Monday, October 05, 2015

12876: Good Golly, Hallmark!

Does anybody else think this Hallmark Halloween cat has golliwog characteristics?

12875: Dumb Questions.

During Advertising Week 2015, Campaign created a feature titled, “Just One Question,” presenting videos starring industry leaders answering inquiries on a variety of topics.

If you could change one thing about the industry, what would it be? Of course, no one expressed a desire to change the industry’s White exclusivity.

What is the one big issue nobody is talking about? Of course, no one mentioned the lack of constructive conversation on diversity.

If you could hire anyone in the world right now, who would it be? Of course, no one wanted to hire a minority.

Sunday, October 04, 2015

12874: Playing Poker Or Solitaire…?

Advertising Age published a perspective by Reframe: The Brand Founder and Chairman Jeffrey Bowman, where the author attempts to rename “multiculturalism” as the “New Majority.” Um, the last time Bowman examined this specific topic, wasn’t he promoting the label of cross-cultural marketing while leading the segregated OgilvyCULTURE department? Whatever. Unfortunately, Bowman continues to clutter the conversation with fresh terms that no one really distinguishes from the stale terms—and no one really cares about. Hell, Bowman inadvertently underscores a key issue with his opening statements:

Let’s get a few of things out of the way. Yes, the advertising industry needs to hire more people of color. Yes, race relations are strained right now. Yes, immigration is a huge issue for the upcoming presidential campaign. And yes, Silicon Valley is still way too white. Do we all agree? Great. We’ve now all anted up in this particular game of poker.

The problem is, we do not all agree. The Current Majority on Madison Avenue—i.e., the confederacy of White folks—does not believe “the advertising industry needs to hire more people of color.” There is plenty of recurring evidence to support this fact. Plus, White people are holding all the cards in this “particular game of poker.”

As a result, Bowman’s “three big bets” likely won’t result in winning more credibility or crumbs.

How Brands and Agencies Can Win at Multiculturalism

Three Big Bets Companies Need to Place for New Majority Success

By Jeffrey Bowman

Let’s get a few of things out of the way. Yes, the advertising industry needs to hire more people of color. Yes, race relations are strained right now. Yes, immigration is a huge issue for the upcoming presidential campaign. And yes, Silicon Valley is still way too white. Do we all agree? Great. We’ve now all anted up in this particular game of poker.

None of this is news to brands and agencies. But something is changing fast—the complexion of America. The general market isn’t white anymore. In just a few years, the majority of people under 18 will be from minority populations. In a couple of decades, the majority of the nation will be minorities. And did you hear this? The millennial generation has come up with a new, better word for multiculturalism. They call it normal.

Winning this game is going to take a lot more than showing up and throwing a few pennies in the pot. Here are three big bets businesses need to place. Those that do will be guaranteed a winning hand.

1. Repudiate separate-but-equal marketing. Back in the 1960s, black-owned agencies were finally let into the club of major brand engagements. Now, Hispanic and Asian agencies are part of the mix, but the system is still a simple expansion of the 1960s quota system that first brought minority culture into advertising. We still have two “separate-but-equal” systems.

Procurement departments go out to secure external vendors and allocate a percentage of spend to what is called supplier-diversity programs. Internally, brands use diversity-and-inclusion initiatives to justify hiring and retaining diverse talent. That sounds good, but practically speaking, it’s just as flawed as the pre-Brown vs. Board of Education educational system was. As a result, brands are dramatically underinvesting in the fastest-growing parts of the marketplace. Nimble, authentic new brands are going to eat their lunch.

2. Change from the inside out. Today’s diversity-and-inclusion and supplier-diversity models falter in part because of the language used inside companies. Brands still speak of diversity as being an exercise in compliance. If they go beyond the strictures of the law, it’s a nice thing to do for society, but brands don’t yet act as if their future competitiveness depends on diversity—which it does.

The steady growth of diversity-and-inclusion and supplier-diversity systems has built up a large industry of training, education and organizational consulting. This industry is based on the belief that it is a civil right to have a diverse and inclusive work environment. The workplace that has been built adheres to that right and is compliant with the law. That’s table-stakes thinking again.

