Links for 2007-12-20 []

K-C Hires Naked Communications

NEW YORK ( — Tony Palmer Kimberly-Clark's first chief marketing officer, has taken some radical steps at the marketer that spent $412 million on worldwide advertising last year. The latest: enlisting communications-planning shop Naked Communications — known for its emphasis on nontraditional marketing — as Kimberly-Clark's new agency partner.

Top Ten Excuses Small Agencies Don’t Need

We don't have clients who really get it. Sorry, by my estimation there are less than five clients in the entire world that are dream accounts, yet agencies do great work for less than ideal clients everyday. Next?

Dow Jones Finds New CMO In-house

NEW YORK ( — Dow Jones under the new control of News Corp. has found the next chief marketing officer for its consumer properties, including The Wall Street Journal and Barron's, by looking internally: The company today promoted Paul Bascobert, senior VP-operations, to CMO of the Dow Jones Consumer Media Group. He succeeds Ann Marks, who left last Friday after nine years as CMO, but is assuming a position that seems to be taking a broader shape than before.

Coming Soon From Kraft: More Bacteria

CHICAGO ( — Knowing that many Americans are bound for diets in a few weeks, Kraft is expanding its LiveActive line of probiotic hard and soft cheeses with prebiotic fiber-enhanced cereal and Crystal Light beverage sticks.

At least your work wasn’t this bad in 2007

What were the biggest marketing blunders of 2007? I’m too buzzed on eggnog to compile my own list, but both Fortune and Collateral Damage have amusing roundups. The former (which we Twittered earlier in the week) selects Procter & Gamble at No. 1 for putting kids’ pictures on a diaper boxes without forking over the big bucks, or even informing their parents. (Hey, I was at that casting call. I really should’ve shaved.) Topping the Collateral Damage chart: Take Two Software’s inclusion of O.J. Simpson as a player for a team called the Assassins in its All Pro Football game. I’m not sure that’s a blunder, since O.J.’s inclusion makes me want to check out a product I’d normally have zero interest in. Go, Juice! Cartoon Network’s outdoor push for its Aqua Teen Hunger Force movie placed high on both lists. Parent company Turner Broadcasting shelled out $2 million to the city of Boston after the campaign ignited … sorry, strike that … I mean, set off … sigh, just forget it … a bomb scare in Boston. Given the quality of the film in question, I’d say a bomb scare was pretty much inevitable.

—Posted by David Gianatasio

New LifeStyles campaign lets it all hang out

Condom company LifeStyles, an advertiser that lost its sheath long ago when it comes to saucy (often sophomoric) ads, asks “What’s your LifeStyle?” in its first effort from AMP Agency. Surprise: The work makes with the risque images and bawdy wordplay. Brandweek’s description borders on breathless: “For the ‘Bold’ lifestyle, the creative features a shot of a young woman in a public bathroom hiking up her skirt to reveal her right butt-cheek, while swinging a pink metallic purse in her right hand. Another, ‘Well-Rounded,’ features a close-up of a voluptuous female rear in which the subject is tugging at her pink-striped underwear.” Can you say “rear” on the Internet? Barbara Lippert calls the ads “too, too cheeky,” and they’re really not so hot. Neither was my dating lifestyle, which could best be described as “Frightening” (by prospective partners) and “Desperate” (by me). Where’s the LifeStyles ad for all of us losers? Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go see HR. You can say “rear” on the Internet, but there’s apparently a problem with me doing so via company servers on company time.

—Posted by David Gianatasio

Child mental-health ads too hot to handle

Controversy seems inevitable when you create ransom-note- style ads beginning with phrases like, “We have taken your son.” But apparently it’s the message, not the approach, that has put a quick end to a new poster campaign for the Child Study Center. The ads, which you can see at Osocio, were created pro bono by BBDO to raise awareness of psychiatric disorders like depression, autism, ADHD and OCD. The writing is terse and visceral. “We have your daughter,” one poster says. “We are forcing her to throw up after every meal she eats.” But not all disorders are as clear-cut as bulimia. Advocates for children with autism felt the campaign perpetuated negative stereotypes with phrases like, “He will no longer be able to care for himself or interact socially as long as he lives.” While it’s obvious the campaign was intended to spark controversy, Child Study Center founder Dr. Harold S. Koplwicz raises a valid point when he says, “It’s the first time that the issue of children’s mental health has gotten national attention without being precipitated by a shooting at a high school or college.”

—Posted by David Griner

If Sam Raimi had made forklift safety videos

Leave it to the Germans to outdo the Canadian workplace advisories with clockwork efficiency, as Klaus the Forklift Operator goes on an accidental rampage that would put Evil Dead fans off their breakfast. It may also rank as the most inauspicious first day at work of all time. The gruesomeness really kicks in around the five-minute mark. Enjoy! (Read more about the short film here. Apparently some companies have actually used it as a training video.)

—Posted by David Kiefaber

Aegis Keeps Pernod Ricard’s $200M Global Media Account

NEW YORK ( — Aegis Media has successfully defended Pernod Ricard's estimated $200 million global media account following a review. Publicis Groupe's Optimedia and WPP Group's MindShare also pitched the account, according to executives familiar with the matter.

