BBDO New York Knows When It’s Time to ‘Break Out the Pepsi’

Last September, BBDO New York launched its first spot for Pepsi since 2008, when the brand shifted lead creative duties from BBDO to TBWAChiatDay, ending a fifty year relationship with the agency.

That spot, starring Marshawn Lynch, essentially took one joke and ran with it and, unfortunately, the agency’s latest campaign runs into a similar problem with an approach playing on the idea of breaking out a Pepsi for a celebration with comparisons between everyday accomplishments and NFL players scoring touchdowns.

“Checkers” shows a man name Rico getting in a triple-jump on Mr. Sanchez in a game of checkers. Rico imagines that it must be like what Odell Beckham, Jr. feels like when he scores a game-winning touchdown. The spot then plays on the idea, with Beckham imagining the reverse while in the endzone.

The spot will make its broadcast debut tonight when the New York Giants face off against Minnesota Vikings for Monday Night Football. Another spot starring Beckham will appear as part of the campaign later this month.

“Phone Number,” which debuted last month, applied the same formula to Antonio Brown and a college student finally getting the number of a classmate he likes.

Whatever humor there is in the premise wears out its welcome by the end of the first spot, making the recent effort feel like a missed opportunity to shake things up. That’s especially disappointing coming on the heels of a pair of solid FedEx spots from the agency. Hopefully BBDO New York can do that going forward as the “Break Out the Pepsi” tagline leaves plenty of room to explore new directions.

Agency: BBDO New York
Client: PepsiCo
Spot: Checkers

Chief Creative Officer, Worldwide: David Lubars
Chief Creative Officer, New York: Greg Hahn
Executive Creative Director: Lauren Connolly
Creative Director: Monty Pera
Creative Director: Don Marshall Wilhelmi
Associate Creative Art Director: Todd Rone Parker
Associate Creative Copy Director: Dan Kelly
Group Executive Producer: Julian Katz
Executive Producer: Matt Nowak
Business Manager: Paul Cisco
Senior Account Director: Ladd Martin
Account Director: Lauren Munilla
Account Executive: Cornelia Madsen
Planning Director: Chris Cummings
Engagement Planning Director: Yin Chung

Production Company: World War Seven
Director: David Shafei
Director of Photography: Bryan Newman
Executive Producer: Josh Ferrazzano
Producer: Bo Clancey
Production Supervisor: Michael Mitchell

Edit House: Fluid
Editor: John Piccolo
Assistant Editor: Evan Johnston
Executive Producer: Laura Relovsky
Senior Producer: Valerie Iorio

Flame/VFX: Chris Davis
Flame Assistant: Cliff Moller
Colorist: Stephen Picano

Audio: Mr. Bronx
Audio Engineer: Eric Hoffman
Producer: Claudia Gaspar

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

BBDO, Michel Gondry and Bacardi Spend a Night Out on the Town

BBDO New York teamed up with acclaimed director Michel Gondry (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, music videos for, Björk, The White Stripes, Beck and others) in a new 30-second spot for Bacardi to launch the brand’s largest-ever global ad campaign. 

As you may recall, BBDO New York released its first campaign for Bacardi as AOR last October, after winning creative duties that April following Bacardi’s decision to consolidate creative and media without a review.

In the new spot, “The Night,” they’re clearly going for the younger crowd. The spot celebrates those who emerge after dark: the “brave shirts” and the “still-at-work shirts,” or a bunch of total bros who stand “united against all dress codes.” These groups are “illuminated by 1,000 likes” and seem exist for the sole purpose of partying as much as possible before catching the last train home. It ends with the tagline, “We Are The Night.”

It’s a type of blanket nightlife celebration designed to appeal to to party-happy 20-somethings, which makes sense for the brand.

There are traces of Gondry’s signature style here and there, though these touches aren’t quite strong enough to elevate the spot above a series of like-minded ads despite its fine direction and an obviously sizable production budget. It feels a bit plain for a project with Gondry’s name attached to it, though we wonder if the parties involved might go more abstract if given some room to move.

