After receiving a few tips about this but no official word back, it appears to finally be so as Walt Connelly has now joined up with TBWA\Chiat\Day New York as global CD. Most recently, the creative vet served as global executive creative director at Havas Worldwide last summer on the agency’s Merck Consumer Care business, a position he just assumed last summer. During his career, Connelly has served as ECD at the likes of McCann, JWT (on on Microsoft, Kimberly-Clark, HSBC, etc.) and Ogilvy (on IBM). When we’re done tapping feet, twiddling thumbs and the like awaiting Chiat’s word on specifics, we’ll keep you posted.
We received a straight-up “no comment” when we inquired with camp TBWA, but word from various sources is that Hector Muelas and Ricardo Viramontes, who spent nearly a year at TBWA\Media Arts Lab as group creatives directors, have moved into CD roles at Apple. Of course, you know that the brand and agency unit have been working together as exclusive partners for years so a move such as this doesn’t seem so shocking. Prior to their time at \MAL, Muelas and Viramontes spent nearly a year at B-Reel and have both worked at the likes of Creative Artists Agency and W+K during their careers. We’ll let you know if and when we hear more.
TBWA/Chiat Day celebrates Peyton Manning breaking the NFL single-season touchdown record with an inspirational campaign for Gatorade.
At the heart of the new campaign is the thirty second spot, “51 And Counting.” The simple spot shows photos of Peyton unleashing each of his 51 touchdown passes, set to inspirational narration about ignoring those who tell you what you can’t do. It’s a timely response to Manning’s record-breaking season, and the association with Peyton is sure to win Gatorade some points with fans. That TBWA/Chiat Day couldn’t follow up the last photo with footage of the record breaking pass being completed is something of a letdown, but I imagine logistical/legal concerns are to blame. The campaign also includes a celebratory print ad in Sports Illustrated, congratulating Manning on winning the Sportsman of the Year award “by painting a picture of what it means to win from within using only words and Manning’s number, 18.” Stay tuned for the print ad, and credits, after the jump. Read more
As 2013 draws to a close and the industry grinds to a halt (well, perhaps that’s wishful thinking), we’ll try to provide some interludes between the spate of agency holiday cards and the like. Below, we have a memo/pep talk from Robert Harwood-Matthews, president of TBWA\Chiat\Day New York who refers to his staffers as “pirates.” Why? Well, according to those in the know, the pirates term was coined years ago by Jay Chiat himself, whose mantra is “It’s better to be the pirates than the navy.” Hence, the have skulls & crossbones on flags, basketball courts, lobby floors and TBWA\C\D websites (there is a section on ‘Pirate Culture’ on the LA site and the logo’s emblazoned on the main page of the New York site as well. Anyways, read on.
I’ve just realized that today marks 15 months for me here in NY and the end of my first full year at the helm. I wanted to say thank you to all of you for your support. It has been an honor to serve you. It’s no mean feat to go from weathering significant financial losses at the end of 2012 to be sitting here a year later with a new hand picked crew and a bunch of new business opportunities.
We have a wide range of new skills in our armory and I learnt yesterday that we are now the most diverse TBWA company in North America which is exciting.
We’ve done this together and you’ve all made significant efforts, gone the extra mile and done it with a smile (mostly We are going to hit the ground running in January. Kyla will be here on the management team to lead a significant focus on new business and we have several pitches and opportunities to prepare, starting with our first on Jan 6! So make sure you get some rest, reboot and come back hungry for success. I want 2014 to be the year you make the best work of your careers.
Right about this time every year, TBWA\Chiat\Day LA debuts its TV spots for the Grammys. And, every year, they’re pretty underwhelming. A few years back, we got a swirly, graphics overload with CGI re-tellings of artists like Eminem’s life story. Last year, we got the hashtag-happy #TheWholeWorldIsListening, which aimed to put viewers into the shoes of stars like Rihanna while trying to convince them that the awards show was still in any way relevant.
This year’s first spot, “Anthem,” looked more like a VH1 commercial than anything else, and it seemed we were in for yet another year of mediocrity. But then, dare we say it, the Grammys and Chiat LA ctually surprised us. The latest spot in the Music Unleashes Us campaign, “Drive” (above), does a fantastic job of convincing viewers that they owe it to the artists who get them through times of sorrow and heartbreak to watch their performances on the Grammys.
From Pink and fun., we move to Macklemore and “Doughnut Shop,” another well-produced and compelling spot filmed outside of Inglewood’s famous Randy’s Donuts. Again, these spots excel at following through with what the campaign promises – portraying the affect that popular music has on the average TV viewer. It both ignites and unleashes, an important sentiment for the Grammys to glom onto as the show still figures out its approach to celebrating an industry that doesn’t know what to do next. One more Katy Perry-tinged spot, and credits, follow after the jump.
And now, an emotional holiday spot for Apple (which sources say is, yes, another TBWA\Media Arts Lab joint).
Entitled “Misunderstood,” the ad (which features Cat Power’s version of “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”) follows an adolescent boy and his family through a series of holiday events. The boy always seems to be on his iPhone instead of engaging with the rest of the family, and that certainly seems to be the family’s assumption. At the end of the spot, however, it’s revealed that the whole time he was creating a holiday slideshow for his family.
