We were a little surprised to see that question on the digital RSVP form for Rubicon Project's event during Advertising Week, but we can't wait to see how others responded, and what the data maestros at Rubicon do with that data when they host their "Agency Trading Desks: Automating Direct Orders Panel" the morning of Sept. 26 in New York City.
Wait, what? There are ad agencies in Hawaii? It would seem so and a new one just launched. Hey, it's not Madison Avenue but, then again, Madison Avenue is just a silly metaphor for the advertising business that has long since exited the actual Madison Avenue. So Cynthia Conrad has launched Cynthia Conrad Design, a full-service advertising agency on Maui. Sweet gig if you ask us! Conrad, a graduate of the University of California in Berkeley, will focus on graphic design, media placement, logo creation and, well, you know...all the basic stuff big time businesses on Maui need.
Back to the actual Madison Avenue. Well, at least the one collectively known as the advertising industry. Not only have you lost countless numbers of your army over the years as the advertising landscape has changed, you're now up against your own clients who, according to a new ANA study, are taking much of their marketing in-house. That's right. Now 58% of marketers use in-house agencies, a 16 percentage point increase since 2008. Why is this happening? Much of it has to do with the fact the in-house expertise increasingly trumps that of outsourced agencies. In addition, 88% of marketers feel in-house agencies are more cost efficient and 71% cite turnaround time and speed as reasons for keeping things in-house. We'd argue the rise on inbound and content marketing will further shift things in-house as marketers disintermediate media and advertising channels by becoming publishers in their own right.
Cleveland-based Brokaw, the agency which publishes that oh-so-witty "Oh No!" Friday newsletter, just poached Mike Krueger from Doner. Krueger, who was Experience Design Director at Doner, will oversee Brokaw's interactive operations. Will Krueger be able to live up to Brokaw's decidedly different approach to advertising? Consider this. Tossing political correctness aside, Brokaw, a few years ago, created a campaign for Horton Crossbow which proudly proclaimed "Hunters really aren't so different from other environmentalists. We just like to keep souvenirs." Then, the agency released a 15th anniversary video highlighting its work but, eschewing all sense of normalcy, self-mocked itself with a montage and song that was so bad it was good. Of course Doner created Six Flag's Mr. Six so maybe Krueger will fit right in.
Speaking of crazy, we're all familiar with the antics advertising agencies pull to make their offices ever so much more hip, trendy, witty, cool, hip, whatever, but we've never encountered an agency that put a cloud in its lobby and allowed it to be controlled by the social media activity of the brands it handles. But that's exactly what Santa Monica-based RPA did when it placed The Listening Cloud in its lobby. Custom software pulls in real-time data from the Facebook, Twitter and Instagram public APIs, then sends commands through a wireless bridge to LEDs inside the cloud, visualizing the data through different light colors and behaviors. It's like an old-school lava lamp except it's powered by the internet instead of, well, instead of the LSD-addled minds of its 1960's-era developers.
Groovy doings aside, it's always interesting when someone you've worked with in the past pops up in the news and is in pursuit of "other opportunities." Other opportunities? Really? That's code for "things just didn't work out.” For whom did things not work out? Bruce Fougere, that's who. Fougere is leaving Draftfcb Chicago where, for the last two years, he held the role of SVP Director of Innovation. Fougere began his career at Leo Burnett Technology Group and for the past five years held the position of VP Group Creative Director at The Martin Agency. Fougere always seemed like a nice guy as far as we can remember so we hope that "other opportunities" thing is exactly that, and Bruce finds something better.