Well this is rich. Cramer-Krasselt has resigned the Panera Bread account claiming the client is just too difficult to deal with. An internal memo reads: "There comes a time when no matter
what the acclaim for the work, no matter what that visibility, no matter how good of a relationship we have with the marketing department, no matter what the test scores and results that contributed
to reversing falling comps before the campaign and that outpaced previous work and became great case histories -- despite all that: the constant last-minute shifts in direction, the behind-the-scenes
politics, the enormous level of subjectivity that disregards proof of performance -- all churn people at a rate that becomes much too much even in this crazy business. The previous agency found that
out as well. There is a pattern. And in the end, no amount of money makes it worthwhile. Fortunately, we have always been in a position to act in situations like these if we really, really have
This is Australia-based but it should be of interest to everyone in advertising globally. Australian site Mumbrella will host a Hangout Thursday, June 12 at 12 p.m. Singapore/Hong Kong time. The topic will be scam ads or the practice of creating ads simply to win awards. Recently, DDB CCO Amir Kassaei said he's not against scam ads. No, seriously. While the Hangout will focus on the prevalence of scam ads in Australia, the practice (crime?) is a global one. Remember JCPenney's Speed Dressing ad? It won a Bronze Lion that was later rescinded. In the Hangout will be Sapient Nitro Asia-Pacific ECD Andy Greenaway and The Works Creative Partner Damian Pincus. Questions will be posed by Mumbrella editors Robin Hicks and Alex Hayes. There is no specific link yet other than the fact that it will be hosted on the Mumbrella site.
As if agencies didn't have enough to contend with these days, Altimeter Group Analysts Rebecca Lieb further outlines the challenges agencies face today when it comes to winning business. She rightly posits that agencies are increasingly facing competition from large consulting firms, PR firms, social media agencies and even IBM, which recently announced plans to launch an agency. Of this murkiness, Lieb writes: "This is a tough and transitional time for clients and agencies alike. More and more, we’re seeing clients who are asking for execution before strategy. Who are uncertain of desired outcomes. Who often look to agency partners with one field of expertise to assist them in areas in which they have little or no experience. Who remain looped in an RFP process that lasts much longer than expected because they’re uncertain which type of candidates to vet. Then, they find themselves making apples-to-oranges comparisons when they receive responses from a wide variety of candidates, ranging from agencies to consultancies to PR, search and social media firms.” Tough and confusing indeed.
BoomAgers CEO Peter Hubbell has had it with all you twenty-something hipsters who think anyone over the age of 50 is useless. More accurately, he has a message for Madison Avenue's fixation with youth and the 18-49 demo. Of this, he says: "2014 is the beginning of a new era -- The Age of Aging -- because it’s the year when the last of the boomers will turn 50 and effectively age out of the marketing cohort that is deemed to matter most to advertisers: age 18 to 49. In five years or so, there will be more people over 65 than under age five for the first time in world history. There is no other global trend that will do more to affect global economies than The Age of Aging." He says boomers are quite angry about this, adding: "When I go out and speak, boomers bend my ear about how they’re really really frustrated about advertising -- some are pissed off. I hear things like: ‘Wait a second! What do you mean you’re using pop culture icons I don’t even know because I don’t stay up late enough to watch the shows they’re on?’" Now you may respond saying, "Meh. They're just old farts. No one cares." But you should. They have far more disposable income than you and they're still spending it. Give them something to spend it on.
Kevin Foreman, whose creative career spans 25 years at shops such as Backer Spielvogel Bates/NY, The Richards Group, Publicis, Tribal DDB, Rapp Worldwide and SHOP.COM, will join Moroch Partners as the agency's Digital Creative Director. Which, when you think about it is pretty awesome because Foreman has to be at least 47 so props to
the agency for going against the grain and entrusting an "old guy" with your digital creative.
Of selecting Foreman for the position, Moroch Partners ECD Kevin Sutton said, “Having Kevin on board will ensure the agency remains ahead of industry shifts and will continue to develop the most significant campaigns we can across multiple consumer-centric platforms. With consumers’ increasing demand for real-time information and brand engagement, digital has become one of the most critical components of our clients’ marketing strategies.”
