Colleen DeCourcy Named 11th Partner of Wieden+Kennedy

Well this is awesome! We saw an image of Colleen DeCourcy standing in front of a Weiden+Kennedy placard with her name on it on Instagram today and we thought, "Hmm, what does that mean?" Turns out the agency has made her a partner in its global network. While that's awesome, there are 11 partners in all. Isn't being partner supposed to be special? They shouldn't just give it out to anyone, right? Before you start sending hate mail, clearly DeCourcy is awesome and totally deserves partnership. We've seen her in action. We've seen her speak at conferences. She absolutely deserves this. She's been with W+K for 18 months as global co-executive creative director. Congratulations, Colleen!

After an 8-week pitch process, during which Leo Burnett, FCB and Magnani Continuum Marketing battled one another for the Choose Chicago tourism account, it was FCB that prevailed. What's interesting is that Leo Burnett did some pro bono research to the tune of $1 million which each of the three shops used for their pitches. And while Leo Burnett might have had some explaining to do had they won the pitch, parent company Publicis Groupe shouldn't be too upset as Starcom, also a Publicis company, took home the media business.

In the automotive space, J.D. Power & Associates is seen as a God-like research figure. While it may take some time to be seen that way in the digital advertising space, the organization is going to make a go of it with the acquisition of Korrelate, an Orlando-based research firm that measures online consumer behavior, which it links to offline sales. Of course, much of what the J.D. Power/Korrelate offering will focus on is, in fact, the automotive industry -- but with a shift. J.D. Power President Finbarr O'Neill explains, saying: “Consumer behavior is changing dramatically in today’s Internet-powered world. The auto industry spends billions of dollars annually on digital marketing. Measuring online activity and linking it to actual vehicle sales will enable marketers to measure and optimize their digital strategy.”

Hey this is pretty cool. It addresses both writer's block as well as the desire for creatives to find a home for the work they poured their heart and soul into, but the client decided it wasn't worthy. Freelance creatives Kalle Everland and Timo Klaarenbeek have launched Ideas to Steal, a site on which creatives can "steal" killed ideas that others have uploaded. But if an idea is "stolen" the person doing the stealing has to agree to share credit and share any glory the work might receive down the line. Wouldn't it be awesome if someday some creative stood on stage at the Palais in Cannes and had to share the glory? Perhaps not -- but we'd certainly love to see that.

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  • Y&R CEO David Sable Named Vice Chair of Ad Council Board

    Y&R Global Chief Executive Officer David Sable was named a vice chair of the Ad Council's Board of Directors at the organization's Executive Committee meeting last week. He will serve alongside Board Chair David Christopher, CMO of AT&T Mobility, and Vice Chair David Kenny, Chairman and CEO of the Weather Company. Sable will serve as Vice Chair through June 2017 at which point he will assume the Board Chair position.

    Of the appointment, Ad Council President and CEO Lisa Sherman said, "David Sable has always been on the vanguard in the advertising community, including as a digital pioneer, and his dedication for giving back is exemplary. He and Y&R have been long-time supporters of the Ad Council, lending talent and time to many critical issues facing our country. We're thrilled he is taking this leadership role on our Board." 

    Sable joined the Ad Council Board of Directors in 2011 and became a member of the Executive Committee in 2013.

    Of joining the Board, Sable said, "I believe that we can help change the world by applying creative, marketing, research, branding, public relations, digital, data -- all the skills and resources that make up our industry -- to the world's problems. No one has done more to advance public service advertising than the Ad Council and I am honored to step into this new role and committed to helping make a difference."

  • Google Marketing Head Was Petrified And Terrified Everyone Would Hate New Google Logo

    It's Advertising Week -- and that's the joyous time of year when it's time to celebrate all things advertising and for everyone who has anything to do with advertising to hop on stage and share their deepest, most inner thoughts about their brands, their clients, their jobs and their work.

