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 It won a Bronze Lion that was later rescinded.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.
A while back you may have heard about the South African ad couple who quit their agency jobs and decided to travel the world and keep a journal of their adventure. As is usually the case with these "find yourself" journeys shared on
social media, activities and adventures almost always fall into the "damn, I wish I were them" category. Except for Chanel Cartell and Steve Dirnberger -- and likely, most others who just aren't
honest -- not every aspect of their travels has been epically spectacular.
In fact, they now clean toilets to help pay for their travels. In a recent blog post, the couple shared the fact that traveling the world isn't always roses or peaches and cream or whatever metaphor you want to apply. No, sometimes the money runs out and you've just gotta do what you've gotta do to make ends meet. And that's exactly what Cartell and Dirnberger have had to do.
In a blog post entitled We Quit Our Jobs In Advertising To Scrub Toilets, the couple share the less than glamorous side of world travel.
The couple write: "After being gone exactly 6 months, I feel it necessary we share the uglier side of our trip. Browsing through our blog posts and Instagram feed, it seems like we’re having the time of our lives. And don’t get me wrong -- we are. It’s bloody amazing. But it’s not all ice-creams in the sun and pretty landscapes. Noooooo. So far, I think we’ve tallied 135 toilets scrubbed, 250 kilos of cow dung spread, 2 tons of rocks shoveled, 60 meters of pathway laid, 57 beds made, and I cannot even remember how many wine glasses we’ve polished."
And of the notion that we are often fooled by social media into thinking everyone's life but our own is spectacular, they add, "So don’t let the bank of gorgeous photography fool you. Nuh uh. I am not at my fittest, slimmest or physically healthiest. We eat jam on crackers most days, get roughly 5hrs of sleep per night, and lug our extremely heavy bags through cobbled streets at 1am, trying to find our accommodation (because bus fares are not part of the budget, obviously)."
And so when you think your life sucks because everyone on social media seems to have such a perfect life, remember, social media favors the more positive aspects of life.
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.
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.”
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?
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.”