Oh, But Wait! Now It's Dallas That Thinks It's the Center Of The Ad World

While adam&eveDDB CEO James Murphy is high on London and believes it's truly the ad capital of the world, a couple of ads guys in Dallas want to be heard as well. Integer Group ECD Will Clarke and Marketing Arm Chief Strategy Officer Chris Smith were Promo and Activation judges at Cannes Lions last week, and said they surprised more than a few with their presence. Smith said, “it’s fun to see the industry’s shock that there are actually some great agencies in the flyover states. The advent of digital, social and mobile has helped agencies like the Marketing Arm have a seat at the big table normally reserved for the big traditional guys.” Clarke added, “It says a lot about Dallas’ impact and importance to the U.S. advertising community. Chris is a great guy. It was nice to have someone who spoke Texan.” But let's be honest. Is there really an ad capital any longer? The landscape has changed so much since the Mad Men era that location has become irrelevant.

WPP, so happy to still be the world's largest ad agency, is gleefully reporting a 1.2% increase in revenue for the first five months of 2014. Revenue was up to 4.425 billion British Pounds, although in dollars that translates to a 9.5% gain to $7.37 billion. Like-for-like sales, which eliminates acquisitions and currency fluctuations, increased 7.6%. Net sales were up 4% compared to 3.8% for Q1 2014 and 4.4% for Q4 2013. Of the increases, a company statement read, “Operating profit is above budget and well ahead of last year and the increase in the gross margin or net sales margin is in line with the group’s full year target of a 0.3 margin point improvement on a constant currency basis." The UK contributed nicely to these increases with a 7% like-for-like increase in sales.

Economics guru Dr. Joe Webb has taken another look at the ad world; this time examining the dichotomy between the continued increase in ad agency revenue and the corresponding decline in revenue for publishers. Even in a world where content marketing is being trumpeted as the newest new new thing, publishers aren't benefiting. Explaining the change, Webb writes: "Agencies are now active in social media and less active in other formats that require the purchase of time (broadcast) or space (print ads, billboards). They are more active in finding sponsorships of events, and in the staging of events, especially online. Social media requires constant engagement with the audience, and agencies provide the personnel that assume those responsibilities on behalf of their clients." Couple that with the fact that many brands, themselves, are becoming publishers in their own right and things look quite bleak for the media. And poster child Native Advertising doesn't seem to be making much of a dent.

Moroch Partners announced the appointment of Sam Chadha as the agency’s first Chief Integration Officer, along with Glenn Geller as Managing Partner of Brand Planning Strategy and Dina Light-McNeely as Director of Digital & Social Strategy to its senior leadership team. Prior to Moroch, Chadha was EVP, Managing Director of Business Strategy and Development at Starcom MediaVest Group in Chicago. Geller brings 30 years of industry experience to Moroch, most notably as the EVP Director of Planning and Research at Boznell/Temerlin McClain for almost two decades. Light-McNeely has held a strategic leadership role on IMC2’s pharmaceutical and retail clients, served as EVP of Digital Strategy for Rosie Pope and most recently worked as VP, Strategy Solutions Lead at RAPP.
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  • Arnold Worldwide Wins Association of Realtors, Will Teach Digital Millennials The Value of Human Realtors

    Increasingly, there aren't many people who know what a Walkman is. And it seems, there are a lot of Millennials who don't really understand what a realtor is or how this non-digital human can add value beyond the mouse click to the home-buying process.

    The National Association of Realtors just awarded its account to Arnold Worldwide after having been handled by Most for the past 20 years. Arnold will be charged with making the realtor relevant again.

    Of the win, Arnold Global President Pam Hamlin said: “Arnold is tasked with helping NAR reclaim the Realtor’s role in the overall home-buying process, and to educate millennials on what a Realtor does and the value they can provide."

    Hamlin adds that Arnold will “target millennials through an integrated cross-channel campaign, which will center primarily on television and digital activations.” Work is expected to break in the fourth quarter.

    Of choosing Arnold over incumbent Most which also participated in the pitch, National Association of Realtors Senior VP of Communications Stephanie Singer said: “Most participated in the pitch and made it to the final round. The decision ultimately was not about the past quality of their work, only an interest in moving in a different direction.”

     

  • Hey Creatives, Six Out of Ten People Say Your Twitter Ads Are Irrelevant

    On the upside, a recent eMarketer report found Twitter ad revenue will rise 62.1% to $1.34 billion in 2015. On the not so upside, a June 2015 Cowen and Company research report found that 58.7% of people don't find Twitter ads relevant to their needs. Only 3.1% said Twitter ads were relevant and insightful.

    In terms of how often people notice Twitter ads, 56.6% of respondents saw ads at least every 20 tweets. Breaking that down a bit, 5.8% saw ads every 5 tweets; 18.2% every 10 tweets; 17.1% every 15 tweets and 15.5% every 20 tweets.