    At a session on Wednesday, Droga5's David Droga took the stage with Google Head of Marketing Lorraine Twohill to discuss mobile and the rollout of the new Google logo. While the logo, for the most part, was well received, Twohill shared with the audience there were moments of major fear along the way.

    Of that fear, she said: "When you work on something like that for months, you're just petrified and terrified. Even though a logo feels like a small thing, it's actually a very big deal, because this is a very loved brand. And logo changes don't necessarily always land very well. So we were petrified that the world was just going to universally vomit when we put this thing out there. Thankfully, they didn't. We got a very nice response. We lived through it and survived, but it was stressful."

    Droga, who has worked with Google on several endeavors,  found some humor in that comment and it's apparent adoption as some type of new metric, adding, "I like that that was the benchmark. Did the world vomit or not? Job done." 

    Responding to The New Yorker's apparent hatred of the smiling "e" at the end of the logo, Twohill noted it was Google Doodle head Ryan Germick, who was behind it, saying: "There was a lot of angst internally about changing this logo. Ryan wrote to us and said, 'Could you at the very least tilt the 'e,' so it's smiling?' So, that's Ryan's 'e.' "
  • Content Marketer Says Native Advertising Will Fail

    This is not new but it's worth sharing, given the current focus on ad blockers and the resultant hand-wringing among marketers and agencies renewing their focus on "unblockable" native advertising as if it will save advertising...and the publishers that host that advertising.

    In a piece entitled "Why Native Advertising Won't Survive Regardless of FTC Involvement," the Content Marketing Institute's Kirk Cheyfitz wrote: "Here’s what content marketing has demonstrated so far: Brand storytelling with rich content is powerful because audiences -- the people formerly known merely as 'consumers' -- pay attention to valuable content and reward brand-authors by sharing such content with friends and strangers on social platforms. This social sharing increases impact (by two to four times, studies show) and reach (up to nine times, mathematical models show), reducing media spend and boosting efficiency (by as much as 100 times).

    A story good enough to accomplish all that is actually rendered less effective (from the advertisers’ viewpoint) by appearing to be part of a publisher’s site. Brand-told stories work harder for a brand when they appear on neutral platforms (YouTube, for example) or sites owned by the advertiser.

    Why? A brand must be known as the provider of such content so audiences will see the brand as trusted ally, valued adviser, and inventive entertainer. No sane brand would spend money to create great content only to let some publisher or broadcaster get the credit."

    Is Cheyfitz right? If you attended Content Marketing World or Hubspot's Inbound, both held during the same week early in September, you'd very quickly come to the conclusion that the content marketing space, which is very different than the approach native advertising take, is gaining stride. 

    I'm not sure who first said it, but there's a saying that goes along the lines of "a bad ad in a good medium is better than a good ad in a bad medium." The gist is that it's the surrounding, non-advertising content and the audiences who consume that content that are more important than the ad itself.

    And while content marketing certainly is gaining stride, ask yourself this; is bad content in a good medium better than great content in a bad medium? That right there, unfortunately, is content marketing's biggest challenge; too much crappy clickhole-style content masquerading as informative content.

    Now yes, like everything else in life, content marketing done well can and does work. But it's awful difficult most of the time to pass through the sea of 12 Exotic Foods You Have to Try, Number 5 Will Make You Barf-style headlines to get to the good stuff.

    It's only a matter of time before some enterprising geek develops a clickbait headline blocker.
  • Calculate Your Holiday Revenue With This Handy Calculator From Wpromote

    Are you interested in how your brand will fare this holiday season? Online marketing agency Wpromote is out with its 2015 Holiday Revenue Calculator. It's designed to give you a peek at what you can expect for revenue during the holiday season.

    To get started with the calculator, you are asked to enter your brand's URL and your revenues from Q4 of 2014. You are then asked to rate your marketing activities on a sliding scale from not executed to well executed. Metrics to be graded are Adwords campaigns, dedicated emails, mobile optimization and targeting, content marketing, social CRM, shopping feed optimization, creative refresh and Black Friday/Cyber Monday landing page. 

