Publicis Seattle Adds Creative Duo

Integrated agency Publicis Seattle appointed creative duo James McKenna and Matthew Trego as creative directors. In their new roles, the duo will work closely on the agency’s T-Mobile account while leading a team of creatives and reporting directly to executive creative director Jason Lucas

McKenna joins the agency after a period as a freelance creative director, which followed two years as a creative director with TBWAChiatDay. While with TBWA, he worked with brands including Google, Disney, Grey Goose, Jimmy Dean and Reebok. Over the course of his career, he has also freelanced with such agencies as 72andSunny and Saatchi & Saatchi, working on brands including Target, Toyota, Sony, Microsoft and Lincoln.

Trego joins Publicis Seattle from McKinney, where he has served as an associate creative director since April of 2012, working with brands including Travelocity, ESPN SEC Network, Mizuno Golf and Sherwin-Williams. He originally joined the agency in November of 2009 as a senior art director, following nearly three years in that role with Eleven, Inc. While with Eleven he worked with clients including Visa, Apple, Callaway Golf, Common Sense Media and the Oakland A’s. He also spent time with GS&P and Ogilvy & Mather as an art director.

In addition to McKenna and Trego, Publicis Seattle welcomed six further hires: associate creative director Derek Anderson joins from TAXI New York; account director Brad Gale rejoins the agency after stints with DNA Seattle and MRM//McCann; Maria Schoonover joins as account director on the American Girl and KinderCare accounts following a stint client-side at Universal Technical Institute; account director Garth Knutson joins the agency from WONGDOODY; Elise Davis joins from Ogilvy Chicago as a senior strategist focusing on the Kraft Heinz account; and senior broadcast producer Tim Biggins arrives following a stint as a freelance line producer.

2 Senior Publicis Creatives Lost Their Lives in the Paris Terror Attack

As we all know, the city of Paris went through the worst kind of nightmare on Friday just as most of us on the East Coast were leaving work for the weekend.

Victims included everyone from journalists and lawyers to foreign exchange students and rock fans–and, as AdAge noted yesterday, the agency world was affected as well.

Two current Publicis employees and one former staffer were among the 129 killed so far in the attack, and Valérie Henaff, CEO of Publicis Conseil in Paris, shared the news on Saturday, tweeting: “Publicis Conseil is in mourning. A great man is gone. Regards to all who loved him.”

That notice concerned senior copywriter Fabrice Dubois, who was one of the victims killed by the terrorists who took over the Bataclan venue. Friends and colleagues have created a fundraising campaign for his wife Alexia.

Paris papers later announced that Yannick Minvielle, who spent nearly five years as CD at RED/Publicis and sang in a local rock band, was also killed while attending the show at Bataclan on Friday night. RED copywriter Guillaume Hannion tweeted an urgent and widely shared plea for help regarding Minvielle’s whereabouts after the attacks, but his family waited more than 24 hours before learning that he had passed. He leaves behind a 7-year-old daughter.

Finally, François-Xavier Prévost also died at the Bataclan. He was 29 and recently became Chef de Publicité or head of advertising at digital shop LocalMedia after holding various digital strategy positions at Havas Media in Paris. Today, Pittsburgh media outlets noted that Prévost was also a foreign exchange student who once worked as an intern for the Pittsburgh Riverhounds, a professional soccer team.

Various parties throughout the ad industry have voiced their support for the Publicis organization following the tragedy.

(The “Peace for Paris” image was created by designer and illustrator Jean Jullien.)

Feeling Judged? Judging Others? This Heartfelt Similac Film Hopes to End the Mommy Wars

Some 95% of mothers feel judged, but they also do plenty of judging themselves, as Similac’s latest campaign delicately demonstrates. In an attempt to end the mommy wars, the brand brings us a heartfelt, nearly eight-minute mini-documentary promoting the “sisterhood of motherhood.”

The long-form spot follows the brand’s hilarious spot earlier this year, in which mommy gangs battled it out on the playground.

This raw acknowledgement of the constant judgment women receive for their choices as moms is guaranteed to make you cry. It’s also a huge tonal shift from the humorous scripted video that first took the campaign viral.

After the outpouring of support for the first video, “we knew that we wanted to continue the conversation and nail down what was really going on with moms,” says Similac brand director Misha Pardubicka-Jenkins says. “The ‘Mother Hood’ video was a satire and humorous, but ‘End Mommy Wars’ is real. It’s not scripted—it’s how real moms judge and feel judged. It’s important to show this if we really want to end judgment.” 

