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Posts Tagged ‘Roger Baldacci’

Baldacci, Arnold Part Ways

We’re received confirmation that Arnold EVP/executive creative director (and one-time AgencySpy contributor) Roger Baldacci is no longer with the agency. Baldacci, who was based in Arnold’s Boston hub, had been with the agency for 12 years, originally joining up from Fallon as a copywriter/creative director before moving up the ladder. During his lengthy stay at Arnold, Baldacci worked on several truth campaigns as well as efforts for New Balance and the One Show.

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…And Here’s Your One Show Call for Entries Theme, Jury List

While we’re on the awards tip, might as well get this out of the way. Apparently, the One Club is feeling quite whimsical at the moment, which explains the theme of their 2012 One Show Call for Entries campaign. Yes, as you see above, everything’s “ONEderful” in the world of the One Show, which will take place the week of May 7, 2012 in NYC. It looks like the halcion kicked in judging by the ONEderful campaign poster above, which was created by D.C.-based Design Army. The deadline for all One Club award shows, as you can see, is January 31 (anyone want to bet we’ll see a deadline extension soon?). You can enter here.

As for your jury list, familiar names like Eric Silver, Steve Simpson, Jeff Benjamin and Will McGinness are all included. Peep it in full after the jump.

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McRib is Back, Alright!

Disclaimer: We were given the above spot from Arnold Worldwide on April 1, though were kindly asked to take it down as it was sent to us “in error” (which explains some of the older comments). As it turns out, the McRib was not quite back, as some had falsely speculated, at the time. However, now that the word is out that the McRib has, in fact, been officially resurrected as of today, we offer the TV commercial (which aired last November and was only released to media for “archiving purposes” on sites like our sibilng, AdsoftheWorld, months later) for your viewing pleasure. Party on.

The. McRib. Is. Back. Just when you thought it was gone forever, it returns, just like it does every spring (or fall or summer, depending on Mac Doh’s whims) and will continue to until the world ends or until McDonald’s merges with Subway to take over the world. And, you know what? People are going to talk about the McRib around your office. “Did you hear?” someone will ask, eyes wide with eager anticipation, McDonald’s grease-smelling sweat dripping onto your desk. “The McRib. It’s back dude. Just like the Backstreet Boys.” Indeed, it’s back.

But, before you throw over your work desk and “run” your out-of-shape self over to the nearest McRib feeding facility, we should mention that the McRib’s limited run is set to expire on Nov. 14. That gives you three whole weeks to gorge yourself on this 500-calorie combination of boneless patty, pickle slices, onions and BBQ sauce (aka McSlop), so if you want to make it all 21 days, proceed with caution. Last year’s McRib spot by Arnold Worldwide marked the end of a 16-year “hiatus” of the agency doing McRib work for the esteemed fast-food chain. It remains to be seen if the agency will get to launch America’s favorite sandwich again this time around. Credits after the jump.

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Guest Review: Roger Baldacci Bids Adieu

Well, it’s been a glorious run, but alas, all good things must come to an end. Here is your last campaign critique from Arnold’s Roger Baldacci, who decided that a Gillette viral was the fitting way to bow out. Take your bow, sir.

It’s only fitting that my final review for AgencySpy is for a viral stunt video. A bunch of guys with far too much free time use 3,000 liters of paint to spray Roger Federer’s face on a field before they spray 1,000 liters of foam on him and “shave” him with lawnmowers. Sometimes I feel like I’ve fallen asleep in the dim backroom of a focus group facility and woken up with candy stuck to my cheek in a strange new advertising world. Like the guy in 28 Days Later who was horrified to find London inhabited by speedy flesh starved zombies. But in my nightmare/reality, these waves and waves of zombies don’t want to eat you, they’re just desperate for you to “like” them on Facebook and/or give them YouTube hits. Ok, frankly, I’m losing myself here in this analogy.

