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Preview: Advertising Age - Latest News

Advertising Age - Latest News



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Ad Age's 2018 A-List

Sun, 18 Feb 2018 18:00:00 -0500

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Spotify Is Ad Age's 2018 In-House Agency of the Year

Sun, 18 Feb 2018 18:00:00 -0500

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Popular playlist RapCaviar became a cultural phenomenon in 2017, kickstarting careers and helping to shape modern-day hip-hop. It was "identified as a company priority to build out as a sub-brand, as something that could meaningfully connect with artists as well as our core hip-hop audience," Jantos says. So the team collaborated closely with RapCaviar's creator, Global Head of Hip-Hop Tuma Basa, and first created the brand identity with Spotify's in-house designers.

"Once we had that," says Bodman, "we started briefing on how we would map out activities that don't feel too much like marketing. How do we do things that feel more like a tribute to the culture in different ways?"

The work that followedwhich also included the RapCaviar MoneyPhone, a stack of cash carved out to fit a phone, a play off the money-phone memewas the kind you'd expect to find in the portfolios of the most innovative creative shops.

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Ad Age's 2018 Agencies to Watch

Sun, 18 Feb 2018 18:00:00 -0500

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We've got our eye on these 10 and you should, too.

BBDO

A lot of eyes are on BBDO, which made our A-List last year, but has seen a drip-drip of account reviews from significant clients Lowe's and Campbell Soup Co. Last year also saw Omnicom Group sibling Goodby Silverstein & Partners win brand Pepsi in a holding company review. But BBDO won Macy's and Lay's for the New York office and additional work from the likes of HP, and delivered outstanding creative. This included Procter & Gamble's "The Talk," in which black parents have frank discussions with their children about race in America, and a campaign for GE that turned the ceiling of New York's Grand Central Terminal into constellations depicting female scientists. Moreover, the agency delivered on a promise to double the number of senior female creative leaders over 12 months.Alexandra Jardine

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MRM/McCann Is Ad Age's 2018 B-to-B Agency of the Year

Sun, 18 Feb 2018 18:00:00 -0500

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When the United States Postal Service tasked MRM/McCann with getting political campaigns to spend more on postage, the agency set to work making direct mail great again.

The USPS earned a significant chunk of political spending in 2012, but it saw that political spend was set to increase significantlyand it wanted to keep up.

To lure more dollars to mail, MRM launched "Direct Mail Is the Perfect Platform for Your Platform" for the 2016 elections, 2018 midterms and races in between. The agency gave campaign managers "real-time" insights with a Marketing Impact Calculator application that helped them adjust their current spending and media mix, see shifts in message lift and determine which pieces were getting the best returns. MRM also gave mail a little glamour with augmented reality and sound chips that made it shareable.

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Margaret Johnson Is Ad Age's Agency Executive of the Year

Sun, 18 Feb 2018 18:00:00 -0500

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You don't often find someone who has stuck by one agency for 21 years, as Margaret Johnson has at Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, but she says she never seriously considered leaving. "I'd look other places, but it always came back to 'I love San Francisco and Rich and Jeff.' It's learning from great legends," Johnson says, referring to company co-founders Rich Silverstein and Jeff Goodby. "I've lived with them longer than my own parents," she adds with a laugh.

She's learned well. Her team's creative gymnastics were behind an astounding $1 billion in new business last year for the agency, including the prized Pepsi account, Liberty Mutual and the social business for longtime client Comcast's Xfinity. It's an impressive run for Johnson, who is the shop's first chief creative officer and first female partner, and who is dedicated to increasing the ranks of women at the agency. Already, 64 percent of GS&P's management team is female.

"One thing I'm striving to do is improve recruiting and keep more women in Goodby's creative department," says Johnson, a North Carolina native who still has a trace of a Southern accent. "I'm working really hard to make sure our partner group is 50-50 and that the work is balanced with perspectives that are both male and female."

