So anytime we see a press release that touts the fact that an agency just won an award for "most attractive employer," we wonder if ad agencies really are still giving out awards for having
the hottest looking employees. We then realize the press release is from France and it's touting the fact that Publicis Groupe garnered that win in the 5th annual Randstad Awards. And it's not about
how attractive people who work in the agency are. It's all about what a cool (i.e., attractive) place Publicis is to work. Okay. Now that we have that all cleared up.
While chit chat evokes a not so great gelling between Publicis and Kaplan Thaler following the merger, it would appear that wonderful things have always been said about Linda Kaplan Thaler. In a Direct Marketing News article, Kaplan shares eight reasons why it pays to pay it forward. Number one on the list is being nice and training everyone who works for you to be nice. You think nice guys finish last? Not so. U.S. Bank CEO Richard Davis, who had narrowed down his agency search to a few agencies including Kaplan Thaler and was told how nice the agency was to a security guard, thought: "If they're this nice to the security guard, I can only imagine how they're going to treat my people." That sentiment clinched the decision to choose Kaplan as the bank's agency.
Well here's a fun time waster. Bright Red\TBWA is out with Designer Dirty Talk, a double entendre-laden site created by a couple of the agency's designers. Anyone can submit their own dirty talk, but the site also generates random dirty talk like "Let me undo that for you," "I'm looking for a big batch who will let me liquify in her bounding box" and "Fill me while I add a stroke." And so it goes. Anything for an excuse to work sexual innuendo into a piece of creative.
You may never have heard of Boise-based ad man Bill Drake, who since 1978 has run Drake Cooper Advertising. There's probably all kinds of people who you've never heard of who have been toiling in advertising for longer than you've been alive. And just because you've never heard of them doesn't mean they haven't been rockin' things for decades. But everyone's awesomeness comes to an end at some point, and that time has come for Drake who just retired after four decades running the shop. Of the changes he has seen over the years, Drake said: "Consumers years ago were a little naive, and whatever the advertising said they believed. And then as time has gone on, not only are consumers more savvy, they're aware. And they now give you permission to market to them. That's a very different environment than the way it used to be, and therefore the way we approach our craft is very different. Now there's a higher entertainment value. There's a more engaging mindset to it than what it used to be."
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.