An agency is in stealth mode! Or at least they were. But wait. An agency in stealth mode? We thought only tech startups had a stealth mode. Anyway, what do we know? We're just a journalist.
Speaking of journalists -- or rather, stealth mode agencies (or both) -- Ready State, a just-out-of-stealth mode ad agency has hired Wall Street Journal reporter Ben Worthen to join the
agency's team of "trained reporters who are fusing journalism and content marketing." Fusing journalism and content? WTF. Only an ad agency could coin a phrase like that. And only an agency could
actually say, "We want to be the first marketing agency to help a brand win a Pulitzer." Well, hell, can a journalist win a Lion? Because we'd sure as hell love to go Cannes and pick one up!
Why is no one comparing that GoDaddy ad, which featured Jean-Claude Van Damme doing splits in a bakery, to that Cannes Lions-winning Epic Split ad for Volvo? Yeah, sure -- Van Damme's bakery split is far less epic but it's a hell of a lot more real. And why isn't GoDaddy screaming copycat? Maybe it's all moot. Maybe GoDaddy was too busy selecting a new ad agency to notice. Yeah, the brand has hired Barton F. Graf 9000 as its new agency. Which is probably a good thing. Barton F. Graf 9000 and the craziness it's displayed in its work for Little Caesars appears to be the perfect match for GoDaddy's apparent penchant for kookiness. New work will debut in September. And in a quote from an ad agency exec that is less about platitudes and more about stuff that matters, Barton F. Graf 9000 CEO Gerry Graf said: “GoDaddy is an iconic brand, which makes this an exciting challenge, and really, our team is much like a GoDaddy customer because we are a small agency with big ideas. GoDaddy has some innovative tools to help people who own their own business. I know this because I own my own business and I use GoDaddy’s tools. We're going to let everybody else in the world in on this.” Hmm. Is he also a member of Hair Club For Men?
Aiming to bolster its digital offerings, Publicis Groupe has acquired e-business consulting firm Crown Partners. No one is saying for how much, but the acquisition will become part of Publicis Groupe's Razorfish unit -- which it seems needs all the help it can get these days. Of the acquisition, Razorfish CEO Pete Stein said: “One of the biggest trends we’ve seen over the last five years is technology platforms are playing a bigger and bigger role in this transformation. It can be a huge enabler in helping clients go to market differently but also transform the way they deliver products and services.” That's about as clear as Razorfish co-founders explaining what they did back in the dot-com era -- but hey, what do you actually expect from an agency CEO? Everything's all roses all the time.
The Warc 100, an annual list of the best agencies based on an analysis of winning campaigns across 87 different award events or competitions, has named Lowe Lintas India the number one agency on its 2015 list. The agency scored 213 points and was closely followed by AMV BBDO with 191 and Colenso BBDO with 148.
Of the recognition, Lowe Lintas
India CEO Joseph George said: "We have had a terrific run on creative effectiveness this year across the globe; and all the accolades have further reinforced our belief in the type of work we want to
do and believe in."
Chicago's Starcom MediaVest Group Chicago was named top media agency, followed by PHD Mumbai. 360i New York was named top digital agency with R/GA New York taking second place.
The Warc 100 is a ranking of top marketing campaigns and companies that the organization says is based on their performance in effectiveness and strategy competitions. The organization does not disclose the competitions that it uses to devise the ranking.
Clearly Havas Chicago hasn't been paying attention to recent research that found open office space to be decidedly less productive than that of the old school office. The agency recently completed
a $10 million renovation of its 81,000-square-foot River North office space transforming two floors of office space into a wide open, unproductive free-for-all.
And get this. The agency used to occupy three floors. Now it occupies two. They say that's because the new office design uses space more efficiently. Translated into English, that means stuffing the same amount of bodies into a smaller space to save money.
The new design has done away with all offices and added all the usual distracting crap you'd expect to see in an advertising agency: graffiti, a soda fountain and a bubble hockey table. They've even added bicycle racks and a "town hall" meeting area with bleachers. Oh, and they've given the new space a cute new name; Havas Village. Because yeah -- it takes a village to raise children and, well, that's pretty much what ad agency people are; spoiled little brats who prefer a playpen instead of an office in which to "work."
Okay, that's harsh, but I can say that because I've been there.Of the new space, Havas Chicago CEO Paul Marobella said: "The big part of this space, outside of how cool it is, is that it's really built for utility and built for a purpose. Creative, media, strategy and account all sit together, organized by account. What's different about us is we can make a decision on Monday and it will be implemented by Friday."
It's really kind of strange -- and, well, depressing -- that actual adults with actual jobs in actual ad agencies that are actual businesses that, you know, are run by actual adults actually need
advice like this, but apparently this is the case.
Penning a piece for The Chattanoogan (what the hell kind of name for a news outlet is that?), Connect Marketing Head Honcho Clint Powell has some advice that really shouldn't be the kind of advice that actual adults need. Kids, maybe, but actual adults? No. In any event, he wrote the piece and if you've worked in the ad business for any length of time, you know full well there are, unfortunately, plenty of people who need this advice.
His advice? Knowing when to say things clearly and in a way that doesn't waste other people's time nor make you end up looking like a fool. He offers up four things that are perfectly okay to say but for some reason, people are too scared to say them. They are "I am sorry," "I can not do that," "I don't know" and "Let's be clear." You can read his whole article for the details but, seriously, you really shouldn't have to.
Toronto-based agency john st. has made an interesting hire. Hoping to beef up their digital services, the agency has brought in "an accomplished entrepreneur with over 15 years of experience
building global digital media and consumer internet businesses from concept through to final acquisition."
So who did the agency hire? The guy's name is Tom St. John. Yeah. No kidding. john st. hired St. John. Like, when does that ever happen?
Of joining the agency, St. John says, “I feel that john st. has done some of the most innovative digital work in the country for some time now, but I believe that there is room for them to lead the broader digital discussion with clients. Analytics, social ROI, branded content, mobile advertising, online video -- these are just some of the challenges our clients are facing, and we can help them maximize those opportunities.”
Working with McCann London, the folks behind Cannes Lions have launched a new campaign that suggests agencies offer to send their worst employees to the festival of creativity this year...because
it's cheaper than firing them and paying severance.
The purpose, of course, is to make one last-ditch effort to inspire the -- shall we say -- less inspired by dropping them into the center of advertising creativity for one week. I guess if after a week in Cannes they still suck, well, then it's time to bid them adieu. Although you will have to pay them severance then, so the whole send-them-to-Cannes thing is, indeed, a gamble.
Headlines to the ads read: "Nisha, Strategist. Has dedicated seven loyal years to your agency. With very little to show for it" and Samuel, Producer. You fought hard to hire him. Responds to every suggestion with 'It can't be done.'" The ads are signed off with "Buy her/him a delegate pass. Cheaper than severance."
Of the approach, McCann London CCO Rob Doubal said: "Although our campaign is humorous, it makes a very sensible point. Why should being a Cannes Lions delegate be the preserve of the already excellent? If we really want a more creative world, as we all profess, we should also be encouraging the not-so-excellent performers to be inspired by Cannes Lions."
Funny stuff, this campaign. Trouble is, now everyone that is sent to Cannes by their agency is now going to have a gigantic inferiority complex along with nightmares about whether or not agency management thinks they’re up to snuff.
Oh, and the poor people who had to pose for the campaign -- branded losers for life!