Nielsen published a report titled, “Youth Movement: Gen Z Boasts the Largest, Most Diverse Media Users Yet.” Unfortunately, the advertising industry creating much of the media content boasts the largest, least diverse group yet.
Wednesday, July 26, 2017
Tuesday, July 25, 2017
AgencySpy posted about two hires at We Are Unlimited—Max Geraldo and Bruno Guimaraes—who likely address the restless ambition of DDB North America CEO and President Wendy Clark “to be as diversely inclusive as the marketplace that we serve on behalf of our clients. Period.” Then again, Geraldo and Guimaraes originally hail from Brazil, the new Sweden for recruiters servicing White advertising agencies. To date, it looks like Clark’s action plan involves enlisting White women and Brazilians. Which makes her bold declaration unlimited bullshit. Period.
Monday, July 24, 2017
Adweek shat out a lengthy turd titled, “Why the U.S. Ad Industry Will Never Regulate Gender Stereotypes.” Oh, really? The White women’s bandwagon will absolutely demand and direct regulation of gender stereotypes—and White men will eagerly jump on board—ultimately providing a smokescreen to avoid dealing with all the racial and ethnic stereotypes so prevalent in advertising campaigns, as well as the discriminatory racial and ethnic profiling that fuels exclusivity in advertising agencies. Clients and trade organizations are already pushing matters, and a spike in gender-friendly awards seals the deal. It’s a safe bet that the U.S. advertising industry will regulate gender stereotypes long before the 66 years it will take to bring diversity to the field.
Sunday, July 23, 2017
Friday, July 21, 2017
Advertising Age reported McCann Worldgroup is officially protesting to the Government Accountability Office after being cut from the review to retain the guesstimated $4-billion-over-a-decade U.S. Army account, which the White advertising agency has serviced since 2005. According to Ad Age, a memo from McCann Worldgroup Chairman-CEO Harris Diamond whined, “We have recently been notified by the government contracting officer, who is managing the mandated Army review, that we were disqualified due to technical issues related to our proposal. Therefore, we were not invited to the oral presentations.” The memo also stated that McCann was whacked before the proposal reached “our clients [the Army] who have been quoted in support of our work and relationship… [and] are not being given the opportunity to read or review our proposal. We believe the contracting officer’s decision is wrong and we are protesting.” Gee, imagine if every minority advertising agency “disqualified” from a pitch for “technicalities” lodged a formal protest. It would require an army of lawyers just to read the gripes. For McCann Worldgroup to complain about losing a government account that it has held for over a decade inspires delivering a truth well told: All is fair in love and war.
McCann Worldgroup Files Protest Against U.S. Army
By Lindsay Stein
Charging that its elimination from an agency review for the U.S. Army’s business was “an arbitrary and capricious decision,” McCann Worldgroup has filed a formal Government Accountability Office pre-award bid protest against the Army.
In January, the U.S. Army released a request for proposals for its advertising and marketing business. An Army representative said at the time that the mandated review “estimates the contract ceiling to not exceed $4 billion” over a period up to a decade.
McCann Worldgroup, which includes Weber Shandwick and UM, has held the business since 2005 and reaps an estimated $30 to $40 million in annual revenue from the account. The Army last extended its contract with McCann Worldgroup in November 2015 for another 18 months.
But now McCann has been cut from the new review.
“We have recently been notified by the government contracting officer, who is managing the mandated Army review, that we were disqualified due to technical issues related to our proposal,” McCann Worldgroup Chairman-CEO Harris Diamond said in an email to employees that was obtained by Ad Age. “Therefore, we were not invited to the oral presentations.”
The agency, the email said, was disqualified before its proposal reached “our clients [the Army] who have been quoted in support of our work and relationship, are not being given the opportunity to read or review our proposal. We believe the contracting officer’s decision is wrong and we are protesting.”
Some of the reasons cited in the bid protest, filed in June, include the contracting officer’s “failure to read McCann-Erickson’s entire proposal” and “incorrect and inexplicable assertion that McCann-Erickson is not registered in the System for Award Management (SAM),” or the system used by the government in hiring contractors, even though it has been a longtime agency for the U.S. Army.
According to the document, McCann alleges that the Army’s contracting officer made a “superficial review” of its proposal and “inexcusably failed to correctly check the SAM database.” McCann refers to the SAM issue in the protest document as “one of the most egregious errors in the review.”
The Army also allegedly disqualified McCann, according to people with knowledge of the matter, for several technical errors, such as using a PDF rather than an Excel sheet in the proposal.
Representatives from the U.S. Army did not return calls for comment by press time.
The holding company protest follows McCann’s agency-level protest in May, which was denied. If the GAO bid protest is also denied, the agency can take the matter to the Court of Federal Claims. One McCann executive said the agency intends to take the matter to court if the protest doesn’t produce results.
“We think we’re right on the merits,” the executive told Ad Age, “but equally important, we think we’ve done really great work for the U.S. Army. We’ve met everything and have been honored by them for performance over the years, so we hope to get through this process.”
In a GAO protest, a government agency – the Army in this case – cannot award the business until the protest is ruled on, which must occur within 100 days. The start date for the new contract is March 30, 2018.
“There is simply no logical reason to rush to exclude strong proposals given the time available to select the best offeror,” the protest document says.
The document also notes that there is “already an extremely small pool of competitors” in the review. McCann writes in the document that it deduces that there were only two or three agencies in the competition, “an extremely small number for any procurement, let alone of this importance, size and complexity.”
McCann was told about being eliminated from the process via email rather than on the phone or in a meeting, according to people familiar with the situation.
“We are disappointed in the Contracting Officer’s decision,” said a McCann spokesman in a statement. “We are enormously proud of the work we have done with our client partners over the past 11-plus years and hope we will have the opportunity to continue to help the U.S. Army in meeting its important recruiting mission and goals.”
Last month when McCann Worldgroup was named the No. 2 Most Effective Regional Network at the 2017 North American Effie Awards, Mark Davis, Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army for Marketing publicly praised McCann. “When two great teams, like the Army and McCann, partner together you can accomplish amazing things and make a difference,” he said then in a statement. “It is our honor to share with McCann Worldgroup this prestigious acknowledgement of the effectiveness of our efforts by the Effie Awards.”
Thursday, July 20, 2017
The BBC reported the Advertising Standards Authority is drafting new rules to fight advertisements that display stereotypical gender roles in the UK. It’s another example of diverted diversity—aka the White women’s bandwagon—running over racial and ethnic diversity. After all, the ASA should know that minorities are underrepresented in advertising campaigns, yet the organization is not drafting any rules to address the inequality—or spanking the White advertising agencies that extend the discrimination with biased hiring practices.
Campaign published pathetic, prehistoric pap from FCB Global Chief Creative Officer Susan Credle, who whined, “If advertising is going into the content business, who will take care of the brands?” Um, no one associated with FCB sounds like a good answer. Why do old-school advertising executives pontificate on the sacred power of brands while jumping from one generic White advertising agency to the next? Hell, FCB just recently rebranded itself—and you’d be hard-pressed to distinguish the FCB Credle from the Leo Burnett or BBDO versions. Can’t help but think Credle is a dinosaur, desperately struggling to survive in the Land of Digital. It’s not the first time the woman has displayed cluelessness about technology beyond traditional advertising—which she prefers to typeset with a capital A. Like many dinosaurs inhabiting the advertising industry, sadly, Credle is as clueless about digital as she is about diversity, although she’s a Jenny-come-lately on the White women’s bandwagon. Wringing one’s hands over a future that’s already been in place for at least a decade is asinine with a capital A. The question should read, “If advertising is going into the content business, who will take care of the brontosauruses like Credle?”
