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Mullen

Well, Mullen NC Did Win the Pep Boys Biz After All

Once again, it took some time after initial inquiry, but the folks at Mullen have confirmed that the agency’s Winston-Salem, NC office has indeed been awarded lead agency duties for car care chain, Pep Boys. No official word yet on who else was involved, but sources told us as of early December that Houston’s FKM was also a “frontrunner” in the pitch. If you recall, Pep Boys previously worked with Zimmerman, but parted ways with the South Florida-based agency after four-plus years of partnership just a few months ago.

In a statement regarding Pep Boys’ decision, the brand’s CMO, Ron Stoupa, says, “Mullen’s consumer insights and understanding of our brand and business model led to the most compelling creative solutions. They understood our customer service culture and contributed fresh ideas to help us achieve our future growth goals. They will be a great marketing partner.”

The self-proclaimed “hyperbundled,” “unbound” agency is expected to debut new work for the brand in the first half of this year.

We Hear: Mullen Makes Cuts in NC?

It’s been like pulling teeth trying to get some official word on the matter, but over the last few days, we’ve heard from a handful of sources that Mullen cut approximately 20-25 staffers in its Winston-Salem, NC office. This, despite the fact that the agency did pick up some Lenovo business a few weeks ago. We’ve been told that the cuts happened last Tuesday and ran across departments. We’re continuing to check in on the matter and will keep you posted.

Mullen ‘Work’ Page Likely to Induce Headaches/Seizures (Updated)

Holy cat .gif overload! Not sure what’s the story with the current look of Mullen’s work section on its site, but it’s surely not a sight for sore eyes, we reckon. Since the Mullen camp actually just sent us the link to the Work page unsolicited (adding the note, “It’s all screwed-up”), we’re assuming there’s something behind this feline frenzy, though we’re getting an even worse headache just thinking about. If you’re really that keen on checking out Mullen work today, we suggest just clicking the “Sort By: Client” link to see the normal work images or just squinting and clicking through wherever.

Update: Well, as we thought, it looks like there was a method to Mullen’s madness after all. According to agency creative technologist Schuyler Hunt (aka “The Riddlist”), “We were tooling around with the website and jokingly put some cats up. We sent it to CCO Mark Wenneker as a joke, and wondered if we’d get in trouble, but instead of telling us to cut it out, he just told us to make them conceptual gifs. And make the content match the client.”

Mullen’s NC Office Nabs Piece of Lenovo Biz

After a review that we’ve been told lasted approximately 6-8 weeks, Lenovo has tapped Mullen’s Winston-Salem, NC branch to handle its North American e-commerce practice, which includes responsibilities such as digital media strategy, planning and buying  as well as handling demand generation and display advertising programs. Prior to Mullen NC, this specific piece of digital business was handled by Neo@Ogilvy, which is still responsible for digital brand campaign work for the PC/tech giant.

In your usual self-congratulatory statement, Mullen NC president John Fitzgerald says, “The Lenovo win is another recognition of Mullen’s digital transformation and interactive marketing expertise. Our MediaHub operation stood out among some of the nation’s top digital-only shops to win this work to develop Lenovo’s digital footprint through interactive media, and ignite their digital transformation.”

Hey Look, Mullen Has a New Website, Playful Homepage Included

Fresh off of announcing West Coast expansion, Mullen quietly launched a new website yesterday, which is, dare we say, somewhat of a trippy affair. As you can see above, the key word is “Unbound” and while you can play with with via a simple mouseover, feel free to really manipulate the copy with the “Magnet” or “Gravity” options located at the bottom of the homepage.

We’ve been told that the “big impetus” for Mullen was “responsive design – making it work on all platforms.” We have to say we rather enjoy the stark gray and black landscape, and while you can get a more traditional view by clicking on the links above, what’s the fun in that?

Update: Here’s more on tech side, if you’re interested. The site has been development for a few months and was conceived by the agency’s internal web design team, which built a custom javascript/html5 canvas experience on the homepage.  According to Mullen, the homepage sits on top of the previous site’s WordPress workflow so it’s easy to update and maintain. In addition, fellow Boston-based company Infrared5 helped develop the physics engine on the homepage. The site itself is being described as a “work in progress” and “ever-evolving.”

