Publicis Wishes You ‘Merry Beeping Christmas from Oral-B’

Publicis London turns to beeped out cursing in its irreverent holiday ad for Oral-B, entitled, “Merry Beeping Christmas from Oral-B.”

The spot opens on a woman stepping on an angel ornament while tip-toeing around the house barefoot carrying presents. She lets out a few bleeped out choice words, and quickly we’re on our way to the next profanity-inducing situation. These scenarios run the gamut from ugly sweaters to cooking accidents and trouble with the lights but each result in an expected torrent of profanity. The ad ends with the tagline “At least you don’t have to worry about your smile,” accompanied by the Oral-B logo. It may be a bit of a stretch, but tying oral care to the holidays isn’t the easiest proposition in the world and the spot is fun and clever enough to fit in with other cheeky holiday ads we’ve seen this year from brands in the UK. (more…)

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Publicis Worldwide Wins Cadillac

Cadillac

This morning Cadillac made its big decision: Publicis Worldwide will be its global creative agency of record.

The (very quiet) review began in September when the brand chose to end its partnership with Hill Holliday, and Cadillac will no longer work with IPG agencies moving forward.

Earlier reports held that, while IPG had chosen to fold the Rogue unit it created to serve the client after the Hill Holliday decision, its Lowe and Partners group would take over the account with creative run out of New York and management handled by Campbell Ewald in Detroit. AdAge reported that “the only shop that’s really losing out on Rogue is Hill Holliday,” but that is no longer the case.

The news amounts to a major loss for IPG, which held the account for little over a year after Cadillac’s Fallon breakup prompted the agency’s CEO to write a note calling the decision “an outcome we do not deserve.” The holding company announced a cross-agency realignment to more effectively serve the client when Cadillac named a new president in August (following the appointment of a new CMO in January), but those efforts were not enough to retain the business.

What’s not clear at the moment is how the review unfolded: Cadillac did not announce it or make any public comments, and we don’t know which agencies were involved beyond Lowe and Publicis.

Read the full internal memo from Publicis CEO Arthur Sadoun – which thanks CSOs Carla Serrano, Dylan Williams, and more — below.

(more…)

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Publicis Groupe’s Level Studios Has a New CEO

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Publicis Groupe’s Level Studios has announced the appointment of Dan Connolly as CEO, MediaPost reports. He fills a role left vacant by the departure of Tom Adamski, now CEO of Razorfish Global, for Rosetta in April of 2013.

Connolly, who over the past sixteen months has risen from partner, to president and now CEO, will be responsible for overseeing all business units across the agency’s U.S. and European locations and will also act as a member of the Brand Leadership team for Level Studios’ parent network, Razorfish Global. He will operate primarily out of San Luis Obispo, California but will travel between Level’s offices and clients as part of his expanded role, with an emphasis on the Bay Area and New York. Connoly told MediaPost his objectives in the new role are to complete building “Level’s executive leadership team, align talent across existing and new offices, and to work closely with the newly formed Razorfish Global and Brand leadership teams.” (more…)

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Publicis Kaplan Thaler President/CCO Stepping Down

Publicis Kaplan Thaler_Logo

Rob Feakins, President and CCO of New York’s Publicis Kaplan Thaler, will be leaving the agency next month.

Various sources told us that Feakins made the announcement in an all-agency meeting this afternoon, and a spokesperson for PKT has confirmed that he plans to step down. Here’s the official statement:

“Yes, after eight terrific years at Publicis, Rob Feakins has decided it is time to move on to something new. Rob has been one of the hardest working creative leads in our business. This year alone the work he has shepherded for the agency has won over 140 creative awards. The most in our history. We all think so highly of Rob and wish him well as he moves on to this next phase.”

Feakins joined Publicis New York in 2006 as President/CCO after six years at Kirshenbaum, Bond + Partners. He retained that position after the New York office merged with Kaplan Thaler in 2012.

A reader tells us that Feakins will remain with PKT until mid-December and that there has been no news of a search for someone to fill his role.

The agency also has yet to comment on rumored changes regarding its name and location.

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Publicis to Drop $3.7 Billion on Sapient

Sapient Logo

In case you missed it yesterday, Publicis Groupe attempted to make up for its own performance issues over the weekend by snapping up Sapient for $3.7 billion in cold cash (and so close to Christmas, too!).