If advertising is going into the content business, who will take care of the brands?
By Susan Credle
Advertising with a capital A is about creating opportunities that lead to a healthier economy. Sometimes, it’s an ad. Sometimes, it’s a new product.
Last year in Cannes, I gave a talk titled, “Confession: I Love Advertising.” The speaker following me started his speech with the title, “How to Stop Advertising and Save Our Industry.”
Over the past decade, the advertising industry has somehow managed to demonize the very word that defines what we make.
But is the industry really changing, or are we just changing the words? Branded content. Isn’t that what advertising is—a piece of content that features a brand?
Recently, I read an article that declared, it’s time to take the brand out of branded content. So if we are all going into the content business, who is going to take care of the brands?
Two years ago when discussing branded content on a jury, one person said, “I’ve got it! If we like the work, it’s branded content. If it sucks, it’s advertising.” This person was not in the business of advertising. He was a novelist.
And a month ago, I was in New Orleans at the Collision Conference. A colleague of mine, Winston Binch, said, and I paraphrase, “Susan, it’s fascinating. When I tell people I’m in advertising, they aren’t interested. They don’t think they are ready for an advertising agency, too expensive. But, if I tell them I’m in branding and marketing, they ask for my card.”
I’ve always been proud to be in Advertising with a capital A. When I was growing up, I loved ads. And in turn, I loved brands. In my first job at BBDO, I learned we could make things more famous, more beloved than the content we paid to sit alongside.
We were the masters of short-form communication. And, yet, in a world that is asking for things to be shorter—six seconds, 140 characters, an emoji—we seem to be going in the opposite direction. Our films are getting longer. Instead of a crafted one-second image that we used to call print, we want to create blogs and interactive posts. Anything that doesn’t look like an ad.
Long before we coined the phrase “branded content,” Howard Luck Gossage said, “People read what interests them. Sometimes it’s an ad.”
In the general sense of the word, I never thought advertising meant traditional ads. Yes, it includes those powerful media. But for me, advertising was anything that was done in service of a product or business. And the result of great advertising was an emotionally strong brand and a financially strong business.
So perhaps it’s better to separate the business of advertising and ads. Ads are a part of what we do in advertising. But Advertising with a capital A is about solving problems and creating opportunities that lead to a healthier economy.
Sometimes, it’s an ad. Sometimes, it’s a new product. Sometimes, it’s intellectual property. Sometimes, it’s a partnership. Sometimes, it’s an event. Some time in the future, it will be something else.
But every time, when it’s on strategy and in service to a client’s business, it’s Advertising.
If you believe that, too, let’s focus on our real problem, which is not that we work in advertising. It’s that we’ve allowed the word to be co-opted and connected to the intrusive, the disrespectful and the disinteresting.
Let’s take back advertising and define it for what it really is—one of the best economic-drivers, problem-solvers, dream-makers in the world.
Susan Credle is the global chief creative officer at FCB Global.
Wednesday, July 19, 2017
Adweek reported MillerCoors pulled a PepsiCo play, shifting beer business from one bunch of Omnicom-owned White advertising agencies to another. What’s more, the client revealed creatives from the former AORs will move to a special team in the new AORs. Welcome to Miller Time—and Corporate Cultural Collusion. Whassup?
MillerCoors Consolidates Global Creative Duties on the Miller Brand Within Omnicom’s DDB Network
Adam&EveDDB wins Miller Genuine Draft and DDB Chicago lands Miller Lite
By Patrick Coffee
Beverage giant MillerCoors has shuffled the creative agency roster for its Miller brand for the fifth time in less than six years, assigning global duties on Miller Lite and Miller Genuine Draft to DDB Chicago and London-based Adam&EveDDB, respectively.
The change occurred after a formal review.
Chief marketing officer David Kroll, who recently returned from medical leave, confirmed the decision in an internal memo sent to MillerCoors’ agency partners this morning.
“Starting this week, we are consolidating the Miller Lite creative responsibilities at DDB Chicago. This transition will be seamless as we are keeping the business within the Omnicom family,” Kroll wrote after noting that the brand recently celebrated 10 consecutive quarters of share growth.
As mentioned, this announcement keeps the business within the Omnicom family while ending Miller’s relationships with now-former creative agency of record 180LA and Juniper Park, a Toronto-based shop that is part of the TBWA network.
The news also follows this spring’s decision to shift the digital portion of the Miller Lite account from DigitasLBi Chicago to DDB, again without a review. Moving forward, Miller Coors will consolidate some of the cross-agency talent working on that account in North America.
“We are moving some of the best creative talent from our previous agencies 180LA and Juniper Park, into a new team at DDB in order to have a best-in-class creative and planning team,” Kroll’s note continued. “DDB has made great strides on the digital side of the Miller Lite business over the last month, and we feel confident that this expanded team will keep the brand on its positive trajectory.”
Last April, MillerCoors moved responsibility for Miller Lite from TBWA\Chiat\Day Los Angeles to sister shop 180LA weeks after reports indicated that the company had been talking to various agencies and “looking for ideas” on the brand. In that case, there did not appear to be a formal review.
A MillerCoors spokesperson referred back to Kroll’s memo. Representatives for DDB and 180LA declined to comment on the news.
According to the latest numbers from Kantar Media, MillerCoors spent approximately $130 million on measured media promoting the Miller Lite brand in the U.S. last year and $27 million in the first quarter of 2017.
Tuesday, July 18, 2017
YOU CAN’T STOP LOOKING IN THE MIRROR
You use words like modern and diversity.
How open minded you are and how you get culture.
Really? I don’t think you give a shit.
You’re about as cultural and inclusive as the KKK.
You don’t represent the world you want to influence — because you have no respect for that world.
You just want to be with people who look like you.
You’re in love with your own image.
But there’s a whole world out there and until you see it, you’re not worth my time.
Monday, July 17, 2017
Advertising Age reported on recent remarks from Publicis Groupe Chairman and CEO Arthur Sadoun, who sought to explain his one-year ban on award shows and trade shows to help fund a digital doodad for the global White holding company. According to Sadoun, Marcel will connect employees across the network—especially the younger generation. “[Millennials] are the ones who will find the kind of ideas we are looking for. They are not behaving in the same way we are,” claimed Sadoun. “They want to be recognized quite quickly, they want to be engaged, they want to touch things in a different way. This is why we are building a platform.” Nice. Barely six months into his new leadership role and Sadoun exposes himself as an exclusionist. That is, the company is spending a significant amount of money and resources to satisfy the needs of youthful staffers. This will undoubtedly piss off all the Old White Guys who are now being denied annual jaunts to Cannes and other exotic locales. It also underscores how Sadoun will make major investments for a single segment of privileged underlings while ignoring racial and ethnic minorities. Need proof? Compare the costs for Marcel to the “diversity budgets” at Publicis Groupe. Would Sadoun ever consider a second ban to fund inclusive initiatives? Hey, he could create a platform called Martin.
