Agency Brief: Trojan debuts 48-minute nonsensical film for getting right to 'chilling'
Trojan Canada has come out with the perfect film to “Netflix and Chill,” or rather just skip to the “chilling” (not chilling?) part. Created by agency Forsman & Bodenfors, the condom brand released a 48-minute film of rolling credits for those of you at home looking to get into the mood—the thought being that people usually wait until the credits of a movie to “chill," which has become code for hooking up. At 48 minutes, F&B says the film—which is entirely nonsensical so no one has to worry about missing anything—is “twice” as long as “the average Canadian sexual encounter.” As the introduction says, the film is “basically picture-less, plot-less and character-less. So, in Trojan’s opinion, it’s the best movie ever made.”
The agency says the film includes riffs on plankton, wallpaper and humming home appliances, as well as the narrator’s grocery list: pasta, chili peppers and food for Pablo the cat. There are also some Trojan product placements, naturally, and information from a 2019 sexual health study of Canadian college students weaved in.
Matt Hassell, chief creative officer at F&B Canada, says he thinks the film could be helpful for young people who “don’t have the same flexibility they once did to visit clubs, bars and other places to meet people, but right now, they are allowed to have a social circle of 10, which makes the apartment date and hookup perfect.”
“The idea came to us in one of our creative sessions for Trojan,” Hassell further explains. “We were discussing what moments the Trojan brand could really 'own' in popular culture, and one of the very first thoughts that came to us was the credits of a movie. Movie credits and hooking up go hand-in-hand in dating culture.”
Anyone can watch (er, not watch) the full 48-minute film, if you so wish, on YouTube. F&B says the movie is also being promoted through influencer content, paid social on Facebook and Instagram and via the Amazon Trojan Store masthead.
Introducing the inaugural Together for Better Award
Independent multicultural marketing shop Carol H. Williams Advertising announced a partnership with digital agency AdVenture Media and New York Festivals Bowery Awards to introduce the new “Together for Better Award,” which will honor campaigns that promote unity and diversity. Advertising icon Carol H. Williams—who rose to fame as the first female and first African-American creative director and VP at Leo Burnett, which she joined in 1969—will judge the creative entries and select the winner of the inaugural award.
The 2020 Bowery Awards will honor top entries in each of the following categories: Audio, Motion Video, Design, Quarantine Content, Made on Fiverr and the Carol H. Williams “Together For Better" Award. Those who receive top honors will receive prizes including $1,000 in AdVenture Media services. The deadline to enter is Oct. 2.
“Powerful narratives are the shaping force in our lives and thereby creates empathy and motivates action at their most profound level,” says Williams, the founder, CEO, president and chief creative officer of Carol H. Williams Advertising. “Narratives that ignite and nurture passions within us, envision new possibilities, develop confidence and inspire us to overcome any obstacles that we face in making what was once unimaginable, imaginable.”
Carol H. Williams will also be honored with the Vanguard Award at Ad Age's virtual Women to Watch event on September 15. Tickets are available here.
Spreading the wealth
A group of creatives have come up with a new initiative they hope will go viral in the industry: #LinkitBlack. The initiative is a call to action for industry professionals to promote diverse talent, with a particular focus on Black talent, directly on their social and professional networking platforms. It was created by Wunderman Thompson New York Experience Director Vaibhav Bhanot; Spotify Creative Director Alex Reinoso; Facebook Associate Creative Director Mo Osunbor; and Havas Creative Director Nick Elliott. The creators say that since agencies are “homogenous by design,” with a tendency to promote nepotism, they saw an opportunity to use those negative traits for good. Link it Black encourages industry professionals to use their social platforms not just for self promotion, but for the promotion of marginalized talent. The group debuted a website around the initiative and tagged all the holding companies on a related Instagram account (@linkitblack) to entice them to participate and spread the word.
Bhanot says the initiative is designed to alert recruiters to the lack of diversity in the industry and, when they come scouting for new hires, encourage them to seek “people who are underrepresented and overlooked.”
“This is an ongoing problem,” Bhanot says. “Whatever efforts we’ve been doing as individuals or organizations have not been enough. This needs to be resurfaced again and again until we reach a level playing field. There are a lot of conversations going on everywhere, but there is no action. How can we stop blaming each other for actions not happening and take that action into our own hands?”
Schafer Condon Carter this week bought global public relations and digital agency TimeZoneOne, adding to a growing trend of mergers and acquisitions in the industry. The independent Chicago shop says it acquired 100 percent of the operations of TZO, which is also based in the Windy City but has locations in New Zealand and Canada as well. TZO’s clients include the Illinois Office of Tourism, State of Illinois, Navy Pier and the Magnificent Mile Association. The 25-year-old agency will continue operating independently from SCC with Daniel Thomas staying at the helm as CEO and president.
