An NFT that's truly bananas and Virtue gets a new global chief growth officer: Agency Brief
This NFT is bananas
Well, a banana. The duct tape has been replaced with a sharpie, but the latest fruit-forward critique of art-as-investment comes from Nathan Phillips, co-founder of creative agency Technology, Humans and Taste.
He’s packaged his “creative identity” into a single image of a banana with an identity crisis. Scrawling the word “ORANGE” across it in permanent marker makes it art, he says. And if someone buys the NFT he created of it, that will officially make him an artist, at least according to his tongue-in-cheek tirade on LinkedIn.
“I’ve never said I am an artist. That all changes with this banana which I’ve artfully designed to embody a sort of irreversible dialectic about the nature of identity and then later used in a smoothie,” Phillips writes. “Like this banana, poisoned and ultimately disfigured by an act of creativity, I myself have been deeply affected and ultimately transformed by my tenure as a professional creative person. This piece is my way of becoming an artist, a worthless title IMO, until someone is willing to pay for it.”
Someone out there can make that deal a reality for just 0.05 Ethereum on auction site Rarible, a little more than $100 at the moment. Considering the current owner of Taco Bell’s “Transformative Taco” NFT is betting they can get 97 ETH for it, “Orange” just might be a steal.
Suresh Raj is the new global chief growth officer at Virtue, overseeing new business for the agency. He joins from Vision7/BlueFocus International where he was chief business development officer, winning business with clients including Amazon, Samsung, Nike, Coca-Cola, Tencent Gaming and Alibaba.
Previously, he held senior roles in growth at Zeno Group, Ogilvy and MHP Communications. He is a founding member of The Collective, which brings together senior LGBTQ+ leaders from the private sector, government, politics and NGOs, as well as McKinsey’s LGBTQ+ network The Alliance.
“The team has already laid such a strong foundation and has such an incredibly unique offering and diverse team,” Raj says. “I look forward to introducing brands to this next iteration of Virtue—as a creative partner helping brands to navigate emerging culture, while leveraging the extensive Vice Media Group network of creators, producers and thinkers.”
The news comes less than two weeks after Vice Media Group acquired brand consultancy PLTFRMR, bringing aboard founders Chris Garbutt and Colin Mitchell as co-presidents of Virtue and chief creative officer and chief innovation officer at VMG, respectively.
Luiza Prata Carvalho joins David Miami as head of account. Previously, she spent six years at Wieden & Kennedy Portland as brand director for Nike and Uber, where she helped develop campaigns including “Dream Crazy” and “Dream Crazier.” Prior to that, worked at Ogilvy Paris for two years and worked on Unilever brands like Dove and Hellmann's while at Ogilvy São Paulo.
“Luiza is the perfect match for the leadership profile we were after,” says Ricardo Honegger, managing director of David Miami. “Not only has she worked for award-winning brands in several markets but also, she is one of the most respected professionals in her field. Her attitude toward work, her way of developing deep and lasting relationships with the people on her team and with the brands, fosters an environment in which creativity can flourish, allowing relevant and powerful jobs to emerge, like so many we have seen so far in her career.”
Analytics platform Tableau has a new integrated b-to-b campaign from agency DNA and production company Where The Buffalo Roam that creates a whimsical maritime world where the usual suspects that run a ship now use data to make the traditionally rough life of a fishing village into a high-tech (and lucrative) outfit.
“This is not your traditional b-to-b campaign,” says Noel Nickel, creative director at DNA. “Rather than doing the typical corporate testimonials and use-cases, they wanted to tell the story of collaborating around data using humor and a little filmmaking magic.” The campaign includes multiple digital videos and paid social.
Italian creative agency The Big Now/mcgarrybowen is highlighting gender double standards in in the ad industry with a new white paper, “The Women’s Body Issue.” It’s structured around four themes: objectification vs. liberation, and beauty standardization vs. universality, gender roles vs. empowerment and sexual moralization vs. positivity. It includes advice for brands and agencies around best practices and moving towards more feminist communications.
Kei Shimada joins R/GA Tokyo as managing director, completing the office’s new leadership team and spearheading an effort to expand the agency’s reach in the Asia-Pacific region. Shimada was most recently associate partner, founding member and leader of Digital Makers Lab, a co-creation lab within IBM Japan. Prior to that, he was global director of innovation and business development at Dentsu.
Boulder, Colorado agency TDA has been appointed agency of record for Champion Petfoods’ Orijen and Acana, including creative, strategy and media in North America and nearly 100 other countries globally. New work is expected spring 2021, including digital and streaming video, digital display, mobile, audio, podcast, social, experiential and print placements.