Sunday, January 24, 2021

15287: COVID-19 Campaign Smells Fishy…


The message of this Norwegian campaign seems slightly odd coming from UNICEF—the United Nations Children’s Fund—as children may not be top priority COVID-19 vaccine recipients.


Saturday, January 23, 2021

15286: Wildlife Defenders A Little Looney.

Was this campaign from Thailand inspired by Wile E. Coyote?


Friday, January 22, 2021

15285: Hank Aaron (1934-2021).


Honoring Hammerin’ Hank.

15284: Belated MLK Day Observation.


On MLK Day, Adweek’s only related coverage involved reporting on holiday promotions from The New Yorker and The Atlanta Hawks. There were no patronizing campaigns by White advertising agencies. No pontificating Op-Eds from Chief Diversity Officers. No self-promotional propaganda by unemployed art directors and copywriters. Quite a contrast to, say, International Women’s Day—and pathetic given that we’re in a time of global heightened awareness and sensitivity for racial and ethnic inequality.


The lack of content said a lot.

15283: Ford Drives For Unity With Promotional & Political Propaganda.


Advertising Age reported Ford produced and proceeded to air commercials calling for nationwide unity following the recent Capitol insurrection. It’s a good thing that Twitter permanently suspended President Donald Trump’s account—preventing him from tweeting his furious disapproval—as Trump would likely view the Ford spots as damnable disloyalty after he publicly praised the automaker in 2020. Double coincidence: Ford’s campaign features voiceover work from actor Bryan Cranston, who has publicly criticized Trump as being insane. And of course Ford will show support for unity per President Joe Biden’s call to action—as Biden partnered with President Barack Obama to deliver a financial bailout when the automaker struggled in 2009.


Ford To Run Ads Stressing Unity Following Capitol Riot


The spots, called ‘Builders,’ will debut Saturday during college basketball on Fox


By Michael Martinez


Ford Motor Co. today will begin running new 30- and 60-second ads that stress unity following riots this month at the U.S. Capitol that left 5 dead.


Called “Builders,” the spots focus on the ability of Americans to come together and create, featuring images of construction workers, nurses, firefighters and other volunteers.


“Look to the builders,” actor and pitchman Bryan Cranston says in the commercials. “No matter what goes wrong in this country, they’re out there. Follow their lead. The ones serving and building others up…Look to the people who don’t give up on their principles when times get tough.”


No mention of riots

The ads do not make direct mention of the Jan. 6 riots, in which supporters of President Donald Trump broke into the Capitol building attempting to stop Congress from certifying the results of the Nov. 3 election. But they were produced less than a week after the attack by New York ad firm Wieden+Kennedy using scenes from previous Ford commercials.


“In tough times, Ford and our country have always come together and built things — vehicles, tanks, even relationships,” Kumar Galhotra, president, Americas & International Markets Group, said in a statement. “This spot shows from our perspective where our nation should focus — on the fixers, the builders, the ones who can bring us together.”


The ads debut today during college basketball on Fox. They will also begin airing on more than a dozen cable stations the same day. Ads will also run during coverage of Joe Biden’s inauguration, a Ford spokesman confirmed to Ad Age.


The spot is the latest in Ford’s “Built for America” series of commercials that began running last year. Among other topics, they highlight Ford’s U.S. manufacturing commitment as well as its effort to build personal protective equipment amid the coronavirus pandemic.


Michael Martinez is a reporter for Automotive News.

Thursday, January 21, 2021

15282: Hill Holliday Is A Zealous Zig-Zagging Zoo—Zowie!


AgencySpy posted on Hill Holliday, where they went on a minority hiring spree by naming a new CCO, Head of Account Operations and SVP Equity, Diversity and Inclusion. Of course they did. “Hill Holliday has a history of zigging when others zag,” gushed Hill Holliday Chairman and CEO Karen Kaplan. “We’re making big moves and investments now to ensure that we have the right talent and the right tools to emerge from 2020 even stronger than we went in, and that our work will be even more resonant, relevant and connected to culture.” Of course they will. Although boasting about zigging versus zagging is zany, as nearly every White advertising agency is zipping to acquire non-Whites, mostly to avoid getting zapped by client diversity demands. Plus, appointing a new SVP Equity, Diversity and Inclusion is zagging along with everyone else—and kinda odd considering Hill Holliday hired an SVP of Diversity and Talent Management in 2018 who only lasted seven months. Is it another paradoxical example of being unable to retain the minorities charged with revving up minority recruitment and retention? The zig-zagging zeitgeist is inducing zzz…


Hill Holliday Hires Arnold, DDB and Havas Vet as CCO


By Erik Oster


Hill Holliday has hired 25-year industry veteran Icaro Doria as its new chief creative.


