McCann Melbourne ECD and D&AD Awards Judge John Mescall, it seems, is not a fan of social media and its effect on advertising creativity. Of today's real-time mania, Mescall said, “Designers seem to get the time and space to execute beautifully and
perfectly while the advertising industry seems rushed. I think we are driven by immediacy and social currency and that seems to be driving our industry ever onwards. This whole idea of being part of
the social conversation has sped up everything we do. You look at the visual communication from the design field compared to advertising and they are miles apart in complexity and
craftsmanship.” He just may have a point. While beautiful work still exists, there is an endless plethora of crap from brands that fill social streams on a daily basis. And let's not even get
started with the parade of pointlessness generated in the good name of content marketing.
Bob Barocci, a well-known name in the ad world who was President of Leo Burnett International and built up the stature of the Advertising Research Foundation, died last Thursday in Manhattan at the age of 72. Of Barocci, Leo Burnett Vice Chairman Dennis Barnham said he was "the best all-around advertising man I have ever worked with. Of his work for the ARF, board member Jack Wakshlag, chief research officer for Turner Broadcasting said, "Perhaps the greatest gift Bob has given to the ARF is an extraordinary strong platform that will continue to grow and be relevant for the foreseeable future."
Not every bit of advertising awesomeness occurs on Madison Avenue. In fact, very little advertising awesomeness occurs on Madison Avenue any longer. It's no longer 1968, and advertising awesomeness is now everywhere. In Minnetonka, MN, an agency called Horizontal Integration has, in the past ten tears, grown from a two-person shop to an agency with over 70 employees and offices in both Minnetonka and Denver. The agency's revenue grew 41% in the last year alone, and they've been dubbed one of America's top job creators on Inc. Magazine's Build 100 Index. Of their position on the Index, Inc. Economist in Residence Gary Kunkle said: “More than 72% of all new U.S. jobs are created by 1% of companies. The Build 100 represents that top 1 percent of that one percent. They should be celebrated, but they must also be studied so that we can better understand the decisions, priorities, investments and strategies that helped them grow.” Founder and CEO Sabin Ephren attributes the agency's success to a unique combination of creativity and in-house technology division that sure all the "technical plumbing" required of today's campaigns works flawlessly.
Branded entertainment and cross-media storytelling shop, Campfire, has been acquired by Sapient Nitro and will help fuel the agency's deeper foray into the world of interactive film. Campfire, founded in 2007 by the producers of The Blair Witch Project, was awarded Ad Age's Small Agency Campaign of the Year in 2013 for its work on Cinemax's Hunted as well as Small Agency of the Year by our very own MediaPost OMMA Magazine in 2011. Of their becoming part of Sapient Nitro, Campfire President Jeremiah Rosen said: “We’re thrilled to be joining SapientNitro, an agency that we see really breaking boundaries as storytelling advances through the application of technology. In an environment where film is evolving from a passive medium to an active and increasingly interactive one, their passion for blurring the lines of media and driving the future of how consumers connect is in deep alignment with everything we have created at Campfire.”
This year, as it has done for many, Wieden+Kennedy is joining Oregon's Bike Commute Challenge month, an effort which encourages more people to commute to work on a bike.
In a blog post, the agency explains further, writing: "The Bicycle Transportation Alliance, a non-profit bike advocacy group based in Portland, puts on the Bike Commute Challenge every September, during which businesses compete to have the highest percentage of commutes by bike. W+K is always a front runner in the competition (we’ll catch you this year, Reed College!)."
How many miles will the agency log this year? More than last, we hope -- but we're all just going to have to wait until the end of September to find out.
Good luck, W+K!
A while back you may have heard about the South African ad couple who quit their agency jobs and decided to travel the world and keep a journal of their adventure. As is usually the case with these "find yourself" journeys shared on
social media, activities and adventures almost always fall into the "damn, I wish I were them" category. Except for Chanel Cartell and Steve Dirnberger -- and likely, most others who just aren't
honest -- not every aspect of their travels has been epically spectacular.
In fact, they now clean toilets to help pay for their travels. In a recent blog post, the couple shared the fact that traveling the world isn't always roses or peaches and cream or whatever metaphor you want to apply. No, sometimes the money runs out and you've just gotta do what you've gotta do to make ends meet. And that's exactly what Cartell and Dirnberger have had to do.
