Did you hear about the stunt Mother New York pulled to recruit summer interns? They enlisted a creepy looking character, Donald Buscando, to troll the LinkedIn pages of young, college-age
students with profiles indicating they would be interested in marketing and advertising. He has been leaving messages on profiles encouraging people to apply for the summer internship positions. Those
who made it over to Buscando's profile were greeted with weird but informative prose about what the agency is looking for. They even produced a video showing
the creeper at work.
Southfield-based Doner Partners has welcomed an alumni back into its stables with the hiring of Elizabeth Boone. From 2007 to 2009, Boone was at the agency as SVP group account director on the Mazda account. This week she returns to the agency as chief marketing officer. Prior to rejoining Doner, Boone was a VP at San Francisco-based Federated Media. Of her rejoining Doner, President and co-CEO David DeMuth said: “Liz understands how to help brands tell relevant and compelling stories in today’s always-on marketing landscape. Her experience and skills are ideal for this position, enabling us to further build our digital capabilities and raise our profile, as well as that of our clients, through proprietary content.”
For you younguns' out there, there was once a time in the agency world when job titles were, you know, less pretentious than they are today. Back in the day we had director of new business. Today we have chief revenue officer. Back in the day, we had media director. Today we have chief investment officer or, in the case of Vik Kathuria, head of digital investment. But in joining Publicis Groupe’s Razorfish, Kathuria has gone semi-old school, taking on the title of global media chief. He'll fill the shoes of Jeff Lancot who this past summer left the agency world for the ad-tech world.
Everyone clamors for international stardom at some point, right? Well, it's Grey Berlin's turn for 15 minutes in the spotlight. After winning the account for Welt am Sonntag, Germany’s biggest premium Sunday newspaper, the agency will lead the pan European efforts for Panasonic's introduction of the AX-A500 video camera. In January 2014 Grey opened Grey Berlin under the direction of management duo Matthias Meusel and Oliver Handlos. Meusel previously worked as CMO for eBay subsidiary mobile.de, while Handlos comes from BBDO New York, where he had been creative director since 2010.
Ever since the advent of crowdsource-fueled creative entities like 99Designs, Freelancer and Fiver, design studios, which previously buttered their bread with business from ad agencies, are now
upping their game, cutting out the agency and going direct to the brand for business.
Of the trend, Design Business Council Head Greg Branson said, “A lot of the designers I work with have a strategy partner or a senior person in the business that does strategy. Many of them have been recruited by the designer out of the advertising industry, with the intention of taking their business to a higher level and offering a broader range of services."
While a design studio isn't going to take over the Coke account any time soon, shifts like this are on the rise. Interestingly, even before 99Designs and the like, Barbarian Group, which prior to Subservient Chicken, was a tech design studio of sorts, transformed itself into a full blown agency complete with all the usual agency services.
No, there won't be a weekly parade of design studios making it big like Barbarian did but market conditions have changed significantly enough that we will continue to see more of this.
For the past day or so, it seems impossible to escape from a Google News alert that isn't filled with that story about popular Indian celebrity Aishwarya Rai, who appeared in an ad for Kalyan
Jewellers elegantly dressed with a dark-skinned child holding an umbrella over her head. Many have called the ad racist.
An open letter from a consortium of feminist, child and human rights groups says the ad appears to "be representing aristocracy from a bygone era -- bejewelled, poised and relaxing while an obviously underage slave-child, very dark and emaciated, struggles to hold an oversize umbrella over your head."
The letter, which shares several examples of 17th- and 18th-century images that would now be considered racist, continues: "We wish to convey our dismay at the concept of this advertisement, and that you have, perhaps unthinkingly, associated with such a regressive portrayal of a child to sell a product...we, therefore, urge you to do the right thing -- cease to associate yourself with this offensive image by ensuring that further use of this advertisement is stopped."
In response, a statement from Aishwarya pretty much shirks any responsibility and blames the creative agency for the debacle. The statement read: "On the onset we would like to thank you on drawing our attention to the observation of the perception of the advertisement. Here is an attachment (picture of Aishwarya without the child holding the umbrella) of the shot taken by somebody during the shoot. The final layout of the ad is entirely the prerogative of the creative team for a brand. However shall forward your article as a viewpoint that can be taken into consideration by the creative team of professionals working on the brand visual communication. Thank you once again."
Kalyan Jewellers has pulled the ad.
On Wednesday at the LSA|15 Conference in Los Angeles, the Local Search Association announced the winners of its second annual Ad to Action Awards competition. LSA received 91 entries across 10
categories and the winners were revealed on the main stage at the event.
The competition focused on celebrating the most innovative "local" marketing products or solutions that facilitate consumer actions such as calls, clicks, store visits, etc. The winners demonstrated the greatest potential for driving local consumer engagement and best addressed current market needs.
The judging panel -- made up of 18 companies including Twitter, Foursquare, Yahoo, MapQuest, xAd and more -- evaluated these products and solutions. Each judge reviewed a subset of entries and no judge reviewed any entries where there was a potential conflict of interest.
In the Platforms and Services category, Chicago-based Rise Interactive, which likes to refer to itself as an "interactive investment management firm," won the top spot. And we can see why. Any agency that can spin the fact that they buy online advertising into "interactive investment management form" is worthy of praise.
For, oh, at least the past 7-10 years, every prognosticator has gleefully been promising "this is the year of mobile!" to the point where it's become a joke. Now, certainly, mobile has matured and
has become a viable medium for many things including advertising. But AKQA CCO Rei Inamoto isn't completely convinced.
In an interview with The Drum, Inamoto said, “To an extent I think the promise of mobile in relation to marketing has been exaggerated. The biggest misconception about mobile and the biggest mistake that advertisers make about mobile is to treat it like an advertising channel. Instead we should use it as a way to provide service not to provide a message.”
And, being the smart guy that he is, he's right. Rather than forcing old models (*cough* ...banners) through mobile devices, brands should embrace new services. Many have. Love them or hate them, Inamoto cites Uber as a brand that's fully embraced mobile, not as an advertising medium per se but, rather, as a platform for doing business.
So, yes, mobile has finally arrived. But my hope for the medium is that we can skip past all the missteps we took forcing old advertising models onto the internet and treat mobile very differently and more effectively. Like the personal service it has become. Not a pipe through which to shove ads.