Bad day? There's a granny for that!
Chicago-based agency Social Deviant is celebrating its seventh anniversary (coinciding with "Random Acts of Kindness Week") with what it's calling an "InstaGranny" activation Friday. Street teams in downtown Chicago are connecting pedestrians with a "granny" via a live FaceTime feed.
Dorothy and Joanne, who are characters played by actors, are working live from the agency's Chicago headquarters, doling out advice and stories about buying homes, marriage, careers and 401(k)s.
This week, the agency's employees also visited local nonprofit H.O.M.E.'s Nathalie Salmon House to clean, play bingo and visit with the senior residents.
If you missed out, I have an in with the greatest granny of all: my Grammy Graham, whose stories are better than anyone I know. Play your cards right and she might tell you a few.
Read on for this week's agency news and see you next week.
New biz brief
Winnebago Motorhomes has named Kansas City-based Barkley as its new lead creative agency, tasked with relaunching the brand for consumers, owners and dealers. The agency plans to unveil the new work in spring 2019. The account was previously handled by DKY in Minneapolis, which will continue to work with the brand for projects.
A little something different
Droga5's D5in10 Academy—a crash course into the creative side of advertising aimed at drawing in people who may not have otherwise landed in the industry—is back. The program launched in 2017 and brought on 21 creatives from a mix of racial, cultural and professional backgrounds. And Droga5 says it seems to have accomplished the goal: Several students have moved on to creative-related careers at agencies like DDB, Publicis SJR (and Droga5 itself, as an intern). Applications for this year's cohort are due March 1.
Oh WPP I love your Waze
WPP and GPS navigation app Waze announced a "collaboration" this week—intended to direct drivers to retail locations through en-route messaging in the U.S., the U.K., Canada, Italy and France. The companies said the idea came about following a hackathon with Google and WPP. According to Digiday, Waze has pitched its product as a "billboard for phones" and is interested in growing business for brands that once thrived as in-store impulse buys — which have suffered as foot traffic has declined and curbside pickup has become more popular.
S4 Capital is expanding into India as it brings on Poran Malani as its director of Indian operations. In a statement, executive chairman Martin Sorrell said the company believes a shift to digital presents MediaMonks and MightyHive with "significant opportunities in a market that will become even more important as India becomes the most populous country on earth." "India is a country that we admire and respect," he added. "We expect great things from Poran in a short amount of time. No pressure."
Mother and The Secret Little Agency announced a "strategic partnership" and have opened shop in China as Mother Shanghai. The joint-venture plans to bring the creative beliefs of the two shops to China and wider Asia.
On the move…
Erin Matts, former North America CEO for Annalect, was named U.S. CEO of Omnicom-owned media agency Hearts & Science. Last week, Omnicom Media Group named Scott Hagedorn — Hearts & Science's former U.S. CEO — as its new CEO for North America. He replaces Page Thompson, who is retiring.
Lauren Hanrahan was named CEO of Publicis Groupe agencies Zenith, Moxie and MRY in the U.S., replacing Sean Reardon, who is departing in April for an opportunity outside the company. Hanrahan was formerly global practice lead for business development and communications at Publicis Media.
Communications consultancy Ketchum has hired April Scott as managing director for digital, social and analytics integration for North America. She comes over from Ogilvy, where she was EVP and managing director for Ogilvy's digital group.
Elisa Silva, Kevin Skobac and John Swartz have been promoted to Managing Directors at SS+K. Silva was formerly an SVP and director of client services; Skobac was an SVP and director of digital strategy and innovation; and Swartz was most recently an SVP and director of product and innovation.
The Many (until recently known as Mistress) has promoted Todd Lombardo to managing director of brand and social. He was formerly director of digital and social at the agency.