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Young & Rubicam

Y&R Taps Consultancy Vet for Chief Growth Officer Gig

David Sable & Co. have welcomed former Roth Associates EVP/lead consultant Cathy Cohan aboard to assume the new title of global chief growth officer at Y&R, a role which calls for her to drive new biz growth across the global agency network . Cohan, who spent five years in all at Roth, now essentially fills the new business executive vacancy left by Chris Hayes, who left Y&R to join Brooklyn-based Huge back in July.

Regarding Cohan’s return to the agency side, Y&R global CEO Sable says in a statement, “She has great intellect and instincts, as well as an enormous capacity for understanding an advertiser’s marketing needs and the right mix of resources that will meet them. It is a huge competitive advantage for us that she has experience as a consultant and as a client leader, as she helps us hone our marketing skills.”

Cohan’s first trek through the agency world including four-year stint as CMO at BBDO Atlanta and a lengthy gig as director of business development at JWT.

Yes, Wunderman West is Still a Thing, Kids, and Craig Evans is Now Commanding Creative

We can’t remember the last time we heard from the Wunderman camp (oh yeah, sorry). But now, the news shifts to the West Coast as the WPP/Y&R division has bumped up group creative director Craig Evans to ECD. Evans has spent over seven years at both Y&R and Wunderman, initially joining the former in 2004 before heading to the latter in 2010. Now, as head of creative at Wunderman West, he will lead up work for clients including Southwest Airlines and Invisalign at a network that counts offices in Irvine, San Francisco as well as Seattle.

During his career, Evans not only co-authored a book called Marketing Mojo, but co-led San Diego-based shops of his own such as Matthews|Evans|Albertazzi and Big Bang Idea Engineering. As one would expect, Evans’s boss, Wunderman West managing director Dan Olson, speaks highly of his new creative lead, saying in a statement that the ECD is “…unquestionably the hardest-working man in advertising – and one of the smartest. He’s a bit of a mad scientist – able to quickly dissect a problem and deliver astounding solutions that engage people.”

In case you were wondering, Evans is taking over for Anthony DiBiase, who moved on to a brief stint at CHI & Wunderman in Minneapolis, but is no longer with the agency.

Hotels.com Gets Animated Yet Again, Plays ‘Matchmaker’

Though Y&R Chicago took it back to “real-life” for a recent Hotels.com spot filmed during the Running of the Bulls (which a commenter that goes by Bob Winter assured us the agency’s creative team thought up before I suggested it last year), the brand is yet again employing whimsical animation for this above spot, “Matchmaking.”

In it, we find our large-headed protagonist walking through a mystical hotel where each room is themed, kind of like that hourly rate motel from Blue Valentine but decidedly less sleazy. Set to a big band track from late vocalist, actor and comedian Jimmy Durante (aka “Schnozzola”), the animation team from Cannes-winning prodco Nexus had their hands full creating a sprawling hotel that hides a different world behind each door.

So, readers, how do you like your Hotels.com spots? Do you like them cute and animated, or X-treme and death-defying?

Budweiser Extends Happy Hour, Encourages Rampant Binge-Drinking With ‘Budclock’

From Y&R Ecuador comes an effort that will hypothetically force bars to extend happy hour with the magic of QR codes. Yes, put “Budclock” on those semi-annual lists of “interesting QR code uses for marketers” that tech blogs are accustomed to run when they need a bump in monthly pageviews and tweets.

According to the Y&R camp, “Budclock” is an example of “ambient marketing,” a phrase I hear quite rarely in reference to non-traditional media buys that generally garner some sort of consumer interaction in order to work. Perhaps this jargon is more widely used overseas? In any case, “Budclock” utilizes the very American sport of binge-drinking as a way to keep bars from ending happy hour, with each purchased beer adding one minute to the weekday party.

“Budclock” was officially instituted in Ecuador on May 12, and since that time, the announce boasts that happy hour has been extended over 6000 minutes and that the campaign has “reached” over 50,000 people (44,000 of whom apparently don’t think drinking Budweiser is worth a minute of their time). Still, I would like to see this campaign experimented with in a few American urban centers, as I don’t doubt that it would be even more effective in the U.S. than it was in South America. Credits follow after the jump.

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Hotels.com Takes Our Advice, Actually Books Hotel During Running of the Bulls

All the way back in September of last year, we posted a Hotels.com spot from Y&R Chicago that featured a skydiver using the brand’s mobile app to book a hotel while in free-fall.

In my post, I suggested that should Hotels.com continue their totally X-treme campaign, they should show someone booking a hotel while engaged in Spain’s infamous Running of the Bulls. And, hey, look at that. They actually did that thing that I told them to do.

So, Y&R Chicago, I ask you: Where’s my money? To the rest of you, now you know that when your creative team has run out of ideas, look to AgencySpy for all of your digital marketing needs. Advertising: It really is that easy.

But seriously, Bob Winter, where’s my money? I know where you work.