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BBH Singapore Is Ad Age's 2018 International Agency of the Year

Sun, 18 Feb 2018 18:00:00 -0500

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"We're finding more and more of our thinking and ideas have social at their heart, and that provides a focus for our thinking and approach," says John Hadfield, BBH Singapore CEO.

With a staff of 120 (who hail from more than 20 countries), the office has averaged double-digit year-on-year growth for the past four years, with 11 percent revenue growth in 2017. Business wins last year included Uber Singapore, plus the regional social and content remit for Uber, as well as Red Bull's Asia content studio and global social newsroom. It also was named lead agency for Singtel, Singapore's biggest pitch of 2017.

The agency, which raised its profile at the Cannes International Festival of Creativity in 2017 with 15 Lions for Nike's "Unlimited Stadium," followed up that work with connected basketball courts in the Philippines where players could access Nike training drills on their phones without using smartphone data, in partnership with Google. The surfaces underfoot were also giant works of art, with portraits of NBA stars by artist Arturo Torres.

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Assembly Is Ad Age's 2018 Media Agency of the Year

Sun, 18 Feb 2018 18:00:00 -0500

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Assembly co-founder and CEO Martin Cass likes to tell the story about the agency's humble beginnings just four years ago. Cass, Michael Nicholas (now chief entrepreneur in residence for MDC Media Partners) and Michael Day (now MDC Media's chief financial officer) crashed at a sister MDC agency, working at tables bought hastily at Walmart and, ahem, borrowing Wi-Fi from the coffee shop downstairs. And this was after some initial tumult, as the agency began as a mishmash: Parent MDC Partners merged RJ Palmer and TargetCast to form Assembly in 2014, and also rolled two other MDC media companies, Doner Media and Integrated Media Solutions, into the group.

"You want chaos? You try to do four mergers in a year," says Cass.

But living up to its name, the agency has fit the pieces together. In 2017, Assembly says, it saw a 12 percent year-over-year increase in revenue and scored more than 10 new clients, including Transamerica and Belkin, as well as the consolidated Boehringer Ingelheim account, all totaling $500 million in new billings.

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Burrell Communications Is Ad Age's 2018 Runner-Up for Multicultural Agency of the Year

Sun, 18 Feb 2018 18:00:00 -0500

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The offering, Burrell says, has been instrumental in building African-American market share for existing clients such as Toyota and new ones like AARP, which enlisted Burrell two years ago. The latter's 2017 campaign on marketing to consumers over the age of 50 garnered 8 million media impressions and nearly 1 million tweets, according to Ferguson.

Such work helped Burrell increase its year-over-year revenue by $2.5 million to $22.5 million in 2017. The company is also increasing its own advocacy through internal work like Allies of Innocence, which partners with mental health organizations to help survivors of gun violence.

"It keeps you closer to the people in a far deeper way," says Ferguson.

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Community Is Ad Age's 2018 Multicultural Agency of the Year

Sun, 18 Feb 2018 18:00:00 -0500

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After working on Corona from a multicultural perspective, The Community won total market duties for the launch last year of Corona in cans for the Constellation Brands-owned beer. The agency, which has 250 staffers, also grew its portfolio to include general market work for General Mills' Cinnamon Toast Crunch and Hornitos tequila, alongside new tech company Magic Leap.

This year has already seen a successful push for Verizon, "Best for a Reason," which features actual engineers at the brand telling their stories. In three weeks, the campaign garnered 6.5 million views.

"Telling all these micro-stories from a local-up approachit's a pretty powerful message to see what Verizon is doing behind the scenes," says Montero, noting that The Community's Verizon work is now evenly divided between multicultural and general market.

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Ad Age's 2018 A-List Standouts

Sun, 18 Feb 2018 18:00:00 -0500

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These sharp shops get kudos for amazing work and business prowess.

