Agency Brief: a wondrous launch into space and a new breakfast brew
It’s now been 50 years and six days since Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first people to walk the moon on July 20, 1969. And if you haven’t had enough of all the brand initiatives surrounding that anniversary yet—check out Ad Age’s Ethan Craft’s extensive overview of the best efforts—we’ve got one more. The Richards Group explores the power of a child’s imagination in a 30-second spot for Wonder Bread in which a boy dreams up that his trampoline is really launching him off into space. (Oh I wonder, wonder what’s in his Wonder Bread.)
A different breakfast brew
In 2018, Americans consumed a healthy 202.2 million barrels of beer, according to creative shop Article Group, which discovered through an earlier project done with Brooklyn Brewery that to make that amount of beer, the brewing industry had to waste 400 million tons of grain—all of which ended up in landfills. That got the agency thinking: what if we made a nutritious granola cereal out of that wasted grain? So they did, first as a crafty holiday gift idea for clients last year and now as a cereal anyone can enjoy for $8.99 a box. Voilà, Beernola is born.
Allison & Partners enters the consulting game
MDC Partners’ Allison & Partners is opening up the doors to its own consultancy. Named Headstand, which the agency says has been operating “in stealth mode” for the past six months, the consultancy works with both Allison & Partner’s clients and its own. Headstand is led by 12-year veteran of the agency, Zach Colvin, who becomes president to oversee the firm’s business development and organic-growth efforts. Stacey Johnes is general manager of Headstand, tasked with supporting financial oversight, staffing and brand development.
Why UM went dark on Thursday
IPG’s UM shut its doors worldwide on Thursday for its second annual “Global Impact Day.” For the second consecutive year, UM employees ditched their desks to volunteer at various philanthropic organizations around the world. The employees shared their activities throughout the day on social media with the hashtag #UMBetterWorld and #UMImpactDay. (The day of service was originally launched in 2016 under the name “Better World.”) “From preparing adults to re-enter the workforce to restoring schools, facilities and parks, the inspiring projects we undertake are a critical part of how we collectively build a better tomorrow, today,” says Global UM CEO Daryl Lee.
Phenomenon's 'first-of-its-kind' funding
Phenomenon, an indie business-transformation agency, gains strategic majority investments from Los Angeles-based Berggruen Holdings and San Francisco-headquartered Sleeping Bear Capital. Phenomenon will lend its self-proclaimed expertise in strategic consulting, creative, design, innovation, products and services and communications to the firms. "This is a first-of-its-kind partnership between Berggruen and Sleeping Bear Capital to leverage a platform like Phenomenon as a revolutionary and creative business model focused on action, not just ads," says Phenomenon CEO and Founder Krishnan Menon.
Big wins of the week
Kroger, the largest U.S. supermarket chain by revenue, names DDB New York as its first creative agency of record following a review—a big score indeed for the Omnicom agency. DDB is tasked with developing a fresh and stronger brand identity for the Cincinnati-based company, the largest supermarket chain in the U.S. by revenue. Kroger and DDB will also work to position the company as an omni-channel retailer spanning its in-store, delivery, pick-up and shipping offerings.
Ron Foth Advertising in Columbus, Ohio, takes the account of Bob Evans Restaurants from incumbent McCann. The new agency of record will handle media planning and buying and strategic and creative efforts for the chain of 480 homestyle restaurants in primarily the Midwest, across digital, TV, radio, outdoor, social media, in-restaurant signage and menu design, among other areas.
Laughlin Constable is the new media agency of record for USG Corp., a manufacturer of construction materials based in Chicago, following a review. The independent agency that has offices in Chicago and Milwaukee will handle all planning, buying and measurement for the company’s three primary business units: performance materials, ceilings and gypsum.
Saxx, a Canadian men’s underwear brand, is hiring McCann Canada to expand its presence in the U.S. The network will work with Saxx strategically and creatively to build awareness of the brand among Americans.
Schafer Condon Carter (SCC), Ad Age’s 2018 Small Agency of the Year for the Midwest region, picks up the account of UChicago Medicine, the University of Chicago’s medical center. The agency will handle strategy, creative and media placement for UChicago Medicine while expanding on its brand positioning of “At the Forefront.”
On the move
BBDO New York Chief Strategy Officer Crystal Rix is becoming the first global chief marketing officer of BBDO Worldwide, while retaining her current role. A 15-year veteran of BBDO, she will play a key role in business development in this new position. “We’ve never had a global chief marketing officer before,” says BBDO Worldwide CEO and President Andrew Robertson. “Mostly because I’ve never felt we had the right person to do it. Now we do.”
R/GA L.A. Managing Director Nicky Bell is moving up to senior vice president of global client partnerships. Under the promotion, Bell becomes responsible for fostering stronger partnerships, innovation and growth among R/GA and its clients. Taking over as managing director of L.A. is Pam Scheideler. She hails from Deutsch, where she was chief digital officer, and will also tack on the title of senior vice president at R/GA.
Engine names U.S. CEO Zihla Salinas global chief marketing officer. She retains both titles. “Having Zihla take on the additional role of Global CMO just makes sense,” says Engine Global CEO Kasha Cacy. “It is an extension of the work that she already does driving the Engine brand through our agency offering.”
Paulie Dery, a veteran of R/GA and M&C Saatchi Australia, is leaving his current role as executive creative director at Uber for Austin, Texas-based outdoor products maker Yeti. A proponent of agency folks making the jump to in-house, Dery will become vice president of creative and brand strategy at Yeti. At Uber, he was responsible for the company's creative output across various channels and built out the in-house unit to handle traditional campaigns, social, animation and design.
Austin-based independent agency Callen hires David Hughes as managing director from Wieden & Kennedy, where he was a group brand director. He joins in August and replaces Holly Petitjean, who held the role for two years. Callen also brings on Julianna Simon from Fallon as head of strategy.
GYK Antler promotes Creative Director Mike Gatti to executive creative director. Having joined in 2016, Gatti is credited with overseeing clients like PayPal, iRobot, Ken’s Foods and Keolis, as well as expanding the footprint of the agency’s Boston office.