Doria arrives at Hill Holliday after less than a year as global CCO for Havas Health & You.


“I’d like to extend a heartfelt thank you to the entire team at Havas Health and You,” Doria said in a statement. “The opportunity to join Hill Holliday and partner with [chairman, CEO] Karen Kaplan and her leadership team is an absolute honor. Hill Holliday has both an incredible creative legacy and a very bright future. I can’t wait to see what we’ll be able do together.”


Before joining Havas Health & You, Doria spent over two years as U.S. CCO for Arnold, during which time he also served on the Havas global creative council. Over the course of the past decade, he has also served as CCO for DDB New York and W+K São Paulo, where he was also a founding partner. Dorias has worked with clients including Coca-Cola, Diageo, Heineken, Hilton Hotels, Old Spice and Nike during his 25 years in advertising.


“Icaro is a flat-out superstar,” Hill Holliday president Chris Wallrapp said in a statement. “He’s got all the tools a modern CCO needs to succeed, and he brings an infectious energy to absolutely everything he does. As an agency, we’re all about embracing change, and Icaro is a game changer.”


In addition to Doria, Hill Holliday recently hired Aisha Losche from Publicis as svp, equity, diversity and inclusion and Marco Castro as head of account operations.


“Hill Holliday has a history of zigging when others zag,” Kaplan said in a statement. “We’re making big moves and investments now to ensure that we have the right talent and the right tools to emerge from 2020 even stronger than we went in, and that our work will be even more resonant, relevant and connected to culture.”

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

15281: Dr. Maya Angelou Posthumously Awarded Barbie DreamHouse…?


Essence reported Mattel integrated Dr. Maya Angelou into the Barbie’s Inspiring Women collector series. Um, is this doll (depicted above and below) really paying tribute to the spirit of Dr. Angelou’s Phenomenal Woman…? At least one advertising executive is probably rushing to nab the toy.


Dr. Maya Angelou Honored With A Barbie Doll


The doll is a part of Barbie’s inspiring women collector series.


By Kemberlie Spivey


With Black History Month beginning next month, Mattel, maker of Barbie, announced this week that they’re honoring Dr. Maya Angelou with her own Barbie doll.


Dr. Angelou’s Barbie doll honors the impact and history of the late great author’s activism and professional achievements and is a part of Barbie’s Inspiring Women collector series. Launched in 2018, Barbie dolls have been crafted after nine heroic risk-takers whose work inspired the next generation of game-changers. Dr. Angelou serves as the tenth role model to join the series.


“Our efforts include a commitment to spotlight more Black role models who are female, and now, we are introducing a doll that honors Dr. Maya Angelou, author and activist who used her voice and unique writing style to connect with people and inspire generations,” Mattel said in a press release.


“Dr. Maya Angelou had a multi-hyphenated career and numerous awards and accolades, including over 50 honorary doctorates and a Presidential Medal of Freedom. Nominated for a National Book Award in 1970, her autobiography I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings continues to move readers around the world today.”


To capture Dr. Angelou’s likeness, the doll is dressed in a floral print floor-length dress and matching head wrap. Accessories include a golden ring, watch, earrings, and a bracelet. The doll also holds a replica of the writer’s memoir, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.


The Dr. Maya Angelou doll is currently available for pre-order online at


Tuesday, January 19, 2021

15280: MLK Day After.


Here’s a belated MLK Day perspective:


In the advertising industry, awards, applause, and accolades are bestowed upon “leaders” in White advertising agencies and holding companies for their faux commitment to diversity. The faux adjective, incidentally, is used to note that—despite persistent public pontificating—the Caucasian corporations have little or no authentic progress to exhibit. That is, EEO-1 data shows non-Whites remain woefully underrepresented. The diversity trophy winners are not living up to their revolutionary reputations.


