Lowe Campbell Ewald staffers will return to work today with a big smiles. The agency, after handling the Navy recruiting account since 2000 and re-winning it in 2009, has been handed an $85 million (annually) short-term contract extension. This is to tide things over until later this year when a mandated agency review will take place. The winner will take over the account in January 2015. An RFP is out and calls for proposals by May 30. No word on who is participating. Of their work with the account and what's on the horizon, Lowe Campbell Ewald CEO Jim Palmer said: "In our 14 years as Navy's partner, we've experienced an incredible digital revolution and leveraged that in our innovative solutions to help Navy reach their target. We look forward to the opportunity to continue our partnership and help Navy reach the highly specialized skill sets needed for the future." Things do look good for LCE, however. The agency has met or exceeded recruitment goals every year it has handled the account.Are you a digital agency? Do you know what kind of digital agency you are? Over at Mashable, Todd Wasserman thinks he can help and has put forth three new types of digital agencies. He first cites ThinkModo and Contagious as leaders in the -- let's be honest, far from new -- viral video category of digital agencies. These agencies pride themselves on their ability to make things go viral. He then cites Cinegif, which is leading the charge in the very nice space of animated gif advertising. Yeah, it's a thing. And finally, he cites Big on Mars and Everything which have both jumped on the "Internet of everything" bandwagon and are super-hyped about connecting your refrigerator to the Internet. So...which kind of digital agency are you? And do you even want to pigeonhole yourself like this?
More than two-thirds, or 68%, of marketers and agency executives plan to increase their digital video ad budget spend over the next 12 months, according to the Digital Content NewFronts: Digital
Video Spend Study, a survey of 305 buy-side professionals conducted by Advertiser Perceptions and released today by the Interactive Advertising Bureau.
The buy-side expects greater digital video spend will come from increased ad budgets in 2015 and a shift away from broadcast and cable television. Two-thirds, or 67%, of survey respondents said that they anticipate their broadcast and cable TV ad budgets to stay the same or decrease in the next year.
The study also revealed that two-thirds of marketers and agency executives, or 67%, believe original digital video will become as important as original TV programming within the next 3 to 5 years.
In addition, 8 in 10 advertisers and agency executives who attended the 2014 NewFronts agree their participation resulted in more spending on original digital video content and motivated them to increase their 2015 budgets.
Of the study, IAB Senior VP of Research, Analytics and Measurement Sherill Mane said: “This study demonstrates unequivocally that digital video is a fierce competitor for advertising dollars. Brand advertisers and media buyers have been dramatically increasing their commitment to digital video, so all signs point up for this captivating form of storytelling as the industry rallies for the NewFronts.”
Ever since the advent of crowdsource-fueled creative entities like 99Designs, Freelancer and Fiver, design studios -- which previously buttered their bread with business from ad agencies -- are now
upping their game, cutting out the agency and going direct to the brand for business.
Of the trend, Design Business Council Head Greg Branson said: “A lot of the designers I work with have a strategy partner or a senior person in the business that does strategy. Many of them have been recruited by the designer out of the advertising industry, with the intention of taking their business to a higher level and offering a broader range of services."
While a design studio isn't going to take over the Coke account any time soon, shifts like this are on the rise. Interestingly, even before 99Designs and the like, Barbarian Group -- which prior to Subservient Chicken was a tech design studio of sorts -- transformed itself into a full-blown agency complete with all the usual agency services.
No, there won't be a weekly parade of design studios making it big like Barbarian did, but market conditions have changed significantly enough that we will continue to see more of this.
So Raleigh, North Carolina-based McKinney is opening an office in New York City's SoHo district at 15 Watts Street. Usually, an agency opening an office in New York is no big deal. However, one of the founding principles of McKinney as voiced by Founder Chick McKinney was that it really wasn't a place Chick wanted to be.
Of course, this line of thinking is no secret to current McKinney management, which gleefully announced the June 3 SoHo office opening with an ad featuring an image of Chick and a quote that reads: "I never really had a desire to live in New York City."
The ad also reads: "Please forgive us, Chick." Now if we could only talk to the dead, we'd be able to ascertain whether or not Chick is miffed over this move and whether or not he thinks the strategy behind announcing the new office is inventively cheeky.
At least the agency waited a respectful 8 years before making the move to New York.
For the past day or so, it seems impossible to escape from a Google News alert that isn't filled with that story about popular Indian celebrity Aishwarya Rai, who appeared in an ad for Kalyan
Jewellers elegantly dressed with a dark-skinned child holding an umbrella over her head. Many have called the ad racist.
An open letter from a consortium of feminist, child and human rights groups says the ad appears to "be representing aristocracy from a bygone era -- bejewelled, poised and relaxing while an obviously underage slave-child, very dark and emaciated, struggles to hold an oversize umbrella over your head."
The letter, which shares several examples of 17th- and 18th-century images that would now be considered racist, continues: "We wish to convey our dismay at the concept of this advertisement, and that you have, perhaps unthinkingly, associated with such a regressive portrayal of a child to sell a product...we, therefore, urge you to do the right thing -- cease to associate yourself with this offensive image by ensuring that further use of this advertisement is stopped."
In response, a statement from Aishwarya pretty much shirks any responsibility and blames the creative agency for the debacle. The statement read: "On the onset we would like to thank you on drawing our attention to the observation of the perception of the advertisement. Here is an attachment (picture of Aishwarya without the child holding the umbrella) of the shot taken by somebody during the shoot. The final layout of the ad is entirely the prerogative of the creative team for a brand. However shall forward your article as a viewpoint that can be taken into consideration by the creative team of professionals working on the brand visual communication. Thank you once again."
Kalyan Jewellers has pulled the ad.
On Wednesday at the LSA|15 Conference in Los Angeles, the Local Search Association announced the winners of its second annual Ad to Action Awards competition. LSA received 91 entries across 10
categories and the winners were revealed on the main stage at the event.
The competition focused on celebrating the most innovative "local" marketing products or solutions that facilitate consumer actions such as calls, clicks, store visits, etc. The winners demonstrated the greatest potential for driving local consumer engagement and best addressed current market needs.
The judging panel -- made up of 18 companies including Twitter, Foursquare, Yahoo, MapQuest, xAd and more -- evaluated these products and solutions. Each judge reviewed a subset of entries and no judge reviewed any entries where there was a potential conflict of interest.
In the Platforms and Services category, Chicago-based Rise Interactive, which likes to refer to itself as an "interactive investment management firm," won the top spot. And we can see why. Any agency that can spin the fact that they buy online advertising into "interactive investment management form" is worthy of praise.