2001 Rating: 2 stars
Campbell-Ewald's place in the Interpublic Group of Cos. family has become much like that of Tom Hagen of the Don Vito Corleone family in "The Godfather."
Led by Tony Hopp, the Warren, Mich.-based shop is a strong stealth insider to the family's fortunes but independent enough to steer its own fate. It even got a nod from rival Omnicom Group CEO John Wren as one of the strongest players out there.
Creatively, Campbell-Ewald isn't as flashy as sibling Deutsch or connected as McCann-Erickson Worldwide. But it has displayed a measured use of integration and market insights in work including a rock `n' roll-theme effort for General Motors Corp.'s Chevrolet, focusing on popular songs that mention Chevy in their lyrics; lighthearted Michelin man advertising; and the arrival of Polyp Man.
The latter character, starring in an Ad Council spot for the American Cancer Society, is a villain dressed as a red polyp who's chased by doctors and humorously encourages people to get screened for colon cancer. The tag on the spots: "Get the test, get the polyp, get the cure."
Campbell-Ewald's big U.S. Postal Service win with sibling DraftWorldwide, Chicago, along with the National City Corp. bank win and several high-profile pitch finals, were prime examples of Campbell-Ewald's strong new-business team (the agency claims $200 million net new billings). That the account of SeaWorld, owned by Anheuser-Busch Entertainment, came and went without work ever being approved is a minor chink in the armor.
With its management team in place, watch Campbell-Ewald try to build on its 2002 momentum with new talent and tools to gain account wins in the fast-food, beer, retail and telecom categories.