Remember that recent don't-text-and-drive ad from Ogilvy & Mather for Volkswagen that showed moviegoers in Hong Kong watching a person driving when suddenly, everyone in the movie theater received a call, took it, and then saw the person driving on screen crash? Maybe you are one of the 25 million people who have seen the ad. Well, Happiness Brussels is accusing Ogilvy & Mather of copying a don't-talk-and-drive ad they created in 2009. You can view the Ogilvy ad here and you can view the Happiness Brussels ad here. Of the ads' similarities, Happiness Brussels Founder Karen Corrigan said: “The whole thing is completely based on the same mechanic. The only difference is it is for VW and not a safety organization. It is the same message, [mobile call] mechanic. They did not re-use our film but the style is an exact copy.” For its part, OgilvyOne Beijing issued a statement which read: “These campaigns are not related. Our work uses location-based technology in a cinematic experience to highlight the dangers of texting while driving.” Corrigan says she has sent a cease-and-desist demand to VW and Ogilvy & Mather but neither have replied. She laments, “With 24 million views, I think the damage to us is done.” These things are never easily resolved.
In Boston last week, The Ad Club and PayPal's Start Tank completed the inaugural Brand-a-Thon, a 72-hour hack-a-thon event during which 17 start-ups briefed several
teams of ad agencies. The agencies then chose to pitch nine of those startups taking 72 hours to create their pitches. Agency pitches were then heard by a panel of judges who selected three winners.
NAIL Communications won first place for their pitch to Spray Cake, an absolutely disgusting sounding product that consists of a spray can out of which emanates a cake that can be microwaved. Second
place went to allen + gerritsen for their pitch to Supplet, a much healthier-sounding service which sends monthly packages of organic foods to expecting and new mothers. And third place went to Forge
Worldwide for their pitch to Project 20/20, an eye doctor on wheels service.
Droga5 is going places! The agency scored its first automotive account last week after having been tapped by Toyota to promote the brand's hydrogen fuel cell vehicle in Japan, U.S. and Europe. Of selecting Droga5, Toyota USA Director of Digital Marketing Strategy Kimberley Gardiner said: "We approached Droga5 to give us some ideas, and they came back with something that blew us out of the water. It ended up being a full campaign pre-launch proposal." David Droga himself has much experience with the brand having worked on the account when he was with Saatchi & Saatchi Asia and London.
Last week there were layoffs and staffing changes at Razorfish. A statement from the agency reads: “Like most companies, flexes in business require us to realign in order to accommodate the evolving needs of our clients. The recent workforce reduction represents less than 3% of our global headcount. We remain committed to sourcing world-class talent and further strengthening our capabilities to deliver business transformation. Our immediate focus is ensuring we continue to provide the best services possible to our existing clients and new accounts such as Peet’s Coffee & Tea and Car2Go.”
In an ingenious, holiday-themed effort designed to call attention to the importance of the Oxford comma in certain situations, San Francisco-based MUH-TAY-ZIK | HOF-FER has launched a browser bookmark-let that will automagically add missing Oxford commas.
A video accompanies the effort with clear examples as to why you really should employ the Oxford comma at times. The video says "Missing Oxford commas ruins Christmas." It then cites some unintended results such as "I was shopping for your Christmas presents, toilet paper and prunes," "We went caroling with our dogs, grandma and grandpa" and "Merry Christmas from your parents, Santa and Rudolph." Images accompany the statements to illustrate just how wrong those sentences are without the Oxford comma.So if you're ever confused as to whether or not the Oxford comma is necessary, you can recall the awkward examples given in the video.
Like the holidays? Like games? Then Deep Focus has something you might like. The agency has developed an old school interactive game called #DeepSnow. The agency developed it from scratch using Google Maps, HTML5, WebSockets, SASS, OpenLayers, and custom animations.
The aim of the game is to steer a snow plow through the streets of New York City and rescue Deep Focus employees and toys spilt by Santa from the grasps of a winter snowpocalypse. In tandem with the web experience, players use their mobile device as a game controller. Data from the phone’s gyroscope is used to power the steering wheel for the snowplow as it maneuvers around angry Yetis and actual NYC landmarks on the computer screen.
And, of course, there's a charity element to the game. Because, after all, agencies need to somehow make up for their self-centered, egotistical outlook on life they vamp the rest of the year. Virtual points earned during game play will be turned into physical toys donated to Toy For Tots.
Oh the agency holiday card. Yawn. Oh wait, not yawn! Some agencies actually put some thought into the mundane annual event. One such agency is Digitas Health LifeBrands which has come up with something a little more meaningful. The agency has launched HUG, a social media campaign which aims to generate awareness of charities and provide a monetary donation from the agency to charities which are nominated by employees.
In its fifth year, the program involves employees from the New York, Philadelphia, London, and San Francisco offices who have nominated 24 charities to compete to win money. Each week visitors to the Group HUG Facebook page will vote for their favorite charity by “liking” and “sharing” the logos from the charities. At the end of the campaign, which runs through the end of December, there will be four winning charities.Check out the Group HUG video trailer here and be sure to visit the Group HUG Facebook page to vote for your favorite charity. After all, what better way to celebrate the season of giving than with a nice big Group HUG?
What if you had to pitch Christmas to a focus group? As we all know, focus groups are a disastrous means of coming to consensus on anything. And that's pretty much what happens in this video created by Ogilvy & Mather Paris.
After explaining some of the elements of Christmas such as a fat old man with a big beard, a little girl asks, "Why do I have to sit on his lap?" Just let that one sink in for a minute. Ick. Another woman offers up, "You know who else sneaks into your house through the chimney? Rapists." Ouch! This isn't going well.
The confusion continues with focus group members wondering why Christmas is proposed to be in December instead of the much warmer August. And why the fat guy gets all the credit when he doesn't even buy all the gifts. One panelist even claimed proposed Christmas carols make him feel horny. No, not going well at all. And let's not even get into New Year's Eve.
Copywriting legend Dick Rich passed away from a heart attack on November 1. He was 84. His daughter, Karen Rich, made his death known last week. Rich, along with Mary Wells and Rich
Greene, was one of the founders of the storied Wells Rich Green ad agency and creator of classic 60's work for Alka-Seltzer and Benson & Hedges.
He was known for his confident approach to his work telling The New York Times in 1983: “Clients don’t come to me for O.K. advertising. They come to me for great, great advertising.”
A real man’s man who will be missed.
Last month, we reported Canadian Agency, Cossette, was in talks with Chinese agency, BlueFocus Communications Group, to be acquired. That deal has been sealed for $210 million.
The sale involved the acquisition of a majority stake in Cossette's parent company, Quebec City-based Vision7 International, whose assets also include PR firm Citizen Relations. Of the acquisition, BlueFocus CEO Oscar Zhao said, “Having Vision7 join the BlueFocus family will help us gain better access to the North American market and emphasizes our ‘To Be Global’ strategy."
In its apparent quest for global domination BlueFocus last year acquired London-based social agency We Are Social as well as a 20 percent stake in PR firm Huntsworth.