ANA Officially Pissed at Facebook, Calls for an Audit

The ANA may not agree with the 4A’s on media transparency measures, but pretty much everyone in the ad industry is united in being super pissed at Mark Zuckerberg right now.

Today ANA president and CEO Bob Liodice called for an audit of the social network in a post on the organization’s blog related to the inflated video viewership numbers story broken by the Wall Street Journal.

He calls that the report “troubling” in the post: “While ANA recognizes that ‘mistakes do happen,’ we also recognize that Facebook has not yet achieved the level of measurement transparency that marketers need and require.”

On the call for an audit:

“Specifically, Facebook metrics are not accredited by the Media Rating Council (MRC); accordingly an audit of Facebook metrics has not been completed. With more than $6 billion of marketers’ media being directed to Facebook, we believe that it is time for them – and other such major media players – to be audited and accredited. That is the standard of accepted practice that marketers and agencies have relied on for decades.”

Liodice essentially calls for Facebook to be judged by the same standards as every other media company without specifying as to how, exactly, the ad industry will make that happen.

Facebook is using Advertising Week as an “apology tour” or damage control exercise, and one of the key takeaways is that Sheryl Sandberg and others have “downplayed the significance of the error” while suggesting that maybe the ad industry needs to do a better job with its own metrics. At an event this week, Sandberg said, “There is very universal agreement that the industry needs to evolve to metrics that matter.”

Liodice’s blog post concludes, “ANA does not believe there are any pragmatic reasons that a media company should not abide by the standards of accreditation and auditing.” But Facebook has the power in this relationship, and you don’t.

A Facebook spokesperson issued the following statement after the ANA post went live:

“We are currently in dialogue with the ANA about how we can work more closely together. Trust and transparency with our partners are paramount to the operation of our company. Our focus has always been on driving business results for our clients, and we strongly believe in third-party verification. We have a history of working with industry leaders including Nielsen, Moat, and comScore – and we continue to explore more partnerships.”

To make a completely inappropriate comparison, the company is a bit like Donald Trump. Why should they release their data just because everyone else has done it since forever, especially when no one cares?

A vast majority of relevant parties do care, but you can come up with statistics to prove anything, Kent. Forty percent of all people know that.

TBWAMAL Channels Lamorisse’s ‘The Red Balloon’ in New iPhone 7 Ad

Remember The Red Baloon? The 1956 short by French director Albert Lamorisse has become something of a childhood staple and the film, which won both an Oscar for best original screenplay and a Palme d’Or, is generally remembered fondly by kids and film students everywhere.

TBWAMedia Arts Lab seems to have looked to the film for inspiration (we’re not the only ones to make the comparison) in its new spot promoting the iPhone 7’s new expressive messages capability, allowing users to send animated messages including, yep, balloons.

The spot opens on a solitary red balloon, which floats out a window, across mountains and forests to the city. There it is met by a swarm of balloons of all different colors before reaching its ultimate destination.

That description probably sounds pretty familiar if you’re acquainted with the aforementioned Albert Lamorisse film, but the 60-second spot comes across as an homage rather than a mere rip-off. Its cinematic scenes are well constructed and ultimately in service of a message that is well tied to a feature of the product. If it takes “Baloons” awhile to get to the point, its eye candy should entice viewers enough to get them there.

The spot is the latest in the brand’s “Practically Magic” campaign for the new iPhone, which launched earlier this month with TBWAMAL’s “Midnight” and the in-house effort “Morning Ride.”

This isn’t the first ad to focus on a red balloon, though the homage in W+K’s 2014 animated Coca-Cola spot was a little less direct.

Thursday Odds and Ends

-Barkley launched a new installment in its “Settle Your Score” campaign for Russell Athletic (video above).

-Molson Coors is launching a media review in the U.S., U.K. and Canada.

-Mars launched a £400m media buying review.

-Mobile, Alabama’s Red Square Agency has acquired Chicago-based digital development company We Can’t Stop Thinking. The new property will be part of a network that also includes Red Square Gaming; its client list includes Patagonia and Warner Brothers.

-With A-B InBev’s purchase of SABMiller approved by shareholders, AdAge asks, “Is a Battle of the Ultra Light Beers Brewing?” Okay, who’s grossed out?

-Production company Taylor James welcomed Adam Isidore as managing director.

-AdAge rounds up “Production Moves From Around the Industry.”

Friday Morning Stir

-McCann celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Chevy Camaro (video above).

Richard D. Trentlage, writer of the famous Oscar Mayer weiner jingle, has died.

-The New York Times weighs in on brands’ diversity goals for agencies, thinks that “the prospect of losing marketing dollars could drive change in a way that societal pressure has not.”

-Facebook plans to launch an ad campaign encouraging its users to stream live video.

-The One Club and Miami Ad School announced at the Here Are All the Black People (HAATBP) multicultural creative career fair that Miami Ad School will offer scholarships to 15 students of diverse backgrounds.

-A new eye-tracking study conducted by InSkin Media, Research Now and Sticky found that “ads achieving at least one second of gaze time are, on average, viewable for 26 seconds.”

