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The Martin Agency

To the Wannabe and/or Budding QBs Out There, Pizza Hut, Martin Agency Salute You

Now that pro football fans are stuck in the two-week limbo between the NFL championship games and the Super Bowl (no one gives a shit about the Pro Bowl), let’s try to fill the void with something we overlooked last week that is, well, football-related. Here’s a new effort from Martin Agency for Pizza Hut called “Hut Hut Hut,” which as you can imagine, plays off the latter’s name while highlighting the standard call made by quarterbacks to get the ball rolling, so to speak.

Instead of hiring actual NFL stars, though, this somewhat inviting clip, which is part of Martin’s Super Bowl push for the the Hut, salutes the fans, whether they be high-school football players, average joes, parents and/or their kids. The web effort from Martin also happened to serve as a call for viewers to submit their own “hut hut” clips to Pizza Hut’s Facebook page in the hopes of cutting a user-generated version to air in time for the Super Bowl pre-game run-up. Unfortunately, deadline expired on Jan. 20, but we’ll see what agency and client came up with on Feb. 3. Credits after the jump.

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Martin Agency Renews Relationship with Timberland

After hearing this news, we’ve been unable to shake the sounds of Q-Tip busting verses about “Timbos on my toes” on Beastie Boys’ “Get it Together,” but yes, folks, this is indeed how it goes. After well over a decade apart, Richmond, VA’s own Timberland and The Martin Agency have reunited as the former has tapped the latter to develop cross-channel advertising for its outdoor  industrial work boot dubbed the Hyperion.

After a two-month, internally run review, Martin won out over a few undisclosed agencies for the assignment, and as a result, is tasked with strategic and creative development for Hyperion and first work for the line is expected to break in fall of this year. Regarding the Timberland–sorry, make that Timberland PRO–decision to hire Martin, which takes over for Mullen on the biz, the brand’s director of marketing, Susan Emerick, says in a statement, “After looking at several very fine agencies, we chose The Martin Agency because they demonstrated a deep understanding of our product and can bring the benefits of our work boots to life in a very strategic and creatively compelling way. In our category, people have an intensely personal relationship with their boots. We believe The Martin Agency team will harness that emotion and use it to help us build a great story with our end consumer.”

Timberland PRO wouldn’t disclose billings either, but as a result of its move, the brand renews a relationship with Martin Agency that initially spanned from 1997-2001.

Walmart Appeals to Crazy People for ‘Call of Duty’ Midnight Release

With the Harry Potter series of novels completed, the only products that can get weirdos to hang out in a store until midnight are video games. And, with the release of Call of Duty: Black Ops II coming next week, “America’s Chain,” Walmart, is trying to convince weirdos to specifically hang out in their store with this new spot from The Martin Agency.

Believe it or not, this spot was directed by Ruben Fleischer, better known to most as the director of Zombieland. For those that are unaware, a large portion of the Black Ops series is dedicated to killing and/or running from zombies. So, this selection actually makes a good amount of sense.

Perhaps even more shocking, Walmart enlisted the help of Academy Award-winning composer of The Social Network, Trent Reznor, to create the music playing in the background as our protagonist runs to safety. It’s strange to consider that Reznor, better known to most of you as that angry guy from Nine Inch Nails, is now having his “Theme from Call of Duty: Black Ops IIarrangement used to convince nerds to go to Walmart. But hey, Trent Reznor’s gotta eat just like everyone else. You don’t want Trent Reznor to starve to death, do you? Also, we can probably safely assume that Trent had no idea his music for the game would end up in a Walmart ad. Credits after the jump.

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Martin Agency Officially Bestows CCO Title Upon Joe Alexander

We were wondering why that sense of deja vu was creeping over us. Four months after first reporting that Joe Alexander was essentially replacing John Norman as the creative leader of the Martin Agency, the Richmond, VA operation has finally anointed the former as chief creative officer.

Suffice it to say that it’s been a pretty quick ascent to the Martin mountaintop for Alexander, who only in February was named ECD at the agency before succeeding Norman a few months later. Then again, perhaps it’s merited considering the new CCO has been with Martin Agency for nearly two decades. During his lengthy stay, Alexander has led creative on campaigns for the likes of Wal-Mart, UPS and JFK Library, most recently serving as CD on the “Clouds Over Cuba” online doc for the last client. At the very least, we’ve got a new headshot to use this time.

