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Posts Tagged ‘Ad Age’

Great PR: Customized Holiday Greetings from Stella Artois

Stella Artois produces mid-range “European” beer, but the brand also looks to sell a certain sort of effortless cool—remember 2011’s awkward Super Bowl commercial starring Adrien Brody as a chick-magnet crooner?

Now they’ve created one of the best PR/ad campaigns we’ve seen this holiday season. A brilliant Facebook app called “Holiday Carole” revolves around a video of a Mad Men-era lounge singer who shows up at your virtual front door (or that of a friend) to deliver a swingin’ holiday ditty—and it’s all personalized.

Not only does Ms. Carole check out the weather report for your hometown, hand her driver a note with your home address written in lipstick, and deliver a personalized message of your choice along with a fresh-poured glass of Stella; the app uses images drawn from Google Maps, Street View and other resources to place the actress and her entourage on your block. If you live in the city like we do, you’ll be amused to see your cross-street neighbor’s taped-up windows behind Carole and her band as she sings. (And, as Ad Age notes, her snowy drive would prove particularly fun if you happen to live in the Hawaiian Islands.)

It’s all so cool that we can overlook the lead actress’s not-even-remotely-convincing stab at lip syncing. The promo vid is nice, but you really should try it yourself.

Former Saveur Publisher Starts Food-Focused Ad Shop

This week brought an intriguing bit of culinary news: Former Saveur publisher Merri Lee Kingsly, who left the magazine after it folded into related Bonnier properties in 2011, founded a food-focused ad agency known as Palate. Though created as a spinoff of Texas-based agency FKM, Palate will be based in New York (no surprise there).

While we’re not familiar with Kingsly’s work at Saveur, we certainly admire her love of food and her personal bravado: last year she admonished former Times food critic Sam Sifton for writing zero star reviews and told him to “stop being so rude to the chefs in our world that work so damn hard every single day”. Kingsly’s obvious passion for the culinary arts leaves her more than qualified to spend her days promoting them.

She also offers restaurateurs a unique take on the traditional agency, assembling a team composed of experts in the areas of food prep, wine selection, and mixology to create unique groups designed to advise each individual client. Her team’s collective portfolio includes big brands like Top Chef, Iron Chef, Jean Georges, Gramercy Tavern and Chicago’s Balsan. Impressive, no? Who better to help restaurant managers define their brands than celebrated veterans of the restaurant industry?

What do we think? Can a former food publisher make for a successful ad executive? We don’t mean to gush, but after reviewing her team’s credentials, we’d say yes.

Post-Election: Where Will the Big PR Talent Land?

We’d like to take a moment to return to a great piece posted on Ad Age earlier this week about the post-election scramble for top PR talent in politics.

There’s no doubt that elections often attract the sharpest of the communications bunch. This may have something to do with the fact that campaigns—especially presidential campaigns—also draw from some of the country’s biggest bank accounts.

We’ll let MWW CEO Michael Kempner explain it:

“There’s no better training than a campaign. They’re working under pressure, unforgiving deadlines, speaking to diverse audiences and seeing the media impact with real consequences in every program they execute.”

This makes perfect sense. Who has better experience working with media outlets and personalities across the country (and the world) than the veterans of political campaigns? Of course they’re hot commodities.

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Dear McDonald’s McRib: No One Loves a Tease

Love is complex and often painful, but nothing is worse than being in love with a tease.

Today, McDonald’s announced—through a memo leaked to Ad Age—that the McRib sandwich won’t be available this coming fall. America will have to wait until December to continue its tangy and delicious love affair with the McRib.

As with all strategic teases, this move is designed to leverage attention and expectations. Not being able to have something makes you want it more, and McDonald’s, which typically offers the McRib in October, has concluded that an end-of-the-year release allows for the greatest possible profit margin.

To fill the pork sandwich vacuum, McDonald’s will feature a Cheddar Bacon Onion Angus burger. Though some may argue its better to settle than to be alone, for those of us in love with the McRib, there is no alternative. Angus? Puh-lease. Read more

Pitching Pointers from Mobile Media Mavens

As mobile’s momentum continues, the pace of articles, conferences and new apps has intensified. At PCNY’s event on Tuesday, panelists discussed the maze of mobile options. Editors and reporters covering the mobile beat at GigaOM, Mashable, TechCrunch, SAI Tools (Silicon Valley Insider), and Ad Age offered pitching guidance and brand overviews, since most have undergone major changes recently.

