Have you heard about the Cover Oregon kerfuffle? Apparently an ad created by Wieden+Kennedy satellite, North, was parodied by John Oliver on HBO, who took jabs at the apparent failure of the
state's health insurance exchange which cost upwards of $200 million and doesn't really work. Oliver took issue with one particular ad North created that
features folk singers portraying the fact everything is wonderful in Oregon and he created a parody featuring Lisa Loeb that basically labels everyone in
Oregon a bunch of "fucking idiots." It's actually quite hilarious -- but North Chief Creative Officer Mark Ray is not amused and has penned a scathing blog post entitled "Yes, John Oliver, We Are
Stupid Fucking Idiots" in which he pulls no punches in his lambasting of Oliver for not understanding the whole picture.
And for, well, clearly hurting his feelings a bit.
After just nine months on the job, Arnold New York President Corey Mitchell is leaving the building. Clearly something was amiss. Something didn't gel. Somebody pissed someone off. Or Mitchell fell on his face. Of course, no one is saying such things. At least publicly. Only the official spokesperson speak is being served up: "This decision was reached mutually. Corey made many terrific contributions to the agency both in new business and with current clients. We appreciate his work and leadership." For his part, Mitchell said: “It’s been important to me to manage my exit proactively, minimizing impact on clients and our staff. I’m happy to be leaving on a high note and wish Arnold and our clients the very best. We agreed to this earlier in the year. I’ll remain through May managing a transition and will announce a new position over the summer." Hmm. And so he was thinking of leaving, what, like 6 months after he arrived? Not good.
Well this is interesting. New York based agency Robert Snow Marketing is -- seemingly to prove its worth -- making, in their own words, a bold move. So what's the bold move? They're offering to write a "complimentary 500-word white paper [which they value at over $1,500] for qualified technology companies upon request." Now, depending upon the scope of said 500 words, $1,500 might be a good deal. If it's a technical piece that requires a lot of research, then yes, it sounds about right. But 500 words is not a lot of words and can, for some, be whipped out in under an hour. So as they say at the outset of any marketing project, make sure you both agree on scope.
WPP continues to grow its stable of digital agencies with the recent acquisition of Toronto-based Twist Image. In business for 14 years, the agency has 100 employees and handles Walmart, TD Bank and the Montreal Canadiens. Twist Image President Mitch Joel is stoked because he will have access to WPP's data assets and partnerships with Google, Facebook, Twitter and others.
Former TBWA LA Creative Director Gustavo Sarkis has joined Crispin Porter + Bogusky and will lead creative for the agency's Miami office. When at TBWA, Sarkis worked on Gatorade and helped the
agency win the Adidas World Cup account.
At CP+B, Sarkis will head up all creative aspects and accounts in the Miami office including Infiniti Mexico and The Miami Dolphins.
The hire rounds out a shift the agency has made away from an agency-wide, global CCO to CCOs for each individual agency office. This shift began last January when worldwide CCO Rob Reilly left the agency.
Of the hire, CP+B Chairman Chuck Porter said, "Our success has always been about the work. Gustavo has a real understanding of culture, and an extraordinary feel for making an emotional connection between a brand and its audience. He has a strong entrepreneurial spirit so it seems especially fitting that he should lead our Miami office, where it all began."
Have your agency's Instagram hashtags been hijacked? Are you seeing a giant ad when you view images with your hashtag created by Dutch creative student Max Kurstjens? Well then
he's identified you as a place he'd like to work. You see, Kurstjens, like every other creative trying to break into the business, is sick and tired of you all ignoring him and his creativity.
So Kurstjens took it upon himself to get noticed. He created several different Instagram accounts and uploaded a collection of images that formed a large composite image that would be viewable to anyone clicking on an agency hashtag.
Targeted agencies included Leo Burnett, AKQA, 72andSunny, Anomaly, Droga5, Ogilvy & Mather, DDB Worldwide and others. The composite image resulted in an ad which read: "We Have Your Hashtag" and directed viewers to WeHaveYourHashtag.com where Hashtags are destroyed. On the site, agencies can "reclaim" their hashtag by sending in an email with a prefilled message that invites Kurstjens into the agency for a cup of coffee. Way to score an interview!
Check out a video of the stunt here.
If you haven't yet noticed, Dads appear to be a major theme brands and agencies are going with for their Super Bowl ads. Toyota has launched #OneBoldChoice, Dove has launched
#RealStrength and Nissan has launched #WithDad. While each approach is a bit different, the theme is decidedly all about Dad.
