Wednesday Odds and Ends

-Danny Trejo tells viewers to “#TakeBackTV” in a new campaign for Sling TV (video above).

-IPG’s network appears to be down today. Don’t panic!

-Droga5 London launched its first campaign for clothing brand Belstaff, entitled “Here Be Dragons.”

LBB’s Laura Swinton writes about the “meritocracy delusion that’s holding the industry back.”

-Rockport appointed Bushwick-based agency Madwell as its creative agency of record.

Circus Marketing welcomed Federico Durán as executive creative director of its Los Angeles office. 

-Branding and design firm Landor hired Michael Khoury as strategy director of its New York office. 

-VML launched a fellowship program to bring together its U.S. and China offices.

Books of The Times: Review: ‘The Art of Waiting,’ What to Expect When You’re Still Not Expecting

Belle Boggs’s thoughtful meditation on childlessness, childbearing and the agony in between is a personal tale and a dispeller of myths on infertility.

So You Sponsor Colin Kaepernick, Now What?

Meanwhile, an EA spokesman said it would update its recently released video game Madden 2017 with commentary from Brandon Gaudin and Charles Davis to acknowledge Mr. Kapernick’s action. When asked if EA would still include the QB in future commercials, the spokesman declined to comment.

“As far as Madden, that one is a little tricker,” Mr. Smith said. “They are probably discussing whether to drop him and I would say it is 50/50.”

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Swift Talks Gender Equality in ‘We Work Best Together’

Portland-based digital agency Swift released a self-promotional video discussing gender equality at the agency, entitled “We Work Best Together.”

The video touts the inclusive nature of the agency with testimonials from its employees. “A good idea can come from any person, which means that everyone deserves to be heard,” says one woman.”

“It just seems like a no-brainer,” says a male co-worker, laughing, “I don’t know, I mean, why would you ignore half?” Good question.

Another employee adds that she’s “worked on a lot of campaigns where I don’t think we would have gotten to the level of work that we got to if a woman’s voice hadn’t been taken into consideration.”

The point of the video is obvious from the start: Swift takes gender diversity seriously. In one testimonial, a woman remarks on how she’s never had anyone try to take credit for her ideas, as opposed to some of the horror stories she’s heard from friends at other agencies. Another employee sums it up succinctly, saying, “I walk into a room as a creative, not as a female creative.”

As it happens, Swift has the numbers to back up the claims: the agency, which was founded by two women, employs 60 percent women across the agency, 50 percent women in its creative department and, most strikingly, has 50 percent women in creative leadership positions.

While “We Work Best Together” is, of course, essentially an agency self-promotional video, it speaks to the wider gender equality issue in the ad industry with Swift holding itself up as an example of how agencies can move toward a more equitable model (while, it hopes, attracting some talent in the process).

This Playboy Model Had the Best Response After Her 'Vulgar' Lingerie Ad Was Banned

An ad for Playboy lingerie from Australian retailer Bras N Things has been deemed by the country’s ad watchdog to be too risqué to be shown on digital billboards. But the model in the spot has some choice words for critics who called the ad “vulgar” and likened it to “amateur porn.” 

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So You Sponsor Colin Kaepernick, Now What?

Meanwhile, an EA spokesman said it would update its recently released video game Madden 2017 with commentary from Brandon Gaudin and Charles Davis to acknowledge Mr. Kapernick’s action. When asked if EA would still include the QB in future commercials, the spokesman declined to comment.

“As far as Madden, that one is a little tricker,” Mr. Smith said. “They are probably discussing whether to drop him and I would say it is 50/50.”

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Secretive Rainbow Hairstyles – London's Not Another Salon Showcased Hidden Rainbow Hair on Instagram (GALLERY)

( Following exciting social posts featuring rainbow root hairstyles, hidden rainbow hair is the latest multi-hued look to come out of London. Located in the British capital in the heart of Brick Lane,…

Publicis Seattle Names Melissa Nelson as President

Publicis promoted Melissa Nelson to president of its Seattle office, Adweek reports.