Agency: BBDO New York
Client: Bacardi
Spot: “The Night”
Chief Creative Officer Worldwide: David Lubars
Chief Creative Officer New York: Greg Hahn
Executive Creative Director: Danilo Boer
Executive Creative Director: Marcos Kotlhar
Associate Creative Director: Marcus Johnston
Associate Creative Director: Jim Connolly
Global Executive Producer: Angelo Ferrugia
Producer: BreeAnn Stuart
Business Manager: Matt Friday
Jr. Music Producer: Julia Millison
Evp, Senior Account Director: Steven Panariello
Account Director: Joshua Goodman
Account Manager: Meghan Wood
Account Executive: Lindsay Vellines
Evp, Group Director, Behavioral Planning: Gordon Mclean
Head of Communications Planning: Julian Cole
Communications Planning Director: Patrick Tomasiewicz

Production Company: Partizan
Director: Michel Gondry
Director of Photography: Shawn Kim
Production Designer: Maxwell Orgell
Head of Production: Molly Griffin
Executive Producer: Lisa Tauscher
Producer: Raffi Adlan
Production Manager: Debo / Joseph DeBartolo

Edit House: Final Cut
Editor: Jeff Buchanan
Head of Production: Jen Sienkwicz
Executive Producer: Sarah Roebuck
Producer: Penny Ensley
Assistant Editor: Spencer Campbell

Vfx & Design: The Mill
Producer: Chris Harlowe
Production Coordinators: Chris Lewis, Carlos Zalapa (New York)

Shoot Supervisors: Glyn Tebbutt and Felix Urquiza
2-D Lead Artist: Glyn Tebbutt
3-D Lead Artist: Felix Urquiza
2-D Artists: Katerina Arroyo, Tom Van Dop, Brad Scott, Dag Ivarsoy, Jake Elbers, Peter Sidoriak, Chris Knight
3-D Artists: Cory Cosper, Juan Salazar, Ahmed Elmatarawi, Blake Guest, Monique Espinoza, Troy Barsness, Mahmoud Elragheb, David Tyler Young, Michael Lori, Danny Garcia, Steven Olson

Matte Painting: Ed Laag
NY 2-D Lead Vfx/Finishing: Krissy Nordella
Colorist: Fergus Mccall
Executive Producer, Color: Dee Allen
Color Producer: Natalie Westerfield
Production Coordinator, Color: Evan Bauer

Audio Post: Heard City
Mixer: Philip Loeb
Producer: Talia Rodgers

Music: Soundtree
Song Title: “Night Creatures”
Composers: Luis Almau and Peter Raeburn For Soundtree Music Limited
Publisher: Soundtree Music Publishing Limited
Managing Director / Music Supervisor: Jay James

Additional Credits for Social and Bar Call:
Social and Bar Call Films Editor: Spencer Campbell
Finishing: Significant Others NY
Creative Director: Dirk Greene
Sound Mixer: Terressa Tate
Finishing Producer: Alek Rost
Color: Color Collective NY
Colorist: Mike Howell

HP Sent Out ‘A Challenge to Agency Leadership’ Regarding Diversity

General Mills made headlines this week by revealing on Tuesday that it has specific diversity requirements for the agencies competing in its creative review, requiring the creative departments of its future agency partners to include 50 percent women and 20 percent people of color.

Today we’ve learned that HP CEO Antonio Lucio sent out a letter to current agency partners with a similar call to action regarding diversity on August 30. After making an effort to foster diversity internally, with a specific eye toward closing the gender gap with female hires, HP is now asking the same of its agency partners. Among the recipients of the letter were BBDO, FleishmanHillard, Gyro, Fred&Farid and Porter Novelli.

“Diversity gives HP a competitive advantage. It helps drive new business, fuel innovation, and attract and attain the best employees,” an HP representative said in a statement offered to AgencySpy. “This letter is a call to action. Now that we have built our business case and begun to put our own house in order, we are relying on our agency partners to do the same; we are expecting these marketing and communications leaders to actively embrace diversity and actually do something about it.”

HP is expecting its agency partners to act fast on plans to increase diversity. “We have called upon each of our agency partners’ CEOs to develop a plan that significantly increases the representation of women and people of color in top creative and strategic roles,” the representative added. “Without exception the responses we have received are of true enthusiasm and commitment. Our agency partners now have 30 days to deliver their plans and 12 months to make good on those plans – and we intend to monitor each firm’s performance along the way.”

