You Suck! And You Just Won Our Advertising Account!

We never had the chance to say it, but TTI Floor Care’s Hoover, Dirt Devil and Oreck did, having just awarded New York-based Johannes Leonardo its advertising account. Get it? A vacuum cleaner account awarding its business to an agency that understands the art of the suck? As is always the case, the win followed the installation of a new CMO, Alan Gravely, who joined TTI in March. Gravely is TTI's first CMO. Of Johannes Leonardo, Gravely told Ad Age: "We were impressed with all the agencies we spoke with, but we were blown away by Johannes Leonardo. Johannes Leonardo has extensive expertise with iconic brands and a philosophy that it's consumers, not the media, who control the conversation today. The idea of the consumer as the medium fits well with our vision for TTI Floor Care as an organization centered around the consumer."

Havas Worldwide has a new executive creative director. Jason Musante joins the agency's New York office from Anomaly, where he was creative director and lead on the Google Glass launch. Prior to that, he was Co:Collective’s first senior creative hire, leading the relaunch of USA Today and Google+ as well as working on the Microsoft business. Musante also held positions at DDBO and Saatchi. Of the hire, Havas New York CCO Darren Moran said: "When it comes to moving seamlessly and brilliantly across content, digital, social and experiential, Jason is one of the very best creatives out there, and he has the awards and business successes to prove it. He's a courageous leader, smart innovator, and a fighter for great work that works. He's worked for some of the best people at some of the best agencies on some of the very best brands; I couldn't be more excited to have Havas be the next (and hopefully last) agency to benefit from his talents." Last? Doubtful.

In case you missed it, Martin Sorrell penned a LinkedIn Influencer post Monday entitled The 10 Trends Shaping the Global Ad Business, in which he predicts a decline in qualified creative candidates based on declining birth rates, smaller families and the growth of digital. He writes: "Simply, there will be fewer entrants to the jobs market and, when they do enter it, young people expect to work for tech-focused, more networked, less bureaucratic companies. It is hard now; it will be harder in 20 years." He also notes, to no one's surprise, the center of the ad world is shifting away from New York toward places like Latin America, China, Russia, Africa and the Middle East.

This would be a sweet win. Tiffany's, the high-end jewelry retailer, has launched a review for its global media business. The brand seeks media innovation and improved efficiencies. The budget is said to be $100 million. A Tiffany representative said: "In addition to our internal marketing department, Tiffany & Co. has decided to pursue an external media agency to further enhance our global business. This is in addition to Ogilvy & Mather as the company's creative agency." Ark Advisors will conduct the review.

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  • First-Year Creative Develops Hilarious Ad Agency Bingo Game Which Pokes Fun At Agency Life

    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.”

  • Aw, How Cute. Saatchi & Saatchi LA Donates Creative to Pet Shelter

    Oh sure, it's not really news that agencies take on pro bono accounts from time to time but this item involves cats and dogs and other pets. And on the internet, cats and dogs always win.

    Saatchi & Saatchi LA has donated creative services to the Amanda Foundation, an LA-based local pet rescue organization founded by Hollywood actress Teri Austin. The agency, along with area production companies which donated upwards of one half million in production costs, has given the Amanda Foundation a new...ahem...leash on life. 

    The agency completely rebranded the foundation, highlighting their core missions – from redesigning their logo and website, to giving their Spaymobile a new look and overhauling social platforms.

    You can check out the new website here and Spaymobile here.
  • 99designs Community Develops Completely Underwhelming Logo For Deez Nuts

    Deez Nuts, the 15-year-old Iowa farm boy, Brady Olson, who thought it'd be hilarious to enter the 2016 presidential race, has, hilariously, become a noted contender. Which, of course, isn't surprising at all in a land where Donald Trump could actually become president.

    Online graphic design marketplace 99designs thought they'd give Brady some help -- and garner a bit of publicity for themselves -- by enlisting the 99designs community to come up with a logo for the "candidate." The community did just that, but the winning entry is a bit of a letdown.

    You can take a look at the winning logo here. After you've done that, take a look at some of the other designs here and I'll think you'll agree there are quite a few better than the one bestowed top spot.
  • 12 Agency Execs Profess Their Distaste For Spec Work

    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?

  • Super Cheesy Video With Getty Stock Footage Promotes Mind-Numbingly Simple Ad Creation Tool

    It's a thing. No doubt you've seen many of them over the years. I'm talking about automatic ad creation widgets that promise to automagically create ads simply by entering a few bits of information. Well, here's another one.

    This one's called, simply, Ad Creator. And, shockingly, that's exactly what it does. One starts by entering the "tonality" of the brand in question. Then one just enters the brand name, the URL and a logo and shazam, you have an ad. 

    Oddly, it appears that it just creates print ads which for an online ad creation tool, is, well, super dumb. 

