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Posts Tagged ‘Eric Springer’

FCB, Canal+ Create ‘Wilhelm Scream’ Mockumentary

The newly Draft-less FCB worked with Canal+ to create a mockumentary on the famous “Wilhelm scream” entitled “The Woman Who Can’t Watch Movies.”

“The Wilhelm scream,” in case anyone needs a refresher, is the famous stock audio scream recorded by Sheb Wooley and named after the character Private Wilhelm in the 1953 western The Charge of the Feather River, although it was first used in the 1951 film Distant Drums. It saw a resurgence in popularity as a stock sound effect following its use in Star Wars and Indiana Jones. It is now so ubiquitous (it has been dubbed in over 200 films) that it has become something of an in-joke, used in recent years in films by Pixar, the Lord of the Rings triology, and countless other movies. (There are rumors that directors Steven Spielberg, George Lucas and Quentin Tarantino “maintain a bet as to who has used the “Wilhelm scream” more.”)

“The Woman Who Can’t Watch Movies” follows the (supposed) story of Sheb’s widow, Linda Dotson Wooley. Linda complains that she can’t watch movies anymore because she “just can’t bear to hear the sound of Sheb screaming out in pain over and over again.” After introducing Linda and her “condition” — a clever (although kind of sad) way to call attention to the sound effect’s ubiquity — the mockumentary introduces viewers to Canal+’s Scream Bank, “a catalog of donated screams for industry professionals to use in place of Sheb’s.” A few comically-off screams are then shown dubbed into a film, a great display of why the “Wilhelm Scream” has become such a well-worn cliche. The video is a teaser for Leave Wilhelm Alone, an upcoming documentary on the “Wilhelm scream.” Stick around for credits after the jump, and feel free to head on over to Canal+’s site and record a scream of your own. Read more

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Pitch Promotes Wells to CCO, Brings in Fellow Chiat LA Alum Clegg as GCD

xanthewells1

Fresh off of nabbing general market ad duties from Mother NY for Burger King earlier this month, Culver City, CA-based agency Pitch has made some moves within its creative department. Most notably, the agency has promoted Xanthe Wells, most recently executive creative director, to the role of chief creative officer. Wells (pictured above) joined Pitch as ECD in early 2013 after spending over seven years at TBWA\Chiat\Day L.A., where she worked with clients ranging from Kraft to Pepsi. The new CCO replaces Eric Springer, who left Pitch for the top creative gig at Draftfcb last year.

Along with the Wells promotion, Pitch has also welcomed aboard fellow Chiat LA alum Gage Clegg, who, along with his significant other, Becca Morton, parted ways with the latter agency last spring (but subsequently stayed on as GCD). Clegg joins up with Pitch as group creative director.

Draftfcb LA Continues Full-Court Press for Nabi

Just two weeks ago, we were covering the first wave of Nabi spots from Draftfcb, a pair of 30-second ads that favorably compared kid-friendly Nabi tablets to Kindle devices a la Microsoft vs. Apple. Our Erik Oster found them to be informational and appealing. However, these two new spots, “Fear Not Question” and “Swagger,” drop the comparison technique for an unconvincing plea for Nabi to be a lifestyle brand.

“Fear No Question” presents the Nabi brand as classroom-friendly, going right after a parent’s sense of idealistic learning, so in turn, that parent will go right for his/her wallet. It’s a boring and safe play that may have worked out if Draftfcb hadn’t already launched the Kindle attacks that are much more memorable.

“Swagger” goes straight after the kids. Promoting Nabi headphones – think Beats for kids – the spot shows a little kid walking down a school hallway in slow-motion as he gives headnods to his friends and long stares to the girl he probably has a crush on. This is more Fubu than Fuhu. This is also just a bad commercial, corny and overdone, even for a children’s market. The tagline of “Everyone Needs a Theme Song” actually has a nice ring to it, but the visual execution is too silly. The clip almost plays like a mocking comedy skit of itself.

At 30 seconds, both ads are easy to watch and easy to forget. ”Swagger” and credits after the jump.

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Draftfcb LA Pushes Nabi in First Campaign as AOR for Fuhu

Draftcb has unveiled two new spots for the Nabi, its first campaign for Fuhu since becoming their agency of record in September.

