Thursday, October 19, 2017

13863: Hill Holliday Horse Hockey.

Advertising Age published diverted diversity directions from Hill Holliday CEO Karen Kaplan, who continued to cruise the White women’s bandwagon by coughing up three ways to hire more creative White women. Kaplan’s commentary actually underscores how White advertising agencies like Hill Holliday maintain exclusivity. For example, in reference to promoting White women, Kaplan admitted, “If you really lean into something and make it a focused effort, you can affect positive change.” Heaven forbid the woman should lean into true diversity, making it a focused effort and affecting positive change. “Listen to women already on the team,” serves as Kaplan’s first suggestion. This wouldn’t work with racial and ethnic minorities, as there aren’t enough of them already on the team—and those who are already on the team occupy roles like mailroom attendant, meaning they aren’t listened to unless something needs to be shipped via FedEx. “Create a place for ‘emotional’ safety,” reads the second bit of advice. In the advertising industry, racial and ethnic minorities who speak up are shut down and shat out. “Be aggressive with recruiting,” completes the trio of tips. The passive aggressive search for people of color typically starts at inner-city high schools, blocking generations of minorities from existing opportunities. “For years I’ve been asking people for insights into why this is an industry problem—why are creative departments the most stubborn to have gender balance and I can never get a good answer,” wondered Kaplan. Does the privileged woman ever bother asking for insights into why there’s a dearth of diversity in the field? She’d never get a good answer—unless she gazed into a mirror.

HILL HOLLIDAY’S KAREN KAPLAN: THREE WAYS TO HIRE MORE WOMEN IN YOUR CREATIVE DEPARTMENT

By Lindsay Stein

It’s a sad truth known throughout the industry: most creative departments are dominated by men. That fact inspired the 3% Conference, which next month will hold its sixth annual meeting to change the ratio for the comparatively small number of female creative directors in the U.S. Upon its founding, only 3 percent of U.S. creative directors were women, which is now up to 11 percent.

But some agencies have managed to beat that percentage, among them Hill Holliday, which has more than doubled the number of women on its creative team since 2014. The agency’s creative department is now 22 percent women creative directors, double the average, and of the agency’s entire 81-person creative team, nearly half are women.

“In 2014, we were 20 percent women in the creative department versus 50 percent-plus everywhere else in the agency, so we said ‘We have to address this,’” says Kaplan. “If you really lean into something and make it a focused effort, you can affect positive change.” We asked her for three ways other shops can accomplish that shift.

Listen to women already on the team

One thing the agency started doing in 2014—which it could and should have done sooner, Kaplan says—is invite input from creative women in order to hear their concerns and needs and allow them to ask questions.

“You have to make institutional change,” says Kaplan. “The default setting in the world is for right-handed people and the default setting in corporate America is male, so when we hire creative women, we have listening sessions and talked to them about benefits and what would be helpful to them.”

Some of the requests were for obvious things, like flexible family leave, but others included career development desires, which is why Hill Holliday allows staffers to move between departments. For example, a woman in digital strategy recently shifted to the creative department as a junior creative.

“You can’t accommodate everything everyone is asking for,” says Kaplan, “but listening is learning.”

Create a place for ‘emotional’ safety

Kaplan suggests creating an “environment of emotional safety” where people feel like they are able to speak up about things, even if they’re seemingly small. During one of the agency’s listening sessions, a woman said she felt that the senior male creatives on the team weren’t making eye contact with her and she didn’t like that they referred to the team as “the guys.” By creating this transparent, trusting atmosphere, staffers who jump to other companies have a stronger chance of “boomeranging” back to the shop, says Kaplan, which is why Hill Holliday maintains contact with former employees. It actually also creates a pipeline of potential hires that it finds at creative schools and personal networks.

“A pipeline is something you are always working on—it takes time to cultivate—it might not result in hires for months or even years, but you always have to be working on it,” says Kaplan.

Be aggressive with recruiting

When it comes to finding female talent, especially in creative, Kaplan says you have to be aggressive. Hill Holliday is sending 15 of its 602 staffers to the 3% Conference in a few weeks and the agency is planning on recruiting during the conference.

The shop has also hired a dedicated creative recruiter—a woman—who focuses solely on recruiting diverse talent.

The one question Kaplan says she still can’t answer is why the female numbers are still so low in agency creative departments. “For years I’ve been asking people for insights into why this is an industry problem—why are creative departments the most stubborn to have gender balance and I can never get a good answer,” she says.

And while all departments and industries should aspire to have gender balance, Kaplan says the creative department is really important because these are the people who have the most impact on the work. “You have to have diverse perspectives in the creative department,” she says. “If it’s bro culture, you’ll put work in the world that doesn’t represent women in a positive way. You have to make change and you don’t move what you don’t measure.”

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

13861: Jive Más.

Adweek published an interview titled, “5 Lessons the Fast-Food Industry Can Teach Brands About Disruption,” featuring the jargon-riddled pontifications of former Taco Bell Director of Advertising and Branded Content Aron North. Disruption, risk and failure pepper the self-absorbed musings of a man boasting about innovations like Doritos Locos Tacos. Thanks for tainting the landscape with Fritos-laced burritos and Mtn Dew-OJ blends too. Sorry, but Taco Bell is responsible for creating faux Mexican food that Latinos think is garbage—and the place throws garbage at Blacks. Even Taco Bell employees diss the shit they serve.

Monday, October 16, 2017

13860: Annie The Chicken Hand.

Is Annie the Chicken Queen on vacation? For Popeyes $4 Popcorn Chicken, she’s only serving as voiceover—with a hand model playing the Chicken Queen’s extremities.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

13859: Internal Inclusivity Or Idiocy?

Campaign published patronizing and pathetic pap from Stylus Head of Media and Marketing Christian Ward, who blathered on about the imperative for “internal inclusivity” to avert fuck-ups like the latest Dove debacle. In addition to praising the Havas Chicago BHM stunt and Deloitte diversity diversions as signs of progress, Ward actually referred to society’s current youth segment as “a post-diversity generation.” The Dove-inspired soapbox completely falls apart when viewing the “internal inclusivity” of the “Stylus Experts,” which resembles expected exclusivity with a deep dose of diverted diversity.

Inclusivity: The missing denominator behind advertising mishaps

By Christian Ward

Dove had a compelling message it wanted to communicate, but somewhere along the internal process, it got lost in translation, say Stylus’ head of media & marketing.

When a brand strays off-path it can cause great unrest amongst loyal consumers. We saw it last week with Dove—a powerful brand with a long-standing, public-facing mission to champion real beauty. Yet its latest campaign missed the mark.

Diversity, and by natural extension, inclusivity, has been a key brand value for Dove that has—on the whole—previously been delivered both consistently and with care. So where did it go wrong?

Internal inclusivity.

The aim of Dove’s latest campaign wasn’t to offend anyone—there will have been a clear, very compelling message that the brand wanted to communicate. It’s something that Lola Ogunyemi, one of the models in the campaign, spoke out about, telling BBC’s Newsbeat that it was “supposed to be about all skin types deserving gentleness.” Yet somewhere—through the internal process—this message got lost in translation.

