Agency Brief: Will lawyers take your jobs?
This law firm has a creative team and acts like ad agency
Edelson PC is a plaintiffs’ law firm with an untraditional approach. This becomes clear once you see its casual dress code and graffiti-scrawled walls and murals around the open layout office.
Jay Edelson, the firm’s founder and CEO, says he found the traditional legal atmosphere suffocating when working at previous law firms and had a different vision for his company.
“We're a law firm, but we don't really view ourselves as a law firm,” Edelson says. “One of the major things that I wanted to accomplish was having a culture where people could be creative and the firm was alive.”
However, there is more beyond the office's golf simulator and indoor-volleyball court where weekly matches occur that embodies the feel of an ad agency.
The firm, which focuses on consumer, tech and privacy-related class action litigation among other types of cases, has its own creative division that turns out content like "Hamilton" parodies, “Saturday Night Live”-like skits, a podcast, and even rap music videos that often take aim at the legal industry.
One example is from a song titled “Non-Compliant,” rapped by Ari Scharg, a partner at the firm, about a case in which a large corporation shut down a community hospital.
The song is “about how these big defense lawyers are so proud of their work, and he posed the question, ‘Well, what is it that you tell your kids at home?’” Edelson says. “And he went on to say, ‘This part is true, instead of playing cops and robbers, my kids play us and you.’”
Edelson says the team has weekly “free-ranging, 3-4 hour” creative pitch-like meetings where different members of the firm brainstorm case ideas and are encouraged to think outside the box as a culture-building exercise.
“We have our own internal lab and they'll come up with ideas for cases and say, ‘Here, Apple is saying X to the world, but it's actually not true,’” Edelson said. “By the end we come out of the meetings with really unique suits that have had tremendous results. It's just fun and not usually what lawyers think of as being lawyers.”
FCB aids Down Syndrome and fitness study
FCB Canada helped develop the concept and partnerships for a research study led by its client, the Canadian Down Syndrome Society, that will chart the effects of brain and physical exercise on the physical and cognitive abilities of people with Down syndrome over time.
“This is a landmark study that we hope will show just how far-reaching the positive effects of exercise can be for the Down Syndrome population,” says Dan Gordon, who is leading the study from Angila Ruskin University. “We already know that exercise can provide enormous benefits to overall health and well-being and have seen many isolated examples of exercise having an impact on cognition. But definitive data just doesn’t exist yet, and that’s why a study of this size is so important. Even a slight increase in cognition can lead to an incredible shift in the quality of life for a person with Down Syndrome. This would allow for more independent living and make activities of daily living much easier to accomplish.”
Participants in the eight-week study, which launched on World Down Syndrome Day, are using a custom-designed Mindsets app that gathers exercise data from Fitbits along with data on brain exercises provided by BrainHQ.
This is only the latest of a number initiatives FCB Canada and CDSS have worked on together to help support the Down Syndrome community, including projects like “Down Syndrome Answers'', “Anything but Sorry,” and “Project Understood.”
OMG’s taps D&I Officer
Omnicom Media Group has hired Sara Porritt as its new U.S chief diversity and inclusion officer. She previously spent four years with OMD USA in a dual role as diversity and inclusion lead and senior director of integrated media planning on both the Clorox and PepsiCo accounts. Porritt succeeds Justin Reyes, who moved on to a senior D&I role with Major League Baseball.
“At a time when advancing diversity, equity and inclusion has never been more imperative, it’s never been more important to have the right person leading this effort,” says OMG CEO Daryl Simm. “ As someone with the combined experience of building and leading diverse account teams, as well as assuring a culture of opportunity, support for the people on those teams, Sara is the right person to lead OMG’s D&I efforts.”
Last December the holding company hired Emily Graham as its chief equity and impact officer, succeeding Tiffany R. Warren, who departed for Sony Music Group after serving over 10 years as Omnicom’s chief diversity officer.
Slugger Creative’s latest campaign for Midwest gas and convenience chain Pump & Pantry features a 30-second TV spot that uses singing customers to promote its new loyalty program.
In the commercial, different types of customers sing the hook from the company’s jingle: “Pump up my day” into the pump as if it were a microphone. After each of the three customers—the third being an Elvis impersonator—sings into the pump, the screen flashes the savings each customer has received. At the end a young woman, holding her pump asks “Do I have to?” and the Elvis impersonator explains, “You don’t have to sing into the pump, just sign up and you’ll get the savings automatically.”
“There are lots of serious messages out there in this late-pandemic world,” said Andrew Ladden, CEO of Slugger Creative. “We want to be real with our customers, like our mom at the end of the spot, but we can do that with a laugh.”
The commercial runs on local TV, while characters from the spot appear in promotional banners inside the stores.
“Pump up my day” is the latest move in a complete revamp of the Pump and Pantry brand that Beck and Ladden launched in 2019. Slugger plans to build on the campaign over the spring and summer to celebrate P&P’s 50th Anniversary.
Caribbean island rebrand
The St. Maarten Tourism Bureau has chosen New York City-based media agency Big Idea Advertising as its marketing agency of record to help rebrand the Caribbean island, which suffered from Hurricane Irma in 2017 and now the current pandemic.
“We are excited to be reinvigorating interest in St. Maarten, as it is truly unique not only in the Caribbean but also the world. Many people are not familiar with the blend of experience, fun and island-hopping that take place there and that’s what we intend to tell the world about,” said Steve Defontes, president of Big Idea Advertising.
Big Idea plans to drive results through a creative brand refresh, new marketing communications and integrated digital advertising and social media efforts.
The agency recently had success with another Caribbean island client. In 2019, Big Idea launched a campaign for Anguilla, which resulted in a 20% increase in arrivals into the island.
Calling small agencies
Ad Age’s annual Small Agency Awards are back, honoring small, independent shops that showed their strength and creativity by producing innovative and exciting work despite the overwhelming hurdles presented by the pandemic. Enter here. The final deadline is April 27.
TBWA\Media Arts Lab has hired Pedro Prado as the first executive creative director for its Miami office, the agency’s regional hub for Latin America. Prado joins the agency next month from Leo Burnett Brazil where he served as creative exec VP.
Prado has worked for various clients including brands such as Nike, Google, Fiat, Trident, and Oreo.
Connelly Partners, an independent agency, has acquired VRX Studios, a global content agency out of Vancouver with a history in the hospitality industry, working for clients like Expedia, Hyatt, Hilton. The financials of the deal are not disclosed. VRX will be a sibling company to Connelly Partners, maintaining its name and home base in Vancouver, Canada.
Design and branding agency, Conran Design Group has brought on Ankur Naik, as its new senior strategist, previously from Wolff Olins, and BBMG, where he partnered with brands such as Burton, Target, Google, and Spotify.