A brief recap of Advertising Week. Plus, Twitch's partnership with Anomaly and Mediahub
Another year went down in the books for Advertising Week New York, and the Madison Avenue mayhem is settling down. As expected, the event was exhausting and chaotic, with long lines, vendors soliciting attendees at the bottom of escalators (nearly causing human pileups) and relatively unhelpful staff, bless their hearts, who misdirected event-goers to panels every which way inside AMC Lincoln Square. Still, there were some thoughtful conversations on everything from disruption to politics in advertising to the future of the agency model.
One underlying theme was the very serious tone in which panelists discussed the creative industry—a business that is supposed to be fun and lighthearted, a reprieve from the often cynical and divisive real world. Even S4 Capital Executive Chairman Martin Sorrell pointed out how “depressing” creatives sounded discussing the future of their industry, while promoting his own digital-focused company on panels.
“We’re getting really heavy about what we do,” Judy John, who became Edelman’s first global chief creative officer in February, said. She and Publicis New York Chief Creative Officer Andy Bird, McCann New York Co-Chief Creative Officer Sean Bryan and FCB Global Chief Creative Officer Susan Credle were gravely debating brand purpose, and whether a company needs one to succeed in winning over consumers, when John suddenly broke off to note, “we can’t lose the silly things we do.” The panelists immediately lightened up and praised Burger King’s genius “Whopper Detour” stunt—which took home the Grand Clio in the Digital/Mobile and Direct categories this week. Credle, whose New York team created the trolling campaign, notes how that “silly” effort drove 1.5 million downloads of the Burger King app.
Here’s hoping that panel, held on the last day of the conference, reminded creatives that they can effect change and drive business results but still have fun doing it—otherwise, arguably, they might as well break out the suits and join consultancies.
Back to being serious ...
Outside the advertising bubble, the United Nations Climate Action Summit descended on New York this week. And some leading industry figures chose to attend it over Advertising Week, including Droga5 Founder and Chairman David Droga, who presented on The Lion’s Share, a year-old fund that asks advertisers to contribute to wildlife conservation and biodiversity each time they feature an animal in a commercial.
Coinciding with the climate summit, U.K. independent energy retail company OVO Energy released a brand campaign starring its members (see above) and urging people to reduce their carbon footprint. While surely not everyone is expected to sail across the Atlantic in a zero-emissions yacht like 16-year-old activist Greta Thunberg did, the campaign, called “What We Can Do,” aims to drive awareness toward the climate crisis and lead people to take steps toward a zero-carbon lifestyle. It is the first campaign created by agency 20Something, which opened in July in London, and features ads across out-of-home, social and podcasts.
The agencies behind Twitch's new brand effort
Twitch redesigned its logo and website this week, decorating its assets in bright purple and unveiling a new brand marketing campaign as it tries to position itself as more than a platform for gamers. The company tells Ad Age that the agencies behind the effort were MDC-owned Anomaly and Interpublic Group of Cos.’ Mediahub. A person close to the business tells Ad Age that the agencies won lead creative and media responsibilities, respectively, for the Amazon-owned brand following a review. A Twitch spokeswoman confirmed the agencies involved, adding that the brand does not have agencies of record. According to R3 Co-Founder and Principal Greg Paull's esimtates, Twitch spends about $50 million on measured media annually.
New platform aims to foster female collaboration, ad-free
Independent network M&C Saatchi is launching Dayre, a platform dedicated to helping young female professionals succeed. Ironically enough, the platform—though designed by a creative agency—says it is committing to be ad-free. In M&C Saatchi’s words, “the platform aims to offer a space for women to share the big and small moments of their day and life without judgment, ads, algorithms or illicit mining of user-data and content.” Here’s proof that even the agencies that make the ads sometimes don't want to see them.
