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Archives: August 2013

Graf & Co.’s ‘Climate Name Change’ Wants To Name A Hurricane After Michele Bachmann

Climate Name Change has started a petition to the World Meteorological Organization to name extreme storms after policy makers who deny climate change.

Barton F. Graf 9000 has put together a clever video supporting the petition, and it’s pretty hilarious. It starts by asking what ordinary people, with names like Andrew and Katrina, did to deserve having catastrophic storms named after them. Following this setup comes the proposal to name extreme storms caused by climate change after politicians who deny the existence of climate change.

To illustrate how this would work, they’ve put together some fake news stories about these storms. Some of these are really funny, leading to such gems as “Senator Marco Rubio is expected to pound the eastern seaboard sometime tonight,” “If you value your life, please seek shelter from Michele Bachman,” “David Vitter is literally lifting boats out of the water and tossing them on to the land”  and “…thousands of animals have been displaced or killed by Governor Rick Perry.” My personal favorite: “We’ve been here two days because of Congressman Paul Ryan. I have friends who are still out there. It’s scary, because I have no idea what Paul Ryan could be doing to them right now.”

While it would be amazing if the WMO actually enacted this policy, it’s clear that this is more a way to raise awareness about the dangers of politicians who deny climate change and their short-sighted policies. It’s a really clever and effective way to link climate change denial with the devastation that climate change causes, suggesting a clear link between climate change denial and the destruction of these catastrophic storms, while calling out many of these climate change deniers by name. “Climate Name Change” even provides a more complete list of “deniers and obstructionists” on their site, since there’s not nearly enough time to list them all in a two-and-a-half minute video.

Shell Doesn’t Want You to See This

Oil brand Shell really needs no help embarrassing itself. Their 2012 Arctic drilling program was so inept (including a rig grounding and a ship fire) that even the U.S. government said they screwed up. But Greenpeace decided to go ahead and give them a hand anyway.

Following their disastrous Alaskan campaign, Shell packed up and moved their Arctic drilling program to Russia, in a joint venture with state owned energy company, Gazprom. Greenpeace wanted to get the word out that Shell’s assault on the Arctic was far from over. What better place to do that than at Sunday’s F1 Shell Belgium Grand Prix, Shell’s biggest PR blitz of the year? Greenpeace International set up remote-controlled banners. The banners, which read “SaveTheArctic.org,” then popped up during the winner’s ceremony, as the German national anthem played. The second banner popped up just after an angry official removed the first one. Much angry crumpling of the second banner followed.

Video of the incident, entitled “Shell’s priceless F1 moment” went viral on YouTube, before F1 management demanded it be removed for “copyright complaints” just before it hit 240,000 views. The reaction to the video should only fuel Shell’s embarrassment. As Greenpeace International Arctic campaigner Ben Ayliffe put it, “Bernie Ecclestone and Shell might know how to fill a racetrack, but they clearly have no idea how social media works. Hundreds of thousands of people have seen the moment Shell’s Arctic plans were uncovered at the Grand Prix, and removing the video will only encourage thousands more to laugh at the company too.”

Indeed, the video has been reposted by myriad other users, and is available at Vimeo and on countless blogs. Shell’s miscalculated reaction to the YouTube post will only add fuel to the fire of public ridicule. You’d think that a company that spends million on branding and PR would know better, but I guess there’s no underestimating Shell’s incompetence.

Tuesday Morning Stir

-The Eurobest crew has announced its final 2013 jury presidents. link

-Estee Lauder celebrates “The Beauty of Night” with the help of Brooklyn-based design shop, HUSH. link

-Olympics protests be damned, Saatchi & Saatchi’s New Directors Showcase is being shown for the first time in Moscow (trailer above). link

-Pierre Conte has been appointed as CEO of GroupM France.

-Draftfcb Chicago CCO Todd Tilford plays guest judge for Bestads “Top 6 of the Week.” link

-Pascal de Decker, most recently ECD at Palm + Havas, is joining Taxi Montreal effective Sept. 3 as ECD. link

Flatt Out at C-K Chicago

After spending over three years serving at Cramer-Krasselt’s Chicago branch, Kevin Flatt is no longer with the agency according to sources familiar with the matter. Flatt initially joined C-K as executive creative director, eventually moving up to SVP/director of design & digital last year.

You might remember Flatt from his year-plus stint at Leo Burnett/Arc Worldwide, which he joined in 2009 as EVP/ECD of the unit’s digital practice, working with clients such as Allstate, Kellogg, McDonald’s and Purina. No word yet on where his next destination is, but during his career, Flatt also spent nearly three years at Tribal Chicago as an ECD and also served in a senior creative role at Fallon. While at C-K Chicago, meanwhile, Flatt oversaw creative on clients including Porsche, Corona Extra, Edward Jones, Sealy, Heinz and Levitra.