Y&R NY’s Graeme Hall Heads Back to Europe

After spending the last three years Stateside as a creative director/senior copywriter at Y&R New York, Graeme Hall is heading back to Europe and joining up with the creative team at 180 Amsterdam as a CD. During his time at Y&R, Hall served as CD on Virgin Atlantic and helped lead creative on a variety of other accounts including PETA (you might remember the recent “Agents in the Wild” effort), VH1, Land Rover and Airwalk (his “Invisible Pop Up Store” for the last earned him a Webby and Yellow Pencil).

According to a statement from 180 Amsterdam managing partner/ECD Al Moseley, Hall will serve as CD on various projects “across all our business, create his own work, and mentor teams. He’s going to be busy.” Prior to heading to the U.S. and joining Y&R, Hall spent five years at DDB London, where he worked as a creative on campaigns for Harvey Nichols, Marmite and various projects for VW.

We’ve been told he officially starts at 180 Amsterdam tomorrow.

 

 

 

Y&R’s Argentine Olympics Spot Sparks Controversy for ‘Playing Politics’

The above new spot for Argentina’s Olympic team from Y&R New York Buenos Aires is being called by some “beneath contempt,” “tasteless,” “feral and disgusting behavior” and “designed to offer maximum offence and contrary to both the Olympic spirit and all sense of human decency.” Harsh words, yes, but perhaps a brief history lesson will offer justification for those who have been deeply disturbed by the images shown in this ad, which was commissioned by the Argentine government.

See, while the text in the spot suggests that the athlete is training on Argentine soil, he’s in fact doing so on the Falkland Islands. This is quite significant when you consider that the 2012 Olympics’ host county, England, fought and won a war for the Islands in 1982 after Argentina attempted to invade them. Although England and Argentina resumed diplomatic relationship in the early 90s, the Falklands are still under dispute, and Argentina continues to lay claim to the land despite islanders voicing their plea to remain British citizens.

To add insult to injury, the athlete in the spot uses a World War I memorial dedicated to fallen British soliders to bolster his training efforts. In response to the public outcry, Y&R has issued an apology today, saying they were “disturbed” by it. Meanwhile, WPP chief Sir Martin Sorrell issued a statement saying, “The ad is totally, and I mean totally, unacceptable. The agency has formally apologized for any offense or pain caused. We are appalled and embarrassed by it.”

Taking into account the fact that last month marked the 30th anniversary of the Falklands War, this probably couldn’t have been timed worse. The government of Argentina has not issued an apology. See more, including a harsh criticism from Falkland National Sports Council chair, Mike Summers, here.

Y&R NY Nabs YoungGuns’ 2011 Digital AOY Honors

 

In case you didn’t hear, Y&R global CCO Tony Granger and his crew got some love from the 12-year award outfit that is YoungGuns International (not to be confused with ADC Young Guns), which has bestowed the “2011 Digital Agency of the Year” honors upon the WPP operation. The agency says that its New York office’s “Airwalk Popup Store” collaboration with GoldRun (watch Venice Beach, CA version above) played a major part in helping the YoungGuns crew come to its decision.

From what we’ve been told, YoungGuns will be coming to New York later this month/early February to throw a party and celebrate the honor. So, how do we get on the guest list? FYI, here’s a link to 2011 YG winners and finalists here (be warned: PDF files abound).

We Hear: Y&R Taking BMO Harris Biz?

After what had to be a tough month to endure, the Y&R network could use some uplift and since the beginning of December, we’ve been hearing that agency’s Chicago office has locked yet another account, which happens to be BMO Harris Bank. We haven’t received confirmation from the agency yet, but since Dec. 6, we’ve received pretty straightforward tips like these: “Y&R chicago awarded AOR for BMO Harris” or “BMO Harris won by Y&R Chicago. Announcement coming soon.”

If true, this marks yet another win for Y&R Chicago CCO Bob Winter, who in just 15 months on the job, has led a team that’s picked up several accounts including Dave & Buster’s, Famous Footwear and the YMCA. Nearly five months ago, Chicago-based Harris Bank, as it was known pre-merger, launched a review for its creative account, which was handled by Element79 since 2005. As the tipsters hinted, we hear that some sort of announce is expected within the next few days. We’ll keep you posted.

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Y&R NY to Move from Madison Ave to Columbus Circle

 

After spending 85 years at 285 Madison Avenue, Y&R New York is ready to make a move as the agency’s signed a deal to shift staff to 3 Columbus Circle, where they will occupy 10 floors (more than Grey NY?). The move won’t officially take place until 2013, but once completed, the new digs will house not only Y&R, but several of its WPP siblings including Wunderman, VML, Blast Radius, BrandBuzz, Bravo, Kang & Lee, KBM Group and ZAAZ. We’ve been told that Y&R’s been looking for space that “makes it much easier to collaborate.”

In a statement, Y&R global CEO David Sable says, “It’s exciting, and totally relevant to what we do, to be thrust into one of the most vibrant neighborhoods in the city, with great art, music, theater, shopping and food within walking distance, not to mention all of Central Park at our disposal.  As thrilling is starting with clean space–we are designing space that is optimal for absolutely every aspect of what we do and who we are.”

Update: Well, figured it’s more fitting to post the actual image of the 3 Columbus Circle office.

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