Another quiet win
Ad Age's Jessica Wohl reports that Crispin Porter Bogusky quietly began working with Noodles & Company in May. Now, the secret is out. CPB is promoting the chain’s newest veggie-fied pasta, Caulifloodles, which are cauliflower-infused rigatoni noodles with a serving of veggies added in. The new noodle made its official debut on the menu Sept. 25. In the days leading up to the launch, some Noodles & Company customers received what appear to be test-kitchen samples of Caulifloodles along with their actual orders. Caulifloodles (the name is a mouthful, and we’ll have to report back on the taste) follow Noodles & Company’s May 2018 introduction of spiralized zucchini, known as Zoodles. Worth noting: Boulder, Colo.-based CP&B is less than 15 miles from its newish client, which is based in Broomfield, Colo.
Even more wins!
Periscope becomes creative agency of record for Hairless Dog Brewing, an alcohol-free craft beer brand. The agency will be tasked with helping launch new booze-free brews for the company and reaching more health-conscious consumers. Its duties will span brand strategy, creative, package design, social media strategy and execution, public relations and website design and development. “We needed more than an agency, we needed a true partner capable of paving a new way for product marketing,” Hairless Dog Brewing CEO Jeff Hollander says.
Deilveroo delivers global media planning and buying duties, excluding the U.K., to Interpublic Group of Cos.’ Initiative following a review that launched in June. The review was managed by consulting firm Ebiquity. Deliveroo is based in London and counts more than 80,000 restaurants and 60,000 riders across 500 towns and cities.
WPP’s Berlin Cameron becomes agency of record for Bios Lighting—which designs lighting solutions with biology-first technology developed by NASA scientists—following a review. Under the partnership, Berlin Cameron will handle all PR, media and creative services (including campaigns across digital, social and video) for the company. Karen Flanagan, managing director for the agency, will lead the account. “Changing the world of light will have such a massive impact on agriculture and human fields,” Flanagan says.
Memphis, Tenn.-based lawn service provider TruGreen names Philadelphia independent agency Brownstein Group as its brand strategy and creative agency of record following a review. Brownstein is tasked with growing TruGreen’s business through customer service and digital initiatives. Responsibilities will span advertising, digital and public relations.
WPP’s Wunderman Thompson names Neil Dawson as global chief strategy officer, based in London. He will report to Global CEO Mel Edwards. Dawson was the chief strategy officer of Publicis Sapient and previously served in strategic roles at creative agencies including Omnicom’s TBWA London, where he is credited with leading the planning department before becoming chairman.
MediaCom appoints Nadine Thomson as its first global chief technology officer, effective Oct. 1. She will report to Global Chief Digital Officer Deirdre McGlashan, lead MediaCom’s global data solutions team and be tasked with developing a strategy of using technology to drive business results. Thomson will also collaborate with the WPP and GroupM IT global teams.
Kantar promotes Dolly DeNyse to chief revenue officer and Amy Fenton to chief client officer of North America, from chief sales and development officer and chief client officer for its insights division, respectively. DeNyse will drive the sales strategy and new business development for Kantar North America. Fenton will serve as “the voice of the client” and foster North American business growth across existing and prospective customers.
Initiative’s Amazon-focused agency Rufus hires Kumar Kanagasabapathy as head of strategy in the U.S. He will be based in Los Angeles and oversee the strategic direction for the Amazon business regionally across retail and devices, Prime video and Amazon web services. Kanagasabapathy was most recently senior partner, strategy lead on MediaCom’s Adidas account.
Adam Jones, former head of Google’s U.S. business development, joins digital marketing agency Logical Position. He will be director of business development based in the agency’s Austin, Texas, office. Jones will be tasked with forming a partner program at Logical Position in the role.
Liquid Omnicommerce, an independent shopper marketing and retail consultancy in the Middle East, poaches Richard Nicoll, who is a veteran of Saatchi & Saatchi London and Hong Kong and most recently Publicis Communications Asia, where he was chief shopper marketing officer. Nicoll will be chief commerce officer and managing director at Liquid Omnicommerce, tasked with enhancing offerings, structuring the agency’s capabilities and striking a balance between online and offline shopper marketing.