Martin Sorrell Thinks An Algorithm Should Win A Lion

Martin Sorrell, never one to keep quiet on any topic, has issued a warning of sorts to those creating ads for TV and newspaper. Noting that digital now accounts for 36% of WPP revenues, Sorrell said of Cannes: "It would be nice to see algorithms win." He's got a point. So much of advertising today is based on the science behind getting the right ad in front of the right person with minimal waste. It's great that ads win because they are pretty, but what's the point of those ads if they aren't delivered to the right target? Increasingly, getting the right ad in front of the right person is less and less based on decisions made by media buyers and more about the technology developed to automatically get the right ad in front of the right person. We have Media Planner of the Year awards. Why not Algorithm of the Year?

Remember Steve Taylor? He's the guy behind The Great Agency Adventure, a 14-month trek around the country during which Taylor will work for 14 different ad agencies. Taylor, who was a bit disenfranchised working in New York explains the endeavor, saying: “The Great Agency Adventure is about discovering creative transcendence, experiencing native cultures and developing a new understanding of what it means to be a part of this crazy world we call advertising.” While researching which agencies he'd visit, he came across St. Louis-based Boxing Clever. As the name would indicate, the agency is all about boxing clever. Of Taylor's visit, Boxing Clever Partner and ECD Jim Harper said: “For those agencies who are getting Steve as a creative there, be prepared for phenomenal work and quick, brilliant thinking to come your way. He helped us with our record label, self-promotion, a major automotive project, and has unbridled enthusiasm. He has an amazing ability to integrate himself into an agency’s culture very quickly, which some people would find very intimidating.” Now that's resume material!

While Apple is eager to go it alone building its own in-house advertising department, it seems that approach just might not be the way to go. At least according to a recent study from Ace Metrix and Bloomberg, which found that ads made by Apple did not perform as well as those created by TBWA\Media Arts Lab. Making matters even worse, the same study found recent Samsung ads have outperformed ads from both Apple and TBWA\Media Arts Lab. The study examined various data points from TV viewers to develop a viewer score. Apple ads scored a 548. TBWA\Media Arts Lab scored a 580. Samsung scored a whopping 739 for its 72andSunny-created S5 ad.

LA-based independent agency Mistress is expanding its operations and launching an office in Hamburg, Germany. The new venture, Mistress.tech is being established in partnership with freiheit.com, an Internet and software company based in Hamburg. Mistress.tech will focus on creating software and technological marketing platforms for brands. Of the hookup, Mistress Partner Christian Jacobsen said: "Mistress.tech enables Mistress to work more globally as clients have requested our approach overseas. We are bringing new technological approaches and solutions and top software development talent to a new set of European clients and also to our US customer base."
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2 comments about "Martin Sorrell Thinks An Algorithm Should Win A Lion".
  1. Tom Messner from BONACCOLTA MESSNER , July 2, 2014 at 8:38 a.m.
    I once judged a show in Atlanta. We gave "Best of Show" to exit and entrance signs to a parking garage. So add some more lions for algorithms and match book covers and sandwich boards. And do a print ad announcing them.
  2. David Hoo from Effective Marketing Management , July 2, 2014 at 11:54 a.m.
    EMM actually has algorithms for traditional offline TV advertising that can double or triple the sales growth of mature consumer brands. Sorrell therefore could impact the majority of his business favorably.
  • Dentsu Aegis Appoints Robert Horler to Newly Created Position of Dentsu CEO USA

    Dentsu Aegis Network has announced the appointment of Robert Horler, currently CEO of Dentsu Aegis Network Northern Europe, to the role of CEO of Dentsu Aegis Network, USA. He will report to Nigel Morris, CEO of Dentsu Aegis Network Americas & EMEA.  

    The position is newly created and Horler will be responsible for developing, driving and executing Dentsu Aegis Network’s strategy across the U.S. Horler will relocate to New York and begin work in the new role in April. He will continue as a member of Dentsu Aegis Network’s Global Executive.  

    Of the appointment, Morris said, “In the global context, the U.S. economy continues to show its strength, resilience and innovation, with its advertising spend now exceeding its 2007 pre-recession peak. For Dentsu Aegis Network, the U.S. has been a great success over the last five years and it will be a key driver of our future growth. With the significant momentum we have in the market, as a Group and across all our agencies, by having a dedicated CEO we will take the business to the next level. With his proven track record of delivering growth for our business, his experience and expertise in the digital economy and his deep understanding of our Operating Model, Rob was the standout candidate following an extensive internal and external global search.”
  • Agency No One's Ever Heard Of Issues Pointless, Attention-Seeking Press Release About Super Bowl Ad Effectiveness

    As is common practice around large events such as, well, any mundane event an attention-seeking entity deems "large," there's always an agency who doesn't have any skin in the game that wants to hijack the conversation. Let me introduce you to Canton, Ohio-based Innis Maggiore.