Of the direction Nissan took, the brand's SVP of Sales and Marketing Fred Diaz said the direction had nothing to do with the latest NFL domestic violence situation saying, "Nothing with the NFL had any part of our decision in any way. We started concepting a year ago, and essentially we wanted somehow or another to build a brand spot that resonated and connected with America. That was the direction I gave the marketing team and the agency: Find a spot, find a story. Find something that connects us and makes us far more relevant with the American public today that shows we truly understand them."
And of the campaign's similarities to Toyota and Dove, Diaz added, "I've seen a lot of their [Toyota's] footage that's been released and we're in such different spaces on this, other than the fact that we both are approaching the dad-fatherhood theme. It's purely coincidental. But you've got to make people laugh or cry. [Toyota's theme] won't detract or be synergistic for us. It certainly could help promote the notion, in our case, that things are better when Dad is involved."
Hershey's, the decidedly inferior choice in chocolate, has launched a legal fight against the decidedly superior choice in Chocolate, Cadbury, claiming the British brand is infringing upon the domestic brand's turf. No one on Facebook is happy about this. Outrage, I tell you! Outrage!
But that's not really advertising news now is it? How about Hershey's launching a crerative agency review? Yeah, that's closer to our news mandate here
at Mediapsssst. So yeah, the brand that makes stuff that barely has any actual chocolate in it wants to look beyond Arnold and Havas.
The brand, however, isn't kicking the agencies to the curb but they are interested in fishing for new ideas. Hershey Spokeswoman Anna Lingeris said: "We are just looking to add more agencies to the mix to help diversify the work" and develop "better effectiveness and efficiencies over time." Eesh, what a say-nothing piece of CYA business babble.
Bannersnack, a startup that aims to make online advertising smarter, has launched Bannersnack-for-Agencies, a platform for advertising professionals. Within the service, agencies get both a
professional banner maker app and a DSP for their ad campaigns.
Bannersnack aids creative collaboration and aims to speed up creative production. It allows creatives to quickly sketch ideas with...oh wow...professional fonts, premium stock images and in app image editor. It's also got a built in collaboration tool allowing copywriters, art directors and designers to share their ideas with colleagues and clients.
Of the launch, Bannersnack Head of Product Raul Popa said: "We really want to make online banner advertising smarter. At first, we were amazed to see how our app enables faster banner design for small and medium businesses. After that, we learned that a large part of our user base consists of designers and advertising professionals and we decided to step up with a solution for their needs. We were inspired by how easy it is to share and work with documents in apps like Google Drive and Dropbox. We believe that time is the most limited resource for our customers and that's where Bannersnack really shines. It saves time, eliminates noise and makes online advertising easier for everyone. We really think more agencies should try it and that's why we're offering the banner maker app for free, for a limited time to advertising agencies across the world, no financial commitments."
Well, the upside is no one likes to create banners, no one clicks on them and some programmatic computer in the backroom makes the media buy. Why not another automated tool to further strip advertising of anything remotely resembling creativity?
john st. has opened shop in Montreal. Of the move, Co-Founder and President Arthur Fleishmann said: “We’ve been talking about it for close to 10 years. But in the past two years,
it’s become more and more of a priority for us as we look to the future and how we help our clients solve more complex strategic, creative and production problems. So we’re doing
The office will be run by Montreal native Mylene Savoie, who spent her career managing large accounts such as Intrawest, Tim Hortons and Telus in Quebec prior to opening john st. Montreal as managing director.
Creative will be led by Sebastien Lafaye and Cedric Audet, who have worked most recently at Bleublancrouge. Of the creative team, john st. ECD Angus Tucker said, “We love the work Sebastien and Cedric have done on accounts like Toyota and Air France as well as the Church of Montreal and the Quebec Alzheimer Society. Between them, they have won multiple Grand Prix at CREA, and their work has appeared at Cannes, the Clio’s and Marketing. Their work fits right into john st’s philosophy, blending insight, creativity and cultural relevance into ideas that make our client’s brands unignorable.”
Of joining the agency, Savoie said: “It’s an opportunity to work on some amazing brands. john st. has one of the best client portfolios of any agency in Canada. And while our immediate priority will be to maximize our client’s opportunities in Quebec, it’s exciting to know that our influence will also be felt on a national level.”