The changing narrative on diversity within the advertising industry is forcing brands and agencies to rethink their internal inclusion strategies. Creative agencies are realising that their teams must faithfully reflect diverse demographics to connect with the broadest possible audiences.

And the response can take on multiple forms. Havas Chicago’s interactive #BlackAtWork installation for Black History Month 2017 invited staff, clients and passers-by into a space that addresses some of the everyday micro-aggressions black employees encounter in the workplace. It was a playful and simplified approach, but by physically representing these everyday experiences, Havas turned them into conversation starters. It also closed the loop between agency, brands and consumers.

And we’re seeing efforts made beyond these four walls too. Deloitte begin to phase out affinity groups in favour of inclusivity strategies to help broaden horizons and opportunities across the board.

By the end of 2018, Deloitte will also discontinue its current advocacy programs for minority employees and military veterans, as well as Globe—a support network for gay employees. It plans to replace all of these initiatives with inclusion councils that bring together a variety of viewpoints and can work together on diversity issues.

While expecting minority employees to fit in can undermine the value of a diverse workforce, neglecting the needs of majority employees sparks resistance to change. Instead of isolating minorities in mutual interest, diversity needs to be embedded in a company’s culture at every level. Making diversity everybody’s concern is key.

Not only will this help to overcome “color-blindness” and tokenism—but it levels the playing field, empowering employees at all levels to bring their efforts to the table. Having a team with diverse backgrounds equips companies with a broader variety of viewpoints and crucial problem-solving strategies that facilitates more versatile solutions—giving brands and agencies a critical edge over their competition. It ensures that compelling messages don’t get lost in translation.

And there’s a positive knock-on effect. Inclusive workplaces naturally attract talent from diverse backgrounds and will appeal to Gen—a post-diversity generation. Their sense of inclusivity—celebrating difference, seeking and expressing divergent attitudes—is just part of who they are, and they’ll expect the same of the businesses they want to work for.

To understand each other’s perspectives on life and make them a fruitful contribution to work, we must speak openly about our differences. Brands that want to engage a global audience cannot fully understand that audience’s needs without being powered by diverse thinking.

Christian Ward is head of media & marketing at Stylus.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

13858: Brazilian Bully Bullshit.

No, this anti-bullying campaign from Brazil isn’t protesting a new sect of the KKK. Rather, KKKKK translates to “hahahahaha” in Portuguese, the official language of Brazil. Oh, and it’s likely another example of Brazilian sKKKam advertising.

Friday, October 13, 2017

13857: Early Check-Out At Airbnb.

Campaign reported Airbnb CMO Jonathan Mildenhall is checking out of the company to start his own consultancy. No word if Mildenhall will continue to “consult” on the dearth of diversity in the advertising industry.

Airbnb CMO Jonathan Mildenhall departs

By Diana Bradley

Mildenhall will continue to work with Airbnb on a consulting basis.

Airbnb CMO Jonathan Mildenhall is departing the company after three years to launch a marketing consulting firm called 21st Century Brand, according to media reports.

Mildenhall’s last day at Airbnb will be October 20.

He decided to start the firm after high-profile startups and venture capital firms came to him for marketing advice, The Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday.

The newspaper said Airbnb is seeking a new CMO and Mildenhall is continuing to work with the company on a consulting basis.

In an emailed statement, Mildenhall noted that since he joined Airbnb, the company has created a “beloved, mission-driven brand that has helped create phenomenal value. Belong Anywhere has become meaningful for our community all over the world.”

He added that Airbnb’s “impact” has inspired him to take what he has learned and work with other founders to get people to “care deeply about their brands.”

“This is why I’ve decided to leave Airbnb to set up my own brand consultancy,” said Mildenhall.

Mildenhall joined Airbnb in June 2014. Previously, he worked at Coca-Cola for seven years in various roles, most recently as SVP of integrated marketing communication and design excellence. He was also responsible for leading the creative vision for Coke’s portfolio of brands.

“I’m happy that [Mildenhall] has found his passion, and his next chapter will be exciting to watch,” Brian Chesky, Airbnb cofounder, CEO, and head of community, said in an emailed statement.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

13856: Fearless Girl Is Clueless Too.

Adweek reported the financial firm behind the celebrated Fearless Girl statue agreed to pay $5 million to female and Black employees who were paid less than White men in the company. Of course, critics are blasting the advertiser for its blatant hypocrisy. Yet the responsible White advertising agency—where diversity is a dream deferred, diverted, delegated and denied—gets off scot-free. In fact, the shop continues to accept applause and accolades for the work, despite being arguably more hypocritical than the client. Award shows have cracked down on scam ads. It’s time to deny trophies to agencies producing patronizing pap while perpetuating prejudice and discrimination in their own exclusive hallways.

Financial Firm Behind ‘Fearless Girl’ Will Pay $5 Million for Allegedly Underpaying Women and Minorities

State Street’s subsidiary had been the year’s most celebrated champion of diversity

By Patrick Coffee

State Street Corp., parent company of the investment firm behind Wall Street’s iconic Fearless Girl statue, today agreed to pay a combined $5 million to more than 300 women and 15 black employees who were paid less than their white, male counterparts, according to a federal audit. Bloomberg first broke the news this afternoon.

According to today’s filing, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs audited the bank starting in late 2012 based on data concerning the years 2010 and 2011. On March 31 of this year—the same month Fearless Girl debuted on Wall Street—the government first informed State Street of “corrective actions required.”

The audit concluded that, since “at least December 1, 2010,” the company had discriminated against women in senior-level roles like vp, svp and managing director by paying them lower base salaries, bonuses and total compensation than their male colleagues. The OFCCP’s analysis also found that State Street did the same to 15 black employees at the vice president level.

State Street officially denies the claims, according to the conciliation agreement released today. The $5 million settlement total includes approximately $4.5 million in back pay and $500,000 in interest.

“State Street is committed to equal pay practices and evaluates on an ongoing basis our internal processes to be sure our compensation, hiring and promotions programs are nondiscriminatory,” said a State Street spokesperson in a statement today. “While we disagreed with the OFCCP’s analysis and findings, we have cooperated fully with them, and made a decision to bring this six-year-old matter to resolution and move forward.”

As a federal contractor, the company is subject to regular audits from the Department of Labor. The settlement also requires the company to conduct compensation analysis for all employees at the levels of those involved in this case every year for the next three years.

State Street’s large payout over allegations of gender and racial pay imbalance comes at an especially awkward time for its subsidiary State Street Global Advisors, whose Fearless Girl campaign has dominated advertising awards shows since debuting in March of this year.

The Fearless Girl statue, created by agency McCann New York (which declined to comment for this article), faces down Wall Street’s famed Charging Bull statue. It was a symbol created by State Street Global Advisors to celebrate women in leadership and encourage investment in corporations with women in top positions. It quickly became the financial world’s most iconic symbol of gender equality and won 18 honors at the prestigious Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, including four Grand Prix top honors.