    Now Innis Maggiore may, in fact, be a fine, upstanding advertising industry citizen complete with skills, intelligence and a fine track record but they are also an agency that wants to "offer advice on how to watch commercials like an expert."

    What does that mean? Well, to Innis Maggiore Chief Strategist Lorraine Kessler who notes 85 percent of ads can't be linked to increased sales, we don't really know because the press release non-sequiturs its way into Kessler telling us $4.5 million is a waste of money to spend on a Super Bowl ad and that there are four important questions to ask when determining the merits of an ad.

    I'm sure this stunning insight will shock you much like running into Donny Deutsch wearing a Speedo somewhere in the South of France. The four questions? Did the ad gain your attention? Can you recall what brand or product was advertised? Does the ad convey a meaningful benefit? Does the ad offer a distinct advantage over the competition?

    Yeah, no one ever asks themselves those questions when creating an ad campaign. 

    But she's high on that (now pulled) GoDaddy puppy ad and finally understands what GoDaddy does, saying, "In the past I've been thumbs down on GoDaddy because even though I remember the ads, like the sloppy kiss (2014) or the courtroom bombshell (2009), none told me what the product actually did. This year's ad is different. You make your own website. I get it now."

    I do have to give her props, though, for liking Victoria's Secret Super Bowl teaser ad, the ad they should have run during the game instead of the typically tripe crap they ultimately decided to air.
  • Agency Asks Employees to French Kiss Clients

    When you marry an advertising agency's penchant for crazy stunts with the notion that they provide "full service," you get a stunt like this on from Paris-based Geometry Global. Agency employees were called into their boss's office and told they had to go the extra mile this year by French kissing on of their clients.

    Predictably, the reactions range from indignant to surprise to shock to disbelief to squirminess to outright excitement. And, yes, this stunt would only make sense coming from an agency in Paris. 

    Check out the video here.
  • Super Bowl Tweetup To Call Out Sexist Ads During the Game

    This oughtta be good. Marketing exec and founder of The 3% Conference Kat Gordon is hosting a tweetup during the Super Bowl where viewers can tweet their reactions to ads they deem sexist. Carl's Jr., anyone? (Yes, I know that will only air regionally).

    Co-organized with the Representation Project, Gordon will be joined by five agencies including DDB Chicago, Hill Holliday Boston and The Hive in San Francisco. Anyone can join the party using the #3PercentSB and #NotBuyingIt hastags. Of course, if anyone likes a particular spot, they are encouraged to say so and use the hashtag #MediaWeLike. Gordon wants men to know they are encouraged to chime in as well. And if they are so inclined, to use the hashtag #admen to identify themselves.

    Of the tweetup, Gordon says, "This will be the third year I’ve personally live-tweeted responses to the ads, and, frankly, I just got tired of shushing friends and family during the commercial breaks. It will be so much more fun to invite other female creatives to bring their phones, laptops and sardonic wit and humor to call out the good, the bad and the ugly Super Bowl spots the creative ad community has to offer."

    And if Gordon where to compose the perfect tweet taking into consideration various advertising to women stats, she says, "If all these stats had to be mashed up in one tweet, I'd sum them up with these 140 characters: 'Women watch equally, buy + share in greater #s than men on Super Bowl Sunday. Ads with female appeal = best return on $4 million price-tag.'"

    Ever the witty one, Gordon adds, "And the old adage that 'sex sells' is being refuted with research that says that brand recall dips when the brain is busy processing ta-tas."

    She has a point there.
  • A-List Hollywood Announces Call For Entry And Jury, Not A Single Female Juror In Sight

    Oy! Another creative award event? Sadly, yes. This one's comes from The A-List Hollywood and they have announced the call for entries for the Moving Image Advertising, Interactive & Branded Entertainment 2015 Award. The entry deadline set for January 30, 2015.

    I'm told the A-List Hollywood is the first creative advertising competition of its kind in Hollywood and will focus on the intersection between advertising and entertainment across all platforms. The event will be judged by the usual collection of international creatives including Leo Burnett's Mark Tutsell, JWT's Matt Eastwood, 360i's Pierre Lipton, and DDB Germany's Eric Schoeffler, among others. And no, there's not one single woman on the jury.