The :90 effort is about as sentimental as you would expect a holiday ad from Apple to be, but benefits from the moment of relative surprise (okay, it’s not exactly a shocking moment) when the boy’s intentions are revealed. There have been plenty of holiday spots that have attempted to be funny or even controversial this year, but not all that many that go for good old-fashioned holiday sentimentality. So, even if it may be a bit overly emotional, this entry from the Cupertino, CA giant is not entirely unwelcome.
When we usually hear the word “restructuring,” we figure the worst (yeah, we can be cynical/pessimists) in terms of staffing issues, but we’ve been told that is fortunately not the case at TBWA\Chiat\Day New York, which has overhauled its strategy team. The move includes a slew of new hires of Samsung alum Jared Cohen as senior digital strategist, 360i alum Nicole Hering as digital strategist and Dakota Green, ex-strategist at Woods Witt Dealy & Sons as a planner.
Omnicom-owned Chiat NY head of strategy Ed Castillo says, “We’re finding it important to install very strategic-minded people who can see the bigger brand picture, even as they may craft the tiny technicalities of tweets and pins. Getting it right in social is both an executional challenge (speed, accuracy, analytics) as well as a matter of creative finesse (voice, tone, brief alignment). We’re careful to get the right balance.”
A little bit of staffing news for you this afternoon as TBWA\Chiat\Day NY has added to its creative department by welcoming Mother alums Erik Holmdahl and Beth Ryan, art director and copywriter, respectively, to the fold as CDs. The pair spent the last year, give or take, at Mother helping lead creative for Stella and Microsoft but spent the majority of their careers at BBH, with both working for over a half-decade at the latter agency on campaigns for the likes of Sprite, Axe and Google. Prior to BBH, Holmdahl worked at StrawberryFrog for a few years while Ryan put in the same amount of time at DDB Seattle.
The pair’s new boss and former BBH colleague, Matt Ian, who joined up with TBWA\C\D NY as creative chief from Deutsch LA this past summer, speaks highly (obviously) of the new hires, saying in a statement, “We hear the term ‘hybrid creative’ thrown around a lot, but I haven’t met too many who are genuinely ambidextrous. When I worked with them at BBH, I quickly came to realize that Beth and Erik are as strong digitally as they are with the traditional work. They think simply and inventively. They can give you an innovative idea for an app or a digital platform, and then turn around and hit a home run with a TV script.”
Along with the new CDs, Chiat NY has also brought on former Anomaly Toronto director of design Melatan Riden in a similar role as design director.
From TBWA\Paris comes a new spot for AIDES which depicts a wooden man dry-humping some girl he picked up at a bar. Titled “Woody” (because PENIS BONERZ HAHAHAHA), the spot is a reminder to girls everywhere that the dude you meet out at the club might have AIDS or Herpes or something but might not know it. Wrap that rascal, as the kids say. Rubber up! (As I say.)
As you may recall, AIDES is no stranger to provocative, weiner-laden advertising. Why just a few years ago they sent a CGI penis on vacation with the help of Goodby, Silverstein + Partners to remind us that you don’t know where that penis you’ve randomly encountered has been. It could be rubbing itself all over Aztec ruins for all you know.
On the same subject-ish, an aside: I attended a “Friendsgiving” party this past weekend where we all went around the room and said what we were thankful for. A rather intoxicated friend of mine stood up when it was his turn and announced loudly to the room, “You know, my penis has been a lot of places over the course of my life.” He then pointed to his girlfriend and said, “You’ve been the best!” Somehow, he managed not to get slapped. On that note, full super-French credits, and a making-of video, follow after the jump.
After all of the recent Derrick Rose Basketball is Everything TV play, let’s not forget that Adidas’ slim basketball holdings do include the mercurial superstar-child, Dwight Howard. TBWA\Singapore and Dwight teamed for a new international spot way east of America, where 180LA handles domestic duty. The Phillipines is thoroughly obsessed with basketball, and Howard’s Houston Rockets recently traveled to Manila for some preseason play and NBA global brand-building. Adidas wisely used the setting for some brand-building of their own. And as a result, here is the one-and-a-half minute intro video for Signature Shots.
Instead of receiving handwritten autographs from Dwight, fans were able to play him one-on-one as a machine captured their movement on the court and translated that into a unique signature that could be printed onto merchandise. I’m all for the riff on standard sit-and-sign celebrity sessions, even if some of the signatures look like seismograph scribbles, but this spot just feels underwhelming. The clip starts off with some promising B-roll footage of Manila and it’s young hoopsters.
However, all of the vibrant colors and sounds of the city are soon replaced by action shots of machines printing the movement signatures and Dwight playing one-on-one. Rather than wash out all of the sensory details with some techno track, Adidas and TBWA would’ve been wiser to let Manila create its own soundtrack. Watching a printer spit out signed memorabilia is just time wasted. There was a missed opportunity here to create a commercial worthy of Manila’s love for basketball. There will be more opportunities in the future, but Adidas will have to wait. Credits after the jump.