That agency with the funny name, Wexley School for Girls, has had it with RFPs and they aren't going to take it anymore. In an effort to reduce agency review shenanigans, the agency is
turning the tables and is out with the first-ever Reverse Request for Information. It aims to eradicate the agency review process of the complex and costly rigamarole of vetting, chemistry checks and
basically pitting agencies against one another to compete for an account. The intro to the RRFI reads: “We believe it’s as important for the agency to choose its next clients as carefully
and rigorously as a client chooses its next agency.”
Explaining why the RRFI exists, the agency writes. "We think it is a perfect way of finding an agency that has the exact same values and needs as you do. When you do an RFP you get responses that are basically good guesses, instead of deep knowledge that leads directly to true insight. All of that time could be used to actually work on a real problem. All of the energy all of those agencies expend could be used on real work for you. We are looking for a client that is respectful, fun to be around and one that enjoys partnering with their agency not dictating to them. Period. We see ourselves as an asset not a vendor. And we see clients as partners not clients."
If you watch "Game of Thrones," you'll love this promotional effort from Sanders Consulting Group which is out with a survey designed to determine which Game of Thrones House your agency is most like. Through a series of survey questions that relate to the HBO series, your agency is properly aligned with the right Game of Thrones House. In doing so, your agency is given some interesting insight into who you really are. Give it a try here.
Austin-based Tent is celebrating its first year working in what it calls the post-AOR era. The agency has eschewed retainer-based work for fixed fee-based work and they're out with a video that shares their belief that because 70% of agencies are owned by three holding companies, they all operate the same way, because they share the same talent pool and because they all compete for the same clients, the net result is mass production-style crap that has no appreciation for talent or innovation. While all of this is true and admirably expressed, it's most certainly an uphill battle when, in fact, the net result of the holding company consolidation movement has sucked the blood out of any remaining talent ad innovation that might ever have existed. That said, we wish Tent well in their admirable effort to improve the agency business.
Remember when Diet Coke came out with that "You're On" campaign and everyone jumped all over the brand and the agency, Droga5, for making drug references? Well, it seems all those complaints had an effect -- and this week the brand is out with a "You're On"-less campaign that is more traditional in nature. And it was not created by Droga5. But the brand assures us that everything is still peachy between Diet Coke and the agency. For the time being.
In a Washington Post article entitled "I’m 60. My boss is a 20-something. It’s awkward," 60-year-old Lisa Reswick discusses the trials, tribulations and challenges of working in an office where she takes orders from a boss whose mother is younger than she is.
She, of course, is one of the lucky ones. Especially in the youth-obsessed advertising industry where age discrimination runs rampant, with most everyone over the age of 30 experiencing age discrimination in one form or another. And where most anyone over 40 is basically banned from working inside an ad agency.
Age discrimination is bad enough for those who are of a certain age and doing all they can to "stay relevant" in a world that values youth over wisdom. But ad agency employees are not the only ones suffering from age discrimination in the marketing space. Brands do too.
Reswick explains, writing: “This obsession with young talent may be short-sighted...people older than 50 have double the discretionary spending power of any other age group. The average head of household is 52. The average new car buyer is 56. The average Mac user is 54. So marketers must appeal to older consumers and may soon regret banishing everyone who saw the Beatles sing 'I Want to Hold Your Hand' live on the 'Ed Sullivan Show.' In your 20s and 30s, it’s pretty hard to understand the mind-set, needs and tastes of those decades older."
Yes, the AARP has launched an ad agency specifically to help brands promote their products to the over 50 crowd, but that's not enough.
We need to do more.
Just how well do you think a 28-year-old can connect with a 56-year-old? Oh sure, the 28-year-old can refer to reams of research that will point to behaviors, traits and other indicators that might shed light on an effective marketing approach, but that's far removed from walking in that 56-year-old's shoes.
It's time for us all to dump the "clueless old person" attitude and realize these supposedly clueless old people have years and years and years of valuable experience that can be tapped for the betterment of the work that an agency does for its clients.
Because, let's be honest -- not every consumer is under 30. And face this fact: By 2020, it’s expected that 25% of U.S. workers will be older than 55. And they have a lot of money. Way more money, on average, than that hipster 32-year-old with whom you're so obsessed.
Red Tettemer O'Connell + Partners has had a long tradition of welcoming new hires in interesting and inventive ways. Once the agency welcomed new hires by carving totem poles in their likeness.