Bullish

Bullish puts its money where its mouth is. The three-year-old shop, owned by Deutsch veterans Mike Duda and Brent Vartan, works on a pay-for-performance compensation model, so it can earn key performance indicator-based bonuses from some clients and return on equity from others. When not investing in the likes of Warby Parker and MatchaBar, it got work for Anheuser-Busch, Pepsi and others. And it turned heads when it dropped GNC to invest $250,000 in vitamin supplement startup Care/of.Lindsay Stein

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Somesuch Is Ad Age's 2018 Production Company of the Year

Sun, 18 Feb 2018 18:00:00 -0500

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A simple mantra propelled Somesuch to the top of our Production Company A-List this year: "We give a fuck."

Industry vet Sally Campbell says that has fueled the company since she started it in 2007 in London with her husband, director and Atlantic Records alum Tim Nash, and fellow helmer Nick Gordon. Somesuch gives a fuck about ideas. It gives a fuck about craft. And in an industry notoriously known for giving male talent the choice opportunities, it continues to give a huge fuck that all its directors get a fair shot at doing a standout piece of work.

Somesuch created ads that helped propel the conversation about equality and social justice forward in powerful and artful ways with a roster containing, for the industry, an unusually high number of women (10 of its 27 directors).

Continue reading at AdAge.com




David Miami Is Ad Age's Agency Innovator of the Year

Sun, 18 Feb 2018 18:00:00 -0500

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In 2017, Miami-based David's daring and creative zeal led it to some strange and interesting places.

For Burger King, it turned several real fires at BK stores into a print campaign reminding consumers of its flame-grilled offerings, and it created the press-generating "Google Home of the Whopper" campaign that used a simple 15-second TV spot to prompt virtual assistants to deliver Whopper monologues. After both initiatives earned a Cannes Lions Grand Prix, David kept the burger buzz going with a moving campaign about bullying filmed in an actual BK. In it, both a high school junior (played by an actor) and a Whopper Jr. were "bullied"the burger basically smashed to bitsto see which one generated more complaints from real-life customers.

But great work was hardly limited to the fast-food chain. For Kraft Heinz, for instance, David "borrowed" from "Mad Men" by executing Don Draper's failed pitch for a ketchup campaign that showed how certain foods, like fries and steak, are "incomplete" without a dollop of the sauce. The tagline (as was Draper's): "Pass the Heinz."

Continue reading at AdAge.com




The 2018 A-List: Behind the Headlines

Sun, 18 Feb 2018 18:00:00 -0500

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Ad Age has been honoring the best agencies of the year since 1974, and every year there's a lively and heated internal debate over which shops should make the list and in what order they should be ranked.

Usually it's a fun undertaking.

Judging this year's list took on a new and unwelcome tenor as allegations of inappropriate behavior and sexual harassment were raised about key players in the advertising industry. It made us think and rethink this batch of A-Listers, an honor typically based on financial performance, new business acquisition, future-thinking strategy, excellent creative work and, to a lesser extent, agency culture.

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Reversing Course, Diet Pepsi Goes All-In on Aspartame

Fri, 16 Feb 2018 16:40:00 -0500

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PepsiCowhich faced a consumer backlash after it pulled aspartame from Diet Pepsi in 2015is making a full reversal and will once again use the controversial sweetner in the soda's mainstream variety.

The brand yanked aspartame in mid-2015, replacing it with with sucralose and acesulfame potassium, known as Ace-K. But the move backfired as loyalists clamored for the original formula. So in 2016, the brand brought back the aspartame versionbut only in limited quantities marketed as "classic sweetener blend." It kept the aspartame-free version as its mainstream variety. But now Diet Pepsi is making the aspartame version its main variety again as part of a marketing revamp.

Beverage Digest first reported the news on Friday. A PepsiCo spokeswoman confirmed the switch to Ad Age but did not comment further. The move sets up a new chapter in the cola wars with Diet Pepsi's overhaul going head-to-head with Diet Coke, which has also undergone big changes.

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Waymo Wins Approval for First Driverless Ride-Hailing Service

Fri, 16 Feb 2018 15:30:57 -0500

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The first U.S. commercial ride-hailing service without human drivers has been approved.