It’s true that these talks could fall through just as the Publicis/Omnicom merger did last year, but for now it seems that the next phase in the group’s “transformation into a digital-technology company” will indeed go through this week.

As a reader put it this morning, “Idea engineers own the ad industry” — and Publicis is very interested in engineering as many ideas as possible. Moving forward, does this mean less focus on the work and more on the data behind it?

So far, the move has been good for business: USA Today notes that Sapient stock rose more than 40% this morning, largely because Publicis agreed to pay nearly 150 percent of each share’s most recent value.

(more…)

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PKT Tests ‘The Effects of Halloween Candy’ on Kids for Crest

Publicis Kaplan Thaler has released a new campaign for Crest testing “The Effects of Halloween Candy” on children.

The test is performed by a deadpan moderator who basically lets a group of children in Halloween costumes (the highlight being the little girl dressed as a piñata) binge on candy and records the results. And the results are? “It seems when presented with candy kids exhibit a pathological fixation bordering on psychosis,” according to the moderator. Oh, also, “Piñata has anger issues,” and one little boy threw up in the toilet. Whether you find this cute or annoying (or both) will depend largely on your tolerance for loud children. But then, this is targeted squarely at parents, with the payoff tagline being “Thanks to Crest their teeth are covered” following the message “Halloween candy may have an effect on your kids but not on their teeth.” Now where can we get a piñata costume? (more…)

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PKT Launches Learning Disability PSA Campaign

Publicis Kaplan Thaler teamed up with the the Advertising Council to launch a PSA campaign for various groups dealing with children’s learning and attention issues.

The campaign is designed to direct parents to the new website Understood.org, designed to help parents better understand their children’s issues and help them reach their full potential. In one broadcast spot, a man asks Siri, “How can I help my daughter with her reading?” and instead gets results for “Dachsund breeding.” It’s revealed at the end of the 30-second spot that the mistake was intentional:  “…I was trying to show you how Sarah feels every day. Frustrating, isn’t it?” before directing him to Understood.org. Broadcast spots also appear in Spanish-language versions. While comparing problems with voice recognition software to learning and attention issues may be a bit of a stretch, it also should get the attention of parents struggling to understand their kids’ problems in school and get them to the website.

“The crux of the campaign is that understanding is everything,” Larissa Kirschner, a creative director at Publicis Kaplan Thaler, told The New York Times. “Put yourself in children’s shoes and you can truly understand their frustration. We took the cultural phenomenon of Siri, a smartphone not always getting you, as our way in.”

The campaign also includes print, radio, and outdoor elements, as well as a social initiative that includes weekly Twitter chats for parents. The website itself attempts to educate parents through a series of videos and interactive experiences designed to simulate the experiences of children with learning and attention issues. (more…)

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Publicis Kaplan Thaler Brings BBQ to the People for Wendy’s

Publicis Kaplan Thaler recently launched a campaign for Wendy’s new barbecue offerings, entitled “#BBQ4Merica.”

The online campaign debuted with a kind of mock PSA, introducing Wendy’s new menu items as tackling the issue of “barbecue inaccessiblity” for people in places like Miami Beach, Cape Cop and Malibu. “Hi I’m a celebrity, and these are just a few of the geographically underprivileged places where millions of Americans don’t have easy access to quality barbecue,” says a solemn Carlton Alfonso Ribeiro in the ad. He’s joined by Ralph Macchio and Steve Austin for the effort, and the trio appear individually in a series of other videos for the campaign (stick around for a couple after the break).

In addition to the online videos, the digital effort includes a call to make barbecue the “National Dish of America” and an invitation to “sponsor” friends by tagging them on social channels using the hashtag “#BBQ4Merica” There was also a recent 24-hour tweet-a-thon event hosted by Ribeiro, in which participants helped unlock content and win swag. (more…)

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Samsung (Mostly) Sticking with Publicis

samsung storeSamsung’s global review is over, and the news from AdAge isn’t much of a revelation: the company is sticking with Publicis. For the most part.

The significant part of the story imparted by “people familiar with the review” who didn’t talk to us is that the company added W+K and BBH to its very large agency roster — and that Leo Burnett retained its creative duties despite a challenge from Grey.

We didn’t get any tips on this one, and the lips of all related parties were sealed:

“Wieden & Kennedy, BBH and Starcom did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Leo Burnett declined to comment. Representatives from Samsung in South Korea and the U.S. did not return requests for comment.”

