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CVS' Marketing Chief Says Phasing Out Tobacco 'Helped Prove the Company's Purpose'

Thu, 20 Oct 2016 22:07:27 +0000


When Norman de Greve joined CVS Health, the company's plans to phase out tobacco, effectively losing $2 billion in annual revenue to become a major player in the health care field, were already rolling. That, of course, was part of the reason he wanted to join. For de Greve, tobacco hits home: He lost his father to lung cancer when he was just 7 years old. 

Now, two-and-a-half years later, CVS Health has helped drop tobacco sales by one percent across all retailers and proved its purpose of "helping people on their path to better health," de Greve told attendees, while speaking at the Masters of Marketing Conference in Orlando today.

Plus, 500,000 consumers visited the section of the company's site devoted to quitting smoking and 260,000 people sought help from counselors at CVS.

The move also scored 100 million media impressions for CVS Health and revamped the way people see the brand. In 2015, 40 percent more influencers saw the brand as impactful in improving health, versus 2014. 

"Selling cigarettes and antibiotics in the same store is just wrong," said de Greve. "Two-and-a-half-years later and we're still the only pharmacy not selling tobacco. Rite Aid, it's your move."

But even with its successful tobacco exit (when asked if there was blowback from the tobacco lobby de Greve couldn't recall any) that doesn't mean CVS is taking aim at alcohol or sugar.

"Tobacco is unique, it is universally bad," said de Greve. "For us, there likely will not be another tobacco-like thing. It's just not going to happen." 

Still, the company is "looking to [shelve] healthier options," from brands like Chobani, Annie's, Amy's, as well as some almond milk, noted de Greve.  

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Jeff Bezos Isn't Convinced That the Washington Post Can Survive on Payment Services

Thu, 20 Oct 2016 19:58:27 +0000

Jeff Bezos, Amazon chief and owner of the Washington Post, isn't sure that services like paywalls and tiered subscriptions can work for publishers. During a wide-ranging panel at Vanity Fair's New Establishment Summit, Bezos talked about how he works with the Washington Post staff, as well as the tech giant's recent move into artificial intelligence and his thoughts on the presidential election. One of the most interesting nuggets in the conversation came out when Bezos talked about how the Washington Post plans to make money in the future. Despite running arguably the world's biggest ecommerce company, asking consumers to pay for content isn't a model that he's totally sold on. "These things can change, but I don't see evidence yet that consumers are amenable to those kinds of micro-payments," Bezos told a packed room. "In the early days of music subscription services, consumers were not amenable to music subscriptions—they didn't want that, they wanted to buy it a la carte. Habits and behaviors and patterns of consumers do change slowly over time—maybe one day they will pay." Bezos also said that he wants to move the Post from "making a relatively large amount of money per reader, having a relatively small number of readers—that was the traditional Post model for decades, [a] very successful model by the way," to, "a model where we make a very small amount of money per reader on a much, much larger number of readers." Whether Bezos' vision means reducing the paper's ad load or changing new ad formats isn't clear, but he said that he thinks it will include a mixture of both ads and subscriptions. Over the past year, the Washington Post has experimented with a number of new ad products that seemingly fit the bill for Bezos' mandate. In May, the paper rolled out ads that have faster load times, for example. And last month, it started rolling out a mobile website that promises to load pages in less than a second. In terms of his surprising move to get into the media business three years ago when he acquired the Washington Post, "I did zero due diligence," Bezos said. "I did not negotiate, I accepted the asking price. It couldn't have happened that way except for the person that I was dealing with was Don Graham, who I've known for 15 years and was the most honorable person." According to Bezos, Graham—the then-owner of the paper—laid out every single problem as well as every great quality when making the deal. "I've owned the paper for a couple of years now and if anything, the warts are not as bad as he made them out to be and the things that are great about the Post are stronger than he made them out to be," he said. He also compared the culture of the Post as, "swashbuckling, but they're like professional swashbucklers." That said, Bezos is purposely hands-off with the paper's team. "This is a highly professionalized activity [and] we have people who have decades of experience doing it. I try to help at a much higher level than, 'should we cover this story or that story.'" Artificial learning Bezos talked a bit about Echo's artificial intelligence technology that uses deep learning to learn more about users' speech patterns, music preferences and more. "The fact that it's always on, the fact that you can talk to it in an actual way removes a lot of barriers, a lot of friction—it's easier than taking your phone out of your pocket," Bezos said. In one example of how AI is affecting bigger industries—like the food and grocery space—Bezos said that Amazon is using technology to grade the quality of strawberries for consumers who buy groceries through its Amazon Fresh program. Lastly, Bezos briefly spoke about the presidential election, slamming Republican candidate Donald Trump, particularly for how he has handled being covered negat[...]