But the client has been candid in acknowledging that Fearless Girl, or any marketing effort that celebrates a commitment to diversity, can be vulnerable to criticisms from those who feel the campaign’s creator hasn’t made enough progress.

During a recent Advertising Week panel moderated by Adweek managing editor Stephanie Paterik, State Street Global Advisors CMO Stephen Tisdalle discussed the inherent risks of Fearless Girl.

He told the audience: “Do we as an organization reflect the penultimate makeup and reflection in being a diverse organization? No. And that was a risk because a lot of the people felt the message might be diluted by a lot of cynical people saying, ‘Well who are you to talk about gender diversity when you’re not a perfect embodiment of it?’”

He continued: “What I would say to that is we had a foundation we could go back to to say why we did Fearless Girl, and no matter what anybody said, no matter what rocks were thrown, we could say, ‘You’re right, but this is the way we invest, this is the way the world needs to invest, this is a human moral value. How can you argue against it? We have to be doing better ourselves. She’s as much an inspiration to our organization as she is to the world.”

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

13855: Big Talker At ANA Conference.

Advertising Age posted a video interview with Lane Bryant EVP CMO Brian Beitler, who advocated for “size inclusivity” in marketing and society at large. Sounds like a full-figured version of diverted diversity.

LIVE AT ANA: LANE BRYANT’S CMO ON THE MAINSTREAMING OF SIZE DIVERSITY

By Adrianne Pasquarelli

After a crowd-inspiring presentation about body diversity in marketing at the Association of National Advertisers’ “Masters of Marketing” conference, Brian Beitler, executive VP and CMO of women’s apparel brand Lane Bryant, talked about his expectations for the future. We asked him when diverse body types will no longer make headlines. His response: Not as soon as we might hope.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

13854: Dove’s Anti-Social Media Ad.

Adweek reported on continued cultural cluelessness from Dove. As others have already noted, Dove has consistently displayed stupidity throughout the years—or more specifically, its White advertising agencies have displayed stupidity. Sorry, but MultiCultClassics has always believed that Dove Real Beauty is real bullshit.

Dove’s Racially Insensitive Ad Has Agency Veterans Calling for More Minority Hiring

‘We see it over and over and over again. It’s not just Dove.’

By Lindsay Rittenhouse, Patrick Coffee

Responses to Dove’s racially insensitive clip of a black woman appearing to shed her body for a “cleaner” white version in a now-removed Facebook post promoting the brand’s body wash, provided a reminder that the ad industry is still very much divided. The full video included three women with differing skin tones, and social media users compared it to more blatantly racist “whitewashing” ads from the 19th century.

Agency veterans who spoke with Adweek in the wake of the controversy questioned how the ad received approval.

“This is what’s troubling about what’s going on in the space,” said Ryan Ford, vp and chief creative officer at Los Angeles multicultural marketing agency Cashmere. “Either there aren’t minorities in the room when decisions are being made or there are, but they aren’t empowered to say anything.”

Minorities in the agency world are growing tired of seeing brands repeatedly make the same mistakes.

“[When I first saw it], to be honest, I was like, ‘Here we go again,’” said Lewis Williams, chief creative officer at multicultural agency Burrell Communications. “We see it over and over and over again. It’s not just Dove. It’s the entire industry from clients to agencies not seeing the obvious [undertones]. What’s unfortunate is next week we’ll be having the same conversation.”

In April, Shea Moisture came under fire for an ad appearing to exclusively target white women, thereby alienating the African-American women who had historically been the brand’s primary consumers.

This also is not the first time Dove has been accused of racial insensitivity. In 2011, the brand released an ad that depicted a “before and after” skin chart, with a black woman under the “before” sign and a white woman under the “after.” At the time, Dove said all of the women were supposed to depict the “after.”

“Hire more black and brown people. It’s really that simple,” said mono producer Amalia Nicholson when asked what agencies and their clients can to do prevent such controversies in the future. Nicholson produces the podcast Borrowed Interest along with ad professionals Shareina Chandler of Colle McVoy and Leeya Jackson of Fallon that addresses the challenges minority women face in the office along with fellow.

Chaucer Barnes, chief audience officer at Translation, agreed with Nicholson.

“[It’s] is an important issue but one with a fairly simple solution: hire and empower people who reflect the cultural points of view that you’ll face on Twitter no matter what,” he wrote in a statement. “This doesn’t suggest that an objectionable asset can’t come from a well-balanced team. But when it does, if the process has been inclusive, there’s less chance that the brand will add insult to injury with the obligatory ‘oh-my-gosh-that-never-once-occured-to-us-because-we’re-too-pure-of-heart’ apology—which is increasingly as bad than the original sin scenarios like this.”

Nicholson, Ford and Williams also agreed that the following Twitter apology from Dove was in itself insensitive:

“It was flippant,” Nicholson said.

“The response takes you back to why it happened in the first place,” Williams said. “It’s not just a little misstep. [The apology] lacked sincerity.”

“It was a half-assed nonapology,” Ford said.

Dove is a longtime client of the WPP agency Ogilvy & Mather, but it is unclear whether the video was created by Ogilvy or an in-house team. A Dove spokeswoman declined to clarify who was behind the ad, and Ogilvy did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

Williams said whoever developed and approved of the ad needs to make a personal, public apology beyond Dove’s tweet.

“They need to be very public about what they’re doing, who they’re hiring,” she said. “If you’re not coming forth, how serious are you?”

Monday, October 09, 2017

13853: Trump Ignores Native Americans.

USA TODAY reported President Donald Trump’s Columbus Day proclamation made no references to Native Americans, focusing instead on U.S. relations with Italy. Gee, it’s a wonder Trump doesn’t feel a bond with Native Americans, at least from a casino ownership perspective.

How Donald Trump’s Columbus Day proclamation compares to previous presidents

By Julia Fair, USA TODAY

President Trump, in his proclamation declaring Monday as Columbus Day, did not include any mention of Native Americans.

The federal holiday honoring the famous Italian explorer Christopher Columbus has become increasingly controversial. Native American groups view it as a celebration of the man responsible for the genocide of indigenous people. Some states are even abandoning Columbus Day and replacing it with Indigenous People Day, also known by some as Native Americans Day.

Trump’s omission of Native Americans appears to track the way former Republican President George W. Bush wrote his proclamations. The two other former presidents in recent history, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, included details about the Native Americans’ history in their proclamations.

Bill Clinton

Former President Clinton, a Democrat, noted Columbus’s journey is historically significant — but in more than one way.

“The encounters between Columbus and other European explorers and the native peoples of the Western Hemisphere also underscore what can happen when cultures clash and when we are unable to understand and respect people who are different from us,” he wrote in his last Proclamation for the controversial holiday, in the year 2000.

George W. Bush

For most of his time in office, Bush mainly addressed how Columbus’s journey sparked the “close ties” between the U.S. and Italy and how the countries continued to work together.

In 2001, in his first Columbus Day proclamation, the Republican president writes how the explorer’s historic journey connected the continents separated by geographic, religious and cultural barriers. He did not mention specifically the Native Americans who resided on the land.