Cynthia Wade, an Oscar winner for her 2007 short documentary Freeheld, was tapped to direct the Similac film and let the real feels flow. Woven throughout are the judgments mothers face about breastfeeding vs. bottle feeding (the judgment most relevant to Similac). But it would be difficult for anyone, even a La Leche League devotee, to argue that Similac is taking a pro-formula stance.

Notably, every woman in the video has tried breastfeeding. Those who didn’t continue had good reasons, from premature twins to lumpectomies (though having a “good reason” shouldn’t be a prerequisite for any decision you make as a parent). The film even begins by highlighting a mother who breast-pumps at work, and depicts several mothers casually breastfeeding on camera.

“How parents feed their babies is a very personal decision, but the mommy wars have opened the topic up for public debate,” says Pardubicka-Jenkins. “We want to transform mommy wars into mommy support by changing the conversation.”

In fact, the lack of support mothers show each other was the biggest surprise for Wade. “I was struck by how isolation kept coming up as a theme,” she says. “Even with supportive partners, friends and jobs, the resounding sentiments expressed by many of the moms were, ‘I wish we could all talk about this more openly’ and ‘I wish I had a greater sense of being connected and supported in my daily job of being a mom.’ “

Which is why the women come together at the end of the video to support each other and tearfully admit their snap judgments. It’s the most moving part, because it’s also the most necessary. In order for any of us to opt out of the mommy wars, we have to support each other on our journeys—wherever they lead.

“By the end of the shoot, I was truly moved by the appreciation the moms had for each other,” says Wade. And she wasn’t alone. “I was most surprised by how quiet the mostly male crew got, how much the moms’ stories affected them.”

They affect us, too. It’s worth watching the whole film on YouTube—where, of course, the comments are disabled. So, if you want to be all judgey, take it somewhere else. It isn’t welcome here.

Client: Similac
Chief Creative Officer: Andy Bird, Publicis
Executive Creative Director/Writer: Jason Graff, Publicis
Executive Creative Director/Art Director: Whitney Pillsbury, Publicis
Chief Production Officer/Executive Producer: Lisa Bifulco
Senior Producer: Lisa Dritschilo
Music Producer: Theresa Notartomaso
Production Company: Mrs. Bond
Director: Cynthia Wade
Executive Producer/Production Company: Jeff Rohrer
Editorial House: Union Editorial
Editor: Sloane Klevin
Executive Producer/Editorial House: Caryn MacLean
Music House: Asche & Spencer
Audio House: Heard City/Corey Melious
Agency Support:

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These Funny Retirement Ads Remind You That, Man, You're Already Old as Hell

The older you get, the more pressing is your need to prepare for retirement. And lord, you’re getting old in a hurry.

That’s the sad-but-funny truth behind this comical UBS campaign from Publicis Switzerland. Subtle and nicely shot, with some pleasantly understated acting, the five spots are relatable in a pathetic sort of way.

They should age well, which is more than we can say for you.

UBS (Client), Publicis Switzerland (Agency), Thomas Wildberger (Chief Creative Officer), Peter Brönnimann (Creative Director), Andreas Hornung, Urs Schrepfer, Thomas Schöb (Copywriting), Christoph Trittibach, Bruce Roberts (Art Direction), Cem van der Schaar (Agency Producer), Wim Roelfs, Tiago Dias, Massimo Giannotta (Digital), Pascal Schaub, Christian Brütsch, Beat Huber (Account Management).

Pumpkin (Production Company), Kasper Wedendahl (Director), Tommy Wildner (DOP), Simon Borch (Editor), Adrian Aurelius (Sound), Sonja Brand, Claudia Brand (Producer).

UBS Switzerland (Client), Dr. Daniel Fischer (Head Marketing), Daniela Ciotto (Head Creative Concepts & Campaigns), Markus Egloff, Manuela Rüegg (Creative Concepts & Campaigns), Daniel Hünebeck (Head Client Dialogue Management), Mirela Jusic (Client Dialogue Management).

Publicis, Poke Ask Life’s Questions for UBS

Chris Foster Joins Publicis as Senior Vice President, Global Clients

Samsung Adds Deutsch to Agency Roster

Joel McHale Mouths Off for T-Mobile

Joel McHale Chooses Wisely for T-Mobile

Publicis Worldwide Has a New Logo

new publicis

Publicis Worldwide today unveiled a new official logo designed to resemble a sign that its founder created for the front door of his Paris office way back in 1927(!).

