Friday, January 18, 2008

Biegel vs. Dentsu coverage continues to perplex

Ever since the phrase "Czech brothel" has become, in the ad industry, synonymous with a certain ad agency, I've been perplexed about the, um, variations in coverage of Steve Biegel vs. Dentsu, and today's developments have me scratching my head again. Last week, Adweek covered the presiding judge in the case's decision not to dismiss the case by back-burnering that issue—which seemingly would be a mark in the loss column for Dentsu—and stressing that Biegel had to provide more information to the judge. Now, Biegel met Thursday's deadline for providing additional information, and Adweek hasn't covered it at all, while Ad Age has. Maybe there's some reason I'm not seeing for Adweek not to make it a priority, I dunno. But if a publication is going to build a story aroiund a judge's request that a plaintiff provide more evidence for a case, you'd think it would be obligated to follow up when that plaintiff delivers said evidence.

Official 'save the red wig' logo

OK, everyone. Clearly this whole thing about saving Wendy's' red wig campaign needs a logo. And, thanks to Gerry Graf's imminent switch to Saatchi & Saatchi, it was obvious what it should be. (If you don't know who is wearing the wig, then, congratulations. You obviously have a life.)

Is Oreo ad a slam dunk (in milk) or a miss?

So gang, what are we thinking about this new Oreo campaign featuring Eli and Peyton Manning? I think it launched on "American Idol" this week. It centers around a new sports league, the DSRL, or Double Stuf Racling League. Yes, folks, it appears to celebrate binge eating. Seems a little overwrought, although that works fairly well when it comes to the DRSL theme song.

No more McDonald's for you, "A" student

In we-totally-could-have-predicted-that news, McDonald's has stopped advertising on the envelopes of the kiddies' report cards. The promotion got a lot more buzz—negative buzz—than its actual reach; it was limited to Seminole County, Florida, but made huge headlines back last year because it was, well, so crass. Back at headquarters, it's probably pretty hard to keep track of all of the promotions created by all of the franchisees, but still amazed it took a few months for this thing to be scuttled. No mention I could find of the kerfuffle on McDonald's corporate responsibility blog.

More of the new 'Adweek' campaign

Here's the next execution in the Adweek re-launch campaign. Still wish these things would link to a jump page. I'm such a curmudgeon. And on a Friday no less.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Mac vs. PC vs. boring banner ads

Yeah, I cribbed this from my friends at AdFreak, but what the hell. You should get yourself over to as quickly as possible to see this baby. It's not only a great extension of a TV campaign, it actually does something interesting with a Web ad for once.

Franken's 4th grade teacher big supporter

Here's one of Al Franken's first two spots for his Senate run in Minnesota. It features his fourth grade teacher, who could make a decent character actress ... playing fourth grade school teachers. The commercial employs a light touch, but it's not exactly funny. This is serious business, folks. UPDATE: I originally had the wrong video posted here. Al Franken's fourth grader does not, from what I know, kiss stuffed beagles. The woman who does is below.

Does anyone wanna see this marriage proposal?

YouTube is featuring this 1-800-FLOWERS sample engagement video on its site this morning, to entice people to enter its contest to find "the most intriguing marriage proposal." Don't know if this was done by an agency or in-house but can't believe the powers-that-be found this particular bit of vid worthy of putting on the YouTube home page. A middle-aged woman practicing her proposal on a big, stuffed beagle? Sheesh. There are a few other samples here.

New Marines spot, in long form

Someone sent me the long version of this new spot for the U.S. Marines through a Facebook app that lets you more easily share YouTube videos. Viral, baby, viral! It's a 90-second paean to the Marines and "purple mountain majesty above the fruited plain." Whatever your politics, it's very well done. From JWT, I believe.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Hyundai gets cold feet about Super Bowl

Now here's something you don't see very often: an advertiser threatening, only weeks before game time, to pull out of the Super Bowl. Automotive News, via Ad Age, is reporting that Hyundai is considering pulling out of the game, citing the economy as the reason. The company had bought two spots which, given pre-game hype about how expensive the game is, should be costing them about $5.4 million. So is Hyundai overthinking everything by threatening to pull out? You'd have to wonder. Unless they've bought "American Idol" and whatever else new programming we'll see in the next few months, where else are they going to get a big, impassioned audience in the near-term? I don't know, unless the writers' strike ends miraculously tomorrow. UPDATE: The client changed its mind.

Agencies, time to change your business model

I've been waiting a long time for the underlying business model problems of the traditional agency structure to come home to roost, and it looks like they are. The always astute Dave Morgan yesterday said at an investment conference that people who deal in television are overpaid while online people are underpaid. No news there, but people seldom come out and say it. Couple this with last week's news that Ogilvy not only laid off people but was restructuring to deal with the changing agency business, and you've just about got yourself a trend.

What the hell is Chilondonoscow?

Maybe I'm just dense, but as I see more and more of these AT&T billboards, I'm discovering that much of the time, I'm not sure what places they're talking about. I wish they'd just give us a teensy-weensy clue at the bottom. The one above, for instance, I kept thinking had something to do with Chile. (As I said, maybe I'm just dense. Kinda missed the word London.) But the real point here isn't my own lack of brain cells--it's that it distracts people from the ad's message if people are scratching their head over it. Picture via SA_Steve on Flickr.

