Monday, October 20, 2014

12149: Subliminal Inequality.

Blog Action Day took place on October 16, 2014. Sorry for the tardy entry.

In 1974, Wilson Bryan Key published Subliminal Seduction, exposing the sexual symbols or objects advertisers allegedly used in secrecy to attract and manipulate consumers on unconscious levels. Prior to Key, Vance Packard also accused advertising practitioners of employing psychological and subliminal tactics via the 1957 publication of The Hidden Persuaders. Despite the classic books’ contentions—as well as arguments made by numerous related books, articles and reports produced over the years—there is little evidence of advertisers deliberately and successfully executing the insidious schemes.

However, no one ever spotlighted a phenomenon that has absolutely been happening in the advertising industry since its very beginning: Subliminal Inequality.

Subliminal Inequality covers the ways in which the industry’s leaders and managers with hiring authority have maintained White exclusivity despite decades of alleged commitment to equality. Most importantly, the discriminatory tactics persist without any negative backlash or responsibility being assigned to Whites in the industry.

Traditional Subliminal Inequality includes:

• Insisting there’s a limited talent pool

• Believing minorities are not aware of the opportunities

• Thinking non-Whites are non-interested

• Delegating diversity to cheery minorities with no authority

• Conducting inner-city outreach programs

• Bankrolling ADCOLOR®

• Saying minority hiring reduces quality

• Blaming Jesse Jackson for anything

Subliminal Inequality lets Whites arouse the desires of minority job candidates, yet fails to actually consummate a career connection.

How can you prove Subliminal Inequality happens? For starters, White agencies continue to flourish and get off scot-free—feigning concern and dedication to change—even though Black underrepresentation is actually worse today than ever. For a field measured by results and ROI, this factoid alone is grounds for immediate termination.

To conclude, with Subliminal Inequality, minorities get fucked. It’s as plain to see as obscene images in ice cubes.

12148: Changing America Specialists…?

The New York Times reported on Commonground/MGS, a new holding group comprised of eight independent, minority-owned agencies. The Times headine reads, “Specialists in a Changing America.” Too bad the advertising industry has not been changing with America. For now, the principals admit not knowing if their offerings should be labeled as cross-cultural, total market, multicultural, general market or whatever. Well, as they cannot call themselves a White agency, their initial adventures will likely involve vying over crumbs.

Specialists in a Changing America

EIGHT independent agencies and companies that create and produce ads aimed at minority, multicultural, urban and youth markets are coming together under the umbrella of a holding group named Commonground/MGS, which will have its headquarters in New York and offices in Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles and Miami.

The five principals of Commonground/MGS, all senior executives with decades of experience in those markets, are describing the new agency holding company as the first in the advertising industry to be wholly owned by members of minority groups. Commonground/MGS will have about 300 employees offering clients services that include, in addition to advertising, public relations, event marketing, social media, content development, production and animation.

Three agencies being brought together under the Commonground/MGS banner — Commonground, based in Chicago; MGSComm, based in Miami; and the Vidal Partnership, based in New York — will be combined to form an agency also named Commonground/MGS. The other five agencies and companies — CG Works, the Cunningham Group, Post Master, Run Wild Productions and Sway Public Relations and Marketing — will continue operating under their own names as autonomous units of the holding group.

The formation of Commonground/MGS comes not long after an article in the trade publication Advertising Age described “a surge of small mid-sized agency holding companies,” among them the CHR Group, the Engine Group and Project WorldWide. They, however, work primarily with marketers seeking to reach consumers in the mainstream.

The new agency holding group also arrives as Madison Avenue pays more attention to the changing face of America, studying demographic trends that suggest ads may be more effective if they are crafted with a “total market” approach, also known as cross-cultural or transcultural marketing: directing pitches at a general audience whose demographic makeup is becoming more diverse rather than aiming ads in traditional fashion at specific ethnic audiences like Hispanics or African-Americans.

“We’re ultimately working toward a total market,” said Andrew J. England, executive vice president and chief marketing officer of MillerCoors, which has worked with Commonground on ads intended for African-American beer drinkers, because “a company like ours has to be open to where cultural influences are coming from.”

For instance, ads meant for African-American consumers that Commonground created for Coors Light beer, featuring the rapper Ice Cube, “became a core part of our total-market approach for a while,” Mr. England said.

“I’m very intrigued” by the formation of Commonground/MGS, he added. “A minority-owned holding company fills an important hole in the landscape.”

MillerCoors is among two dozen clients of the agencies uniting to form Commonground/MGS that will also be clients of the new holding group. Others include blue-chip brands like Bacardi, Coca-Cola, Hyundai, NBCUniversal, Outback Steakhouse, Tiffany and Verizon Wireless.

