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.”
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.”
In super important news today, 45-year-old Nick Swifte, who works at Dentsu Mitchell, says younger agency people don't drink enough. Swifte tells the Sydney Morning Herald: "If the beer and chips come
out at 4.30, by 5.30 all the kids under 30 are gone.” When we were starting out in our 20s if the office turned on booze you would literally sit around and drink until there was nothing left.
Now the younger staff might have one beer or not drink at all. They just don't seem to have the same alcohol focus as the era when I grew up."
Swifte, however, is a big fan of drinking himself, saying, "I like getting drunk. I'm a big fan of it. Working as a media buyer there is booze everywhere. Any function you go to, every achievement, every win, every loss, it's all celebrated with booze. There's as much of it as you want and it's all free."
While this may make Swifte just sound like a drunk old Mad Man, there does seem to be a trend, -- at least in Australia -- of younger generations simply eschewing alcohol more than older generations. According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare's National Drug Strategy Household Survey, between 2004 and 2013, the number of 12- to-17-year-olds who do not drink rose from 54 percent to 72 percent while heavy drinking among 18- to-24-year-olds has dropped from 24 percent to 18 percent.
And while there certainly may be a drop in the drinking levels of those under 30 working in ad agencies, maybe Swifte is witnessing a drop because young folks are sick of listening to old advertising war stories while drinking a beer in the agency kitchen.
Anyway, I thought you should know this very important piece of news.