Well this certainly tops all the agency recruitment efforts we've ever seen. Seeking the "world's most creative mind," San Francisco-based video marketing company, Virool, is launching a
global creative talent search. "Launching" is the key word here. The Virool "Race to Space" calls for creative minds to generate their most original
space-themed video campaign. The winner will "boldly go where no agency or brand has gone before" hopping aboard an all-expenses paid trip aboard the Virgin Galactic's first commercial space flight.
It's valued at $250,000. That's some sweet coin and we wonder if the winner will bargain for the cash instead of the flight. A tough choice.
Beware digital marketers and agencies. If you are knowingly or unknowingly engaging in click fraud, you could soon be in trouble. The ANA's fraud detection unit, White Ops, has launched "The Marketers' Coalition," a research effort to determine the level of bot fraud and provide data and insights which marketers can put to use to reduce and avoid fraud and, ideally, improve ROI. Real ROI, that is. Not the fake ROI garnered because of bots gaming the system. Of the effort, White Ops CEO Michael J. J. Tiffany said, “The advertising industry is under siege. While some would say bot traffic is a ‘cost of doing business’ or a ‘victimless crime,’ they could not be more wrong. Corrupt data on campaign targeting and effectiveness harms brands and businesses, and the money made by criminals funds an underground that perpetrates many other forms of crime. Criminals have further benefited from confusion and uncertainty in scoping the problem. This concerted effort is a way to normalize the data, establish better intelligence and present a unified front.”
What do three guys with management consultant and financial services backgrounds have on today's ad gurus running ad agencies? Fifty percent revenue growth in the last year alone, 470 staffers from Singapore to San Francisco and clients ranging from Google to YouTube to eBay to Expedia. Matt Isaacs, Andy Bonsall and Andrew Shebbeare are a bunch of "math men" who, nine years ago, launched the London-based digital agency, Essence, to the giant it is today. Profitable from the start, the agency focuses solely on digital with a concentration on mobile. Google, of course, gave the agency a big growth boost. Isaacs said, “In 18 months, we went from a predominantly UK agency to 75% of the business was international. It was very dramatic. It is now 85%.”
I love David & Goliath. They are awesome! Who can forget their Kia Soul Hamsters work? Their California Lottery work? That epic Kia Optima Super Bowl commercial from 2011? What's not to love? Founder David Angelo, who will become Chairman and remain working with clients, has named Client Service Director Brian Dunbar to the new position of President and Executive Creative Director. Of the move, Angelo said, "I'm still going to be hands-on and working with clients but it's a signal to the agency and everyone else that I have to share the responsibility of running an agency and its growth." Congratulations, Brian!
For the past day or so, it seems impossible to escape from a Google News alert that isn't filled with that story about popular Indian celebrity Aishwarya Rai, who appeared in an ad for Kalyan
Jewellers elegantly dressed with a dark-skinned child holding an umbrella over her head. Many have called the ad racist.
An open letter from a consortium of feminist, child and human rights groups says the ad appears to "be representing aristocracy from a bygone era -- bejewelled, poised and relaxing while an obviously underage slave-child, very dark and emaciated, struggles to hold an oversize umbrella over your head."
The letter, which shares several examples of 17th- and 18th-century images that would now be considered racist, continues: "We wish to convey our dismay at the concept of this advertisement, and that you have, perhaps unthinkingly, associated with such a regressive portrayal of a child to sell a product...we, therefore, urge you to do the right thing -- cease to associate yourself with this offensive image by ensuring that further use of this advertisement is stopped."
In response, a statement from Aishwarya pretty much shirks any responsibility and blames the creative agency for the debacle. The statement read: "On the onset we would like to thank you on drawing our attention to the observation of the perception of the advertisement. Here is an attachment (picture of Aishwarya without the child holding the umbrella) of the shot taken by somebody during the shoot. The final layout of the ad is entirely the prerogative of the creative team for a brand. However shall forward your article as a viewpoint that can be taken into consideration by the creative team of professionals working on the brand visual communication. Thank you once again."
Kalyan Jewellers has pulled the ad.
On Wednesday at the LSA|15 Conference in Los Angeles, the Local Search Association announced the winners of its second annual Ad to Action Awards competition. LSA received 91 entries across 10
categories and the winners were revealed on the main stage at the event.
The competition focused on celebrating the most innovative "local" marketing products or solutions that facilitate consumer actions such as calls, clicks, store visits, etc. The winners demonstrated the greatest potential for driving local consumer engagement and best addressed current market needs.
The judging panel -- made up of 18 companies including Twitter, Foursquare, Yahoo, MapQuest, xAd and more -- evaluated these products and solutions. Each judge reviewed a subset of entries and no judge reviewed any entries where there was a potential conflict of interest.
In the Platforms and Services category, Chicago-based Rise Interactive, which likes to refer to itself as an "interactive investment management firm," won the top spot. And we can see why. Any agency that can spin the fact that they buy online advertising into "interactive investment management form" is worthy of praise.
For, oh, at least the past 7-10 years, every prognosticator has gleefully been promising "this is the year of mobile!" to the point where it's become a joke. Now, certainly, mobile has matured and
has become a viable medium for many things including advertising. But AKQA CCO Rei Inamoto isn't completely convinced.
In an interview with The Drum, Inamoto said, “To an extent I think the promise of mobile in relation to marketing has been exaggerated. The biggest misconception about mobile and the biggest mistake that advertisers make about mobile is to treat it like an advertising channel. Instead we should use it as a way to provide service not to provide a message.”
And, being the smart guy that he is, he's right. Rather than forcing old models (*cough* ...banners) through mobile devices, brands should embrace new services. Many have. Love them or hate them, Inamoto cites Uber as a brand that's fully embraced mobile, not as an advertising medium per se but, rather, as a platform for doing business.
So, yes, mobile has finally arrived. But my hope for the medium is that we can skip past all the missteps we took forcing old advertising models onto the internet and treat mobile very differently and more effectively. Like the personal service it has become. Not a pipe through which to shove ads.
In an audit of the 1,000 posts that BuzzFeed deleted from its site, three were deleted because advertisers complained. Yes, it's true. Don't like what someone writes about you? All you have to do
is bitch a little and get it removed.
In 2013, BuzzFeed published a post about an Axe body spray ad that was, it seems, not very positive. The brand's agency at the time didn't like what they read, complained and it was removed. Also is 2013, the publication chided Microsoft about its Internet Explorer browser. According to BuzzFeed Editor in Chief Ben Smith, the post was deleted because its author "had worked on a Microsoft ad campaign, and BuzzFeed's chief revenue officer complained about the post to me."
A third post, published in January 2014, which discussed what brands had planned on Twitter for the Super Bowl was pulled because it was critical of what Pepsi had planned and -- oops, the brand's Twitter account was handled by BuzzFeed staff at the time. Of that decision, Smith said: "We'd never previously considered the case of an editor that would be writing about an ad that was produced by our creative team, but we decided it was inappropriate and deleted the post." Really?
Remember when advertising and editorial where separate entities? Yeah, neither do I. We've all been pummeled so hard with native advertising bullshit over the past few years that it's practically become -- much like the banner before it -- invisible. Not to mention the over-the-top, incessant use of ridiculously sensationalistic clickbait headlines that achieved nothing but to quicken the tactic's invisibility.