Waymo, a unit of Alphabet Inc., got a permit in late January from the Arizona Department of Transportation to operate as a Transportation Network Company, according to Ryan Harding, a spokesman at the state agency.

The designation lets Waymo's fleet of driverless Chrysler Pacifica minivans pick up and drop off paying riders in Arizona through a smartphone app or website, the spokesman said on Friday. Uber Technologies and Lyft are good examples of transportation network companies in the state, Harding added.

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Facebook, Google Could Face Tighter Rules on Political Ads

Fri, 16 Feb 2018 15:20:47 -0500

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Facebook, Alphabet Inc.'s Google and other online platforms would face stricter rules for political advertising according to a proposed framework that will be considered by the Federal Election Commission.

The proposal, written by Ellen Weintraub, a Democrat and vice chair of the commission, would require online advertisements to carry the same disclaimers from their sponsors as do radio, TV and print ads. The commission will consider the framework, known as a notice of proposed rule making, at its next public hearing on March 8.

The move comes as tech companies face growing scrutiny in Washington ranging from concerns about market dominance to concerns that online platforms are used for sex trafficking of children.

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The Creativity Top 5: See the Best Brand Ideas of the Week

Fri, 16 Feb 2018 15:13:45 -0500

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Our weekly roundup of the best new creativity in marketing is back.

In this episode, PlayStation crashes an NBA game, a Hollywood hit inspires citizens to take real action, CNN's 'Apple' multiplies, a fashion brand dupes bargain shoppers and Nike finds sport in unexpected places.

Presented by Creativity Editor Ann-Christine Diaz. Title Design by Hue & Cry.

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Russia Spent $1.25M on Ads, Acted Like an Ad Agency: Mueller

Fri, 16 Feb 2018 14:42:14 -0500

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U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller unveiled the details of an allegedly widespread and coordinated campaign by Russians to influence the U.S. presidential election in favor of Donald Trump, delivering on his initial mandate by the Justice Department.

In an indictment announced Friday in Washington, Mueller describes a years-long, multimillion-dollar conspiracy by hundreds of Russians aimed at criticizing Hillary Clinton and supporting Senator Bernie Sanders and Trump. Mueller charged 13 Russian nationals and three Russian entities and accused them of defrauding the U.S. government by interfering with the political process.

Those involved spent some $1.25 million per month on ad campaigns and measured their efforts much as an ad agency would, according to the indictment. It says the group kept track of metrics like views and comments, and measured engagement.

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Watch the Newest Ads on TV From Toyota, San Pellegrino, Subway and More

Fri, 16 Feb 2018 12:50:00 -0500

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Every weekday, we bring you the Ad Age/iSpot Hot Spots, new TV commercials tracked by iSpot.tv, the real-time TV ad measurement company with attention and conversion analytics from more than seven million smart TVs. The ads here ran on national TV for the first time yesterday.

A few highlights: In a high-energy spot, Subway says "Make it what you want"whether it's hot or cold or fresh or epic or fun or whatever (they're talking about life and sandwiches). Groupon serves up another of its ads starring sassy spokesperson Tiffany Haddish. And Toyota presents a beautifully filmed short narrative about a young boy living in a small Italian town who aspires to be a world-class cyclist; it's part of Toyota's ongoing "Start your impossible" campaign.

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Agency Brief: Dibs, Diversity and Directors

Fri, 16 Feb 2018 11:54:23 -0500

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Happy Friday, and Happy Chinese New Year! Valentine's Day is out of the way and all of the boxes of chocolate, flowers and sappy social media posts are behind us, which means the next big occasion to anxiously await is Ad Age's annual Agency A-List, due out Sunday night.

Before we head into the long weekend for President's Day, let's see what happened in agency news.

