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.
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.