Continuing its poaching of ad agency execs, Apple, which aims to build its in-house marketing department from 300 to as many as 600 staffers, has hired Wolff Olins Global CEO Karl Heiselman.
Heiselman, who once worked for Apple in the early 1990s when Steve Jobs returned, has been with Wolff Olins for 14 years. Of his earlier time at Apple, Heiselman said: "It was a bit of a weird time, they were trying to find their way. The big lesson I
learned was they were trying to be somebody they weren't and Jobs came back and said very clearly, 'we are going to go back to who we really are'." As Apple faces increased competition, most notably
from Samsung, Heiselman will have big strides to make. But he's aware of the problem and believes the brand is sometimes "a little too cool for its own good. I think it might be in danger of becoming
too cool, maybe not too cool, but too slick." Here's hoping he can save things.
Programmatic buying. You know, that practice where computers talk to computers to place ads on other computers all without human intervention? Okay -- we simplify, but it's drastically changed how things work in the agency space. Some agencies are partnering with technology providers. Others are just freaking out. Mediamath Chief Revenue Officer Erich Wasserman says no one needs to freak out and that advertisers, agencies are ad tech providers can peacefully coexist. He tells the Drum: "Unsurprisingly, this trend has caused some in the agency space to feel unsettled. Media scaremongering positions ad tech companies as attempting to disintermediate agencies, which -- from our perspective -- is absolutely not the case. To the contrary, some of the most successful relationships within our global business rely on the brand and agency relationship thriving -- leveraging insights, availing themselves of deep ecosystem integrations, and growing and optimizing spend based on the outputs of a strong platform." Okay -- maybe that's just more buzzword bingo, but we're all for a mutually beneficial threesome.
Jumping aboard the production agency trend, Omnicom Group has announced the merging of E-Graphics Worldwide and Hub Plus to form eg+ Worldwide, an entity that will "provide a client-focused network for production and tailored implementation solutions." The new company aims to help global brands "implement, amplify and localize" creative programs across multiple media channels. Of eg+ worldwide's launch, Omnicom President and CEO John Wren said: "With the launch of eg+, we are leveraging the very best technologies, talent and the extensive resources within Omnicom to help our clients meet the challenges of an increasingly diverse, complex, and global media landscape." eg+ worldwide will have 1,200 staffers who will be overseen by CEO Paul Hosea.
You've got to love how agencies explain away layoffs, fires and mass exits. Following the exit of several employees, here's what Tribal DDB had to say. “In the normal course of business, people are presented with opportunities to take on different, new, and challenging opportunities. As sad as we are to see some of our colleagues leave Tribal to pursue these new opportunities, we’re happy that other companies recognize their talent and the value of the experience they have gained at Tribal. We also wish them well and look forward to welcoming new colleagues in their stead.” Whatever happened to the simple "creative differences?"
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.