While the letter makes reference to a “a scorecard that will track multiple levels of diversity,” which HP has implemented for its own efforts and now expects to be adopted by its agency partners, it’s unclear if HP has specific diversity quotas for its agencies, as with General Mills’ demands in its creative review, or if it is working with its agency partners to determine the best way to reach its ultimate diversity goals. It’s also unclear if HP is echoing General Mills’ targeting of creative departments in particular. But it is clear that the company has set out a very specific timeline for agencies to set up and implement plans for increased diversity.

We’ve included the letter in full below:

A Challenge to Agency Leadership

August 30

Dear Friends,

Earlier this month I spoke with you — the CEOs of all of HP’s advertising and marketing agency partners — to ask

that we all join in making an important commitment to radically improve the percentage of women and people of

color in leadership roles in our organizations. I’m delighted that without exception you gave your enthusiastic

support for this pledge.


How successful we are will define our legacies. So, as you set your goals and make your plans, I ask you to keep

these points in mind:


At HP, our vision is to make technology that makes the world a better place for everyone, everywhere. But we

recognize that we can’t realize our vision if our business leaders don’t represent everyone, in color, gender, and

geography. We take great pride that HP has the most diverse board of directors in the technology industry, and

that we make diversity an explicit business goal. Yet I know we can do even more. I know we must do more.

Including women and people of color in key roles is not only a values issue, but a significant business imperative.

HP thrives on innovation. Study after study confirms that innovation is improved and accelerated by broad

perspectives and diversity of thought. Marketers are expected to have deep understanding and insight about their

markets, about decision makers, and about customers.


We are more likely to create solutions that amaze our customers if our workforce represents the communities we

serve. As a global company, we need to take a broad view of diversity as increased representation will take

different forms in different countries. We have decided to start by addressing women.


We make printers and personal computers. Who buys them? Women: 53 percent for computers, 45 percent for

printers. We are focused on ensuring that our marketing department has the right talent composition to capture

our business opportunities. Over the last 12 months we have invested in programs designed to ensure that at

least half of our top marketing jobs are held by women. It is important to understand that these were not random

moves to increase representation. Instead, they were new opportunities for high-potential people and strategic

hires and the quality of our team output has never been better.


To measure our own efforts, we are creating a scorecard that will track multiple levels of diversity of our own

global marketing organization. We are far from perfect, and I know there will be challenges, but I am committed

to immediate, global, impact, rigorously measuring our performance and being transparent about the gaps to



I am asking the same of each of you.

My expectation is that in the next 30 days, you will deliver formal plans – and within 12 months make good on

those plans. Thank you for working to significantly increase the percentage of women in top creative and

strategic roles on our account.


We owe this to ourselves, to each other and to future generations. By making the important and necessary

changes today, together we can bend the arc of history in favor of inclusion and opportunity.

Now comes the proof of our commitment. Thank you for joining us.



Antonio Lucio

Chief Marketing & Communications Officer

HP Inc.

BBDO, Jeter, Durant and Watt Champion Your Dreams for AFI

BBDO New York launched the latest phase of its “Insure Carefully, Dream Fearlessly” campaign for American Family Insurance with a pair of new spots featuring retired Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter, NBA All Star Kevin Durant and Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt. The two new ads take a very different approach than April’s “Free to Dream” spot.

Each ad opens with the question “What does it mean to be a champion?” as Jeter, Durant and Watt appear onscreen. Viewers are then introduced to a charitable organization run by people with dreams of bettering their communities.

In “School on Wheels,” it’s the organization of the same name, which helps homeless children succeed at school by providing tutoring services and supplies. Regional director Charles Evans is surprised and delighted when Jeter, Durant and Watt show up to help out one afternoon, almost as excited as his students. The experiences is “something these kids are going to remember for a lifetime,” Evans says near the conclusion of the sport, expressing gratitude that the star athletes are there helping with fractions and reading.

In “With Love Market,” With Love Market & Café gets the spotlight, a charity providing fresh produce and juice in a community where the only quick and easy option is fast food. In addition to the long-form online versions, the ads will also appear as 30-second broadcast spots and radio ads support the efforts. The celebrity causevertising approach makes sense for a brand with “Family” in its name. While the resulting spots may not make for the most captivating viewing, they certainly champion deserving causes.

Another spot from Elite Media, “Hometown Hero,” sees Durant surprise a young boy from his hometown who thinks he is about to appear on a talk show to discuss how his single mom is helping him achieve his dreams. 


