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Posts Tagged ‘Jeff Benjamin’

JWT Nabs Puma Biz

puma

“Forever Faster.” Remember that mantra as it’s the 2014 tagline for Puma, which has now appointed JWT as its global creative agency in a move that will span North America, Europe, Latin America, Asia-Pacific and Middle East/African regions. In a statement, the sports/shoe/apparel brand’s CEO Björn Gulden says, “In JWT, we have found an agile agency with a global reach that understands the PUMA brand and culture. The team quickly proved that they could deliver on our new mission to become the Fastest Sports Brand in the World. Together we’ll craft a more nimble creative structure that will allow us to support all of the company’s sporting and lifestyle categories with a single consumer message and streamlined creative concept across territories.”

JWT New York will spearhead creative on the account, which was previously handled by Droga5. According to sources, BBH and Barton F. Graf 9000 were also in the pitch, which we hear JWT wasn’t initially invited to but eventually became a “dark horse.” Yet, “chemistry” worked out and due to touting a “small agency-style creative” at a network agency, which the brand didn’t expect, JWT won out thanks to a pitch led by the agency’s NY CEO Peter Sherman, North American CCO Jeff Benjamin and director of business development Emilie Vasu.

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Draftfcb, R/GA Among 2013 Facebook Studio Award Winners

Today, the social network has unveiled the winners of its second annual Facebook Studio Awards, which honors the ad industry and its various socially inclined campaigns from the last year. Among those making the grade this year, as chosen by a jury that included familiar names from the biz such as Colleen DeCourcy, Nick Law, Jeff Benjamin, Tor Myhren and Rob Reilly, are Draftfcb and 360i, which earned the top Blue Award for their “Daily Twist” work for Oreo. Other winners include R/GA, which made the list twice, once for Nike work and the other for the intriguing “One Copy Song”Facebook app the agency developed for Swedish rapper, Adam Tensta, a year ago (it’s also up for a Webby this year).

Kutscher Out at JWT NY

JWT New York has confirmed that as of today, it’s decided to part ways with co-chief creative officer Ryan Kutscher, who has been with the agency for less than a year. JWT NY would not comment beyond the confirmation, but as a result of its move, the creative leadership at the office now rests in the hands of Kutscher’s now-former partner-in-crime Matt MacDonald and JWT North America CCO, Jeff Benjamin.

Kutscher joined JWT NY as MacDonald’s co-CCO after spending five years at CP+B, where he last served as creative director and worked on VW  as well as the award-winning “Whopper Freakout.” He and MacDonald replaced Peter Nicholson as JWT NY’s top creatives last May.

Our SXSWi Begins with Revelry in JWT’s Turf

Yeah, the time change didn’t work in our favor,  but yes kids, we are here and broadcasting as well as we can. After flight delays and getting our badge just in the nick of time last night before the Austin Convention Center shut down, we hit up the JWT party at Lustre Pearl. Following a brief encounter down the street with a very cordial Alex Jones, who was doing his usual ranting and raving fresh off a protest downtown, we ventured down Driskill and encountered the homely spot, Lustre Pearl, where JWT played host to the band, Walk Off the Earth (below). Gotye cover aside, we were not so enthused with the multi-instrumental act, which sounded like a jam-band version of Arcade Fire, if that’s possible.

Nevertheless, talking shit with industry heads and all the JWT top brass including Jeff BenjaminMauro Cavelletti and Perry Fair, the last of whom is promoting the agency’s pop-up shop, Walter, was fine enough. Besides, don’t tell me you wouldn’t dance like an idiot in a sea of fog to Tiffany’s “I Think We’re Alone Now” if you didn’t just retain a major client. We will be hitting up Draftfcb, Crowdtap and Barbarian events tonight and will promptly be in bed my midnight. But we’ll talk to you beforehand with some panel thoughts.

 

Macy’s Calls on Usual Cast of Celebs to Hawk Fall Wares

Ah yes, fall is almost upon us and Macy’s is getting into the swing of things this season by assembling its usual odds-and-sods group of celebs whose various product lines are being sold in the retail chain. Fresh off of giving us the “Yes Virginia, the Musical” project, JWT New York returns with several spots ranging from :15 to :60 as part of a fall campaign for Macy’s including the one above starring hip-hop impresario/Ciroc slinger Diddy.

Our nightmare has been realized as it’s revealed that the mogul has indeed cloned himself a million times over. Fear not, though, kiddies, the Biebs and his terrible haircut make an appearance, as does Donald “The Grump” Trump, Taylor Swift and, of course, Martha Stewart (see “The Dream” below). We’re still not sure if this new campaign will ease the pain of squeezing into and walking around Macy’s flagship store here in New York.  Credits after the jump.

 

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JWT NY Appoints New ECD

Ahh, so this is the “good news” we’ve been hearing about. Nearly three months after joining JWT’s New York hub as co-CCO’s, Ryan Kutscher and Matt MacDonald have made their first notable hire in Ben James, who spent three years at CAA, previously worked with Kutscher and JWT North America CCO Jeff Benjamin at CP+B, and actually went to college with MacDonald. From what we’ve been told, he’s been freelancing for the WPP agency for the last few months.

In a statement regarding James, who has also worked at the likes of Goodby and Y&R Chicago, MacDonald says, “There are great creatives. And then there are great people. Very rarely do those two things come in one package. Ben is one of the best talents in the industry, and I’ve been trying to work with him ever since we met in a portfolio class at the University of Texas. We’re thrilled that he’s coming aboard to invent the future of JWT.”

