• An Ad For Advertising

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    Design Taxi writes about a new broadcast spot via DDB Asia Pacific that is part homage to the ad business, part plea to the world (but mostly to clients) to remember the importance of creativity in marketing.

    It makes a good case, but also raises the question, is the state of the ad industry such that we need to be hard-shilling our own product? And the use of so many iconic ads in the spot is nice to watch, but the lack of much contemporary work makes it seem a little like the movie business promoting itself by talking about how great silent films were.

    Here’s the story:

    A Call To Value Creativity Pays Homage To The Creative Communications Industry

    By Valerie Chang, 18 Jul 2014

    In a recently released PSA produced by DDB Group Asia Pacific’s Regional Creative Director Andy Fackrell, the video pays tribute to the creative communications industry.

    Featuring more than 30 advertising campaigns in the two-minute short, it seeks to be the mouthpiece in defense for the industry, highlighting the issue of diminishing value placed on creativity and the ideas churned out.

    The video ends with a thought-provoking sentiment: “Creativity takes time. The best solution is never the first one, the obvious one, but the beautiful ones. They just look that way in hindsight.”

    “We are not machines that churn out five-minute headlines on top of Getty stock. It’s about life experiences resulting in an idea you’d never have thought of, yet totally wished you had.”

  • Can Nudity Revive the Flash Mob?

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    Let's hope not. But then there's this story from our partner The Denver Egotist about a new flash mob music video produced to promote the new VH1 series "Dating Naked." Wait, what? That's a thing?

    VH1 Dances Naked in the L.A. Streets

    Created by agency Mistress in collaboration with VH1, this video — featuring actual footage of naked couples taking downtown Los Angeles by storm in celebration of National Nude Day (July 14) — is inspired by the network's new series, “Dating Naked.” Dating Naked explores the question: would finding love be easier if you truly had nothing to hide? To answer this question, 60 participants will search for romance free of pre-conceived notions, stereotypes — and clothes.

    The piece was directed by up-and-coming sensation Ellis Bahl, whose music videos have won UK MVA and SXSW honors, and it is choreographed by Mimi Karsh, a.k.a. “triple threat,” a Latin dancer, singer and actress. We may have to tune in for this one.

    See the original story at http://www.thedenveregotist.com/news/national/2014/july/16/vh1-dances-na...

  • Want To Know Who Will Win the World Cup? Ask Sanders\Wingo

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    What started as a fun way to justify getting foosball tables for the office has turned into the most accurate World Cup prediction in the world.

    The Sanders\Wingo Super Official World Cup Predictor is currently ahead of Nate Silver (!), Bloomberg and Goldman Sachs in predicting World Cup results. Why is that news? The SOWCP was actually just an agency foosball tournament. Employees were assigned countries based on foos skill, and they played out the World Cup themselves.

    Only now, in a David vs Goliath upset, S\W predictions are beating out the biggest names in analytics.

    Through 40 games, S\W has called 26 correctly. Stats wunderkind Nate Silver is at 24, Bloomberg at 17 and Goldman Sachs is at 15.

    So yeah, an Austin ad agency foosball tournament is currently the most accurate World Cup prediction around. Go figure.

    Keeping up their winning predictions is about to get tough. S\W's soothsaying predicts a final of Columbia vs. Uruguay. But without their back-biting superstar Luis Suarez, Uruguay isn't as attractive a pick as they were just yesterday.

    They have a dedicated Twitter feed: https://twitter.com/SOWCP
    and website: www.superofficialworldcuppredictor.com if you want to know more.

  • Stephen Merchant ponders, what if Britain had won the War of Independence...?

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    As part of its No Bollocks campaign, Droga5 and Newcastle Brown have created a series of films that lead up to Independence Day in the US - and a bit before that, Independence Eve. This is the new holiday they want to introduce where we can all celebrate the country the US could have become if they hadn't spoilt everything by gaining independence 300 years ago. Stephen Merchant tells it like it is - or rather, like it could have been.

    The US would be called "Great Britain 2. Back 2 Da Monarchy." They've thought about this in great depth:

    See more at IfWeWon.com >

  • GSD&M Brings Home Gold From Cannes

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    Austin agency GSD&M is prepping a place on their trophy shelf for some significant new arrivals: four awards from the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, more commonly known as the Cannes Lions or, among the ad crowd, simply “Cannes.”