Publicis CEO Sadoun: ‘I Am What I Am Because of Creativity’
By Emma Hall
Publicis Groupe’s chairman and CEO Arthur Sadoun defended his controversial Marcel project — which entails pulling out of all awards shows for a year to help fund a group-wide AI system — as a draw for both talent and clients.
Speaking at the Incorporated Society of British Advertisers’ annual lunch, Sadoun told a room full of marketers that Marcel would make a big difference to the younger generation.
“They are the ones who will find the kind of ideas we are looking for. They are not behaving in the same way we are,” he said. “They want to be recognized quite quickly, they want to be engaged, they want to touch things in a different way. This is why we are building a platform.”
Marcel will be able to link up not just people qualified to handle a brief, but to find “the ones who are eager to do it.” A young creative in Sao Paulo, he said, would have the opportunity to work on a Super Bowl ad led out of New York.
Marcel is already having a positive impact on business, Sadoun claimed. He told the story of a big client with whom the relationship was “difficult.” The marketer had been planning to fire Publicis, but said to Sadoun, “I see what you did in Cannes and I get the impression you are making progress and I’m going to give you six months.”
In a rejection of the status quo, Sadoun said, “I don’t care how long I stay. We are committed to changing things. Whether we will succeed I don’t know. We believe we have a responsibility to our industry. It’s incredible to see we are operating exactly the same way we were 20 years ago. We look at Omnicom, at WPP. We are not putting technology at the core of our own model. We are the only service industry that has not tried.”
The packed room at London’s Dorchester hotel burst into applause when Sadoun added, “We are trying to show something to the industry. If the others say we are not coming to Cannes because we don’t stand for creativity, I will take it. I don’t care… I’m not going to CES either, so I guess I don’t like technology.”
Still Sadoun was met with some cautious optimism at best.
“I enjoyed his energy and candor,” said Michael Wall, global CEO of Mother and former global CEO of Interpublic’s Lowe and Partners. “He is dealing with one of the common problems of holding companies: Namely large teams of people that are largely unconnected and who can often create complexity in terms of dislocation, capability and cost before they get to a legitimate answer for their clients. Whether a high level form of intranet can help to resolve this, time will tell.”
Despite his spirited defense of Marcel and the decision to pull out of awards for a year, Sadoun made it clear that that the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity is important to him.
“I am a big fan of Cannes,” he said. “I owe my career to Cannes. I’ve been on stage to collect an agency of the year award four times. I am what I am because of creativity and Cannes has a big part to play in that.”
However, he did suggest that the hiatus from awards could have longer-term effects. “It’s a question of focus. We need to enter work because we truly believe it deserves an award, and not because the creative director knows the festival. It’s a way to bring back putting the idea and the talent first.”
Continuing in the tradition of his predecessor, Maurice Lévy, Sadoun lost no time in criticizing rival group WPP. He said that the reason Publicis Groupe had beaten WPP to win the Procter & Gamble business was that, “instead of saying ‘this is how you should organize yourself,’ we said ‘this is the kind of transformation you should do and these are the kind of people you need to do it’. You wouldn’t know who was from Sapient, Digitas, Publicis, Saatchi.”
Sunday, July 16, 2017
Another indicator that diverted diversity—aka the White women’s bandwagon—has run over racial and ethnic diversity in the advertising industry can be seen by comparing diversity campaigns. That is, gender diversity advertising receives maximum attention, resources and budgets. Why, the work in this area wins major awards—and even inspires the birth of awards. Racial and ethnic diversity advertising appears to be executed by junior-level staffers from the mount room—or mailroom—who are required to use royalty-free stock photography. In the end, diversity advertising perfectly reflects, well, diversity in advertising.
Saturday, July 15, 2017
Friday, July 14, 2017
Advertising Age reported PepsiCo is executing an exclusive review, where only White advertising agencies from Omnicom will be “competing” for Pepsi brand work. “Omnicom has been our longstanding partner because we value the diverse array of agencies and talent they have under one roof,” claimed a PepsiCo spokeswoman. “We continually evaluate the best ways to market our brands, and in the U.S. on brand Pepsi, we are once again looking within Omnicom for custom creative solutions.” Well, it’s not the first time PepsiCo has engaged in Corporate Cultural Collusion with Omnicom. If Fathom Communications is still in business, the place is a definite contender. If they’ve gone out of business, Omnicom will simply build a new White ad agency to replace them. On the other hand, that the PepsiCo spokeswoman praised the holding company for its “diverse array of agencies” is pretty crazy. Yes, there are lots of stallions in the Omnicom stable, but mostly of a White horse variety—although the place is working hard to add White fillies and mares to the fold. Maybe Kendall Jenner will protest that Black lives don’t matter at Omnicom.
Pepsi Launches an Omnicom-Only Creative Review
By E.J. Schultz, Lindsay Stein
PepsiCo has put its flagship soda brand in creative review in the U.S., but the brand is only considering a handful of Omnicom Group agencies, according to people familiar with the matter.
The marketer has a long relationship with Omnicom, but in recent years has moved assignments around, including handing some work to non-Omnicom shops such as the independent agency Mekanism. The review signals that Pepsi could be returning to a lead agency model. Its restriction to participants from Omnicom is good news for the agency holding company, although there could be winners and losers within it.
“Omnicom has been our longstanding partner because we value the diverse array of agencies and talent they have under one roof,” said a PepsiCo spokeswoman. “We continually evaluate the best ways to market our brands, and in the U.S. on brand Pepsi, we are once again looking within Omnicom for custom creative solutions.”
Brand Pepsi spent $192 million on measured media in the U.S. in 2016, according to the Ad Age Datacenter.
Historically, Omnicom’s BBDO is most closely linked to Pepsi as the maker of famous campaigns like the “Pepsi Generation.” Pepsi moved away from BBDO in 2008 as it began working with TBWA/Chiat/Day Los Angeles.
The brand later adpoted a more flexible agency model within Omnicom, an approach it dubbed Galaxy, in which the brand uses various Omnicom shops, including 180LA. BBDO returned to Pepsi in 2015 when it won an assignment to make an ad starring Marshawn Lynch. It followed up with more NFL-related advertising last year. Other Omnicom agencies with links to Pepsi include Goodby Silverstein & Partners, which has worked on PepsiCo’s Frito-Lay brands over the years. (Lay’s is currently in an agency review of its own.)
The Pepsi review comes three months after the brand’s embarrassing Kendall Jenner ad flop, which many outsiders blamed on the brand’s reliance on its in-house agency. However, that ad was overseen by PepsiCo’s global team. The Omnicom review is confined to the U.S. market and overseen by U.S. executives. In the U.S., Pepsi is overseen by Greg Lyons, who took over as chief marketing officer for North American beverages in February. Lyons’ PepsiCo tenure includes a stint as VP-marketing for Mtn Dew, which has used BBDO over the years.
