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Posts Tagged ‘Joe Alexander’

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).

 

 

 

 

 

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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.

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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.

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Geico Reveals Hump Day Humor… on Hump Day

While you’re battling Wednesday workdays at the office, Geico has a new addition to their “Happier Than” campaign that gives a literal visual representation to Hump Day. Yes, a camel, with humps. The camel’s coworkers don’t look thrilled with their humped friend running through channels of cubicles and interrupting their productivity. Wednesdays should be a time of cautious optimism – by the end of the day, a majority of the week will be finished – but these guys look like they just got demoted.

The Hump Day spot – created by the insurance brand’s longtime ally The Martin Agency – won’t be going up on the Mount Rushmore of  ”Happier Than” ads. That space is reserved for Dikembe Mutombo‘s supermarket exploits and Eddie Money’s entrepreneurial skills, commercials that dealt with clever concepts that riffed on pop culture. “Hump Day” is more of a cheesy pun dragging itself over 30 seconds of airtime. Re-strum the banjo, there’s always next time. A ridiculously long credit list awaits after the jump.

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According to Geico, Technologically-Savvy Pigs Will Steal Your Girlfriend

We feel for Ted. The guy has hail damage to his car, he’s doing the right thing by calling his insurance agent, and then he loses his attractive girlfriend to a pig. You might be saying, “well, it’s not just any pig. It’s Maxwell.” And the rest of the America would be saying, “the pig from from those Geico ads has a name?” To which I say, yes. But, you see, that’s how Geico swoops in with their anthropomorphic pig and ruins Ted’s life even though nobody remembers Ted by the end of the commercial.

These new Maxwell commercials from the Martin Agency are actually a step in the right direction for Geico. The company used up all of their gecko jokes about ten years ago, and since everybody who wants to save 15 percent or more on their car insurance is already doing so, focusing the recent spots on different advantages, like online claims, is subtly smart. Although, I’m not sure a pig’s hoof would be able to work the tablet touch screen.

As for Ted, well now he’s the guy who lost a girlfriend to a pig. Life is pretty much over after that. Why would a girlfriend break up with her boyfriend just because he was put on hold with an insurance company? Couldn’t she go inside and watch The View instead of waiting impatiently outside? Does she have a tablet fetish? Does she eat bacon? These are questions I want answered in upcoming Geico spots.

Credits after the jump.

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Pillsbury Doughboy Giggles for Geico

What?!? Is that the Pillsbury Doughboy being used in a non-Pillsbury advertisement? Is that even legal? This is a big deal! Wait, is it a big deal? I mean, it’s not like they’re competitors of Geico’s. You can’t insure your car with baking products and you can’t bake with car insurance. Wait, can you? No…no, you can’t. Yet.

What we have here is an ad-crossover of sorts, which, if you think about it, wouldn’t be that surprising if brands weren’t so super protective of their copyrighted material. You’d think that someone would learn a lesson from Who Framed Roger Rabbit? about that joys of allowing your brands to interact with others. So it’s refreshing to see Pillsbury play ball with Geico and The Martin Agency for a joke about the giggly little Pillsbury Doughboy getting the pat-down from the TSA on his way to a baking convention. Man, that little guy really loves being touched, huh? Credits after the jump.

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W+K Alum Martinez Lands CD Gig at Martin Agency

W+K vet Jordi Martinez has headed to Richmond, VA to assume a creative director position at the Martin Agency. Martinez, who just started in his new role this week, will be “ applying his knowledge of the digital space” to various accounts and helping out with new business efforts at Martin, which of course currently boasts a client roster that includes Geico, Pizza Hut, Mentos, the JFK Presidential Library, etc..

During his five-plus years at W+K, Martinez worked out of both the agency’s Portland HQ and the Amsterdam office. While he was at the latter serving as creative technology director, Martinez spearheaded W+K’s Dam Armada unit, which was launched in 2011 and focused on digital solutions, programming and product development. Along with Dam Armada, Martinez worked on the Honda Insight “Let it Shine” Vimeo takeover from 2009 as well as the digital component of Nike’s multi-award-winning “Write the Future” campaign. Martinez’s new boss at Martin, CCO Joe Alexander, says of his new hire, “Jordi’s the complete package—a great talent and an even better dude. He immediately gives us deeper depth across multiple disciplines, especially creative tech.”

To the Wannabe and/or Budding QBs Out There, Pizza Hut, Martin Agency Salute You

Now that pro football fans are stuck in the two-week limbo between the NFL championship games and the Super Bowl (no one gives a shit about the Pro Bowl), let’s try to fill the void with something we overlooked last week that is, well, football-related. Here’s a new effort from Martin Agency for Pizza Hut called “Hut Hut Hut,” which as you can imagine, plays off the latter’s name while highlighting the standard call made by quarterbacks to get the ball rolling, so to speak.

Instead of hiring actual NFL stars, though, this somewhat inviting clip, which is part of Martin’s Super Bowl push for the the Hut, salutes the fans, whether they be high-school football players, average joes, parents and/or their kids. The web effort from Martin also happened to serve as a call for viewers to submit their own “hut hut” clips to Pizza Hut’s Facebook page in the hopes of cutting a user-generated version to air in time for the Super Bowl pre-game run-up. Unfortunately, deadline expired on Jan. 20, but we’ll see what agency and client came up with on Feb. 3. Credits after the jump.

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Walmart Appeals to Crazy People for ‘Call of Duty’ Midnight Release

With the Harry Potter series of novels completed, the only products that can get weirdos to hang out in a store until midnight are video games. And, with the release of Call of Duty: Black Ops II coming next week, “America’s Chain,” Walmart, is trying to convince weirdos to specifically hang out in their store with this new spot from The Martin Agency.

Believe it or not, this spot was directed by Ruben Fleischer, better known to most as the director of Zombieland. For those that are unaware, a large portion of the Black Ops series is dedicated to killing and/or running from zombies. So, this selection actually makes a good amount of sense.

Perhaps even more shocking, Walmart enlisted the help of Academy Award-winning composer of The Social Network, Trent Reznor, to create the music playing in the background as our protagonist runs to safety. It’s strange to consider that Reznor, better known to most of you as that angry guy from Nine Inch Nails, is now having his “Theme from Call of Duty: Black Ops IIarrangement used to convince nerds to go to Walmart. But hey, Trent Reznor’s gotta eat just like everyone else. You don’t want Trent Reznor to starve to death, do you? Also, we can probably safely assume that Trent had no idea his music for the game would end up in a Walmart ad. Credits after the jump.

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