    The tool, which is demo'd (yes, it's a fake product lest you are silly enough to have thought otherwise) in a YouTube video is described thusly: "Ad Creator is a fully powered advertising generator that can bring your company's sales up to speed instantly. Just add your product, name your price and start your own creative revolution. The Ad Creator will instantly create top-of-the-line advertising while you take another sip at that coffee of yours."
  • Study Finds Social Media Claiming Larger Share of Ad Budgets

    According to a recent second-quarter agency survey conducted by STRATA, social media advertising is garnering a larger share of advertising budgets. The survey found that 20% of agencies report they are likely to allocate between 11-25% of their ad budgets to paid social media, a 24% increase from the previous quarter. Another 24% of agencies are allocating 6-10% to paid social. Facebook continues to lead in agency advertising with 93% planning to use it in their campaigns, followed by YouTube (57%), Twitter (52%), and LinkedIn (29%).

    The rise in social media ad spend and newer advertising mediums has created a more complicated media planning picture for agencies. Media mix surpassed client attraction and comes in overwhelmingly as the biggest challenge facing 40% of agencies, marking an 85% increase from the same time last year. Following media mix was client attraction (24% of agencies) and client spending (11%). Similarly, 22% of agencies expect their clients to make minor budget cuts from last year.

    Of the findings, STRATA President Joy Baer said: "There's an undeniable correlation between the rise in social media advertising with mobile device behavior. Agencies and advertisers are going to follow their audience. Mobile users are checking Facebook and Twitter throughout the day. So when you consider that around 60% of digital media time spent in the US is on smartphones and tablets, then it makes perfect sense to reach the audience in the apps that they're already accessing."
  • This Agency Couldn't Call Its New Chief Intelligence Guy A CIO Because That Title Is Taken

    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.”

     

  • Australian Ad Exec Who Likes To Get Drunk Says Agency People Under 30 Don't Drink Enough

    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.

  • Horizon Media Dubbed One Of The Best Place To Work In Los Angeles

    Media services agency Horizon Media has landed itself  a spot on the Los Angeles Business Journal's 2015 Best Places to Work. The list is a citywide survey and recognition program that identifies and recognizes LA's 100 best employers. Horizon is ranked number 12 in the large company category.

    Of making the list, Horizon Media Founder and CEO Bill Koenigsberg said, "I'm thrilled that Horizon is being named to yet another Best Places to Work list. This marks our fourth Best Places to Work designation in four years, and it's a testament to the special culture that we have created."

    Horizon Media Western Region GM and EVP Serena Duff added, "I couldn't be prouder that the agency has landed in the 12th spot on Los Angeles Business Journal's '2015 Best Places to Work in Los Angeles' list. We make it a priority to expose our talent to experiences that allow them to grow, learn, and thrive both professionally and personally. Horizon Media truly is a special place to work, and our amazing culture continues to attract the best and brightest minds in the industry."

    The prestigious honor is one of many work environment-related awards that the agency has recently received. Horizon was winner of the Employee Engagement Awards Best Program (Large Company) category, landed at #29 on Crain's New York Business 2014 Best Places to Work in New York City list and the Crain's Best Places, Best Practices Challenge Award, which recognizes the most innovative idea that promotes recruitment, retention or rewarding employees. The agency has also been named one of the best places to work by Advertising Age

    High fives, Horizon!
  • Here's Why Kraft Foods Is Looking For A New Media Agency (And Why Switching Won't Make A Difference)

    Whispers and reports of a Kraft Foods Group media review have been increasing in the part few days. Recently, the combined Kraft Heinz said it has plans in place to lay off 2,500 people. The $514 million account is currently handled by Starcom which in the past year or so has lost some business including Anheuser Busch InBev.

    So why are things so bleak for Kraft? One word; organic. Yes, the organic trend is killing large food brands which are still pumping out a plethora of unhealthy food like Cheez Whiz, Jell-O, Oscar Mayer, Velveeta, Kool-Aid and the list goes on.

    Granted, not every consumer has hopped on the organic bandwagon but increasingly people have come to the conclusion that the food they are eating today is not the same food they or their parents were eating 50 years ago. An endless list of hard-to-pronounce, mystery ingredients are now the norm on most packaging. Add to that the gluten-free trend and you have a recipe for disaster for old school food brands.

    And newsflash to those making this decision: choosing a new media agency will have no affect on the success of Kraft Foods no matter how much more awesome some new media agency is at beating the heads of potential consumers. Consumers want healthier foods. Screaming at them more efficiently about the benefits of Cheez Whiz simply is not going to make a difference for the brand. On the other hand, making food people actually want to eat, will, indeed, make a difference.

    All of which is to say, the ever-prevalent knee jerk reaction of switching agencies and media companies is rarely what turns a brand around. In most cases, it's because the brand just makes something better. Something that people actually want to buy. That's the only thing that's going to turn it around for Kraft Foods.
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