“We bring clients a solution that’s more relevant than ever: how to target the new U.S.” and how to understand “the multicultural consumer’s influence on the new America,” said Manny Vidal, the president and chief executive of the Vidal Partnership who becomes one of the five managing partners of Commonground/MGS.

“Where there’s change,” he added, “there’s an opportunity.”

“It didn’t take much to convince me that this was the right group to join,” Mr. Vidal said of the principals of Commonground and MGSComm, who had been discussing for some time the possibility of a combination. He was introduced to them by a mutual friend, Jorge Moya, chief creative officer of MGSComm. Top executives of MGSComm — Al Garcia-Serra, chairman, and Manuel E. Machado, chief executive, both of whom become managing partners of Commonground/MGS — met the principals of Commonground when “we pitched a pharmaceutical account together and were able to get to know each other,” Mr. Machado recalled.

“When Al and I started this agency in 2003, part of our long-term plan was to grow not just organically but, through the right people, reaching critical mass,” Mr. Machado said. “But it’s tough to do.” “We’ve all had opportunities” for deals that foundered because there was “a lot of personality in the room,” he added. “Here, we put it all together and the chemistry works.”

Mr. Machado acknowledged that “there is this confusion” over how to describe or refer to the kind of campaign that is now increasingly in vogue: “Is it multicultural? Is it total market? Is it general market? Is it all market?

“At the end of the day, the solution we’re bringing to the table is that we’re able to do the whole thing,” he said. “To do it together makes it a lot more powerful.”

Ahmad Islam, who founded Commonground with Sherman Wright, echoed Mr. Machado. “When Sherman and I started Commonground 10 years ago, clients were looking for a new model to reach multiple consumer segments,” Mr. Islam said. “Those once the minority are now a majority.”

Commonground/MGS will be “a brother-and-sister group of companies” developing campaigns with “a human truth based on a universal insight that applies to everyone,” he added, as well as campaigns aimed at demographic groups like African-Americans and Hispanics that do not “ignore the culture that is still relevant” when approaching those consumers.

“It’s being a bit of a Swiss Army knife,” Mr. Islam said, “not defined by one tactic.”

Mr. Islam and Mr. Wright, who are managing partners of Commonground, will become managing partners of Commonground/MGS. The new holding group will seek growth in three areas, Mr. Islam said: “from existing clients, new clients and acquiring entities that fit the culture, the spirit of what we’re doing.”

Correction: October 16, 2014

The Advertising column on Tuesday, about several agencies that are coming together under the umbrella of a holding group named Commonground/MGS, misstated the name of one agency involved. It is Sway Public Relations and Marketing, not the Sway Group. And a picture caption with the article misspelled the surname of one the partners shown in the group. As the article correctly noted, he is Al Garcia-Serra, not Al Garcia-Sierra.

12147: RaceMan Rides Again.

RaceMan rides again—in the Carroll County Times…? Actually, the piece on Lowell Thompson was originally written for the Chicago Tribune’s Printers Row Literary Supplement, but you can catch it without a subscription via the link above. Check it out.

12146: Bolloré To Buy More Havas.

Adweek reported Havas Group received an offer from an entity seeking majority control of the company—Bolloré Group, which already is a dominant shareholder. Hey, if no one is interested in buying you, buy yourself. Turn it into a full-fledged family affair.

Bolloré Group Makes Offer to Take Majority Control of Havas Group

Proposal would increase its stake from 36 percent

By Andrew McMains

Bolloré Group, already a dominant shareholder of Havas Group, now wants to take majority control.

In a brief conference call today, Havas Group confirmed that Bolloré had made an offer that would increase its stake from 36 percent to more than 50 percent. Havas CEO Yannick Bolloré described the offer as “friendly,” but said his board had appointed an independent expert to assess the terms. The board also has scheduled a meeting in mid-November to discuss the proposal.

Even before the offer, Bolloré had strengthened its ties to the advertising holding company through the installation of Yannick Bolloré as CEO this year. Yannick Bolloré is the son of Bolloré Group chairman and CEO Vincent Bolloré, who first invested in Havas in 2004. The younger Bolloré succeeded David Jones in the top job.

During the conference call, Havas’ CEO said that the offer was in stock, with the company offering nine shares of its stock to minority shareholders of Havas for every five shares they hold. As a result of the proposal, share trading in both companies was suspended in Europe.

