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

sc johnson

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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Monday Odds and Ends

-Austin-based agency McGarrah Jessee celebrated the arrival of its 100th employee (video above).

-Subway riders in New York can now shop on Amazon via digital OOH ads which run through December 23rd.

-Apple is teaming up with (Red) for a World AIDS Day campaign.

-Erika Nardini, AOL’s advertising chief marketing officer, is leaving the company.

-The MLB and NBA are both reviewing their advertising accounts.

-Razorfish CTO Ray Velez explains game changing retail tech.

-Snapchat introduces new ad format with Samsung-sponsored American Music Awards stream.

john st. Celebrates ‘Gifts You’ll Want Too’ for Future Shop

john st. has a new holiday campaign for Future Shop that appeals to the selfish side in all of us by reminding viewers that tech gifts are “Gifts You’ll Want Too.”

The spot follows around a man as he gleefully tries out a variety of devices around Future Shop. “I thought he was shopping for your mom” says a confused retail worker, to which his embarrassed daughter replies, “He is.”

The obvious message of the spot is, while you could get your significant other some kind of clothing/jewelry/etc. that they, and only they, will enjoy, if you shop at Future Shop you can give them something that you’ll enjoy just as much. It may be kind of a selfish viewpoint, but its one john st. hopes wins viewers over with honesty.

“We’re all guilty of doing a little ‘me-shopping’ when doing our holiday shopping for our friends and family. ‘Gifts you’ll want too’ is a cheeky way of showing how you can make them and yourself happy
with the same gift.” said Angus Tucker, executive creative director at john st., in a press release

“What differentiates Future Shop from other gift-giving destinations is that when you give the gift of tech, other people get to enjoy it as well,” added James Pelletier, director of brand marketing, Future Shop…”It’s a win-win – for the gifter and the getter.” Read more

Arnold Redefines Black Friday for Santander Bank

While in recent years many retailers have made infamous Black Friday sales into even more of a behemoth by pushing back their opening times so sales start earlier and earlier on Thanksgiving day, others, such as Costco, have gained public respect by bucking the trend. In a new campaign aimed at the most infamous shopping day of the year, Arnold Worldwide came up with a series of Black Friday alternatives for Santander Bank in an attempt to take back the “true meaning” of Thanksgiving (and make Santander look good by association).

In the above, 30-second spot, “Black Bean Soup Friday” for example, we see shots of a family rising early and piling in the car. “On…Black Friday, Tom and his kids will rise before the sun,” the voiceover informs us, “They will beat the crowds” it goes on as the car speeds along. But, in what’s designed to be a surprise, they “…pass the department stores with lines around the block,” and instead go volunteer at a local soup kitchen. “There are many ways to make the day after Thanksgiving meaningful,” the spot concludes, “How will you spend your day?”

This may seem like an unusual move for a financial institution who stands to benefit from a rush of holiday spending, but Santander claims its “family-values focused European roots run deep” and that they have a “commitment to Real Change and challenging traditional perceptions of banking.” So by taking a stab at Black Friday, in a way designed to be heartwarming, Arnold is distancing Santander from other banks, and attempting to make people think that, unlike their competitors, Santander stands for something. Other Black Friday alternatives suggested in the campaign are “Black Top Friday” (spent playing basketball with friends and family) and “Black Belt Friday” (spent watching Kung-Fu flicks). Read more

North Kingdom Crafts ‘A Journey Through Middle-Earth’ Digital Experience

North Kingdom collaborated with Google and Warner Brothers to create a digital interactive experience entitled “A Journey Through Middle-Earth,” promoting The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, the final film in Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit trilogy.

The project is the conclusion of a two year partnership between the parties and the result of eight months of work. Built around an interactive map of Middle-Earth, fans can then explore 21 new locations from the world of The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings, and the updated map contains “3D animations, highlighting the paths of eight key characters in the films, including Bilbo Baggins, Gandalf and Aragorn.” North Kingdom also created “‘Hero’s Journeys’, an area of the platform that will allow people to relive all of their epic Middle-earth adventures, from Frodo’s journey to Mount Doom in The Lord of the Rings to Bilbo’s final battle in The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies.” There’s also a new, peer-to-peer social battle experience allowing visitors to challenge their friends.

