If you attended SXSW, liked it, and can't stand why everyone so loves to trash it, you really should check out a couple of pro-SXSW pieces. The first comes from MRY CMO David Berkowitz. You
know -- the guy 360i hired 15 people to replace and MRY opened a San Francisco
office to make room for his awesomeness? Berkowitz argues that SXSW is now
about innovation in marketing, not technology. The second comes from Steve Hall of Adrants, who points out 6 reasons why SXSW is still awesome. It's very easy to get on the hate SXSW bandwagon. It's much harder to realize it
still has a lot to offer.
Things keep getting worse for TBWA\Chiat\Day LA. Some say it started as far back as when Clow handed the reins to Topolewski. Others say it's NY management's fault. Or maybe LA just isn't as cool as it once was. Whatever the case may be, we've been told about 25 staffers have been given the boot.
While we're on the TBWA family, remember when TBWA Worldwide tried to convince the public the Nissan Frontier could push a stranded dune buggy up a steep, sandy dune? That little stunt got the agency and Nissan in hot water with the FTC because during the shoot, cables were used to pull the Frontier up the hill. The proposed consent orders, such as they are, relating to the "Hill Climb" ad prohibit Nissan and TBWA from using deceptive demonstrations in advertisements for pickup trucks, as well as misrepresenting any material quality or feature of a pickup truck "through the depiction of a test, experiment, or demonstration. Both Nissan and TBWA must also maintain and make available to the FTC copies of relevant advertisements and unedited video and still images taken during the production of any advertisement depicting a demonstration, experiment, or test, as well as maintain any affidavits or certifications submitted to television networks affirming the accuracy or integrity of a demonstration contained in an advertisement.
Oh, it's like a who's who in advertising! Cannes Lions has released the members of its first five juries, Titanium & Integrated, Press, Outdoor, Radio and Film Craft categories. Heading up the juries will be Prasoon Joshi, Chairman, CEO and Chief Creative Officer, India & South Asia, McCann Worldgroup (Titanium & Integrated Lions); Tony Hertz, Owner & Creative Director, Tony Hertz: Radio & Brand Sound, The Philippines (Radio Lions); Rémi Babinet, Founder and Creative Director, BETC, France (Press Lions); Jose Miguel Sokoloff, President, Lowe Global Creative Council & Co Chairman and CCO Lowe SSP3 Colombia, (Outdoor Lions) and Brian Carmody, Co-Founder, Smuggler, USA (Film Craft Lions).
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.