It’s been a slow week for tips with Advertising Week occupying everyone’s attention here in New York, but we’re impressed that people made so little noise about the future of such a big account.

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Publicis Seeks to ‘Stop the Violence’ for Nokia

Publicis, Italy has a new spot for Nokia which seeks to “Stop the Violence” of cut selfies.

The clever spot shows a series of badly cut selfies, followed by the message, “Every day thousands of people are victims of cut selfies. Stop the violence.” This is followed by the tagline, “Share life uncut,” which has some unfortunate (and unintentional) implications. That it becomes kind of hard to watch the procession of badly shot selfies only serves to underscore the spot’s message. That said, the pacing and editing seem pretty spot-on. (more…)

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We Hear: Changes Pending at Publicis Kaplan Thaler

PKT logo

While we have yet to receive confirmation from any agency contacts, a steady stream of tips about some big (allegedly) pending changes at New York-based Publicis Kaplan Thaler has found its way to our inbox.

Here are the claims laid out in the tips we received, which started trickling in back in April after the agency laid off “less than 2 percent” of its staff:

  • The agency’s three offices will consolidate into the location at 1675 Broadway
  • A majority of the agency’s staff will move to that office by 2015 and the shift will be complete by 2016
  • The resulting shop will drop the K and the T to go by the name “Publicis Worldwide New York”

Hints are not so specific on the staffing front. We hear mention of “potential departures” at the executive level, and more than one tipster claims that Publicis Worldwide International Creative Director Erik Vervroegen now “has his name on an office door.”

Again, we have not received an official response from anyone at PKT – but we were told to expect announcements this week or next.

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Big Changes at Publicis: Levy Staying, Razorfish Absorbing Rosetta

Some French dudeIn case you haven’t seen it already this morning, The Publicis Groupe officially rewarded Maurice Levy for his failure today by extending the current chief executive’s role until (approximately) The Avengers 3.

Despite the fact that Levy assured The Guardian that he would “not be seeking a new term” in the halcyon days of 2010 and that other reports had him set to leave next year, it seems that Levy will stick around at least until the approval of all accounts at the end of 2016 — and that he will leave in early 2017.

Obviously, “No clear successor has been appointed to replace Levy.”

Two former candidates will definitely not be replacing him, though.

(more…)

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Publicis Seattle Highlights Les Schwab’s Customer Service

Publicis Seattle has a new campaign for family-owned tire chain Les Schwab, highlighting the company’s dedication to customer service (according to a Benenson Strategy Group brand tracking report, its customer service rating is higher than Zappos and Nordstrom).

For the campaign, Publicis Seattle created two television spots based on real-life customer stories. Each spot features the customer reading their letter to Les Schwab, praising the exceptional customer service they received. In “Nanny,” for example, a woman tells the story of how her car broke down on her way home from work. She knocked on a door asking for help, and the man who answered happened to own a local Les Schwab. He fixed her car, without pay, and she was quickly on her way. The other spot, “RV Weekend,” takes a similar approach. The spots will air across western US markets including Washington, Oregon, Idaho, California, Utah, Nevada, Colorado and Montana. (more…)

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Publicis Seattle Plays in the Rain for Bumbershoot

Here’s a quick slice of “experiential” for a Friday morning. Publicis Seattle, tasked with promoting local arts and music festival Bumbershoot, got creative in playing on the one thing everyone associates with the city: rain.

Some behind-the-scenes on these water-activated ads: the agency’s creative team used NeverWet, a “two-part spray paint system” that’s invisible when dry, to stencil these messages on several stretches of city sidewalk for “practically no budget.”

They also inspired us to find our favorite related quote from our favorite fictional Seattle resident:

Niles Crane: “Is that rain?”

Frasier Crane: “No, that’s God crying.”

Credits after the jump.

(more…)

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Red Lobster Names Publicis Lead Creative Agency

Red Lobster has named Publicis Kaplan Thaler as its lead creative agency, reports AdAge.

The appointment follows a review, which Red Lobster started in April, after Darden decided to sell off the brand. Grey had been the brand’s creative agency after winning agency of record duties from The Richards Group back in 2010. According to AdAge, Grey did not participate in the review process, but retains creative duties for Darden brands Olive Garden and LongHorn Steakhouse. They also report that Olson, Barkley, and Interpublic’s Martin Agency were the other finalists in the review process, which was overseen by Pile & Co.