American Family Insurance “Insure Carefully, Dream Fearlessly” Creative Credits

Agency: BBDO New York
Client: American Family Insurance
Spot: “With Love Market” “School on Wheels”

Chief Creative Officer, Worldwide: David Lubars
Chief Creative Officer, New York: Greg Hahn
Executive Creative Director: Susan Golkin
Senior Creative Director: Eric Goldstein
Senior Producer: Becky Burkhard
Assistant Producer: Ali Gladstone
Head of Music Production: Rani Vaz
Music Producer: John Melillo
Business Manager: Matt Friday
Senior Account Director: Christine Smith/Neil Onsdorff
Account Director: Lindsey Wasson
Account Executive: Justin Choy
Assistant Account Executive: Emily Schade

Production Company: Smuggler
Executive Producer/ Co-Founder: Brian Carmody
Executive Producer/ Co Founder: Patrick Milling Smith
Executive Producer: Allison Kunzman
Executive Producer: Carole Hughes
Director: David Frankham
Line Producer: Bernard Rahill
Director of Photography: Ken Seng

Editorial Company: Crew Cuts
Executive Producer: Nancy Shames
Producer: Michelle Bellaff
Editor: Sherri Margulies (SOW) / Matt Shapiro (WLM)
Assistant Editor: Matt VanDaniker

Telecine Company: Company 3
Telecine Artist: Tim Masick
Executive Producer: Rochelle Brown

Conform / Finish Compnay / VFX: Suspect
Senior Frame Artist: Suzanne Dyer
Frame Artists: Chelsea Galen / John Yu
Assistant Frame Artist: Jae Park
Creative Director: Hoon Chong
Art Director/ Animator: Minna Choung
Producer: Tsiliana Jolson / Alex Decaneas
Executive Producer: Robert Appelblatt

Music Company: Beacon Street
Composer (Arranger): Andrew Feltenstein / John Nau
Producer: Leslie Delillo

Mix and Record Company: Sonic Union
Engineer: Mike Marinelli
Producer: Patrick Sullivan

“I Know Better” Song Credits:
Composer: John Stephens / Lyricist: John Stephens / Composer: Blake Mills / Lyricist: Blake Mills / Composer: Will Oldham / Lyricist: Will Oldham
Published By: John Legend Publishing.
All rights admin. by BMG Rights Management (US) LLC (BMI)
Performer: John Legend
Vocals: John Legend
Piano: Larry Goldings
Hammond Organ: Larry Goldings
Guitar: Blake Mills
Bass: Blake Mills
Keys: Blake Mills
Rec Period – January 2016

Agency: Elite Media
Client: American Family Insurance
Spot: “Hometown Heroes”

Creative Chairman: Christopher Crawford
Creative Director: Eunique Jones Gibson
Art Director: Mohammed Alsaadi
Account Manager: Christina Brantley
Account Coordinator: D’Amber Allen
Project Coordinator: Jordana Jarrett
Production Company: CMS
Director: Eunique Jones Gibson
Director of Photography: Paulius Kontijevas
Supervising Producer: Amy Greenleaf
Line Producer: Jessica Toscano
Still Photographers: Sarah McClogan, Elton Anderson
Editorial: In House
Editor: Don Setzer
Graphic Design: In House
Music Company: Beacon Street
Composer (Arranger): Andrew Feltenstein / John Nau
Producer: Leslie Delillo

“I Know Better” Song Credits:
Composer: John Stephens / Lyricist: John Stephens / Composer: Blake Mills / Lyricist: Blake Mills / Composer: Will Oldham / Lyricist: Will Oldham
Published By: John Legend Publishing.
All rights admin. by BMG Rights Management (US) LLC (BMI)
Performer: John Legend
Vocals: John Legend
Piano: Larry Goldings
Hammond Organ: Larry Goldings
Guitar: Blake Mills
Bass: Blake Mills
Keys: Blake Mills
Rec Period – January 2016

Preacher Names Kim Nguyen as Associate Creative Director

Preacher, the Austin-based agency launched by Mother New York alums in 2014, added to its creative team with the appointment of Kim Nguyen as associate creative director.

Nguyen joins Preacher from BBDO New York, where she served as an associate creative director since July of 2015 and worked on the agency’s Whatever’s On the Line. Priceline.” campaign.