Meanwhile, non-Whites actively advocating for change are covertly or blatantly criticized, condemned, cursed at, cold-shouldered, crapped on and cut from the industry. To make an ironic—and perhaps inappropriate—observation, the true leaders for equality get shot down.


What would Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. have to say about that?

Monday, January 18, 2021

15279: How Brands Might Determine The Value of Values.


Advertising Age reported on a Numerator study showing Black consumers are more influenced than other groups—including Whites—to make purchase decisions based on a brand’s values, its corporate parent’s values, or its commitment to diversity and social justice. Imagine if Blacks learned about the exclusivity of White advertising agencies servicing brands—not to mention the systemic racism present at the firms… It might lead to data measuring the financial impact of inequality on a brand’s profits.


Black Consumers Are Group Most Swayed By Brand Values And Diversity Practices, Study Finds


Numerator rates AT&T top for using diverse talent in ads, with Geico and Progressive making the biggest buys in Black and Hispanic media


By Jack Neff


Black and African-American consumers are more likely than others to base purchase decisions on a brand’s values, the values of its corporate parent, or the brand’s commitment to diversity and social justice, according to new research by Numerator.


Overall, Numerator found almost 22% of Black consumers say a brand’s values are important in purchase decisions vs. under 18% for the general population. Black consumers were almost twice as likely as the general population (31% to 16%) to say a brand’s commitment to diversity, equality and social justice is important when choosing a product or service.


Numerator bases the findings on more than 200,000 responses to what it calls MicroSurveys, which are short surveys conducted among its panel of U.S. consumers, some of whom also provide online and offline purchase data.


Hispanic and Asian consumers were also more likely than white consumers to base purchase decisions on brand values or diversity and justice commitment, but Black consumers were the most likely to have their purchase decisions swayed by these factors, according to the Numerator survey.


Brands likely to benefit from values and diversity include Amazon and the several insurance and automotive industry brands, according to separate Numerator data tracking of spending on ads featuring diverse talent or placed in Black or Hispanic media.


The top brands running ads featuring diverse talent included AT&T, Amazon, State Farm, Gilead’s Descovy prescription drug, and the NFL for the 52 weeks ended Nov. 30, according to Numerator. Geico and Progressive led all brands for spending in both Black and Hispanic media, with Amazon also in the top five for both. Reese’s and corporate sibling Hershey were among other top spenders on Hispanic media.


The listings don’t consolidate brands with similar corporate parents, and marketers such as Procter & Gamble Co. and Unilever would rank higher in the listings if all their brand spending were consolidated. P&G for example had Gillette, Bounty, Swiffer and Pampers among the top 30 brands for spending on ads with diverse talent. Consolidating the spending for just those four brands would put P&G at the top of the list, ahead of AT&T.


Outside of Hershey, the packaged-goods players and mass retailers didn’t rank high in spending on African-American or Hispanic media. However, executives of P&G, Unilever and Walmart since last summer have all said they plan to step up spending in minority-owned media.


15278: MLK Day Of Reckoning.

For the advertising industry, MLK Day exposes heightened hypocrisy in 2021. After all, the past 12 months have underscored how the dream has been diverted, delegated, deferred and denied for decades. WPP—the “most diverse example of diversity of any single organisation”—reported single-digit diversity figures. The Pioneer of Diversity at Omnicom plotted an eight-part plan for “systemic equity”—a polite phrase crafted to deflect discussing the systemic racism embedded in the corporation. A pledge of $50 million to fund heat shields essentially amounts to croissant crumbs from Publicis Groupe. Despite self-promotional gobbledygook about being recognized for leadership in diversity and inclusion, IPG confessed, “We must do better”—and revealed numbers proving the place is doing no better than any other White holding company. Dentsu dodged diversity dissection by detonating dramatic downsizing, but Wendy Clark is sure to deliver deceptive drivel. As for Havas, well, never mind. Oh, and independent enterprises—e.g., The Richards Group—turned the dream into a nightmare.


How will Adland celebrate the day? With flowery declarations to diversity dedication? Patronizing presentations and wondrous workshops from Chief Diversity Officers—or announcements on the appointments of new Chief Diversity Officers? Tax-deductible donations to minority charities and causes? Advertisements featuring royalty-free clip art of MLK images?


Expect the dreamy feelings to vanish by Tuesday.