Foreman seems pretty happy with the new gig saying, “Moroch was built on the belief that true 360 integration is the key to driving shifts in consumer preferences and behaviors to deliver more immediate, sustainable and significant client results. The leap was intuitive as I share the same belief and passion. I’m excited to dive in and get started.”
The Big Ten Network has announced it officially named Fallon its agency of record following the agency’s development of a fall national campaign focusing on BTN’s college sports focus
and ever-expanding reach.
Of Fallon's work and selecting the agency as AOR, BTN VP of Marketing Erin Harvego said, “The fall college sports campaign was a huge success for the Big Ten Network. We look forward to continuing the momentum with dynamic, original creative that showcases what the Big Ten and college sports are all about. What we enjoy most about working with Fallon is the agency’s ability to present original ideas, and I think they’ve found fun and exciting ways to share our vision with our viewers.”
Of hooking up with BTN, Fallon Creative Director Josh Combs said, “We like to work with ambitious brands and BTN is among the most motivated with which we’ve worked. The network is determined to become the best network in college sports and our job at Fallon is to help it turn those dreams into a reality.”
Influencer marketing. It's the strategy du jour these days. Everyone's doing it, but not everyone is succeeding. In fact, Oliver Luckett, founder of digital influencer agency TheAudience says: “There’s a new company every week that says it does what we do. They don’t have any fuckin’ clue what we do.
They think we still manage celebrities’ social media presences. We haven’t done that for a year and a half. It was a terrible, thankless business. Why try to move celebrities that are
digital immigrants into it when I’ve got 6,000 kids that speak this language that can push anything and make it trend globally with a push of a button?"
Luckett isn't shy about his company's success, adding: "We are like the puppet master inside of these social media systems, and we work with these creators that do their thing every day, and we bring them funding. We did that to the tune of $27 million in revenue last year. And we’ve doubled every year.”
Luckett has no kind words form brands or agencies or celebrities who don't get the new media landscape. Of Katy Perry's lead up to her Super Bowl performance, of which there was none, Luckett said: “Shame on her. Look at her Facebook page -- not one mention of the Super Bowl! It’s unbelievable. The night of the Super Bowl, I sent her page to the execs at Universal and said, ‘Guys, y’all need to be fired. You’re embarrassing yourselves.’ Her fans wanted to interact with her. Where are the Instagram photos? Show me her inspirations. Show me something. Get people excited.”
As one who watches this space with rapt attention, I can certainly concur with Luckett. Time and time again, too many brands and agencies simply do not understand or simply do not care to understand how dramatically things have changed (and continue to change) and how completely different marketing approaches are now required to affect any metric a brand cares about.
This is not to say you all suck. Far from it. Change takes time, but you can't go around with your head in the sand and adopt a wait-and-see attitude like the agency president who, in an interview I had in 2003, said to me: "Oh, the Internet. No, it's not really anything we concern ourselves with." I swear that actually happened.
No one, of course, is saying that anymore -- but there was a time when, you know, this whole "Internet thing" was just some stupid thing those IT geeks screwed around with when they were supposed to be making sure your Lotus Notes worked.
All of which is to say the "we've always done it that way" attitude will get you nowhere. And companies like TheAudience will be stealing business from you left and right. Of course, you could just do what agencies always do -- promise your client you can do it and then just call TheAudience, pay their fee and take all the credit. At least that would be better than doing nothing at all. And who knows -- you might actually learn something; enough to, you know, realize your agency should be smart enough to provide your clients this kind of service with the ease and panache you display when presenting your latest Flashturbation creation way back in 2005.
WPP has launched Gain Theory. It's a new "marketing foresight consultancy," which aims to help brands deal with the explosion of data, predicted to be 44 times greater in 2020 than it was in 2009.
Heading up the new entity is former WPP Maxus CIO Jason Harrison.
Of the endeavor, Harrison says: “There’s so much more information available about business performance, consumers, what’s happening with marketing campaigns. The expectation is that marketers would be able to digest all that and be able to know what to do next and do that very quickly. That is incredibly complicated.”
While the entity will be part of WPP's media operation, it will remain independent of media buying. Harrison adds: “The reality is we get the best of both worlds. Because we sit alone as an independent entity, we can bring a point of view to a marketer that’s not connected to any of the decisions that get made about actual tactical executions. We don’t have a dog in that fight… But as well, we can connect to the vast array of tools and assets that live within WPP in a really independent and objective way.”