A recent UK study queried ad agencies about their thoughts on native advertising. While 77% of agencies are now comfortable explaining native advertising to clients, many are concerned about
how to scale the practice and 63% don't think the practice is effectively regulated. Furthermore, 83% of agencies now include the practice of native advertising as part of their digital offering and
the other 17% plan to do so in the immediate future. In aggregate, the study -- conducted by FaR Partners on behalf of ad platform Adyoulike -- found that UK agencies believe native advertising will
comprise 9.2% of total digital spend in 2014 and 14.7% by 2015.
In what may be the most cogent and refreshing viewpoint heard from an ad agency exec, Monica Little, who is stepping down as CEO of Minneapolis-based Little & Co., said: “I made the decision years ago that I didn’t want to sell to an outside firm because I’ve seen other companies that did and they were eviscerated. I like money, but my mortgage is paid. And I’m not about wringing as much as I can out of the company. Life is too short. It was about valuable work and working with these smart people.” Thanks for that, Monica. You've given us hope that the entire advertising industry is not populated entirely with money-grubbing power grabbers who are more concerned with how many toys they have versus how well they take care of their agency and its employees.
Hmm. Who knew Segway still existed? The thing was supposed to reinvent human transportation and all it has become is a joke in a movie about a mall cop. Anyway, the brand has announced that it has selected Aroluxe to serve as its agency of record. Segway will lean on Aroluxe to bring "uniformity and a fresh direction" to the brand with new creative, sales and dealer support, demand generation programs, and an ecommerce Web site. Of the agency selection, Segway VP of Marketing Brian Buccella said: “As we move our brand forward into new and emerging EV segments, we wanted a partner who could take our vision of redefining the green personal transportation market, bring it to life, and then amplify that vision across all channels. For us, there’s no doubt that we made the right decision. We look for passion and creativity, and Aroluxe has a surplus of both.” Well, anyway, good luck expanding beyond mall cops.
iProspect has hired Sam Huston as chief strategy officer. Prior to joining the iProspect team, Huston was partner, SVP of Strategy and Innovation at Jumptank. He also worked across the Dentsu Aegis Network, including Carat, Isobar and Vizeum. Over the last 14 years, he's worked across agency specialties including media, creative, and entertainment. He worked on P&G, Adidas Boost, Red Bull, Disney and GoPro. In this role, Huston will oversee client campaigns and service team collaborations. Based in San Francisco, he will report to iProspect President Jeremy Cornfeldt.
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.