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Posts Tagged ‘Gerry Graf’

Well, We Figured as Much: Vitrone, Reichenthal Reunite with Gerry Graf


As sources hinted yesterday, we were on to something when we started hearing that longtime creative partners Scott Vitrone and Ian Reichenthal were leaving Wieden + Kennedy New York, which the agency eventually confirmed. Our guess was that the duo, which has been working together for nearly 15 years, was joining Gerry Graf‘s NYC-based Barton F. Graf 9000, a notion that was only heightened when we got this tip around the same time: “Eric Kallman was let go today from BFG9000. It was totally unexpected.” There’s no confirmation on the nature of his departure but yes, that Eric Kallman, the award-winning copywriter behind “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like” for Old Spice who left W+K in early 2011 to rejoin old TBWA colleague Graf, but who’s now been left as a mere footnote in the BFG 9000 news about Vitrone/Reichenthal. When we called BFG 9000 yesterday, we were told simply that Kallman was “not available.” Ah well, why steal the thunder, read on here.

Wednesday Odds and Ends

-After spending less than a year as CCO at Santa Monica-based Pitch, Eric Springer–aka, the creative force behind VW’s “The Force” spot–will be joining Draftfcb Orange County as EVP/CCO, effective Jan 2. Once he joins, Springer (above) will also be tasked with building a new “creative beachhead” for DFCB Los Angeles. We still prefer his party picture from the last time.

-DDB Canada (specifically the Vancouver office) has extended its AOR relationship with the Canadian Tourist Commission for another five years. The agency was picked following a “rigorous RFP process” that narrowed down the field from 35 to five Canadian agencies. No word on who they were, though. DDB Canada and CTC’s working relationship dates back to 2002.

-Gerry Graf, Tor Myhren, KBS+ Ventures’ Darren Herman and Percolate CEO/Barbarian Group alum Noah Brier are “Brand Geniuses” according to Gotham‘s “100 Most Powerful New Yorkers” list. link

-If you’ve ever dreamed of going into glassblowing but were too scared to actually try it, check out this app from the Martin Agency and unit9 that promotes the Virgina Museum of Fine Arts and its exhibit with famous glassblower, Dale Chihuly, called “Breathe Art into Life.”

-L.A.-based agency, mOcean, which just wrapped up its third and final “Ladies of Movember” episode and raised nearly $17.5K for the cause, has also created an interactive site around the film, Lincoln. link

-Walton | Isaacson has moved its L.A. office to a 17,500 square-foot space in Culver City.

-Blast Radius has developed a winter cocktail app for Bacardi. link

-Instagram voluntarily nixed its Twitter photo integration. link

Yet Another BFG9000 ‘Press Release’ Announces Employment of Miami Ad School Grad

Last week, Miami Ad School graduate and art director-for-hire Felicia Carr caused an online firestorm when she sent out a phony press release claiming that Gerry Graf‘s NY creative shop, BFG900o, had hired her, making her their first MAS alum employee.

Now, whether or not you think Carr’s attention-grabbing ploy was wise or not, or whether you think she should’ve checked her facts to make sure that BFG (which continues to add to its client roster)) really hadn’t hired any MAS alums in the past (they had), you have to admit that Carr got the industry’s attention for better or worse. It also seems, judging by the following press release we just received from one “Welsworth Ellington,” Carr has inadvertently created her own fan club:


NEW YORK (May 14, 2012) – It was enough to make Gerry say “who the fuck?” But it had to happen. Barton F. Graf 9000 has hired Ari Bazinsky, Miami Ad School Grad, as their Global CCO.

At first glance it doesn’t make any sense. He only has two-and-a-half years experience. The agency doesn’t have a Global CCO position. And BFG 9000 has never actually “heard of him.” So why would they start shopping at the overpriced plain white t-shirt factory of portfolio schools? Because Ari Bazinsky is the shit.

They first became aware of Ari when his 40k banner ad for Toyotathon appeared on their computer screens. As soon as they saw the words “click here to learn more,” BFG 9000 knew they had something special on their hands.