Prior to joining BBDO, she spent over three years as an associate creative director with Grey New York, while also working as a copywriter on the agency’s “Versus” campaign for DirecTV before leaving for BBDO. Before joining Grey in June of 2012, she served yearlong stints as a copywriter with Saatchi & Saatchi and TBWA/Chiat/Day. Over the course of her career she has worked with brands including Bud Light, AT&T and the NFL, in addition to the aforementioned Priceline and DirecTV. 

Nguyen’s arrival at Preacher follows Beam Suntory appointing the agency as creative AOR for its Knob Creek and Basil Hayden’s whiskey brands earlier this month. The agency’s client roster also includes Squarespace, Tommy John and Golfsmith.

Genuine Appoints Atmosphere Proximity Vet Michael Moroney as Managing Director

Boston-based full-service agency Genuine hired Michael Moroney as managing director in its New York office.

Moroney joins the agency from SuperString Theory, an ambiguous entity promising to provide “unique solutions, sharable at their core, that deliver on our clients’ brand promise and product potential” which Moroney co-founded last August.

Before that he spent a little over three years at Atmosphere Proximity, the New York-based digital arm of BBDO. There he led the creative technology and integrated production teams and worked with clients including Visa, Citi, Emirates, HP, Marriott and Cognizant. Prior to that he spent over a year and a half at 1st Ave. Machine, as executive producer and chief creative technologist and then managing director. That followed over two years at TBA Global, serving as senior vice president, engagement media and working with clients such as Samsung, Walmart, Western Union, NBC,, Ford, Microsoft and Amnesty International. Before that he served for two years as managing director at Polychrome, working with clients including Starbucks, EMI, Virgin, Concord Music Group, Warner Bros. Apple, HP, Adidas and Banana Republic.

“Michael’s hire continues to grow our NYC presence, which is part of a deliberate expansion plan that is driven by both new client acquisition and organic growth of existing client relationships,” Genuine president John Grayson said in a statement.  “Michael is a proven leader in the digital space who expertly helps clients navigate the constantly shifting digital landscape.”

“I am a firm believer that brands need to provide real value through service and utility. Creating this value means embracing the evolving nature of today’s digital landscape,” added Moroney. “Genuine, with its heritage as a digital-first agency, and its blend of creative, technology and innovative experiential capabilities is uniquely well-placed to help clients achieve exactly this.”

BBDO New York Channels ‘James Harden’s Inner Voice’ in New Foot Locker Spots

BBDO New York launched a new campaign for Foot Locker featuring Houston Rockets star James Harden, who the agency teamed up with last September for the “Play My Tweet” effort.

The campaign features a series of spots starring Harden, centered around the spot “James Harden’s Inner Voice.” It seems that some strangeness from Periscope and Harden’s whacky work for Trolli may have seeped into the effort, as said “inner voice” sounds a lot like Colin Farrell.

When approached by two fans, Harden’s gives out a little nugget of advice: “Look fresh and always trust that little voice in your head,” to which the fan nods along…until Harden adds, “you know, that little voice that kind of sounds like Collin Farrell.” The guys look thoroughly perplexed as Harden’s inner Farrell voice tells him it’s time to get going so he can “shower and wait for the president to call.”

The other spots follow the strange formula, with Farrell providing Harden’s inner monologue for a practice session, a strange car entry method and, in both “Treadmill” and the self-referential “Greatest Pre-Roll Ever” a workout session.

Harden is a natural choice for such a strange approach, even if the scenarios in which he interacts with his inner Colin Farrell voice are a little run-of-the-mill. Harden’s presence and the sheer strangeness of the ads should be enough to at least help them stand out from the pack, however — especially at a time when other brands seem focused on the 2016 Rio Olympics.

Energy BBDO Showcases ‘Roach Art’ in Latest Raid Spot

We’ve seen “Dead Mouse Theatre” so why not “#RoachArt?” Energy BBDO worked with Vault49 artist artist Jonathan Kenyon to create a series of three billboards made entirely out of, yup, dead cockroaches for insecticide brand Raid.

Kenyon’s creations show a roachy grim reaper riding a jet, motorcycle and monster truck (we think). Each contains the message “Kills 7X Faster” with the speedy vehicles meant to convey the brand’s homicidal expediency. As Kenyon explains in the video below, larger roaches were used to outline the pieces, while smaller roaches were used for finer detail. Working with the information that a roach infested house can have up to 20,000 roaches, each piece of art contains around the same number. Neat!