To succeed, companies need to drop the idea and nomenclature brought to them by compliance with external forces. Instead, brands need to see diversity as a crucial factor in being market-ready. In an era of unprecedented transparency and respect for authenticity, no company can fake diversity.

3. Put your money where your mouth is. Google recently created a new holding company called Alphabet, which got all kinds of press attention and anguished business hot-takes. In 2012, Walmart announced that 100% of its sales growth would come from multicultural segments. No one paid the slightest bit of attention. The former is a largely meaningless corporate reorganization, while the latter reflects a recognition of a massive cultural realignment by one of the world’s largest companies. Why no love for that?

Rebuilding companies from the inside-out to reflect the New Majority may not make the news yet, but it is going to shake up the way funds are allocated. Gone will be the days when, as I personally have experienced, shifting spending to the fast-growing Hispanic market means cutting marketing directed at blacks.

Once you place these bets, your brand or business will be open for New Majority customers. That means that, for the first time since the heyday of America’s white majority, your business will be ready to sell to every one of your potential customers. You will be targeting the real, total addressable market, not some artificial fraction thereof. And if you are among the first to figure this out, consumers and talent will seek you out.

Jeffrey Bowman is founder and chairman of Reframe: The Brand, a consulting firm that helps businesses prepare for the New Majority. Mr. Bowman was previously senior partner-managing director at Ogilvy & Mather New York.

Saturday, October 03, 2015

12873: Exclusively D&AD.

Campaign reported four new White trustees were elected to the culturally exclusive D&AD board, joining new D&AD President and Pseudo Thought Leader Andy Sandoz. As previously noted, D&AD appears to stand for Discrimination & Anglo Dominance. Maybe the organization should create a campaign for diversity and inclusion worthy of a White Pencil.

Four new trustees elected to D&AD board

By Michelle Perrett

Four new members have been elected to sit on the board of trustees at D&AD.

They will join the new president Andy Sandoz, creative partner at Havas Work Club, who took over from former president Mark Bonner yesterday (1 October).

Bruce Duckworth, the principal at design agency Turner Duckworth, has been elected as deputy president.

Also elected are Nicky Bullard, the executive creative director at Lida; Caitlin Ryan, the former group executive creative director at Karmarama; and Hamish Gardner, a New Blood trustee. New Blood is a programme to showcase and nurture new entrants to the market.

The 16 board members are voted in by D&AD awarded and full members. Each trustee serves a term of three years and new blood trustees serve for a year.

The board is responsible for the overall direction of D&AD, its programmes, and where its money is spent.

Tim Lindsay, the chief executive of D&AD, said: “This is always a refreshing time of year; almost like a ‘back to school’ feel for us.

“Once again I am blown away by this supremely talented collection of individuals who will help to guide and shape D&AD over the coming months and years.”

“With an international calendar of events, exciting new categories for our Professional Awards, some big plans for D&AD Judging, and some ambitious plans for our New Blood programme and the D&AD Foundation, it’s sure to be a year to remember.”

Friday, October 02, 2015

12872: The One Club’s Exclusivity.

Adweek published a perspective from The One Club Director of Diversity Traecy Smith, discussing the hilarious image from the latest Here Are All The Black People soiree. First of all, “The One Club Director of Diversity” remains an oxymoron and/or contradictory juxtaposition that’s as peculiar as the photo sparking controversy. Smith sought to defend the image by pointing to a video featuring the “Advertising For Good” panel depicted (the relevant part begins at about 45:20). Ironically, the panel was moderated by Barbara Lippert, a White woman who once landed a job at Goodby Silverstein & Partners via cronyism—plus, Lippert actually joked about the lack of Blacks on the panel. Additionally, Smith argued the panel included DDB New York CCO and Global Citizen Icaro Doria and an Asian-American participant. Um, is that roughly the equivalent of counting janitors and receptionists as diversity hires? Smith also presented the realization that “Progress is messy. It doesn’t move forward seamlessly; it stumbles, sometimes veering off in the wrong direction before righting itself.” Is that an explanation or admission—or both? The One Club is becoming the next ADCOLOR®.

Thursday, October 01, 2015

12871: Here Are All The White People.

AgencySpy noted a hilarious image from Advertising Week that appeared via the Twitter account of GSD&M. It depicts a predominately White panel discussion for Here Are All The Black People. Do any of the folks in the photo even know any Black people? Of course, the AgencySpy post garnered quite a few comments.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

12870: RAPP HR BS.