But it’s not just his superior writing skills that attracted them. What really impressed the agency were his forward-thinking initiatives. In fact, Ari’s first order of business is to cancel BFG’s broadband Internet service and invest in a school of high-speed carrier pigeons. It’s a ballsy move for sure, but no great reward comes without risk. Just imagine if Ben Franklin had never flown his kite. Or Kim Kardashian never made a moderately entertaining – albeit anticlimactic – sex-tape with a C-list rapper. Barton F. Graf 9000 believes Ari’s unique vision and groundbreaking ideas will bring that same level of success to their agency.

BFG 9000 is proud to welcome Ari to the family and looks forward to making their own moderately entertaining – albeit anticlimactic – sex-tape with him on-board.

We got in touch with Ellington, who turned out (surprise) to be copywriter Ari Bazinsky (pictured) from Saatchi & Saatchi (Graf’s old stomping grounds, of course). He tells us, “My goal wasn’t really to get press, it was more to have fun with Felicia Carr (who hatched her own ballsy, if not ill-conceived, plan last week)… I can’t really say that I had much in the way of expectations when I wrote this ‘press release,’ but her article made me chuckle and I thought this would be funny.” Is Carr slowly turning into her own meme? If anything, her 15 minutes of fame have been longer than about 95 percent of everyone else we’ve written about on AgencySpy. So, uh, congrats, Felicia.

Ad School Grad Publishes Phony Press Release from ‘Dream Agency’

You probably know by now that former Saatchi & Saatchi CCO Gerry Graf‘s new NY start-up agency, BFG 9000, has been turning a lot of heads in over the past year. In fact, some new work for travel site landed the agency, named after Gerry Graf’s father and the mega gun from Doom, in the #1 spot on Ad Age’s list “Agencies to Watch in 2012.”

However, you may not know that, according to a press release that started making rounds online on Monday, BFG 9000 has never hired a graduate from Miami Ad School. Yes, the press release states, there are employees at the agency from the VCU Brandcenter, but none from perhaps that world’s most famous school of corporate creativity and stuff (or whatever they do there). Well, one enterprising young Miami Ad School grad, Felicia Carr, decided to buck the trend, sending out a pretty authentic-looking press release to the ad community announcing that, egad, BFG 9000 had hired its first Miami Ad School graduate. Even Creativity was fooled by the press release. After all, BFG 9000 had sent out messages to the press announcing ridiculous things in the past. The addition of a junior art director sounded like something the agency would alert marketing journalists about.

Of course, BFG 9000 had no idea who Carr was prior to the press release. Though Carr has declared BFG 9000 her “dream agency” to work at, she still has yet to hear from Graff and his crew, despite Carr telling Creativity she sent, “35 cupcakes for the entire staff at BFG, 40 finger puppets and an apology letter explaining what I did and asking for an interview.” While most ad school students try to get hired by displaying technological prowess, Carr used an old communication medium to create some buzz. In doing so, she made BFG 9000 look like a desirable place to work while simultaneously making Graff and his crew look stuck up if they choose not to grant her an interview.

So, agencies, would you rather have an art director who can make your Facebook Timeline look pretty, or someone with balls? If you favor the latter, find Carr’s portfolio here.

Update: We asked Carr, who just completed an internship at Razorfish NY, a few questions about her stunt. Read on after the jump.

Update 2: BFG 9000 ECD Eric Kallman would like you to know that, contrary to the press release in question and Carr’s interview in Creativity, his agency does hire Miami Ad School alumni. In fact, he says, “Myself, the ECD, attended Miami Ad School as well as one of our creative directors and copywriters. Also, another one of our creative directors is an instructor at Miami Ad School. Roughly a quarter of our creative department has attended or is affiliated with Miami Ad School.”

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We Hear: Suarez, Gonzalez Leave Chiat NY for BFG9000?

Like Chris Bradley‘s status at R/GA, things are murky at this point but sources are telling us that TBWA\Chiat\Day NY senior creative team David Suarez (art director) and Danny Gonzalez (copywriter) have left for gigs at Gerry Graf‘s fellow New York-based operation, BFG9000. We’ve been told the pair had only been at Chiat for 11 months, give or take. Prior to that, Suarez and Gonzalez held their respective AD and CW posts at JWT New York on campaigns for Huggies (remember this from a year ago?) among others. As always, we’ll let you know when we know, but from what we hear, the pair starts at BFG this week.

