McD's puts Ronald up against the King
[Oak Brook, Ill.] Not to be outdone by Burger King's plastic royal personage, McDonald Corp.'s advertising is returning to old-school with a series of branding spots showing how people interact with the oversized Ronald McDonald statues. The spots, from Omnicom Group's TBWA/ Chiat/Day, Playa del Rey, Calif., continue the "I'm Lovin' It" theme and will air on "event" media programming, according to media industry executives. See AdAge.com QwikFIND aar31L
Apple files trademarks for term `Mobile Me'
[Cupertino, Calif.] Apple Computer Co. has filed four trademarks for the term "Mobile Me" to cover a wide range of applications, from computers to Internet and cellphone devices. Apple declined to comment, but analysts speculated the term could apply to everything from a portable storage device to the long-rumored Apple iPod phone or even an Apple wireless service. The first iTunes phone, a Motorola Rokr from Cingular Wireless, had a tepid reception.
Subway taps Pace to head up marketing
[Milford, Conn.] Subway Restaurants' Franchisee Advertising Fund Trust has hired Tony Pace as senior VP-chief marketing officer from exec VP-group managing director. He succeeds Chris Carroll, who left the marketer in September to pursue other opportunities. Beginning Jan. 23, Mr. Pace will be responsible for all marketing and advertising activities for the chain with a media budget that has ballooned to more than $300 million from about $90 million over the past seven years.
Toyota to skip TV for FJ Cruiser launch
[Detroit] Toyota Motor Sales USA will launch Toyota Division's new FJ Cruiser SUV without TV, according to Kim McCullough, corporate manager-marketing communications. In March, FJ videos will be displayed at the Rubicon Trail to reach "core, off-road enthusiasts," and ads will appear in car enthusiast titles, she said.
WPP builds one-stop agency shop for Ford
[Detroit] WPP unveiled a restructuring plan that takes resources from almost all its major agencies and forges them into a one-stop shop, Team Ford, that will be based in Dearborn, the automaker's home town. The shops in question are JWT and sibling Ford Motor Media, both Detroit; Ogilvy & Mather, Mediaedge:cia and MindShare, Dearborn; plus Young & Rubicam Brands, which includes Y&R and Wunderman, both Dearborn. The new units are: Shared Media Services, Brand Experience Services and Shared Administrative Services. A touch confusingly, the employees will still technically be employed by their current agencies, but they will report up through the chiefs of the new units. See AdAge.com QwikFIND aar30w
Macy's narrows $1 billion media review
[New York] Federated Department Stores' Macy's narrowed the number of media agencies competing for its estimated $1 billion account from five to three, according to Joanne Davis, president of Joanne Davis Consulting, who is overseeing the review. The agencies that continue in the competition are: Havas' MPG and Interpublic's Initiative, both New York and Publicis Groupe's Starcom, Chicago. The company last year ended its agency of record relationship with Interpublic's Lowe, New York, in favor of creating a stable of creative agencies to work with on a project basis.
Video-game sales hit record $10.5 billion
[Las Vegas] Video game sales hit a record high $10.5 billion in 2005, up 6% over $9.9 million, further evidence of gaming's growing media influence, particularly portable gaming. NPD Group, which will release the findings Jan. 17, said portable hardware and software sales drove the market with sales increases of 96% and 42% respectively.
Unilever puts Degree in Super Bowl lineup
[Chicago] Unilever's Degree Men deodorant will launch what it bills as a "30-second action film" ad in the fourth quarter of ABC's broadcast of Super Bowl XL, showing Degree users in a series of unlikely stunts, such as jumping out windows to catch a bus, jumping onto a moving taxi and dropping from a helicopter into a corporate boardroom through a skylight window. Interpublic Group of Cos.' Lowe, New York, handles creative.
Six Flags throws account into review
[Oklahoma City] Following the announcement of new marketing leadership, Six Flags threw its creative account into review and hired WPP's OgilvyOne for its direct and interactive work, following a review. Independent Doner, Southfield, Mich., currently handles the account and was invited to participate. See AdAge.com QwikFIND aar30x
Arbitron has signed the four biggest agency holding companies, Interpublic Group, WPP Group, Publicis Groupe, and Aegis Group, to receive its Portable People Meter data, once it becomes available. ... Omnicom Group's BBDO has been awarded a piece of business from Starwood Hotels and Resorts to develop a project for the Four Points by Sheraton brand, the agency said. ... Virgin Mobile has moved its estimated estimated $20 million media planning account to Media Head, a representative for the wireless service provider said.