-LBB’s Laura Swinton celebrates McCann Manchester’s gender stereotype-challenging Smyths ad.

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BBDO New York Explores Passive Aggression, Goofy Glasses in FedEx Spots

BBDO New York recently launched a pair of 30-second broadcast spots for FedEx, directed by O Positive’s Jim Jenkins, promoting the brand’s ecommerce offerings. Both aim for comedy, but each has a distinct tone.

In “Passive Aggressive,” a man announces at a meeting that since FedEx helped the company simplify its ecommerce, they can “focus on bigger issues, like our passive aggressive environment.”

“We’re not passive aggressive,” a co-worked argues. The remainder of the ad, however, proves her wrong, as the co-workers trade passive aggressive lines back and forth.

The spot has a kind of entertaining dry office humor, which is an accomplishment for an ad about FedEx’s ecommerce offering

“Goofy Glasses” employs a different kind of comedy, relying instead on a visual gag that’s not quite as precise a fit for the brand. On the other hand, the spot addresses a business being helped by the offering more directly, as owners of a novelty shop discuss how they’re shipping goofy glasses all around the globe.

Agency: BBDO New York
Client: FedEx
Chief Creative Officer Worldwide: David Lubars
Chief Creative Officer New York: Greg Hahn
Executive Creative Director: Gianfranco Arena
Executive Creative Director: Peter Kain
Senior Creative Director: Tom Kraemer (“Goofy Glasses”)
Senior Creative Director: Jens Waernes (“Goofy Glasses”)
Creative Director: Scott Mahoney (“Passive Aggressive”)
Creative Director: Dan Oliva (“Passive Aggressive”)

Director of Integrated Production: David Rolfe
Group Executive Producer: Amy Wertheimer

Group Planning Director: Sangeet Pillai
Senior Account Director: Kathryn Brown
Account Director: Dan Langlitz
Account Manager: Cailin Gibbons
Account Executive: Billy McLellan

Production Company: O Positive
Director: Jim Jenkins
Director of Photography: Roberto Schaefer
Executive Producer: Marc Grill

Edit House: Mack Cut
Editor: Ian Mackenzie
Assistant Editor: Mike Leuis
Audio Post: Sound Lounge
Mixer: Tom Jucarone
Post VFX: Method
Colorist: Tim Masick

AKQA, HBO, Rock the Vote and Civic Nation Don’t Want You to Sit Out This Election

AKQA teamed up with HBO, Rock the Vote and Civic Nation to launch a star-studded plea for viewers to “Use Your Voice. Use Your Vote.”

The spot opens up with Issa Rae, creator, star and co-writer of new HBO series Insecure, asking, “Can we talk about real power?”

“Real power is made sitting here talking to you,” adds Bryan Cranston, who stars as LBJ in HBO’s All The Way biopic and, of course, is best known for his portrayal of Walter White—a character who knew a thing or two about power.

Other HBO stars, including Martin Starr (perhaps best know as Bill Haverchuck on Freaks and Geeks, one of the best characters in television history) and Jimmy O. Yang of Silicon Valley, a handful of Ballers cast members and Gary Cole of Veep all add to the message, which is mostly a familiar one: just get out there and participate in democracy, already.

There does seem to be a specific focus on targeting young voters with the implication that armchair activism is ultimately meaningless if you don’t actually cast a ballot. Causes including environmental concerns and equality also get a shout out. Poorna Jagannathan, who starred in HBO’s The Night Of, summarizes the approach with her line, “We are the generation that will use our dialogue and our voices to make sure our conversations never stop.”

Now, can we discuss the Night Of finale, or is it too soon? (We liked it. People need to stop expecting perfect resolutions for everything.)

Verizon Is the Latest Client to Demand More Diversity From Its Agencies

If we had learned two things at this year’s Advertising Week, they would have been that Facebook is a media company that would rather not be known as such and that ad agencies are under a good bit of pressure to diversify.

Today the New York Times revealed that Verizon has joined HP and General Mills in calling on all of its agencies to hurry up. Earlier this month, Verizon’s EVP/CMO Diego Scotti sent a related letter to 11 of the shops on its roster. From that letter:

“At Verizon, we have the assets to change the world. … our purpose-driven culture gives everyone at Verizon a seat at the table to ideate and work together to solve the world’s biggest challenges.

That’s why I’m reaching out to you today to ask that your company make an important commitment to drastically improve the percentage of women and people of color in leadership roles and continue to support our diverse supplier community by awarding more subcontracting work to diverse businesses.”

He goes on to drop some key data points:

“At Verizon, we take great pride in having a workforce that’s 59% diverse (people of color and women). Worldwide women make up 35.7% of the workforce and in the U.S. people of color represent 40%.

Verizon spent more than $25 billion dollars with diverse businesses and $4.25 billion in 2015 alone. Moreover, Verizon’s board of directors is one of the most diverse boards in the country comprised of 4 women and 5 people of color — from a total of 13 board members.”

Unlike General Mills, Scotti does not list any specific numbers that these agencies must reach. But he does demand a response:

“… my expectation is that in the next 30 days you will share your current state of workforce broken out by number of women (by ethnicity) and people of color in your different levels, including senior leadership. Moreover, please provide your action plans that describe how you are growing workforce and supplier diversity.”

