Well, there’s a little bit of doomsaying on the Spy line that needs to be broached. For instance, we received several tips about layoffs at DDB New York. What we’ve been told, from sources in the know, is that there were just a handful let go from the office. No word as to why, but while we’re on the Omnicom tip, let us tell you the layoffs that some were referring to at Austin-based GSD&M actually involved “A small reorganization involving two people..” Hope that helps for now.
We’ll keep this short for now as details are forthcoming, but sources familiar with the matter confirm that DDB California president Mike Harris has recruited a new head of strategy in Justin Cox. The new hire arrives from Pereira & O’Dell, where he spent approximately three years and last served as strategy director on accounts including Intel (“The Beauty Inside,” for example), Skype and Corona. During his career, Cox, who remains in the Bay Area, has also worked on the planning side at the likes of Razorfish on Levi’s, Sony and Microsoft and Publicis & Hal Riney on accounts ranging from Walmart to Beam. We’ll fill in the blanks including start date, etc. once we hear more.
Could a nearly 20-year relationship between DDB and Wells Fargo be coming to an end? Not sure yet, but late last Friday, we first heard that the San Francisco-based financial institution was putting its lead agency account into review. After some follow-up this morning, we received this brief comment from a spokesperson for the brand that basically confirms it: “We are very proud of our advertising. As we continue to evolve our brand to align with our growing business and broader marketing and brand strategies, it is the right time to explore agency options.”
DDB California, appropriately enough, handed ad duties over the years for Wells Fargo, which of course also acquired Wachovia back in 2008. DDB still currently serves as lead ad agency for the brand but we’re checking to see if they’ll defend the account. We’ll keep you posted if and when we hear more.
Clothing manufacturers have increasingly been replacing cotton with inferior and uncomfortable fabrics. Cotton Incorporated has a problem with that. (I think they might have a personal stake in this one.) They set up a protest during fashion week, in which mannequins lost their clothing in protest to the “mystery fabrics” they were dressed in. During the installment, which ran from September 6th-8th, each person that joined the movement had their picture taken at the front of the protest.
For DDB New York’s “Cotton or Nothing Protest” film, they used these photos, along with stop-motion animation of the mannequins, live action and time lapse photography. As a fan of stop-motion animation, I’m glad to see it get some love in the ad world. And using images of people at the front lines of the protest with the mannequins gives you a good idea of the scope of the installation. The film should continue to get the word out, leading more people to join the movement at www.CottonOrNothing.com. Visitors to the site can even upload their images to join the protest virtually. More than 1,000 people have joined so far, and the #CottonOrNothing hashtag is making a big impression on Twitter, having been used by over 650, 000 users.
A word of advice though: Don’t just run around the mall undressing mannequins, you will get kicked out of Old Navy. Trust me. Check out the case study video after the jump.
A new NFL brings new DDB Chicago State Farm ads featuring Packers QB, Aaron Rodgers, and his bastardized touchdown dance, the “Discount Double-Check.”
Now, even though the Packers are my favorite team and Rodgers is my favorite player, it’s clear that he has gotten no better at acting over the past off-season. I would hope, and assume, that this is due to his hours spent in practice. Supporting Rodgers in this spot (by taking the focus momentarily off of him) are SNL “Superfans” Robert Smigel (part of the original sketch) and George Wendt (who joined later and was also on Cheers so yeah). Apparently, the highest-paid NFL player doesn’t fly first class and is forced to hang out with Bears fans in coach.
Oh, and the “Discount Double-Check” becomes the “Discount Daaa-ble Check” because fuck you, Packers fans. State Farm giveth, and State Farm taketh away. But, they’re trying to make it up to you with a social extension, in which you submit yourself to public Facebook embarrassment based on bets over fantasy football. It’s called Fantasy Football Double Down because we all needed a reminder about KFC’s gross sandwich of the same name. Credits after the jump.
From DDB Chicago comes the latest spot for Skittles which encourages young girls at go-kart tracks to “French the Rainbow,” thus stealing sugar-coated dentures away from shy boys nationwide.
The last time we saw a non-adult steal a kiss in a nationwide campaign was with “Prom,” Audi’s Superbowl spot from earlier this year which some people called “rape-y” and positioned Audi as “promoters of sexual assault.” Will a similar outcry occur at the defense of the candy-toothed victim in this spot? No, of course not, and feel free to get all outraged about that in the comments if that’s how you feel like spending your Wednesday.