Adweek published an interview with RAPP EVP of Human Resources Carolyn Doud, who discussed how she hires. It’s always nice to see an HR wonk share hiring tactics without mentioning diversity. A quick peek at RAPP’s executive leadership says all you need to know about the White advertising agency’s commitment to inclusion.

Agency HR Head on Creative Hiring and Talent as the Ultimate Differentiator

RAPP’s Carolyn Doud discusses how she hires

By Patrick Coffee


Current gig Evp of human resources at RAPP

Previous gig Executive director of global talent acquisition and management at Avon Products

Twitter @DoudCarolyn

Age 42

Adweek: What led you to the agency world after working in consumer products with Avon and ConAgra Foods?

Carolyn Doud: A lot of things came together at once for me. I started my career as part of a professional services practice, but I was always drawn to consumer marketing and, after going client-side, I got excited about working for companies that are constantly looking to evolve. That’s what took me to my positions at ConAgra and Avon, which was about being a member of a truly global organization. When I started thinking about the “next thing” for me, the idea of being in a great creative environment that places a high premium on talent to differentiate itself from the competition was a top priority.

What about RAPP in particular appealed to you?

Now is a great time for the type of work that RAPP does; it’s about being really smart regarding both the consumer and your clients. RAPP is particularly well-positioned because of its legacy in data, and we have something unique among agencies in my mind because we are focused on making sure that our clients differentiate themselves through the experiences they provide and the connections they make with their customers. As a talent manager, joining a company that inherently understands the role that user experience plays in creating a reaction and response behavior for consumers is a sort of panacea. Now, I want to build an environment where creative people can be successful.

How does HR/talent management differ at a creative agency versus a consumer goods company?

There’s a tendency to focus on the client (for the right reasons) as opposed to internal teams, and some agencies may not adapt quickly enough in that respect. That’s not to minimize the importance of leaders because for me it’s a gift when someone becomes a great manager of people with an eye for talent. Talent really counts. Yes, the focus needs to be on the clients—but let me give you the tools and structure to make sure you and your team can be successful. We are without question developing our point of differentiation (which is our people) ourselves by taking them through a series of experiences that broaden and deepen their perspective so they can think about clients’ issues in an evolving way. That’s what’s so interesting about the creative business: It’s driven by a breadth of perspective. At the same time, there’s a realism in the agency world while the corporate side is too profit-driven. This industry in particular has the ability to have a much more authentic conversation with consumers because everything we do has to have a purpose beyond profit. Bottom line: If our people are not successful, then our agency is not successful.

What do you look for in new hires?

From a leadership perspective, what’s important is a balance and a sensitivity to the importance of people and personal development as part of how they would grow the business. The work is absolutely what we do, but the people are how that work happens. I always focus on how someone reads: Are they informed, do they produce content and are they heavy communicators with their teams? At the end of the day, we are a business and there is a very specific focus at any agency around creating value for clients. So I am interested in not only understanding a candidate’s subject matter expertise but how they think about growing the business and how they maintain the ability to look at things through a lens other than that which they have lived.

If I’m applying to work at RAPP or another creative agency, which aspects of my experience should I focus on?

I would say absolutely focus on a connection to the business that we’re in and an understanding of how the organization has to operate to be successful. I’m all about purpose over process and looking outside what everyone else is doing. I look for people who are courageous enough to say, “This doesn’t make sense.”

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

12869: Is GumboLive Mumbo Jumbo?

Adweek reported on GumboLive, an organized effort to recruit outsider talent created by Momentum Worldwide in New Orleans. Given that Gumbo has strong connections to Black culture—and New Orleans has a large Black population—it would be interesting to learn if the initiative has diversity-related goals. Based on the accompanying photograph depicted above, GumboLive appears to be an exclusive stew.

To Attract Outsider Talent, One Agency Cooked Up a New Approach in New Orleans

GumboLive looks to break the recruiting cycle

By Gabriel Beltrone

Before Nate Sutter worked in advertising, he was a professional yo-yo-er. Sponsored by Duncan Yo-Yo, he traveled the country performing tricks at toy stores, children’s hospitals and schools. He then spent a year and a half apprenticing as a body-piercing artist, and after that worked as a bartender in New Orleans’ Bywater neighborhood. That is where, in 2012, he met someone from GumboLive, a creative think tank that had recently opened in town.