The new Publicis Worldwide logo is based on the sign on the door of founder Marcel Bleustein-Blanchet’s first office.

— Publicis N. America (@PublicisNA) June 11, 2015

From the blog post explaining the new look:

“The new Publicis Worldwide identity borrows from the past but intentionally incorporates modern characteristics including symmetry and simplicity, while maintaining the iconic Lion head of Publicis Worldwide. The refreshed design will see the network take a step in distinguishing its branding from that of the holding company, Publicis Groupe, headed up by Chairman & CEO Maurice Lévy.”

As noted in the post, the classic Publicis Groupe lion remains as regal as ever.

We still have no official word on the current status of what was once called Publicis Kaplan Thaler, though all signs point to the agency merging into Publicis North America/New York. For example, its former Twitter feed now leads here:

pkt tweets

…and its former web address takes us to an error page adorned with the same design and color as the new logo.

PKT oops

Publicis Indonesia Celebrates ‘Urban Hero’ for Garnier Men

Publicis Indonesia launched a new spot promoting L’Oreal Garnier Men featuring actor Joe Taslim (Fast & Furious 6, The Raid Redemption) squaring off in a parkour battle against a motor cyclist played by Pasha of the band Ungu.

For the 60-second spot, entitled “Urban Hero,” Publicis Indonesia teamed up with Seven Sunday Films and director iClaudius. The ad promotes L’Oreal Garnier Men’s face wash as an antidote to damaged skin caused by exposure to sun and pollution with an action-packed parkour sequence. It connects Taslim’s performance with the product, with each championed as an “Urban Hero” for overcoming difficult obstacles. The connection is tenuous at best, provided by voiceover touting the product’s benefits and the winner of the parkour contest receiving the product as a reward, and plays more as a rationale for a spot with Taslim’s star power. The video is hosted on a campaign site, which includes a behind the scenes look at the making of the ad, maps of the race and product info.

“We loved working with Seven SundayFilms — they were professional, organized and nothing was left undone,” said Publicis Indonesia CEO Ben Lightfoot, in a statement. They were a great source for outside experiences and talent, bringing a new and unique understanding of Indonesian advertising while maintaining international quality production.”


Client: L’Oreal, Garnier Indonesia
Agency:Publicis Indonesia
Director: iClaudius
DOP: Sven Lippold
Production Company: Seven Sunday Films
Executive Producers: Rodney & Ajeng Vincent

We Hear: PKT Rebrands as Publicis New York?

publicis NA

This week we hear that Publicis Kaplan Thaler, born when Kaplan Thaler and Publicis New York merged in 2012, has nearly completed its rebranding and will soon go by either Publicis North America or its original name.

We don’t have much in the way of details because Publicis has not responded to our queries. The rumor has been floating around for some time, though. In late 2014, we received a series of tips claiming that the agency’s three offices would consolidate into the location at 1675 Broadway, that an official name change would follow, and that staffing shakeups were in the works.

The last part turned out to be accurate: three weeks after that post ran, President and CCO Rob Feakins stepped down. He has not yet been replaced, and Publicis never directly responded to questions about the rest of the story.

The best evidence we have to indicate that the renaming rumor is true: on PKT’s official Publicis homepage, the “click to learn more” link (as well as the original URL) now leads right back to Publicis NA. The official Publicis North America Twitter account has also begun using the #PublicisNewYork tag again for the first time since late 2012, right after the initial merger.

All signs indicate that the office–whatever its official name–will continue to be “the U.S. flagship agency for the Publicis worldwide network,” which recently won Cadillac.

Tether Poaches Two CDs from Publicis

Seattle-based independent creative agency Tether rounded out its creative leadership team with the additions of Hart Rusen as advertising creative director and Bill Allen as interactive creative director. Both join the agency from Publicis Seattle.

Rusen spent six years at Publics Seattle as a senior vice president and group creative director, working with clients including T-Mobile, KEXP and the Seattle Symphony. Prior to joining Publicis in May of 2009 he spent over four years as an associate creative director at Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, where his clients included Doritos, Cheetos, Hyundai, Budweiser, HP and Comcast. The San Diego State University grad has also worked with Cole & Weber, Moffatt/Rosenthal and R/West.