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Donald Trump's Lack of Ad Spending Is Leaving a Hole In Local Media's Pocket

Thu, 20 Oct 2016 19:55:43 +0000

The presidential debates provided plenty of free airtime.Gif: Dianna McDougall; Sources: CNN, Shutterstock The presidential election has been momentous and memorable: the first woman nominee of a major party, a businessman/reality show candidate, leaked emails, bigly, Ken Bone and Billy Bush. But local media will remember the 2016 race for what it didn't provide: significant ad revenue. Media forecasting firm Magna originally projected this year's political ad spend to be 15 percent above 2012, which would have set a new record. But current forecasts put the ad buy in line with the 2012 campaign. "[Donald Trump] is not nearly spending what Mitt Romney or John McCain's campaigns did eight years ago," said Mark Fratrik, svp and chief economist for BIA Kelsey. "That disappointed the outlooks of local media companies." Local TV ad sales were underwhelming despite a 10 percent increase this year. "Good, but it fell below our anticipations," added Vincent Letang, evp of global market intelligence for Magna. Around $2.8 billion was booked in local political TV ad sales this year, up 3 percent from 2012 dollars. It's particularly not impressive because a total of $20 billion was spent on local TV ads overall, excluding political ads. "When Trump was a candidate in the primaries, he spent very little," said Letang. "We thought once he got the nomination and gained more access to GOP fundraising, he'd spend closer to what Romney did during his general election [of 2012]. That didn't happen." But it's not just Trump's underwhelming spend that surprises analysts. "We all thought Virginia would continue to be a battleground state for the campaigns. But it just isn't. [Hillary] Clinton has been spending more in Arizona, which comes as a surprise," Letang said. Close Senate and governor races have helped fill the political ad gap created by the presidential campaigns. For example: Indiana Gov. Mike Pence created an empty seat when he joined Trump on the Republican ticket for president. Fratrik similarly noted the close senatorial and gubernatorial races in Florida, traditionally a battleground state as well. "The presidential race is only about a third of the total political spending in an election cycle," said Letang. "The bulk of spending is on congressional, gubernatorial and local ballots." The presidential campaigns also took some of that TV money and moved it to digital which offers a "low cost" option for marketers, according to Fratrik. According to the forecast report from Magna released in earlier this month, "digital advertising sales will equal TV ad dollars for the first time, with both generating $68 billion, a market share of 38.5 percent." Earlier this year, an IAB report found that digital media matches TV as a source of information about candidates. In fact, more than a third of registered voters claimed that digital sources would be their "most important method of getting candidate information." Engaged U.S. voters, the IAB report also stated, find digital media and TV as essentially equal in importance as primary sources of information about presidential candidates and political issues.  "Overall, it's still a strong year for political ads," said Fratrik. "Since campaigns are saving money by using digital marketing, there's plenty of money left for over-the-air television ads and local cable." "One could argue you'd spend an enormous amount of money to reach a small amount of people [through local TV ads], but they can make or break an election, especially in swing states," said Letang. [...]