Havas, whose agencies include Havas Worldwide, Arnold and Havas Media, is the sixth-largest ad holding company, with total revenue of $2.4 billion at the end of 2013. The company employs some 16,000 staffers worldwide.

Market leader WPP Group had revenue of $18.5 billion last year, followed by Omnicom Group, at $14.5 billion, and Publicis Groupe, at $9.5 billion. The number four and five players are Interpublic Group, which had $7.1 billion in revenue last year, and Dentsu, at $6.3 billion.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

12145: Replacing Old White Guys.

Adweek reported on Old White Guys being replaced by new Old White Guys at major agencies in the past year (technically, JWT hired an Argentina-Born Guy to replace its Old White Guy). Not surprisingly, there are always plenty of qualified White candidates exclusively available.

Is Yet Another Global Creative Shop About to Name a New CEO?

5 agencies have found new leaders in the past year

By Noreen O'Leary

Is there yet another high-profile agency executive change coming?

Publicis Groupe is looking to replace Leo Burnett CEO Tom Bernardin, sources said, making it just the latest top executive change at the largest networks in the past year—including Kevin Roberts’ departure at Saatchi & Saatchi, Tom Carroll at TBWA, Bob Jeffrey at JWT and Jean-Yves Naouri (global executive chairman) at Publicis.

That number increases over the past two years, including the exit of Draftfcb’s Laurence Boschetto and McCann Worldgroup’s Nick Brien.

It is unusually high turnover, with some of the current changes generational; Bernardin, Roberts and Jeffrey are all in their early to mid-60s. Still, some wonder about the mounting pressures on casting at the top of networks being remade by technology. “There’s a transformation in the business that is making it difficult for this generation of executives to stay up [in the business],” said John Challenger, CEO at executive recruiters Challenger, Gray & Christmas.

At many U.S.-based networks, execs replacing global CEOs spent much of their careers outside America. Roberts' British replacement at Saatchi, Robert Senior, spent his career in London; Gustavo Martinez, the Argentina-born exec succeeding Jeffrey at JWT, worked primarily in Europe, Latin America and Asia; Australian Troy Ruhanen, succeeding Carroll at TBWA, has also spent time in Australia and Asia Pacific; and FCB's Briton Carter Murray worked in Germany and Europe.

It remains unclear who would be in line to replace Bernardin, with Publicis Groupe dismissing speculation about his departure as a “silly rumor.”

Monday, October 13, 2014

12144: Penelope Cruz Is Mucho Sexy.

12143: Valley Of Digital Death.

USA TODAY reported on the dearth of digital diversity—that is, the abysmal lack of minorities in technology companies. Sadly, the excuses from the tech industry mirror the bullshit routinely shat out by the ever-exclusive advertising industry. Here are a few of the technological turds:

There’s a severe shortage of qualified Blacks and Latinos in the pool of job applicants. Of course, there’s no recognition that the pool is exclusionary—and little effort is being made to wade outside of the limited pool. There are plenty of available and qualified candidates. You just have to look beyond the routine and stop relying on cronyism, nepotism, racism and other assorted isms.

Blacks and Latinos need more educational opportunities. This leads to the belief that there must be greater connections with inner-city residents and historically Black colleges and universities. Look for tax-exempted internships, scholarships and outreach programs to explode in the years ahead.

Tech companies don’t want to sacrifice quality by hiring Black and Latinos. This is simply arrogance and ignorance at work.

If Silicon Valley continues to follow the lead of Madison Avenue, expect to see more Chief Diversity Officers, Diversity Development Advisory Committees, BrandLab knock-offs, ADCOLOR® donations, examples of delegating diversity and tech executives saying, “We’ve got a long way to go and we’ve got to do better—we’re fucked up!” But don’t expect to see any progress.

Tech jobs: Minorities have degrees, but don’t get hired

By Elizabeth Weise and Jessica Guynn, USA TODAY

SAN FRANCISCO – Top universities turn out black and Hispanic computer science and computer engineering graduates at twice the rate that leading technology companies hire them, a USA TODAY analysis shows.

Technology companies blame the pool of job applicants for the severe shortage of blacks and Hispanics in Silicon Valley.

But these findings show that claim “does not hold water,” said Darrick Hamilton, professor of economics and urban policy at The New School in New York.

“What do dominant groups say? ‘We tried, we searched but there was nobody qualified.’ If you look at the empirical evidence, that is just not the case,” he said.

As technology becomes a major engine of economic growth in the U.S. economy, tech companies are under growing pressure to diversify their workforces, which are predominantly white, Asian and male. Leaving African-Americans and Hispanics out of that growth increases the divide between haves and have-nots. And the technology industry risks losing touch with the diverse nation — and world — that forms its customer base.

