Hmm. It seems BuzzFeed's decision to up the level of its editorial from idiotic listicles to content with actual merit was well timed. At least as it applies to Australia -- where the
country's IAB and Media Federation have formed a new group to determine what exactly shall be deemed "premium content." Heading up the new group is GroupM Chief Investment and Intelligence Officer
Danny Bass -- who in a not so subtle jab at BuzzFeed-esque native advertising said: “There is also the question of what can we as an
industry do to protect journalism. That’s the thing I really want us to do on this board because if everything goes down the quick, snackable in-and-out news path then our opportunity to grow
digital revenues, to work with clients on digital marketing spends will decrease.” Explaining further: Bass added, “There are two things I want to achieve with this. There is an
operational goal around brand safety and one which is more around an industry goal where if we have the media owners who come to us and talk about premium and say we are not a Buzzfeed, Mail Online,
News.com and we are this and this then we have to understand what does that actually mean.” Now, if this effort and others can eliminate the over 90% of content on the Internet which is pure
crap, "surfing" the Internet might once again become a bit more than a mindless waste of time.
According to a new study from AOL that queried 177 large advertisers, agency and publisher clients of AOL, 86% of agencies and 76% or brands use programmatic buying for their display advertising. In addition, 60% of agencies use programmatic for both mobile and video ads -- and among brands, 56% use it for mobile and 48% use it for video. Among agencies and brands, just 18% use programmatic for social. The report, without surprise, lends support to AOL’s recent $345 million round of funding to bolster the programmatic elements of its business.
Well here's some uplifting motivational information for you. David Murdico, ECD and managing partner of Supercool Creative, has penned an article in iMedia entitled "8 Reasons to Love the Ad Industry Right Now." While Murdico has some interesting points -- the rise of video advertising and the ability (if one partners with the right providers) of analytics to greatly improve campaign effectiveness -- he drops in the weirdest of all reasons to love the ad industry; people think it's cool. He writes: “I was actually at Best Buy the other day getting my laptop fixed by the Geek Squad (awesome name and branding). The Geek asked what I do, and when I said I run an online ad agency, he was very interested. Soon the whole store gathered around and listened, as I told tall tales of advertising lore. They dimmed the lights, gave me a microphone, and broadcast me on the video wall. I look particularly handsome on the Samsung models...just saying." Really? Really? This is more like the reason why everyone hates all of us in advertising.
Healthcare. It's the hottest trend in the agency business now. Arnold recently bolstered its division. And now Grey is cranking it up with the hiring of Ben Ingersoll, who will take on the role to chief creative officer and managing partner of Grey Healthcare Group. Ingersoll comes to Grey from Cline Davis & Mann, where he spent upwards of a decade working on healthcare brands.
In an ingenious, holiday-themed effort designed to call attention to the importance of the Oxford comma in certain situations, San Francisco-based MUH-TAY-ZIK | HOF-FER has launched a browser bookmark-let that will automagically add missing Oxford commas.
A video accompanies the effort with clear examples as to why you really should employ the Oxford comma at times. The video says "Missing Oxford commas ruins Christmas." It then cites some unintended results such as "I was shopping for your Christmas presents, toilet paper and prunes," "We went caroling with our dogs, grandma and grandpa" and "Merry Christmas from your parents, Santa and Rudolph." Images accompany the statements to illustrate just how wrong those sentences are without the Oxford comma.So if you're ever confused as to whether or not the Oxford comma is necessary, you can recall the awkward examples given in the video.
Like the holidays? Like games? Then Deep Focus has something you might like. The agency has developed an old school interactive game called #DeepSnow. The agency developed it from scratch using Google Maps, HTML5, WebSockets, SASS, OpenLayers, and custom animations.
The aim of the game is to steer a snow plow through the streets of New York City and rescue Deep Focus employees and toys spilt by Santa from the grasps of a winter snowpocalypse. In tandem with the web experience, players use their mobile device as a game controller. Data from the phone’s gyroscope is used to power the steering wheel for the snowplow as it maneuvers around angry Yetis and actual NYC landmarks on the computer screen.
And, of course, there's a charity element to the game. Because, after all, agencies need to somehow make up for their self-centered, egotistical outlook on life they vamp the rest of the year. Virtual points earned during game play will be turned into physical toys donated to Toy For Tots.
Oh the agency holiday card. Yawn. Oh wait, not yawn! Some agencies actually put some thought into the mundane annual event. One such agency is Digitas Health LifeBrands which has come up with something a little more meaningful. The agency has launched HUG, a social media campaign which aims to generate awareness of charities and provide a monetary donation from the agency to charities which are nominated by employees.
In its fifth year, the program involves employees from the New York, Philadelphia, London, and San Francisco offices who have nominated 24 charities to compete to win money. Each week visitors to the Group HUG Facebook page will vote for their favorite charity by “liking” and “sharing” the logos from the charities. At the end of the campaign, which runs through the end of December, there will be four winning charities.Check out the Group HUG video trailer here and be sure to visit the Group HUG Facebook page to vote for your favorite charity. After all, what better way to celebrate the season of giving than with a nice big Group HUG?
What if you had to pitch Christmas to a focus group? As we all know, focus groups are a disastrous means of coming to consensus on anything. And that's pretty much what happens in this video created by Ogilvy & Mather Paris.
After explaining some of the elements of Christmas such as a fat old man with a big beard, a little girl asks, "Why do I have to sit on his lap?" Just let that one sink in for a minute. Ick. Another woman offers up, "You know who else sneaks into your house through the chimney? Rapists." Ouch! This isn't going well.
The confusion continues with focus group members wondering why Christmas is proposed to be in December instead of the much warmer August. And why the fat guy gets all the credit when he doesn't even buy all the gifts. One panelist even claimed proposed Christmas carols make him feel horny. No, not going well at all. And let's not even get into New Year's Eve.
Copywriting legend Dick Rich passed away from a heart attack on November 1. He was 84. His daughter, Karen Rich, made his death known last week. Rich, along with Mary Wells and Rich
Greene, was one of the founders of the storied Wells Rich Green ad agency and creator of classic 60's work for Alka-Seltzer and Benson & Hedges.
He was known for his confident approach to his work telling The New York Times in 1983: “Clients don’t come to me for O.K. advertising. They come to me for great, great advertising.”
A real man’s man who will be missed.
Last month, we reported Canadian Agency, Cossette, was in talks with Chinese agency, BlueFocus Communications Group, to be acquired. That deal has been sealed for $210 million.
The sale involved the acquisition of a majority stake in Cossette's parent company, Quebec City-based Vision7 International, whose assets also include PR firm Citizen Relations. Of the acquisition, BlueFocus CEO Oscar Zhao said, “Having Vision7 join the BlueFocus family will help us gain better access to the North American market and emphasizes our ‘To Be Global’ strategy."
In its apparent quest for global domination BlueFocus last year acquired London-based social agency We Are Social as well as a 20 percent stake in PR firm Huntsworth.