Thursday, May 22, 2008

Nike comes back to its marriage with Wieden

George Parker actually got credit over at the Adweek site for breaking the news yesterday that Nike has dropped Crispin, Porter + Bogusky from its roster. Good for my drinking buddy! As for Nike's decision, in hindisght, it kind of looked inevitable. For one, throughout its flirtation with Crispin, Nike has seemed like the husband who leaves his wife for another woman. Eventually, it found how good it used to have it in the first place. And then there's the work. Probably the best known thing that Crispin did for Nike was the spot above, and while certainly above average, it wasn't particularly special and inspired, either. It didn't have that hard-to-describe sensibility that makes Nike advertising what it is. Could have just as easily been created for New Balance or Adidas. Wieden + Kennedy doesn't have a lock on that sensibility, as the new Guy Ritchie film from 72andSunny demonstrates, but the agency gets something about Nike that you can only understand if you've worked with the client for decades. I hope that what Wieden has learned from this is that digital should now be a core expertise for all agencies. As you might recall, the shop's relative lack of interactive cred was what supposedly sent the business to Crispin in the first place. Good for you, Wieden. With that, have a great Memorial Day weekend all.

The Davids as guitar heroes

Had no idea when I woke up this morning that I'd spend part of the day on a "Guitar Hero" blogging jag. Never even played it. Weird. Anyway, just noticed this "Risky Business" spoof starring American Idol winner David Cook. Didn't watch the show much this year. Assume this appeared during the show. Another one, featuring that other David dude is here.

Danica Patrick's alternative homemaker universe

Pretty amusing video at this URL to support Danica Patrick's Motorola sponsorship, of course timed to this weekend's Indy 500. Premise is that instead of being a race car driver, she has a home show a la Martha Stewart. Of course, as the picture at right shows, her ideas are a little off-base. Much better than that GoDaddy stuff she does. Via Ogilvy.

Coming soon ... Guitar Hero 4

Posting this mostly because it exists. New "Guitar Hero" channel on Y'Tube.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Social Media Insider ponders the Plaxo-Comcast deal

In case you missed it, Plaxo agreed to be acquired by Comcast yesterday. Before you keep scratching your head, go read my Social Media Insider column over at Mediapost. Makes more sense to me now, too.

Good God! Not Agency 3.0!

So, a couple of my friends on Twitter were going on this morning about an agency that plans to call itself Agency 3.0 and is underwritten by the William Morris Agency. For some great press release gobbledy-gook, read on: "The new agency combines WMA’s deep entertainment expertise with the award-winning creativity and experience of the founding team to assist clients in designing, implementing and monetizing their digital media strategies. One part digital technology leader, one part next generation marketing agency, one part strategic content developer, Agency 3.0 is designed to go beyond the scope of traditional agencies by serving clients in this new world of mobility, convergence and digital entertainment." Wondering if we could add "one part bullshit" into that sentence and whether anyone would notice. Anyway, the new shop's founder is Peter Adderton, who looks like a Ford model, but apparently led the bankrupt Amp'd Mobile and Boost Mobile. Now, about this name, Agency 3.0, do you think the blogosphere can kill it the way it seems to have hobbled Synarchy? The name Agency 3.0 just reeks of hubris, although, happily, there's no connection to Nazis! Just to hedge his bets, Ian Schafer, CEO of Deep Focus, went out this morning and bought the URL Good one, Ian. LOL. UPDATE: So, for the record, Greg Johnson, a former Digitas and IPG Emerging Media Lab exec who will also be part of the agency, says Agency 3.0 is a "working title." I'm just telling you what I read in Adweek.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Uniqlock has me in trance

So, I'm sitting here watching the winner of the Grand Clio in interactive (which isn't particularly interactive). It's this wacky Uniqlock site; my husband is watching, "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance?" which makes the whole thing seem even stranger. To watch, go here then, stare at the computer screen. You won't need drugs after this, promise. If you're not in a trance already, go read Barbara Lippert's critique.

ID theft guru gets identity stolen, a lot

Ever see those ads where that guy said he was so confident of his company, LifeLock, that he actually ran his Social Security number in the ads? Whoops. Turns out it might not be that great a product. Richard Todd Davis, the company CEO, has had his identity stolen 20 times, according to class action suit followed in South Carolina. It also says that LifeLock doesn't provide nearly the degree of protection that the commercials say it does. Oh, for Davis' Social Security number, just watch the commercial above.

Ed Meyer, Yahoo director?