Monday Odds and Ends

-What do Lady Gaga, David & Goliath and Kia have in common? The above. Guess Blake Griffin must be on vaca.

-Why do mobile banner ads “stink?” Here’s one opinion. link

-Leo Burnett Chicago will oversee network TV, cable TV, radio, digital, social media, out-of-home and print advertising for real estate brand, RE/Max.

-Organic and the National Park Foundation are celebrate via interactive the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington and MLK’s iconic “I Have a Dream Speech.” link

-What the hell, Mickey D’s? “Mighty Wings” for real? link

NZI Launches First Television Campaign In 8 Years

NZI launched its long-anticipated brand campaign this weekend, along with its creative agency, Draftcb. The campaign is necessary because, according to Karl Armstrong, executive general manager of NZI, “…many business customers don’t know [NZI] by name,” even though they are New Zealand’s leading business insurer.

The campaign creates an animated port town called “Port Avon,” a celebration of a typical New Zealand port town that extends beyond the TV spot to digital, print, direct and ambient advertising.

The clever 60-second spot, “Devil’s Chair,” aired across New Zealand TV Sunday on all channels. “Devil’s Chair” highlights everything that can go wrong at a business, by way of a barrage of small catastrophes all caused by one chair. It’s worth checking out if, like me, you have a soft spot for the unique charm of New Zealand. Or if you have a thing for gratuitous cow excrement. Either way. Read more

Rosetta Makes Some More Cuts

After receiving a handful of tips, we’ve received confirmation that Publicis Groupe-owned Rosetta has had to cut some staff, marking the second time this summer that the agency has had to make said reductions. Here’s a statement:

 ”While Rosetta has experienced significant new business in the first half of the year, we have reduced a limited number of staff across a number of our business units and office locations today. We do not take this process lightly. The long-term growth of our people and agency depend on our ability to act thoughtfully and expeditiously to strengthen operating efficiencies and ensure outstanding results moving forward. We are making every possible effort to assist in finding a new situation for each affected employee.”

No word yet on approximate number or departments affected, but we’ll keep you posted.

Toyota Tacomas Are Invincible According to Strange Saatchi LA Ads

Even though the Toyota Tacoma is a truck, it can beat the Grim Reaper at chess. I’m not sure if this is a clouded reference to the 1957 movie “The Seventh Seal,” but regardless, it’s a strange spot from Saatchi & Saatchi LA, and part of a new Toyota Tacoma VS campaign that shows the truck taking on, in addition to Mr. Reaper, a mime, a magician, and a girlfriend with a tear duct issue. The four spots are hit-or-miss and embrace a brand of awkward humor that might not mesh with the truck-buying sector of America.

All four commercials do, however, promote a Tacoma feature, and during a time when randomness seems to be a common weapon of choice for creatives, specificity counts for something. You can watch the remaining three ads after the jump.

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Recent College Grad Launches Creative Director Self-Help Site

Would a Creative Director take advice from anyone, regardless of the source? What if that source is a recent UNC grad offering up satirical tips about the industry in exchange for a chance to work? Well, if you’re a CD looking to fill an open position, you might want to check out creativedirectorselfhelp.com.

The website comes from Jared Wicker, a young, nomadic copywriter looking to lose “nomadic” from his unofficial bio. We covered another of Wicker’s side projects – “Dining with Dems” – last September, when he was interning with BooneOakley. While his old site was more of a specific flavor of the week, the new site is essentially a long resume full of images, memes, and clever text. We’ve seen these types of self-promotional ventures before, some good, some boring. Wicker’s work finds a way to stand out with novelty ideas like Rapid Feedback Cards. He may not be the guy who modeled his resume after an Amazon Product Page, which is still number one in my book, but the effort shows. Give it a view, and help out a nomad.

ESPN ‘College GameDay’ Wants You To Get Up Early On Saturday

ESPN is launching a new campaign celebrating College GameDay’s four hour debut this Saturday at Clemson University. The first short spot, “Get Up For 9 A.M,” which for some reason features music from The Lion King, clearly is targeted at older fans, since college students don’t wake at 9 A.M. for anything, especially on a Saturday (when they are hungover or otherwise recovering from Friday night).

The second spot, “Anthem,” which you can check out after the jump, features highlights of the kind of mishigas you can find on the show. This includes, but is not limited to, commenters holding a variety of guest animals and Brian Wilson playing the trumpet. They pack as much craziness as they can into 31 seconds, in the hopes that they’ll convince you to roll out of bed and tune in on Saturday morning. An extended version of “Anthem” will also run on social media.

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