    GSD&M came home from the festival with a coveted Gold Lion for its work for the U.S. Air Force for a digital campaign called The Collaboratory, an online recruiting program that allows users to help tackle some of the Air Force’s technological challenges, with the chance that the proposed solutions could become prototypes for potential real-world use.

    The Gold Lion came in Cannes’ Cyber category, in the sub-group Social – Community Building and Management. GSD&M and the Air Force won an additional two Silver Lions for The Collaboratory, also in the Cyber category.

    But wait, there's more. GSD&M was awarded a Bronze Lion for client Radio Shack, part of its “Goodbye ‘80s” campaign, which also included a much lauded Super Bowl TV spot. Radio Shack’s Lion also came in the Cyber category, for Social – Influencer/Celebrity/Blogger Outreach.

    In an industry that may give itself more awards than any other, Cannes is one that is still highly respected by both agencies and clients.

    Held each summer in the southern French beach resort that is even better known for the similarly-named cinema awards, Cannes Lions are the most coveted advertising hardware in the world. Winning one is seen as the ne plus ultra of creative achievement for an agency, not to mention a career boost for the individuals involved.

    More than just the beauty pageant that many awards shows have become, Cannes has evolved beyond a showcase of great work. In addition to attracting a who’s who on the agency side, Cannes also attracts a large number of influential marketers, and seminars and programs aimed at discussing the future of the industry have become almost as newsworthy as the awards themselves.

    Still, it’s the awards that people come for. Well, that and the good food, legendary drinking scene and over-the-top parties throw by the big agencies and holding companies. By day though it’s the most competitive of all advertising awards shows, with thousands of entries from all over the world. To even make the short-list, not to mention winning one of the Grand Prix, Gold, Silver or Bronze Lions, is a considerable achievement. It’s also as close to the Academy Awards – in prestige, pomp, ceremony and pretentiousness, as advertising gets.

    “Winning Lions at Cannes is the ultimate achievement for creativity—it’s global talent playing at the highest level, so it’s difficult and meaningful to win. And our wins are not only big for GSD&M, they’re also a testament to the creative hotbed Austin has become,” said Jay Russell, chief creative officer of GSD&M, who was on hand in France to accept the awards.

    This year, Cannes gave out 19 Grand Prix awards – the festival’s highest honor, plus 287 Gold Lions in 19 different categories. Each category has a number of sub-categories. Silver and Bronze Lions are awarded in each category as well.

    While U.S. agencies have a big presence at Cannes, it truly is a global show. 22 U.S. agencies won Lions this year, including two Grand Prix and 47 Gold Lions. The remaining Gold Lions are now scattered around the globe, in every continent except Antarctica.

    The most awarded US agency isn’t actually an ad agency at all. CAA Marketing, an arm of the LA-based talent agency, came home with two Grand Prix and eight Gold Lions for their Scarecrow campaign for client Chipotle. It was the overall best awarded campaign at Cannes this year.

    These latest awards are GSD&M’s first Lions since 2004. LatinWorks, the Austin multicultural agency, won Lions in 2007, 2011 and 2012. LatinWorks and GSD&M are both owned by agency holding company Omnicom. In addition to those two agencies, Austin boasts a number of other Lion holders, including former adman turned tortilla impresario Doug Lyon, freelancers Tom Campion, Rich Tlapek and Jeremy Postaer and eight-time winner Joel Clement of McGarrah Jessee.

    See GSD&M’s winning work here: https://collaboratory.airforce.com/
    And all of the winning work, plus more, here: http://www.canneslions.com/

  • R/GA Staffs Up Austin Office

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    Local Staff Grows to 30

    R/GA has added Jennifer Mollo to their growing Austin staff. Mollo takes on the role of group account director, leading clients Fossil and Royal Caribbean as well as working on new business development in the southwest region. She will report to Seth Solomons, vice president/chief global client services officer and managing director in R/GA’s New York home office.

    “Jennifer is just the type of leader we need in Austin,” said Solomons. “She brings Client and Agency experience and a positive attitude that will make her a great asset for our expanding Austin office.”

    Mollo comes to the pioneering digital ad agency from Dell, where she managed their global agency partners across their consumer, SMB and Large Enterprise business units.

    Prior to Dell, Jennifer held the role of senior vice president/director of client services at T3, where she managed clients including UPS, Dell, JCPenney, and Universal. She was also a member of the agency’s senior leadership team and helped grow new business in T3’s New York and San Francisco offices in addition to its Austin headquarters.