Either I haven't been paying attention, or none of us have, because I just noticed that Ed Meyer is listed as one of Carl Icahn's prospective board members of Yahoo. Ed Meyer, as in the head of Grey for six gazillion years (OK, it was really 36 years). Interesting that this part of the Yahoo battle sort of pits former MacManus Group chief Roy Bostock (Yahoo's chairman), against the former head of Grey. And you thought this was all about Carl Icahn vs. Jerry Yang. In other news, allegedly Microsoft has offered to buy Yahoo's search business and take a minority a stake in the company. Makes sense to me.

Does Benzo have another idea?

So, I just checked out this Levi's viral clip, "Jumpin' In," shot by Benzo, and it's actually astonishing to see how much it copies his earlier YouTube hit, also created with Cutwater, "Guy Catches Glasses with Face." Exact same concept, similar quirky, happy-go-lucky music, similar somewhere-in-California-locale. So what if in one a guy is catching Ray-Bans on his face and in the other a few guys are jumping into a pair of jeans? I was having a flashback the entire time I watched it. Yeah, I know it's got more than 3 million YouTube views, but I'm not impressed Take a look.

The story behind Twitter's Steve Colbert

Last week, I received an email saying that StephenTColbert was following me on Twitter. Following being the sincerest form of social media flattery, I followed him back. Of course, I was not alone. Colbert was following 10,000 people and being followed by about 5,000. But was Colbert real? I did wonder. Not that I pictured him tweeting away all day, but figured that it was possible that Comedy Central had embarked on some Twitter-based promotional campaign. And some of the tweets certainly sounded legit: "Like any good newsman, I believe that if you're not scared, I'm not doing my job." "Move over Oprah, tonight every member of the Colbert Nation receives a priceless gift... the Truth." Credible enough. Comedy Central issued a denial, but was that just part of the joke? Then, last night, this: "Question to Twitter: Shall I continue this farce or retire the account?" OK, so it wasn't Steve Colbert. Whoever did impersonate Colbert, posted a lengthy explanation here. including how the post from one believer, titled, "Stephen Colbert watches Diggnation!” made it to Digg's front page. The fake Colbert has symbolically handed the account over to the real one. Would be cool, if he, or some other worthy personality actually did use Twitter, but not sure we're there yet.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Tangerine Toad revealed, doesn't have orange skin

Some of us have been watching Tangerine Toad do a slow reveal over the last few months. First there was his picture on Twitter, which started as a Toad and then was a toad with a superimposed headshot on it, and then just his headshot. Later, came a first name, Alan, and then last week, when he posted a link to a 1989 New York Times article in which he was quoted, a first and last name, Alan Wolk. (Turns out we overlapped at JWT for an entire month back then.) Now there's nothing left in his closet. Alan has done a good interview over at AgencySpy. Until recently, he worked at DraftFCB. Thanks for outing yourself, Alan.

The wrath of Cannes ... or Cannes goes Coney Island

Last year, New York shop I've never heard of Woods Witt Dealy & Sons launched the Wrath of Cannes, staging most of its site, such as the hilarious video above, on Coney Island. This year, the agency is holding an actual awards show on June 19, at Cha Cha's Club Atlantis on Coney Island. Enjoy, and watch the video if you never have before.

Adverganza's Monday morning picks, 05.20.08

Wherein I scan the Monday morning headlines so you don't have to. (I'm doing a shortened version today because of deadlines. Maybe I'll make it complete later in the day. Sorry!):

From Advertising Age:

Do CPG companies lie when they say they're going to slash-and-burn their upfront budgets?
—This upfront could get ugly.
WalMart discovers tacos.
JetBlue looks to hire a crisis communications agency. It's about damn time.
—Nutrasweet becomes a tabletop sweetener.
—Looks like that annoying blogosphere doesn't like the name Synarchy for WPP's Dell-only agency. I can't imagine why.
Is the personal care trend over?
—Bob Garfield gives 3 1/2 stars to this Canon commercial from Grey.

From Adweek:

—Forget about Yahoo for a minute; Microsoft's efforts in surface computing.
—The ad model for social media isn't figured out yet.
Halo 3 campaign wins big at the Clios.
Microsoft, Yahoo start to talk again.
A closer look at VW's Max campaign. The non-TV part.
Benjamin Palmer's down on branded content.
—Barry Wacksman asks that "media" be divorced from "emerging."
—Levi's viral campaign, "Jumpin' In" takes off.

From The New York Times:

—More on Microsoft's re-pursuit of Yahoo.
—Is there a slowdown in online display ads?
—America imports more overseas TV series.

From The Wall Street Journal:

—Yeah, more Microsoft/Yahoo. Free.
News Corp.'s new ad network. Subscription required.
Close-up on Starbucks' Howard Schultz. Subscription required.

More to come ...