-Another day at Cannes produces another infographic from SapientNitro. Now, we head to the ’70s and a nod to Vivienne Westwood. link
-In case you missed it, above we have a recent Samsung digital short created by Huge (which is also busy vindicating Cap’n Crunch) and starring Usher. link
-Well, Steve Stoute was truthful in telling us that his agency Translation still maintains a healthy relationship with A-B InBev (on Bud Light Platinum, Made In America, etc.), though not on sole ad duties for Bud Light. link
-Brian Sheehan, former Saatchi & Saatchi Japan/Australia and Team One CEO, has written a book called Loveworks. link
-Blast Radius Vancouver has promoted longtime staffer Michael Howatson to the newly created role of executive creative director, platforms/West, effective immediately. link
-Digitas has launched the next phase of its “The Big State” campaign for the New York Stock Exchange. link
-Dunkin Donuts says its “Time to make the donuts” slogan is dead and that it’s now appealing to the gluten-free demo. link
We arrived this morning to a flood of tips regarding the state of Translation, mainly that the NYC-based agency cut several staffers last week. While many of those on the Spy line were spouting numbers including “38,” we heard directly a short while ago from Translation founder/CEO Steve Stoute, who clarifies that he had to actually let go of 17 people across departments last Friday.
From what the exec tells us, it had nothing to do with specific client issues (and yes, we are looking into the one many of you mentioned), but that “when you grow to where we grew, [there are staffers] who are not culturally fit, are overpaid or are not qualified.” Stoute adds, “I have to keep the talent at my company at the same level as the opportunities that come our way.” We’ll keep you posted if and when we hear more.
It’s never been easy to get some prompt, direct feedback from Translation, and this week’s been no exception. Over the last 24 hours, we’ve received several tips that Chris Cereda, who’s led creative at the New York-based agency for a year as CCO, has left Translation. Once again, we inquired directly to the agency and without comment, were directed to the man himself, Translation founder/CEO and Adage’s latest Executive of the Year, Steve Stoute, who we’ve come to know a bit in recent months.
Unfortunately, we’ve been unable to reach Stoute (let alone Cereda, who’s LinkedIn appears to have disappeared as well) when calling his office and are still waiting to hear back. As for Cereda himself, the Translation CCO has led the charge on various notable campaigns in recent months including the fun State Farm “Chris Paul/Cliff Paul” work and of course, the various Bud Light/Platinum efforts. Prior to joining Translation, the creative chief served as ECD at KBS+P and has worked at McCann on accounts including MasterCard during his career. We’re checking with all resources on this, so we’ll update with comment if and when we do hear back (wishful thinking, perhaps).
Well, the details are as scant as can be on this one at the moment, but receiving a “no comment” from an agency on the matter versus flat-out denial certainly raises our suspicions. From what sources tell us, NYC-based agency Translation has apparently won a pitch to A-B InBev and Jay-Z himself yesterday for a global music initiative with Budweiser, which doesn’t seem too far-fetched considering the Hova’s close ties with agency CEO Steve Stoute (not to mention, duh, his actual involvement in Translation) and the former headlining the Bud-sponsored “Made in America” festival last year.
We’re hearing that several folks from the AB-InBev were in attendance yesterday along with Jay-Z and a few Roc Nation execs. You know Translation’s stance at the moment, but we’re of course checking with the brew giant on the matter.
From Translation comes the second installment of the Chris Paul/Cliff Paul State Farm saga, which will make its TV debut tomorrow night.
If you recall, Episode I (the entire premise of which rested on a pun about the word “assist”) premiered during the NBA’s Christmas Day games. This obviously isn’t the first time we’ve seen a professional athlete star in State Farm campaigns, but what Translation realizes that DDB Chicago doesn’t is that having a professional athlete actually attempt to deliver lines and, well, “act” isn’t the best idea. I’m a Packers fan through and through, which is why it made me so unbelievably uncomfortable to watch Aaron Rodgers totally bomb during those “Discount Double-Check” ads. Seriously, the dude was out-acted by a bunch of preschoolers.
Unless you have Blake Griffin or Peyton Manning at your disposal, just dress up your professional athlete in funny clothes, offer 3-5 variations of the site gag, and don’t ever give them lines. Hey look, it’s Chris, er, Cliff Paul wearing funny glasses and a dapper suit and an argyle sweater. Haha, so silly. See how easy that was? Now I want to watch more. Credits after the jump.
After spending just six months as director of client services at StawberryFrog’s New York HQ, Tiffany Coletti Titolo has moved on and joined up with Steve Stoute & Co., assuming the role of managing director of Translation’s New York and Chicago offices. We’ve been told that this position is a new one and Titolo assumes her role effective immediately. Before heading to the Frogpond earlier this year, the exec spent the majority of her ad career in San Francisco, spending nearly 18 months as managing director of DOJO. During her time in the Bay Area, Titolo also served as a group account director at Eleven and held various account-side gigs at McCann.
In a statement, Stoute, whose agency has reportedly almost doubled in staff to 120 year-to-year, says, “Tiffany takes an all-encompassing approach to business strategy, and this new role is an essential part of our continued growth. Our clients sit front and center, and having the right operational structure for the people who manage those relationships is imperative.”
Good lord, we’ve been inundated with tips about this since late September. Seeing as we’re not getting any word from Steve Stoute and crew at Translation on the matter (while tipsters yell, “why won’t you fuckers post that shit?”), we’ll just say that word on the Spy line is that creative manager Ivy Ronquillo is no longer with the New York-based agency. Ronquillo has spent just eight months at Translation and prior to that, served in the same capacity at O&M, albeit for six months. We’re hearing, though, that because of a contract clause, that Ronquillo will be working through Thanksgiving. Feel free to weigh in while we continue to await some clarification on the matter.
Alas, our Media Beat conversation with Translation founder/CEO Steve Stoute has drawn to a close. In our third and final installment, the executive reflects on his early days in the music industry, his 15-year relationship with Jay-Z, the pair’s collaboration on the look and feel of the new Brooklyn Nets and the inspiration for naming his agency. In his own words, Stoute reveals that the idea behind Translation was about “translating culture for Fortune 500 companies.”
This and all MediabistroTV productions can also be viewed on our YouTube Channel.
And so, our conversation with Translation founder/CEO Steve Stoute continues. In Part II of our Media Beat interview with the advertising exec, the prevailing topic is stereotypes in advertising as Stoute touches on the controversial Mother NY-created, Mary J. Blige-starring Burger King commercial (the fallout of which later “crushed” the singer) as well as Ashton Kutcher‘s Popchips ad that was subsequently pulled. Stoute’s suggestion for ad agencies? Understand the nuances and perhaps have Mary J. “sell a salad.”
This and all MediabistroTV productions can also be viewed on our YouTube Channel. Be sure to check out Part III of our chat with Stoute tomorrow.
As we teased a few weeks ago, we recently had a chance to chat at length with Translation founder/CEO Steve Stoute, who discussed everything from his agency’s growing relationship with AB-InBev/Budweiser, racial issues in advertising Translation’s ties to the Brooklyn Nets. In Part I of our Media Beat interview with the record-turned-advertising exec, meanwhile, Stoute reflects on, among other things, winning the Bud Light business (which Translation took sole control of a month ago) and launching the Made in America festival that took place in Philly during Labor Day weekend.
This and all MediabistroTV productions can also be viewed on our YouTube Channel. Be sure to check out Part II and III of our chat with Stoute tomorrow and Wednesday, respectively.