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Posts Tagged ‘Joe Alexander’

The Martin Agency Revisits ‘Camels’ for Geico

According to Adweek, The Martin Agency’s “Hump Day” ad for Geico was the brand’s most viral ever, so it’s no surprise that the agency (who have been known to recycle its ideas for the brand) riffs on the spot’s popularity in its latest ad, entitled “Camels.”

The painfully self-referential spot is set in a zoo, where a group of camels are relentlessly barraged with shouts of “What day is it?” and “Hump day!” from visitors. One of the camels remarks glumly that it isn’t even Wednesday, followed by the voiceover announcing, “If you’re a camel, you put up with this all the time. It’s what you do. If you want to save fifteen percent or more on car insurance, it’s what you do.”

While the “Hump Day” character was ubiquitous enough to make the ad’s reference obvious, imagining that throes of people loved a previous campaign enough to harass camels over it comes across as more than a tad self-congatulatory. And like a lot of Geico schticks, the joke has long since worn itself out, making trotting it out once again here (new self-referential spin and all) feel tired. Read more

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The Martin Agency Asks Salt-N-Pepa to Spice Up Geico

The Martin Agency makes sacreligious use of Salt-N-Pepa’s iconic 90s hit “Push It” — as well as the group itself — in its latest spot for Geico.

The 30-second ad opens on a man trying to pull open a door that says “Push” on it. Soon Salt-N-Pepa show up behind him and break into “Push It” and the man walks in. Next we see the pair in an elevator (with Spinderella in the background), a Lamaze class, and at a football practice while performing the song. “If you’re salt and pepper, you tell people to push it. It’s what you do,” says a voiceover, in the campaign’s familiar formula. “If you want to save 15 percent or more on car insurance, you switch to Geico. It’s what you do.” The Martin Agency then manages to slip in a quick gag after the tagline.

The campaign, whose tagline feels like a response to Esurance’s “Insurance for the modern world” (with that company directly taking on Geico’s “15 percent or more “selling point in its advertising), seems like its running out of steam as its joke runs a bit thin, so bringing in an act nostalgic viewers will be pleased to see make sense. And Salt-N-Pepa’s presence certainly makes the ad more memorable, even if it can’t quite save the tired premise.  Read more

The Martin Agency Brings Fenway Home for Benjamin Moore

Even if you hate the Red Sox (as an Orioles fan,I naturally fall into this category), you have to admit that Boston has one hell of a ballpark. Perhaps the most iconic aspect of Fenway is the huge wall in left field known as the Green Monster, which Benjamin Moore imbues with its distinct hue. The Martin Agency is letting fans know that Benjamin Moore is now letting fans take the color home, as part of “The Fenway Collection” in a new campaign.

In a 30-second spot, The Martin Agency shows fans turn a living room wall, fire hydrant, satellite dish, garage door and a playground into their own version of the baseball landmark. Set to the tune of “Dirty Water” by The Standells, the spot lets the color speak for itself, eschewing any dialogue to show the paint used in a variety of inventive ways. As part of the campaign, Benjamin Moore will also be using the paint collection to renovate youth baseball fields. The Martin Agency helped document this in “Bring the Green Monster to Local Fields,” which we’ve included, along with credits, after the jump. Read more

The Martin Agency Brings Back Jordan for Hanes

Michael Jordan is back (this time, thankfully, sans Hitler mustache) for Hanes in a new spot by The Martin Agency.

The 30-second spot is Jordan’s first appearance in a Hanes television commercial since 2010, and also marks his 25th year as Hanes spokesperson. In the spot, entitled, “Golf Test,” Jordan mocks his partner’s truly awful golf game. “Golf Test” promotes Hanes’ X-Temp t-shirts and briefs, which “speeds evaporation to help keep you cool and dry,” preventing such conditions as swamp ass, marsh balls, raw taint and pit stains. The spot handles the “bad golf” approach well enough, although by now it’s become a routine schtick in ads and feels a bit tired. Still, all anyone will talk about is the return of Jordan, and it’s good to see him back.

The campaign also features a digital video series created by agency 360i that features Vine-sensation Logan Paul traveling around the country attempting dares (supposedly) proposed by fans. We’ve included the teaser for that initiative, along with credits, after the jump. Read more

The Martin Agency Introduces ‘The Hopsons’ for Benjamin Moore

The Martin Agency would like you to “Meet the Hopsons,” a family who live in a giant bouncy house.

The Hopsons fell in love with their neighborhood but, since all the houses have vinyl siding, they assumed they couldn’t paint theirs. Since they love color, this was a problem. The Hopsons came up with an unusual solution and decided to live in a giant bouncy house. And so begin the whacky adventures of “Meet the Hopsons.” At over two minutes the premise, which might have made for a fun 30-second spot, feels stretched far too thin, and it’s not until the last 30 seconds or so that the idea is tied to Benjamin Moore’s Revive paint for vinyl siding. Still, “Meet the Hopsons” is not entirely without some degree of quirky charm. It’s just hard to believe anyone would stick around long enough to see Benjamin Moore’s product presented as the solution. Stick around for credits after the jump. Read more

The Martin Agency Goes Across the Pond

geico-camel

Richmond, Va.-based The Martin Agency has been cashing in with a certain talking camel for an insurance company lately. It seems they finally earned enough money to save up for a big move — to London.

