Y&R's Brand Madness

Having a bit of fun with March Madness, Y&R -- using its BrandAsset Valuator tool -- created Brand Madness, a brand bracket of sorts that pit brands against one another. The agency took 64 brands and divided them into groups of 16 for each region. They were seeded 1-16 based upon the Brand Asset score using four attributes; differentiation, relevance, esteem and knowledge. Killing it all the way to the finals? Facebook and New Orleans. Yes -- New Orleans the brand. And in the end, it was New Orleans that bested Facebook to take the winning position in the agency’s Brand Madness bracket. The agency noted that BrandAsset survey respondents found NOLA to be authentic, daring, dynamic and energetic -- all of which contributed to the heavily weighted differentiation attribute.

Ohio-based Resource, which bills itself as the country's largest privately held digital marketing firm, has announced plans to acquire New York-based creative agency Ammirati. The move combines Resource's 350 employees with Ammirati’s 50 employees across five offices, including New York, San Francisco, Chicago, Cincinnati and Columbus, which will serve as headquarters for the combined entity. Ammirati was founded in 2002 by Matthew Ammirati, nephew to Ralph Ammirati who co-founded the legendary Ammirati Puris that is now part of Interpublic. Ammirati was behind Jerry Seinfeld's Of the acquisition, Resource Chairman Nancy Kramer said: "This is a significant next step in our 33-year journey. We're thrilled to have found in Ammirati a 'kindred spirit' -- we have like-minded and complementary cultures on a number of levels and are excited about the promise of this partnership." Resource works with Clorox, CVS, HP, Kohl's, Nestle and is known for "breaking the Internet" in 1999 when it launched the first Victoria's Secret Fashion Show webcast.

Showing its support for the arts, Saatchi & Saatchi Australia has partnered with the country's National Art School in an effort to support and showcase the work of young, emerging artists. The agency's flagship office in Sydney has been adorned with sculpture and photography created by the school's students. Of the partnership, National Art School Director Michael Snelling said: “At the heart of our partnership with Saatchi & Saatchi is a shared vision to nurture creativity and give emerging artists exposure to a broader audience. We are thrilled to continue our partnership with Saatchi & Saatchi in 2014 and expect the student artwork will not only be a talking point in the office, but complement and extend the creativity generated by their staff on a daily basis.”

So Advertising Week Europe happened last week. Rounding up several trends that emerged during the week long conclave, Marketing Week's Lara O'Reilly noted the fact that barely five minutes passed before someone on some panel uttered the phrase "native advertising." WPP's Martin Sorrell said he sees native advertising, along with programmatic buying, as the two biggest growth areas for the holding company. Both Sorrell and News Corp. CEO Robert Thomson noted the importance of delineating between native advertising and actual editorial. Mashable Chief Revenue Officer Seth Rogin more quickly cut to the chase, denouncing native advertising as "complete bullshit." Other trends discussed during the week included content marketing, a distant relative of native advertising, which Gravity Road Co-Partner Mark Eaves noted is in danger of peaking, saying, "the industry has run headlong into creating lots of content for everybody." And then there was discussion of agencies that lie. Which, of course, is nothing new.



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