Over in Australia it seems clients have lost the ability to manage their ad agencies. Oh wait -- my bad. That's happening here too. But over in Australia, at least they're doing something
about it. Adrianne Nixon, who's been on the Australian ad scene for 30 years, has founded a program, Legends and Leaders, which has 90 senior ad execs who will act as mentors to client-side marketing
teams and help them understand how to better deal with agencies and manage relationships. Of the program, Nixon said: “Many clients think they will get the best ideas by putting all their
agencies in one room and setting them off but clients need to own that relationship better. It shouldn’t be agency versus client. They're on the same team. That sounds like a utopia, but there
shouldn’t be any barrier to working together but it has to start with the client because they hold the power. if you want to change the relationship, it has to start with them.” Well then.
And over here we thought it was the agencies who were supposed to kick ass.
Oh, how rumors fly in this business. It appears Blast Radius Executive Creative Director Steve Nesle has left the building. No, wait -- not so fast! It seems the rumor mill thought he had left, but as it turns out, he hasn't. Or hadn't up until, yes, the very same rumor mill that said he had left did an about face and said he hadn't left and was still servicing agency clients. That is until he wasn't. Still with me? Yes, Steve Nesle has officially left the building. No, really -- it's true. Until it isn't. Okay, we're done.
So you know how the NSA is all up in people's business? Well, one agency is mad as hell and isn't going to take it any longer! Brussles-based Happiness is out with Spy on the USA which supports the worldwide initiative, The Day We Fight Back, a digital protest against mass surveillance which launched February 11. With Spy On The USA, Happiness is giving the NSA a taste of its own medicine, turning the cameras on the National Security Agency’s headquarters in Maryland, USA. Visitors to Spy on the USA can click to capture footage and share with their friends through Facebook. Basically, it's a video feed of a building. But, hey -- you've got to start somewhere, I guess.
What's a retired ad man who in 1990 worked hard to convince residents of Ohio's Cuyahoga County to enact a sin tax do with his time today? If you're Alan Glazen, you flip flop, and launch a Facebook group called It's A Sin Cleveland, with the aim of overturning the sin tax. The sin tax was put in place originally to fund what is known as the Gateway complex, a multipurpose campus that houses Progressive Field and Quicken Loans Arena and a public plaza. Civic leaders at the time said the complex would create 28,000 jobs. That never happened, and Glazen isn't happy. Of the work he did on the project, Glazen said: “We were hired to be the people sending that message out, and that message was not honest. We were deceived because the most prominent civic leaders were just throwing out numbers." Lesson learned? It's never too late to correct the error of your ways.
In an ingenious, holiday-themed effort designed to call attention to the importance of the Oxford comma in certain situations, San Francisco-based MUH-TAY-ZIK | HOF-FER has launched a browser bookmark-let that will automagically add missing Oxford commas.
A video accompanies the effort with clear examples as to why you really should employ the Oxford comma at times. The video says "Missing Oxford commas ruins Christmas." It then cites some unintended results such as "I was shopping for your Christmas presents, toilet paper and prunes," "We went caroling with our dogs, grandma and grandpa" and "Merry Christmas from your parents, Santa and Rudolph." Images accompany the statements to illustrate just how wrong those sentences are without the Oxford comma.So if you're ever confused as to whether or not the Oxford comma is necessary, you can recall the awkward examples given in the video.
Like the holidays? Like games? Then Deep Focus has something you might like. The agency has developed an old school interactive game called #DeepSnow. The agency developed it from scratch using Google Maps, HTML5, WebSockets, SASS, OpenLayers, and custom animations.
The aim of the game is to steer a snow plow through the streets of New York City and rescue Deep Focus employees and toys spilt by Santa from the grasps of a winter snowpocalypse. In tandem with the web experience, players use their mobile device as a game controller. Data from the phone’s gyroscope is used to power the steering wheel for the snowplow as it maneuvers around angry Yetis and actual NYC landmarks on the computer screen.
And, of course, there's a charity element to the game. Because, after all, agencies need to somehow make up for their self-centered, egotistical outlook on life they vamp the rest of the year. Virtual points earned during game play will be turned into physical toys donated to Toy For Tots.
Oh the agency holiday card. Yawn. Oh wait, not yawn! Some agencies actually put some thought into the mundane annual event. One such agency is Digitas Health LifeBrands which has come up with something a little more meaningful. The agency has launched HUG, a social media campaign which aims to generate awareness of charities and provide a monetary donation from the agency to charities which are nominated by employees.
In its fifth year, the program involves employees from the New York, Philadelphia, London, and San Francisco offices who have nominated 24 charities to compete to win money. Each week visitors to the Group HUG Facebook page will vote for their favorite charity by “liking” and “sharing” the logos from the charities. At the end of the campaign, which runs through the end of December, there will be four winning charities.Check out the Group HUG video trailer here and be sure to visit the Group HUG Facebook page to vote for your favorite charity. After all, what better way to celebrate the season of giving than with a nice big Group HUG?
What if you had to pitch Christmas to a focus group? As we all know, focus groups are a disastrous means of coming to consensus on anything. And that's pretty much what happens in this video created by Ogilvy & Mather Paris.
After explaining some of the elements of Christmas such as a fat old man with a big beard, a little girl asks, "Why do I have to sit on his lap?" Just let that one sink in for a minute. Ick. Another woman offers up, "You know who else sneaks into your house through the chimney? Rapists." Ouch! This isn't going well.
The confusion continues with focus group members wondering why Christmas is proposed to be in December instead of the much warmer August. And why the fat guy gets all the credit when he doesn't even buy all the gifts. One panelist even claimed proposed Christmas carols make him feel horny. No, not going well at all. And let's not even get into New Year's Eve.
Copywriting legend Dick Rich passed away from a heart attack on November 1. He was 84. His daughter, Karen Rich, made his death known last week. Rich, along with Mary Wells and Rich
Greene, was one of the founders of the storied Wells Rich Green ad agency and creator of classic 60's work for Alka-Seltzer and Benson & Hedges.
He was known for his confident approach to his work telling The New York Times in 1983: “Clients don’t come to me for O.K. advertising. They come to me for great, great advertising.”
A real man’s man who will be missed.
Last month, we reported Canadian Agency, Cossette, was in talks with Chinese agency, BlueFocus Communications Group, to be acquired. That deal has been sealed for $210 million.
The sale involved the acquisition of a majority stake in Cossette's parent company, Quebec City-based Vision7 International, whose assets also include PR firm Citizen Relations. Of the acquisition, BlueFocus CEO Oscar Zhao said, “Having Vision7 join the BlueFocus family will help us gain better access to the North American market and emphasizes our ‘To Be Global’ strategy."
In its apparent quest for global domination BlueFocus last year acquired London-based social agency We Are Social as well as a 20 percent stake in PR firm Huntsworth.