On average, just 2% of technology workers at seven Silicon Valley companies that have released staffing numbers are black. Three percent are Hispanic.

But last year, 4.5% of all new recipients of bachelor’s degrees in computer science or computer engineering from prestigious research universities were African-American and 6.5% were Hispanic, according to data from the Computing Research Association.

The USA TODAY analysis was based on the association’s annual Taulbee Survey, which includes 179 U.S. and Canadian universities that offer Ph.D.s in computer science and computer engineering.

“They’re reporting 2% and 3% and we’re looking at graduation numbers (for African-Americans and Hispanics) that are maybe twice that,” said Stuart Zweben, professor of computer science and engineering at The Ohio State University in Columbus.

“Why are they not getting more of a share of at least the doctoral-granting institutions?” said Zweben, who co-authored the 2013 Taulbee Survey report.

An even larger gulf emerges between Silicon Valley and graduates of all U.S. colleges and universities. A survey by the National Center for Education Statistics showed that blacks and Hispanics each made up about 9% of all 2012 computer science graduates.

Nationally, blacks make up 12% of the U.S. workforce, and Hispanics 16%.

Facebook, Twitter, Google, Apple and Yahoo declined to comment on the disparity between graduation rates and their hiring rates.

LinkedIn issued a statement that it was working with organizations to “address the need for greater diversity to help LinkedIn and the tech industry as a whole.”

Google said on its diversity blog in May that it has “been working with historically black colleges and universities to elevate coursework and attendance in computer science.”

In his blog post on diversity, Apple’s CEO Tim Cook cited improving education as “one of the best ways in which Apple can have a meaningful impact on society. We recently pledged $100 million to President Obama’s ConnectED initiative to bring cutting-edge technologies to economically disadvantaged schools.”

All of the companies have insisted they are hiring all of the qualified black and Hispanic tech workers they can find.

In an interview earlier this year, Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg said the key to getting more women and minorities into the technology field had to start with improvements to education.

“We are not going to fix the numbers for under-representation in technology or any industry until we fix our education system,” she said.

Others say tech giants simply don’t see the programmers right in front of them.

Janice Cuny directs the Computer Education program at the National Science Foundation. She says black and Hispanic computer science graduates are invisible to these companies.

“People used to say that there were no women in major orchestras because women didn’t like classical music. Then in the 1970s they changed the way people auditioned so it was blind, the listeners couldn’t see the players auditioning. Now the numbers are much more representative,” she said.

The same thing happens in the tech world, said Cuny. “There are these subtle biases that make you think that some person is not what you’re looking for, even when they are.”

One of the key problems: There are elite computer science departments that graduate larger numbers of African-American and Hispanic students, but they are not the ones where leading companies recruit employees. Stanford, UC Berkeley, Carnegie Mellon, UCLA and MIT are among the most popular for recruiting by tech companies, according to research by Wired magazine.

“That is the major disconnect,” said Juan Gilbert, a professor of computer and information science at the University of Florida in Gainesville.

“The premise that if you want diversity, you have to sacrifice quality, is false,” he said. His department currently has 25 African-American Ph.D. candidates. Rice University in Houston has a large number of Hispanic students.

“These are very strong programs, top ranked places that have excellent reputations,” he said. “Intel has been hiring from my lab and they say our students hit it out of the ballpark.”

Justin Edmund says he was fortunate to attend Carnegie Mellon. Today he’s the seventh employee at Pinterest and one of the top designers at the San Francisco startup valued at $5 billion.

He’s also one of the few African Americans in his company.

“There’s a lot of things that can be done to fix the problem but a lot of them are things that Silicon Valley and technology companies don’t do,” Edmund said. “If you go to the same prestigious universities every single time and every single year to recruit people … then you are going to get the same people over and over again.”

Contributing: Paul Overberg

Sunday, October 12, 2014

12142: Clues For The Clueless.


Becoming conscious of unconscious bias in high tech

By Hank Williams, Special for USA TODAY

The percentage of underrepresented minorities who work for tech giants is in the single digits.

The lack of diversity isn’t just harmful for underrepresented minorities themselves. It actually hurts the bottom line.

Diverse organizations make better decisions. People from varied backgrounds and experiences bring different perspectives to the table on everything, from which products and services to develop to how to market them across the world.

And the lack of minorities in tech companies puts them out of step with their own users.

With the United States heading to a majority-minority position by 2043, diverse views are more integral to businesses decisions than ever.

So what’s lurking behind these abysmal numbers and what can companies do about it?