Update: Gerry Graf has confirmed to us that Gonzalez and Suarez are joining BFG9000 next week.

Anderson, Silverglate Join CHI NY as ECDs

The creative team of Jeff Anderson and Isaac Silverglate (art director and copywriter, respectively) have left the Bay Area and returned to New York to take on the role of ECDs at CHI & Partners. For the last 18 months, the pair has been working at Goodby on Cheetos and Chevrolet. Of course, there was their notable stint at Droga5, where they created the “Great Schlep” campaign, which racked up Gold and Titanium Lions at Cannes.

Anderson and Silverglate, the former Young Guns who began their partnership at TBWA\Chiat\Day and worked on Masterfoods (remember the “Man Mom” work for Combos?), explain their move to CHI in a statement, saying, “We’re very excited about this opportunity, and are eager to see what this new NY team is capable of. We owe a lot to whatever we absorbed from our creative mentors, like Gerry Graf and David Droga. And CHI is the perfect fit for us. We clicked right away with Johnny Hornby, Victoria Davies and the rest of CHI leadership. Their philosophy, based on teamwork within the agency and with clients, fits perfectly with how we see a successful creative dept. Plus, they’re British and we find their accents calming.”

We agree that British accents indeed are calming.

Saatchi Alum Kelleher Joins Grey NY

With Todd Tilford now serving as CCO at Drafctfcb Chicago, Grey New York has a found a new ECD to work on DirecTV by the name of Dan Kelleher. Kelleher, who will also work on Diageo at Grey, most recently served as an SVP, creative director at Saatchi & Saatchi NY and was involved with the Miller (MGD, High Life) and General Mills (Fruit Roll Ups) accounts during his time there but left the agency not long after Gerry Graf did.

Prior to Saatchi, Kelleher spent six years as a CD at BBDO and served as an ACD for seven at now-defunct Cliff Freeman & Partners.

BFG9000 Turns Attention to Kayak

Now that he’s launched a crusade to encourage moms to moderate their computer time, Gerry Graf is once again donning multiple hats on behalf of his New York-based shop, Barton F. Graf9000, LLC. This time, the advertising vet is serving as CD/AD/CW for one of BFG’s first clients, Kayak, in a series of spots that features various folks who are a bit behind when it comes to travel searching and are in desperate need of Kayak’s apparently super-fast, one-stop search services. Graf’s real message in the spot “Bright Man” above, though, is that only “morons” will make it to the top. Well, good to know.  Check out two more ads and credits after the jump.

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Gerry Graf Encourages Moms to ‘Log Off’

While the Barton F. Graf 9000Work page still consists mostly of his past advertising glories, Gerry Graf is slowly getting down to developing some new projects including this effort called “The Log Off.” Graf served as creative director, copywriter and art director on this “viral” video, which features a cutesy tune and lip-synching children who just want some time with mommy, though she’s too busy social networking away on Facebook.

The clip leads to the website, which is a basic homepage hosted by web portal MomFilter that includes the copy below:

In a statement, Graf says, “I had this idea about promoting online moderation and shared it with [the viral’s director] Harold Einstein and this piece was born. When we were thinking, ‘Who is this for?’ the idea of using the mother as a central character resonated, and we tapped into our partner through friends of Harold’s as the ideal way to reach that audience.”

Maybe now that Graf’s hired an old TBWA\Chiat\Day NY colleague, he hopefully won’t have to shoulder so much of the creative responsibility on the next project. Credits after the jump…

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W+K Bumps Allen Up to Old Spice CD

With Old Spice copywriter Eric Kallman leaving shortly to join up with Gerry Graf, Wieden+Kennedy is making some changes to its popular account, specifically moving creative director Eric Baldwin to global CD on Levi’s, where he will partner with Tyler Whisnand.

As a result of the Baldwin bump, Craig Allen (Kallman’s former partner-in-crime) is moving up to CD on Old Spice as well as Electronic Arts. The move seems to enthuse W+K Portland ECD Mark Fitzloff, who says in a statement, “We can’t wait to see what Eric brings to Levi’s. He is an impeccable designer and an inspirational leader. And who better to take his place on Old Spice, than the co-creator of ‘The Man Your Man Could Smell Like’?”