Barack Obama

In his first year in office, 2009, then-president Barack Obama notes how Columbus’s journey revealed new land for European nations. Yet Obama, a Democrat, also noted how the European immigrants joined the “thriving indigenous communities who suffered great hardships as a result of the changes to the land they inhabited,” which was the first specific mention of the Native Americans in the proclamation in eight years.

In his 2016 proclamation, Obama got much more specific about the plight of Native Americans. Obama urged Americans to “acknowledge the pain and suffering reflected in the stories of Native Americans who had long resided” before Europeans crossed the Atlantic Ocean to search for a new life.

Donald Trump

Echoing former President George W. Bush’s Columbus Day proclamations, Trump did not mention Native Americans and instead focused on the U.S. relationship with Italy.

“There can be no doubt that American culture, business, and civic life would all be much less vibrant in the absence of the Italian American community,” Trump wrote. “We also take this opportunity to reaffirm our close ties to Columbus’s country of birth, Italy. Italy is a strong ally and a valued partner in promoting peace and promoting prosperity around the world.”

Read Trump’s full proclamation:

“Five hundred and twenty-five years ago, Christopher Columbus completed an ambitious and daring voyage across the Atlantic Ocean to the Americas. The voyage was a remarkable and then-unparalleled feat that helped launch the age of exploration and discovery. The permanent arrival of Europeans to the Americas was a transformative event that undeniably and fundamentally changed the course of human history and set the stage for the development of our great Nation. Therefore, on Columbus Day, we honor the skilled navigator and man of faith, whose courageous feat brought together continents and has inspired countless others to pursue their dreams and convictions—even in the face of extreme doubt and tremendous adversity.

More than five centuries after his initial voyage, we remember the ‘Admiral of the Ocean Sea’ for building the critical first link in the strong and enduring bond between the United States and Europe. While Isabella I and Ferdinand II of Spain sponsored his historic voyage, Columbus was a native of the City of Genoa, in present day Italy, and represents the rich history of important Italian American contributions to our great Nation. There can be no doubt that American culture, business, and civic life would all be much less vibrant in the absence of the Italian American community. We also take this opportunity to reaffirm our close ties to Columbus’s country of birth, Italy. Italy is a strong ally and a valued partner in promoting peace and promoting prosperity around the world.

In commemoration of Christopher Columbus’s historic voyage, the Congress, by joint resolution of April 30, 1934, and modified in 1968 (36 U.S.C. 107), as amended, has requested the President proclaim the second Monday of October of each year as ‘Columbus Day.’

NOW, THEREFORE, I, DONALD J. TRUMP, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim October 9, 2017, as Columbus Day. I call upon the people of the United States to observe this day with appropriate ceremonies and activities. I also direct that the flag of the United States be displayed on all public buildings on the appointed day in honor of our diverse history and all who have contributed to shaping this Nation.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this sixth day of October, in the year of our Lord two thousand seventeen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-second.”

Sunday, October 08, 2017

13852: Cadillac Lacks Integrity.

Adweek reported on the patronizing call for unity from Cadillac: “While we’re not the same, we can be one.” Okay, but the automaker has consistently settled for sameness when selecting White advertising agency partners—and Neo-Nazis.

How Cadillac, Loved by Donald Trump and Muhammad Ali Alike, Became a Voice for Unity

A political risk that paid off

By Stephanie Paterik

The most controversial president in the history of the United States rides in a Cadillac. If you’re the brand’s marketing chief, how do you handle that—celebrate it? Ignore it?

Cadillac CMO Uwe Ellinghaus said the iconic car company’s leaders felt compelled to enter the political conversation. That led them to release the ad “Carry” during the Oscars this year, featuring documentary-style footage of Americans over the past century, ranging from soldiers to protesters to Muhammad Ali waxing his Caddy. There’s a hopeful call for unity: “While we’re not the same, we can be one.”

“The 45th president of the United States is chauffeured in a Cadillac—that’s a fact,” Ellinghaus said today in a speech at the ANA Masters of Marketing conference in Orlando, Fla. “I grew up with the belief a brand needs to be bipartisan, but there are times when a brand needs to stand up.”

Dipping into the nation’s roiling political waters was a risk. “Some [brands] just got a shit storm on social media for their efforts,” he said.

But because the president drives its car, Cadillac was uniquely positioned to deliver that ad, Ellinghaus said. Its vehicles symbolize luxury for older, affluent Americans. And the brand has been aggressively targeting younger drivers with influencer campaigns, art installations and a home base in New York. In short, it can speak to both sides of the political spectrum.

“It’s a credible source if it comes from Cadillac that we say dear America, we need to come together,” he said. “We didn’t want to fuel the political divide; we wanted to transcend it.”

After the spot aired, the CMO said he received an email from Breitbart News praising it as one of the best pro-Trump ads it had seen. He also received letters from The New York Times readers hailing it as the best anti-Trump spot.

Trump’s presidential limousine, known as “Cadillac One,” debuted on Inauguration Day. The 8-ton beast is equipped with military-grade armor, a tear gas cannon and vials of the president’s blood type. The New York Post estimated the cost at $1.5 million, and the car captivated the French press when it traveled to Paris this summer.

The mogul’s relationship with Cadillac dates back to the 1980s, when he reportedly planned to release a Trump Cadillac Series of stretch limos. The deal fell through, but the Volo Auto Museum in Illinois recently acquired a prototype, complete with fax machine and paper shredder.

Saturday, October 07, 2017

Friday, October 06, 2017

13850: Newton Fired For Fumble.

Adweek reported NFL Quarterback Cam Newton was cut by Dannon after making statements during a recent press conference that were deemed “sexist and disparaging.” However, the Carolina Panthers star will likely receive job offers from Saatchi & Saatchi, JWT and wherever Neil French is currently working.

Dannon Drops NFL Quarterback Cam Newton Over ‘Sexist and Disparaging’ Remarks

The brand released a scathing statement today

By Katie Richards

Yogurt brand Dannon is cutting ties with Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton over sexist comments he made in a press conference on Wednesday.

Newton joined the Dannon team in January 2015, taking over the Oikos brand from former spokesperson John Stamos.

“We are shocked and disheartened at the behavior and comments of Cam Newton towards Jourdan Rodrigue, which we perceive as sexist and disparaging to all women. It is entirely inconsistent with our commitment to fostering equality and inclusion in every workplace. It’s simply not OK to belittle anyone based on gender. We have shared our concerns with Cam and will no longer work with him,” the brand said in a statement.

During a press conference earlier this week Charlotte Observer reporter Jourdan Rodrigue asked the quarterback about wide receiver Devin Funchess embracing “the physicality of his routes,” to which Newton smirked and replied that, “It’s funny to hear a female talk about routes.”

The reporter tweeted about the event and noted later that she had approached Newton after the press conference. Newton did not offer any apology to Rodrigue.

Newton works with a number of other brands including Under Armour. No word yet on how other partners will move forward following Newton’s remarks.

