Last night’s Oscar-Winning Animated Short Film, Logorama, proves just how pervasive modern advertising is. The entire 16-minute film was comprised solely of recognizable logos and characters from the ads of over 2,500 large corporations.
Nicolas Schmerkin, the film’s producer, was quoted backstage, saying the film-set in Los Angeles-was “not about America. It’s about our modern western world. So it also applies to France and Buenos Aires, where I am from, so it’s not about Americans. It’s about the way we live and the way we react to these logos. The brain can register 14 logos in less than one second. Making the logos characters with sets and props is about what we’re living. I’m not talking about what the logos represent. They’re used for what they are.”
The short film took three directors over six-years to produce.
Draftfcb is the pro-bono advertising partner for The Shelter Project, the Humane Society’s pet adoption program, and they’re really into it. How into it, you ask? Well, the company actually has adopted three “office-dogs” that come to work at the Chicago office every day, providing inspiration, stress relief, and plenty of excuses for employees to leave the office during the day. “Welp, better take the dogs out- can’t have those clients of ours walking into an office with shit on the floor!”
Since I’m allergic to everything, I had to inquire on behalf of my hyper-sensitive peers as to whether allergy-shots were a pre-requisite to employment at the agency, or if there were any dog-tolerance-based discriminatory hiring practices going on at the office. My Draftfcb hosts assured me, however, that those who don’t deal well with dander, as well as puppy-phobes and general ‘fraidy-cats are seated on floors away from the dogs.
The puggle pictured above actually “works” at DFCB, and in case you were wondering, his name is Payton.
New York-based social-marketing agency Mr. Youth has appointed a Fearless Leader for its newly created Chicago office. Ethelbert Williams will head up the company’s Midwest expansion and will serve as Mr. Youth’s Vice President of Brand Development.
Williams previously acted as the
Global Head of Marketing head of a program called point and find (“basically nokia custom qr codes” as we’ve been told) for Nokia, and prior to that was the Integrated Marketing Director at Starcom Mediavest.
In a statement, Williams said, “I’m excited to be joining such a dynamic and award-winning team like Mr Youth. They are truly a new breed of agency that is leading changes in the future of marketing communications, especially social interactive and word of mouth programs. I’m looking forward to collaborating with everyone on board.”
In other news, Ethelbert Williams has the most-perfect name possible, should he ever decide to open up his own agency.
Chicago ad firm Plan B recently erected this masterpiece in the city’s West Loop neighborhood, apparently as an advertisement of their services. My first thought upon seeing this ad is: “Plan B? Isn’t that the morning-after pill?” And my mind fills with scary images of late-term abortion hack-jobs, and my imagination thinks “what’s left” is a pile of cut-up fetuses. Shudder.
Upon reading a press release the company put out about their big sign, I realize that the catchy phrase “It’s not what they cut, It’s what you do with what’s left,” refers to budgets. Whew. Non-ad-passers-by will totally get that, right?
The negative press hasn’t stopped for DDB. Over the weekend, AdAge joined the DDB dump-on, and let’s just say they gave it to us straight.
Jeremy Mullman points the failure finger right at the heart of the agency, saying DDB has “stumbled in major new-business pitches, suffered major setbacks on key accounts such as Anheuser-Busch, State Farm and Wrigley, and gone two years without a creative leader at its largest and most important office.” A.k.a, Chicago. Cue sad trombone.
With similar reports coming from the Chicago Sun Times, DDB has the added struggle of swaying the opinions of the advertising media as well as the professionals it hopes to employ. Though she still has that old school cache, public reinvention is a must.
I recently got in touch with Maria Scileppi, the Associate Director of the Chicago Portfolio School, to find out a little more about the school’s Royale Rumble; a quarterly ad competition set to begin again in just a few weeks. Scileppi was eagerly dishing about the generous agencies the school has teamed with for R.R., including uber-innovative shops like Wexley School for Girls, Hungry Fish Media and Anomaly, when I innocently asked her “Which Chicago agencies have you worked with?” Her response: “None.”
More, after the jump.
Apparently Verizon Wireless has been getting bad service from McCann Erickson. The cell phone provider has reportedly been talking brand-strategy with Chicago-based ad-firm McGarry Bowen.
McCann is said to be in-the-know about its position on the chopping block, and our tipster tells us the agency is responding by rearranging its Verizon team. Jeff Geisler, a Managing Director at McCann and the General Manager of the company’s TAG Ideation division, has supposedly been appointed the Verizon team’s new Worldwide Account Director, though Geisler’s new role could not be confirmed.
A source from McCann tells us that McGarry Bowen is a Verizon Wireless roster agency, and that it would not be unlikely for VZW to occasionally speak with MCGB. The source also said that McCann, like any big agency, periodically rearranges its account teams.
Like Ms. Lohan, DDB is at the center of so many anonymous tips that we now look past the “talent” that made the shop the a gossip-worthy sexpot it has become. In the last week, we’ve heard: DDB Chicago laid off half of their creative staff and that the axe is still swinging, that DDB is merging with sister-shop TribalDDB, and that the Tribal DDB creative head will take over the combined agencies. Amid all these rumors, we find ourselves grasping for a shred of truth. After the jump, some details!
The University of Illinois at Chicago received a federal grant this week to study the correlation between food advertising and childhood obesity. Once complete, the results of the four-year study could potentially affect the ad industry in a big way. The $2.2 million study’s research team says the findings may be used by the government to instill regulations on food advertising.
UIC won’t have to look very far to find ad agencies with a rapt audience of fat kids. Heifer factory McDonald’s is one of DDB Chicago’s most prized accounts. The advertising for Lunchables, which are the nutritional equivalent of a vodka-RedBull, is handled by McGarry Bowen, and Draftfcb Chicago has kid-favorites Mac and Cheese and Jello on its client roster.