Agency To Brands: We'll Do The Reviewing Around Here!

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.

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  • Crispin Porter + Bogusky Thinks Two Managing Directors Are Better Than One

    Following its new decentralized managerial model, Crispin Porter + Bogusky has hired a second managing director for its Boulder office. Devin Reiter, who previously worked with the agency on the Microsoft account before leaving for a year-long stint at McCann Erickson New York, has returned and will work alongside the office's other managing director, Danielle Whalen.

    Of the doubling up of managing directors, CP+B Global CEO Lori Senecal said: "We have small, tight teams of hands-on doers who are in charge of creating the very best work. So when an office becomes too large for one MD to have meaningful personal impact on each and every client business, we need to expand our leadership to deliver this promise."

    The move follows -- and is line with -- the exodus of Andrew Keller, a 17-year veteran of the shop. Keller's position as executive creative director, and the oversight that position provided, was eliminated to make way for the new decentralized approach to management.

    One wonders how long before the tide turns and the agency realizes the deck hands have taken over the ship and they've got a disorganized mutiny on their hands.

  • Top National Ad Agency Announces Half Price Logo Sale!!

    Well it looks like "top national advertising agency" Eye To Ad Media is at it again. Back in March they announced a "limited time promotion" on SEO, SEM, infographics, animations, responsive Web sites, copywriting and PPC management. And even more magically, they announced the fact that they now offer domain name registration and Web hosting services. 

    Now the agency that loves to write gushing press releases about the mundane offerings it decides are worthy of news has done it again. This time they've announced...wait for it...a half-price sale on all premium logo designs. Yup, you read that right. The agency will create a premium logo -- not a regular logo, mind you -- for half price. Oh, and it's a limited time offer, so you had better hurry!

    The rest of the press release reads like design 101 with gems like "Most business owners understand the importance of maintaining a healthy bottom line and know having strong logos, icons or emblems can build brands that are memorable and easily recognized" and "There's so much more to a brand than a logo, and a logo can become so much more than a brand. It can become an icon and carry a meaning among consumers that is known as a company's image. A strong brand can become nationally known, or even internationally known."

    I mean who knew?
  • First-Year Creative Develops Hilarious Ad Agency Bingo Game Which Pokes Fun At Agency Life

    New York-based first-year MRY creative Sam Bartos has unveiled Ad Agency Bingo, a bingo game which incorporates many of the activities, behaviors and plain old oddities he's witnessed during his first year at MRY.

    Bingo squares include such activities as someone blatantly drinking before 2PM, somebody Tindering during a meeting, someone using the word "disruptive," somebody's dog pees in the office, someone says "advertorial," someone takes a selfie, someone you've slept with is in the same meeting as you and more. 

    In Sam's own words, here's how you sore the game:

    “If you get a straight line, you can take it to your boss and ask that he promote you. Art Directors can become Senior Art Directors. Junior Copywriters will become Senior Junior Copywriters. etc.

    If you get a diagonal line, you get to raid the office supply closet, Supermarket Sweep-style.

    If your coworker gets a straight line, but you contributed by saying one of the things that helps them fill out one of the squares, you can scan their filled out sheet and put it in your portfolio as a project you worked on.

    If you give the sheet to an intern to and they get a straight line, you can take credit for it as long as you write them a nice LinkedIn recommendation on their last day.

    If you fill in a couple of the bubbles then get bored, fuck it, it’s 11:27. Lunch time.”

  • Aw, How Cute. Saatchi & Saatchi LA Donates Creative to Pet Shelter

    Oh sure, it's not really news that agencies take on pro bono accounts from time to time but this item involves cats and dogs and other pets. And on the internet, cats and dogs always win.

    Saatchi & Saatchi LA has donated creative services to the Amanda Foundation, an LA-based local pet rescue organization founded by Hollywood actress Teri Austin. The agency, along with area production companies which donated upwards of one half million in production costs, has given the Amanda Foundation a new...ahem...leash on life. 

    The agency completely rebranded the foundation, highlighting their core missions – from redesigning their logo and website, to giving their Spaymobile a new look and overhauling social platforms.

    You can check out the new website here and Spaymobile here.
  • 99designs Community Develops Completely Underwhelming Logo For Deez Nuts

    Deez Nuts, the 15-year-old Iowa farm boy, Brady Olson, who thought it'd be hilarious to enter the 2016 presidential race, has, hilariously, become a noted contender. Which, of course, isn't surprising at all in a land where Donald Trump could actually become president.

    Online graphic design marketplace 99designs thought they'd give Brady some help -- and garner a bit of publicity for themselves -- by enlisting the 99designs community to come up with a logo for the "candidate." The community did just that, but the winning entry is a bit of a letdown.

    You can take a look at the winning logo here. After you've done that, take a look at some of the other designs here and I'll think you'll agree there are quite a few better than the one bestowed top spot.
  • 12 Agency Execs Profess Their Distaste For Spec Work

    Oh, those damn new business prospects. Always asking for spec work for pitches. Will they ever learn? It's like asking a doctor to operate on your toe so he can prove he'll be successful operating on your heart without even knowing the details of your health condition.

    The HubSpot blog, Agency Post, asked 12 ad agency execs to spout off about spec work and what they think about the clients who request it.

    Here's one of the better responses from Fuseideas' Dennis Franczak who said: "In written RFP responses, spec work is a waste of time. The reader may not have any context to what you are showing them. I also think when people ask it in an RFP they don’t understand how important developing creative is to us. It’s what we do. Asking us to just give it away means they already don’t respect you or what you do. To them, it’s like hiring somebody to provide them office supplies."