In the newly-created position, Nelson will act as senior business lead for all accounts run out of the Seattle office, while reporting  directly to Publicis Worldwide North American CEO Andrew Bruce.

Nelson joined Publicis Seattle as executive vice president, managing partner last December and has led the agency’s T-Mobile account.

Melissa’s leadership on T-Mobile and her passion for their brand and business will be enriched in her new post,” Bruce said in a statement. “Additionally, now her expertise and leadership will extend to all clients and the talented individuals who fuel our agency here in Seattle.”

Before joining Publicis, Nelson spent a year with Droga5 New York as group account director on the Motorola account (which the agency resigned in May), following three years as group brand director with 72andSunny L.A. Before that she spent four years as an account director with Goodby Silverstein & Partners, working with brands such as HP, Target and Chevrolet.

“Diving into and leading the T-Mobile business has been a phenomenal experience. It is an amazing brand, with a really strong POV,” Nelson said. “T-Mobile is a brand, and business, which is pivotal not only to the Seattle marketplace, but to our agency. I am proud to continue to partner with T-Mobile and additionally, to now lead, grow and expand Publicis in Seattle.”

BBDO Veers Into Dark Fantasy for the Latest in AT&T’s ‘It Can Wait’ Campaign

Adweek responsive video player used on /video.

BBDO’s ongoing anti-texting and driving campaign for AT&T takes an even more tragically macabre turn in “The Unseen,” the latest chapter in the 6-year-old “It Can Wait” project.

At first, this one resembles past spots with a 40-something suburban family. In fact, the BBDO team seems to be leading us to think that it will end in a less devastating way than 2015’s “Close to Home.”

For one thing, Mr. Dad is the only one driving. And he’s very careful not to get distracted by his phone, even though past efforts have turned this work into the advertising equivalent of a horror movie that inspires a rush every time someone goes up the stairs to the attic … or, in this case, every time he gets a notification.

Things take a turn toward the surreal or even fantastic around the 1:45 mark as an unexpected character appears.

Damn. Like the star of this ad, we didn’t see that coming until it was too late. 

The release notes that this spot launched before the Labor Day weekend because it happens to be the most travel-heavy holiday in the United States, and “more cars on the road means there is more risk of accidents.”

Even more importantly, people like our protagonist are twice as likely to use their phones while driving if they happen to be alone in the car. 

This is a pretty big conceptual leap for AT&T that closely resembles a modern day Twilight Zone scenario. “Close to Home” director Frederic Planchon also helmed this spot, and they’re very stylistically similar, but the twist does make all the difference. We knew something was coming, but we really didn’t expect it to go all supernatural like that.

The narrative loses much of its power in the :30 version, which cuts out all the buildup and a good deal of context along with it.

A related blog post by AT&T senior EVP and global marketing officer Lori Lee notes that the campaign will also include print, radio, social and digital components and that the company will work with some behavioral economists to “uncover new insights and test them in field trials” in its effort to decrease texting-while-driving accidents.

Given the client’s recent decision to consolidate its business with Omnicom, we can expect a good bit more work on this account from BBDO moving forward as well.

Now, are we horrible people for hoping the dog found his way home?

Also, Brightcove is the absolute worst.


Agency: BBDO New York
Client: AT&T
Title: The Unseen

Chief Creative Officer, Worldwide: David Lubars
Chief Creative Officer, New York: Greg Hahn
Executive Creative Director: Matt MacDonald
Creative Director/Copywriter: Rick Williams
Creative Director/Art Director: Marcel Yunes

Director of Integrated Production: David Rolfe
Group Executive Producer: Julie Collins
Executive Producer: Dan Blaney

Managing Director: Mark Cadman
Senior Director: Mark Tillinghast
Account Director: Matt Mason
Account Manager: Johnny Wardell
Account Executive: Erin Sheehan

Planning Director: James Lou
Engagement Planning Director: Charles Baker
Senior Planner: Simonas Piepalius

Business Affairs Manager: Nancy Espinal

Production Company: Anonymous Content
Director: Frederic Planchon
Managing Director/EP: Eric Stern
Executive/Production: Sue Ellen Clair
Head of Production: Kerry Haynie
Producer: Erin Wile
Production Supervisor: Donald Cager
DP: Jody Lee Lipes