This week, the agency welcomed new creatives, Ron Villacarillo and Ben Levy, by creating actual, working Pez dispensers in their likeness. Check out a video of the Pez dispenser creations here.
Villacarillo will join the agency as creative director/art director and will work on the agency's Dockers and Morningstar Farms clients. His past experience includes work at TBWA/Chiat/Day, McCann, CP+B and The Martin Agency. Levy will join the agency as creative director/copywriter and will work on the agency's Planet Fitness, T Rowe Price and Under Armour accounts. He joins the agency from Havas New York.
We've all seen it. Conference after conference where panel after panel consist solely of men. Well, Hana Rado, COO of Israeli ad agency McCann Tel Aviv, has come up with a solution to the problem.
Rado along with several others at her agency have launched Persona, a Web site on which qualified female speakers across many different fields are profiled. The site lists some 700 women so far. Mitt "binders of women" Romney would be proud.
The effort and the site also involve campaigning against conferences that under-represent women on panels by contacting some of the high-level attendees at these conferences, informing them of the gender gap and asking them not to attend these events which underrepresent women. The campaign also includes positive outreach making conference organizers aware of the many qualified women who could attend and present and many conferences.
A recent study conducted by Campaign found over one-third (37%) of the ad agency workforce described morale at their agency as "low" or "dangerously low" and 70% said they were "actively job seeking."
WTF? Seventy percent of the entire ad agency world is looking for a new job! No wonder everything is a mess. And things are not getting better. Close to 60% of survey respondents stated morale is lower this year than it was last year.
According to the study, the biggest problem is poor management. Survey respondents were quoted as saying management is filled with "ego-driven, self-fulfilling, all-about-me attitudes," work is filled with "rush projects, poorly planned projects and lack of project direction" as well as "politics and sexism."
Of course those making a healthy salary (over $100,000) reported morale problems at a lower rate (32%) as compared to those making salaries between $50,000 and $100,000 of whom 40% reported morale problems.
It's always nice to see ad agencies do their part when it comes to charitable work. New York-based EGC, for the seventh year in a row, will participate in CreateAthon.
CreateAthon is a 24-hour creative event to benefit charities across the globe. Over 100 ad agencies around the globe have participated in an annual marathon creative event during which they donate talent to help nonprofits raise funds and awareness. More than 1,300 non-profits have been served, receiving nearly $17 million of agency work.
EGC, the only New York agency to participate, will work well into the night and regroup the next day to present their ideas, digital campaigns, and marketing programs to participating charities.
The work EGC does this year will benefit Hope For Youth, a foster care group for kids and the Long Island Coalition against Domestic Violence.
Last month several top executives from Havas Worldwide took over six gondolas on the Navy Pier Ferris Wheel in Chicago to conduct interviews. Each candidate was given two rotations to make their pitch to executives.
Of the approach, Havas CEO Paul Marobella said: “It’s a street fight for talent." Marobella was looking to fill about 50 positions at the agency.
Marobella aligned the stunt with the decommissioning of the current Navy Pier Ferris Wheel in favor of a newer, more high tech version by saying: “Modernizing and contemporizing American brands is what we get out of bed for in the morning.”
One interviewee, Julie Shah said the Ferris wheel interview improved her performance saying: “I think sometimes when you’re in an interview you don’t always remember all the things you’re supposed to say -- you forget parts of yourself, tidbits that really push that interview forward. And this time I actually remembered because I was so excited throughout.”
This is just too much fun. UK-based ad agency Aptitude has released a collection of photos that imagine a broader world behind the images we've seen on popular album covers.
We've got a pensive Justin Bieber on the cover of his "My World" album. All is well until the image is zoomed out to reveal what's really going on. Bieber in cuffs getting arrested by a police officer.
We've got Adele on the cover of 19, which, when zoomed out, reveals her to actually have been in some kind of zombie movie. We've got that baby from the cover of that Nirvana album who looks as happy as can be...until we zoom out and realize he's about to be eaten by sharks.
Check them all out here.
Was that a silly enough teaser headline for you? Sorry, sometimes I just have to get my BuzzFeedy Clickhole on. Anyway, on with the story. RKCR/Y&R has hired Jennifer Aniston to help the agency boost business for its client, Emirates airline.
This week, the agency unveiled a new campaign for the airline featuring Aniston in a TV spot waking up from a dream on a plane and, to her horror, finding out the airline doesn't have showers or a bar. Of course, in her dream, she's not on an Emirates plane, but of course, when she wakes up, she is and all is well with the world. Or at least those who can afford to fly on planes with showers and a bar.