    Of the awards, The Martin Agency Chief Creative Director Joe Alexander said: "There are way too many award shows and way too many without a clear purpose. The A-List Hollywood is the rare exception. It rewards the brands -- and agencies -- that are behaving in the most creative and engaging ways. Now that's refreshing."

    Right, Joe. That's vastly different from every single other award event on the planet.

  • Spot Trender Wants to Measure Your Super Bowl Ad Performance

    Hey agencies, want to know how your Super Bowl spots do this year from a source other than USA Today? Well let me introduce you to Spot Trender. In its second year, the service analyzes second-by second consumer response to ads during the game.

    With its Super Bowl ad performance measurement efforts, for which brands must sign up to be measured, Spot Trender aims to illustrate how their "cloud-based, pre-testing platform can help all brands pinpoint consumer reactions to their spots at any point in the creative process." 

    Most of Spot Trender's testing happens earlier in the creative process with storyboards or animatics to help brands spend less money downstream on major production edits. But with the the Super Bowl, Spot Trender offers a peek into how some of this year's creative concepts rank. 

    Spot Trender's analysis last year included competition among brands like GoDaddy and Squarespace, revealing the points in each company's commercials where consumers reacted positively or negatively. Both spots featured bodybuilders and business owners, with highlights like GoDaddy's Danika Patrick reveal, and Squarespace's tag line both receiving the most positive responses.
  • McCann Gets In Trouble Over Unapproved S&M Domino's Ad

    Like it or not, clearly there's a reason clients are in the mix when agencies are tasked with creating advertising programs. Because when there isn't, we usually end up with award show scam ads, little girls shot by the Taliban showing up in mattress ads and creepy-looking tongues engaging in BDSM activity to sell pizza.

    McCann Tel-Aviv is catching heat for an ad touting their sriracha flavored pizza that shows a tongue with a gagged mouth, arms and S&M gear chained to the ceiling. Right. Like a client would ever come close to approving that!

    According to a Domino's spokesperson, the ad was "an unapproved mock-up from an ad agency in Israel posted without our permission." I mean I'm all for stretching the creative muscles but I'm also for a bit of common sense, which far too many agency types appear not to possess.
  • An Ad Agency Placed A Camera In A Railway Station And Everyone Thought It Was A Bomb

    This is yet another incident which proves you can't go leaving bags in public places without people thinking the worst. On Wednesday morning in The Netherlands' Leiden railway station a plastic bag with a camera affixed to the outside of the bag was discovered hanging from a support beam in the station.

    Passengers alerted railway officials and the station was evacuated until the bag could be checked by explosives experts. No explosives were found.

    The advertising agency, whose name is not being released but is reported to do work for the country's train company, NS, was apparently given permission to hang the bag in the station for a project. It seems the agency had permission to do so, but neither police or railway officials were made aware of the permission.

    An NS Spokeswoman said: “For us, it is still vague. We will now talk directly with the company, because we also do not know why that camera was placed there, and why they used a garbage bag. Many questions remain."
  • Publicis Bought The Monkees!

    Oh wait, not The Monkees. Are any of them even still alive? No -- Publicis just bought France-based digital and social marketing agency Monkees. The agency will become part of Publicis Activ but will operate under the Monkees brand and be headed by by Frédéric Caussin and Manuel Godeux, the two founding managers of Monkees.

    Monkees currently employs 25 people and works with clients in mass retailing and specialized distribution, auto manufacturing, health and sport. 

    Of the acquisition, Publicis France VP Nicolas Zunz said:  "Monkees is an agency we have had our eye on for some time, and for which we have great respect. They have developed some innovative and cutting-edge skills, which will obviously be helpful in the development of our agencies in the west and east of France. It will also add to our national arsenal of digital expertise. We are very happy to welcome them on board."
  • Nationwide Severs Retainer-Based Relationship With Moxie, Agency Closes Columbus Office

    There's been a lot going on with Nationwide and its relationship with its agencies over the past few months. While its relationship appears to be solid with McKinney, things are not going so well regarding its relationship with Moxie.

    Confirming this, a statement from Moxie CEO Suzy Deering reads: “While Moxie will continue to work with Nationwide, it will no longer be on a retainer basis. Given this shift, we’ve begun the process of closing our Columbus office. Accounts currently serviced out of that location will be handled by our Pittsburgh and Atlanta offices. We are very proud of the work our Columbus team has produced over the years. They are a group of truly talented, dedicated professionals, and we thank them for all they have done.”

    It totally sucks when an office of an agency has to shut down due to client shifts or losses. It's not fun. I've been there and know firsthand what it's like. But life goes on. Mine did. And so will the lives of everyone involved here.

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