Even I love the MacBook Air

I'm not part of the Mac cult, but the MacBook Air. Cool. The commercial above, like the early demo ads for the iPhone, doesn't have to do much but show the product, which, as you'll can see, fits into an interoffice envelope. Does anyone even use interoffice envelopes anymore?

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

TBWA's Gerry Graf to Saatchi, per 'Adweek'

So, just got an email alert from Adweek that TBWA/Chiat/Day's Gerry Graf is going to Saatchi, presumably to replace Tony Granger who is hanging out on a beach somewhere until he can go to Young & Rubicam. (But who would want to, I ask?) We all know this is a major coup. My personal plea to Gerry is this: find a way to save the red wig. It's been really good for my traffic. Congrats to Adweek's Andy McMains for being first on the case. Above, a short-haired Gerry Graf which I cribbed from the Creativity Online Web site video retrospective of Gerry. Did you know that Gerry once posted the Donny Deutsch Speedo shots at a place called Grady's Corner in the office? The things you learn when you're trolling for screen grabs (his confession is in Episode #6).

Not fallin' for Crispin's Domino's work

I really didn't wake up this morning thinking, "Why don't I dump on Crispin today?" No. I woke up thinking, "How do I get out of jury duty today?" But now that I'm out of jury duty, I've been taking a look at these Domino's Pizza commercials from Crispin, and I'm afraid ... Well, let's put it this way: these won't do much to dissuade the Crispin haters that the agency isn't overrated. The one above contains lame, same-sex sexual innuendo. As for this one, it contains even lamer opposite- sex sexual innuendo. Bring back Oreo Pizza Moustache Man!

Who are the 2nd thru 10th most overrated agencies of them all?

First off, jury duty is over. Hallelujah!

OK, so by now most of you know that Crispin, Porter + Bogusky was voted the most overrated agency in the land by all those who responded to Adweek's weekly online poll, winning by a landslide with 29 percent of the vote. I won't be making any judgments on whether this is just another example of the Crispin haters stuffing the ballot box because they're just so freakin' jealous that they didn't think of the Whopper Freakout, and they're not creative enough to get back at the agency any other way. No, I won't pass judgment, but, let's face it, Crispin was such an obvious winner in this poll, that it's actually more, um, illuminating to see how the other agencies in the poll fared. Here's the rest of the list, which is only in the print version of Adweek:

2. Droga5: 16%
3. StrawberryFrog: 15%
4. BBDO: 9%
5. Anomaly: 8%
6. TBWA/Chiat/Day: 6%
7. RGA: 5%
8. Naked: 5%
9. Goodby, Silverstein & Partners: 4%
10. Wieden + Kennedy: 4%

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Adverganza's (truncated) Monday morning picks, 01.14.08

Wherein I scan as many Monday morning headlines as I can on Sunday night so you don't have to. What do I mean by that? Oh, yeah. Well, I've been called to jury duty at 8:30 a.m. in the Southern District of New York. Pray that my extensive coverage of the Biegel vs. Dentsu trial, which is being handled by the same court, results in my ass getting kicked back to the home office as soon as possible. Since Advertising Age is the only ad pub with new content up as I write this, that's what you're gettin'.

From Ad Age:

—What major advertising eggheads think would happen to the biz in a recession.
—Screw engagement. It's reach, stupid.
Is the red-head dead? Quick, guess the client.
—Ogilvy shifts into "permanent beta."
—The dawn of McBucks? StarDonald's? Er, whatever.
—Whopper Freakout results in freakishly high recall.
—Bob Garfield gives one half of a star to allegedly provocative Equinox campaign from Fallon.

More to come, if the judge thinks I'm not worthy ...

OK, for today the judge didn't think I was worthy, so here's the rest.

From Adweek:

—Happy New Year! Almost half of CMOs plan to fire at least one of their agencies in the next year, per the CMO Council.
—Audi will use scenes from "The Godfather" in its Super Bowl ad. Why? To prove that the head of a horse will fit in the trunk?
—Just what you always wanted ... customized ads beamed to you in the grocery store. Thanks, Microsoft.
—If you read this story about BP, you'll find out what greenwashing is.
—Is Interpublic's lo, lo stock price making it vulnerable to takeover?
—How much the writers' strike is costing the media.
Barbara Lippert likes The Lynx Effect.

From Mediapost:

A Hummer that runs on ethanol, and other news from GM at the North American International Auto Show.
Coke's plans for the Super Bowl and 'American Idol.'
—C3 prepares to go local.
—Leno still wins, even without writers.
—Will BofA's purchase of Countrywide kill its "ad gravy train"?

From The New York Post:

—Why BofA should dump the Countrywide brand.

From The New York Times:

—People having fun dumping on Gawker.
—The new, maybe improved, Yahoo!
—U.S. cities try to lure foreigners.

From The Wall Street Journal:

—News alert! Advertisers using online networks as focus groups.

What we're hearing from The Delaney Report:

—Is BBDO vulnerable on Chrysler?
—Will Heineken be looking for a shop to handle its Mexican beers?

OK, gang. I'll be on the 7:59 in the morning to report back to jury duty. I'll try to post if it's possible. Sorry to disappoint, if I don't.