Now that we’ve got the whole Mother/Chevy/Goodby confusion out of the way (we hope), here’s the previously mentioned “Centennial” work from GS&P that broke during game one of the World Series last night. The spot, which is called “Then & Now” and was created in conjunction with Park Pictures and director/DP Lance Acord, celebrates the automotive brand that was founded on November 3, 1911 by Swiss immigrant Louis Chevrolet and U.S. entrepreneur Billy Durant. While it’s all nice and tender and all, commenters on YouTube are already calling foul, claiming this ad is ripping off the blog, Dear Photograph. Well, at least the “Let’s Do This” Chevy Sonic work that Goodby is also behind is fairly novel. What say you, readers? Credits after the jump.
In late August, Jeff Goodby and GM’s global marketing chief Joel Ewanick had a scuffle over GS+P’s consistency with work for Chevy, with each man using Automotive News as their platform of choice. With many in Detroit predicting a J. Lo and P. Diddy-sized breakup, word broke that Chevy was awarding Mother a project , one that GM’s director of product and brand communications Pat Morrissey assured the press was a “one-off digital assignment.” Goodby responded to the news in Adweek saying simply, “I’m fine and open about having other good agencies like Mother work on the business.” That bring us to today, where everything’s well and good in the Motor City, right?
Today, Mother unveiled the digital assignment for Chevy’s Centennial Celebration, “The Road We’re On.” Awash in images of rural Americana, the campaign’s website features an interactive map where users can see Chevy’s history unfold through the eyes of drivers in towns that Chevy’s presence has greatly impacted. Starting Nov. 3, visitors to the site can also “pinpoint” their own locations on the map, sharing their stories and experiences with Chevrolet.
Included on the campaign’s website are a series of short films created by Mother that visit locations that are integral parts of Chevy’s 100-year history. The first stop is Bridgeville, PA, a town of about 5,000 located about eight miles southwest of Pittsburgh. Bridgeville is home to Colussy Chevrolet, one of the country’s oldest dealerships of the brand and a place that Bridgeville’s population evidently feels a sense of pride in. With consumers currently asking Chrysler why Detroit actually means Brampton, Ontario, could this feel-good, red white & blue tribute to Chevy win over those looking to buy American? Credits after the jump.
Goodby Silverstein & Partners has lured BBDO’s Ralph Watson to the Motor City to serve as ECD/associate partner, add to the Dte and share creative leadership on the agency’s Chevrolet account. During his time at BBDO, Watson served as ECD on the AT&T business (he was co-ECD on this spot from last year among others). Prior to BBDO, Watson spent three years as a CD at Saatchi & Saatchi New York on Miller Brewing, Wendy’s and General Mills. Says GS&P’s co-namesake Jeff Goodby in a statement, “With GM’s goal of making Chevrolet a global brand, we had an opportunity to bring in someone with incredible creative horsepower. It is all part of our plan to move more and more of the Chevrolet creative work to Detroit. We are delighted that Ralph can join us and offer his talents. He’s also a real mensch, and Detroit is a place that requires a lot of heart. Ralph’s got that.”
“We’re sorry to report that Erik Vervroegen will be leaving us for a post as global chief creative officer at a network that will take him back to his European roots.
Erik has been a refreshing, expansive presence here for two years, and we will miss his unique perspectives and smoldering drive for excellence. He is quite unlike anyone else who has ever worked here, and that has been instructive for all of us.
Please congratulate him and remind him to go easy on those Italian motorcycles and be mindful of his hands when breaking two by fours or whatever it is he does.
And yes, we are trying to get confirmation on Erik V’s new “network.” Stay tuned.
Since late Thursday, numerous tips rolled in regarding cuts being made at Goodby and now, we’ve received confirmation that it is indeed true from none other than Jeff Goodby himself, who tells us, “Our staff was not well-aligned to the work we have here. Hiring so many people for Chevrolet, we invariably miscalculated and overhired here and there. We have also parted company with a number of smaller clients — Propel, Sierra Mist, Intuit, and Logitech — the staffing of which we needed to reduce. It is always a saddening event to undergo these changes. We don’t hire bad people. But we feel the company is better formed to serve present clients and win new ones.”
Despite the Chevy hiring miscalculation, GS&P’s Detroit office is very much intact and these cuts are part of an agency “adjustment.” Approximate numbers, departments affected, etc. weren’t disclosed though tipsters are saying 35-40.
Well, here’s a bit of news that makes us feel all warm and tingly as the week draws to a close. Our pal Stuart Elliot at the New York Timesreports that Barbara Lippert, former Adweek scribe, has joined Goodby, Silverstein & Partners as, wait for it, “curator of popular culture.” Yeah, we don’t know what’s up with that title either, but Lippert will nonetheless serve as the agency’s “part trend-hunter and part agency ambassador” according to Jeff Goodby, who apparently got wind of her Adweek situation from, yep, AgencySpy.
Here’s an excerpt: “Ms. Lippert, in a separate phone interview, said that she was contacted by Mr. Goodby last month after he ‘read on Agency Spy that I was fired,’ referring to the industry blog that is published by Media Bistro.” Hey, we can’t complain about the shout-out and we’re just glad things worked out for Barbara. Oh yeah, and thanks for reading, Jeff!
Though the sight of Jeff Goodby and Rich Silverstein in drag is a bit startling at first, you eventually warm up to the GS&P namesakes’ rendition/butchering of “I Got You Babe.” The iconic creative duo have quite the sense of humor, whether tweaking the lyrics to Sonny & Cher’s karaoke staple a tad, riding bikes together in Palm Springs or just getting naked. Yep, their bond is that bizarre. While they give it one hell of a shot, we think the pair faces some stiff competition from these ladies.