There is mounting belief that the merger between Publicis Group and Omnicom will never happen. The latest comes from analysts who have lost whatever warmth they may ever have had for the
deal. Pivotal Research Group Analyst Brian Wieser said: "There is evidently a realistic chance that the merger with Publicis will not be completed, whether due to external factors or management
preferences." And Albert Fried Analyst Rich Tullo places the odds of the deal coming to fruition at 40%, a drop from his original 66%. While challenges mount including a fight over who will become
CFO, the deal contains a $500 million termination fee that must be paid by the party that backs out first. So there's plenty of incentive still in place to make the deal work.
The phrase "stop trying to make Fetch happen" comes to mind when hearing about all the companies and marketers out there that can't wait to jump on the drone bandwagon with their offerings. Ever since Amazon dropped the ridiculous Amazon Prime Air on us, marketers and agencies have been in overdrive toying with their pet drone projects. But the FAA is having none of it. When Minneapolis agency Pocket Hercules pulled a stunt for its client Lakemaid beer, it received a warning from the FAA. Of the warning, CCO Jack Supple said: “They warn you and inform you of the regulations. The next level is a stiffer warning. Then they can fine you. Then they can actually blacklist you, or so I’ve heard. If you push it too far, you will not be licensed when it comes time to be licensed.” Pocket Hercules is just one of many agencies and marketers playing in the space. Supple adds, “Drones have already done quite a bit to the creative landscape with the photography being shot from them. That’s being done now, but they’re just being quiet about it because the photographers don’t want to be issued a $10,000 fine. The FAA is probably justified in trying to make sure that every Tom, Dick or Harry can’t be running commercial drones over the heads of the citizenry.” Yup. Still doing it. Just not talking about it.
Do you want your voice heard regarding the fact that just 3% of creative directors are women? Do you want to hear what those who are addressing the situation have to say? As an extension of the 3Percent Conference that was held last fall in San Francisco, the organization has launched a series of smaller, road show events. There's one this week in New York hosted by Ogilvy & Mather. Beginning at 6 p.m. Thursday (May 8) with cocktails, of course, a panel moderated by MediaPost Editor-at-Large Barbara Lippert will include 3Percent Conference Founder Kat Gordon, Deutsch NY CCO Kerry Keenan, Ogilvy & Mather NY ECD Corinna Falusi, BBDO NY CCO Greg Hahn and BBH NY CCO John Patroulis. Check it out here.
And here's a fun one. Ryan McLeod, Grant MacLennan and David Park from Glasgow, Scotland agency Equator are out with Critique That Shit, a site on which you can enter a URL and have a deadpan, Siri-like voice spit out canned Web site critiques like, "I 100% appreciate your design efforts" and "Like Jesus on the cross, you nailed it Boss." Check it out if you want a laugh but don't expect any true insight. Oh wait -- are the real-life critiques you receive ever insightful? Maybe these will be better.
Agencies, it seems, are really amping up their holiday card efforts this year with many going the mobile route. Spanish agency Shakleton Group has developed SantApp, a mobile app which creates the illusion that Father Christmas or the Three Kings are moving around in one's living room to enchant the little ones. To get it to work, you enter the name of the child or children, place the phone in the room with the presents, close the door, turn off the lights.
According to Juan Silva, executive creative director at Shackleton: “People say that technology is robbing children of their innocence. We believe that, for once, we are actually helping to give it back to them.” That's all well and good -- but a video explaining the app leads on to believe all it does is play various Santa voice and flash light. But, hey, sometimes that's all kids need.
AKQA decided to go mobile with its holiday card this year. The agency has introduced Winterlands, a mobile messaging site that lets you send this season’s greetings in a 3D snow globe experience.
If you visit snow.akqa.com on any mobile device running iOS 8+ or Android 4.3.3+ and choose one of the snowscapes and write your personal message that when opened by a recipient will reveal a message inside a virtual snow globe. And shaking the phone will make it snow. The experience is really quite cool and makes use of the phone's gyroscope and accelerometer.
Winterlands launches with one wintery and five city-inspired snowscapes including London, Paris, Portland, Tokyo and Washington DC, more cities to be added in the coming days. So grab your phone, head over to the Web site, create your own snow globe extravaganza and shoot it over to a friend.
Hanson Dodge Creative has stepped up the holiday card/video/charity thingamajiga with the launch of Global Gift Project, Inc. Its mission is to bring complete joy and wonderment to every child in the world by providing each child with a gift. And the agency is asking for the industry's help.
Explaining the efforts, the Web site reads: "Trying to give a gift to every single one of them [kids] is really freaking difficult. And it gets harder every year. That's why we've started our ‘Yes, I'm Officially Representing Santa, He's Real and Gave Me the Power to Give You a Gift’ Team. We call it Team "YIORSHRGMPGYG" for short." YIORSHRGMPGYG aims to entrust the non-elven population with the power of good ol' Santa Claus and empowers people to become official members of the Global Gift Project Team.”
If you click the Apply Now button, you are whisked away to a virtual human resources department where Helen will administer an interview to see if you're up to holiday snuff. The choose-your-own adventure-style questions begin simply enough and then progress to such oddities as how crying babies make you feel and whether or not you like to eat reindeer. It's amusing enough to click all the way through at which time you can download your YIORSHRGMPGYG membership card.
Well, here's some good news regarding the outlook for 2015. The Creative Group is out with a piece of research that takes a look at what 2015 has in store in terms of employment. According to the research, one-third of advertising and marketing professionals plan to expand their creative teams in the first half of 2015. That's up 21 percent from six months ago.
In addition, 56% plan to maintain their current level of staffing within their organizations with just 5% planning to freeze hiring. Forty-one percent of advertising and marketing executives noted that it is challenging to find creative professionals today and hiring managers at large advertising agencies expect the greatest difficulty, with 59% of respondents reporting it will be somewhat or very challenging.
In terms of the areas which marketing organizations plan to expand, web design/production, social media, content marketing and brand/product management top the list. The Creative Group has produced an infographic summarizing this outlook with addition data points as well. You can access that here.
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.