The cause is more hidden and therefore more difficult to solve. It’s an unconscious partiality that we all have toward those who are similar to us, called an affinity bias.

Unconscious affinity bias has an evolutionary purpose. It’s hard-wired into us as part of our survival instinct.

At earlier times in our history, if an object coming up the path looked like you there was less chance that it was a hostile animal or tribe member who might kill you.

But, in the present day, the bias has enormously harmful consequences.

Reports demonstrating the exclusionary effect on employment practices abound.

A telling example is a 2004 study published in the American Economic Review finding that applicants with white-sounding names received 50% more callback interviews than those with African-American-sounding names.

Even if you’re only slightly, subtly biased, over time the effect compounds and eventually you end up with a closed caste.

You hire people who are like you, they do the same, and so on. Ultimately, your organization looks just like Google and other technology companies, with very few employees from outsider groups.

What can be done to counter a bias that we don’t even know exists?

The answer lies in making the unconscious conscious. We need to convince people the bias is happening and that it has consequences that are counter to their interests.

Easier said than done, though.

Bias carries a serious stigma in our society. That’s why education and outside pressure must be applied to bring the issue into the forefront of public discourse and convince companies to take preventative measures.

The truth is you need both positive and negative pressure, inside and outside organizations, to make change.

Rev. Jesse Jackson’s recent Silicon Valley initiative is a great example of the external stick.

In March 2014, Jackson called on the top tech companies to release their employment demographics. By the end of July, most of them caved to the pressure and publicly exposed the lack of diversity in their ranks.

And in September, Google announced Unconscious Bias at Work, an internal education program designed to create a “more aware” Google.

The entire workshop is available for viewing on YouTube, and Google says that more than 26,000 employees have attended a session. Hopefully, Google’s competitors and collaborators will follow suit.

But awareness is only the first step.

Next, you must employ tactics to ensure that employees hire without regard to color, gender, age, sexual orientation, appearance, class, or any other non-merit-based characteristic.

But how do you get rid of a bias that isn’t conscious?

Utilize a blind review process. Human resources should white label each incoming resume so that hiring managers only see: Applicant A, Applicant B, and so forth, ensuring that non-white-sounding names don’t work against applicants.

Blind review can even extend to the in-person interview stage. Transcripts can be made of recorded interviews and parties that didn’t attend the interview can review the transcripts in a blind fashion similar to the resume review.

Another tactic is to employ a consistent questioning framework in every interview. Asking the same questions in the same way of every candidate enables the reviewer to evaluate answers objectively.

In addition, cronyism must be combated throughout the hiring process.

According to a survey conducted by the Public Religion Research Institute, 75 percent of white Americans have “entirely white social networks.”

Before you start reviewing applications, you have to make sure you have a diverse pool of potential candidates. And companies should mandate that multiple employees be involved in every stage of review so that favoritism doesn’t pollute the process.

The road to eliminating unconscious bias from hiring and making the tech giants resemble their users is a long one. There isn’t a singular magic solution.

But keep in mind that just a few years ago, there was zero conversation about the issue. Now, initiatives like Jackson’s and Google’s are bringing people together to discuss and shed light on the topic.

Change is in the air. And that’s good for everyone — minorities, majorities, consumers, businesses, and society at large.

Hank Williams is a tech entrepreneur who is founder of Platform, a non-profit organization focused on diversifying the innovation economy, and CEO of Kloudco a cloud storage and data management platform.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

12141: Millennials—The New Minority…?

Adweek published a bunch of articles on Millennials. Advertising Age spotlighted the Nielsen Top 10 Ads Among Millennials. Seminars examining Millennials were plentiful at Advertising Week. Why, everybody’s crazy about Millennials.

However, whenever anyone starts a conversation about Millennials as adpeople, things get ugly fast. Criticisms include, “…the problem is with Millennials entering this industry with their ‘It’s all about me’ egos.” Agency executives refuse to accommodate Millennials in any way, shape or form. The generational differences in advertising agencies are filled with resentments and negativity.

This is yet another reason why diversity will never happen in the advertising industry. In short, the Old White Guys in charge refuse to share with anyone outside of their exclusive realm—even their White spouses, mistresses and assorted Caucasian female peers get shafted.

Millennials actually represent a scarier threat than other minority groups. For starters, many of them are White—especially the ones who are granted access into the field—despite the fact that the group overall is the most diverse generation in history. Second, Millennials will work for lower wages than Old White Guys, while often producing equal or better results. Third, unlike Old White Guys, most Millennials are not digitally disabled. And the list goes on.