    He continued: "For in-person presentations, it’s your chance to show them how you think or how you arrived at your creative approach. 95% of whatever gets done in a spec creative pitch is tossed out because you don’t have the background or the relationship with the client to know what they really need, but it shows how you think and it shows them you want their business."

    What's your take on spec work?

  • Super Cheesy Video With Getty Stock Footage Promotes Mind-Numbingly Simple Ad Creation Tool

    It's a thing. No doubt you've seen many of them over the years. I'm talking about automatic ad creation widgets that promise to automagically create ads simply by entering a few bits of information. Well, here's another one.

    This one's called, simply, Ad Creator. And, shockingly, that's exactly what it does. One starts by entering the "tonality" of the brand in question. Then one just enters the brand name, the URL and a logo and shazam, you have an ad. 

    Oddly, it appears that it just creates print ads which for an online ad creation tool, is, well, super dumb. 

    The tool, which is demo'd (yes, it's a fake product lest you are silly enough to have thought otherwise) in a YouTube video is described thusly: "Ad Creator is a fully powered advertising generator that can bring your company's sales up to speed instantly. Just add your product, name your price and start your own creative revolution. The Ad Creator will instantly create top-of-the-line advertising while you take another sip at that coffee of yours."
  • Study Finds Social Media Claiming Larger Share of Ad Budgets

    According to a recent second-quarter agency survey conducted by STRATA, social media advertising is garnering a larger share of advertising budgets. The survey found that 20% of agencies report they are likely to allocate between 11-25% of their ad budgets to paid social media, a 24% increase from the previous quarter. Another 24% of agencies are allocating 6-10% to paid social. Facebook continues to lead in agency advertising with 93% planning to use it in their campaigns, followed by YouTube (57%), Twitter (52%), and LinkedIn (29%).

    The rise in social media ad spend and newer advertising mediums has created a more complicated media planning picture for agencies. Media mix surpassed client attraction and comes in overwhelmingly as the biggest challenge facing 40% of agencies, marking an 85% increase from the same time last year. Following media mix was client attraction (24% of agencies) and client spending (11%). Similarly, 22% of agencies expect their clients to make minor budget cuts from last year.

    Of the findings, STRATA President Joy Baer said: "There's an undeniable correlation between the rise in social media advertising with mobile device behavior. Agencies and advertisers are going to follow their audience. Mobile users are checking Facebook and Twitter throughout the day. So when you consider that around 60% of digital media time spent in the US is on smartphones and tablets, then it makes perfect sense to reach the audience in the apps that they're already accessing."
  • This Agency Couldn't Call Its New Chief Intelligence Guy A CIO Because That Title Is Taken

    Let's see. In the ever-growing list of overly self-important job titles, we've got Chief Development Officer (ie, sales director), Chief Creative Officer (ie, creative director), Chief Experience Officer (ie, director of UX), Chief Digital Officer (ie, director of digital), Chief Content Officer (ie, editorial director), Chief Client Officer (ie, account director), Chief Native Officer (ie, director of editorial spam), Chief Customer Officer (ie, director of customer service) and the list goes on.

    There's also Chief Intelligence Officer, otherwise known as the director of research. But we can't shorten that title to CIO because a CIO is, and always has been, a Chief Information Officer. Or the guy you call when your computer breaks.

    Smartly, IPG Mediabrands avoided this whole idiotic mess and called their new media research tech guy, Charles Godbold global director of media intelligence systems. All well and good -- but can we talk about Charles's last name for a minute? Isn't it the coolest? It just screams "I am the God of Awesome. I boldly go where no regular intelligence guy has gone before!"

    Godbold is actually founder of Media Pilot Pty, a media consultancy and analytics firm. He will oversee the rollout of his firm's analytics software across all Mediabrands offices.

    Title nonsense aside, IPG Mediabrands CEO Henry Tajer explained the hire, saying: “This is self-imposed discipline as opposed to client-appointed audits. Having the capability and the discipline in-house to redefine, remeasure and then reapply those insights is critical to how we’re going to be engaging with our client base moving forward. The ability for agencies to be responsive and operate in a real-time fashion with benchmarking is something the marketplace has largely been unable to do. Having it as part of our process and engineering it into how we operate means we’ll be doing it in real time. It’s accessible to the buying and client teams all the time as opposed to on a quarterly basis or a sporadic basis.”

     

  • Australian Ad Exec Who Likes To Get Drunk Says Agency People Under 30 Don't Drink Enough

    In super important news today, 45-year-old Nick Swifte, who works at Dentsu Mitchell, says younger agency people don't drink enough. Swifte tells the Sydney Morning Herald: "If the beer and chips come out at 4.30, by 5.30 all the kids under 30 are gone.” When we were starting out in our 20s if the office turned on booze you would literally sit around and drink until there was nothing left. Now the younger staff might have one beer or not drink at all. They just don't seem to have the same alcohol focus as the era when I grew up."

    Swifte, however, is a big fan of drinking himself, saying, "I like getting drunk. I'm a big fan of it. Working as a media buyer there is booze everywhere. Any function you go to, every achievement, every win, every loss, it's all celebrated with booze. There's as much of it as you want and it's all free."

    While this may make Swifte just sound like a drunk old Mad Man, there does seem to be a trend, -- at least in Australia -- of younger generations simply eschewing alcohol more than older generations. According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare's National Drug Strategy Household Survey, between 2004 and 2013, the number of 12- to-17-year-olds who do not drink rose from 54 percent to 72 percent while heavy drinking among 18- to-24-year-olds has dropped from 24 percent to 18 percent.

    And while there certainly may be a drop in the drinking levels of those under 30 working in ad agencies, maybe Swifte is witnessing a drop because young folks are sick of listening to old advertising war stories while drinking a beer in the agency kitchen. 

    Anyway, I thought you should know this very important piece of news.

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