Outside of Omnicom, PepsiCo uses WPP’s VML, which was named lead creative for Brisk last summer. Dentsu Aegis Network’s Firstborn has been the Pepsi brand’s lead digital creative shop since October. Cheil Worldwide’s Barbarian Group, which was undergoing a number of executive departures at the time, had been the incumbent on both Brisk and Pepsi digital.
In an earnings report on Tuesday, PepsiCo reported that organic volume growth in its North American beverage business was flat in the second quarter. Brand Pepsi’s volumes fell 2.8% in 2016, finishing with 8.4% market share in carbonated soft drinks, according to Beverage Digest. CEO Indra Nooyi said on an earnings call that the company is “encouraged by the performance of Pepsi Zero Sugar, but have more work to do on the carbonated portfolio overall.”
Nooyi added that the company will be “allocating a bit more marketing behind” Pepsi in the year’s second half. Pepsi is an NFL sponsor, so a good chunk of that new advertising will likely be occurring in the fall.
Thursday, July 13, 2017
Advertising Age reported Mickey D’s put its local U.S. creative accounts in review, seeking to cut roughly 60 advertising agencies down to 10 or less. Wonder if any minority shops will get whacked in the process, losing their McCrumbs to local White advertising agencies. If so, thankfully, Mickey D’s White AOR We Are Unlimited is a diverse powerhouse led by DDB CEO Wendy Clark, whose restless ambition to bring diversity to the industry would certainly compensate for any local minorities adversely affected by the review.
McDonald’s Puts Local US Creative Accounts in Review, Aiming to Cut Dozens of Shops
By Jessica Wohl
McDonald’s is plotting another massive shakeup of its U.S. marketing model as it looks for ways to cut millions of dollars in ad costs and sharpen its messaging.
The Golden Arches plans to greatly reduce the number of creative agencies handling marketing for cooperative franchise groups that operate throughout the United States, Ad Age has learned. Some 60 or so agencies do local creative work for nearly 200 McDonald’s co-ops across the country, with some agencies handling work for multiple co-ops. McDonald’s aims to slash that figure to 10 or fewer, people familiar with the situation told Ad Age.
The scope of the work that they do is also expected to change, with less original local output and more emphasis on localizing national campaigns.
Some of the agencies until recently handled media duties on the local accounts as well. But all media duties for co-op marketing have been moved to Omnicom Group’s OMD, according to multiple people familiar with the situation. OMD was already McDonald’s media agency at the national level.
McDonald’s is simultaneously consolidating its co-ops into fewer, larger groups as it tries to become a more nimble operator.
The chain has been working for more than two years to become what CEO Steve Easterbrook has often called a “modern, progressive burger company.” Now, after last year’s national agency shakeup, followed by the addition of a new president of the U.S. business and a new U.S. chief marketing officer this year, McDonald’s wants to find a better way to tell its brand story. In the U.S., its platform comprises a mix of national and local campaigns.
McDonald’s confirmed the effort to trim its local agency roster. “Building the modern, progressive company that we aspire to be involves changing the way we conduct business,” McDonald’s spokeswoman Terri Hickey said in a statement. “In order to accelerate our efforts to engage customers across all platforms to advance our brand vision, we aim to streamline and modernize our local marketing efforts in 2018.” Hickey declined to elaborate.
Agencies currently involved in the RFP, which the people familiar with the situation said is being run by Select Resources International, are expected to present their pitches to McDonald’s and some members of the co-op team beginning on July 17. The group of agencies expected to pitch next week includes some that have already worked for McDonald’s co-ops and others that would be new to the business.
Select Resources International did not respond to a request for comment.
The overhaul of the co-op accounts comes less than a year after McDonald’s chose a new Omnicom model, an agency now called We Are Unlimited, as its main U.S. creative agency. That review, which was also handled by Select Resources International, did not affect agencies that worked with the regional co-ops, multicultural creative agencies, OMD and McDonald’s longtime PR agency Golin.
Omnicom declined to comment Wednesday and referred all questions to McDonald’s. Some agencies that have worked with McDonald’s in the past, including Bernstein-Rein, H&L Partners, Moroch, Stern, and Zimmerman, declined to comment or did not respond to inquiries.
McDonald’s is preparing to shift more of its marketing resources to the national platform, run by We Are Unlimited.
Consolidating the co-op work among a smaller number of agencies is expected to give the world’s largest restaurant company and its franchisees better bargaining power. It may also give local co-ops a more cohesive marketing message, as one agency may do work for multiple co-ops either in the same geographic area or in areas in different parts of the country with similar demographics. Some people familiar with the RFP expressed concerns, however, that the local flavor currently found in local McDonald’s marketing may be lost.
And although moving all media to OMD should in theory reduce costs, one agency executive who has worked with McDonald’s for years believes it may be difficult for OMD to handle the all of the local media work without adding additional resources at the local level—which would, in turn, lead to higher costs.
The review comes after a series of executive changes at McDonald’s.
Chris Kempczinski was promoted earlier this year to president of U.S. business from exec VP of strategy, business development and innovation, the post he held since joining from Kraft Heinz in 2015.
The marketing team includes Global Chief Marketing Officer Silvia Lagnado, who joined McDonald’s in 2015, and U.S. Chief Marketing Officer Morgan Flatley, who arrived from PepsiCo in April.
Easterbrook has a long history at McDonald’s, though he left for a few years for roles at other restaurant companies before returning to McDonald’s and taking the CEO role from Don Thompson in 2015.
McDonald’s was the 33rd largest U.S. advertiser last year, with spending up 1.5% to nearly $1.46 billion, according to the Ad Age Datacenter.
Wednesday, July 12, 2017
Campaign published a story titled, “Say yes to action on gender diversity: Six women on their first Cannes Lions”—featuring perspectives from the six GoDaddy Scholarship for Women in Technology winners. The accompanying photograph of the winners (depicted above) indicates quite clearly who really benefits from gender diversity schemes—aka diverted diversity and the White women’s bandwagon. That the scholarship came from GoDaddy, a brand that has historically produced notoriously sexist advertising, underscores the outrageousness of it all. Indeed, this sort of patronizing propaganda is the equivalent of major banks producing diversity advertising after getting busted for discriminating against racial and ethnic minorities seeking home loans.
Tuesday, July 11, 2017
MultiCultClassics is often occupied with real work. As a result, a handful of events occur without the expected blog commentary. This limited series—Delayed WTF—seeks to make belated amends for the absence of malice.
Another point to ponder in the 2016 Deutsch diversity debacle—where former Deutsch Diversity Director Felicia Geiger claimed the agency “was no longer going to invest in diversity”—involves the references to a “diversity budget” at White advertising agencies. It begs a few questions: Who decides on the actual amount for such financial allocations? How does a standard “diversity budget” compare to, say, the money earmarked for award submissions and jaunts to places like Cannes—or to the annual compensation of CEOs?
Publicis Groupe CEO Arthur Sadoun recently sparked minor controversy by placing a one-year ban on participation at award shows and trade shows in order to pay for a companywide digital doodad. How much money will be recouped by Sadoun’s mandate? Of course, there was probably no consideration to placing a ban on diversity-related expenditures, as such an action would not realize enough loot to cover the annual costs of Sadoun’s haircuts. (On a side note, the creation of Marcel could easily be paid for by simply erasing former Publicis Groupe CEO Maurice Lévy from the payroll—after all, he’s the digital drunk whose obsession with technology led to lots of overspending on mergers and acquisitions.)