Our industry leaders are arguably seeking to prevent and restrict the younger generation’s ability to succeed. In adland, Millennials are the new minority.

Friday, October 10, 2014

12140: Everybody Up In NBA.

Advertising Age reported on fresh marketing and advertising being developed for the NBA under recently-hired CMO Pam El. A new campaign features the tagline, “Everybody Up.” Fairly certain everybody does not include Donald Sterling, Bruce Levenson or Danny Ferry.

The NBA’s Marketing Will Get More Aggressive Under New CMO

A New Campaign Is Supported by Broad-Based Media Buy

By E.J. Schultz

The National Basketball Association, which recently inked a lucrative media rights deal, will increase its marketing budget as it looks to lure more casual fans, according to the league’s new chief marketing officer.

Some of the new spending will back the league’s season-long campaign, which debuts Saturday and will run on a broader set of networks than in years past, said CMO Pam El, who joined the NBA in August after stints at insurance companies State Farm and Nationwide. “We are going to be much more aggressive with our marketing. We want to go after a larger fan base,” she said in an interview.

While she declined to reveal spending figures, she said the new campaign, called “Everybody Up,” will run on news and entertainment networks such as BET, CNN, TBS and VH1 “just to name a few.”

The first ad of the campaign is called “Roll Call” and will first air on Saturday during the Miami Heat vs. Cleveland Cavaliers preseason game that will be played in Rio de Janeiro and air on ESPNews. The ad is by Goodby Silverstein & Partners and features narration by hip hop artist Common.

Previously, the league had mostly confined its early-season campaign to ESPN and TNT, which both carry NBA games, Ms. El said. The league will still air ads on the two networks, but “we are going to branch outside of that media to reach not only the avid fan, but also our casual fan,” she said.

In 2013, the NBA spent $93.6 million on measured media, a figure that includes ads promoting the NBA TV cable channel, as well as plugging the WNBA, according to Kantar Media.

Ms. El’s hiring represents the first time the league has a CMO title since the 1990s. More recently, the league’s top marketing position was filled by Jamie Gallo, who held the title of exec VP-marketing, before he left the NBA in January. “The fact that the league has decided to hire a CMO is a sign of how much more aggressive we want to become as a marketing entity,” Ms. El said.

The league will have plenty of money to spend after its new media rights deal kicks in beginning in the 2016-2017 season. The pact with Walt Disney Co. (ESPN and ABC) and Turner Broadcasting System (TNT) more than doubles the NBA’s current deal and is worth $24 billion over nine years, according to various media reports.

Some analysts have speculated that TV viewers could eventually cover some of the costs through higher cable bills. So it makes sense for the league to try and broaden its fan base via new marketing, said D.J. Koeller, an associate VP at Intersport, a Chicago-based sports and entertainment marketing company.

It’s critical for the NBA to bring the casual fans into the fold “because eventually they may be the ones footing the bill,” Mr. Koeller said. “You want to make sure that everybody has embraced the product if ultimately there is going to be a cost associated with it.”

The “Roll Call” ad includes footage of fans, players, coaches and cheerleaders, while weaving in scenes from foreign markets such as London, China and Mexico City.

“The idea of this spot is that teams win championships, individuals don’t,” Ms. El said. “We are proposing that the team is a combination of the players and the coaches, but also the staff and employees and the fans and the families—and that all of those folks actually contribute to the NBA experience.” The international flavor is meant to emphasize that the “global NBA community is much broader than just the 30 teams here in the U.S. (and Canada),” she added.

A Spanish-language ad by Bromley is in development.

The campaign comes as the NBA is in the early stages of a creative agency review, as Ad Age recently reported. Ms. El declined to comment on the process other than to say Goodby has “done a tremendous job” with the new campaign.

Media planning and buying for the new campaign was handled by Media Storm, which is part of the Water Cooler Group network that is co-led by former Mindshare exec Antony Young. The NBA, which had previously handled media internally, began working with the network last year during the NBA Finals, according to a spokesman.

Thursday, October 09, 2014

12139: Tracing The Black Market.

From The New York Times…

The Worth of Black Men, From Slavery to Ferguson

By Sharifa Rhodes-Pitts

The paper, stained in spots, has yellowed, its black ink faded to a dull brown, but the horizontal lines printed on the page are still a fine blue. Some scribe took great care preparing this page, first dragging a piece of graphite along a straight edge to make two pairs of twin columns. Sometimes the pencil marks skip, disconnecting from the line before joining the page again. Once ordered, the table received its data: numbers rendered by hand but with a machinelike uniformity.

