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Leo Burnett Tugs on Heartstrings for Ronald McDonald House

Leo Burnett gets emotional for Ronald McDonald House Charities with their new spot, “Dad’s Voice.”

The 60-second ad highlights the emotional impact of the charity providing home-to-home accommodation for families with a child in the hospital. “It’s only a voice, everyone has one,” a narrator intones at the opening of the spot. “But this, this is dad’s voice. Dad’s voice is, well, dad’s.” Going on to list some of the voice’s idiosyncrasies, the spot concludes, “Dad’s voice is the sound of home, even when they’re not at home.”

It’s a pretty straightforward approach, but it makes a real emotional impact, delivering on a relevant insight for the charity. It helps that the approach is tender without being cloying, choosing not to oversell the drama of the situation but rather sticking to what viewers can relate to. Stick around for credits after the jump. Read more

FITCH Promotes Alasdair Lennox to ECD

AlasdairThis morning brings news of several promotions within the creative department of London-based FITCH–most significantly, the agency promoted Alasdair Lennox, creative director and frequent conference speaker, to the role of ECD.

In his new role, Lennox will direct creative direction for four studios and a team of international creative and design directors.

Lennox first joined the agency as a designer way back in 1998, advancing to the position of design director before ascending to his most recent role as CD for Europe and Russia.

According to the release, he has “solved complex commercial and strategic challenges” for clients including Adidas and Apple.

The agency also announced the promotion of design directors Phil Heys and John Regan to CD roles in the London office; they will report directly to Lennox.

FITCH’s most recent campaign of note was a promotion for Adidas’ World Cup Identity.

TBWA Explores ‘Gas Station’ Fears for Nissan Sentra

TBWA Toronto has a new spot for Nissan Sentra that explores fears of filling up, horror movie style.

The 60-second “Gas Station” opens on a man arriving at a creepy, dimly-lit gas station. Soon the station comes to life, as the man is relentlessly attacked by the gas pumps, which also do a number on his car. Eventually, another man, driving a Nissan Sentra, comes to the rescue, beckoning him to hop in. This is followed by the message, “Don’t Fear Filling Up,” and boast of the Sentra’s “Better combined fuel economy than Civic.” In a spot that spends so much time on a ridiculous fuel-fearing message, you’d think they’d focus a little more than a quick flash of text on the Sentra’s fuel economy, but instead most of the 60 seconds are spent on building up unconvincing horror atmosphere. Stick around for credits after the jump. Read more

Wednesday Morning Stir

-Razorfish shows “The Making of a Chicken Legend” for McDonald’s (video above). link

-Mediapost: “AgencySpy commenters reveal why the ad industry in so much trouble.” link

-Shakira‘s “La La La” is now the most shared ad of all time. link

-Adman Kevin J. McGroarty wrote his own obituary, and it went viral. link

-Paramount Australia apologizes for 9/11 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles poster. link

-Expedia, Delete launch pan-European Facebook campaign. link

-Johnson’s Baby attempts to woo millenial moms with social media transparency. link

-Jägermeister ad banned for promoting “irresponsible behavior.” link

Should Agencies Edit Their Own Wikipedia Pages?

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In case you missed it, last week Digiday exposed a horrific scandal within the ad industry: agencies editing their own Wikipedia pages to make them read more like, well, ads. This went well beyond correcting inaccuracies and the sort of monthly upkeep that’s become standard operating procedure for businesses big enough to warrant such entries.

While none of the implicated parties confessed, it certainly looked like some internal changes had come from Wikipedia editors who just happened to work for JWT, AKQA, BBH, Big Spaceship, Cossette and more.

This is normally an issue one might associate with PR firms. In fact, reps from several of the world’s biggest firms–one of which might represent your agency–arranged an informal agreement with the Wikipedia editorial community last month: they promised not to pay or hire editors with clearance who would then work to spruce up their clients’ pages (or their own).

Since we are independently fascinated by this phenomenon, we reached out to several of our agency contacts to get their takes on the story.