    You are then magically presented with your score and expected revenue. It's part of the agency's 100 Days of Holidays campaign which includes a whitepaper billed as "The Definitive Online Marketing Roadmap."


  • Martin Sorrell Chides Industry Over 'Snooty Attitude' And Admonishes Brands For Choosing Agencies Based on Cost

    Speaking at H+K Strategies D2 Conference in London, Sir Martin Sorrell made it known he is not happy with what he sees as a prevailing attitude within the industry that creativity resides solely within the walls of creative agencies. It’s an attitude that even permeates his own WPP shops. 

    He told the conference audience: "What I dislike is the snooty attitude that creativity resides in creative agencies" and that he believes three elements -- technology, data and content -- have changed the "nature of creativity."

    He added: "In the last 20 years, the definition of creativity has broadened immeasurably. The big issue is not creativity, but how you adapt it to what else is going on." He made note of creativity emanating from many different areas outside a typical agency creative department.

    Sorrell is also none too pleased that brands continue to treat agencies like "banks and insurance companies" and that brands are increasingly unwilling to take a partnership or investment approach to working with an ad agency. Of this ongoing trend, Sorrell said:"People are choosing agencies on the basis of payment terms and whether they are prepared to insure an indirect level of liability on intellectual property infringement." 

    Pessimistic as that may sound, Sorrell does believe the industry will see a return to the days of true partnership between brands and agencies but noted that successful agencies will look a lot more like WPP's own Team Detroit adding, "Clients don’t care about vertical brands [agencies]. The issue is, how do you make sure the best people are made available to clients? That's the model of the future."
  • Outdoor Advertising Association Wants Agencies to Know Billboards Are Seen By Real People, Not Bots

    Acknowledging that upwards of half -- depending upon whom you ask -- or more online ads are consumed by bots rather than living, breathing human beings, the Outdoor Advertising Association has launched an campaign touting the fact that billboards, unlike current-day online ads, are seen by actual human beings.

    The new campaign, called Feel the Real, carries the headline, "This Ad Is Real." Launched to coincide with Advertising Week, the campaign aims to remind people the medium is alive and well and still working hard for advertisers. 

    Other headlines on posters and kiosks include "You are consuming this advertisement. You are real" and, with a jab at today's online first mentality, "Media planners, do you have a reality problem?"

    Several ads are placed close to ad agencies and are customized specifically for the individual agency. For example, a billboard that appears outside Ogilvy & Mather New York reads, “Hey, Shelly, does this ad feel real to you?” referring, of course, to the agency's Chairman Emeritus Shelly Lazarus.

    Of the campaign, Matt Dowshen, president of PNYC which created the ads, said, “In a world where digital and its ability to deliver what it promises is under significant scrutiny, out-of-home has a unique and compelling point of view that having one foot grounded in the real world matters.”

    The campaign points to a website (ironically meta?) on which viewers are asked the question, "Did you see one of our out-of-home ads?" That's followed by four options, “Yes, I saw it in the real world,” “Yes, I saw it online,” “No, I heard about it,” and “No, I’m a robot.”

    What with the rampant furor over ad blockers making the rounds recently, this particular campaign might actually garner some awareness for the dusty, old outdoor ad medium.

  • Havas BETC Launches Record Label

    Hey -- with the supposed demise of ad agencies and the rampant transformation they are going through to stay alive, why not an ad agency as record label? Wait, what? I thought record labels were tanking too. Anyway. The agency is partnering in the new record label that will come under the Polydor division of Universal.

    Of the move, Havas BETC Co-Founder Remi Babinet said: "A modern ad agency should be able to offer a lot more than just consulting and traditional campaigns; it should be a media, a producer and an audience generator in itself. This will be central for BETC’s development over the coming years." 

    Polydor GM Eric Lelievre added: “The teams at Polydor are constantly reinventing themselves to stay on top of a music industry in transformation. We are very proud to welcome BETC POP and this new pop-themed record label.”