Thursday, October 05, 2017

13849: The Rabbit Died.

Street Leader in Namibia is taking credit for this tribute to the late Hugh Hefner. How thoughtful. Although it might have been even more impactful as a magazine centerfold.

Wednesday, October 04, 2017

13848: Cupz N The Hood.

Adweek spotlighted the latest Cup Noodles campaign, which is every bit as vomit-inducing as the previous dreck. The cultural cluelessness is lessened in the new work, yet still present via the Very Veggie commercial starring vegetables Double Dutching in an urban setting. Sorry, but the responsible High Wide & Handsome team is a bunch of vegetables.

Tuesday, October 03, 2017

13847: ANA DNA BS.

Advertising Age reported on the new ANA advertising campaign—a pathetic pile of poop clearly demonstrating that advertisers should not produce advertising without an advertising agency. Also, the low-budget effort shows that you get what you pay for—and even less when you hand things to your in-house studio. If the ANA really wanted to appear progressive, it should have hired a minority-owned advertising agency to execute messages. Finally, in a few of the banners depicted above, the DNA image looks like a swastika.

AFTER 107 YEARS, ANA BREAKS FIRST-EVER AD CAMPAIGN

By Megan Graham

How’s this for meta: The Association of National Advertisers is launching its first ad campaign since launching 107 years ago.

Though membership is up, the association wants to refresh its somewhat musty image with the campaign, tagged “Driving Growth for You, Your Brand, and Our Industry. It’s in Our DNA.”

“It’s time for us to really start looking at how we communicate our brand and how our members think about us,” says the organization’s CMO Duke Fanelli. “Should we have done it sooner? Possibly. But we decided this is really the time for us to talk more about what the ANA brand stands for.”

The group, whose biggest annual meeting convenes this week, has increased focus in recent years on industry issues such as bot fraud, fake ads and viewability. Its report last summer claiming that there are pervasive cash rebates and other non-transparent practices in the U.S. media-buying ecosystem sent shockwaves through the industry and it hopes to continue that momentum. “There’s just been one program after another the ANA has taken the lead on,” Fanelli says. “We want to build awareness for the ANA. We think we have a lot of programs that can help … marketers grow.”

The ANA says membership grew from less than 600 to more than 700 between 2014 and 2016. This year, membership topped 1,000. But Fanelli says there’s still room for growth.

ANA’s corporate membership dues are based on a company’s annual advertising expenditures and can range anywhere from $8,250 to six figures annually. There are also associate memberships for non-marketers such as law firms, ad agencies, PR agencies, vendors that cost $5,700 for a gold membership and $3,100 for silver.

“There’s a ton of marketers out there that aren’t aware of what we can do for them,” he says. “Once you get to know us, we think we’ve got real solid track record to help them grow, but it’s also getting those [potential members] that aren’t aware of what the capabilities are.”

The new campaign is also meant to make the ANA seem more relatable. “We’re 107-years-old,” Fanelli says. “That sometimes implies stodgy and just out-of-touch.” But the new effort seems to imply it’s also feisty.

“One of the things we focus on is the need for marketers to take the industry back,” he says. “For too long marketers have relegated a lot of responsibility to their agencies or to publishers and media companies without fully understanding or appreciating the role they need to play in making their marketing better stronger or more efficient, or focused on their own individual growth.”

All ads include the “It’s in Our DNA” tagline, which Fanelli says the group may switch up early next year, but the ads will also include messages like “Come hang with the in crowd” or “We’re invested in your success.”

They all share the same theme: “Growth will always be the core message in the campaign,” Fanelli says.

ANA says the campaign will run on its website, via email, on free and paid social feeds, via PR and signage, along with print in Ad Age, Adweek, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Business Insider, Digiday, MediaPost and several other trade publications.

The budget is less than $250,000 and the effort will run through next year. The ANA designed the creative in-house and is working with New York shop Motus Media for media buying and planning.

Monday, October 02, 2017

13846: Talking Trash And Tarantulas.

Words hurt. So do really bad advertising ideas.

13845: The Zenith Of Diversity…?

AgencySpy posted that Publicis Groupe’s Zenith and Moxie hired Jennifer Randolph as SVP of Talent, with duties including diversity and inclusion. Looks like “Chief Diversity Officer” roles are becoming even more devalued, as one body can now cover two companies. Based on peeking at the Zenith clan and Moxie crew, Randolph has quite a challenge ahead of her if reducing exclusivity is the true goal. Fortunately, she spent about four years bringing diversity and inclusion to Saatchi & Saatchi, that bastion of equality where “the fucking debate is all over”—at least in terms of diverted diversity.

Publicis Groupe’s Zenith and Moxie Hire Saatchi Vet Jennifer Randolph as Head of Talent

By Erik Oster

Zenith U.S. and Moxie hired Jennifer Randolph as senior vice president of talent.

Randolph will report jointly to Zenith U.S. and Moxie CEO Sean Reardon and Publicis Media Americas chief talent officer Barb Jobs.

“At the most basic level, Jennifer gives us a leg up in our constant pursuit to improve the quality of experience for all our employees,” Reardon said in a statement. “She is an authority in talent management, diversity & inclusion, and organizational development, and has applied her acumen and expertise as a consultant, author and speaker. To suggest we are pleased to have Jennifer join our team is an understatement — we are thrilled.”

“I’m delighted to join the Zenith organization, and for the chance to work hand-in-hand with the agencies’ incredible leaders and employees on creating the best possible workplace for all,” Randolph added. “Building on Zenith’s industry-leading culture of delivering best-in-class work for its clients, creating an inspiring environment for employees, and fostering Diversity and Inclusion, I look forward to finding ways to enhance the Zenith experience for both current and future Talent.”

Randolph arrives following six years as a private consultant on organizational diversity and inclusion programs, as well as a career coach and author.

She previously served as senior vice president, organizational development and director of diversity for Saatchi & Saatchi.

Sunday, October 01, 2017

13844: Tweeting For Diversity…?

Campaign reported on an Advertising Week panel spotlighting the power and influence of Black Twitter. Is this really a new discussion topic? For many decades, Black advertising agencies especially have stressed how Blacks create culture and originate trends in society at large. The panel also stressed that Black Twitter could be a recruiting source for White advertising agencies seeking to diversify. Maybe. Creating content via social media does not necessarily translate to producing advertising—hell, the two disciplines are almost in conflict with each other. Perhaps it would be simpler for every White holding company to commit to annually integrate 140 characters of color into their ranks.

Advertising won’t get better until it stops ‘sleeping on’ Black Twitter

By Zoë Beery

Five panelists at Advertising Week weigh in on a talent-rich community too long ignored.

Few communities drive culture faster right now than Black Twitter. The large, amorphous community of social media users who filter the world through the black experience have given us now-ubiquitous words like “fleek” and “bae” and memes like the Mannequin Challenge, helping to create the digital-first language we now all speak. They’ve been here, creating culture, for years. They’re just not getting credit for it. And they’re certainly not getting paid.