Martin Agency Cuts 6% of Staff

We first started hearing grumblings about this late last week, and now we’ve received official word that The Martin Agency announced a staff reduction across departments today. As a result, 38 people, or six percent of the agency’s workforce, has been let go including 35 in Martin’s Richmond HQ and three in New York. We’ve been told that among other things, “a decrease in productive client spending” and a need for “internal realigning” were reasons for the cuts.

According to the Martin camp, “Employees affected by this reduction will be offered outplacement counseling, and job search assistance as well as severance and extended heath care coverage. Additionally, the agency is “offering to pay any company one half of the first month’s new salary (up to $4000) for any employee hired in the next 30 days.”

With the cuts, current Martin Agency headcount now stands at 564.

Martin Promotes Patterson to CD

Fresh off of changing its creative leadership, Richmond, VA’s own The Martin Agency is making more moves in the department as it’s promoted ACD/copywriter Trent Patterson to creative director. Patterson has spent the last four years at Martin, helping lead creative on several campaigns for Wal-Mart (some of which earned him a couple of One Show Pencils this year). Now as a CD, Patterson will still work some on the retail giant, but will primarily be heading up creative on Martin’s Comcast business.

Prior to joining the Martin Agency, Patterson spent nearly eight years as an ACD/copywriter at GSD&M, where he worked on a variety of accounts including Southwest Airlines, the U.S. Olympic Committee, BMW and 7-Eleven.

Alexander to Succeed Norman as Martin Agency Creative Boss

So, what started as a sabbatical is becoming a complete departure as the Martin Agency has confirmed that it’s officially parting ways with chief creative officer John Norman at month’s end. While no new CCO will be appointed at this point, we’ve been told that Joe Alexander (pictured), a two-decade Martin vet who was promoted to executive creative director a few months ago, will take over as the creative lead across accounts at the Richmond, VA-based agency once Norman’s departure is complete. No word on what lies ahead for Norman, who joined Martin Agency two-and-a-half years ago from W+K Amsterdam, but we’ve been told the agency “wishes him the best” and adds that the departure was “amicable.”

Speaking of the Martin Agency…

While we address this sudden sense of deja vu, let us tell you that The Martin Agency has nabbed a new SVP/group creative director in Jorge Calleja, who is heading to the Richmond, VA-based operation after a two-year stint at Sid Lee Amsterdam. During his time as a creative director at Sid Lee, Calleja led creative work on Red Bull and global Adidas projects among other accounts.

Prior to Sid Lee, Calleja served as a global creative director on Coca-Cola, Lego and Honda. During his career, Calleja has worked at the likes of Goodby, where we held the title of senior art director and was involved with campaigns including “Got Milk?” as well as those for HP, Sprint, Hyundai and Rolling Rock.

Costa Leaving Martin for Chiat LA

We’ve received confirmation that Martin Agency SVP/group creative director Fabio Costa will be leaving the agency for a gig at TBWA\Chiat\Day LA, though we haven’t been apprised yet of his soon-to-be title. Costa joined Martin 18 months ago and subsequently led creative on efforts for Comcast and Mentos including the “Spider Swiper” app. Prior to Martin Agency, Costa had a yearlong stint as partner/creative director at Ogilvy and worked as a CD for three years at Cutwater before that. During his time at Cutwater, Costa worked on campaigns for Ubisoft’s Assassins Creed among others.

The Martin camp tells us that they’re “sad to see Fabio leaving, but we wish him the best,” adding that he’s taking an opportunity that was “too hard to pass up.” From what we’ve been told, Costa will be joining Chiat LA in August.

John Norman Takes Some Time Off

We’ve been getting a few tips this afternoon about John Norman, CCO at the Martin Agency who sent the note below to staff letting then know that he’s taking leave for a few weeks, though we’re still not sure what the circumstances are regarding his brief departure. Here’s what we were forwarded:

“Hello my friends,

These past few months have been challenging to say the least, and we have all worked our asses off on current clients and a number of crazy pitches. I have found myself burning the candle at both ends for longer than I would have liked.

I have decided to take a sabbatical and regroup for a few weeks and spend some time with my family and myself, getting recharged for the remainder of 2012.

I look forward to seeing you all in June.

Word,

Jno.”

Prior to joining Martin at the end of 2009, Norman served as a creative at W+K Amsterdam and was one of the minds behind Coca-Cola’s award-winning “Happiness Factory while at the latter agency. We’ll see you back in June, sir.

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