Company size, funding, marketing budgets, Silicon Valley vs. Alley location, and product uniqueness all matter for mobile stories. Startups often don’t make the cut unless they’re well funded, and it’s a tough sell if you’re just another app.

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Facebook VP Fischer Advises An ‘Always-On Strategy’

The Ad Age Digital Conference continued this morning with a presentation from David Fischer, Facebook’s VP of business and marketing partnerships, whose presentation could be boiled down to this: “Your brand needs an always-on strategy.”

When your brand is on social networks, like, say, Facebook, it’s always accessible. Moreover, marketing efforts “have always tried to stimulate word-of-mount, but it’s really short-lived. Social technology is changing that,” Fischer added.

It’s not just about reaching the people who “like” you, it’s about reaching the people they’re friends with. According to Fischer, the average user has 130 friends. Reaching those friends spreads your company’s message naturally.

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PR Firms Make ‘Ad Age’ List of Best Places to Work

A number of PR firms have made it to the Ad Age 2012 list of Best Places to Work, including Marina Maher Communications (number 11), Cohn & Wolfe (number 18), and Fleishman-Hillard (number 25). A few marcomms firms that provide PR among other services, like Eric Mower & Associates, Kaplan Thaler Group, and Roberts Communications are also on the list.

Ad Age, with help from Buck Consultants, accepted thousands of survey entries for this year’s list. Among the reasons why these firms were deemed the best were cool office spaces, a creative environment, and a lack of “assholes.”

For a look at the complete list, click here.

Gawker’s Nick Denton on Boredom, Commenters, and Niche Audiences

An image from Deadspin's Tiger Woods coverage.

Gawker Media founder Nick Denton had some choice words for the commenters on his eight sites, as well as for a couple attendees sitting in the front row at Ad Age’s Media Evolved conference on Tuesday in New York. During a “fireside chat” with Simon Dumenco, Ad Age’s editor-at-large, he was questioned about the sheer volume and often negative tone of comments on Gawker’s sites.

“You can moderate out the toxicity, but not the boring people. They haven’t violated any community guidelines, but they haven’t added to the discussion,” Denton replied.

Boredom was also clearly on his mind when he asked distracted conference attendees seated up front, “By the way, are we boring you?” But Denton’s take on Gawker’s evolution, re-design, editorial goals, interaction with well-known readers and the value of social media was anything but boring.

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PR Firms Make ‘Ad Age’ List of Best Places to Work

An Airfoil group photo from 'Ad Age's Best Places to Work report.

Ad Age has released its second annual list of Best Places to Work and a few PR firms make an appearance. Among them: Airfoil (#8),  GolinHarris (#21), and Cohn & Wolfe (#24).

Some of the perks highlighted at these firms are Summer Fridays, rewards, and awards. A cozy workspace is also a plus. Although they’re not on this list, Lippe Taylor has gotten some media attention recently — in Time Out New York and on New York Live — for the design appeal of their office space.

You can check out the entire special report here. What makes a great work environment? The comments section, @PRNewser, and our Facebook page are ready for your comments.

Roll Call: Edelman, Citizens For Humanity, KBS&P, and More

Jennifer Thompson has joined Edelman‘s Chicago office as SVP of the crisis and issues practice. She’ll be working on crisis strategy and with multinational clients on reputation management plans and crisis response. Previously, she was MD in the international operations segment of Oshkosh Corporation, handling, among other things, government relations activities in Asia Pacific while she was based in Beijing.

Marina Morrison-Keiler has joined denim label Citizens for Humanity’s Goldsign brand as director of PR and marketing managing brand strategy, media relations, VIP services, and events. Previously she was West Coast director for Wetherly Fashion Group. [Via PRCouture]

David Vermillion has been appointed public affairs market leader and deputy public affairs practice head at Burson-Marsteller. Most recently, he was EVP and NY public affairs practice leader at Edelman. While at Edelman, he worked on a variety of issues with a variety of clients including Off-Track Betting in New York during its Chapter 9 restructuring.

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