At Advertising Week’s “Woke, Lit & Ready” panel on Tuesday afternoon, black executives and creatives from five companies sat down to talk about how the overlooking of Black Twitter by agencies has created an atmosphere of failed campaigns, underserved markets and all-white teams—and why advertising, in the words of McCann’s Chief Diversity Officer Singleton Beato, “has to stop sleeping on this talent.”

The first point of business was to define what Black Twitter is. First off, it’s not a separate app called Black Twitter, and not everyone who is black and on Twitter is part of Black Twitter. “It’s a group of people who identify with the black experience and come together to analyze, strategize and mobilize black culture and identity,” explained God-Is Rivera, VML’s director of inclusion and culture resonance. “If you don’t know it, you can’t find it, and it’s really pushed forward culture” over the last few years.

Moderated by VML global CEO John Cook, who wondered aloud why he, a white man, was heading the panel, the discussion moved to advertising’s failure to include black voices in projects. Without this, said GIPHY’s Culture Editor Jasmyn Lawson, a campaign is almost guaranteed to fall flat. “We know when we’re an afterthought. We can tell when it’s real, not a response or reaction or trying to play us.” She pointed to the many makeup brands who, following the unprecedented success of Fenty Beauty, scrambled to promote their darker foundation shades after years of entirely ignoring that market. “If you make one post with a dark-skinned girl but the rest of your Instagram feed is all white women, it’s obvious. Admit you’ve missed a market and ask what you can do for a whole campaign, rather than one post or one mention to cover your ass.”

Even worse than a campaign that transparently falls flat is one that tokenizes its target market—which, the panelists again stressed, happens when members of that demographic are excluded from the development process. “Think about what tone-deafness is: it’s laziness. It shows to the community that you didn’t even try,” said Tiyale Hayes, the SVP of consumer insights at BET. “That’s where the insult is. I’m giving you my money, and the best you could give me was chicken?”

Exacerbating that insult are the rising number of good campaigns, like Pantene’s Gold Series and Hamburger Helper’s Twitter account, that nail it. “When [a bad campaign] is juxtaposed against someone who got it, you look even worse. The fact that people are finally doing it right raises the bar,” added Hayes.

Several times, the conversation returned to the failure of agencies to draw from Black Twitter’s vibrant talent pool despite industry hand-wringing over its deep lack of diversity. These users have demonstrated track records of content creation and engagement across a variety of formats, but firms won’t consider hiring them based on such clearly successful executions because they lack traditional resumes and portfolios. That has to change, the panelists agreed.

“Someone’s funny, quick and acid-tongued? That’s a copywriter,” said VML’s Rivera. “All the fan artwork for things like ‘Black Panther’? Those are art directors. They just look different than what we’re used to seeing.” Worsening the problem are outdated ideas about how to engage with consultants and form relationships, she continued. “Does everyone have to be an FTE or already have a specific piece of business? No—[we should] partner with people to create relationships with communities. Don’t wait for business, don’t wait for an open spot.”

And even if those creatives are brought onboard, they won’t want to stay if the atmosphere is still hostile. “There’s a responsibility we have as an industry to create an internal culture where people who can speak to these audiences feel they have a safe environment to share so we get the messaging right,” said Beato.

The payoff, panelists said, is clear: hire authentic black voices and you’ll get authentic campaigns that drive enthusiastic engagement. Creators get credit for their work, and brands develop a reputation for understanding how to connect with an audience like Black Twitter. It all starts, reiterated Hayes, with a shift in perspective.

“You have to check yourself and ask yourself if you’re seeing beauty in people. When you see the black woman working in [your firm’s] cafeteria, do you see beauty in her? Because if you’re not seeing beauty in the cafeteria woman”—or the thousands of other working-class people who fuel Black Twitter—“you’re not seeing the community.”

Saturday, September 30, 2017

13843: Angry, Sassy & Underrepresented.

Advertising Age published a lengthy report—The ‘Angry Black Woman’ Makes Real Women Angry—detailing the efforts of about 15 advertising agency executives and educators to examine, expose and extinguish the negative stereotyping of Black women in media and culture. Okay, but considering that the advertising industry features fewer than 100 Black female executives, maybe all the Angry Black Women should be unleashed on Madison Avenue. Plus, team them up with the Sassy Overweight Black Women and let the revolution begin!

Friday, September 29, 2017

13842: Made Of More Stereotypes.

Adweek reported on a Guinness commercial starring the Compton Cowboys of South Central Los Angeles, created by White advertising agency AMV BBDO London. The spot is a rip-off of an iD Mobile commercial from White advertising agency CHI&Partners. Gee, White shops can’t even manage to hatch original stereotypes. What a bunch of horseshit.

Guinness Profiles the Compton Cowboys of L.A. in Its Latest Stirring ‘Made of More’ Ad

From AMV BBDO and Henry-Alex Rubin

By David Gianatasio

AMV BBDO London and acclaimed director Henry-Alex Rubin have developed new advertising for Guinness that profiles the Compton Cowboys, young men who’ve managed to break the cycle of violence and fear in hardscrabble South Central Los Angeles.

They’ve added purpose and meaning to their lives by caring for horses. In turn, the guys serve as beacons of hope for others as they ride, sometimes 10 abreast, through the neighborhood.

The story is extremely well told. Rubin, who directed last year’s lauded “Evan” spot for Sandy Hook Promise, deftly handles the material, delivering a perfect combination of poetry, grit and heart. His visual sense adds a lot to the story.

Shots of the shirtless, tatted guys sitting tall in the saddle amid a graffiti-tagged concrete wasteland are especially strong. A brief scene of Keenan Abercrombie riding proudly past an abandoned car-husk underscores the message that these dudes are determined to move forward despite the entropy around them.

That’s not to say the mood was deadly serious at the steamy four-day shoot in July.

“The cowboys certainly took to the Guinness,” recalls AMV BBDO creative director Steve Jones. “There was absolutely no difference in them when the director called ‘cut.’ They talked, laughed and drank just the same. Our director wisely just kept the cameras rolling, and what you see in the films [at various points] is just the guys with their friends, girlfriends and wives, thinking they’re between takes.”

It’s stirring work, part of Guinness’ celebrated “Made of More” series, though some commentators have pointed out that the brewer isn’t exactly blazing new trails here.

The campaign, which dropped this week, bears more than a passing resemblance to “Urban Riders,” an ad that CHI developed last year for iD Mobile. That work featured a similar group of men from Philadelphia and boasted a comparable vibe and storyline. (In fact, the Guinness work also evokes Almap BBDO’s powerful Pedigree film from a few years back.)

A rep for CHI brought the similarities to our attention, but declined further comment.

Are they wearing long faces at AMV BBDO over the similarities? Did they knowingly trot out a lookalike? We asked the agency to address the situation, but a rep said she’d have to check with the client before responding. We’ll update this item if and when we hear back.

13841: WPP B$.

