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.
Did you know that Fort Lauderdale-based Zimmerman Advertising is one of the nation's leading retail agencies? Well that's what the press release said so it must be true. And guess what else? The agency has been hired by the world's fastest-growing sports nutrition company to grow even faster! Yes, it's true! The press release said so!
The agency will take on the $15 million account for BPI Sports, a sports nutrition company.
Of selecting Zimmerman to handle its business, BPI Sports Co-Founder and EVP James Grage said, "Hiring an ad agency is a key ingredient to significantly grow our business, establish BPI Sports as the premier sports nutrition brand, and position our company as an iconic, multi-channel business. Most agencies are full of smoke and mirrors and don't deliver on what they promise. It was refreshing to finally find one who's as good at making ads as they are at making money for their clients. I have no doubt Zimmerman will generate powerful results for BPI."
Clearly, BPI Sports believes it has selected the right agency for its business. The agency is on a roll having also just won American Media, a health and fitness publisher.
Press releases. They make you yawn. These committee-written documents are stuffed with silly platitudes aimed to placate marketing directors who still believe journalists want to read stuff that looks like it was written by a robot.
And so I'd like to give a big shout out to New York-based Catch which issued a hilarious gem of a release touting the fact they "may have been retained by the legendary brand Vans to develop an extremely confidential project, which may or may not be released this year."
The release goes on to quote an un-named (of course) Vans spokesperson who said, "We can neither confirm nor deny that Vans has retained Catch New York. All we are willing to say is that they seem pretty cool and creative and if we were going to hire an agency to help us launch something really awesome, we would hire Catch. But that's all we'll say."On the agency side, Catch ECD Marco Cignini said, "We're thrilled, excited, honored and humbled to be a part of the team that might be creating something amazing for Vans.”
Last week I made note of Alex Bogusky launching a start-up that that would focus on doing social good and that it would be called Spiffly. The first part was right. The second part was wrong. The
new entity will be called Fearless and "will help socially-minded corporations, foundations and non-profits develop 360° campaigns while providing the added value of a built-in millennial audience
through Fusion's television, social and digital platforms."
Fearless will be a division of Disney/ABC/Univision's cable network and digital platform Fusion and run in partnership with Bogusky, former CP+B'ers Dagny Scott and Lelsie Freeman. Fearless will "enable clients to engage with an ultra-connected audience in all of the places they consume media. The agency will develop multi-platform content spanning video, art, text, comedy, documentaries, television, events, and sharable content, all with an eye toward raising awareness and moving millennials to action on key issues and ideas that encourage positive change in the world."
Of the launch, Bogusky said, "Mashing up agency and media solves a huge problem for socially-minded clients who have incredibly compelling messages but no way to find their audience. Fusion is striking the right tone. Although millennials are more interested in doing good, they aren’t motivated by the same old dry boring, righteous approach. They have the attitude that changing the world can and needs to be fun. And I happen to agree with that.”
Fusion will be opening an office in Boulder, Colorado where Fearless will be based.
Are you going to SXSW? Do you want a new job? Then, it appears, you might want to hook up with Saatchi & Saatchi, which is opening up a Dallas office and will be trolling the streets of Austin
during SXSW for new hires.
The new office is for the agency's Team One unit, which focuses specifically on the Toyota and Lexus accounts. The agency's move to Texas is in reaction to Toyota moving its U.S. sales and marketing operations to Plano, Texas.
And so between barbecue and overcrowded sessions, head over to the SXSW Job Market at the JW Marriott (Floor 2). The hours are Friday, March 13 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday, March 14 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
While every morning she's grateful her clients haven't become part of some social media disaster and Twitter is her go to outlet for news, Huge (no, she isn't huge -- that's the name of the agency)
Director of Earned Media Alyssa Galella says that if she weren't working at Huge, she'd love to be "a detective. Or work in an animal shelter. I would basically be Ace Ventura, Pet Detective."
That's an interesting goal for a woman who was recently named one of PR Week's Innovation 50 or who accomplished a killer social media stunt by sending 99 boxes of Cap'N Crunch cereal to Jay-Z who later mentioned the stunt on the radio. Of course, yes -- she's just kidding, but Ace Ventura who certainly was a character. And I like people who aspire to be interesting characters.
But what's most interesting about Galella, who is far from being an old timer, is her wise view of social media today. She says, "There's no longer a dividing line between 'media' and 'social media.' You need to be fluent in both traditional media relations and social media to do your job most effectively. Most of what I've learned hasn't been on the clock, either -- take the initiative to read a ton, be active on social media, attend events, and take classes you're interested in." You know -- become educated in the ways of life.
Thank God. Someone who doesn't think Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat are the only valid forms of media in existence.