So by now you've all seen hundreds of those #ALSicebucketchallenge videos, right? You know the ones. People on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter promising to donate to Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Association while dumping a bucket of ice water over their heads and tagging three others to do the same like a chain letter in elementary school? Yeah, you know what I'm talking about. Well, now, just like every other meme an ad agency gets its hands on (think Harlem Shake), it's been taken to a whole new level. RPA Executive Creative Director Jason Sperling amped things up a bit and added a Flashdance spin to his effort. Check it out on YouTube and Facebook .
Last week, ad-tech companies Turn and TubeMogul engaged in a very public spat about which company lies the most and slings the most bullshit. First, Turn sent an email to its subscribers blaming TubeMogul for questionable practices. Then, TubeMogul shot back with a blog post, "The Real Truth About Turn's Lies" in which it took Turn to task with a point-by-point rebuttal. Really, people? Are we adults or two-year-olds in a sandbox hurling sand in each other’s eyes?
Another creative heads to the Left coast. Huntington Beach-based Grupo Gallegos has tapped Marty Orzio as its new chief creative officer. Orzio travels to California with 10 years of experience as Chief Creative Officer of Gotham in New York and Energy BBDO in Chicago. After two years as CCO at Gotham, the agency was named #1 Agency to Watch by Ad Age, having won clients like Denny's, Best Western, and Chobani Yogurt and numerous awards. He saw similar success at Energy BBDO, where Orzio helped grow the agency by 50% in three and a half years, winning brands like Wrigley’s, Dial, Jim Beam Brands, and Starbucks, to name a few. Of joining, and the agency's focus on multicultural marketing, Orzio said, "The agency is successfully moving multicultural marketing from a niche conversation to a part of a brand's overall business and growth agenda. Grupo Gallegos calls it 'New Americanism,' helping brands effectively adapt to this economic, social, and cultural transformation, an approach that has been rewarded by numerous awards for creativity and effectiveness already this year."
And here's why agencies should be scared. Very, very scared about their future. Speaking to iMedia Connection's Lori Luechtefeld on the topic of agencies as the long-suffering middleman, she spoke with Weber Shandwick CCO Josh Rose who said, "More and more, the smartest people about a brand's earned media are the people at the brand. They have historical knowledge that, over time, becomes less and less replicable at the agency level. Traditionally, the marketers who wanted to stay on the edge of popular culture found themselves at agencies. Something about that environment promoted the kind of contemporary thinking you couldn't find in corporate walls. That's not the case anymore. Incredibly cool and knowledgeable people now sit in marketing departments, holding the reins on the fastest-growing media properties in the portfolio." So, agency peeps, what are you going to do about this?
The CMO Club, founded in 2013 and comprised of 700 member chief marketing officers, has launched what it's calling a vendor rating program which will rank and categorize agencies,
media-buying firms and other advertising service firms into 18 categories.
CMO Club Founder Peter Krainik says the service is simply an organized version of the conversations that already occur between CMOs when they mix and mingle with each other at industry events. The rating service, which has been collecting input since early 2013, will be available to CMO Club members but will not be made public.
In collecting data for the rating service, CMOs are asked to answer 15 questions consisting of drop downs and open ended questions.
Of the service, Publicis Groupe’s VivaKi CEO Jack Klues said: "A confidential sharing of experiences within this group seems no different than that provided by Glass Door, which allows employees a place to anonymously share their experiences with current past employers. I welcome constructive, credible criticism. Rants and complaints without context or substantiation help no one."
Speaking at the International Olympic Committee meeting on Sunday, WPP CEO Martin Sorrell said the Committee needs to make it a priority to connect with and stay connected with younger
generations during the two-year span between games.
Pointing out that live coverage is the IOC's biggest asset, Sorrell said: "Live sports coverage is the last bastion of high-value traditional programming. Most consumers want to watch videos when and where they choose. But they can't do that with live sports. Its power is its immediacy."
Sorrell suggests that between games the IOC increase its presentation of on-demand content and presence in social media, with the goal of maintaining and generating new excitement for the next Olympics.
Funny thing. For years now, hundreds of articles have been written about the death of the traditional ad agency. Another funny thing -- most of them are still around. Why? Because any good company,
no matter what the industry, follows the money. If brands want a million-dollar branding campaign consisting solely of tweets, that’s what the agency will do. If the brand wants to Snapchat its
CEO Periscoping a Reddit AMA, that's what the agency will do.
While it's certainly true that companies that only create TV, radio and print ads don't exist anymore, it's not because they closed up shop and called it a day. No, they got their shit together and learned all about this newfangled content marketing thingamajig.
So it gets kind of tiresome when upstarts like a company that touts that it "instantly organizes the world’s social and digital signals by location, giving an unprecedented level of understanding of what’s happening anywhere in the world, in real time" begin penning articles saying ad agencies are dying.
It has already happened. Agencies have moved on.
And yet, penning a piece for Mashable, Banjo CMO Stacey Epstein writes: "Ad agencies and brand advertisers persist in focusing on that perfect 30-minute spot. It's what they know and what they're good at, but they're failing to reach their audience who now spends their time in an entirely different place."
