MRY Opens SF Office To Make Room For David Berkowitz's Awesomeness (Sort Of)

Hmm. Maybe David Berkowitz really is that awesome. If you recall, his former shop, 360i, hired 15 people to replace him when he left to become CMO of MRY. Now there is so much David Berkowitz awesomeness at MRY that the agency had to open a San Francisco office to make room for all that awesomeness. Well, that and the fact that the agency won digital work for ticket broker StubHub. It’s said that the agency will be known as MRY West. And Berky? I'm sure they'll welcome his awesomeness with open arms when he heads to San Francisco for a visit.

So SXSW is right around the corner. You're going, right? After all, it's a mecca for startups looking to launch with a little help from your agency. At least you'd like startups to think that way, right? Well, you better hope they don't read this column by ad man Jake Finkelstein, who offers up 5 reasons why an early-stage startup shouldn't hire an ad agency. Some of his reasons, such as a startup not having a clear picture of their customers, is valid. Others, such as agencies moving too slowly and inability to manage the relationship, aren't so solid.

It's never a good sign when an agency pulls out of an account review for a piece of business as large as CVS but that's exactly what incumbent Arnold did Monday. Of the pullout, an Arnold statement reads: "We have enjoyed a four year partnership with CVS, helping them develop the marketing strategy for the company's expanded direction, and we are very proud of what we have accomplished. However, we have decided not to continue in the agency review process and focus on other strategic initiatives for our company. We part with mutual respect and wish them and their new agency much success." Likely the real reason is far more juicy and rife with drama.

Speaking to Crain's Detroit Business regarding the backlash Cadillac is receiving for its Poolside ELR ad featuring Neal McDonough, Cadillac Advertising Director Craig Bierley said the spot's detractors have it all wrong. It's not targeting the one percent -- it's targeting those making $200,000 or more who "pop in and out of luxury...people who haven't been given anything. Every part of success they've achieved has been earned through hard work and hustle." It's not about materialism. Luxury cars are a byproduct of success, not the objective. It's not saying be a workaholic. It's saying work hard and there will be rewards. It's not a buy American message. The American references were there simply because it was a commercial designed to air in America.

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  • A-List Hollywood Announces Call For Entry And Jury, Not A Single Female Juror In Sight

    Oy! Another creative award event? Sadly, yes. This one's comes from The A-List Hollywood and they have announced the call for entries for the Moving Image Advertising, Interactive & Branded Entertainment 2015 Award. The entry deadline set for January 30, 2015.

    I'm told the A-List Hollywood is the first creative advertising competition of its kind in Hollywood and will focus on the intersection between advertising and entertainment across all platforms. The event will be judged by the usual collection of international creatives including Leo Burnett's Mark Tutsell, JWT's Matt Eastwood, 360i's Pierre Lipton, and DDB Germany's Eric Schoeffler, among others. And no, there's not one single woman on the jury.

    Of the awards, The Martin Agency Chief Creative Director Joe Alexander said: "There are way too many award shows and way too many without a clear purpose. The A-List Hollywood is the rare exception. It rewards the brands -- and agencies -- that are behaving in the most creative and engaging ways. Now that's refreshing."

    Right, Joe. That's vastly different from every single other award event on the planet.

  • Spot Trender Wants to Measure Your Super Bowl Ad Performance

    Hey agencies, want to know how your Super Bowl spots do this year from a source other than USA Today? Well let me introduce you to Spot Trender. In its second year, the service analyzes second-by second consumer response to ads during the game.

    With its Super Bowl ad performance measurement efforts, for which brands must sign up to be measured, Spot Trender aims to illustrate how their "cloud-based, pre-testing platform can help all brands pinpoint consumer reactions to their spots at any point in the creative process." 

    Most of Spot Trender's testing happens earlier in the creative process with storyboards or animatics to help brands spend less money downstream on major production edits. But with the the Super Bowl, Spot Trender offers a peek into how some of this year's creative concepts rank. 

    Spot Trender's analysis last year included competition among brands like GoDaddy and Squarespace, revealing the points in each company's commercials where consumers reacted positively or negatively. Both spots featured bodybuilders and business owners, with highlights like GoDaddy's Danika Patrick reveal, and Squarespace's tag line both receiving the most positive responses.
  • McCann Gets In Trouble Over Unapproved S&M Domino's Ad

    Like it or not, clearly there's a reason clients are in the mix when agencies are tasked with creating advertising programs. Because when there isn't, we usually end up with award show scam ads, little girls shot by the Taliban showing up in mattress ads and creepy-looking tongues engaging in BDSM activity to sell pizza.

    McCann Tel-Aviv is catching heat for an ad touting their sriracha flavored pizza that shows a tongue with a gagged mouth, arms and S&M gear chained to the ceiling. Right. Like a client would ever come close to approving that!

    According to a Domino's spokesperson, the ad was "an unapproved mock-up from an ad agency in Israel posted without our permission." I mean I'm all for stretching the creative muscles but I'm also for a bit of common sense, which far too many agency types appear not to possess.
  • An Ad Agency Placed A Camera In A Railway Station And Everyone Thought It Was A Bomb

    This is yet another incident which proves you can't go leaving bags in public places without people thinking the worst. On Wednesday morning in The Netherlands' Leiden railway station a plastic bag with a camera affixed to the outside of the bag was discovered hanging from a support beam in the station.

    Passengers alerted railway officials and the station was evacuated until the bag could be checked by explosives experts. No explosives were found.

    The advertising agency, whose name is not being released but is reported to do work for the country's train company, NS, was apparently given permission to hang the bag in the station for a project. It seems the agency had permission to do so, but neither police or railway officials were made aware of the permission.