Fuhu has done incredibly well for themselves with the Nabi, a soft-edged tablet designed for children, even being named “the fastest growing company in America” by Inc. There’s certainly no change in strategy from Draftcb for these two new spots. “Good Morning” and “Glow in the Dark” tout the Nabi’s kid-friendly features via comparison with the Kindle, which comes out looking sorely lacking in the kid-friendly department.

If you are going to buy your kids a tablet, I suppose it should be one that’s made for them, right? These spots do a good job extolling the Nabi as the perfect option for children. In “Good Morning” (featured above) that means talking about the Nabi’s “time controls” — in this case, a good morning song to wake up to. The Nabi does its thing before asking a silent Kindle what its good morning song is.

“Glow in the Dark,” meanwhile, highlights Nabi’s glow in the dark feature. No surprise there. Also not a surprise: the Kindle does not glow in the dark. Score: Nabi 2, Kindle 0. Plus, the Nabi just looks like something a kid would want to play with. So make that Nabi 3, Kindle 0.

We see plenty of these “direct comparison to our biggest competitor” ads with tech gadgets, but few seem to take the wind out of the competition the way these ads sucker punch the Kindle. At least for the Nabi’s target audience. If I were shopping around for a tablet for a child, this campaign would have me convinced that the Nabi is the way to go. Thankfully, I won’t find myself in that situation any time soon. Credits and “Glow in the Dark” after the jump.  Read more

Here’s a Quick Update on the State of DFCB SoCal

Well, despite what tipsters and those we know have been saying ad nauseum over the last few days, we’ve been told by parties involved that “any suggestion” that Draftfcb’s West Coast SoCal operation is no longer working with Taco Bell “is wrong” (Seattle and SF offices are not in play here). After all, the agency did just bust out this ad campaign this week for the fast-food chain for better or worse. But anyhow, the Draft camp has updated its announce from two weeks ago regarding the revamping of its SoCal agency structure, offering the statement below:

“Last month we announced that Rahul Roy would be taking on expanded responsibilities as the managing director of our operations in southern California.  He is partnering with Eric Springer and Michael Bryce, former creative partners at Deutsch L.A. who joined the agency several months ago as chief creative officer and executive creative director respectively, to revamp our operations there.  While we will keep a small service office in Irvine, we are shifting the heart of our business to new offices in L.A. so that we can tap into a deeper talent pool for the benefit of clients like Taco Bell while attracting new business.

Our latest new hire is Sandip Vadher, who has joined the agency as SVP, group planning director; he succeeds Ken Muench. Sandip had most recently held the same role at Pitch. He has deep QSR experience, working with clients like Burger King and McDonald’s over the years.  His keen strategic thinking has also benefited clients and brands like Microsoft, Target, Coke Zero and Samsung.

While a number of our Orange County people are now assigned to work in L.A., the decision to retool our operations in southern California means that we also need to part ways with some talented people. They were informed of this decision Wednesday. We are doing all we can to provide a smooth transition to those who are affected; we deeply appreciate their contributions to our agency. In the long run, we believe these strategic shifts should fortify our business in Southern California.”

We’ve inquired about number of staff affected and headcount as a result of Draftfcb’s SoCal restructuring. We’ll keep you posted.

Taco Bell is Excited About Cool Ranch Doritos Locos Tacos, Therefore You Must Be, Too

Hey, did you know that Taco Bell’s Doritos Locos tacos now come in a Cool Ranch variety? Of course you did, and you and your 20-something-year-old friends are probably celebrating in a parking lot or pool hall right now according to this spot from DraftFCB. “By golly, what a wonderful new offering,” you thought to yourself. “I should throw a Doritos bag containing a taco to my similarly aged friend across town. That is what I shall do.” And then you did.

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Chiat LA Vet Wells Takes Creative Lead at Pitch

After spending nearly seven years as a creative director at TBWA\Chiat\Day LA, Xanthe Wells is moving on. The senior creative has now assumed the title of ECD at Culver City, CA-based “media-agnostic idea factory” Pitch, which we here in the office know for their year-end pop culture cookies (thanks again, y’all!) but also happens to service clients including Asics’ Onitsuka Tiger, Burger King (youth/family business)  as well as Nickelodeon.