But back to the practice of implementing a “diversity budget” for White advertising agencies. If this is indeed a common thing, perhaps it’s time for shops to publicly share the budget figures. In lieu of EEO-1 data, present the accounting data, which would provide a clear indicator of a company’s commitment to inclusive progress. Oh, and tax-deductible donations to entities like ADCOLOR® don’t count.
The notion of a “diversity budget” leads to additional questions. In the quest for a diverse and inclusive industry—and using IPG as an example for this examination—is Senior Vice President and Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer Heide Gardner more important and influential than Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Frank Mergenthaler? In short, is a CDO more necessary for diversity success than a CFO? Plus, like multicultural marketers, is the typical CDO operating with crumbs?
P.S., Advertising agency CFOs and CDOs can purchase the book depicted above for a mere $49.99—provided the “diversity budget” even has $49.99 in the kitty.
Monday, July 10, 2017
Campaign spotlighted a new Absolut advertisement—created by BBH London—that really underscores how Absolut has gone from iconic, breakthrough advertising to awful bullshit. Absolut Global Communications Director Gaia Gilardini explained the campaign launched with Pride in London, but its message goes beyond LGBTQIA acceptance and inclusion. “We wanted to bring to life one of our core values and beliefs, which is that everyone should be free to love who they choose,” said Gilardini. “It uses a kiss as a metaphor for this expression of acceptance. But it’s a broader idea of acceptance—it’s not just tied to sexuality. Freedom to love who you choose goes further than just sexual preference.” Huh? To declare the vodka brand’s core values and beliefs include “that everyone should be free to love who they choose” sounds like, well, not sober thinking. The sentiment certainly isn’t among the values stated at the company website. And, sorry, but the orgy-like behavior depicted in the video makes the characters look as if they’ve had one Absolut Vodka Martini too many. Drink responsibly, but feel free to engage in irresponsible, unsafe sexual behavior. What makes it all even more obscene is that the “free to love who they choose” concept is reflected by BBH London in ways that run counter to the Absolut spirit of acceptance and inclusion. That is, BBH London exercises its right to freely choose whom to love by exclusively hiring a specific type of people. White people, that is. Acceptance and inclusion are MIA at BBH.
Sunday, July 09, 2017
Campaign published a report titled, “Diversity drives creativity: the most inspiring campaigns from the past year”—accompanied by a blurb that read, “We asked a selection of Campaign’s global editors to pick the most inspiring diverse and creative campaigns they have seen over the past 12 months. The work they chose provides a compelling case as to why diversity continues to be the advertising industry’s greatest opportunity.” Okay, except it’s highly debatable that the spotlighted spots really represent diversity. While the messages display diverse casting, as well as diverted diversity and diversity themes, it’s unclear why anyone would conclude the commercials make “a compelling case” for diversity in the advertising industry. The teams responsible for the ads aren’t diverse—indeed, they’re mostly more exclusive versus inclusive. Perhaps Campaign meant producing campaigns with diversity-focused imagery “continues to be the advertising industry’s greatest opportunity.” That is, adland can fabricate an illusion of being diverse by churning out patronizing and hypocritical bullshit versus actually embracing diversity.
Saturday, July 08, 2017
Advertising Age reported on the trend of White advertising agencies recruiting talent from Brazil—where scam ads and cultural cluelessness are local traditions. Of course, bringing in Brazilians allows White ad shops to check off minority quotas while continuing to ignore Latinos and other people of color in the United States. The Ad Age report inspired a comment from Kat Gordon, who cried, “Quick add to this piece: FEMALE creatives from Brazil (overlooked here) are also a huge recruiting opportunity for US agencies. The 3% Conference has a 30,000-person social community + we were shocked when we looked at our Facebook community. After the US, our #1 group of followers is from Brazil. Not the UK. Not Canada. It’s time we talked about LATINA talent, too.” By all means, Ms. Gordon, let’s talk about Latina talent too.
Is Brazil the New Sweden for U.S. Agency Recruiters?
By Laurel Wentz
When Wieden & Kennedy hired an Argentine creative in 1997 for a job in Portland, Ore., José Mollá was a rarity. And when he tried to hire a creative team from Brazil, no one wanted to come.
“It was kind of unheard of to have talent from Latin America in the U.S.,” Mollá said. “And now it’s super common.”
Today, Mollá chairs The One Club, the prominent organization for honoring creativity. And The Community, the successful Miami shop that he and brother Joaquín started, is often the first U.S. agency for Latin American creative teams that later work at shops like Droga5, R/GA and David & Goliath, he said.
One of his former creative directors, Gustavo Lauria, opened a New York shop called We Believers in 2014. Lauria won four Lions at Cannes last year and will be a U.S. judge on the Titanium and Integrated jury this year. His award-show blockbuster, which is also turning into an environmentally friendly business, is “Edible Six-Pack Rings,” a biodegradable version of the plastic six-pack rings that can harm marine life when discarded.
Latin American creative leaders are the new Swedes. For years, Swedish creatives took over high-profile creative roles at U.S. agencies, before mostly returning to Scandinavia. One of the last to depart, Andreas Dahlqvist, left his post as chief creative officer at Grey New York in April to become chief creative officer of Nord DDB in his native Sweden. Increasingly, Latin American creatives are stepping into U.S. leadership roles as chief creative officers or executive creative directors, or running their own agencies, like Anselmo Ramos at David in Miami. After surviving trial by fire in their often less-than-stable home countries, they do more with less, and adapt quickly and creatively to just about anything. And they do it all with a touch of emotion that plays well in the work they create.
In one big shift, Brazilian creatives, once reluctant to relocate from their sunny, high-paying market, are flocking to the U.S. For many, that change of heart is a combination of disillusionment over Brazil’s endless corruption scandals, a depressed local economy and a U.S. market that increasingly welcomes them with better career opportunities. “More and more Latins are being hired and judged by their talent, not their accents,” Mollá said.
Sometimes, it seems like the entire Ogilvy Brazil creative department that did brilliant work like Dove’s “Real Beauty” campaigns under Anselmo Ramos has landed in Los Angeles. Ramos, who left São Paulo in 2014 to open WPP’s rapidly successful David agency in Miami, said he always encouraged his Brazilian team to believe working abroad makes you “not only a better creative, but a better human being.”
Ramos said he “couldn’t be prouder” of Eduardo Marques and Rafael Rizuto, who are exec creative directors at 180LA, and Roberto “Beto” Fernández and Paco Conde, who joined Anomaly LA as exec creative directors in February. (And Fernández’s twin brother, Renato, was promoted to chief creative officer of TBWA/Chiat/Day in February.) In New York, Ogilvy Brazil alumni Fred Saldanha is exec creative director at Huge, and João Coutinho became exec creative director of Y&R North America last month.
And David, under Ramos, has stellar creative work coming out of Miami that displays a neat grasp of American culture, including Burger King campaigns like “Proud Whopper,” celebrating gay pride, and a “Scariest Burger King” outlet dressed in a McDonald’s costume for Halloween.