    An NS Spokeswoman said: “For us, it is still vague. We will now talk directly with the company, because we also do not know why that camera was placed there, and why they used a garbage bag. Many questions remain."
  • Publicis Bought The Monkees!

    Oh wait, not The Monkees. Are any of them even still alive? No -- Publicis just bought France-based digital and social marketing agency Monkees. The agency will become part of Publicis Activ but will operate under the Monkees brand and be headed by by Frédéric Caussin and Manuel Godeux, the two founding managers of Monkees.

    Monkees currently employs 25 people and works with clients in mass retailing and specialized distribution, auto manufacturing, health and sport. 

    Of the acquisition, Publicis France VP Nicolas Zunz said:  "Monkees is an agency we have had our eye on for some time, and for which we have great respect. They have developed some innovative and cutting-edge skills, which will obviously be helpful in the development of our agencies in the west and east of France. It will also add to our national arsenal of digital expertise. We are very happy to welcome them on board."
  • Nationwide Severs Retainer-Based Relationship With Moxie, Agency Closes Columbus Office

    There's been a lot going on with Nationwide and its relationship with its agencies over the past few months. While its relationship appears to be solid with McKinney, things are not going so well regarding its relationship with Moxie.

    Confirming this, a statement from Moxie CEO Suzy Deering reads: “While Moxie will continue to work with Nationwide, it will no longer be on a retainer basis. Given this shift, we’ve begun the process of closing our Columbus office. Accounts currently serviced out of that location will be handled by our Pittsburgh and Atlanta offices. We are very proud of the work our Columbus team has produced over the years. They are a group of truly talented, dedicated professionals, and we thank them for all they have done.”

    It totally sucks when an office of an agency has to shut down due to client shifts or losses. It's not fun. I've been there and know firsthand what it's like. But life goes on. Mine did. And so will the lives of everyone involved here.

  • Mark Reed Takes One More Step Toward Replacing Martin Sorrell

    WPP has named WPP Digital CEO Mark Read Global CEO of WPP's Wunderman, succeeding Daniel Morel, who will become non-executive chairman. Read, who has been chairman of Wunderman for about a year, will continue in his role as CEO of WPP Digital and he will step down from the WPP board.

    Read has been quite active in WPP's digital acquisitions of late, a focus for the holding company and a primary area of focus for WPP CEO Martin Sorrell. And speaking of Sorrell, Read has been long rumored to succeed Sorrell when the head honcho deems his contributions to the holding company complete.

    Of the move and of Read's contribution to WPP and Wunderman, Sorrell said: "Under Daniel's leadership, Wunderman has become a global powerhouse that is consistently ranked among the world's top digital agencies. After 14 highly successful years, he has decided it is the right time to pass the torch. As CEO of WPP Digital, Mark brings a wealth of knowledge in digital technology and its application to marketing services, as well as strong links with our new media partners."
  • CP+B Completes Shift Away From Global CCO, Names Gustavo Sarkis CCO For Miami Office

    Former TBWA LA Creative Director Gustavo Sarkis has joined Crispin Porter + Bogusky and will lead creative for the agency's Miami office. When at TBWA, Sarkis worked on Gatorade and helped the agency win the Adidas World Cup account.

    At CP+B, Sarkis will head up all creative aspects and accounts in the Miami office including Infiniti Mexico and The Miami Dolphins. 

    The hire rounds out a shift the agency has made away from an agency-wide, global CCO to CCOs for each individual agency office. This shift began last January when worldwide CCO Rob Reilly left the agency.

    Of the hire, CP+B Chairman Chuck Porter said, "Our success has always been about the work. Gustavo has a real understanding of culture, and an extraordinary feel for making an emotional connection between a brand and its audience. He has a strong entrepreneurial spirit so it seems especially fitting that he should lead our Miami office, where it all began."

  • Fallon May Have Lost Cadillac and Purina, But That Didn't Stop Them From A Huge Comeback

    So Advertising Age is out with its Agency A-List list. You know, yet another industry self-esteem award including awards for best B2B agency, best multicultural agency, best media agency of the year, best creative agency, best international agency, best executive of the year, best comeback of the year, best creative innovators, standouts and ones to watch. 

    Now combine that with the publication's Small Agency Awards, which seem to have numerous geographical and employee-size breakdowns, and basically, you've got Ad Age giving an award to every agency in  the country. Okay -- maybe not every single one but, hey, every agency doesn't make it to Cannes or get considered for a CLIO so I think it's a very nice public service Ad Age is doing to keep the industry's egos well fed.

    But, hey -- an accomplishment is an accomplishment, particularly for Fallon, which was awarded the comeback of the year. After having lost the Cadillac and Purina business in 2013 -- half the agency's revenue, the agency rallied, pitched their butt off and drove revenue up 20%. And for that, they were awarded Comeback Agency of the Year.
  • Creative Hijacks Agency Hashtags On Instagram To Score An Interview

    Have your agency's Instagram hashtags been hijacked? Are you seeing a giant ad when you view images with your hashtag created by Dutch creative student Max Kurstjens? Well then he's identified you as a place he'd like to work. You see, Kurstjens, like every other creative trying to break into the business, is sick and tired of you all ignoring him and his creativity.

    So Kurstjens took it upon himself to get noticed. He created several different Instagram accounts and uploaded a collection of images that formed a large composite image that would be viewable to anyone clicking on an agency hashtag.

    Targeted agencies included Leo Burnett, AKQA, 72andSunny, Anomaly, Droga5, Ogilvy & Mather, DDB Worldwide and others. The composite image resulted in an ad which read: "We Have Your Hashtag" and directed viewers to WeHaveYourHashtag.com where Hashtags are destroyed. On the site, agencies can "reclaim" their hashtag by sending in an email with a prefilled message that invites Kurstjens into the agency for a cup of coffee. Way to score an interview!

    Check out a video of the stunt here.

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