Agency Brief (A-List edition): Some news for your hangover

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How's everyone feeling today?

If you're moving a little slower than usual, we feel your pain. Last night brought together more than 500 of adland's rowdiest for a night of awards at the 2018 Ad Age A-List & Creativity Awards Gala at Cipriani 25. Fun was had by all, especially the guy who had to be retrieved from the bar to accept his award. And me, who will refuse to be called anything other than Meg Ryan after a little slip during the staff introductions.

Luckily for this year's A-List winner Wieden & Kennedy, we were able to retrieve the trophy from Blarney Stone (where it had been since Anomaly won it -- and left it during the afterparty -- last year).

My favorite speech of the night had to be the one from Martin Cass, accepting an award for media agency of the year, Assembly. "It's been a really tough week to be an Englishman called Martin in advertising — this has made it so much better."

Grab some Excedrin and some Pedialyte and get ready for some agency news.

Starcom's push included digital signs, such as in the agency promoting 'Happy hour for hunger'
Starcom's push included digital signs, such as in the agency promoting 'Happy hour for hunger' Credit: Jessica Wohl

Starcom's hunger fight is still early in the first round
Last week, Starcom put its creative muscles to use, pulling a few dozen staffers from across the Publicis Groupe agency together for a day to create fundraising campaigns for the Greater Chicago Food Depository, a local food bank. A variety of ideas were cooked up in the XD4Good sessions, the agency's first, but there were parameters to keep in mind, including having to direct people to a Go Fund Me page rather than saying the name of the charity in any materials, and a limited budget of roughly $17,000, raised largely through donations.

"Get scrappy, people," Kim Yates, senior VP of experience design at Starcom USA, told the teams before they began brainstorming creative approaches and media possibilities.

Many of the agreed upon ideas focus on data from the food bank that $15 can provide 45 meals. Within hours, ads popped up on screens in the Leo Burnett building suggesting tenants put the $15 they'd spend on a cocktail aside for hunger.

"We were struck that $15 is about the cost of a modern cocktail, if you go to a cocktail bar," Bohb Blair, global chief experience officer at Starcom Worldwide, said. "The idea is instead of that extra drink, buy a drink for the 'table' … so one drink's cost can go to 45 meals while you're out enjoying yourself."

Other posters and online materials raised the idea that a $15 lunch tab could instead feed 45 people. Four staffers even reserved produce-themed costumes to wear outside, including at the Chicago Cubs game, on Friday, April 13. While the enthusiasm is there -- a spoken word poem for podcast ads was quickly pulled together in Blair's office -- the campaign has yet to deliver on its goal of raising more money than was spent. As of Friday, less than $1,800 was donated.

An offer they couldn't infuse
Chemistry has been named agency of record for two tea brands, Sweet Leaf and Tradewinds. The brands are now run by Dunn's River Brands, a portfolio company of private equity firm Fireman Capital Partners, which bought Sweet Leaf and Tradewinds from Nestle Waters North America in December. Campaigns for both brands are in development and should be out by mid-summer, according to a statement, which says the work includes digital, social media, advertising and events.

'Fearless Girl' gets a new home
"Fearless Girl" is moving. New York Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Thursday the statue would be moving to a new location in front of the New York Stock Exchange from its current spot on a narrow median on Broadway. The new, "long-term" spot will help alleviate safety issues of the statue's many visitors. The move will happen by the end of 2018.

The Feminist Letters
The Feminist Letters Credit: Y&R

'A is for ass-kicking career women'
Feminism: Now, there's a font for that. Y&R is launching a new platform called "The Feminist Letters" with Bustle, Women of Sex Tech, the 3% Conference, Bow & Drape and Yola Mezcal. It's a new expressive font that touches on gender equality, touching on issues like reproductive rights and family leaves ("S is for salaries," "T is for taking control of your body"). The platform lets users tweet at representatives in the font and download for emails or to make posters and the like.

"We want the font to be an engaging, creative way for women's rights advocates to speak out on the topics most important to them," Leslie Sims, Y&R North America's chief creative officer said in a statement.

Contributing: Jessica Wohl

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