Don't even think about it

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Amazon, YouTube, Twitter Are Said to Eye Bids for NFL Rights

Fri, 16 Feb 2018 10:30:56 -0500

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Amazon, YouTube and Twitter are all weighing bids for streaming rights to "Thursday Night Football," according to people with knowledge of the matter, providing the latest evidence of technology companies' growing interest in live sports.

The three are bidding as much as hundreds of millions of dollars for rights that will run for as long as five years, according to the people, who asked not to be identified discussing the negotiations. The NFL is getting help in the talks from 21st Century Fox, which acquired the TV rights to the games through 2022.

The NFL is looking for a tech company to offer an interactive stream with social-media commentary and statistics that entice kids raised on video games and Snapchat, the people said. Amazon already does this with the G League, a minor-league version of the NBA. The TV audience for the NFL has declined for two years in a row, slumping almost 10 percent last season alone.

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Walmart Unveils New Apparel Brands to Check Amazon's Growth

Fri, 16 Feb 2018 10:07:10 -0500

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Walmart is introducing low-cost clothing brands for women, kids and plus-size customers, aiming to lure shoppers as Amazon gobbles up more apparel sales.

The store brands include Time and Tru in ladieswearwhich will replace the jettisoned DanskinNow labelalong with Terra & Sky in plus-size apparel and Wonder Nation for kids, according to a company presentation to suppliers obtained by Bloomberg News. The George apparel brand, which Walmart brought over from its British unit Asda, will be refocused for men only. The new brands will replace older ones such as Faded Glory, White Stag and Just My Size.

The retailer is "launching new brands, not labels," according to one of the slides presented at the meeting, which took place at the retailer's headquarters in Bentonville, Arkansas, in late January. "We will cover every aspect of fashion."

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No Sled? No Problem: Red Stripe Keeps Jamaican Bobsled Team's Dream Alive

Fri, 16 Feb 2018 09:52:00 -0500

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Red Stripe has stepped into to save the Jamaican bobsled team at the Olympics. The beer, which is brewed in the nation's capital of Kingston, covered the cost of the women's team's sled at the last minute after its coach quit and apparently threatened to take the sled with her, the brand says.

The coach, Sandra Kiriasis of Germany, quit the team after refusing to change roles from driving coach to "track performance analyst," according to a report Wednesday by the BBC. Kiriasis claims she was forced out and is legally responsible for the sled, the BBC reported. Red Stripe, which is distributed in the U.S. by Heineken USA, seized on the situation with a tweet on Thursday. The Jamaican team took the brew up on its offer.

Please contact us (your DMs are not open) US (315) 558-2302

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Friday's Wake-Up Call: The FCC Probes the FCC, 'Black Panther' Is Shaping Up to Be a (Mega) Hit

Fri, 16 Feb 2018 05:00:00 -0500

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Welcome to Ad Age's Wake-Up Call, our daily roundup of advertising, marketing, media and digital-related news. You can get an audio version of this briefing on your Alexa device. Search for "Ad Age" under "Skills" in the Alexa app.

What people are talking about today

The deadliest-ever mass shooting at an American high school (with the death toll exceeding 1999's Columbine massacre) happened this week, but the story doesn't make the cover of the new issue of Time magazine, out today. The tragedy at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida happened relatively late in Time's production cyclethe school first went into lockdown at 2:40 p.m. ET on Wednesdayand while Time.com and Time's social channels have been intensively reporting on the tragedy, the print magazine's cover, a healthy-living service package"How to Live Longer Better"will make a lot of people flinch given the timing. See the cover here.

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Study: NFL Needs to Rediscover Its Heart If It's to Overcome Ratings Slump

Fri, 16 Feb 2018 04:00:00 -0500

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Like the proverbial group of blind men trying to identify an elephant by touching random parts of its bodyit's a tree! it's a snake! it's a spear!getting an informed read on the NFL's ongoing ratings slide has been an exercise in highly subjective interpretation. Ask 20 fans why they believe the league's popularity is on the wane, and like the sightless gropers of the metaphorical pachyderm, you'll get 20 responses, ranging from the political (players taking a knee during the anthem) to the pragmatic (the specter of repetitive brain trauma has made watching football an indefensible indulgence).