At Saatchi & Saatchi, Buenos Aires native Javier Campopiano became chief creative officer of the New York office last year, and a Brazilian, Fabio Costa, is the exec creative director in Los Angeles.
Two of Brazil’s highest-profile creatives, Andre Kassu and Marcos Medeiros, are now in charge of CP&B’s Miami office, after opening a CP&B shop in São Paulo three years ago that has become one of Brazil’s hottest startups. Now, they rotate between São Paulo and Miami, Kassu said, and they recently won the global account for Brazilian airplane-maker Embraer, to be run from Miami.
And it’s not just agencies. More clients are from Latin America themselves, and expect their agencies to reflect the diversity they see in their U.S. consumers. Diego Scotti, the chief marketing officer of Verizon, a client of The Community, is from Argentina. And Fernando Machado, Burger King’s head of brand marketing, worked at Unilever in São Paulo for many years and was an Ogilvy Brazil client; now he’s a client of David in Miami.
In April, Coca-Cola named the president of its Mexico business unit, Francisco Crespo, as the company’s first U.S. chief growth officer, a new role that will oversee marketing. HP’s global chief marketing officer, Antonio Lucio, who was raised in Puerto Rico, has made diversity a hallmark of his two years at the company—and requires his five agencies to make a similar commitment.
At a time when the U.S. under Donald Trump has become a less welcoming place toward immigrants, there is concern. One chief creative officer from Colombia said he is considering getting Colombian passports for his two U.S.-born children.
“Regarding Trump America, the last few months have been pretty disheartening,” said PJ Pereira, founder and chief creative officer of San Francisco agency Pereira & O’Dell. A Brazilian by birth, he became a U.S. citizen last year. “I see friends really concerned, afraid if they’ll be able to renew their visas. And everyone is a bit paranoid. Are we going to feel a violence that didn’t manifest in the Obama years? Are our kids going to suffer because of that?”
But momentum is on the side of fresh international creative influences. And agencies continue to apply for, and get, 0-1 work visas to bring creatives to the U.S. “The threat makes the commitment to diversity even stronger,” Mollá said. “I get the feeling it’s too late. There is no way back, like it or not.”
Friday, July 07, 2017
Adweek spotlighted a Youth Ambassadors campaign from VML in Kansas City that presents tales of tragedy about inner-city life via a twisted children’s book style. Gee, VML sure does a lot of work with cultural controversy and cultural cluelessness—brought to you by monocultural leadership.
Thursday, July 06, 2017
Campaign published a lengthy article titled, “How to embrace socioeconomic diversity,” which initially sounded like yet another diversion to avoid embracing racial and ethnic diversity. However, it appears the story is advocating for people of color by positioning them as being in a different socioeconomic class; i.e., non-Whites are not affluent like the majority of White people in the field. Why is there a tendency to embrace such biased presumptions, which typically lead to only searching for minority candidates in low-income communities? Oddly enough, the photograph illustrating the article (depicted above) shows three White men representing a socioeconomic range of citizens. However, there are never tactics that involve recruiting White applicants from impoverished neighborhoods. Then again, a poor White man still has a better chance of landing a job in adland than a wealthy person of color—unless the wealthy person of color is a famous recording artist.
Wednesday, July 05, 2017
Campaign published beachside bullshit from DDB North America President and CEO Wendy Clark. “Diversity talk is cheap,” declared Clark, undoubtedly typing from her not-so-cheap hotel room in Cannes. (BTW, why does someone responsible for the worst Mickey D’s campaign in recent history deserve to judge at the industry’s premier awards soiree?) When tasked with pontificating on diversity, Clark admitted, “I struggled with what was left to say. And then it hit me. There is nothing left to say, there is only action left to take. As an industry, we need to stop talking and start acting—holding ourselves accountable to recruiting, retaining, developing and advancing people in our agencies and companies that better reflect the marketplace that it is our task to reach and engage for our clients.” Okay, but Clark’s aha moment is the exact same thing she uttered a year ago at Cannes. Sure, this time she peppered in references to Gandhi, Margaret Atwood and Maya Angelou, but the overall sentiment is a rerun of rhetoric. Clark also reported her company signed up for extra unconscious-bias training and implemented additional diverted diversity devices—which a Cannes study has shown mostly benefit White women. What makes Clark’s pseudo revolutionary reboot so repulsive are her hiring decisions over the past 12 months. At nearly every opportunity to consider equal opportunity, Clark recruited White men and White women. In Clark’s case, diversity talk is cheap lies.
Diversity talk is cheap
As president of the Glass Lion jury, Wendy Clark, president and chief executive officer of DDB North America, says the time has arrived to take action on diversity.
By Wendy Clark
Nine hundred words to spur us all to action.
As president of the Glass Lion jury this year, Campaign kindly offered me the opportunity to give my point of view on diversity. I stared at a blank page for a while. After all, given the tumultuous year our industry has had on diversity, what has not already been said by so many about the challenges, the need and the opportunity for our agencies and companies?
I struggled with what was left to say.
And then it hit me.
There is nothing left to say, there is only action left to take.
As an industry, we need to stop talking and start acting — holding ourselves accountable to recruiting, retaining, developing and advancing people in our agencies and companies that better reflect the marketplace that it is our task to reach and engage for our clients.
As Gandhi said: “Action expresses priorities.” I fundamentally believe that achieving true diversity in our agencies is an urgent priority. Our agencies must become a mecca of different perspectives, that are culturally rich, welcoming and nurturing of teams with mosaic experience. I simply do not see how we will meet the talent demands of our business and achieve our clients’ goals without aggressively implementing efforts to do this.
The author Margaret Atwood said: “If I waited for perfection… I would never write a word.” Similarly, we must get going with initiatives that address our industry’s dire need for more diversity.
On Atwood’s point, I am certain none of us feels that we have got all the actions and all the answers. Still, by sharing our plans, actions and outcomes, we can collectively start to make progress and move from talk to action.
Last year, as a foundational step at DDB, we implemented unconscious-bias training for all 2,000 associates in North America. As we undertook this effort, we had some hesitance—was something broad enough to be suitable for training everyone really going to advance our cultural understanding of how to address bias in our workplace at a deep enough level?
Well, it was. What happened in our unconscious-bias groups were remarkable conversations and illuminating exchanges that were so needed and so necessary to advancing our culture, our understanding and tolerance for each other and ensuring our agencies were truly places where everyone felt they could bring their full selves, their true selves, to work every day.
In fact, the training was so successful that our offices across the region proactively signed up for continued unconscious-bias training this year—something that wasn’t required but that everyone felt would continue to enrich our culture and create more progress.
Another effective action is the opportunity to partner Economic Dividends for Gender Equality (Edge), a third-party company that provides accreditation of gender equality in the workplace. Edge assessed many dimensions of our agency practices—including training/development, advancement/promotion and compensation—to determine whether we were gender equitable. As a part of the accreditation process, Edge helps with initiatives and programmes that improve and advance gender equality practices.