VML Made an Incredibly Haunting Picture Book That's Really Not at All for Kids

Thu, 20 Oct 2016 19:45:58 +0000

If you picked up a copy of Welcome to My Neighborhood with the illustration of a joyful mouse, bunny and kitten holding hands and dancing on the cover, you might think you'd found the perfect picture book for your little one. But upon closer inspection, you'd see a broken whiskey bottle in one corner, an empty tin can in another and a worn-looking mattress in the background. It's a picture book all right, but it's definitely not intended for kids. VML created the book, described as a bedtime story to wake people up, pro bono for Youth Ambassadors, an organization that works with young people in troubled communities facing anything from domestic violence to hunger. Making something that looks like your average picture book but that isn't for children was intentional on the part of VML, and a key to making the campaign work. "It's a children's book not for children," said Tiffany Lynch, co-founder of Young Ambassadors. "Why would we allow these stories to happen to children in our city when we can't even allow our own children to look at what's inside? It's the juxtaposition of those two ideas that VML so brilliantly came up with that really shocks you." One of YA's biggest youth empowerment programs designed to help struggling kids overcome some of the terrible things they face every day is journal writing. "By getting the urban, poor teens to open up and write down on paper what their reality is, it really does help them to talk about it and start the healing process," Lynch said. After looking over a thousand or so entries from Youth Ambassadors, the team decided to pick three stories and feature versions of them in the book. The three central issues are violence in the home ("The Good Man"), hunger ("Dinner Time"), and gun violence and murder outside the home ("My Big Brothers"). In "My Big Brothers," the author, Angie, tells the story of how her three older brothers ended up in jail. Here's the full text from that story: "I have three big brothers. I love them very much, but they don't always do the right thing. The first one is in prison because he tried to rob a bank. My second brother is in prison because he shot a man eleven times in broad daylight. The man owed my brother money, but didn't pay it back. And then there's my third brother. Some man tried to rape him in a bathroom so he choked the man to death. I love my big brothers, but they don't always do the right thing." The illustrations for each story by artist Davey Gant are done in classic storybook style, but the work perfectly depicts much darker and harsher realities. "The struggle that these kids go through on a daily basis is almost incomprehensible by the rest of us that don't live in these neighborhoods," said Aaron Evanson, executive creative director at VML. "It's so hard to relate to anything they go through. You think you may have a bad day. It's not even close to what some of these kids are going through."  VML and Youth Ambassadors hope to distribute the books to all kinds of community leaders including foundations, government agencies, policy makers and educators. "We see this on the news all the time but we are numb to it," Lynch said. "When you open up this book, because of the medium, it shocks you. The idea is that people pay attention in a different way, and it strikes a chord in a different way." Outside of handing physical copies to decision-makers in communities like Kansas City, VML is also working with RW2 Productions to created an animated version of the book narrated by children reading the three stories. The team is also creating a stuffed bunny like the one in the book to send to community leaders. "We have an almost Build-A-Bear bunny that looks like the little girl bunny in 'My Big Brothers,' and we have one[...]

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Goldman Sachs Is Trying to Recruit Millennials by Running Ads on Spotify

Thu, 20 Oct 2016 19:01:12 +0000


For its latest marketing investment, Goldman Sachs is spending on Spotify.

The financial-services firm started running ads Wednesday on the music-streaming service in the U.S. and U.K. in hopes of recruiting younger candidates. The campaign includes a 30-second spot hinting at a few of the roles potential employees might be interested in.

"What advice would you give a tech firm breaking into a new market?" the ad says. "How would you help grow a university's endowment? Discover this and more at Goldman Sachs, because a career here could take you anywhere."


The ad then redirects listeners to a 14-question career quiz on Goldman's website that helps visitors determine the part of the company that might be the best fit for their skills and interests.

It isn't the first time Goldman has turned to a millennial-focused medium. A year ago, it ran ads on Snapchat in hopes of recruiting college students via the app's Campus Story channel. Earlier this year, the company again used Snapchat, buying ads in support of International Women's Day.

It's not the first time Goldman has worked with Spotify, either. It advised the Swedish company earlier this year as it raised $1 billion in debt financing. As The Wall Street Journal reported in March, raising debt instead of equity could help Spotify maintain a higher stock price if it decides to pursue an initial public offering.