In a blog post entitled We Quit Our Jobs In Advertising To Scrub Toilets, the couple share the less than glamorous side of world travel.
The couple write: "After being gone exactly 6 months, I feel it necessary we share the uglier side of our trip. Browsing through our blog posts and Instagram feed, it seems like we’re having the time of our lives. And don’t get me wrong -- we are. It’s bloody amazing. But it’s not all ice-creams in the sun and pretty landscapes. Noooooo. So far, I think we’ve tallied 135 toilets scrubbed, 250 kilos of cow dung spread, 2 tons of rocks shoveled, 60 meters of pathway laid, 57 beds made, and I cannot even remember how many wine glasses we’ve polished."
And of the notion that we are often fooled by social media into thinking everyone's life but our own is spectacular, they add, "So don’t let the bank of gorgeous photography fool you. Nuh uh. I am not at my fittest, slimmest or physically healthiest. We eat jam on crackers most days, get roughly 5hrs of sleep per night, and lug our extremely heavy bags through cobbled streets at 1am, trying to find our accommodation (because bus fares are not part of the budget, obviously)."
And so when you think your life sucks because everyone on social media seems to have such a perfect life, remember, social media favors the more positive aspects of life.
Following its new decentralized managerial model, Crispin Porter + Bogusky has hired a second managing director for its Boulder office. Devin Reiter, who previously worked with the agency on the
Microsoft account before leaving for a year-long stint at McCann Erickson New York, has returned and will work alongside the office's other managing director, Danielle Whalen.
Of the doubling up of managing directors, CP+B Global CEO Lori Senecal said: "We have small, tight teams of hands-on doers who are in charge of creating the very best work. So when an office becomes too large for one MD to have meaningful personal impact on each and every client business, we need to expand our leadership to deliver this promise."
The move follows -- and is line with -- the exodus of Andrew Keller, a 17-year veteran of the shop. Keller's position as executive creative director, and the oversight that position provided, was eliminated to make way for the new decentralized approach to management.
One wonders how long before the tide turns and the agency realizes the deck hands have taken over the ship and they've got a disorganized mutiny on their hands.
New York-based first-year MRY creative Sam Bartos has unveiled Ad Agency Bingo, a bingo game which
incorporates many of the activities, behaviors and plain old oddities he's witnessed during his first year at MRY.
Bingo squares include such activities as someone blatantly drinking before 2PM, somebody Tindering during a meeting, someone using the word "disruptive," somebody's dog pees in the office, someone says "advertorial," someone takes a selfie, someone you've slept with is in the same meeting as you and more.
In Sam's own words, here's how you sore the game:
“If you get a straight line, you can take it to your boss and ask that he promote you. Art Directors can become Senior Art Directors. Junior Copywriters will become Senior Junior Copywriters. etc.
If you get a diagonal line, you get to raid the office supply closet, Supermarket Sweep-style.
If your coworker gets a straight line, but you contributed by saying one of the things that helps them fill out one of the squares, you can scan their filled out sheet and put it in your portfolio as a project you worked on.
If you give the sheet to an intern to and they get a straight line, you can take credit for it as long as you write them a nice LinkedIn recommendation on their last day.
If you fill in a couple of the bubbles then get bored, fuck it, it’s 11:27. Lunch time.”
Oh, those damn new business prospects. Always asking for spec work for pitches. Will they ever learn? It's like asking a doctor to operate on your toe so he can prove he'll be successful operating
on your heart without even knowing the details of your health condition.
The HubSpot blog, Agency Post, asked 12 ad agency execs to spout off about spec work and what they think about the clients who request it.
Here's one of the better responses from Fuseideas' Dennis Franczak who said: "In written RFP responses, spec work is a waste of time. The reader may not have any context to what you are showing them. I also think when people ask it in an RFP they don’t understand how important developing creative is to us. It’s what we do. Asking us to just give it away means they already don’t respect you or what you do. To them, it’s like hiring somebody to provide them office supplies."
He continued: "For in-person presentations, it’s your chance to show them how you think or how you arrived at your creative approach. 95% of whatever gets done in a spec creative pitch is tossed out because you don’t have the background or the relationship with the client to know what they really need, but it shows how you think and it shows them you want their business."
What's your take on spec work?