After the jump, you can check out Kutscher and MacDonald’s memo to staff.  Read more

Your Final Cannes Lions 2012 Report

With the 2012 Cannes Lions is in the books, we’d like to thank our roving reporter Yunilda Esquivel, EP at The Institute, for providing her take on the week-long event. Here are her final observations and thoughts from the French Riviera. Take it away.



Hello AgencySpy Readers!

After a hectic week of panel discussions, pool parties and endless warm Mediterranean nights on the Carlton’s infamous terrace, it all boils down to the much anticipated final gala in the Palais’ Grand Audi Auditorium. Highlights of the evening: MJZ won the Palm d’Or, again. Wieden + Kennedy was deemed the advertising agency of the year. BETC Paris won the Film Craft Grand Prix for ‘Bear’ for Canal+. And, the highly sought after Titanium Grand Prix went to R/GA New York for ‘Nike+ Fuelband’. Check out the full list of winners here.

And now, I leave you with a look back at some of the most memorable moments of the week:

Biggest Breakthrough:
Caviar entering the Palm D’or list, finally. Bravo!

Most Anticipated Success:
Chipotle Back to the Start, Branded Content and Entertainment Lions Grand Prix.  One of the sweetheart campaigns of the year for its beautiful execution and heartfelt message to support farming families in the United States. Check out the case study here.

And, if you haven’t yet, download Willie Nelson’s frank, raspy version of “The Scientist” here. All proceeds go to Chipotle’s Cultivate Foundation that, as their site explains, is committed to creating a more sustainable and healthful food supply and to raising awareness concerning food issues.

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JWT Appoints Co-CCOs in NY

Well, JWT North America CCO Jeff Benjamin is getting down to business in New York, as we now have two new co-chief creative officers in the agency’s flagship office, namely fellow CP+B alum Ryan Kutscher and JWT ECD Matt MacDonald. The pair replaces Peter Nich0lson, our former Cubes host who was shown the door once Benjamin and Mike Geiger joined the JWT fold and took the reins in January.

Kutscher has actually been freelancing for various clients at JWT NY for the last several months while MacDonald has been an eight-year vet at the agency, spending the last two as ECD. The former spent five years at Crispin, working on Burger King’s award-winning “Whopper Freakout” and other clients including Method and VW. MacDonald, meanwhile, started as a copywriter as JWT before moving up the ladder to CD then ECD . During his time at the agency, he’s been involved with various Macy’s efforts including “Yes, Virginia” (which he co-wrote) well as past and present campaigns for clients such as JetBlue, Pfizer, De Beers and L.L. Bean.

Just because we’re tired of them, instead of providing the usual promo shot, we thankfully have this amusing video from the agency (above) that pays homage to one of our favorite TV shows growing up. Now, we’ll let you figure out who’s Balki and who’s cousin Larry.

In addition to welcoming the new creative leadership, JWT New York also promoted Sergio Lopez to head of production for the agency. Lopez, a Cramer-Krasselt and Leo Burnett alum, has been with JWT since 2009 and most recently served as director brand production on campaigns including this Justin Bieber spot for Macy’s.

 

Here is Your 2012 Grand Effie Jury

After hitting up an interesting ANDY Awards last night, which appeared that the organizers of the NYC event wanted to recreate where George Romero shot Day of the Dead,  perhaps our optimism has spiked this awards season. Yep, all we found out is that we’re still loved and hated, so, without further ado, we bring you the list for this year’s Grand Effie jury. Does any name sound familiar, frienemies?

Jeff Benjamin, CCO, JWT
Brad Brinegar, president/CEO, McKinney
Luis DiComo, EVP, global media, Unilever
Tim Ellis, EVP/CMO, Activision
Stuart Hazlewood, chief strategy officer, DDB NY
Jonathan Hoffman, chief experience officer, Starcom MediaVest Group
Nick Moore, CCO, Wunderman
Debra A. Sandler, president, Mars Chocolate North America
Iain Tait, global interactive ECD, Wieden + Kennedy
Jennifer Zimmerman, chief strategic officer, McGarryBowen

 

 

We Finally Made it to SXSWi, Just Saw a Jimmy Fallon-Moderated Panel

Yes, folks, the eagle has finally landed, and later than expected. Following flight delays due to weather issues in Austin, we made it last night to the annual craziness that is SXSW. Due to said delays, we missed out on most of the panel sessions, but did manage to catch JWT’s “Messin’ with Texas” party at the Kung Fu Saloon on Rio Grande last night, and ran into folks you’d expect including the new North American CCO Jeff Benjamin and chief integration officer Mike Geiger. Here are a couple of images including one of the band Howler, which brought some brash punkiness to the party in the patio space outside.

After a pretty decent night’s rest (hey, we’d been up since 6am), our morning today was toplined by a panel discussion moderated by Jimmy Fallon, who joined forces with execs and athletes including Nike VP, digital sport Stefan Olander, VEVO GM Fred Santarpia, EVP and head of EA Sports Andrew Wilson, as well as track & field gold medalist Allyson Felix. The main topic of discussion was the new Nike+ FuelBand and how data and statistics play an important role in our sports and gaming activities. The highlight, though, occurred during the Q+A period, where an attendee challenged the late-night host to a foot race down the aisle to the exit and he readily obliged (and lost). Sorry for the grainy image (Fallon is on your far left), but the place was just about as packed as the Seth Macfarlane Film panel across the street at the Austin Convention Center. We’ll have more for you as the day progresses.

 

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