Of the approach, Emirates SVP of Corporate Communications Boutros Boutros said: “In a departure from the usual airline industry ads, we chose to take a humorous approach to showcase the amazing products we offer on board. We couldn’t think of anyone better suited for the role than Jennifer Aniston and we wrote the script with her in mind. Her professionalism and comedic talent shone on the set and we are very pleased with the outcome.”
The commercial was directed by industry vet and Oscar-nominee Bryan Buckley, who is well known for creating several successful Super Bowl ads. RKCR/Y&R London developed the concept while the script was a collaboration between the agency, Buckley and Emirates’ in-house advertising team.
The global digital and television campaign will begin in the United States and the UAE before being rolled out in November to other countries including the UK, Germany, France, Italy, India and Australia.
Emirates is allocating $20 to the worldwide campaign which will consist of :30's and :60's.
Well, this is fun. We see so many breathy articles filled with endless platitudes on why you should choose a career in advertising. Well, here's a contrarian viewpoint in the form of a Slideshare presentation. So here we go.
The presentation talks about getting lost in translation due to the plethora of simultaneous, mind-numbing projects. Then there's the need to work on unglamorous projects whether you like it or not. Third, there's no credit where credit is due. It can be hard to receive recognition when the account manager, or the executive team, is always taking credit for the sleepless nights that you sacrificed.
Fourth, the heavy workload. Too many projects, not enough time, over-promises that cannot be met, clients who are mercilessly demanding. Fifth, less than stellar pay that just doesn't mirror the long hours and gigantic headaches that can accompany life inside an advertising agency. Sixth, obscenely long work hours that while part of a good work ethic can be soul crushing. And seventh, being forced to be creative under pressure and on a schedule. Developing great creative is not easy and doesn't always fit inside a neat timetable.
If you work in an agency, you are, no doubt, familiar with each of these 7 points. You are also familiar with the many joys and rewards that come with the job as well. Sure, it's tough work -- but it can be a lot of fun too.
Well, this is cute. Now don't get me wrong. I'm all for diversity in advertising. Except when the industry launches program after program after program and nothing ever changes. Sadly, every diversity-in-advertising effort is just one failure after another.
And so pardon me if I don't get all that excited about the latest effort -- a partnership between the Interactive Advertising Bureau and AOL chairman and CEO Tim Armstrong. Together, we now have the IAB Education Foundation, "a new nonprofit organization to increase racial, ethnic, gender, and economic diversity and improve peoples’ skills in the digital media and advertising industries."
Armstrong will lead the endeavor as Chairman of the Board.
Of the foundation, Armstrong said: “The IAB has a nearly 20-year history of solving the industry's biggest growth challenges and will now focus on perhaps the most overlooked and untapped opportunity – recruiting and growing the talent and skill sets we need in our industry. We need a dedicated organization to focus solely on building a trained and professional workforce that includes all constituencies, many of which have been left behind through much of the digital revolution – minorities, women, the disabled, the economically disadvantaged, and military veterans and their families. Under the leadership of Randall Rothenberg, the IAB Education Foundation will be positioned at the forefront of helping solve this issue that confronts our industry. I couldn’t be more pleased to help lead this effort.”
For his part, Rothenberg added, “The IAB is the natural choice to lead these efforts because we know exactly what the digital technology, media and advertising companies are looking for. Our certification programs have, in the space of just a few years, taught and credentialed thousands of experienced sales and ad ops people. Now we will be able to help an even larger number of people from diverse backgrounds obtain similar credentials and qualify for entry-level positions in one of the fastest-growing industries in the world.”
The foundation will launch with a cross-country "town hall tour" to listen to various constituencies within the digital advertising and media industry with the aim of gaining insight about how to improve diversity in digital media, marketing and advertising.
“We are calling this town hall listening tour ‘Voices United,’ because we want to hear from all constituencies, not just the department heads or top executives,” said Michael Theodore, Vice President, Learning and Development, IAB, and project head of the foundation. “The new curriculum and certification programs can introduce many new faces to our industries, but unless there are transparent paths toward upward mobility, true diversity will remain unrealized.”
The foundation’s first partner is the Year Up program, a national nonprofit organization that provides skills training to disadvantaged young adults and places them in Fortune 500 companies. Year Up will work with the IAB Education Foundation to develop an entry-level ad operations training program.
I wish them well.