Allen spent over four years with Publicis Seattle as a creative director, during which time his clients included T-Mobile, KEXP, Les Schwab and the Experience Music Project. Prior to joining Publicis he spent around two years as interactive director with BooneOakley, working with clients such as Bojangles, Mizuno USA, and the Charlotte Bobcats. That followed a stint of almost three years as an associate creative director at 22squared, with clients such as Florida’s Natural, Buffalo Wild Wings and Lincoln Financial Group.

“At Tether clients benefit from teams that understand how brand strategy and design, immersive digital experiences and ad campaigns can build on each other to foster growth,” explained Rusen. “Brand affinity requires  more than great advertising; it takes a solid brand foundation that compels consumers to feel joy, and ideally spread positive word, with every engagement.”

The Trick Copy on These Clever Ads Shows Another Side to Homelessness

Here’s a clever outdoor campaign from Publicis London for the homelessness charity Depaul that manages to tell two different stories with the same copy.

The ads are being placed on corners, with text on each side. If you read only the left side, the copy is all about the negative ideas people have about giving up a spare room to a homeless youth. But reading them in full, the ads actually argue for the benefits of volunteering.

“There’s another side to the story,” says the tagline.

Click the images below to enlarge.

Conceptually, the campaign is quite similar to BBDO New York’s award-winning ads for BBC America back in 2007. Those ads, also placed around corners, showed two sides of the same photo, with the tagline: “See both sides of the story.”

The clever use of text differentiates this new effort, though it will always be likened to the BBC work. See more from the campaign, plus credits, below.

Client: Depaul
Agency: Publicis London
Executive Creative Director: Andy Bird
Creative Director: Paul Mason
Art Director: Dan Kennard
Copywriter: Ben Smith
Head of Art and Design: Andy Breese
Designer: Dave Stansfield
Photographer: Mark Wesley
Account Manager: Tom Froggett
Head of Operations: Debbie Burke
Agency Producers: Steve McFarlane, Ed Page, Greg Collier
Art Buyers: Sarah Clifford, Claire Lillis

T-Mobile Unveils ‘Pets Unleashed’

T-Mobile launched an online ad for April Fool’s Day, presumably from agency of record Publicis, entitled “Pets Unleashed.”

In the ad, the wireless “uncarrier” presumes to let you “add your cat, dog, ferret, turtle or, heck, your alpaca” to your family plan for just $5 a month. After introducing the offer, the spot claims “Your carrier hates puppies. So #@$% them and switch to T-Mobile.” They then extend the joke by claiming to offer new pet-friendly apps, like Fetch Freedom, FitPet and Pet Tinder. At one point, a horse even appears to be watching zebra porn (accompanied by the small text: “Zebra porn not included. Consult stable manager for appropriate use.”) In addition to the goofy spot, there’s also a fake press release on T-Mobile’s site, and a “Pets Unleashed” page, proving the brand went all-in on the gag.

This Beautiful PSA From Spain About Embracing Life Keeps You Guessing Until the End

A new Spanish PSA from Publicis wants you love life, and not ruin it entirely.

Hang picture frames, go running through the woods, get a tattoo, play rugby or hang out on a mattress somewhere. There’s plenty to keep you occupied—and away from darker choices—says the ad, which in some ways recalls the vibe of Puma’s “After Hours Athlete” and Levi’s “Go Forth” work.

The moralistic kicker, necessary as it may be, doesn’t seem ideal—and could turn teenagers off. Also, the spot might miscalculate just how many free hours kids can have to waste. But hopefully the message gets through anyways.

Directors: Marc Corominas, Lorena Medina
Client: FAD
Agency: Publicis
DOP: Oriol Vila
Art Director: Oian Arteta
Wardrobe: Ana Morera
Makeup: Oona Napier
Head of Production: Marta Antón
Head of Postproduction: Tamara Díaz
Assistant Director: Israel Marco
Production Team: Carles Pequerul, Ángela Puig-Pey, David Bello, María Asensio, Ana Terrero, Andrià Nebot, Eli Apezteguia, Sivila Arimany
Camera and Photography Team: Agnes Corbera (DOP assistant), Sergio Santana (Camera Assistant), Pablo Lagos (Camera Assistant), Moncho Bartroli (Electrics Head)
Warbrobe Team: Andrea Pi Sunyer (Assistant Wardrobe)
Art Team: Alexandra Jordana (Art Assistant), Cristina Hontiyuelo (Props), Anna Auquer (Props)
Rental Cars: Quadis
Travel Agency: IEST
Postproduction Coordination: Metropolitana