UK’s Campaign reports that the 49-year-old agency has long had its sights set overseas:

Matt Williams, the chief executive of the US agency, said London has been “a goal for us for some time”.

Initial interviews to fill the ECD and MD roles are underway, and the agency hopes to have 10 to 15 people in the London office by the end of the summer.

In a statement, Martin CCO Joe Alexander described the city as “one of the world’s great creative markets,” noting the exceptional craftsmanship behind the ads produced there.

“It’s something we’ve always prided ourselves on, as well,” Alexander said. “But the proof will be in the size of our ideas and the quality of the execution. Those are the only things that matter.”

Monday Morning Stir

mikehughesportrait

We were off the grid yesterday, so apologies for missing the sad news that after his long battle with lung cancer, Mike Hughes, who essentially became the face and creative force of The Martin Agency over the course of his 35 years at the Richmond, VA operation, passed away yesterday morning. As has been widely reported, prior to his death, Hughes beat the world to the punch by penning his own obituary on his Unfinished Thinking blog, in which he’s been documenting his cancer battle over the last year. Hughes’s autobiographical obit is a touching, humble reflection on both his personal life and career, providing a view into his character and definitely worth reading.  Martin Agency chairman John Adams Jr. has posted his own thoughts on the agency’s homepage, which you can read here.

Hughes’s passing brings to mind a note we mentioned earlier this year from Martin CCO Joe Alexander to the late exec that perhaps provides further glimpse into the latter’s character. It reads:

“Last year, I approached the St. Paul School Board about a scholarship in my dad’s name. He was a lifelong educator in St. Paul and really felt teaching was his “calling.” They loved the idea and I’m happy to say we have a first winner. It’s an annual award that will be given to a minority male graduating senior who has committed to majoring in education in college. Just thrilled about this. Wanted to share with you because I know how much you love this kind of stuff – and yeah – I love impressing you, too. That never gets old. Love you, Joe”

 

We’ll leave Hughes with the solo Stir spot this morning. Look for the rest of the day’s tidbits in our afternoon Odds/Ends roundup.

(portrait above from Mike Hughes Hall at VCU Brandcenter – via).

 

 

 

 

 

Martin, Benjamin Moore Scare the Crap Out of Contractors

Some good Halloween fun for you today…

Martin Agency client Benjamin Moore, and Tool director Jason Zada wanted to show that their Ultra Spec 500 paint goes on quick to get the project finished when you need it most — like when you’re scared shitless.

So they gave a group of painters a nightmare assignment: painting a wall in a “haunted” hotel. Upon arrival, the painters are told that “Years ago people with mental diseases were kept here for a period of time.” Once they start working, Benjamin Moore starts making all kinds of spooky things happen: strange noises, a rocking chair moving on its own, a chandelier rocking back and forth. “I don’t fool with no ghosts,” says one perturbed contractor.

The prank reaches its climax when the lights go out and a woman dressed as a ghost emerges, screaming. Predictably, the contractors freak out before the elaborate hoax is revealed. Their reactions are pretty priceless, and you’ve got to appreciate a prank like this in October. That the painting job was never finished does take away from the spot’s supposed intention, although most people probably won’t notice. There’s more horror-styled fun at Benjamin Moore’s “Scary Good Job” website, where contractors (or just people who need a lot of paint?) can enter to win a 500-gallon supply of Ultra Spec 500.

You can check out the “Testimonials” video after the jump, in which painters share their own horror stories of “nightmare” jobs. Credits follow. Read more

Geico Adds More ‘Work’ to Their Weird Digital Art Museum

The Geico Museum of Modern Insurance may not be the Louvre, but you can find the Mona Lisa in both places. In August, the Martin Agency teamed with Geico to launch a digital art museum, which is really another way of saying 15- and 30-second ads that run before videos on Hulu, Netflix, etc. Six weeks later, the museum’s collection has been updated with new videos that continue to embrace the quirky side of art. In most of the clips, people and animals in paintings talk to each other about insurance. The original press release even comes with a cutesy G-MOMI abbreviation, which sounds more like a bad rapper name than a neighbor to the Modern Museum of Art. However, MOMA does not have Napoleon Bonaparte singing a duet of “She’ll Be Coming ‘Round the Mountain.” G-MOMI does.

Other clips, a few of which you can watch after the jump, include George Washington talking to a cat and Mona Lisa talking to a baby. They’re short, strange, and potentially funny if you like the absurd. Credits below.

Read more

Martin Agency, Benjamin Moore Make Over Main Streets…with Help from Brad Pitt

“Main Street Matters,” The Martin Agency’s first campaign for Benjamin Moore since winning creative/media duties for the paint brand back in February, celebrates local businesses in the US and Canada. From today until June 30, users can visit paintwhatmatters.com and vote for a town to receive a Benjamin Moore makeover. Painting and renovations will then take place in 20 cities from July until May 2014.

Brad Pitt lends his simpering voiceover (can’t help but think of his Chanel ad) and star power to Benjamin Moore’s video spot, with lines like, “Drug stores that still make milkshakes with real ice cream…matter.” The video–a slideshow of old-timey American storefronts–isn’t exactly scintillating, but of course the idea of supporting local communities hits a soft spot in my small-town girl heart. Using digital outreach to revitalize mom and pop places is a smart, noble idea. I just wish the campaign’s design sense didn’t also need a makeover.

Credits after the jump.

Read more

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