Thomas comments, “SCC’s focus on data-driven creative is the perfect fit” for TZO’s “PR and digitally native approach.” SCC CEO Richard McDonald adds that the deal “creates synergies across abilities and clients as well as leverages complementary strengths.” SCC’s clients include Kellogg’s, Danone, the Chicago Cubs, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Casey’s General Stores and First Midwest Bank.
Meanwhile, independent creative and strategic brand agency Mesh also announced this week the acquisition of Converge Marketing, a strategic and analytics firm. Converge Marketing Founder Matt Preutt will remain on board as agency director. These are just the latest deals since the pandemic, during which time the industry has seen several mergers and acquisitions. They follow S4 Capital merging with Brightblue Consulting; Havas Group buying Australian media agency Hyland; Tool of North America integrating with tech studio nøcomputer; Trust Relations forming a strategic partnership with Cover3 Creative; and Minneapolis agency Stable merging with Arkansas-based retail shop Kreative Sales & Marketing.
AKQA expands to South Africa
WPP-owned global design and innovation agency AKQA has expanded its footprint to South Africa, opening two studios in Johannesburg and Cape Town via the acquisition (yet another example of recent consolidation) of the local TMARC group, along with its subsidiaries Strike Mobile and Platform 5. Strike Mobile is a performance marketing company that says it builds products and services driven by data, content, media and technology. Platform 5, which was rebranded to AKQA, is a solutions-based, certified Google Ads specialist founded in 2016. The studios collectively house 55 employees serving clients Unilever, Campari, Danone, RMB, Pernod Ricard, Foreyer New and Nestle. AKQA employs more than 2,200 people across 29 studios worldwide.
“To join the AKQA family and establish the South African office is a significant development for our business and our clients,” TMARC CEO Nick Terry says. “It is a significant endorsement of our business and our talent, demonstrating the long term opportunities we see in the South African market.”
FCB was named the creative agency of record for Go RVing, a rental service and informational site for RV travel. UM, which pitched alongside its sibling Interpublic Group of Cos. creative shop, will be responsible for the brand’s media buy. FCB will oversee all creative, brand and strategic messaging for Go RVing. The appointment follows a review that involved 25 agencies.
WPP was selected as Whirlpool Europe, Middle East and Africa's strategic communications partner across 29 countries in the region. The partnership takes effect in January 2021 and follows a nine-month pitch that involved six global networks. WPP says it will support the business with an international and integrated team based in Milan. Agencies Wunderman Thompson, VMLY&R, m/Six, BCW, Geometry, Hogarth and AKQA will assist on the account.
WPP also picked up global agency-of-record duties for Zespri International, the biggest marketer of kiwifruit. The holding company says an integrated team will help deliver Zespri’s brand position, “Make Your Healthy Irresistible,” through communications, experience, commerce and technology. The appointment—marking a consolidation of Zespri’s business with one agency partner—follows a one-year competitive pitch managed by consultancy R3 Worldwide. WPP says VMLY&R will lead strategy and creative; Mindshare will handle media planning and buying; Hogarth will oversee production; and Geometry will handle commerce experiences.
VMLY&R promoted Myron King to chief integration officer to lead organizational design and cultural integration strategy for North American clients. He will serve as strategic partner to the agency’s new cross-departmental Transformation Initiative, which was set up to implement efforts that combat systemic racism across all areas of VMLY&R’s business as well as its clients. King has been with the agency for 15 years, most recently as managing director of its advisory practice. He is also a founding member of VMLY&R’s diversity, equity and inclusion committee.
MediaLink, part of Ascential, has hired Kathleen Saxton as executive VP and managing director of its European operations. Saxton was most recently leading The Lighthouse, a firm she founded in 2009 and led across the marketing industry to advise and represent senior executives, optimize organizations, create new working models and build “super” integrated teams. She is also a psychotherapist and founder of Psyched Global, a series of leadership development programs. Based in London, Saxton will report to MediaLink Chairman-CEO Michael Kassan.
Wolfgang L.A. was named lead lead creative agency for Georgia-Pacific’s Sparkle Paper Towels. The appointment is an expansion of the independent creative agency’s relationship with Georgia-Pacific. Since its founding in 2017, Wolfgang has also worked with Georgia-Pacific brands Brawny paper towels, Dixie cups and Vanity Fair napkins. The agency has also produced and directed work for the company’s brands via its production arm, Wolfgang Productions.
On Board Experiential, an experiential marketing agency, announced the launch of Think True, a Black-owned and minority-led marketing consultancy. The company says Think True has been several years in the making. The consultancy is set up to help brands engage diverse communities, target underrepresented audiences and diversify their offerings, among other diversity, equity and inclusion efforts. Its services include brand consulting, audience insight development, issue marketing, talent management, public relations, public policy consultation and grassroots and community outreach.