While most will find the concept disgusting, it’s also attention grabbing and not something you’re likely to forget soon. In fact, the approach may gain the brand a little free media by making an appearance in viewers’ nightmares. Raid isn’t the first brand to toy with such a morbid and gross concept, as the aforementioned “Dead Mouse Theatre” saw Barton F. Graf repurposing mouse carcasses as theatrical puppets and, more recently, BBDO Russia created miniature portraits out of mosquito blood. Adweek calls the OOH pieces “strong contenders for the most disgusting ads of 2016.” 

That’s tough to argue, although Rules Creative Taiwan’s intern recruitment effort is certainly a contender as well. 

Governor Cuomo Defends Start-Up New York’s ‘Generic’ Ads

Start Up NYGovernor Andrew Cuomo defended the “New York Open for Business” marketing initiative promoting his Start-Up New York project amid criticism from local government reps who claim that the advertising for the program is costly and ineffective.

The “New York Open for Business” marketing initiative with BBDO initially covered a series of Empire State Development campaigns, but its scope was widened in 2013 to include ads promoting the Start-Up New York program. New York spent some $251 million on the contract with BBDO before signing another $150 million contract with Campbell Ewald to continue “New York Open For Business” for two more years last fall.

In the wake of a report finding that Start-Up New York created just 408 jobs in its first two years, New York Senator Terrence Murphy called for the suspension of the advertising contract, saying, “The way to show we’re open for business is by reducing New York’s burdensome regulations and cutting taxes, not buying television commercials. I…never fully understood why New Yorkers were seeing ads about why they should come to New York…We have to put the brakes on these commercials until a system of accountability is in place, and if our targets cannot be met, we should scrap the whole thing.”

“It costs us nothing – zero – because all the program says is if you come here, we won’t charge you tax,” Cuomo explained to reporters in response to the criticism. “But they weren’t here to begin with, so it doesn’t cost us anything. It just saves them on the income tax.”

Cuomo characterized the “New York Open for Business” ads as “generic,” rather than specifically promoting Start-Up New York, adding, “‘Come to New York and we will help your business grow if you come to New York and New York is not the frightful place that you thought it was. We’re not a high tax state. We’ll eliminate taxes.’ So that’s what the advertising did.”

BBDO, AT&T Want to Take Your Friends to the Movies

The New York and Atlanta offices of BBDO launched a new campaign for AT&T, introducing the network’s new Ticket Tuesdays offer, which allows AT&T customers to bring a friend to the movies for free on Tuesdays.

A series of comedic spots promote the new program, showing how the deal lets you bring along any type of friend.

Maybe it’s just that we find it the most relatable, but the approach works best in the down-to-earth “Married Friend.” In the ad, a chef calls up his married buddy and asks if he can join him at the movies on Tuesday, describing the Ticket Tuesdays deal. He asks his wife, who tells them they made plans to “sit on the couch together on Tuesday,” but then tells him to go anyway. The decision waffling then continues until the man eventually decides to go.

Two 15-second spots, “Sentimental Friend” and “Impulsive Friend” apply a similar approach to an overly-sentimental friend and a friend who impulsively decides to leave his hospital bed to go to the movies. In the 30-second “Boyfriend,” a college guy asks a girl to the movies, but she decides she’d rather borrow his phone and bring her boyfriend. It kind of feels like a scene that would  go down in a modern version of Undeclared. Each ad manages to fit in a description of the offer in a fairly convincing way while also getting to the point with its comic narrative, even if the humor doesn’t always land as intended.

The campaign arrives amidst a U.S. creative and media review, which AT&T launched last month. It launched today on AT&T’s social channels and will roll out soon on broadcast, pre-roll and, naturally, in cinemas. Digital and social components from BBDO and Organic will support the effort.

