On April Fools’ Day, as is always the case, there were a few interesting items sent to us from agencies. One such joke came to us from Crispin Porter + Bogusky on behalf of Fruit of
the Loom. The agency created the "Undie Iron," a tiny iron designed to be worn on one finger while, yes, ironing your undies. It's USB powered and we are told it will go on sale in 2022. Check it out
here. It's yet another innovation from the brand which has given us the reinvented boxer brief for men and the ladies’ cotton panty.
Another great April Fools’ Day gag came to us from RPA which created the Honda Fit Kit for those "tinkerers" who like to build everything themselves. After using the “build and price” feature to configure their Fit online, customers are offered the choice of building it themselves or taking delivery of a "Honda-assembled vehicle" at a Honda dealership. With the build-at-home option, now...ahem... in beta, customers will receive a detailed instruction manual and DVD along with a complete set of parts to assemble a 2015 Fit. With over 200,000 parts, we're guessing the assembly process will be a bit more involved than the IKEA furniture assembly process.
Oy Vey. Sadly, this is not an April Fool's joke. A&E will air an eight-episode unscripted docu-series entitled The Herbert Brothers, which will center on the lives of five siblings who start their own ad agency together. The Herbert Brothers follows five brothers in Batesville, Ind., who won a contest to create a Doritos commercial to air during the Super Bowl, and use their $1 million prize to start their own ad agency in their home town. As if The Pitch weren't bad enough, now we have to listen to a bunch of brothers and a sister bitch at each other on a weekly basis.
Change is the
new normal over at FCB. Global CEO Carter Murray is in the process of completely revamping the agency with a name change, a rebrand and several key hires. His latest hire is Bryan Crawford, who
will become vice chairman of the network. Crawford has been chairman and group CEO of FCB Australia and New Zealand (formerly Draftfcb) for the past eight years, an agency group that has received
global recognition for its award-winning creative campaigns. Crawford joins the global management team and reports to Murray. He will retain his current role as chairman and group CEO of FCB Australia
and New Zealand.
In other agency shufflings, Gustavo Martinez, global president of JWT Worldwide, announced the appointment of Lynn Power as a managing director of JWT New York. Power will partner with Claire Capeci, who was named managing director in December 2013 to lead the agency's flagship New York office. Power was most recently with Arnold New York, where she served as president and managing partner. Both Power and Capeci will report directly to Martinez.
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?