    The New York native and graduate of Connecticut’s Sacred Heart University Mollo also previously held client-side marketing posts at Starwood Hotels & Resorts and MasterCard.

    R/GA was founded by brothers Richard and Robert (Bob) Greenberg in 1977. It as originally started as a design company that focused on motion graphics, live-action film, and video production, with a particular talent for creating movie trailers, titles and special effects, even earning an Academy Award for technical achievement in 1986. In the 1990s, as the Internet was emerging as a powerful marketing force, R/GA embraced the future and evolved into a full-service digital agency, a move most major agencies wouldn’t consider for nearly a decade.

    Purchased by the Interpublic Group of Companies (IPG) in 2001, R/GA currently has 1,400 employees in 14 offices around the world, including New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, London, São Paulo, Buenos Aires, Singapore, Sydney, Stockholm and Bucharest. Current clients include Nike, Microsoft, Johnson & Johnson, Red Bull and Nokia.

  • With all this tech about, is the big idea 'no idea'? Aussie CDs discuss. *May contain irony.

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    Are we thinking stuff through too much? What if we just chucked a load of tech together and let the public pick the bones out of it. And besides, there's just no room for an idea in amongst the live-streaming 3D-printed QR codes being delivered by a quad-copter.

    Starring a galaxy of creative stars from Down Under, this is of course a spoof that sets the stage for the Creative Fuel event in Sydnay at the end of July.

    The point is valid though. Increasingly tech can come first and the idea a distant second - if at all. It's a watchout for everyone: yes, technology can augment an idea but not replace it. Ideally it's invisible, working bits magic behind the scenes, letting the big thought land without interference or hoop-jumping.

    Find out more about the Creative Fuel event >

  • Advertising Loses a Good One

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    The advertising community, in Austin and elsewhere, lost a good friend and talented member of the family this week. Longtime GSD&M producer Jeffrey Johnson − “JJ” to his many, many friends − lost a valiant battle with cancer on Sunday.

    It sounds cliché, but JJ was truly one of the good guys in advertising. In an industry where cynicism is such a common characteristic, JJ was regarded as one of the most kind, big-hearted people in the business. Even when he was facing as tough a fight as anyone can face, he never lost his faith or his contagious optimism. JJ never wanted to talk about how he was doing; he was much more interested in talking about how you were doing.

    Here’s a nice piece about JJ from SHOOT:

    Industry Mourns GSD&M’s Jeff Johnson

    Jeff Johnson, a beloved figure at GSD&M who moved up the ranks to become the agency’s VP, executive producer, passed away on Sunday, June 1, after a courageous battle against cancer. He was 49.

    Born in Omaha, Nebraska, in 1965, “J.J.,” as he was affectionately known, graduated from Texas State University and found his way to GSD&M when the agency was still just 18 years young.

    He began as many did back then, as an intern, and doing stints in other departments before finding his way to the broadcast group in 1990. From there, he quickly moved up the ranks, first as coordinator, then as producer from 1993 to 2003, then as senior producer. In 2006, J.J. became an executive producer and was made an officer of the agency in 2008 as VP/executive producer. Along the way, he received many of the professional accolades you would dream about on a career path like this, including a couple of Cannes Lions, recognition from Art Directors Club, numerous nods from Communication Arts and a slew of others.

    Yet, for all of the titles, honors and awards that came his way, J.J.’s most significant triumphs occurred outside the world of advertising.

    He will always be remembered for being the proudest dad possible to his daughter, Jonah, and for being a soft-spoken, gentle-hearted soul who had almost as much passion for off-road mountain biking, motorcycles and fast cars as he did his devout faith that kept him grounded in all he did. His faith and relationship with God was as simple as it was profound. J.J. understood himself as a creation of God, and he saw all of us as equal creations. He truly lived his life in awe, seeing God everywhere he went. So many of his colleagues were blessed by his love, perspective, wisdom and friendship.

    J.J. eloquently summed up his life one day, observing, “I’ve discovered that, big picture, a blessed life doesn’t involve things and money. A blessed life is having children who love you and friends and family who truly care and are there for you when you need them. I have a very blessed life.”

    J.J.’s Austin community came together for a group hug on Monday morning. After many tears and not nearly enough stories, they promised a more fitting, more raucous, more J.J.-esque party to be held in the coming weeks.

    See the original story here: https://www.shootonline.com/news/industry-mourns-gsdm’s-jeff-johnson

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