Mark Gilley, senior vice president, marketing at Red Lobster told AdAge that “the chain chose Publicis Kaplan Thaler because of its creative pitches, its existing work and digital and social strategy, the last of which is [a] particularly important element for Red Lobster as it moves more marketing dollars into digital,” adding that he admired how the agency’s recent work for Wendy’s “‘broke conventions’ in the fast-food category.”

Publicis Kaplan Thaler’s first campaign for Red Lobster, which spent around $156 million on measured media in 2013, is expected in the first half of 2015.

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Infiniti Courts Seven Agencies in Global Account Pitch

Infiniti Motor Co. will meet (or has already met) with seven agencies before selecting finalists to pitch for its global creative account, Adweek reports.

The meetings took place this week, and leave Infiniti “on track to complete its search by August,” according to Adweek. Infiniti’s initial request for proposal reported that the brand spends approximately $450 million annually. Among the agencies in the running are Publicis, FCB, Havas Worldwide (pitching with sister shop Arnold), Bartle Bogle Hegarty, M&C Saatchi and Crispin Porter + Bogusky, according to Adweek‘s sources. Interestingly, also pitching is Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, partnering with incumbent Omnicom agency TBWA. After the initial meetings, Infiniti will narrow the field to three or four agencies, a cut that “could come as soon as next week.” Infiniti’s RFP noted that “alternative approaches are paramount as Infiniti cannot outspend its competitors in broadcast,” and identified the U.S., China and Hong Kong as priority markets.

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Creepy Ads Ask, Do You Know What Your Kids Are Finding Online?

Here’s a spot-on, if disturbing, visual for how kids stumble across disturbing images and video while browsing online.

The online and print campaign, for child-safety nonprofit Innocence in Danger, features images of kids, each with three mouths open in horror—one mouth in the normal spot, and one where each eye should be.

Created by Publicis Frankfurt, the effort is aimed at jolting parents into recognizing and addressing the potential dangers of letting their kids surf the Web too freely.

According to Innocence in Danger—creator of the equally disturbing real-life emoji campaign—many children search for terms like “sex” and “porn,” while others accidentally stumble upon graphic scenes, but few discuss what they’ve seen.

While it’s a good use of the visual, this definitely isn’t the first time we’ve seen mouths for eyes. One of our favorites was 2012’s Irish eyes ad for the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Atlanta, but you can find the “mouth eyes” meme all over, even ruining the lovely Stop Girl

Via ABCNews.com.



Ad Spending Surpasses Pre-Recession Numbers of $109B

When the recession hit America with a huge thud, big business began to reconsider its residual income and closed up the budgets. Of course this hurt advertising agencies in a big way and many experts thought they would never recover, but this article from AdAge seems to contradict the naysayers once and for all.

Total spending among the 100 Leading National Advertisers (LNA) reached a record $108.6 billion in 2013, passing the previous spending peak set in pre-recession 2007.

Quick, call your clients…

(more…)

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Publicis & Hal Riney Go to the Dogs with Purina

Last year was a good year for Purina’s Beneful dog food, which spent more than $52 million in measured media advertising. Fallon was at the helm of those buys, as they were with Purina One for more than 25 years.

Today, Fallon has neither brand.

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scored Purina One, and now Publicis & Hal Riney have won the creative for Beneful. While no one of note at Publicis & Riney could be reached for comment, Fallon was happy to say this about its quarter-century shaggy-dog story:

Agency CEO Mike Buchner said of the brand’s departure: “It has been an honor for Fallon to have represented Purina’s core dog food brands for over a quarter of a century. We are proud of the brands we’ve built together and the work we’ve created that has helped drive their business forward for decades.”

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C-Level Changes at Rosetta

Today we can confirm three C-level departures at Publicis shop Rosetta.

COO Mark Taylor will soon leave his position, while CFO Rich DeMilt and partner Kristy Croft, who ran the POEM (search and media) practice, are no longer with the agency.

Taylor’s last day will come later this month. DeMilt, who joined Rosetta in 2008 after serving as worldwide controller at Ogilvy & Mather, left several weeks ago; the agency appointed Ariel Marciano to replace him as Global Chief Financial Officer in early May.

These moves follow a series of layoffs in April that affected “less than 5%” of the agency’s North American staff; over the past nine months Rosetta has also seen the arrival of new CCO Lars Bastholm and the departure of ECD Dave McClain.

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