    And while better creative will certainly improve these numbers, the onus stretches beyond ad creativity to targeting capability. While Twitter currently has targeting capabilities, these capabilities will very likely improve with the recent acquisition of TellApart and a partnership with Google's DoubleClick.
  • For 11 Years, Woo Creative Founder Has Been Wishing Arnold Schwarzenegger Would Show Up At His 'Arnold Day' Event

    Way back in 2004, University of Central Florida graduate and Woo Creative Founder Ryan Boylston began hosting an event called Arnold Day. Arnold Day, which started with just Boylston and a few friends gathering at Orlando bar Lazy Moon to watch Schwarzenegger movies on the actor's birthday, has grown to a 1,200-person event.

    Of the event's genesis, Boylston said: "Way back when, it was a simple concept… two Arnold fans, a 19-inch TV, a VCR -- that's right, a VCR -- and the greatest pizza/beer establishment in Orlando."

    Each year, diehard Arnold fans showed up in their favorite Arnold movie attire, to share their love for Mr. "I'll be back!"

    On how the day will go down, Lazy Moon Co-Owner Tim Brown said: "Ryan's awesome. On Arnold Day, we'll serve German or Austrian beers, bratwurst pizza and the event has caught on with both employees and customers. We're not sure Arnold will show up, but it's a fun day either way."

    The event also supports Boylston's fundraising goals, which include collecting $20,000 which will be donated to Boynton Beach-based CJ Foundation which provides financial resources to families with special needs children.

    Of the charity side of the effort, Boylston said: "The monies we raise are for kids to receive therapy not covered by insurance. This therapy can change the trajectory of a child's life."

    Donations will be collected at the Arnold Day event but anyone can visit the Arnold Day website on which contributions can be made. 

    This year, Arnold Day will be Aug. 1 at Lazy Moon Pizza, 11551 University Blvd., in Orlando.

    Come on, Arnold, show up for Ryan, won't you?

  • New Agency to Focus on Developing Google Chrome-Friendly HTML5 Display Ads

    I suppose it's entirely possible that there are hundreds of companies with the word "shift" in their name. And here's another; one that might raise an eyebrow with marketing agency Shift Communications. Why? Because ShiftRGB.com (which, anachronistically, displays only 1995ish "coming soon" text).

    Petrol Advertising Motion Director David Edeburn is launching ShiftRGB, a creative firm he says he's launching in response to Google Chrome's September 15th move to discontinue auto-playing Flash media. ShiftRGB will specialize in creating HTML5 display advertising for ad agencies transitioning to HTML5 display ads.

    For the past 15 years, Edeburn has worked as an HTML5 animator, Flash animator, creative director and web developer at WOO, Arsonal and Petrol.

     

  • More And More PR Agencies Continue to Swoop In On Ad Agency Territory

    Given the current focus on content, it really isn't all that surprising that public relations agencies are morphing into full-blown marketing agencies. After all, public relations agencies were always the masters of manipulation when it came to the written journalistic word. 

    The CEO of Zeno Group, Barby Siegel, says her previously PR-focused agency has become "an integrated communications agency born from PR. We have cracked the code in terms of the kind of agency we are and the kind of work we want to do. Now that does not mean we all look the same all over the world, but it means we are all focused on integrated communications born from PR. In terms of Edelman, we’ve also cracked the code as a sister agency that is not better or worse, but different. We have our own culture and fill a niche in the marketplace."

    And on the creative aspects of her changed agency, she adds: "To come up with a big creative idea is brave, but to then say we are not going to go ahead with that idea because it’s not going to sell more phones or tablets, bottles of juice or whatever is even braver. Our guiding light every day is the fearless pursuit of the unexpected, but it is not creativity for the sake of it."

    None of this, of course, is surprising. While the "big idea" is still central to the success of any good marketing program, where that big idea plays out -- increasingly in native advertising, social media and other forms of written content rather than TV commercials -- has always been the strong suit of a PR agency versus an ad agency. Given this, it's only logical that PR agencies lay down a bigger footprint.
  • Saatchi & Saatchi Still Pimping 25th Anniversary New Directors' Showcase, This Time With MoMA Screening

    Following its premiere at the Palais des Festivals during the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity and a showing in Milan on July 15, Saatchi & Saatchi continues to celebrate the 25th anniversary of its New Directors’ Showcase, this time with a New York City screening event at the Museum of Modern Art Tuesday, August 25.

    Saatchi & Saatchi will present the New Directors Showcase featuring this year’s directing talent as well as the U.S. premiere of “25X25”: an "experiment in film" directed by 25 New Directors' Showcase alumni who have been recognized for their successful film, television, and advertising careers.

    The “25x25” directors include Daniel Kleinman, Dawn Shadforth, Floria Sigismondi, Jonathan Glazer, Michel Gondry, Ivan Zacharias, Traktor, Dante Ariola, Ringan Ledwidge, Antoine Bardou-Jacquet, Carl Erik Rinsch, Noam Murro, Tim Bullock, Dougal Wilson, James Rouse, Jamie Rafn, Fredrik Bond, Philippe Andre, Jake Scott, Ne-o, David Wilson, Daniel Wolfe, Ilya Naishuller, Vania Heymann, and Charlie Robins.