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Ad of the Day: Mads Mikkelsen Is a Riveting, Bizarre Hitman in Ford's 8-Minute Gangster Flick

Thu, 20 Oct 2016 17:37:57 +0000

The new Ford Edge is so enchanting, it will turn the vicious assassin that an arms dealer hired to kill you into a smitten guardian angel—though the killer with the heart of gold might still steal your ride as payment for his protection. So says a new eight-minute short film for the automaker from agency GTB, starring actor Mads Mikkelsen as the hitman, and directed by Jake Scott. Tracking the story of a couple turned state's witness against a weapons smuggler, it follows them into hiding as Mikkelsen's character stalks them, and their bright orange SUV, which apparently they've decided to bring with them to their new Mediterranean village home. (Presumably it was just too good to give up, even if they didn't mind changing their faces with a little casual plastic surgery.) allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="367" src="" width="652"> Mikkelsen, playing the titular "Le Fantôme" or "The Ghost," is ultimately so charmed by the car that he refuses the bounty, and even protects the couple from the second murderer sent to replace them—swapping their Edge for an old two-seat motorcycle and a couple of plane tickets to Peru. In other words, the film straddles the line between the somber and the absurd—though how intentionally isn't, at first, entirely clear. The stakes are high—life and death. The hero is blocky. His motivation is goofy—a point that seems most deliberate when he pauses his hunt to nuzzle the car. The Ford seems woefully out of place, a point the story halfway strives to acknowledge but doesn't quite defuse. Its modern profile sticks out like a sore thumb against the lush, classic, dilapidated backdrop that the production so beautifully shapes. Ultimately, it doesn't feel believable. This isn't a luxury automobile, and it's not obvious whether Ford is asking people to laugh at the car without quite giving reason to do so, or to applaud the car as a down-to-earth antidote to the hackneyed, dazzling underworld tropes the film goes to great lengths to polish. Ultimately, it's most likely the latter. A fair reading would find the whole film a delightfully arch send-up of gangster narratives, and a celebration of modesty and morality. Regardless, the visuals are wonderful, and Mikkelsen's performance is eminently watchable—enough in its own right to keep the audience hooked, and guessing. In fact, the only real crime may be the color of the car. CREDITS Agency: GTB Chief Creative Officer: Julian Watt Executive Creative Director: Bryn Attewell Creative Director: Peter Hvid
Producer: Romila Sanassy
Group Business Director: Sarah Rosser Account Director: Sian Patrick
Senior Account Manager: Luke Johnson Account Executive: Mathilde Pors
Planning Partner: Stephen Wallace President: Paul Confrey
Client Services Director: Fabio Ruffet Director, Integrated Planning: Melanie Elliot Prod Company: RSA Films Director: Jake Scott
Exec Producer: Cindy Burnay
Editor: Joe Guest at Final Cut Director of Photography: Mark Patten Production Designer: Joseph Bennett Photographer: Nigel Harniman Cast Le Fantôme: Mads Mikkelsen
The Widow: Barbara Steele
Hero Couple: Karin Perathoner and James Brown The Kingpin: Jon Campling
Interpol Agent: Zarko Radic Ford Vice President, Marketing, Ford of Europe: Matthew Van Dyke Marketing Communications Director, Ford of Europe: Anthony Ireson Brand Content Manager, Ford of Europe: Lyn West
SUV Brand Content Manager, Ford of Europe: Chris Rushton [...]

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CMOs Are Daring Each Other to Foster the Next Generation of Marketing Talent

Thu, 20 Oct 2016 16:01:15 +0000


Chief marketing officers for the world's top brands are challenging each other to find and support the industry's next generation of talent. The initiative is one of a number of issues the Association of National Advertisers' newly formed Masters Circle aims to tackle.

"Without quality talent, this industry's future is questionable," said ANA president and CEO Bob Liodice, addressing 2,700 attendees at the ANA's Masters of Marketing Annual Conference in Orlando, Fla.

ANA board members Jeff Jones (former Target CMO, now president of ride-hailing app Uber), Linda Boff (General Electric's CMO), Kristin Lemkau (JP Morgan Chase's CMO) and Jon Iwata (IBM's CMO) are leading the charge on the ANA's CMO Talent Challenge.

CMOs who accept the challenge are committing to mentor younger generations, spending at least five hours with students to chat about marketing careers and participating in an industrywide ANA/AEF talent study.

To kick off the challenge, CMOs are prodding one another to join in via Twitter using the hashtag #TalentFWD.


Lastly, most of the reactions to the brand's newsjacking seemed to be positive. Here are a few notable Twitter users who tipped their hat to Excedrin:

UPDATE: This story originally suggested that Excedrin did not buy the promoted trend. 