Chief Creative Officer Worldwide: David Lubars
Chief Creative Officer New York: Greg Hahn
Executive Creative Director: Matt MacDonald
Creative Director//Copy Writer: Kevin Mulroy
ACD//Art Director: Bianca Guimaraes

Head of Integrated Production: Dave Rolfe
Group Executive Producer: Julie Collins
Senior Content Producer: Whitney Collins
Executive Music Producer: Melissa Chester

Managing Director, BBDO North America: Mark Cadman
Managing Director: Doug Walker
Group Account Director: Lesley Brown
Account Director: Khari Mpagazehe
Account Executive: Jenn Wang

Production Company: Arts & Sciences
Director: Matt Aselton
Director of Photography: Corey Walter
Executive Producer: Marc Marrie
Managing Director: Mal Ward
Head of Production: Christa Skotland
Producer: Zoe Odlum
Production Supervisor: Bailey Reeves

Editing Company: Arcade Edit
Editor: Dave Anderson & Sean LaGrange
Executive Producer: Sila Soyer
Assistant Editor: Elizabeth Parsons

Visual Effects: Spontaneous
Head of Production: Chris Decker
Executive Producer: Bryce Edwards
VFX Supervisor: Andy Milkis

Sound Design (Impulsive Friend): Trinitite
Sound Designer (“Impulsive Friend”): Brian Emrich

Audio Mixing: Sonic Union
Audio Engineer: Steve Rosen

Not Even Sex Can Get in the Way of People's Love for Cats, Says This Sheba Ad

Cats have been known to wield an almost hypnotic power, controlling human behavior with a flick of the tail or the merest meow.

Case in point—the feline fiend in “What Cats Want,” BBDO’s latest campaign for Sheba cat food. With just a longing look, little Tabby lures a libidinous lunkhead away from his date mid-makeout so he can serve up some product, haute cuisine style: 

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BBDO, Team Visa Take ‘The Carpool to Rio’

BBDO launches Visa’s 2016 Rio Olympics campaign with “The Carpool to Rio,” a 105-second spot starring 15 athletes from around the world.

The spot opens with New Zealand shot putter Valerie Adams waking up and throwing her circular alarm clock through the wall. She then uses Visa Checkout to order a couple of morning beverages, drives her mini van to an auto ferry and sets off. U.S. swimmer Missy Franklin swims up to the ferry to join Adams before the two arrive in Canada to pick up synchronized swimmers Jennifer Abel and Pamela Ware. Before long the car pool includes other Olympic athletes such as U.S. decathlete Ashton Eaton, volleyball player Kerri Walsh Jennings, soccer player Carli Lloyd and swimmer Connor Jaeger

The way the atheletes each have a quick introduction reflective of their sport, such as Abel and Ware trying unsuccessfully to shoot for shotgun, is fun, managing to make the predictable carpool premise not overstay its welcome. That women’s Olympic sports are given such a spotlight here is also refreshing and the ad should stoke excitement for the games, while also highlighting how Visa can help you “click, swipe, dip and tap” their way to easier payments. Of course, having Morgan Freeman provide a voiceover never hurts, either.

“We believe this campaign is the most ambitious, best integrated, most multichannel global Olympic campaign we’ve done so far,” Visa’s recently appointed executive vice president, chief marketing and communications officer Lynne Biggar told Adweek. “Our desire was to have it be very inspiring and be very much technology-led and technology-driven and leveraging Team Visa, which is a group of 46 athletes who embody these core values of acceptance, partnership and innovation in a playful, optimistic way.”

She added that “an increasing percentage of [Visa’s marketing spend] is going toward digital, and that’s just our general philosophy when we think about marketing. But we haven’t said ahead of time we want a certain allocation of our dollars to go to digital. We have said that our dollars should go in the places they’re going to drive the biggest and most impactful return for Visa.”

Visa is celebrating its 30th year as an Olympic sponsor this year and is offering its 46 Team Visa athletes the new Visa payment ring to use at the games. 

Microsoft Acquisition News Will Not Change LinkedIn’s Relationship with BBDO

Microsoft’s $26.2 acquisition of professional network LinkedIn will not immediately impact its relationship with creative agency partner BBDO.

Today a LinkedIn spokesperson writes, “Our relationship with BBDO does not change. Until this deal closes, each company will continue to operate independently.”

Sources close to the matter tell us that BBDO’s San Francisco office has been working with the professional networking company on a per-project basis and that it will continue doing so aside from the acquisition, which was announced this morning.

While the agency’s relationship with the client will not be impacted in the short-term, the future of the business is unclear. For now, at least, we should expect more LinkedIn work from BBDO San Francisco following February’s launch of the brand’s first broadcast ad, “You’re Closer Than You Think,” which debuted during ABC’s broadcast of the Academy Awards. 