But, before you do, I invite you to consider the true crime in this spot: Taking advantage of the young boy’s obvious dental disability to sell candy. It’s obvious that his family was unable to afford adequate dental care, and the boy must live his whole life frowning so that his sweet secret isn’t revealed. Ridicule at that age from classmates can really mess a kid up. Credits after the jump.
Well, we didn’t see this coming but sources familiar with the matter confirm that after just a summer at the helm of the creative department at DDB California, Jason Elm and the agency have “mutually agreed” to part ways. Elm joined DDB Cali (consisting of L.A. and San Francisco) as chief creative officer in early June, taking over for Lisa Bennett, who stepped down from her post but was eventually appointed as EVP/creative for DDB North America.
Prior to DDB, as you may know, Elm spent 15 years at Deutsch LA, where he last served EVP/group creative director on Diamond Foods and PlayStation. We’ve been told be sources that DDB is planning to fill the position.
Well, this agency’s certainly keeping us busy today. We’ve received confirmation that Ewan Paterson, who’s spent over three years as chief creative officer at DDB Chicago, is leaving the agency. Paterson joined DDB Chicago in 2010 from CHI & Partners in London, where he served as executive creative director for five years. Regarding his reasons for leaving, the DDB Chicago camp says, “He will be moving back to London with his family. Ewan intends to take some time off and will remain available to us for the next several months as we make a transition to new creative leadership in Chicago.”
Paterson is no stranger to the DDB fold as he spent a decade in the agency network’s London office working with brands including VW and Sony. During his career, the creative exec also worked at BBH London, where he led campaigns for British Airways, Unilever and Vodafone.
As for his time at DDB and future plans, Paterson himself says, “Its been a fantastic three and half years and I’m proud of the agency’s transformation from the where it was in 2010. With six Cannes Lions over the last twelve months it’s evident that agency is becoming stronger and more diversified creatively. I’ll miss the people who make up DDB Chicago hugely, but the stars have aligned for me and the my family to go home to London. I intend to spend three to four months being a ‘dad’ for the first time-ever and then working on setting up my own agency.”
We checked with Kevin Drew Davis himself last week on what his next gig would be after leaving DigitasLBi earlier this month, but didn’t get the full story. Well, now we know as it’s hit the newswires and trades up north that KDD has assumed the newly created position of chief creative officer at DDB Canada. So why the move, Kevin? “DDB Canada has been on my radar for some time,” he says in a statement, adding, “From the senior executive team to its creative leaders, everyone I’ve met has demonstrated an unwavering passion for their work. DDB’s culture is balanced with a tremendous amount of humility and integrity, which is a rare combination. For me, it’s all about the people that surround you.”
As noted, this is the first time a chief creative officer has been appointed to lead all of DDB Canada’s integrated creative departments, which span Toronto, Montreal, Edmonton and Vancouver. Davis will be based in the agency’s Toronto office. In case you forgot, Davis spent two years as ECD for both Digitas San Francisco and Chicago prior to joining DDB Canada and spent several years as global interactive CD at W+K among other notable stints.
Where art thou, David Caruso? The subhead of the announce about this reads, “DDB Canada launches arresting campaign for the Vancouver Police Foundation” and somewhere a PR intern is smiling with self-satisfaction. Initially, the Vancouver Police Foundation approached DDB for a print ad that they could distribute in local newspapers with 1950s flair. Thankfully the agency got back to them and said something along the lines of, “Today we use computers.” Thus DDB Canada’s hometown office created a social media campaign around police sunglasses, wherein community members can purchase the glasses and, if they snap a photo of themselves and share it with the hashtag #VPDPartners, win a Ride-Along experience. The Department’s website will feature the photos from the contest.
Two 30-second spots advertise the sunglasses, with the best one featuring a large man skidding on the hood of a car. We watch him, like a beached whale, for a little too long until the tagline arrives: “Wearing the sunglasses supports the cops. It doesn’t make you one.” It’s cute, and shows why we need advertising agencies. Otherwise, these spots would have been 6×9 Ariel-font jokes in the back of the Vancouver Sun.
“In the short term, the goal of the campaign is simply to raise awareness for the Vancouver Police Foundation and show support for the VPD by wearing the sunglasses,” says Martina Meckova, executive director of the Vancouver Police Foundation. “Our long term objective is to increase the membership of the Foundation and broaden the support base, so that more people in Vancouver can benefit from the work that we do in the community.” Second spot after the jump.