sees the rebranding as an opportunity to reposition “itself to create brand experiences that deliver sustainable, profitable results” for itself and its clients. “Staying out front of the curve The Mars Agency pushes the boundaries while maintaining its status as one of the top agencies in North America,” said Derek Joynt, senior vice president, general manager of The Mars Agency in Toronto, Canada.

RPA Honda PSA Shows Us the Dark Side of Emojis

The safe driving PSA would seem, creatively speaking, to be a relatively staid genre. Yet last week we saw an unusual French entry, and today RPA went the animated emjoi route in order to effectively demonstrate the dangers of multitasking behind the wheel.

We didn’t realize that April was Distracted Driving Month (primarily because we don’t own a car), but Honda is collaborating with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to raise awareness of just how dangerous that stray text can be.

Strategically speaking, the #ThumbsUp tag might be a bit too ambiguous to turn the campaign viral–but Honda promises to share related materials like GIFs, stills, downloadable mobile wallpaper and banners throughout the month in the interest of safe driving.

There’s a Spanish version after the jump.

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Huge Hires Tim Nolan as GCD from BBH Labs

8bb4241e6565c9e74627fb8242214606Today we got confirmation that former BBH Labs creative director Tim Nolan is group creative director at Huge as of this week.

We have no official statement or press release (and you didn’t want to read one anyway), but we do have a bit of background: before joining BBH, Nolan worked at JWT for just over a year, contributing to such accounts as Johnson & Johnson.

Prior to the stint at JWT, Nolan worked creative at DUMBO’s HUSH as well as Firstborn and Poke.

Tuesday Odds and Ends

-Miranda Kerr gets naked for Reebok (above).

-French native technology platform Adyoulike acquires UK native distribution and content service Content Amp. link

-Resource launches Omni-channel accelerator, appoints VP Klay Huddleston practice lead. link

-LatinWorks launches new strategic business unit nTrigue. link

-NBC Universal attempts to keep ad dollars in house with new digital video initiative. link

-Study: Nobody knows what “engagement” means. link

-E-mail newsletters still generate loyalty. link

BBDO Picks More Athletes to Mock for Foot Locker

BBDO New York continues its ”Approved” or “athletes not taking themselves too seriously” series for Foot Locker with “No Rings.”

The spot follows “All Is Right” and stars Damian Lillard and a crew of veterans–including Barry Sanders, Chris Webber, Karl Malone and a guy we’re too old to recognize–whose undisputed greatness never led to a title.

We mostly appreciate Lillard’s decision to enter the YouTube comment thread, which is something we will never ever do.

Echoing a couple of the commenters: where’s Charles Barkley? Patrick Ewing? Dan Marino? If we’re going edgy, why not Barry Bonds? That one would have rattled a few cages.

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MetaDesign Welcomes Lindsay Gravette as Design Director

Lindsay GravetteGlobal branding and design firm MetaDesign has welcomed Lindsay Gravette aboard as design director. Gravette brings over 20 years of interactive and strategic design experience to the position, which he will begin immediately.

“Gravette brings a wealth of identity design and creative expertise to the table,” said Stan Zienka, MetaDesign creative director. “His strategic approach to both brand and interactive design will no doubt fuel our growth and success.”

Lindsay previously served as design director of Duncan/Channon, “where he helped expand their growing design and branding practice with work for Palms and Hard Rock International.” Prior to joining Duncan/Channon, the California native spent over 15 years at his own practice, working with Fortune 500, tech and startup companies, and creative firms including IDEO and Larson. Gravette’s award-winning work has been featured in the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art Permanent Collection.

“I’m very proud to be joining a firm I’ve admired my entire career and who has been a direct influence on my work,” said Lindsay. “…MetaDesign is still the firm to look to for what’s best in identity design.”

Amsterdam Worldwide Launches New Global Brand Platform for Warsteiner

Last year, Amsterdam Worldwide was tapped to lead the Warsteiner Beer business, and their work with the brand can now be seen in their recent global brand platform, intended to “refresh the brand in its existing markets, and firmly establish it in emerging markets.”

The campaign, which kicked off in Germany on the 10th and will roll out gradually in over 60 markets worldwide, features television, print, and “high levels of digital media activity across the board.” Amsterdam Worldwide clearly wants to target the young and the young at heart (such as the 45 year-old skateboarder in the “Do It Right” television spot featured above), as evidenced by the online documentaries meant to supplement the television campaign which include profiles of a skydiver and a graffiti artist.

“Traditional beer advertising is cluttered with a lot of clichés and not particularly inspiring insights – we had a chance with Warsteiner to break away from that mould and celebrate a brand culture that lives and breathes an intense commitment to creating a truly premium beer,” explains Amsterdam Worldwide’ s Strategic Director, Uli Kurtenbach. “It was a natural step to inspire Warsteiner’s consumers to take on their own lives with the same enthusiasm.”

Stick around for credits and a profile of “Freefly Rob” after the jump. Read more