We think it fair to note that, while self-described “leading source of information on diversity management” Diversity Inc. lists General Mills as number 40 on its list of the 50 most diverse companies, Verizon does not appear on the list. Neither does HP.

Here’s a link to Verizon’s leadership team and here is a link to its Board of Directors, which does indeed include several women and people of color.

General Mills chief creative officer Michael Fanuele, who formerly worked in planning and strategy for Fallon, JWT and Havas, also had some words to share at this week’s events.

Of his own company’s call for diversity, he said, “It wasn’t some sort of moral high-horse stance about the failing ad industry.” Regarding agency efforts on that front, he continued:

“Some show up with all the right people around the table and it almost does feel like a quota of tokenism; it’s like ‘Oh, thank you. You found the, you know, Southeast Asian transgender woman who works somewhere in your network to come to our meeting to talk.’ And then other times it just looks beautiful and diverse and it’s very genuine and real…”

Sounds about right.

Airbnb Solicits Creative Ideas From the Public for Its Next Holiday Campaign, Offers $500 Prize

Airbnb is no stranger to controversy in its marketing efforts.

The home sharing service recently teamed up with Strother Nuckels Strategies for a political campaign which claimed that the company helps middle class families. That work came in response to an effort launched last summer by lobbying group the Share Better Coalition which criticized the company, claiming that forty percent of Airbnb revenue in New York went to real estate moguls.

Last fall, the company angered some in San Francisco with an OOH campaign advocating against Proposition F, a proposed law that would have required Airbnb to be classified as a hotel chain, by lightly shaming libraries and other such organizations for the tax money they receive from the hotel industry and businesses like Airbnb. In the fallout from that campaign, CEO Brian Chesky essentially laid the blame on TBWAChiatDay, claiming the agency had “embarrassed” his company.

Airbnb’s latest move might not sit well with its agency partners, either.

The company is using content-sourcing company MoFilm to crowd-source ideas for its holiday campaign with an “Airbnb Holiday Ideas Contest.”

The call for entries, which was written by MoFilm, reads in part, “It’s a pitch situation, where we’ll put forward the best-of-the-best from our global network in an effort to gain the business.” It then calls members of its community to “Think big and think local. Infuse your ideas with knowledge of your own city, or cities you’ve been to in the past. And remember it’s not just Christmas, it’s any holiday worthy of a trip via Airbnb.”

The person running this contest is Carter Hahn, who spent several years as an account manager at Goodby Silverstein & Partners and served as lead on the HP, Adobe and Nintendo accounts.

The deadline for submissions is October 3, so if you want to participate you’ll have to hurry over to MoFilm and sign the NDA to get the brief. The top five concepts will be awarded a $500 cash prize!

Advertising Veteran Richard D. Trentlage Dies at 87; Famous Jingle Lives On

Richard D. Trentlage, the man who composed the famous Oscar Mayer wiener jingle, died of congestive heart failure, at the age of 87, on September 21, The New York Times reports.

Trentlage worked at several top agencies including McCann and D’Arcy before launching his own jingle-writing firm.

His most famous contribution to advertising was the Oscar Mayer jingle which ran for 52 years, beginning in 1963, a feat his family claims, in an online obituary, is a record.  The jingle, Trentlage recalled in a 2012 interview with The Wisconsin State Journal, was a last minute effort. Trentlage wrote it in September of 1962 after hearing about Oscar Mayer’s jingle contest from a colleague at JWT the day before the deadline. Its opening line was inspired by his son’s declaration, “I wish I could be a dirt bike hot dog” (about a dirt bike-riding friend). Trentlage finished composing the tune in about an hour and recorded it in his living room recording studio, playing banjo-ukelele while his daughter Linda, then nine-years-old, belted out the vocals.

Chairman Oscar G. Mayer Sr. selected the jingle as the winner of the contest and from its humble origins in Trentlage’s living room it went on to be heard in 21 English-speaking countries (including all 50 states) and become a pop culture icon. The Simpsons even payed tribute to the jingle when it was sung by Jon Lovitz‘s Jay Sherman character in a crossover with The Critic.

Some of Trentlage’s other well-known jingles include “Wow! It sure doesn’t taste like tomato juice” for V8, “McDonald’s is your kind of place!” and “Buckle up for safety, buckle up!” (a 1964 National Safety Council PSA).

Trentlage is survived by his wife, Jacqueline, daughters Linda Bruun and Becky Trentlage, sons David and Tom, stepdaughters Susan Jennings and Patricia Kelley, stepson Jeffrey Davis, 19 grandchildren and ten great grandchildren.

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A Lone Red Balloon's Journey Ends Joyfully in Latest 'Practically Magic' iPhone 7 Spot

Among iOS 10’s shiny new toys is a messaging feature that allows you to add effects to your message bubbles, send full-screen animations with your messages, add handwritten notes and more. Apple pushes those capabilities with a pretty new spot from TBWAMedia Arts Lab that focuses on one full-screen animation in particular.

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