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?
Did you know that Fort Lauderdale-based Zimmerman Advertising is one of the nation's leading retail agencies? Well that's what the press release said so it must be true. And guess what else? The agency has been hired by the world's fastest-growing sports nutrition company to grow even faster! Yes, it's true! The press release said so!
The agency will take on the $15 million account for BPI Sports, a sports nutrition company.
Of selecting Zimmerman to handle its business, BPI Sports Co-Founder and EVP James Grage said, "Hiring an ad agency is a key ingredient to significantly grow our business, establish BPI Sports as the premier sports nutrition brand, and position our company as an iconic, multi-channel business. Most agencies are full of smoke and mirrors and don't deliver on what they promise. It was refreshing to finally find one who's as good at making ads as they are at making money for their clients. I have no doubt Zimmerman will generate powerful results for BPI."
Clearly, BPI Sports believes it has selected the right agency for its business. The agency is on a roll having also just won American Media, a health and fitness publisher.
Press releases. They make you yawn. These committee-written documents are stuffed with silly platitudes aimed to placate marketing directors who still believe journalists want to read stuff that looks like it was written by a robot.
And so I'd like to give a big shout out to New York-based Catch which issued a hilarious gem of a release touting the fact they "may have been retained by the legendary brand Vans to develop an extremely confidential project, which may or may not be released this year."
The release goes on to quote an un-named (of course) Vans spokesperson who said, "We can neither confirm nor deny that Vans has retained Catch New York. All we are willing to say is that they seem pretty cool and creative and if we were going to hire an agency to help us launch something really awesome, we would hire Catch. But that's all we'll say."On the agency side, Catch ECD Marco Cignini said, "We're thrilled, excited, honored and humbled to be a part of the team that might be creating something amazing for Vans.”
Last week I made note of Alex Bogusky launching a start-up that that would focus on doing social good and that it would be called Spiffly. The first part was right. The second part was wrong. The
new entity will be called Fearless and "will help socially-minded corporations, foundations and non-profits develop 360° campaigns while providing the added value of a built-in millennial audience
through Fusion's television, social and digital platforms."
Fearless will be a division of Disney/ABC/Univision's cable network and digital platform Fusion and run in partnership with Bogusky, former CP+B'ers Dagny Scott and Lelsie Freeman. Fearless will "enable clients to engage with an ultra-connected audience in all of the places they consume media. The agency will develop multi-platform content spanning video, art, text, comedy, documentaries, television, events, and sharable content, all with an eye toward raising awareness and moving millennials to action on key issues and ideas that encourage positive change in the world."
Of the launch, Bogusky said, "Mashing up agency and media solves a huge problem for socially-minded clients who have incredibly compelling messages but no way to find their audience. Fusion is striking the right tone. Although millennials are more interested in doing good, they aren’t motivated by the same old dry boring, righteous approach. They have the attitude that changing the world can and needs to be fun. And I happen to agree with that.”
Fusion will be opening an office in Boulder, Colorado where Fearless will be based.
Are you going to SXSW? Do you want a new job? Then, it appears, you might want to hook up with Saatchi & Saatchi, which is opening up a Dallas office and will be trolling the streets of Austin
during SXSW for new hires.
The new office is for the agency's Team One unit, which focuses specifically on the Toyota and Lexus accounts. The agency's move to Texas is in reaction to Toyota moving its U.S. sales and marketing operations to Plano, Texas.
And so between barbecue and overcrowded sessions, head over to the SXSW Job Market at the JW Marriott (Floor 2). The hours are Friday, March 13 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday, March 14 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
While every morning she's grateful her clients haven't become part of some social media disaster and Twitter is her go to outlet for news, Huge (no, she isn't huge -- that's the name of the agency)
Director of Earned Media Alyssa Galella says that if she weren't working at Huge, she'd love to be "a detective. Or work in an animal shelter. I would basically be Ace Ventura, Pet Detective."
That's an interesting goal for a woman who was recently named one of PR Week's Innovation 50 or who accomplished a killer social media stunt by sending 99 boxes of Cap'N Crunch cereal to Jay-Z who later mentioned the stunt on the radio. Of course, yes -- she's just kidding, but Ace Ventura who certainly was a character. And I like people who aspire to be interesting characters.
But what's most interesting about Galella, who is far from being an old timer, is her wise view of social media today. She says, "There's no longer a dividing line between 'media' and 'social media.' You need to be fluent in both traditional media relations and social media to do your job most effectively. Most of what I've learned hasn't been on the clock, either -- take the initiative to read a ton, be active on social media, attend events, and take classes you're interested in." You know -- become educated in the ways of life.
Thank God. Someone who doesn't think Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat are the only valid forms of media in existence.