One column is titled “Ages — Years Old”; the other, “Valuation.” The first begins in infancy at age 1 and continues to 60, the age of infirmity for an enslaved person after a lifetime of work. In the second column, corresponding prices ascend steadily, beginning with the youngest slave, valued at $100, and climbing by increments of $25 or $50. The chart peaks at age 20 and $900. From there it descends, by the same increments, until ending with the 60-year-old slave worth only $50. This is the “Scale of Valuation of Slaves,” from the papers of Tyre Glen — a prosperous North Carolina slave trader and tobacco planter who was, paradoxically, also an abolitionist and antisecessionist.

The economist Robert Evans Jr. noted in 1962 that “the slave market performed for the antebellum South some of the functions now performed by the New York Stock Exchange, i.e., it served in the eyes of the public as a sensitive reflector of current and future business prospects.” Calculating the profitability of slaves as compared with other investments circa 1850, Evans estimated that the purchase of 1,000 20-year-old male slaves — held for 20 or 30 years and accounting for standard rates of depreciation and death — was greater than investments such as the “three- to six-month bankable paper money market in Boston,” or stock in the Northern and Southern railroads.

The lingo of the slave trade only emphasizes the importance of these black bodies to the market. In 1860, a Virginia trader valued 20-year-old slaves as “extra men” and “extra women,” worth $1,500-$1,600 and $1,325-$1,400, respectively. A second tier of high-value souls were known as “No. 1 men,” worth $1,400-$1,500, and “No. 1 women,” worth $1,275-$1,325. After depreciation by age, abuse and overwork, they were demoted to what Evans termed “once-prime.” The equation by which Evans arrived at a rate of return on slave investments indicates P as the price of slaves, k as the number of years the investor holds the slaves, H as the yearly rent for male slaves age 20 to 50, N as the number of male slaves alive at midyear and r as the internal rate of interest.

No mathematical equation exists to produce the economic model that ends with 18-year-old Michael Brown, shot multiple times with his hands in the air, his lifeless body left in the street for four hours. The numbers will inevitably be run, however, to determine the cumulative cost of damages owed to owners of property looted or destroyed in the riots engulfing Ferguson, Mo., after Brown’s death, thus fulfilling a ritual cycle enacted repeatedly over the last 100 years: injustice, outrage, appeals to peace, reprimands against violence and looting and then insurance claims.

But a path can be traced from slavery to the killing of Michael Brown. The sociologist Loïc Wacquant asserts that racialized slavery was only the first in a series of “peculiar institutions” (as went the 19th-century euphemism gilding the nation’s founding contradiction) to enforce caste and class in the United States. The most recent is the “hyperghetto” and “hyperincarceration” that presides today, wherein there’s little hope of mobility and uniformly dire possibilities. Instead of being at the center of the national economy — as were 20-year-olds in slave traders’ value scale — those who are young and black have become a distortion of the “extra man”: They are now surplus labor, discarded in advance as uneducable, unredeemable criminals or potential criminals.

#BlackLivesMatter, the hashtag slogan that emerged amid the outcry against Brown’s killing and other similar deaths, has predecessors in previous eras. The abolitionist’s plea went “Am I Not a Man and a Brother?” (this was amended by Sojourner Truth to “Aren’t I a Woman?” in her challenge to early gender-equality advocates who denied the participation of black women). In the era of Jim Crow terrorism, the N.A.A.C.P. regularly suspended a flag from the window of its New York headquarters declaring, “A Man Was Lynched Yesterday.” The pointed and similarly plain slogan “I AM A MAN” was emblazoned on the posters of Memphis sanitation workers on strike in 1968 during what would be the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s final campaign. (At an auction of African-American ephemera, I once saw an original of that poster, which had been altered by its owner. I AM A MAN, the poster stated. “NOT-A-BITCH,” was the scrawled annotation.)

But who is addressed by these claims — left as the impression of a wax seal or unfurled on a flag; carried as placards on bodies or appended to 140-character shards of thought? All address a great unnamed They: the system, the state or, more hopefully, the people and the democracy. (In 1900, the anti-lynching advocate Ida B. Wells-Barnett, in her preface to “Mob Rule in New Orleans” exhorted, “We do not believe that the American people who have encouraged such scenes by their indifference will read unmoved these accounts of brutality, injustice and oppression.”) We are speaking to one another, ourselves against the possibility of our own forgetfulness; we are addressing future histories. The artist Dread Scott recently plastered a series of fake “wanted” posters around Harlem challenging, among other things, the civil rights violations of New York’s much-criticized stop-and-frisk police tactic. Featuring generic police sketches of the young black and Latino men disproportionately targeted by the practice, the posters offered another take on the value of these lives, stating “the suspect is wanted by his family, friends, and neighbors.”