In the interest of trying to get at the heart of what's actually driving the ratings erosionand whether it's beginning to impact the advertisers that buy time in and around the gamesHorizon Media earlier this winter began an investigation into the matter. The results of the agency's multifaceted study are in, and while the NFL and its network partners may not find the data terribly reassuring, the good news is that many of the factors that have alienated fans appear to be remediable.

According to Horizon Media Chief Marketing Officer Stephen Hall, the results of the agency's study suggest that the recent disenchantment with the NFL may have less to do with the oft-repeated canard about politics and more to do with how the league itself is run.

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TBS Debuts Animated Series 'Final Space' on Reddit Before It Hits TV

Thu, 15 Feb 2018 17:00:18 -0500

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A new cartoon from TBS called "Final Space" is going after "Rick and Morty" fans with a livestream premiere on Reddit.

TBS is running an ad campaign on Reddit to give viewers an early look at the animated sci-fi show two weeks before it debuts on TV. It's the first time a TV show will stream on Reddit, a site with thousands of fandoms and user-generated communities, adding up to more than 50 million monthly U.S. visitors, according to ComScore.

TBS could have streamed "Final Space," created by Olan Rogers, on Facebook, Twitter or YouTube, but Reddit users are known aficionados of cartoons and science fiction. TBS's sibling network Cartoon Network has cultivated a rabid following for its own hit sci-fi animated series "Rick and Morty," which has a community of 750,000 fans on Reddit.

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'Star Trek' Streams Up Profit as CBS Asks Who Needs Ads

Thu, 15 Feb 2018 16:53:08 -0500

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CBS Corp. overcame a slump in TV advertising to report higher sales and profit in the final quarter of 2017, buoyed by offering programs to online providers such as Netflix and attracting subscribers to its own All Access service with shows like "Star Trek: Discovery."

CBS boosted sales from licensing programs by 33 percent and subscription fees by 20 percent, according to a statement Thursday. The company said its two paid streaming services have reached almost 5 million subscribers.

CEO Leslie Moonves is trying to sustain momentum at the company he has led for more than a decade while his board explores a merger with Viacom, which like CBS is controlled by the Redstone family. Viacom owns cable networks including MTV and Nickelodeon, as well as the Paramount Pictures studio.

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'Black Panther' Forecast Soars Past $200 Million on Wide Appeal

Thu, 15 Feb 2018 15:46:30 -0500

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If "Wonder Woman" proved filmgoers of all ages and genders would go see a female superhero flick, Marvel's "Black Panther" is poised to do the same with an African-American protagonist in a supersuit.

The film could generate about $205 million in its debut over the extended President's Day weekend in the U.S., according to Box Office Pro, which raised its projection on Thursday by almost $24 million. Marvel parent Walt Disney Co. is predicting $150 million, still enough to ensure "Black Panther" will be among the top-grossing domestic releases of the year.

AMC Entertainment Holdings, the biggest U.S. exhibitor, has recorded more advance sales for "Black Panther" than any other Marvel Studios title "by a significant margin," according to Elizabeth Frank, chief content and programming officer for the company. More than 100 of the chain's 650 theaters are seeing record reservations.

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Salon Aims to Start a Publishing Revolution by Spinning Ad Blocking Into Cryptocurrency

Thu, 15 Feb 2018 14:19:03 -0500

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Jordan Hoffner, CEO of Salon Media Group, is not surprised at the attention his site is suddenly getting.

Salon is likely the first publisher to ask users running ad blockers to either turn them off or make up for it by letting Salon use their computers' processing power to mine cryptocurrency in the background. The Financial Times (which has itself gotten creative with readers who run ad blockers) reported the news on Monday. The media world turned its head.

"Being a journalist, I knew it was going to be a big story," Hoffner says. "But that's not why we did it. We have a profound problem in the industryad blockingand this was one way to bring light to it."

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