  • Missing Mad Men? Now You Can Hear Don Draper Voicing A Character on SpongeBob SquarePants

    Are you in withdrawal over the end of "Mad Men?" Do you long for your weekly dose of advertising-infused entertainment? Do you dream of Don Draper cooing sweet advertising-themed nothings in your ear at night? Fear not. Don Draper lives on!

    Well, that is Don Draper in the form of Jon Hamm voicing a Don Draper-esque character on Nickelodeon's SpongeBob SquarePants. The character will be known as Don Grouper. No, seriously! 

    Grouper, billed as a "charismatic head ad executive" with a "sharp mind and devastating charm," will head up an agency called Grouper, Goby & Koi. Other characters on the show will "lap up his words like overpriced organic honey."

    Alas we will all have to wait until 2016 for the Grouper, Goby & Koi episodes to air.
  • Lowe Roche Founder Explains Why Its A Good Thing Lowe Roche Is Closing

    Geoffrey Roche, founder of Lowe Roche, has penned a lengthy discussion piece on the closing of Lowe Roche following its acquisition by IPG. But it's not a screed on the evils of holding company acquisitions -- though he has voiced that viewpoint before. Rather it's a celebration of the fact that things change and many times organizations have to disappear to make way for change.

    He's very pleased with the accomplishments of his agency over the course of its first 20 years since founding in 1991 and wrote, "…in that first 20 years we did not just great work, we did it with some of the most talented individuals in North America. An amazing hard working, hard partying brilliant bunch of folks."

    And on the need for change, he adds, "This industry can't keep stumbling towards a cliff with no bottom. It's a business that needs a real shake up in the form of how to charge, how to buy new thinking, how to embrace new thinking and how to convince clients that doing same old, same old simply won't work. And it needs some Clients with some vision and courage to make that happen."

    He goes on to lay out some of the drastic changes which have occurred over the course of the last 20 years that have dramatically changed things for agencies. Of note, the rise of Facebook and its shifting superiority over YouTube in video and how that shift has killed much of the traffic that used to make its way to branded sites.

    He shares his woes, though, on the industry failing to meet many of these changes head on, adding, "I'm amazed at how little interest there is in media shops in trying something new like branded content and the like. The robotic answer is no, I've got a TV spot to book. PVR-ing is king for those of us who still watch TV and ask the average 20 something if they even own a TV or plan to get one and they'll tell you no. Reaching today's consumer is a monster task. Reaching! I'm not even taking about the message, I'm just saying figuring out the first part calls for some pretty brainy folks, let alone all that goes with it once you've got that done."

    It's not all doom and gloom though. Roche is upbeat and urges those in the agency business to rise up and meet these crazy changes head on. In fact, he advises you to run into a room, close the door and scream at the top of your lungs in an effort to bring about the catharsis needed to enable a mentality that will foster these changes. 

    While he may not have a great love for IPG and the changes that came after the acquisition, he offers kind words and thanks to the people who worked for him over the years. "If you worked for me, I can’t thank you enough. You changed my life. But even better, you changed the lives of all the people around you who sat in awe of your talent, your ability, your teachable moments, your work ethic …and were inspired just as I was that people like you even existed. My truest inspiration came from YOU."

    Well said, Geoffrey.

  • MEC Will Hire You on the Spot During Advertising Week

    On Monday from 9AM to 5PM outside The Times Center during Advertising Week, MEC will conduct interviews which will result in the immediate hiring of 10 entry-level employees as part of the agency's MEC Live Hire event. 

    Each candidate will go through four interviews with four different people from the agency who will center their respective interview questions on one of four areas; communication, collaboration, strategic thinking and initiative and accountability. 

    Of the endeavor, MEC Chief Talent Officer Marie-Claire Barker said, "We can do things quickly if we're aligned strategically on the type of talent we're trying to bring in. Where a lot of organizations fall short is there is no alignment for what people are looking for."

    While the agency says it will interview up to 16 people, I'm guessing there's going to be a whole lot more lining up and begging for an interview.

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