Today the chorus of voices declaring #BlackLivesMatter also speaks to the militarized police forces gathered to contain revolt, mourning and rage. They speak to the courts who will later hear arguments of defense: The gun was used by accident instead of a Taser (as in the killing of Oscar Grant III in Oakland, Calif.); the victim was in possession of weaponized concrete (as in the killing of Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Fla.); the possibly imperiled young woman at the front door in the dead of night was a menace in need of immediate extermination (as in the case of Renisha McBride in Dearborn Heights, Mich.). Two trials were required to bring justice for Jordan Davis, murdered in Jacksonville, Fla., because his “thug music” was too loud. For John Crawford III, killed in the pet-food aisle of a Beavercreek, Ohio, Walmart, there will be no hearing, for a grand jury has decided not to indict the officers responsible. In very many other similar instances, the vigilante or “justified” or “officer-involved” homicides do not receive media attention. According to a report issued by the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement, at least one black person is the victim of “extrajudicial killing” every 28 hours in the United States.

How do we make sense of all these killings? By the logic of Tyre Glen’s chart, then the deaths of all these extra men and extra women, and once-prime men and once-prime women are entirely sensible. The scholar Sabine Broeck suggests we understand slavery not as “safely entombed … deplorable events in the past,” but as enslavism — “the legacies of which are ongoing.” The bloody inversion of a bloody history arrives at these black lives dispatched with ease. The last few years have seen scores of memorials, re-enactments, monuments and editorials coinciding with the sesquicentennial of various events of the Civil War. But it is these deaths — the killings in Ferguson and Beavercreek and beyond — that commemorate the unfinished, perhaps unending, struggle to assert black humanity in a country built on its denial.

Sharifa Rhodes-Pitts is the author of “Harlem Is Nowhere: A Journey to the Mecca of Black America.”

12138: Banking On Clichés Of Color.

Geez, Black advertising clichés are even prevalent in South Africa.

From Ads of the World.

12137: Slam-Dunking Stereotypes.

From Italy, this campaign promoting an Italian basketball club scores plenty of racist stereotypes. Were Donald Sterling, Bruce Levenson and Danny Ferry involved?

From Ads of the World.

12136: Pornhub Sucks In Times Square.

Adfreak reported on the pitifully pathetic Pornhub campaign that launched with a billboard and event in New York’s Times Square. After all of former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s success in ridding the area of adult entertainment and obscenity, Pornhub’s hackneyed shit tried to stink up the place again. And did the Beatles approve usage of their tune for this asinine spectacle? Copyright infringement lawsuit, please.

Pornhub Erects Huge Billboard in Times Square After Long Search for a Great Non-Pornographic Ad

Update: It’s been taken down

By Alfred Maskeroni

New York’s Times Square has always been an eyegasm of advertising, so the adult website Pornhub’s enormous new billboard—featuring the winner of its contest seeking a great non-pornographic ad—fits right in.

The winner is Nuri Galver, a copywriter from Istanbul, whose entry was chosen from more than 3,000 others. On the contest’s Tumblr page, Galver says his concept was a simple one: “Because our icon is a hand, our campaign will easily be integrated into any media. Because everyone has it or is familiar it. And they use it often in their daily life. So, with our effective insight, we will announce ‘Pornhub’ name to the whole world in a short time.”

Galver had another idea, too: “People of different nationalities, with different types of hand, will sing our ‘All You Need Is Hand’ song with the music of ‘All You Need Is Love.’ This will be our image film. Depending on budgetary situation, we can use celebrities in our movies. Sure, it increases the effect of the campaign.”

So, Pornhub did just that, hiring the Gotham Rock Choir to christen the ad with their own parody rendition of the Beatles classic. Take a look [here]. And for complaints, please contact de Blasio—or maybe Giuliani.

UPDATE: Late Wednesday afternoon, Pornhub tweeted that the billboard had been taken down, offering no explanation. It was fun while it lasted.

12135: Bicultural Cluelessness.

OMG, there’s a new post at The Big Tent—which is not-so-big anymore. Marketers: Bicultural Hispanics Need to be Heard, So Give Them a Voice by Pulpo Media CMO Maria Lopez-Knowles opines, “Marketers need to understand the dynamics at play with bicultural audiences, and how communications can be interpreted differently in Hispanic vs. U.S. ‘general market’ cultures.” Good luck making it happen when there already aren’t enough crumbs to begin with—and schemes like Total Toyota are run by biculturally-clueless White people.