Ad Industry Group Aims to Steer Brands Clear of BuzzFeed-Style Content

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.

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  • CP+B's Chuck Porter to Serve As Chief Juror For Table Tent Awards

    With it being so close to April Fool's Day, one might wonder whether or not The Tenties are just a hilarious take on the ad industry's obsession with awards. Oh wait. Anyway, The Tenties has issued its call for entries which begins May 15.

    The Tenties has also announced CP+B Chairman Chuck Porter as Chief Juror. Apparently, table tents were Chuck's first foray into advertising, and the medium is near and dear to his heart having helped jumpstart his career.

    Some of the award categories include Best Table Tent for less than 1,000 tables, Best Table Tent for more than 1,000 tables, best Flip Stand table tent, best Quad-Fold table tent, best use of a QR code on a table tent, best Cylindrical table tent and best "green" table tent.

    And where will this awesome award ceremony take place? Well, it seems it will occur September 15 in Las Vegas...at the Holiday Inn...in Ballroom B. Sounds pretty swanky, right?

  • Millennials Are Reshaping Ad Agencies And It's Not All Positive

    Like everything in advertising, it's standard practice to obsess over all things young. So it is without surprise that much of the work agencies pump out is geared toward younger audiences. But while ad agencies have forever been youth=obsessed, they seldom look inward to realize what the young -- their own Millennial employees -- mean to the agency.

    In an in-depth piece for AdWeek, David Gianatasio examines the effect Millennials are having on the day-to-day operation of the agencies for which they work. Predictably, Millennials are great at speedily implementing the tech-heavy aspects to today's social media-fueled ad campaigns. They are also frank, forthcoming and in management's face, disrupting things in a mostly positive manner. AAAA's EVP Singleton Beato says: "Millennials are the great disrupter. They are energizing our industry and causing our leaders to lean forward and listen and learn in new ways."

    But, like any age group, it's not all roses and lollipops. Gianatasio finds there is a propensity for Millennials to focus on The Now and less on the past and the future. In other words, they lack perspective. Mullen Mediahub CMO John Moore says, "I don't think they understand the history of advertising like we do. They just don't have the curiosity." 

    Summarizing this viewpoint, Gianatasio writes: "Older execs worry that millennials who are ignorant of history may be doomed to repeat its mistakes. And that lack of institutional knowledge plays into another shortcoming: Millennials tend to emphasize tactics over long-term strategy. That can be a plus when shops need to quickly address an issue dealing with technology—say, whether to use Instagram or Vine to target a particular demo. But overemphasizing tactics can be a negative when creating all-encompassing campaigns aimed at bolstering brands and boosting the bottom line."
  • CP+B's Andrew Keller: Failure Isn't So Bad

    In an interview with The Guardian, Crispin Porter + Bogusky CEO Andrew Keller shared his thoughts on failure and how failure can fuel future success.

    When Keller was in college, he intended to become a doctor. That didn't go so well. Of that time in his life. Keller said, “I was at a very small college in a very small town. And having failed, I decided I’d stay in that town for the summer and work as a cook in this restaurant. I wanted to know: how bad was failure? I’d seen my dominant dream, to be a doctor, come crashing down. And it was like, okay -- let’s explore this a little bit.”

    Of the lessons he learned during this supposed failure, Keller added, “I was supposed to be a doctor, so staying in a little town and working in a restaurant -- that was not something that figured in my hopes and dreams. But I did that, and it gave me confidence. Because it wasn’t so bad. Failure isn’t so bad.”

    And even though society and culture view failure as taboo and something to certainly avoid, Keller says we all should resist this line of thinking. Because failure is most certainly going to happen. That's what he tells his kids. He says, "failure is going to happen to all of us. It is going to happen to you.” So embrace it and learn from it.

  • Morals in Advertising: Paleo Blogger Does Voiceover Work For Coca-Cola and KFC

    As proof yet again that morals are nonexistent in advertising, it's been revealed that paleo food blogger  Charlotte Carr has been doing voiceover work for the likes of crap food brands KFC, Coca-Cola and Cadbury's (actually, actual chocolate minus all the added sugar isn't bad for you, according to the Paleo diet). 

    Carr authored the cookbook, Bubba Yum Yum: The Paleo Way for New Mums, Babies and Toddlers, but it was shelved earlier this month by publisher Pan Macmillan Australia after it was reportedly dubbed "potentially deadly for babies" by health experts. Undaunted, co-author Pete Evans, said: "Charlotte, Helen (co-author Helen Padarin) and I are thrilled to announce that "Bubba Yum Yum The Paleo Way” will be a proudly independent digital worldwide release in April with print to follow."