    Of the event, Andy Gulliman, Saatchi & Saatchi Worldwide Director of Film & Content and curator of the New Directors Showcase said: “Back in 1991 an idea was conceived for a Showcase that would reflect the agency’s reputation for nurturing and developing new talent. 25 years later we are still committed to providing a global platform for new directing talent.”

    Saatchi & Saatchi New York CEO Brent Smart added: “It was a real highlight to experience the New Directors’ Showcase and 25X25 Film at Cannes this year and we couldn’t be more excited to bring this event to New York. I hope our clients, partners, and people find the same inspiration from the next generation of filmmakers.”

  • According to Agency Execs, Working With The Snapchat Sales Team Is A Bit Challenging

    It seems with the departure of former COO Emily White and former VP of Partnerships Mike Randall, Snapchat is facing a bit of a challenging re-org according to several ad agency executives.

    One executive, speaking to Business Insider on the condition of anonymity, said: "When they speak to us, it feels very ad-hoc. We wanted to do something with them that would make headlines — like McDonald's did with its geofilter but they were not equipped to do that and respond to our pitch and think of ideas. It seems to me like the McDonald's geo-filter came from the brand and agency, who asked them: 'Can you do this?' And the sales side says: 'Yes, we can, if it's not too hard for us to do.' It feels like they're saying 'We don't have time to do that now.'"

    Another agency exec added: "There's not a raft of case studies from an advertising point of view. And those that are there feel very limited. It's like the early stages of Facebook and Twitter, mostly talking about engagement and likes. We're at the start of a shiny new toy. From a brand perspective, Snapchat offers great access to a young audience and it's getting to the point where it feels unparalleled, like a deeper version of Instagram. What they need to do now is demonstrate they are a relevant and a credible advertising player."

    Of course, it is natural for a startup to experience growing pains, and Snapchat points out the amount of repeat business they have experienced from brands and agencies is a healthy sign of success. Of course, it could simply be shiny new object syndrome. And yet, Mondelez CMO Dana Anderson is pleased and said: "I love the fact that they're getting into the space and becoming an avid marketing partner." 

    Universal Pictures EVP of Digital Marketing Doug Neil added, "We were very satisfied with the experience," regarding a promotion they ran with Snapchat for the movie Ouija.
  • Jerry Della Femina to Launch 'Mad Men'-Like TV Show Set In The Seventies

    Jerry Della Femina, who Matt Weiner said inspired his AMC series "Mad Men," is planning to launch a TV show about advertising in the 70's which, he says, "Will make Mad Men look like Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm. For those who don't get the reference -- I didn't -- Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm is a 1903 American novel about the trials and tribulations of girl in Maine who lived with her two stern aunts.

    Of the series, which is still in the works, Della Femina said: "'Mad Men' was a show about the 1950s and ’60s." His series will be “a total crazy celebration of the not-PC ’70s, back when advertising was fun.”

    Of the type of topics his series will cover, Della Femina recants a story about how his agency held an annual sex contest during which people voted on whom they'd most like to have sex with and how much marijuana played a role in daily agency life.

    Can the market stand another show about advertising? Could it possibly be as good as "Mad Men?" Will MediaPost's Barbara Lippert write another amazing weekly column about the series much like she did for "Mad Men?" Can we stand 5-7 years of low-rider striped bellbottoms and bushy hairstyles? These are the burning questions of the minute.
  • Australian Agency Opens Production Shop in India to Offer Australian Clients Half-Price Work

    Sort of like sending chickens to China to be processed and then back to America to be eaten or Walmart selling stuff made in God knows where, Australian creative agency GooRoo is promising to offer creative production services for half the cost. How? 

    GooRoo, launched by former Ogilvy Bangalore creative directors Rod Vallis and Peter Jacobsen, is being billed as "the Australian agency in India." The agency has opened a production company in India and will do the "send chickens elsewhere to be processed" thing. The aim is to take advantage of cheaper labor in India as it relates to costs in Australia. 

    Hey, if I were Vallis and Jacobsen, I'd just keep that production studio a secret and just charge Australian clients the going rate. But that wouldn't be nice, would it?

    And Vallis and Jacobsen don't think so either. Of the setup, Vallis said: “One of the biggest issues we’re seeing is a lack of transparency. We’re hearing that some agencies are sending production offshore without necessarily informing their clients. We’re upfront about it as we see it as one of our main competitive advantages.” 

    And on why this is any better than any other agency doing the same thing, Vallis added: “Our point of difference is that we offer an extremely cost-effective rollout of your campaign assets. And sure, most agencies are now offshoring to cut costs, but we don’t have offshore partners, we have our own studio so we can ensure a better outcome than the agency networks.”
  • Art Director Lands New Gig With Resume-In-Bottle Stunt

    Recently, DDB Istanbul was in search of an art director. As is always the case with an open creative position, the agency was slammed with portfolios. But one portfolio stood out and was far and away above all others.

    Like a shipwrecked person on an island (after all, that's kind of like what joblessness is like), Canhür Aktuglu did the message in a bottle thing placing his cover letter inside a bottle and embedding a USB stick containing his portfolio in the bottle's cork. 

    Check out several images of his creation here.

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