Many agencies took a close look at their hiring practices as a means to improve diversity. Actions such as expanding the universities and ad schools that we were recruiting from to include historically black colleges and universities have helped our internship programmes to be more accessible and interesting to diverse candidates. And the outcome reflects the focused approach—nearly 50% of our 2017 interns are from culturally diverse backgrounds.
Perhaps most importantly, many agencies have embraced ways to have a continuously open dialogue about their commitment to do more and better in terms of diversity and inclusion. From “town halls” to weekly newsletters, there are many good practices out there to learn from.
At DDB, we do a live, weekly broadcast on Zoom to all associates in the US and Canada. Doing a live broadcast is not particularly revolutionary, in fact we shamelessly stole the idea from Google where the founders do a similar live “town hall” weekly with all their associates globally. But what this platform has allowed is an ongoing, earnest and often spontaneous discussion about our priorities for diversity and inclusion. Not only that, all associates can ask questions in real time about things such as: where we stand on progress against these initiatives, what actions we are taking to achieve our goals and, most importantly, express their opinions, support, frustrations or ideas.
What is most clear is that it will take all of us, not just some of us, to meet our goals on diversity and inclusion. Every decision, every action, every conversation, every meeting, every email, every shared elevator ride, every happy hour, every moment of every day at our agencies must seek to further our diversity agenda. Ultimately, this is about culture, and creating a place where people of all backgrounds, ethnicities, genders, sexual orientations, ages, religions, disabilities and beliefs feel like they can cross our thresholds every day and do the best work of their careers because of their uniqueness, not despite it.
Poet and civil rights activist Maya Angelou once said: “In diversity there is beauty and there is strength.” Indeed, by working together with actions as our remit we can fuel change and assure our agencies and our industry of a beautiful, diverse and strong future.
Tuesday, July 04, 2017
Campaign reported on the inaugural advertising campaign created for Ancestry.com by Droga5—unveiled during the Fourth of July holiday—which was seemingly designed to spark a sense of patriotism, but ultimately feels patronizing. What’s more, the attempt to celebrate diversity actually underscores discrimination. The 60-second spot features a bunch of White and Black people reciting the Declaration of Independence, with a wrap-up line that reads, “Everyone we’ve assembled here is descended from a signer of the Declaration of Independence.” Okay, that explains the apparent absence of Asians, Latinos and Native Americans, among other racial and ethnic groups. But all the Black people kinda highlight the domination and rape that enslaved Africans faced at the hands of our Founding Fathers. And it doesn’t help matters that Droga5 is probably less diverse than the commercial crowd assembled for Ancestry.com. Only in America.
Ancestry’s first work from Droga5 makes a bold statement about America’s diversity
By Kathryn Luttner
The genomics brand brings together 29 descendants of the founding fathers for an atypical July Fourth campaign.
Many marketers have tried to co-opt various social and political issues through their campaigns. Some have been successful, like Corona and 84 Lumber, which tackled immigration head-on by putting President Donald Trump’s proposed border wall front and center of their advertising. And others have whiffed, like Pepsi, which placed Kendall Jenner in the middle of the Black Lives Matter movement.
Today, the genomics brand Ancestry takes aim at America’s diversity conversation with its first work from Droga5.
The 60-second spot titled “Declaration Descendants” mimics the iconic “Declaration of Independence” painting by John Trumbull—but with a diverse twist. It starts with a voiceover, spoken by several people, reading the Declaration of Independence.
Eventually, 29 men and women recite words from the famous document aloud until they all talk in unison. Then, text appears on the screen revealing that everyone—black, white, red-haired, Latina, young and old—featured is a descendant of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, who were all white males. Finally, Ancestry’s new tagline appears: “Unlock your past. Inspire your future.”
“This campaign is literally about speaking to America,” Ancestry CMO Vineet Mehra said. “We are just trying to show that through actual fact, through direct lineage, those founding fathers have left behind descendants that are so diverse, come from so many walks of life, that we hope that we can play a small role in shaping and showing America as it is today.”
For two weeks, Ancestry will air the minute-long ad through digital channels, including a YouTube homepage takeover, and on television. The brand will also erect a digital billboard in Times Square in addition to tapping PR agency Weber Shandwick to direct its influencer strategy, which is still in the works. For those who want to learn more, Droga5 produced video testimonials from those featured in the commercial, like an African American Rev. W. Douglas Banks, whose grandfather is Thomas Jefferson.
“The idea here is to create a system of work where you can watch the film and take it at face value, or you can dig deeper to the individual stories of the descendants featured in the film,” said Droga5’s Co-Head of Strategy Colm Murphy. “That’s supposed to reflect exactly how the product works, which is the deeper you dig into it, the more rewarding it is.”
Ancestry, which first launched in 1983, offers two products: one that maps family trees and another that connects customers to “Genetic Communities” through a DNA sample. Although both are not mentioned in the ad, Mehra said the company’s genealogists used the family tree mapping to find the signers’ descendants. This shift from product-focused to brand awareness marketing is part of the new direction that Mehra—who started in January—is taking the business.
“Number one, we are trying to solidify our role in American culture. We are a well-known brand, but” Ancestry is trying to reach “that iconic brand status,” he said. “Trying to live as a brand that shapes culture, doesn’t just sort of live within it, is something we are really aiming to do here.”
And that’s why Droga5 and Ancestry timed this ad with the July Fourth holiday.
“A lot of brands try to own cultural moments,” Mehra continued. “But I think very few can own a moment like this the way we can because our product directly connects people to these folks that actually signed the Declaration of Independence.”
“What separates our sort of ability to do advertising like this is the notion that these are facts,” he said. “This is not opinion. We are not kind of aggregating diverse groups of people together to just sort of make a point.”
Instead, Mehra claims Ancestry’s goal is to connect people literally through its genealogy tools and metaphorically by showing the founding fathers’ descendants reflect America’s melting pot. Another hope is to create a sense of urgency to sign up for its products.
“We are a brand that’s seeking to not just understand your past—but you saw the tagline—we are really shifting our focus to understand your past to inspire your future,” Mehra said. “We really feel like there is this notion of urgency that we can drive in people. A lot of people say the past is not going anywhere, I’ll do it anytime I want. But if we can reframe the past as a key way to change what you may do tomorrow, I think that’s a big part of what we are trying to do in this campaign.”
Allure magazine’s cover story reads: “This is American Beauty”—and the cover features Muslim model Halima Aden. Gee, this must pose quite a personal conflict for President Donald Trump, who appears to be a bigoted, misogynistic sex addict—Commander-in-Cultural Cluelessness, if you will—and that’s quite a complex and contradictory state to reside in. Regardless, kudos to Allure for the alluring view on the beauty of diversity.
Monday, July 03, 2017
Don’t want to sound like sour grapes, but the WWF advertisement above led to visiting the organization’s website, where the do-gooders declare, “Our mission is to conserve nature and reduce the most pressing threats to the diversity of life on Earth.” However, a peek at the WWF leadership and experts shows that diversity is an endangered concept. To counter reality, the career section insists the following:
World Wildlife Fund (WWF) promotes affirmative action to assure equal employment opportunities for all qualified individuals regardless of age, race, color, sex, religion, national origin, disability, or veteran status.
In the administration of its employment policies and practices, WWF does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, citizenship, age, personal appearance, family responsibilities, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, disability, veteran status, matriculation, political affiliation, or genetic information.