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Y&R Looks to Build on Its Momentum With New Global President and Other Key Hires

Thu, 20 Oct 2016 15:55:22 +0000


David Patton has been named global president of Y&R, effective January 2017. Patton will be based in the London office and will report to the agency's global chief executive David Sable.

Prior to joining the Y&R team, Patton spent six years at Grey Group as president and CEO of Grey EMEA. He also spent two years as CEO of Grey U.K. With Patton's upcoming departure, Grey announced that Alain Groenendaal, president and CEO of Grey Latin America, will take over as president and CEO of Grey Europe.

Sable noted that while Y&R looked both outside and inside WPP to fill the global role, and found great candidates outside of the network, Patton was the best fit.

"As our momentum kept getting bigger and stronger I needed that extra help, particularly getting into the details as we get into the markets. It was really important that I be able to provide better service going down into the markets and to all my regional guys. It was just the right thing to do," Sable said. 

Outside of naming a new global president, Sable also announced a few other key hires.

Y&R, under Sable's lead, has established a global healthcare practice, which will be led by Howard Courtemanche. Courtemanche joined Y&R a few months back and has previously served as president of JWT's Health division. Since his arrival at Y&R, the agency has won three pharma and over-the-counter accounts. He will continue to help the agency build on this success in the health business in the coming months.

"Of all the businesses one can have, healthcare is the one that probably requires the most specific expertise," Sable said. "When you have somebody who has lived it and knows the language in a different way, because it's not just marketing language. You need to understand compliance, regulatory environment, what the approval process is like, you need to understand the FDA. There's so many different things."  

Additionally, Y&R also announced a new global chief marketing officer. Former director of business develop in North America, JJ Schmuckler, will take on the global CMO title. 

The hires came as Y&R's North America division continues to see success and growth over the past three months. Driven by the agency's New York office, Y&R has won six new accounts, including the three new health clients. Other new clients include JPMorgan Chase's corporate business (won in partnership with VML), lead creative agency for Cirque du Soleil and work for The U.S. Census bureau's first digital census in 2020.

With the announcement of the three new positions Sable hopes to show Y&R's momentum, "the importance of our position in WPP's horizontality," and the "growing opportunities we have to bring our businesses together and bring better solutions to clients."

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Gary Vaynerchuk Argues That Marketers Are Fighting an Attention War

Thu, 20 Oct 2016 15:28:29 +0000


Have you seen The Big Short? Gary Vaynerchuk has and he believes what it depicts within in the financial sector—that the numbers, measurements and predictions were flat wrong and no one cared—is infiltrating the ad world.

"This is what's happening in the advertising industry, and I'm the guy with the weird fucking eye," said Vaynerchuk, referring to the character Christian Bale portrayed while speaking at the National Advertisers Masters of Marketing Annual Conference in Orlando. "Everybody knows!" 

The problem, Vaynerchuk posited, is marketers are in the midst of an attention war—they are spending their dollars in the wrong places and they know it. When consumers aren't watching appointment television, or if they are, they're looking at their phones during commercial breaks. It doesn't make sense to spend the bulk of your marketing budget executing a beautiful 30-second spot.

Vaynerchuk argued that the smartphone is the new television and marketers need to be where consumers are actually paying attention. What's happening with television is exactly what happened to the radio with the invention of the television, according to Vaynerchuk.

"Attention is in different places now," said Vaynerchuk. "I could care less if Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat exist tomorrow. I care about where your attention is. ... If you're a brand that makes a TV commercial for your audience that's 22 and under, you're a fuck-face." 

Revamping where your brand is can make a big difference. While working for Sour Patch Kids, Vaynerchuk found the brand grew 60 percent when it began running ads and filters on Snapchat instead of 30-second spots on SpikeTV. 

That doesn't mean marketers need to go all-in on Snapchat; instead, they have to consider when and where people are actually paying attention to ads. With that in mind, Vaynerchuk believes "the No. 1 under-priced ad is the Super Bowl because everyone watches it."

What needs to change when it comes to Super Bowl ads is "the creative has so much vested interest in being a showcase for agencies," said Vaynerchuk. Instead, the creative focus should be about figuring out a way to get all those eyeballs to do something and turn it into a major data collection event for brands.

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