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Secret Weapon CD on Deutsch McDonald’s Campaign: ‘Flattering’ but ‘Annoying’

Anyone notice that the recent Taco Bell “Ronald McDonald” spot bears a very slight resemblance to this 2002 Secret Weapon ad for Jack in the Box?

Secret Weapon founder/creative director Richard Sittig did–and he told Felix Gilette of Bloomberg Businessweek all about it today.

You know you want some key quotes after the jump.

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Taco Bell Aims Directly at McD’s Again in New Deutsch Spot

Taco Bell has moved on from finding Americans named Ronald McDonald to following the smartphone “out with the old/our stuff is newer than your stuff” equation with this new spot from Deutsch.

It’s all set to the tune of “Old Macdonald” in case the references weren’t clear enough.

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Deutsch L.A., Ronald McDonald Love Taco Bell Breakfast

Deutsch L.A. teamed up with production company Moxie Pictures for a new broadcast campaign promoting Taco Bell’s new breakfast menu, coming on the heels of the brand’s digital campaign from Digitas.

Directed by Errol Morris, with editing from Rock Paper Scissors, the spots collect a group of individuals all named Ronald McDonald to share their thoughts on the new Taco Bell breakfast items. The Ronald McDonalds saying they love Taco Bell approach is used across the three spots in the campaign, and necessitates a “These Ronald McDonalds are not affiliated with McDonald’s corporation and were individually selected as paid endorsers of Taco Bell Breakfast, but man, they sure did love it.” disclaimer. That’s pretty much the entire campaign, the Ronald McDonald idea, but it’s a clever one and doesn’t feel especially stretched over the course of the three 30-second spots. It probably doesn’t have all that much more life in it, though, so hopefully it’s just Deutsch’s launch idea. Stick around for the “Waffle Taco” spot and credits after the jump. Read more

Ex-DDB Design Head Pagan Heads to Deutsch NY

juancarlosddbWell, that didn’t long, either. Just a week after we reported that Juan Carlos Pagan had turned in his notice at DDB New York, where he spent the last two-and-a-half years as head of design, we’ve received word that the creative has moved over from Omnicom to IPG. Pagan has now joined up with the latter holding company’s agency, Deutsch NY, to serve in the newly created role of, yes, design director. From what we’ve been told, Pagan, who also spent time at the likes of what was G2 during his career, will assume his new role at Deutsch’s Big Apple hub next Monday, March 3.

Deutsch NY CCO and Pagan’s new boss, Kerry Keenan, says about the hiring, “I worked with Juan Carlos last year. He will be a great leader as we grow our design offering. His passion and talent for design are evident in every project he touches.”

 

Russian Flaming Billboard Today’s Ad Ripoff?

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It’s been awhile since we reported on a potential ad ripoff, but this one got our attention.

A restaurant in Yekaterinburg, Russia decided to promote their flame-broiled steaks with a flaming billboard. The technique is strikingly similar to a 2011 Deutsch NY campaign promoting Outback Steakhouse’s wood-fire grill cooking platform in which, “three long, brown cylinders running along the front of the billboard—symbolizing a grill—[were] ignited.” The new campaign certainly shares a lot in common with Deutsch’s work for Outback, although that campaign was significantly more badass, ending with “The flames [consuming] the billboard and the grill [falling] off, landing on a car, [resulting] in an explosion.”

It would be a much more clear case if the billboard in question were in the US, but the distant location suggests that it’s at least possible that the similarities are a mere coincidence. Did the Yekaterinburg restaurant rip off Deutsch’s campaign? We’ve provided footage of the Outback billboard below for comparison. Let us know what you think in the comments section.

Deutsch NY Cuts Some Staff

deutschnyofficeWe’ve received word from sources familiar with the matter that Deutsch New York has cut approximately five percent of staff across departments, which equates to approximately 20-25 people from what we hear. As you recall, Microsoft is now changing its marketing model to work with agencies on a project basis (Deutsch NY, as we told you, is still in the mix) so our sources say Deutsch had to reshape its model to accommodate MSFT’s move. Along with the aforementioned, we also hear from those in the know that several Lowe legacy clients have been folded into the new Lowe Campbell Ewald NY office, which has also reviewed its staffing needs and decided that a number of people will not join them, hence the reductions.

Some Microsoft/Deutsch Spiel, If You Will

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Lordy, we’ve been inundated with tips that Deutsch has lost Microsoft, copy so blaring that it makes us want to revisit Newsies. But anyhow, here’s what we’ve heard so far that might clarify things, though we feel this isn’t as much revelation as it is realization. Remember, this is what our sources familiar with the matter tell us, and what they say is that the Redmond, WA giant has altered its marketing model to a project assignment basis, utilizing all their roster agencies, which still does include Deutsch as part of a Consumer Business a few months ago courtesy of MSFT EVP/advertising and strategy Mark Penn.