An ad job sounded interesting, recalls Sutter, 27, “so I just applied.” Sutter’s twisting career path represents just the kind of unconventional background GumboLive was designed to attract. Owned by Interpublic Group’s Momentum Worldwide, the initiative has quietly operated for the past three years with the mission of drawing fresh, millennial talent from beyond conventional sources like portfolio schools.

“The market is changing so dramatically if you look at how we as marketers and advertisers communicate … but if you look at agencies, the way we recruit is still pretty much the same way it’s always been,” says Chris Weil, CEO of Momentum. “We trade people back and forth from agency to agency. And then when we need some new talent, we hire somebody, a junior copywriter or a junior account person, and we put them on a small account in the corner and then have them fight their way up.”

As chairman of the American Association of Advertising Agencies (4A’s) from 2012 to 2014, Weil was involved with talent research at both the trade group and Momentum, putting him in a prime position to diagnose why more people don’t put advertising at the top of the list when picking a career path. “Part of it is just the pure pressure or the monotony as you come up,” he says. “You’re jamming it out and trying to bill the hours so that you can then move up and get to the point of what this industry is all about, which is creativity and ideas.”

GumboLive has turned that problem on its head. Staffers don’t have to worry about time sheets or account management. Instead, they focus on cranking out big-picture ideas on a wide range of fast-turnaround briefs for brands forwarded on from Momentum and sometimes its sibling agencies. “It could be anybody from Coca-Cola to American Express to United Airlines,” notes Weil. “And the client may not even know that these guys are working on it.”

Momentum isn’t the only agency going outside the industry for talent. In 2011, 72andSunny launched 72U, a 12-week creative residency designed for non-ad professionals (recent participants included an architect, an audio engineer and a Ph.D. who’d studied gender roles in remote fishing villages in Spain). The agency has gone on to hire 21 full-time staffers and six freelancers out of the program’s 48 graduates. Maria Scileppi, 72U’s director, says the larger mission is to help participants grow creatively and professionally, emphasizing collaboration, experimentation and “creating a safe place” for what she calls, affectionately, “wonderful weirdos.”

GumboLive’s 15 or so staffers (who get “competitive compensation,” according to Momentum) tend to rotate on 18- to 24-month cycles—though three years in, Sutter is the notable exception. In addition to being an ideation resource for the entire Momentum network (Weil recalls one quarter in which they turned around 85 briefs), GumboLive staffers are plugged firmly into its new-business machine. Sometimes, that means producing spec ideas to pitch to clients. Others, it means Momentum execs fly down to New Orleans for blue-sky brainstorming sessions. Prospective clients can buy sessions, too. New York-based Westfield Corp., which operates shopping centers in eight states, bought one, reports Weil, “and they’re a client now.”

To be fair, GumboLive doesn’t discriminate against those with formal ad training or experience—the current class includes a couple of art directors and Miami Ad School grads. But it does skew toward the eclectic. To land his job there, Sutter cooked up an elaborate sample strategy to rebrand a wine company around Gen Y consumers. A colleague, Ben Johnson, 26, joined the shop this past May after bootstrapping Big Charity, a feature-length documentary about the controversial closing of Charity Hospital following Hurricane Katrina. One of three co-producers on the film, Johnson also composed the score. Earlier, he worked on HBO’s Treme for two seasons, helping source, sign and manage musicians.

And before she landed at GumboLive in March of this year, Sophia Osella, 24, studied philosophy at Rhodes College in Memphis, where she produced a concert series featuring musicians like Rosanne Cash at Elvis Presley’s pre-Graceland residence, which is owned by the school. Osella thought she would end up in politics, law or video production, but now hopes to pursue a career in market research.

As for GumboLive’s first class (2012-14), half moved on to jobs in the industry. Call it millennial wanderlust, but Sutter—even with his boss, GumboLive managing director and former NBC integrations exec Ann Egelhoff, sitting in on this telephone interview—won’t commit to the advertising business for the long haul. “Totally, totally something I’m considering,” he says. “I feel it’s a field where there’s a lot of really good work to be done.”