To a certain degree, Epstein is right. But many of these agencies that are still stuck in the land of the :30 second (and I'm quite sure she meant second and not minute) TV ad are also forging ahead with marketing programs that incorporate the kind of media that's being consumed today the way TV was consumed yesterday.
In the piece, Epstein does point out super-smart work that brands have done such as components of Bud Light's Up For Whatever and Under Armour's Giselle Bundchen campaign -- which, by the way, involved an agency.
My point is that it's time to stop screaming "The ad agency is dead!" Because it's not. It has just become something else. Something that is better suited to today's media habits and consumption patterns. Yes, there will always be Super Bowl and Cannes Lions stupidity -- but hey, ad agencies are filled with self-centered, egotistical, self-esteem award-craving people who would all curl up into a fetal position if they didn't get the occasional pat on the back.
So let them have their Super Bowl ads and their Cannes Lions. Because maybe, just maybe, they'll also keep creating cool shit that matches today's media consumption patterns.
Answering a Quora question, "What is it like to work at an advertising agency?",
advertising copywriter and critic Caroline Zelonka wrote, among other highly informative and insightful information about working in ad agencies: "It all sounds like heaven, right? It is, but agencies
can also be high-pressure, with lots of competition and politicking. The agency environment is also male-dominated, especially in the higher creative echelons. Women who succeed can often be
back-stabby, and in my experience, not very nurturing when it comes to younger female talent. This is one thing I did not like about working for big agencies; a lot of the women reminded me of the
Mean Girls movie."
Yes, I am fully aware this question was answered two years ago so you don't have to get all over me for that one. Zelonka does offer some very valuable -- and timeless -- information to those thinking of working in an ad agency. Having spent many years there myself, I can completely concur with her assessment.
She points out that it can be "awesome" and rewarding both personally and professionally. She points out the many perks that come with working in an ad agency, and equally, the many long hours and client frustrations that go hand in hand with all the awesomeness.
Perhaps you've already read her Quora post. Perhaps you haven't. It's worth a read if you're interested in considering an ad agency career or if you have been asked this question by another person who's interested.
Increasingly, there aren't many people who know what a Walkman is. And it seems, there are a lot of Millennials who don't really understand what a realtor is or how this non-digital human can add
value beyond the mouse click to the home-buying process.
The National Association of Realtors just awarded its account to Arnold Worldwide after having been handled by Most for the past 20 years. Arnold will be charged with making the realtor relevant again.
Of the win, Arnold Global President Pam Hamlin said: “Arnold is tasked with helping NAR reclaim the Realtor’s role in the overall home-buying process, and to educate millennials on what a Realtor does and the value they can provide."
Hamlin adds that Arnold will “target millennials through an integrated cross-channel campaign, which will center primarily on television and digital activations.” Work is expected to break in the fourth quarter.
Of choosing Arnold over incumbent Most which also participated in the pitch, National Association of Realtors Senior VP of Communications Stephanie Singer said: “Most participated in the pitch and made it to the final round. The decision ultimately was not about the past quality of their work, only an interest in moving in a different direction.”
Way back in 2004, University of Central Florida graduate and Woo Creative Founder Ryan Boylston began hosting an event called Arnold Day. Arnold Day, which started with just Boylston and a few
friends gathering at Orlando bar Lazy Moon to watch Schwarzenegger movies on the actor's birthday, has grown to a 1,200-person event.
Of the event's genesis, Boylston said: "Way back when, it was a simple concept… two Arnold fans, a 19-inch TV, a VCR -- that's right, a VCR -- and the greatest pizza/beer establishment in Orlando."
Each year, diehard Arnold fans showed up in their favorite Arnold movie attire, to share their love for Mr. "I'll be back!"
On how the day will go down, Lazy Moon Co-Owner Tim Brown said: "Ryan's awesome. On Arnold Day, we'll serve German or Austrian beers, bratwurst pizza and the event has caught on with both employees and customers. We're not sure Arnold will show up, but it's a fun day either way."
The event also supports Boylston's fundraising goals, which include collecting $20,000 which will be donated to Boynton Beach-based CJ Foundation which provides financial resources to families with special needs children.
Of the charity side of the effort, Boylston said: "The monies we raise are for kids to receive therapy not covered by insurance. This therapy can change the trajectory of a child's life."
Donations will be collected at the Arnold Day event but anyone can visit the Arnold Day website on which contributions can be made.
This year, Arnold Day will be Aug. 1 at Lazy Moon Pizza, 11551 University Blvd., in Orlando.
Come on, Arnold, show up for Ryan, won't you?
I suppose it's entirely possible that there are hundreds of companies with the word "shift" in their name. And here's another; one that might raise an eyebrow with marketing agency Shift
Communications. Why? Because ShiftRGB.com (which, anachronistically, displays only 1995ish "coming soon" text).
Petrol Advertising Motion Director David Edeburn is launching ShiftRGB, a creative firm he says he's launching in response to Google Chrome's September 15th move to discontinue auto-playing Flash media. ShiftRGB will specialize in creating HTML5 display advertising for ad agencies transitioning to HTML5 display ads.
For the past 15 years, Edeburn has worked as an HTML5 animator, Flash animator, creative director and web developer at WOO, Arsonal and Petrol.