Adweek reported WPP Overlord Sir Martin Sorrell is pressuring the owner of Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity to streamline the annual gala in the spirit of cutting costs. Wow, now holding companies are even dictating the financial decisions of award shows…? Sorry, but Sir Marty is hardly the guy to criticize others’ expenditures, given his own obscene compensation package—not to mention doling out exorbitant legal fees for discrimination lawsuits. Then again, maybe he should demand the elimination of the trophy for Holding Company of the Year.

WPP Tightens the Screws on Cannes Lions Owner Amid Threats to Skip Next Year’s Festival

Email reveals holding company’s contempt for sister festival Eurobest

By Patrick Coffee

The biggest news out of the summer’s Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity didn’t concern any dazzling campaigns but, rather, Publicis Groupe’s announcement that it would forbid all of its agencies from entering Cannes or any other awards shows next year.

Now, WPP, the world’s largest holding group, has continued its threats to follow suit unless parent company Ascential meets certain unspecified demands.

According to an internal email chain acquired by Adweek, WPP CEO Martin Sorrell and worldwide creative director John O’Keefe will sit down with CEO Duncan Painter of Ascential, which also owns other industry groups like the Eurobest Awards and business development firm Medialink, regarding those negotiations next month.

The emails also make clear that WPP plans to withdraw from Eurobest entirely, but has not yet officially determined whether it will participate in Cannes next year.

“Final decisions on WPP and Cannes will await the result of a meeting Martin and I have with Duncan Painter in a couple of weeks time,” wrote O’Keefe in a message that went out to WPP executives last Friday. “But already we are seeing moves in the right direction: categories are being reduced by 120, there will be a refocusing on creativity, and there is talk of cutting the overall length of the festival.”

The strong implication is that WPP has insisted that Cannes streamline the entirety of the weeklong experience in the interest of cutting costs.

In the note, headlined “Eurobest,” O’Keefe described that festival as “an expensive distraction.” He wrote, “I asked, yet again, at the Strategy Conference in Palo Alto that we stop entering Eurobest. I seem to ask every year. It is at best a very poor relation to Cannes. It delivers no real credibility to us, nor does it much impress our clients.”

It would seem, however, that WPP agencies in Europe have not taken that message to heart. O’Keefe continued, “I see we have offered jurors and keynote speakers to Eurobest 2017 and, I believe, 117 entries.”

Referencing the ongoing discussions with Ascential, he wrote, “Martin has also made it clear that we do not support Eurobest. So it starts to become embarrassing when we are informed of the numbers of WPP people entering, attending, judging, and even speaking.”

He then noted that Ascential and WPP have gone back and forth regarding the latter’s ability to extricate itself from the festival altogether, adding, “This is a matter of priority for WPP. Our position on Eurobest is not new news.”

Sorrell responded to O’Keefe’s note by writing, “Please cancel all entrees [sic] and attendees asap.”

“WPP is a valued Cannes Lions partner, and as with all our stakeholders we are discussing how we can deliver the best possible Festival experience that suits their requirements,” wrote a Cannes representative. “These discussions are wide-ranging and cover many aspects of the event. We look forward to unveiling plans for the 2018 edition of Cannes Lions in November.”

A WPP spokesperson declined to comment for this story.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

13840: The Art Of Cluelessness.

Will paying homage to Picasso lead to paying for relief efforts? Plus, is it odd to use Picasso to help Africa—when many strongly believe the artist ripped off took inspiration from Black art?

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

13839: FYI, HP BS.

Advertising Age reported that HP exposed the results of its diverted diversity dictates, where HP CMO Antonio Lucio challenged his White advertising agencies to hire and promote more White women—and maybe consider racial and ethnic minorities too. As expected, the White women numbers skyrocketed. Also as expected, the racial and ethnic figures sucked. Lucio presented the same tired excuses for his White shops’ inability to identify, recruit and retain minorities. But he also set new goals to address the matter in 2018. Lucio declared, “The game is not over.” Sadly, the game has been going on since at least the 1950s, with clients and White advertising agencies co-conspiring to maintain the exclusivity. HP’s patronizing stunt clearly shows that the game is far from over.

HP REVEALS RESULTS OF DIVERSITY CHALLENGE FOR ITS AGENCIES

By Adrianne Pasquarelli

Last year, HP was one of several marketers to push their agencies to include more women and people of color in senior leadership positions on the account, particularly in their creative departments. Today, HP Chief Marketing and Communications Officer Antonio Lucio shares the results of his call specific to action. Not all went according to plan.

The challenge: Last September, Lucio tasked HP’s global agencies—BBDO Worldwide, Fred & Farid, gyro, PHD and Edelman—with including more women and minorities in their ranks, specifically in senior and creative leadership roles. He set a goal of 56 percent women on account teams and 47 percent women in senior leadership roles. All agencies set their own goals for improved minority representation.

First, does HP walk the walk?: A year ago, the tech company, which recently posted a third-quarter net revenue increase of 10 percent to $13.1 billion, was 55 percent women, 43 percent of whom were managers or higher. When Lucio started in 2015, there were 20 percent in leadership roles. Overall, the marketing and communications department is composed of 63 percent women. Minorities represented some 26 percent of total employees in 2016, the most recent data available.

Now for the results.

The good: At HP’s agencies, women now represent 61 percent of the brand’s account teams—over 5 percent more than the goal. Women also now represent 51 percent of senior roles. When the challenge started, all brand account teams were less than 40 percent women overall, and many had 10 percent or even 0 percent women in leadership roles.

Regarding creative, BBDO’s creative leadership is 40 percent female and Fred & Farid’s is 55 percent female; neither agency had female creative leads on the account last year.

The not-so good: Three of the five agencies increased their minority representation, but even they failed to meet HP’s target of 60 percent. Last year, just under 20 percent of HP’s account teams were minorities; that figure has only risen to more than 25 percent today.

“As good as I feel on the progress with women, the progress on minority-represented groups was not as systemic as we wanted,” says Lucio.

New targets: Lucio has asked agencies to identify specific underrepresented groups by country and set new objectives and strategies for pursuing such ethnicities in 2018.

Part of the problem, Lucio says, is that the underrepresented groups are difficult to find through traditional means, such as recruiting firms. He’s encouraging agencies to pursue different ways of bringing new talent on board. In addition, HP is debuting a new diversity-focused talent search program, where minorities can network and share creative, with the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, and sponsoring the 3% Conference and Free the Bid.

“The game is not over,” says Lucio.

Monday, September 25, 2017

13838: Diverted Diversity Plus.

Adweek published the latest expansion on diverted diversity: Diversity of Size. Is anyone discussing racial and ethnic diversity anymore? Interest in true diversity continues to shrink.

Model and Body Positivity Activist Tess Holliday Wants Genuine Diversity in Ads

What brands can do to be more inclusive

By Kristina Monllos

If you ask Tess Holliday for her opinion on the current state of fashion and beauty marketing, be prepared for a long list of what’s wrong with the industry—and why even brands that appear to be inclusive need to do better.