    Carr's talent agency, RML Voices, has confirmed that Carr has be doing voiceover work for seven years. She also does voiceover work for CVHerry Ripe, a chocolate and cherry concoction from Cadbury.
  • Minneapolis Agency Periscope Reaping Benefits of Twitter's Periscope Launch

    Unless you've been living under the proverbial rock, you've certainly heard about Twitter’s launch of Periscope, a live-streaming app that aims to supplant the other recently launched live-streaming app, Meerkat.

    For the past week, the agency has had thousands of people tweet at its @Periscope Twitter handle, which it has had since 2009. You see, most don't realize that the Twitter handle of Twitter-owned Periscope is @PersicopeCo, not @Periscope. Even tech journalist Walt Mossberg mistakenly used @Periscope when mentioning the launch.

    Of the sure-to-be-continuous mixup, Periscope (the agency) Brand Manager Bridget Jewell said: "It's been every social media person's dream. Like a kid waking up on Christmas morning, but with tons of Twitter notifications." 

    Of course, all of this unwarranted attention will most assuredly become bothersome and downright annoying very soon. It's sort of like asking people to tweet @FordCo when trying to reach Ford Motor Company.
  • Mad Men Opening Credit Bench Turned Into Actual Bench

    From now until the end of summer, those passing by the Time-Life building, home to the "Mad Men" fictional SC&P agency, will have the chance to sit on a bench crafted to look just like the bench in the opening credits of "Mad Men."

    The 12-foot bench was designed by Pentagram and consists of just two pieces -- a half-inch thick rolled steel plate seat and a 10-foot cast-concrete base. 

    So if you've got a hankering to sidle up to Don Draper (or whomever that silhouette turns out to be) then now's your chance.

  • That Agency That Just Launched A New Web Site Has Now Done Something Newsworthy

    The Brandon Agency -- which, ahem, just launched a new Web site, has just done something a bit more newsworthy. On Friday, March 20, the agency closed its Charleston office so that employees could take the day to volunteer for Operation Home, a non-profit that helps people remain in their homes by increasing home safety and accessibility.

    The agency’s staff spent the day in Hollywood, S.C., with Operation Home building a wheelchair ramp to enable an area resident to get in and out of their home safely. The result was a 29-foot wheelchair ramp to provide easy access for the homeowner.

    Of the effort, The Brandon Agency VP Media Director Shelby Greene said: “As a business organization, The Brandon Agency believes that we have a responsibility to serve others and give back in our surrounding communities. It’s wonderful to be a part of an agency that sees the importance of serving those in need and encourages us to take the time to do just that as a team. We believe Operation Home serves a valuable purpose and we are thrilled to jump on board with them.”

    Yes, that's much, much better that touting the launch of a new Web site.
  • This Ad Agency Now Makes Its Client's Hamburgers

    In the continuing shift away from the actual duties of, you know, creating advertising, 72andSunny has created a new spicy burger for Carl's Jr. The agency came up with the burger concept, named it and designed the packaging -- but they also developed the burger's ingredients. 

    Of the involvement, 72andSunny CCO Glenn Cole said: “We don’t look at our job as being an ad agency or marketing agency. We see our job as being an accelerator of business.”

    An accelerator of business. Well, it's good to know that an agency now thinks that creating advertising to help sell a product is now so boring that they would rather create the product as well. Of course, there's nothing really wrong with that. After all, advertising people are creative. So why not help develop creative food?
  • 11 Pieces of Career Advice From Mad Men's Peggy Olson

    In an LA Times Entertainment piece, you can find 11 pieces of career advice for women that are based on the Peggy Olson character from Mad Men. And we all know Peggy, who rose from obscurity to full on executive fame over the course of the series, has learned a lot and has much to share.

    Advice ranges from not relying on your femininity to get ahead to demanding appropriate work space to taking power when it comes your way to maintaining a professional relationship even when there is a lot of personal baggage to never fall in love with your married boss.

    Peggy's been through a lot. She's grown professionally and personally. And she's become wise with advice to share. We'll see her a few more times as Mad Men makes its final run this Spring.

  • Yannick Bollore Is Perfectly Happy Havas Isn't Huge

    In the advertising holding company world, which is run exclusively by men, and in the regular world which, some would argue, is still run by men, there is and always has been a fixation with size. And size in the sense that bigger is always better. That line of thinking runs rampant from the boardroom to the bedroom. 

    But not everyone thinks bigger is better and while "being huge" is good if you're in a porn flick, that's not always the case in business. Havas CEO Yannick Bollore has no desire to be the biggest holding company. In fact, he thinks Havas is perfectly sized. He says, "Havas has the ideal scale. We are the fittest group in the industry today and our size is the key to our current success." 

    And on his competitor's fixation with swelling to ever larger girth, Bollore adds, "It'll just make us slower. I do not want to be the biggest. This obsession is nonsense, and for what?" 

    What's that saying? "It's not the size that matter. It's how you use it."

    So take that Sorrell and Levy. Bigger is not always better. Especially when you're trying to hook up with...um...a smaller brand.
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