Will Miller Lite bring back "Tastes Great...Less Filling"? If the fact that the brewer is having an agency review and if we can read between the lines of what MillerCoors CMO Andy England said -- "I think the original retro can and our learnings about why that has
resonated so well have clearly informed our strategy" -- then yeah, maybe they will. After having parted ways with FCB in 2012 to begin working with Saatchi & Saatchi New York and then in April,
working with some WPP shops, the brand is holding a formal review and has invited Leo Burnett, TBWA LA and WPP's Royal Order. New work will break in March.
MDC Partners has named kbs+ CEO Lori Senecal to be president and CEO of the MDC Partner Network. The Partner Network was established last year as a division within the MDC Partners company. Senecal will work with Andre Coste, who takes on the expanded leadership role of MDC Partner Network COO. In her capacity leading the Partner Network, Senecal will report to MDC Founder and CEO Miles Nadal, who will continue to oversee strategic and operational matters and lead the public company. At the same time, Senecal also joins the MDC Partners Board of Directors. In addition, Senecal will remain at the helm of kbs+ as global executive chairman focused on global expansion, while Ed Brojerdi, formerly president and CCO of kbs+, will become responsible for the New York office as CEO of kbs+ New York.
Everyone who works in an advertising agency will get a kick out of this. And if you work in media, you will be high fiving everyone in the rest of the department. Writing in
Australia's Mumbrella, Dan Woolley, managing director of agency search firm TrinityP3, has taken it upon himself to --
entirely unscientifically -- assign a value to each functional area of an ad agency. The assigned values supposedly correlate to that particular department ability to positively contribute to the
agency's ROI. At the bottom of the list is account management. At the top are media planners and media buyers. Where's creative? In with middle with a 6 (out of 10). Do you think this guy has a handle
on your particular department's contribution to ROI?
Beefing up its strategic marketing offering, MWW has announced former Havas SVP of Digital Innovation and Strategic Planning Jess Seilheimer will join the agency as chief strategy officer. Seilheimer brings 15 years of experience leading digital strategy for CPG, beauty, retail, technology, health and wellness and pharmaceutical accounts. In her role, Seilheimer will help the agency define and implement strategic planning capabilities and oversee marketing communication strategies across MWW's offices and practice groups around the globe. Of the hire, MWW President and CEO Michael Kempner said, "Jess is a true rock star of our industry. She brings best in class strategic planning and insights to MWW through a unique combination of digital innovation and creativity. A technological visionary and visual enthusiast, Jess has the perfect combination of skills and experience to identify new opportunities for our clients and growth opportunities for our firm."
Ever since the advent of crowdsource-fueled creative entities like 99Designs, Freelancer and Fiver, design studios -- which previously buttered their bread with business from ad agencies -- are now
upping their game, cutting out the agency and going direct to the brand for business.
Of the trend, Design Business Council Head Greg Branson said: “A lot of the designers I work with have a strategy partner or a senior person in the business that does strategy. Many of them have been recruited by the designer out of the advertising industry, with the intention of taking their business to a higher level and offering a broader range of services."
While a design studio isn't going to take over the Coke account any time soon, shifts like this are on the rise. Interestingly, even before 99Designs and the like, Barbarian Group -- which prior to Subservient Chicken was a tech design studio of sorts -- transformed itself into a full-blown agency complete with all the usual agency services.
No, there won't be a weekly parade of design studios making it big like Barbarian did, but market conditions have changed significantly enough that we will continue to see more of this.
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.