We were surprised by how few volunteered, but we do have a couple of good quotes on the topic after the jump…

Read more

Tuesday Odds and Ends


-Greenpeace launches “Cats Save Tigers” campaign on International Tiger Day (video above). link

-Media agency MEC has appointed José Miranda as regional director for analytics and insights in Latin America. link

-Minneapolis-based agency Campbell Mithun announced its partnership with DOG for DOG by donating over 275 pounds of the brand’s all-natural food and treats to Minneapolis-based, Secondhand Hounds Animal Rescue. link

-Mountain Dew recieved 3,500 phone calls from click-to-call tweet. link

-BLT communications announced the launch of BLT+, “a new advertising division dedicated to marketing consumer goods and services.”

-Twitter shares jump following second quarter report. link

-Medium makes the leap to native advertising. link

David Duchovny Stokes Russian National Pride for Siberian Crown Beer

In one of the more absurd items you’ll see today, David Duchovny stars in an ad for Siberian Crown Beer.

In the extended 2:30 online spot, Duchovny is at a rooftop party when he pontificates, “There is another country where I got my family name from. And sometimes I wonder: What if things turned out differently? What if I were Russian?”

Duchovny goes on an extended monologue on what his life might be like if he were Russian. His musings awkwardly vacillate from tongue-in-cheek humor (like when he asks “Would the world know my smile?” and we see him pictured as a hockey player, complete with missing front tooth) to more serious-minded patriotism. The spot ends with the latter, as Duchovny concludes “”I found out that being Russian, I’d have many things to be proud of.”

The ad is a bit of a headscratcher. Even more so, perhaps, is Duchovny’s decision to align himself with a Russian brand celebrating the country at a time when it faces the threat of serious economic sanctions as a backlash for increasingly imperialistic foreign policy. His involvement caused enough controversy, in fact, that he felt the need to issue a statement clarifying that he did not support current Russian politics and that his involvement in the commercial was not in any way a political statement or endorsement of Putin’s policies.

FleishmanHillard Gives Two Thumbs to Pure TalkUSA

FleishmanHillard is primarily known for its PR and strategic advisory services, but today brings a new, traditional ad spot created by the agency for client Pure TalkUSA, a no-contract mobile service provider.

The ad addresses a very real problem: kids using their parents’ credit cards to spend money on smartphone games.

Here’s the :30 for “Jeremy”:

Nice tagline at the end there.

Fleishman ECD Nick Childs says:

“Part of that ‘smartphone consequence’ is your dumb thumbs can make some pretty bad calls. We wanted to bring that to life in a relatable, funny way…and help Pure Talk become the voice of reason for budget-minded Americans.”

For the record, we feel like the mom in this campaign should be glad that her son didn’t follow the FDA’s model and spend money turning himself into a C-list celebrity in “Kim Kardashian: Hollywood.”

Read more

McKinney Channels Golden Girls for ESPN’s SEC Network

McKinney uses the song “Thank You For Being A Friend” (a cover of which is the theme song to the classic show Golden Girls) for a new campaign promoting the launch of ESPN’s SEC network for South Eastern Conference college sports, which launches August 14th.

The 30-second spot, “Animals,” features mascots from the conference, from Mississippi State’s “Bully” to Auburn’s “War Eagle” to Arkansas’ “Tusk.” It’s a simple approach, but between the loveable animal mascots and the Golden Girl nostalgia stoking musical selection, the spot is just plain likeable. And that’s coming from someone who couldn’t care less about college football. Stick around for credits after the jump. Read more

Colossal Murals Earn Eyeballs in Brooklyn

Yes, you can read that headline both ways: Brooklyn’s Colossal Media, or “the largest hand paint mural and out-of-home advertising company in the US”, earned a mention from our fellow trade blog AdFreak yesterday for a new campaign created to promote…the agency itself!

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The  murals, which have appeared recently in the Brooklyn neighborhoods of Williamsburg and Bushwick (but not near Roberta’s, since no one with an MFA can afford to eat there), serve a dual purpose: they allow the agency to both support the neighborhood and attract local artists to work on apprentice programs for their traditional outdoor campaigns.

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