“This was an overwhelmingly exciting project for us here at North Kingdom,” said David Eriksson, chief creative officer. “Our challenge was to really push the boundaries of what is possible in a digital experience, drawing inspiration from the world of Tolkien and the drama world that has been built up throughout 14 years of epic films.”

You can watch a trailer for “A Journey Through Middle-Earth” above and head to the site for the full experience. Read more

Saatchi & Saatchi Rock Out for Chase and Apple Pay

This morning saw the debut of one of the first spots promoting Apple Pay via Chase AOR Saatchi & Saatchi and, according to AdAge, the heavy hand of Apple itself.

Here’s the 90-second ad, which premiered on YouTube and stars the indie pop band Bleachers as well as some small Los Angeles-area businesses that have partnered with Chase in the past.

For reference, these are not the first ads promoting Apple’s newest offering: a series tied to professional baseball ran last month via Apple partner Mastercard.

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McCann NY Targets ‘Generation Image’ for Nikon

McCann New York has launched a campaign for Nikon targeted at millenials for the holiday season.

In a new 30-second online spot, the brand celebrates “Generation Image,” as a young woman states “My generation creates tens of thousands of images literally in the blink of an eye. Our images speak for us.” She then asks, “Are yours saying enough?”

The ad is aimed at addressing declining digital camera sales as young people are taking more pictures than ever, but taking them with their smartphones rather than cameras. “I Am Generation Image” is a plea for higher quality images, suggesting that if millenials really care so much about images they should step up their game to a Nikon digital camera.

“Many people who get started taking images on smartphones want to upgrade to a more advanced camera,” Larry Platt, an executive creative director at McCann Erickson New York, told The New York Times. “It’s really about the proper product to make sure you’re getting across your message.”

A second online spot outlines another campaign component: Nikon is giving out a Nikon D750 D.S.L.R camera to select recipients and hosting their images on the campaign site in an attempt to show viewers how a Nikon can help them take their images to the next level. Nikon and McCann New York certainly have their work cut out for them. A recent CNBC article characterized the digital camera market as in “free fall.” But Nikon is convinced the campaign, with a budget estimated at $5-7 million can help, with Lisa Baxt, associate general manager for communications of the Nikon Inc. division of the Nikon Corporation in Melville, N.Y. citing a “a shift from convenience to quality, in that a more authentic story is told with a better photo,” in The New York Times. Read more

W+K Sings ‘Dadsong’ for Old Spice

W+K has a new spot for Old Spice’s “#SmellcometoManhood” campaign entitled “Dadsong,” a follow-up to to the goofy musical “Momsong,” in which mothers lament Old Spice turning their sons into men while engaging in some pretty creepy behavior.

The follow-up, with music and lyrics written by Bret McKenzie (Flight of the Conchords, The Muppets), reprises the sad moms of that spot, but with an answer from the dads. It opens on one of the moms from “Momsong” singing, “Where’s my little boy, I miss him so? Who’s this man living in our home?” while clutching her sons teddy bear as he slow dances with a girl. Soon a chorus of fathers replies that they’re “overjoyed” that they’ll be using their son’s room “for storage pretty soon.” The song is a step up from its predecessor — not a surprise given McKenzie’s involvement — and strikes more of a balance between goofiness and creepiness (which mostly comes across through visual gags). And while it deals in over-the-top portrayals of stereotypical motherly clinginess and fatherly aloofness, it’s also pretty clear that it isn’t dealing in anything resembling reality. Fans of McKenzie’s distinct style of musical comedy, and anyone who enjoyed the original “#SmellcometoManhood” installment, should get a kick out of “Dadsong.” Read more

Monday Morning Stir

-London independent agency isobel launched this holiday spot for WestQuay (video above).

-Sony has pulled a controversial ad from its European PlayStation YouTube channel.

-GoDaddy’s lone Super Bowl commercial this year will feature Danica Patrick and a puppy.

-Here are the best ads of 2014, according to Wieden+Kennedy London managing director Neil Christie.

-Heineken promotes Bulmers Cider as a winter drink in a new social campaign.

-LinkedIn is the top social media network among advertisers, according to an Association of National Advertisers survey.

-McCann Worldgroup is launching a European cinema campaign for Zurich featuring snowmen.

-Sid Lee USA is joining the Movember Foundation in Culver City.

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