Mullen Opening West Coast ‘Talent Hub’

Once again, our tipsters were spot on as we’ve received an internal note sent from Mullen chief creative officer Mark Wenneker to staff today regarding rumors about the Boston-based agency opening up shop in San Francisco. Well, as Wenneker says, it’s no longer rumor. We’ve been hearing about the Bay Area expansion since Friday, and from what we know, that instead of just being referred to as an office per se, the Mullen camp is calling it a “talent hub.” The agency is currently finalizing space and recruiting said “talent” for the new SF “hub,” which we’ve been told should hopefully be operational at the beginning of next month. Anyhow, check out Wenneker’s full memo, which should clarify matters, after the jump.

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Bacardi Taps Mullen to Handle Grey Goose Global Creative Duties

Call it a trifecta for Boston-based Mullen if you will as the agency has followed up its recent U.S. Cellular and National Geographic Channel wins by picking of global creative duties for top-shelf vodka brand Grey Goose following a review. As a result, Mullen takes over for @Radical, which has handled the global biz since 2007 but will still partner with the Bacardi brand on initiatives including the TV show, Iconoclasts.

Regarding the selection of Mullen, Lyle Tick yes, former agency guy Lyle Tick and now senior global category director, vodka for Bacardi Global Brands, says in a statement, “We welcome Mullen into the Grey Goose vodka family. The passion the Mullen team demonstrated for the brand, its strategic insight, creativity and collaborative culture really shined through to set them apart. We look forward to writing the next chapter of this great brand with them to share our amazing story with consumers.”

Mullen’s global assignment for Grey Goose gets underway on April 1 (R/GA still handles global digital duties). Bacardi would not disclose the other agencies that competed in the review.

Cavalletti Leaves Mullen (Updated)

We’ve received confirmation that Mullen chief digital officer Mauro Cavalletti has turned in his resignation after less than a year in order to deal with “serious family health issues” back in his native Brazil. The Mullen camp tells us that “everyone here was sad to hear the news. He’s a great guy.”

If you recall, Cavalletti and Perry Fair joined Mullen as co-CDOs last April, with the former arriving from R/GA San Francisco (where he was ECD  for three years) and the latter from an ECD gig at Grey New York. Fair of course left Mullen at the end of last year for the CCO gig at JWT Atlanta/Houston/Dallas. As of now, it appears that Mullen is not planning to immediately replace Cavalletti.

Update: Here’s a quick note from Cavalletti himself: “Leaving Mullen in this very special time for the agency makes me feel sad. However, it’s time for me to move back to Brazil as I have important personal matters to take care of there.” Cavalletti clarifies that his family is actually in “good health” (good to know) but is “asking us to be by their side.” Best wishes, my friend.

Mullen Beats Out Riney for U.S. Cellular Biz

Two weeks after reportedly cutting its agency review down to two finalists, Mullen and incumbent Publicis & Hal Riney, U.S. Cellular has chosen the former as its winner. As a result, Mullen will handle brand strategy, creative development and performance analytics across all traditional, digital and emerging media channels for the wireless brand’s advertising account.

Regarding the decision, David Kimbell, VP of marketing for U.S. Cellular, says in a statement, “Mullen impressed us with the breadth and originality of its strategic thinking. We have bold ambitions for the U.S. Cellular brand, and in Mullen we have an agency partner with a proven ability to creatively express the unique qualities of challenger brands and make them stand out in the marketplace.”

No word on when first work from Mullen for U.S. Cellular will break just yet.

GSD&M, Mullen Let it Snow

For most Americans, the hope of a “White Christmas” is diminishing with each new weather report. So, GSD&M and Mullen are taking it upon themselves to give a wintry experience to those whom God has deprived of snow and fun.

GSD&M is presenting the “One-Sided Snowball Fight,” an opportunity for users to pelt helpless employees with snowballs. The dude in the Santa costume in Andy Miller, a creative director/copywriter at the agency. When typing in “creative” on the site’s search bar, Mr. Miller is the first person who comes up, which is why his video gets on our site. Ah, the power of SEO.

Currently, GCD Jay Russell has been engaged in more snowball combats than any employee according to the site leaderboard (609 times). If you recall, Jay returned to the agency in July after a stint at CP+B. Obviously, the man was missed.

Meanwhile, Mullen is using Google Maps’ API to create “Snowify.Me,” a website that adds snow to any location. From the location, users can add a variety of holiday decorations that change size according to distance (including the Royal Couple and Occupy Wall Street-ers). Pictured above, you’ll find MediaBistro’s NYC offices (link here). If only it was actually this festive in real life. Applause to GSD&M and Mullen for the gift of seasonally appropriate weather.

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