Editorial: WORK Editorial
Editor: Rich Orrick – RICH ORRICK
Executive Producer: Erica Thompson
Producer: Jamie Perritt
Assistant Editors: Christopher Fetsch/evelina gokinayeva

Visual Effects: The Mill
Shoot Supervisor: Gavin Wellsman

Colorist: Fergus McCall

2d Lead Artist : Krissy Nordella
2d Artist: Gavin Wellsman, Heather Kennedy, Alex Miller, Nicolette Picardo, Alex Wysota, Kevin Donahue
3d Artist: Sandor Toledo, Peter Karnik, Alex Allain
Design: Yuanbo Chen

Senior Producer: Nirad “Bugs” Russell
Executive Producer: Sean Costelloe

Mix studio: Heard City
Sound Mixer: Phil Loeb
Sound Designer: Brian Emrich
Music track: Villa Del Refugio
Music artist: This Will Destroy You

Legendary Hip Hop Apparel – Stereo Vinyls' Fall/Winter Collection Tributes the Wu-Tang Clan (GALLERY)

( In another series that commemorates some of pop culture’s biggest fads, Stereo Vinyls released its Fall/Winter 2016 line which incorporates both the Wu-Tang logo and some characters from The…

Nick Offerman and Michelle Obama Take You Through Six Decades of Exercise Fads

No single decade in recent memory has a monopoly on style. Or questionable exercise methods.

A new video, “The History of Exercise,” stars Nick Offerman and Michelle Obama looking back on past—and present—contraptions for working out, as a way to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition.

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Subaru: I'm sorry

Subaru: Take the Subaru

Why IBM Is Hiring Screenwriters

Give a man a fish, and he eats for a day. But teach a man to fish, and he’ll never go hungry, as the saying goes. Something similar can be said for storytelling. Try to hard-sell a product once, and maybe your prospect will bite. But tell him or her a compelling story about the product, and you’ll leave a lasting impression.

Any industry can — and many do — adopt storytelling as a content strategy, but the truth is that no two marketing leaders approach it in the same way. Here to give a behind-the-scenes look at IBM’s story shop is Maria Winans, CMO of IBM Commerce and, more recently, chief supervisor of storytelling.

The people

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Beyond ‘Wonka’: They Want Every Kid to Know Roald Dahl’s World

As the centennial of Mr. Dahl’s birth approaches, the estate of the “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” author is developing at least 23 projects based on his works.

Critic's Notebook: A Celebrity Z-List? Yes, It Exists

As the gossip machine continues to define celebrity downward, a striving celebrity underclass has risen to dominate it.

The Barbarian Group Co-Founder Tells Digiday the Agency Is ‘Literally Being Run into the Ground’

Today Shareen Pathak of Digiday ran a rather unflattering portrait of The Barbarian Group, taking a look inside its recent “meltdown.”

The Group has seen something of a leadership exodus in recent months, changing CEOs for the second time in less than a year last week. Back in December, Sophie Kelly left the agency to be replaced by Peter Kim, who has since been succeded by interim CEO Aaron Lau. In March, co-founder and chairman Benjamin Palmer left the agency after 14 years, with chief strategy officer Ian Daly part of a wave of executive departures two months later. Owner/CXO Keith Butters, CCO Edu Pou, head of talent/HR Michelle Prota and head of account management Sherri Chambers also left the agency in May

“The fact that it’s still around at all is a testament to its heritage, since right now it is literally being run into the ground,” Barbarian co-founder Rick Webb told Digiday. 

The publication pointed Barbarian’s relationship with Korean holding company Cheil Worldwide, “a company with a culture at odds with its own.” For example, one veteran of The Barbarian Group told us that Cheil didn’t want to pay full price for its in-house talent, especially on the technical side of things.

This party also pointed to clients not knowing quite what to make of the organization, saying, “We were in limbo between production shop and full-service agency. And while the middle was interesting, a lot of clients didn’t know how to engage.” At a certain point, Barbarian spent significant amounts of money pitching new business alongside more traditional shops — and this investment largely failed to pay off.