From what our sources tell us,  the current campaign running for the table (we’re assuming for Surface) was created by L.A.-based shop Omelet and CP&B remains a roster agency for consumer biz.   Along with Deutsch, fellow AOR Y&R will be producing the next b-to-b campaign and moving forward, all of of MSFTs roster agencies will be assigned work on a project by project basis. Phew.

Deutsch NY Launches ‘Mob City’ Script on Twitter for TNT ‘Adaptweetion’

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Deutsch NY and TNT are using Mob City‘s Twitter handle, @MobCityTNT, to debut the screenplay of the series’ premiere, 140 characters at a time. This will make Mob City, “the first television screenplay ever to be adapted for, and published through, Twitter.” They’ve dubbed the process “adaptweetion.”

The first tweets of the Mob City screenplay were made on Monday, with new tweets appearing every 45 minutes between 10 AM and 7 PM (and later tonight). They’ve also taken advantage of Twitter Cards to inject photo and video footage into the stream. Those late to the game can also catch up by visiting the microsite for the script, where it is presented in chronological order. This all leads to the debut of Frank Darabont‘s three week television event this tonight at 9. Deutsch NY and TNT will make their last tweet tonight at 8:30, but they’re not giving everything away. To experience the final scene, you’ll have to turn in to TNT tonight at 9 and catch the episode. The cast and crew of the show — including @frankdarabont@miloventimiglia@simonpegg@edward_burns@jonnybernthal – also added their commentary to the feed to keep things interesting.

Tweeting (almost) the entire screenplay of a debut episode is a risky move, but it’s a good way to get people talking about the show before it even airs.“Today, fans are tweeting in real time with their favorite shows, and we wanted to stoke preshow chatter by providing fans with an experience that will invite them in before the show even airs,” explains Kerry Keenan, Deutsch NY’s chief creative officer.

Clearly, TNT is betting that the writing will suck you in and make you want to watch Mob City tonight. Leaving out the final scene is an obvious necessity, as some might wonder why they’d tune in to see a premiere when they know how it ends. I’m curious to see how this plays out, and what kind of effect this social campaign has on Mob City‘s ratings tonight, if any. Head on over to mobscript.com and @MobCityTNT, and let us know your thoughts on this campaign in the comments section. And tune in to TNT tonight at 9 for the show, if you’re interested. Credits after the jump. Read more

Lorraine Bracco Brings Her Signature Rasp to Deutsch’s Holiday Netflix Spot

Lorraine Bracco (she of The Sopranos and Goodfellas fame, of course) lends her familiar voice to Deutsch LA’s new holiday spot for Netflix, and predictably, makes the ad work.

In the spot, “Tree Topper,” Bracco voices the part of the smiling porcelain tree topper that has been part of the McDermott family for 34 years. Through the tree topper we see the wild antics of the McDermott boys, as well as Christmas cooking failures and Uncle Luther’s fake snow. Despite the occasional difficulties living with the McDermott family, Bracco’s tree topper enjoys when the family curls up to enjoy watching something on Netflix.

It’s not the most original of concepts, but Bracco makes it work. Her voice is not only recognizable, but dramatic and expressive. This helps make the idea of a sentient tree topper seem less ridiculous, and even imbues the character with emotion and personality. It helps make the spot not seem overly sentimental, and her delivery of the spots’ final line really brings out just the right amount of curmudgeon from Bracco’s character. While celebrity voice acting is so often an afterthought used as an easy cash-in, Deutsch LA hits the mark by casting Bracco for “Tree Topper.” Hopefully other agencies are taking notes. Credits after the jump. Read more

Holiday Season Ushers in Another Xmas Price Index from Deutsch NY, PNC


 

With Thanksgiving over (and  Hanukkah currently underway), the 2013 winter holiday season is upon us, and with it comes Deutsch NY’s annual Christmas Price Index for PNC. In case you don’t know, the Christmas Price Index shows the actual cost of all the gifts mentioned in the ubiquitous (and somewhat annoying) carol, “The Twelve Days of Christmas.”

For the Christmas Price Index’s 30th anniversary this year, Deutsch NY decided to offer up something a little different. Visitors to the PNC Christmas Price Index website will be given the opportunity to digitally build and customize their own versions of the gifts from the carol. The 3-D Gift Maker features twelve toys with customizable accessories, all designed by Invisible Creature. Visitors to the site will be given the opportunity to win “24 3-D custom designed toys over the course of 12 days.” If this sounds exciting to you, you better get started, as the contest only lasts until December 13th.

As for the actual index itself, 2013 shows a 7.7% increase from last year, with the current cost of Christmas listed as $27,393.17. That would be the cost of one verse of the song, but since the song has many repetitions the “True Cost of Christmas” (counting each repetition) comes out to $114,651.18. There’s good news for fans of partridges and/or pear trees, however: the cost of a partridge in a pear tree is now $199.99, down 2.4% from last year. So buy now. It’s not a good year to be in the market for nine ladies dancing however, as the current cost is $7552.84, up a full 20% from last year. That cash in your pocket just doesn’t buy as many pipers piping as it used to. Check out a couple of stills, along with credits,after the jump. Read more

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