The point is, this Gillette stunt has no point. I’ve said this before, but imagine if the brilliant, creative, problem-solving minds in this business actually set out to solve real life problems instead of finding ways to create “viral” videos? What happened to a real idea? Leveraging true consumer insight? Or just something simple and charming? Last I checked, the VW “Darth Vader” spot got 40 million hits on YouTube. Sure, running on the Super Bowl no doubt helped goose those numbers, but still. At any rate, that is moot. The order of the day is to do things in a large, public way, show how you did it and be sure to capture enthralled spectators watching your epic, pointless stunt. So I leave you with a couple of suggestions (if they haven’t already been done)—I only ask that you give me a slash for the award show entries.

Jell-O: Create the world’s largest pool and fill it with strawberry flavored Jell-O then have one of those Acapulco, banana-hammock wearing cliff divers plunge into it from 125 feet.

Tide: Have a group of people sneak into the royal chapel of the Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist in Turin and have them use those little Tide sticks to clean the Shroud of Turin. This would be faked, but it would look real. There would be much speculation, blogging, news coverage and debate.

Well, that’s all I’ve got for now. It’s late and I’ve got an 8:10 flight to Miami tomorrow. All I can tell you is that me and 1,000 other people are about to take the flash mob to a whole new level. Look for me on YouTube soon. Thanks for reading.

Guest Review: ‘So Good It’s RiDQulous’

Arnold’s Roger Baldacci returns with his bi-weekly ad critiques, this time tackling Dairy Queen’s new ad campaign. Wait, isn’t that the same guy from the Edge shave gel work? Whatever the case, the floor is yours, Roger.

Old-fashioned shaving bunnies. Kittens in bubbles. Fencing with your future self. Magic turnaround pants. Towel ninjas. Guitar that sounds like dolphins. Flaming rainbows.

The new campaign for Dairy Queen touting their “RiDQulously” good milk shakes, Blizzards and birthday cakes is just, well, kind of RiDQulous. I can see it now:

Client: “We need a viral internet sensation. And tons of Facebook likes.”
Agency: “Have you seen the Old Spice work?”
Client: “No, why?”
Agency: “Nothing. Never mind.”

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Guest Review: DNA Foundation – ‘Real Men Don’t Buy Girls’

Our pal Roger Baldacci from Arnold Worldwide is back with his bi-weekly campaign critiques. This time, he offers his $.02 on Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher‘s attempt to rid the world of child slavery. Take it away, Roger.

This week, I thought I’d take a brief hiatus from my personal crusade against viral stunt videos and lighten things up.  Have a bit of a laugh.  Enjoy some blithe comedy while we explore the more hilarious aspects of child sex trafficking.

A lot of people are up in arms about this unconventional effort from Ashton Kutcher and his cougar wife Demi Moore to heighten awareness of forced prostitution. What offends me the most, frankly, is that these videos are not terribly funny. It’s hard enough to make people laugh in general. Comedy writing is actually very difficult. One need only judge the radio category at any major award show to truly grasp this tragic truism.  So making people laugh while talking about the child sex trade is even more difficult. Ashton and Demi went with using A-list celebrities and the soon-to-be patented “Old Spice type” humor. In fact, the Old Spice guy even starred in one of the videos. Thanks to the fine folks at Wieden, we will all be subjected to this brand of “off-beat” humor in the coming years to sell everything from CPG products (“Look at your Swiffer mop, now back at me!”) to more hard hitting/comedic public service campaigns for issues like female genital mutilation.

I get what they are trying to do. It’s the Outpost.com hamster cannon all over again. If people are talking about it, even hating on it, then they are talking about this very important issue. And guys are the target and are more likely to pass along something crude and funny versus a more powerful, sobering message. And it’s working, is it not? I am writing about it. But it just doesn’t feel right. It’s like watching the clip of Michael Richards committing career suicide in front of your eyes. Still, I joined their Facebook page, found my photo embedded in the spot and witnessed Jessica Biel say directly to the camera as if she had inside knowledge- “Roger is a real man.”  Talk about uncomfortable comedy.