Microsoft mostly works with McCann’s dedicated unit m:united on creative, such as this International Women’s Day effort celebrating female inventors. In April, McCann hired former Havas executive creative director Jim Hord to work on the account. 

Sainsbury’s Launches Creative Review

U.K. retail giant Sainsbury’s is “is in talks with a number of top creative agencies” in a review being led by recently-promoted (last August) director of marketing planning and propositions Mark Given, The Drum reports. According to that publication, the account is estimated at around £60 million (or almost $87.5 million). Media buying and planning is not part of the review and will remain with PHD. 

AMV BBDO has been Sainsbury’s agency of record for nearly forty years. Its most high-profile work for the client has undoubtedly been the yearly holiday campaigns it created for the brand. In recent years, these high-budget spectacles have included the children’s book-inspired “Mog’s Christmas Calamity” and “Christmas is for Sharing,” the somewhat controversial 2014 spot depicting the 1914 Christmas Truce between Britain and Germany during World War I.

“Sainsbury’s and AMV have a well-established relationship that stretches back over 35 years and, as you would expect, from time to time it’s important for us both to take a fresh look,” a Sainsbury’s spokesperson told The Drum. 

Sainsbury’s three largest competitors — Tesco, Morrisons and Asda — have all switched agencies in recent years. Tesco moved its $170 million creative account from W+K London to BBH London in January of 2015, Morrisons dropped nine-year incumbent DLKW Lowe for Publicis London a year later and Asda left VCCP for Saatchi & Saatchi this April. 

So, when taken in conjunction with its senior marketing shakeup last year, the news is not entirely surprising. Sainsbury’s also recently made a takeover bid for Argos, who currently works with WPP’s CHI&Partners. AMV BBDO is presumably defending in the review, but details about which other “top creative agencies” are involved are currently unavailable.

Pfizer and Its Scientists Take Us Through the Lengthy Creation of a Life-Saving Drug

From price gouging to tax evasion, the pharmaceutical industry has made some pretty hefty missteps in recent history, leaving many Americans with a bad taste in their mouths—one that can’t be washed down with a tall glass of water. 

So, drug maker Pfizer has set out to repair the industry’s crumbling reputation, without even naming a single product. 

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BBDO's Latest Ad for Snickers Ice Cream Bars Is a Real Scream

Can discordant screaming sell ice cream?

Snickers sure hopes so, because that’s the angle it’s going with this new spot for Snickers ice cream bars. Playing on the “I scream, you scream” rhyme, the ad shows a mom and son, a crab, a tattooed bodybuilder, his tattoo and the boardwalk caricature of a married couple all screaming at one of those ice cream trolleys you see around the beach.

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Snickers 'Hungerithm' Sets the Candy's In-Store Price Based on the Internet's Mood

Snickers has dreamed up one of the cooler online/offline advertising-meets-point-of-sale hybrid campaigns of the year, introducing a “Hungerithm” that gauges the mood of the Internet and adjusts the price of its candy bars in 7-Eleven stores accordingly, in real time. 

The angrier the Internet, the cheaper the candy—to make everyone a bit happier. 

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This Motorcycle Helmet Detects Crashes and Instantly Reports the Rider's Location

In Thailand, 80 percent of people killed in road accidents are riding motorcycles. Now, one agency hopes its new invention could literally mean the difference between life and death. 

The “Helpmet” was designed by BBDO Bangkok for the Thai Health Promotion Foundation (the same partnership that recently came up with the fat-reducing AbsorbPlate) to help address Thailand’s staggeringly high rate of motorcycle fatalities—the second highest in the world. 

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This Ingenious Dinner Plate, Invented by an Ad Agency, Can Lighten a Meal by 30 Calories

Some of the best food on Earth is pretty greasy, so one agency in Thailand has come up with a simple way to lighten things up.

BBDO Bangkok partnered with the Thai Health Promotion Foundation to address Thailand’s obesity problem, largely linked to the amount of oil used in the country’s popular cuisine. 

Instead of trying to change how the food is cooked, the client and agency chose instead fo focus on how the food is served.

They created the AbsorbPlate, which features 500 perforations that catch and hold some of the grease from your meal. They claim it will capture 7 mL of oil, which is about one and a half teaspoons. That’s not much, but it does shave about 30 calories off the total.

Check out the video case study and credits below:

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