She would know: Holliday, a model, body positivity activist and founder of the Eff Your Beauty Standards movement, has worked with major brands like H&M, Benefit Cosmetics, eBay and ModCloth. She’s also an influencer with 1.7 million followers on Facebook, 1.5 million followers on Instagram and 65,300 followers on Twitter. So, suffice it to say, if Holliday has a problem with your marketing campaign, her more than 3 million followers are going to hear about it.

As she prepared for the release of her new book, The Not So Subtle Art of Being a Fat Girl, Holliday took a break between stops at the Today show and Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen to chat with Adweek about her work with brands, what she wants to see from marketers, Lane Bryant and more.

Adweek: Earlier this year there was a campaign for the new movie Red Shoes and the 7 Dwarfs that had an image of a skinny version of Snow White next to a larger version of Snow White with copy that read, “What if Snow White was no longer beautiful.” You called out that campaign online, asking why it was approved by a marketing team and why it was OK to tell kids that “being fat [equals] being ugly.” Do you believe you have to call out ads like that?

Tess Holliday: I was the reason that the campaign got shut down, which is embarrassing for them because it shouldn’t ever happen to begin with. Sometimes I’m just surprised at how a gigantic table of people can sit around and discuss how they’re going to advertise something [and come up with a campaign like this]. The amount of stuff that can just go through so many hands and be so horrible.

Is there anything you’ve seen that you think is successful and inclusive, something marketers should learn from?

The way that Rihanna has marketed her makeup line is extraordinary. I think the ads for it and seeing so many women of color and the fact that when she came out with the shades it had a model of each color [modeling] the makeup line—that is genius. Also, why did it take Rihanna doing a makeup line to actually show the lack of products for women of color? Now all of these beauty brands are scrambling and trying to make sure that they have the tones that she’s coming out with. So that’s probably the most powerful ad that I’ve seen to date. … She did use a plus-size model in the actual campaign, but she was a size 12, I think, so it would be nice to see someone visibly plus-size. But it’s still nice that she thought to include someone plus-size.

You’ve worked with brands like H&M and Benefit Cosmetics. Have those campaigns been inclusive? What has that experience been like?

I was a part of H&M’s campaign that they did almost two years ago. It was very diverse. It had all kinds of different people in it, including Iggy Pop, who is amazing. I was really proud to be a part of that one. The Benefit campaign that I did last year, it had myself and a transgender model and a couple of other people. … I try to be conscious socially of the campaigns and ads that I’m a part of and making sure they’re diverse. Because if you’re not, and you don’t think about it, Twitter will let you know.

Lane Bryant brought back its “I’m No Angel” campaign during the Emmys. That’s something that’s received a lot of accolades from the ad world. What do you think of it?

I don’t want to get myself in trouble. I just feel like it’s boring. To be honest, that representation and visibility are important, so it’s great to see plus-size models. And I’m friends with Danielle Brooks [who stars in Orange Is the New Black and appears in the campaign]. She wrote an endorsement for the back of my book. [Model] Denise Bidot is one of my good friends. I’m a huge supporter of them. It’s wonderful that they get to be in campaigns, especially Danielle as a woman of color and one of the most amazing people I’ve ever met. But I just think [Lane Bryant’s] campaign felt forced and it just felt like—they just have so much money and I wish that, again, where is the person past size 16? All of those women were under a size 14, OK. They’re supposed to be representing plus-size women and they consistently keep showing us the same kind of body. I, unfortunately, wish that they would understand that there are people like me who wear their stuff but wish that we would see ourselves. I would have been much more moved by it if there was diversity in sizes.

So you’d like to see more size diversity?

The diversity [in Lane Bryant’s campaign] doesn’t really go past a certain size. Unfortunately, people cling onto those messages because in the plus-size world, you’re just so hungry for some kind of representation and visibility that you take crumbs. It’s really important to stop taking crumbs and say, “This is what we want.” I always tell people put your money where your mouth is and don’t buy into those brands. But we really only have a handful of places to shop. I have Lane Bryant underwear on right now. What am I going to do, you know? So it’s tough. … And the fact that there are so many women that are my size and we aren’t seeing them … You know, there are other models like me. I happen to be the only one signed and the most prominent one at this time, but I can name at least 10 models that are my size or bigger that could kill it in any of those campaigns but are not given the spotlight or chance.

You’re on a promotional cycle for your book right now. Let’s talk about the Tess Holliday brand.

Yes. I feel like it’s funny that you say that. When I was in London, I met up with a model, and I won’t say her name because I don’t want to get her in trouble, but her publicist told her, “Do you see what Tess Holliday is doing? Don’t do that.” And the model had to be, like, “Well, I like what she does and I like that she speaks her mind.” And [the publicist] goes, “Yes, but brands won’t work with her because she’s so outspoken.” I thought that’s so ridiculous because I don’t ever want to be viewed as the controversial person or the person stirring the pot. But I also think that if you have the social media platform and you’re not using it to educate your followers and to show where you stand on matters, then why even bother?

Is it true that brands won’t work with you?

It’s hard to say because I work plenty and I obviously haven’t had an issue getting myself booked on shows and stuff like that. I was up for one once, and I didn’t get it, and I even felt a little uneasy about that. … I have a good relationship with everyone I’ve worked with because I’m a professional. I will speak my mind, but I will also never intentionally hurt someone’s feelings.

How involved were you in the marketing campaign for your book?

I was very involved. I clashed with [the publisher] a bit because it took me a while to understand that I’m not a model, I’m a brand. My husband works in branding, which I didn’t even know when I met him, so he was responsible for suggesting that I change my name from Tess Munster to Tess Holliday, which I appreciate. He even had input on the book, as to how I should look, and worked with my stylist to help me because if I had my way, I literally would have shot the book cover naked with, like, troll doll earrings or something like that. … So my body is not Photoshopped [on the cover]. It’s all lighting. They smoothed it a little bit, but this is my body, which I was proud of. For the back of the book, they sent me a photo that the photographer, who’s amazing, had edited and you couldn’t see my cellulite. So I was like, “My legs are too Photoshopped. I want you to be able to see my cellulite.” And they were like, “That’s the first time that I’ve heard that.” But I thought that this image was important.

Is there a message you want the ad world to take away from reading this?

I’ve said it before but [the importance of] diversity and real diversity and genuine diversity. With the Body Positive Movement, [brands] have jumped on it so much because they see that it’s a moneymaker and it’s a hot buzzword and it can get them attention and a pat on the back. But people can tell when it’s not genuine. I built my brand on authenticity, and I try to be as honest as I can. I sometimes mess up, and even if brands mess up, it’s important to say, “We messed up and we want to do better” and ask their actual consumers what they want to see. Of course you’re going to get some people that just say garbage. But I feel like the majority of people want to see people who look like them, whether that’s people who aren’t able bodied, fat people, trans people, people of color. The world is so diverse, and I feel like we’re getting better, but we’re seeing the same people and the same bodies. I just want to see more, and I want people to do better. I’m probably going to get myself in trouble from this interview, but buy my book!

Sunday, September 24, 2017

13837: Enter The Dragon Truck.

Why would Dragon run this advertisement in an airline inflight magazine—or at all, for that matter?

Saturday, September 23, 2017