During her tenure at Chiat LA, Wells, who happens to be a Culver City local, helped lead creative on various Pepsi projects including “Refresh” and the Diet Pepsi/Sofia Vergara campaign while also serving as CD on last year’s “Live for Now” campaign. Along with her work for the soft drink giant, Wells also worked on Pinkberry and helped create the Stacy’s Way campaign for Stacy’s Chips along with Bare Escentuals’ first-ever national initiative with “Be a Force of Beauty.” Before Chiat, Wells spent two years as an art director at Ground Zero (which merged with Wongdoody, sort of, nearly three years ago), where worked on accounts including ESPN, Toyota and Califonia’s Anti-Smoking campaign.

The new ECD takes over for Eric Springer (him again?), who as you may know left his CCO gig at Pitch after barely a year to take the creative reins at Draftfcb Orange County.

Bryce Joins Draftfcb OC as ECD

It didn’t take long for newly installed Draftfcb Orange County chief creative officer Eric Springer to get down to business as the exec’s kicking 2013 off by recruiting a right-hand man in Michael Bryce, who joins the agency as EVP/executive creative director. Bryce most recently spent the last year as a creative director at 72andSunny, working on Activision and the notable Samsung GS II campaign.

The new hire, though, spent the majority of his ad career at Deutsch LA (nearly 14 years), where he managed the U.S. Playstation account (he helped lead creative on the nifty “Michael” campaign for the brand) and also led work for clients such as CiCi’s Pizza, DirecTV and TGIFridays. Now at Draftfcb OC, Bryce will help his new boss Eric Springer steward the Taco Bell business (of course) and lead the soon-to-be-opened satellite office in LA (we’ve been told that the agency is in the process of looking for the right space).

Wednesday Odds and Ends

-After spending less than a year as CCO at Santa Monica-based Pitch, Eric Springer–aka, the creative force behind VW’s “The Force” spot–will be joining Draftfcb Orange County as EVP/CCO, effective Jan 2. Once he joins, Springer (above) will also be tasked with building a new “creative beachhead” for DFCB Los Angeles. We still prefer his party picture from the last time.

-DDB Canada (specifically the Vancouver office) has extended its AOR relationship with the Canadian Tourist Commission for another five years. The agency was picked following a “rigorous RFP process” that narrowed down the field from 35 to five Canadian agencies. No word on who they were, though. DDB Canada and CTC’s working relationship dates back to 2002.

-Gerry Graf, Tor Myhren, KBS+ Ventures’ Darren Herman and Percolate CEO/Barbarian Group alum Noah Brier are “Brand Geniuses” according to Gotham‘s “100 Most Powerful New Yorkers” list. link

-If you’ve ever dreamed of going into glassblowing but were too scared to actually try it, check out this app from the Martin Agency and unit9 that promotes the Virgina Museum of Fine Arts and its exhibit with famous glassblower, Dale Chihuly, called “Breathe Art into Life.”

-L.A.-based agency, mOcean, which just wrapped up its third and final “Ladies of Movember” episode and raised nearly $17.5K for the cause, has also created an interactive site around the film, Lincoln. link

-Walton | Isaacson has moved its L.A. office to a 17,500 square-foot space in Culver City.

-Blast Radius has developed a winter cocktail app for Bacardi. link

-Instagram voluntarily nixed its Twitter photo integration. link

Creative Force Behind ‘The Force’ Heads to Pitch (Updated)

It looks like VW’s “The Force” has compelled rival agencies to pluck more than one creative from the Deutsch LA team who was behind the award-winning Super Bowl spot. Following in the footsteps of the campaign’s senior copywriter David Povill, who left Deutsch for W+K last April, EVP/group creative director/copywriter Eric Springer has now also jumped ship to join Santa Monica’s Pitch as chief creative officer. Springer spent a dozen years at Deutsch and from the looks of it, he will oversee, among other things, Pitch’s now-expanded duties on the Burger King account (the agency won BK’s youth/family AOR duties, if you recall, back in summer 2010).  During his career, Springer has worked at the likes TBWA\Chiat\Day, DDB and Hal Riney.

Besides “The Force,” Springer also worked on “Black Beetle” for VW and served as a GCD on HTC and Cici’s Pizza efforts during his later years at Deutsch. Now at Pitch, as one can expect, the new CCO will be in charge of overseeing creative work, helping lead new business development efforts and recruiting staff.

Update: So, Springer sent us a note on what attracted him to Pitch. Read on after the jump, verbatim.

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