So RIIP Digital is getting ripped to launch itself as a new digital agency out of Orange County. Great timing (or not) it would seem, given
that AdWeek just questioned why some agencies are making it in Southern California and others are not. RIIP Digital will be led by Ryan Rasmussen and Steven Patton, former CEO of AKMG. Of the
new endeavor, Patton says, “I'm extremely enthusiastic about this new opportunity with Ryan and riip.com. Having taken close to three years
off from the industry after the sale of AKMG, I've had numerous opportunities presented to me. This was the first opportunity that I was excited to join. I was fortunate to work with a phenomenal team
at my previous company, many of whom have gone on to be leaders in our industry. Ryan has the same vision and is giving me the autonomy to build a world-class team. That gets me excited!” I only
have one reservation. The name. I can't be the only person who, upon first look, saw RIP Digital instead of RIIP Digital. You'd think they'd want to steer clear of anything associated with the "death
of digital." Or death in general.
Oh, and isn't Publicis Groupe jumping for joy this week! And every other agency that has been sucked up by the holding company behemoth and been dragged kicking and screaming into the nightmarish world of Lotus Notes (technically IBM Notes). It seems the party's on at Publicis agencies this week, as the giant has finally relented and is shifting from Notes to Microsoft Outlook for email and calendaring. Never before has such mundane news risen to such heightened frenzy in the agency world.
You've likely have never
heard of Turn Creative, a Hong Kong-based creative boutique that prides itself on staying small and out of the AAAA's. But you're going to love what founder Tony Hon has to say about agency pitches.
Hon says: "We seldom do pitches. I don’t see the reason for pitching. Before having a thorough
understanding of your potential clients, I don’t see what makes a pitcher qualified for giving advice. In many cases, marketers already have a clear idea of which agency they prefer. The pitch
process is a required company policy in disguise. Big agencies are trapped in a vicious cycle where deep-seated problems from the pitching system like long working hours and low productivity remain
unsolved." Right? Right? He's right, right?
As if inventing something new, Jacksonville Beach ad agency Void Creative has rebranded to Adjective & Co. and will focus on marketing to Millennials. Of the shift -- after all, naming an agency Void Creative is, shall we say, devoid of common sense -- Co-Founder Taylor Harkey said: "Our name describes what we do perfectly. Yes we create ads, but in order for an ad to be good, it has to be creative, meet objectives and drive business. Millennials no longer respond to being sold 'nouns' -- they respond to feelings and personalities, created by adjectives." Really, Taylor -- really? You think using emotion and personas hasn't been the way agencies have crafted campaigns for, oh, the last 60 years or so? Damn Millennials. Thinking everything they do is new.
For the past day or so, it seems impossible to escape from a Google News alert that isn't filled with that story about popular Indian celebrity Aishwarya Rai, who appeared in an ad for Kalyan
Jewellers elegantly dressed with a dark-skinned child holding an umbrella over her head. Many have called the ad racist.
An open letter from a consortium of feminist, child and human rights groups says the ad appears to "be representing aristocracy from a bygone era -- bejewelled, poised and relaxing while an obviously underage slave-child, very dark and emaciated, struggles to hold an oversize umbrella over your head."
The letter, which shares several examples of 17th- and 18th-century images that would now be considered racist, continues: "We wish to convey our dismay at the concept of this advertisement, and that you have, perhaps unthinkingly, associated with such a regressive portrayal of a child to sell a product...we, therefore, urge you to do the right thing -- cease to associate yourself with this offensive image by ensuring that further use of this advertisement is stopped."
In response, a statement from Aishwarya pretty much shirks any responsibility and blames the creative agency for the debacle. The statement read: "On the onset we would like to thank you on drawing our attention to the observation of the perception of the advertisement. Here is an attachment (picture of Aishwarya without the child holding the umbrella) of the shot taken by somebody during the shoot. The final layout of the ad is entirely the prerogative of the creative team for a brand. However shall forward your article as a viewpoint that can be taken into consideration by the creative team of professionals working on the brand visual communication. Thank you once again."
Kalyan Jewellers has pulled the ad.
On Wednesday at the LSA|15 Conference in Los Angeles, the Local Search Association announced the winners of its second annual Ad to Action Awards competition. LSA received 91 entries across 10
categories and the winners were revealed on the main stage at the event.
The competition focused on celebrating the most innovative "local" marketing products or solutions that facilitate consumer actions such as calls, clicks, store visits, etc. The winners demonstrated the greatest potential for driving local consumer engagement and best addressed current market needs.
The judging panel -- made up of 18 companies including Twitter, Foursquare, Yahoo, MapQuest, xAd and more -- evaluated these products and solutions. Each judge reviewed a subset of entries and no judge reviewed any entries where there was a potential conflict of interest.
In the Platforms and Services category, Chicago-based Rise Interactive, which likes to refer to itself as an "interactive investment management firm," won the top spot. And we can see why. Any agency that can spin the fact that they buy online advertising into "interactive investment management form" is worthy of praise.
For, oh, at least the past 7-10 years, every prognosticator has gleefully been promising "this is the year of mobile!" to the point where it's become a joke. Now, certainly, mobile has matured and
has become a viable medium for many things including advertising. But AKQA CCO Rei Inamoto isn't completely convinced.
In an interview with The Drum, Inamoto said, “To an extent I think the promise of mobile in relation to marketing has been exaggerated. The biggest misconception about mobile and the biggest mistake that advertisers make about mobile is to treat it like an advertising channel. Instead we should use it as a way to provide service not to provide a message.”
And, being the smart guy that he is, he's right. Rather than forcing old models (*cough* ...banners) through mobile devices, brands should embrace new services. Many have. Love them or hate them, Inamoto cites Uber as a brand that's fully embraced mobile, not as an advertising medium per se but, rather, as a platform for doing business.
So, yes, mobile has finally arrived. But my hope for the medium is that we can skip past all the missteps we took forcing old advertising models onto the internet and treat mobile very differently and more effectively. Like the personal service it has become. Not a pipe through which to shove ads.
In an audit of the 1,000 posts that BuzzFeed deleted from its site, three were deleted because advertisers complained. Yes, it's true. Don't like what someone writes about you? All you have to do
is bitch a little and get it removed.
In 2013, BuzzFeed published a post about an Axe body spray ad that was, it seems, not very positive. The brand's agency at the time didn't like what they read, complained and it was removed. Also is 2013, the publication chided Microsoft about its Internet Explorer browser. According to BuzzFeed Editor in Chief Ben Smith, the post was deleted because its author "had worked on a Microsoft ad campaign, and BuzzFeed's chief revenue officer complained about the post to me."
A third post, published in January 2014, which discussed what brands had planned on Twitter for the Super Bowl was pulled because it was critical of what Pepsi had planned and -- oops, the brand's Twitter account was handled by BuzzFeed staff at the time. Of that decision, Smith said: "We'd never previously considered the case of an editor that would be writing about an ad that was produced by our creative team, but we decided it was inappropriate and deleted the post." Really?
Remember when advertising and editorial where separate entities? Yeah, neither do I. We've all been pummeled so hard with native advertising bullshit over the past few years that it's practically become -- much like the banner before it -- invisible. Not to mention the over-the-top, incessant use of ridiculously sensationalistic clickbait headlines that achieved nothing but to quicken the tactic's invisibility.