Okay, but maybe the WWF should change its logo by replacing the panda with a polar bear.
Advertising Age reported Wyclef Jean declared, “I Have a Huge Idea”—which has no relevance to “I Have a Dream” or any other historic or inspiring phrase. The recording artist insisted his brand-building concept is top secret, as he fears others might steal the brainstorm. Can’t help but think that Wyclef Jean sounds a lot like Will.i.am.
‘I Have a Huge Idea:’ Wyclef Jean Wants to Work With Brands
By Jack Neff
Wyclef Jean showed at Cannes he’s about as friendly toward marketing as a musician can get. Besides serving on the Entertainment Lions for Music jury, he appeared on a panel about the business side of music alongside FCB Global Chief Creative Officer Susan Credle and executives of his label Heads Music and Shazam, which created an augmented-reality promotion around his new album.
Cannes wants to be careful not to become “the Cannes Music Festival,” Jean said in an interview, but organizers didn’t balk at him performing a brief set at the end of his panel, including an original composition mentioning the Festival of Creativity.
The co-founder or Fugees acknowledged the pivotal role business-side influences have played in his career, including resurrecting a song originally created for the movie “Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights” as “Hips Don’t Lie” with Shakira, one of the best selling singles of the 21st century. And he hinted at aspirations around original compositions for brands.
You did an original composition mentioning Cannes for your presentation. Would you ever create original compositions for brands?
I have a big idea. I have a huge idea. I’ve been talking about this for a couple of years. I don’t want people to take my idea, so I won’t share too much. But the idea of composition is a necessary tool as you move into the future for brands.
Have business partnerships changed what you do creatively?
Sure, they’ve affected it. Somebody has to be a bank. The record companies were the big banks.
But a brand is different. A brand is basically an innovative idea of change that you want to get out to consumers. The sellout [comes from] overreach, if it looks like the brand is overreaching and the artist is overreaching.
You seem friendly toward marketing. Does it come naturally?
The Fugees never fell into the stereotype that if you work for a brand you’re selling out. Selling out means you can’t pay your bills.
From a young age I looked at a brand agency like a record company. So at a record company you have a product manager, who would strategize.
When it’s done right, it can work. Chance the Rapper with Nike won the Gold [Lion]. That was an incredible ad. When the power of the brand uses its initiative with song, nothing can beat that.
A business manager made the relationship with Shakira work, right?
That’s right. Charlie Walk [president of Republic Records], who’s responsible for The Weekend. He came into the studio with an idea: Hey Clef, you from Haiti, she from Colombia, something has to happen. I can feel it. There’s an algorithm there. I say Charlie, I’m sitting on something that’s been sitting for two years. I think this can happen.
What’s been your most successful brand work?
Thus far, I’m not just saying that because they’re here, I would have to say Shazam, not based on emotion, based on analytics. Based on the data, we combined with them, we put out an album called J’ouvert. I hadn’t put out an album in seven years. Hendrix [a song from the album] was streaming over 30 million views in a couple of months.
You’re been Shazamed in more countries than any other artist globally, correct? Any advice to brands about how to be global?
Cut through the noise. You’ve got to be daring. I ran for president of Haiti. All kinds of rumors about me. But I’m a good guy. The advice I can give: The Fugees were not about the music. I said ‘Let’s create a movement, where everyone can be part of it.’
Sunday, July 02, 2017
Campaign reported former Publicis Groupe CEO Maurice Lévy was surprised over the lack of controversy caused by the holding company’s decision to impose a year-long ban on award shows and trade shows as a cost-cutting measure that will ultimately help fund the creation of a new AI platform. Of course, Lévy still managed to attend this year’s overpriced Cannes soiree, despite being in semi-retirement. Not sure why the old man felt surprise over the general ho-hum in response to his enterprise’s latest move. After all, it’s not the first time Publicis Groupe has made stupid financial decisions for digital properties and failed deals. At least Publicis Groupe CEO Arthur Sadoun appears to be displaying fiscal responsibility. Maybe that’s what feels surprising to Lévy, the compulsive spender and corporate simpleton.
Maurice Lévy: I was expecting much more controversy over awards pullout
Maurice Lévy, the chairman of Publicis Groupe’s supervisory board and former chief executive of the French ad giant, has said he was surprised the group’s shock move to pull out of creative awards did not cause more controversy.
By Maisie McCabe
Publicis Groupe’s announcement that it was going to pull out of all creative awards in 2018 and invest the money saved in a new artificial intelligence platform, called Marcel, prompted much discussion at Cannes Lions last week.
When asked if he was surprised by the industry’s reaction Lévy said: “We were expecting some controversy. In fact, we were expecting much more controversy and we found out the vast majority of our clients and the vast majority of our people are considering that it is a bold and positive move.
“I was expecting much more, much more bad noise, bad reaction. I think that the vast majority of the people in our industry have understood that we were taking the right step.”
Ascential, the owner of Cannes Lions, launched an advisory committee “to help shape the future of the festival” on Friday after its share price fell and Publicis Groupe’s move prompted additional comments about the direction of Cannes Lions from WPP chief executive Sir Martin Sorrell, among others.
Lévy said: “For me, the only direction that Cannes Lions can take is to go back to the roots and be mindful of the fact that in a world where advertisers are asking agencies to cut their costs they need to be more reasonable on the cost.”
Since 1971 Lévy has attended Cannes Lions — then known as the International Advertising Film Festival and alternating between Cannes and Venice, Italy — every year. In the “good old days” Lévy stayed for the full week and spent his time in “dark rooms watching the work”.
Speaking during his now annual two-day trip to Cannes, Lévy said: “I understand the fact that things are changing but to be fair it is much less about celebrating the work. It’s less about creativity. It seems much more a kind of fair.
“You can look at [the Snapchat yellow ferris wheel] and have a smile but what it tells to the people is that we are starting to become the fair. There is a big question mark to which extent should be we go that far.”
Lévy denied industry speculation that the French government had phoned a senior Publicis Groupe figure to complain about the group making its announcement during Cannes week, a major contributor to the French town’s economy.
He said: “We had no reaction from the French government. I don’t see why the French government would be involved in this. It has nothing to do with the government.
“Our new president is very clear of the separation between business and government issues. This is a business issue there is no reason why the government should be involved.”
Lévy said the timing was “simply a coincidence”. He continued: “As you know Arthur [Sadoun] has taken office [as Lévy’s successor as chairman and chief executive] on 1 June. He had his seminar in Paris on 17 June with the top people of the group and he then took the first opportunity to announce.
”It’s just a coincidence in calendar. If he had taken office on 1 July he would have made the announcement maybe on Bastille Day [14 July]. It’s just a question of timing.”
Publicis.Sapient, the group’s digital and tech division, will create the Marcel professional assistant system, which is named after Publicis Groupe’s founder Marcel Bleustein-Blanchet. The app will use data to match staff with briefs regardless of what country they work in.
Marcel will give Publicis Groupe staff across the world the opportunity of “being exposed to the most demanding clients”, Lévy said, and give the group “pause to evaluate the most important juries” and tell its clients it is “ all about breakthrough work”.