Guest Review: NTT DoCoMo Cellular – ‘Wood is Good’

Arnold’s Roger Baldacci is back with his bi-weekly critiques of new spots. This time around, he offers his view on NTTDocoMo’s advert. Xylophones in band class never seemed as cool as this. Take it away, Roger.

As I watched this epic film shot in the forest to tout NTT DoCoMo’s new wood-encased SH-08C phone, I became concerned about the dwindling of one of our world’s most precious resources we all seem to take for granted. I am, of course, talking about “viral” stunt videos. Every day across the globe hundreds, if not thousands, of creatives are out there scouring YouTube, Vimeo and the work of obscure artists for inspiration for their next stunts.  All without considering the impact this will have on future generations of entitled young creatives. New research shows that by 2016 (if we make it past 2012), all of our nation’s viral films will be so depleted, experts predict that the “non-traditional” categories in international award shows will die off leading to an unpleasant resurgence of the pro-bono poster category.

Look, this was ingeniously engineered and the piece was beautifully shot, directed and edited. The case is made out of wood. The xylophone is made out of wood and it was shot in the woods. Got it. Apparently the song is Bach’s Cantala 147, but to me it sounded like “Freebird.”  This was way too long for my liking. In fact, I thought they were going to run out of wood by the end of it and we would see the ball hitting PVC keys. If the folks at Drill, Inc really want this to go viral, I have a few suggestions for them. Cut the song in half, add some Centaurs trotting about the forest–some playing wooden flutes while others capturing all the action on their wooden camera phones, then have the Honda Civic from the rumble strip spot ride over the xylophone.

Guest Review: Axe/Lynx – ‘Angels at Victoria Station’

Arnold’s Roger Baldacci is back with his bi-weekly ad reviews, this time for BBH’s new Axe/Lynx “Angels” spot as well as the ambient stunt that went along with it. Take it away, sir.


“Wow (12 second pause). I could play with these balls all day.” I didn’t think Axe could ever top the most epic piece of film since Apple 1984. And with their new Victoria Station ambient idea, they still haven’t. Nonetheless, I love this effort from BBH that drafts off their brilliantly shot and edited TV advert running now. Hot angels dropping from the sky, discarding their halos, renouncing their faith and the eternal, complete, unconditional, unified love of all souls in the universe, just for one more go in the flesh at a greasy looking guy who rides a scooter. All because he sprays himself with what is essentially Febreze. Hyperbole? Just a bit.

While I am not a huge fan of stuntvertising—the flash mob has left the barn and it is apparently the new norm. But this idea is different. Now fallen angels are dropping from the sky to be with real people—none of which rode scooters thankfully. Here, Axe is coaxing consumers into interacting with the brand and making them part of the campaign. If you look closely, many of these interactions seem to take the form of dry humping these hot angels. Please God, forgive me for writing “dry humping hot angels.” Anyway, we always talk about how important it is to engage consumers in any medium, but it’s even more powerful when the engagement is literal as it is here in Victoria Station. Look, Axe gets branding. They know people buy brands, not products. They are remarkably consistent in their message that if you use their products, even if you are a greasy under-achiever, you will get laid. Enjoy this latest effort and pray they continue to push the boundaries. (Late to a meeting, can’t come up with a more clever end line relating to fallen angels.)


Roger Baldacci is an EVP, ECD at Arnold Worldwide in Boston and currently leads the creative vision for Carnival Cruise Lines.  He believes that teachers should make more than actors, the Patriots need a better pass rush and the karma boomerang always returns to the thrower.


Guest Review: Skittles ‘Fly’

Yes ladies and gents, Arnold’s Roger Baldacci is becoming a regular here at the AgencySpy lab/lair/crypt and his latest entry concerns TBWA\Chiat\Day NY’s “Fly” ad for Skittles. Your move, Roger.