Jack Zander narrowly misses 100 years age

Sad news today as the man who introduced the ad world to animation, and enriched the 50’s 60s and 70s with stylishly animated commercials for brands such as Dime Savings Bank, Alka-Seltzer, Green Giant vegetables, Crest toothpaste and Jax Beer and many more – Jack Zander – has driven his BMW bike to the dirt road in the sky.
The New York Times Obituary tells the tale of how Jack got his lucky break

The receptionist stuck her head into the lobby, where Mr. Zander and a friend happened to be sitting.
“Are you fellows animators?” she asked.
Mr. Zander, as he later said in interviews, had no idea what an animator was. But it was the start of the Depression.
“Yes!” he shouted, and so his career began.

CartonBrew has a recent Jack Zander interview from this summer, well worth a read.

One of the great things about Jack, that I think everyone who worked for him would agree on is that he hired and trusted a whole generation of young animators. Jack looked for talent, and didn’t care much about age, race, background, whatever. He wasn’t a New Yorker by birth, but he really was the quintessential New Yorker in his demeanor. And Jack sent some of the best animators in the business out into the world.
His production company was a great place with great people. And he was a great influence. A guy who encouraged free thinking and artistic expression in a business which for all its creativity, can sometimes stifle expansive thought.
He was a great man, and had a huge impact on advertising.

– says our own adgrunt tod.brody
At Animationjournal we found this quote from Jack on creating commercials:

The art form turned out to be a natural for the tube. First it grabbed the viewer’s attention just by the looks. At that time most of the commercials were talking heads or other examples of stand up deliveries. Pretty boring. Along comes the funny pictures and immediately the eye is drawn to the screen. Can t beat that. At that stage of the business all you had to do was make some drawings move. Our audience was there waiting for the message.

The lost 50’s cartoon have some images from Jack Zanders work.

read more

Ice-skating testicle roughed up on the rink

It’s a shame this ad arrives so late in the year, as it would be a shoo-in for at least an Elite Eight appearance in our Freaky Advertising Moment of 2007 contest. It features a testicle who’s having a ball practicing its salchows, but keeps getting slammed by a hockey player, leaving hairs all over the ice. The tagline: “Check your balls,” reveals it to be a campaign for testicular-cancer awareness. See the whole Carpe Testes effort here. The agency is Struck in Salt Lake City.

—Posted by Tim Nudd

Hot for the Holiday: GPS Sales up 488%

YORK, Pa. ( — You better not pout, you better not cry — or you won't get a GPS device or digital picture frame like the other good little boys and girls who know what's hot in tech this season.

AC #54 Now Available

The Holiday ’07 Edition.

Finally. Tug and John find a moment to sit down over a few pints for a podcast. In the warmth and kindness of the season, John and Tug drop more f-bombs than usual. Just warning you now.

Chapter One: Intro wherein Tug complains about the current state of women’s handbags.

Chapter Two: A heartfelt salute to Mr. Whipple.

Chapter Three: Holiday spot talk including Rudolph rehashes and carol rewrites.

Chapter Four: Tug and John’s do’s & don’ts at the agency holiday party. Remember, do as we say not as we have done.

Hope you and yours have a wonderful holiday. 2008 is, well, going to be another year in advertising.

Be naughty. Listen now.

Blogosphere Reacts to Google Knol

NEW YORK ( — It has been called a competitor to Wikipedia, Jason Calacanis' Mahalo, Seth Godin's Squidoo and Yahoo Answers: Knol is Google's foray into knowledge aggregation.

FTC Approves Google-DoubleClick Deal

WASHINGTON ( — The Federal Trade Commission today voted 4-1 to approve Google's $3.1 billion purchase of DoubleClick without condition. The commission rejected concerns by consumer groups that the deal may hurt consumers privacy.


Our Freakiest Advertising Moment of 2007 contest comes down to this: a viral effort that made your “friends” feel like they were being targeted by a serial killer, versus an ad campaign that attempted to sell TVs by showing eyeballs with mouths. Freaky, indeed. Vote for a winner below through noon on Friday. See the full bracket here.

—Posted by Tim Nudd


Championship game:
Dexter’s viral campaign vs. Pioneer’s laughing-eye ads.

  Dexter’s viral campaign made a murderous late charge in the Final Four and left the Lost Jaw guy with egg on his already-overtaxed face. Now, it faces Pioneer’s creepy eye-mouths, which shut down the dairy dreams of Skittles’ milked man. Which one will be crowned the Freakiest Advertising Moment of 2007?
  UPDATE: And the winner is Dexter! See the vote totals here.

10 Ways to Make the New Year Happy

The start of a new year is always a good time to reflect on the past and think about the future. But for CMOs, this end-of-the-year taking stock quickly puts a damper on holiday celebrations. CMO tenure remains depressingly low, marketing effectiveness has been disappointing and CEOs are all too quick to notice poor results. To help brighten your outlook on the year ahead, we compiled a list of 10 things CMOs can do to dramatically help themselves, their brands and their companies.

Three New Year’s Resolutions for Brands

Whether spurred by human nature or love of ritual, it's a time-honored tradition to set some goals for the New Year. So in the spirit of new beginnings I suggest the following New Year's resolutions for brands. In fact, the concepts behind the most common resolutions made by people — spend more time with friends and family, eat right, exercise more — apply to brands as well

Jakob Nielsen: Get Web 1.0 Right First

Jakob Nielsen’s newest alertbox on the web 2.0’s dangers to site profitability: “Instead of adding Facebook-like features that let users “bite” other users and turn them into zombies, the B2B site would get more sales by offering clear prices, good product photos, detailed specs, convincing whitepapers, an easily navigable information architecture, and an email newsletter.”