Agency veterans also claim that certain members of the leadership team “checked out” well ahead of Cheil firing Kelly.

“When they fired [Kelly], an account person, who personally owned the relationships with every major client, out of the blue without telling the clients in advance, the fate was sealed,” Webb told Digiday. “They’ve been play-acting since December, and they never had a chance.”

Lau, currently serving as interim CEO says finding permanent CEO for the agency is his next order of business. “I’m not here to change history,” he told the publication, “I’m here to shape the future.”

It would seem that certain media outlets also got a little overexcited about The SuperDesk, which would turn out to be a symbol of Barbarian’s ambitions despite the fact that — according to our sources, at least — most employees liked it.

CP+B, Domino’s Vets Launch New Boulder Shop ‘Work in Progress’

work in progress

Just over a month ago, we noted that 6 veterans of Crispin Porter + Bogusky’s Domino’s team had left that shop to launch their own operation.

This week, the new Boulder-based project from Matt TalbottAndrew Lincoln, Alex Guerri, Evan RussackStafford Bosak and Harold Jones went public with the help of “startup veteran” Pete Sheinbaum, who will lead business and legal after working with DailyCandy, Ello, HotelTonight and a bunch of others.

It’s called Work in Progress, and we got the press release! Here’s what we believe to be a mission statement:

“WorkInProgress is built on the belief that every company should view itself as a work in progress. And to do so, it must take action. The shop aims to help clients boldly act, innovate and create to prove what is at their core. Actions can take the form of a piece of technology, a stunt, a service, an event, an initiative, a promise, product improvements, new products and more.”

Both the release and the Work in Progress home page are very much focused on the Domino’s account, listing stock bumps, sales growth and revenue increases. One key line from the site reads: “Our philosophy and our team are responsible for Domino’s transformation since 2009, and the results that came with it.”

We hear that some may take issue with that statement, but the release notes a few specific CP+B projects including the 2010 Pizza Turnaround campaign, Emoji/Zero Click ordering and the delivery vehicle of the future. WIP’s homepage also notes other campaigns like’s Captain Obvious and the Kraft Mac & Cheese work.

Going back to the Lindsay Slaby report about the current and future state of agencies, it would seem that WIP is going all in on the tech solutions angle.

The release states, “The team believes that people should also view themselves as works in progress. Leaving the comfort of their jobs at CP+B was a difficult decision, one they felt was necessary for growth. They look forward to working with new companies and applying their philosophy across multiple industries and categories.”

Which companies would those be? The group is currently in New York City pitching some new business, but Guerri understandably declined to elaborate. He also didn’t tell us which clients Work in Progress claims at the moment, but we’ll find out soon enough.

Work in Progress is also currently hiring with some qualifiers:

“Inventors more than ad men and women. Problem solvers more than portfolio puffery pushers. No assholes. No egos. No hiding because you can’t do the job. No selfishness. No disrespecting people or their time.”

That would eliminate at least a few.

McCann's AI Creative Director Couldn't Top a Campaign By an Actual Human

A human just beat McCann Erickson Japan’s AI creative director in a challenge for the most effective campaign. Still, there’s bad news for creatives worried computers might one day replace them: The race was pretty close.

Back in June, the agency created two commercials for Mondelez brand Clorets Mint Tab and asked ordinary people to vote online on which one communicated the product message better.

One ad was dreamed up by Mitsuru Kuramoto, a creative director who is also a TV writer. The other was suggested by AI-CD , a project conceived by millennials who work at the agency. The human won 54%-46%.

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CBS Adds Commercial-Free Option to OTT Service

CBS is introducing a commercial-free option for its direct-to-consumer service.

For $9.99 a month, CBS All Access subscribers will be able to watch on-demand content sans commercials. It’s live programming will still include advertising.

The new tier will give subscribers access to CBS’s library of 7,500 episodes, including full seasons of primetime shows like “Blue Bloods,” “Madam Secretary” and “The Odd Couple,” as well as other late-night, daytime and news programming, without commercials.

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