When you watch a Skittles commercial, you know you’re in for an acid trip. I’ve never done acid but I can only imagine it would feel like the sum of all Skittles’ spots blended together. Their new spot, “Fly,” takes us on another psychedelic spin, but it’s not as funny or as mad as some of their previous efforts. Spots like “Plant,” “Touch” and “Piñata” couple insane scenarios with writing that’s sharp and insightful: “Mom, do you think after the Skittles harvest, we could call the specialist?”; “Did you feed and dress yourself this morning?”; “I have to buy my Skittles downstairs, like everybody else!”

With “Fly,” the humor is all about (spoiler alert!) the blender flying away and returning to wreak havoc. It seemed the director and creative team tried to make up for a lack of their usual insanity through the overly “Swedish” casting, monochromatic set design and desaturated film style. Admittedly, this is a personal pet peeve of mine, but you don’t need to cast a whacky person with a unique look if the premise and the writing are funny. It’s like wetting down the pavement in car commercials (another pet peeve) to make the film more “dramatic.” You simply don’t need it.

Still, there is a lot to like about “Fly.” Kudos to the team for imbuing a boring appliance with a destructive, yet cute personality. And it was a brilliant touch to have the blender smash back in at the end. It’s still a great spot and perhaps it’s unfair to compare it to its legendary predecessors. Like any team given a Nike assignment, it must be incredibly daunting to get a new Skittles brief. And truth be told, I doubt I could even come up with a spot like “Fly,” even while tripping on acid.

Roger Baldacci is an EVP, ECD at Arnold Worldwide in Boston and currently leads the creative vision for Carnival Cruise Lines.  He believes that teachers should make more than actors, the Patriots need a better pass rush and the karma boomerang always returns to the thrower.

Guest Review: Coca-Cola- ‘Happiness Truck’

We figured we’d try something slightly different here at the AgencySpy lair, so we’re passing the mic over to industry folks to offer their thoughts on recent ad campaigns. First up to bat is Roger Baldacci, who wants to share his views on Coke’s “Happiness Truck” effort. Baldacci is an EVP, ECD at Arnold Worldwide in Boston who currently leads creative for Carnival Cruise Lines.  He believes that teachers should make more than actors, the Patriots need a better pass rush and the karma boomerang always returns to the thrower. Take it away, Roger.

Everything you loved about the Coke cafeteria vending machine is now in convenient truck-size fun, spreading the happiness through the streets of Rio De Janeiro and beyond. One can only hope they stop in Iran. Or not.
Truth be told, I’m getting tired of this public-spectacle-marketing genre—what my former partner coined “stunt-vertising.” Let’s do something in public (real or fake), then film people with awed and/or bemused looks on their faces. And if they record it on their camera phones, you know that’s making the award show video cut.

Yet despite my distilled cynicism, I still like this effort from Coke-from their Facebook page videos to their larger Expedition 206 social media campaign. Have a Coke and a smile. I’d like to teach the world to sing. I’d like to buy the world a Coke. Happiness seems to be in their DNA and their product. At least Coke decided to own an emotion. Poor Coors opted to own a temperature.

Like many sequels, this isn’t better than the original because it’s the same plot with different characters. But what I like about these videos (the convenience store video is the best) is that they are, in fact, infectious. We as humans have a desire, a need really, to be happy. We are hard wired for it. And it takes so very little to make people happy. Watching the Happiness Truck makes me happy. It’s always a good idea to surprise and delight consumers whenever possible and the surprise element is the key here. If Coke just had street teams handing out free Coke and soccer balls would we watch it on YouTube?

Coke does not sell coronary stents, microprocessors or unmanned aerial reconnaissance drones. They sell carbonated sugar water. So it makes sense that they take happiness and run with it. Or roll with it as the case may be.