Monday, July 31, 2023

16335: Illustrating Gender Inequality, Emphasizing General Inequality—Re-envisioned.


Here’s a further enhancement of the illustration on gender pay gaps spotlighted in the previous post. While there’s salary inequality between White men and White women in Adland, people of color would appear below the surface—in a hole where crumbs are sparingly dumped. And waaaay above it all is a clan predominately comprised of White men (Dentsu CEO not depicted) pocketing significantly more loot than anyone.

Sunday, July 30, 2023

16334: Illustrating Gender Inequality, Emphasizing General Inequality.


Campaign published a story showing that Omnicom, Publicis Groupe, and WPP report the widest gender pay gaps across Adland. The piece was embellished by an illustration (depicted above) featuring a White man and White woman standing on uneven columns symbolizing the monetary inequalities. People of color are not visible—unintentionally and accurately—as their crumb columns would be underground.

Saturday, July 29, 2023

16333: Replacing Phone Addiction With Alcohol Addiction…?

Wine brand Chateau Ste Michelle and Team One are responsible for this OOH campaign targeting audiences at music venues—asking people to put down their mobile devices and raise a glass instead. Which will undoubtedly lead to more drunken texts. Brilliant.

Friday, July 28, 2023

16332: Jell-O Gets Jiggly With It.


Advertising Age reported Jell-O is rebranding to attract younger parents and kids. A press release announced:


“The new fruit and pudding imagery unleashes imaginations by shifting away from literal depictions of the product to re-imagining how the flavors can come to life in a playful, sensorial way, transporting customers into the Jell-O world of jiggly goodness.”


There are no plans to reconnect with Bill Cosby—while his spokesperson duties included hyping Jell-O Jigglers, his undoing arguably and allegedly resulted from an obsession with jiggly goodness.


Thursday, July 27, 2023

16331: Making The Call On Award Show Advertising.


Don’t mean to sound too critical, but aside from quick dunks via an alley-oop pass or air ball grab, most buzzer beaters involve jump shots or long-range heaves—not the type of hang time move depicted here. Also, if the deadline isn’t until September 8, is the buzzer beater term even appropriate?


Is this banner another example of award show advertising that’s not award worthy? Or simply the work of a creative team that should be benched?

Wednesday, July 26, 2023

16330: PepsiCo Performative PR.

Sports Illustrated reported PepsiCo expanded its partnership with the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) and increased its investment in HBCUs. Given Coca-Cola’s self-proclaimed unwavering dedication to HBCUs, expect Cola Wars to break out at stadiums.


Although the performative patronizing is countered by both brands’ long-standing partnerships with White advertising agencies.


SWAC, PepsiCo Expanded Partnership, Increases HBCU Investment


The SWAC announces its new expanded partnership with PepsiCo and their increased investment to HBCUs.


By Kyle T. Mosley


BIRMINGHAM, AL – PepsiCo is expanding its relationship with the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC), more than doubling its investment in the premiere HBCU conference as it enters a six-year title partnership as the first-ever exclusive beverage, sports performance product and salty snacks sponsor of SWAC Football, Basketball, Olympic Sports and eSports through 2029.


Building on its 2020 commitment as an exclusive beverage partner, the new title sponsorship deal makes PepsiCo the main carbonated soft drink, non-carbonated soft drink, sports performance drink and ready-to-eat snack foods provider of the conference, reaching twelve schools across the south in six states. With eight brands engaged, the deal leverages the power of PepsiCo’s diverse portfolio, mirroring the company’s overall approach to professional sports partnerships in a continued show of support for HBCUs.


PepsiCo’s brands will show up in an even bigger and better way on the sidelines, in-game, on broadcast and more throughout each sports’ season and during championship events, including a presence across four SWAC Classics. Fans can expect to see Pepsi Zero Sugar, Gatorade, Doritos and Tostitos throughout the football season; STARRY, Gatorade and Ruffles for basketball; Gatorade for Olympic sports; and Rockstar Energy Drink and MTN DEW for eSports. As part of the expanded deal, PepsiCo will be the title partner of the championship trophy at both the SWAC Football Championship and SWAC Men’s and Women’s Basketball Tournament with increased experiential moments for fans and prominent branding on the football field during the championship game as well as on the basketball court.


“PepsiCo’s expanded enterprise-wide partnership with SWAC reinforces the value of our increased investment in HBCUs and commitment to uplifting diverse talent as part of our efforts to amplify equity within our business and communities,” said Kent Montgomery, Senior Vice President, Industry Relations and Multicultural Development, PepsiCo. “Uniting our powerhouse brands across the PepsiCo portfolio to genuinely connect with HBCUs offers a unique opportunity to elevate the culture, bring authentic and engaging experiences to fans, and provide valuable career development opportunities to invest in students’ futures.”


As part of the deal, PepsiCo will continue to amplify and support HBCUs with on-site mentorship and recruitment opportunities. A portion of the yearly investment will go directly to SWAC schools to fund scholarships that open the door to greater economic opportunity for students.


“The Southwestern Athletic Conference is pleased to partner with PepsiCo and its impressive portfolio of brands to enhance our student and fan experience starting this season with much needed improvements across the conference,” said SWAC Commissioner Dr. Charles McClelland. “We’re excited to have PepsiCo and its iconic brands on board with us for the next six years as we continue to work together to uplift and bring new opportunities to our communities.”


The partnership will come to life later this year with a tour as the 2023-2024 season kicks off. PepsiCo will activate on-the-ground and in media across four SWAC Classics – Orange Blossom Classic, State Fair Classic, The Pepsi SWAC Classic Presented by GM and Florida Classic – as well as other HBCU campuses during the upcoming football season.

Tuesday, July 25, 2023

16329: Overreaction Of The Week. reported Cap’n Crunch underwent a transformation, receiving a four-striped uniform and five fingers. The character’s original three-striped jacket—which was called out many years ago—signified that he held a commander ranking, which is one naval level below a captain. In short, he’s been impersonating an officer forever. Yet he’s clearly avoiding charges by taking advantage of his White privilege. Aunt Jemima and Rastus would never have gotten away with that—and Uncle Ben was quietly stripped of his CEO role.


Cap’n Crunch Debuts New Four-Stripe Uniform


The iconic cereal character finally has a uniform befitting his captain’s rank.


By Nicole Drum


For years, fans of Cap’n Crunch have had one persistent complaint about the iconic cereal icon's jacket. The Cap’n’s jacket has for years only featured three stripes, which in naval terms means he’s only a commander — the rank below captain. Now, in celebration of the Cap’n’s 60th birthday this year, he’s getting a whole new look and finally getting the stripes to match his rank. On Thursday, Cap’n Crunch unveiled the Cap’n’s new look with a brand-new jacket featuring four-striped sleeves fit for a captain.


The beloved cereal character’s new look will get its big debut outside San Diego Comic-Con where, in a nod to his 60th birthday this year, 60 of his “Crunchmates” will appear dressed as the Cap’n himself complete with the new four-stripe look. You can check it the new look [above].


“With the celebration of Cap’n Crunch’s 60th birthday this year, we thought it was only fitting to commemorate his epic 60 years of tasty adventures with a fresh new look,” says Kristin Kroepfl, Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer of Quaker Foods North America at PepsiCo. “What better way to unveil the beloved Cap’n Crunch’s new four-striped look than with his cosplaying Crunchmates around one of the most iconic pop culture events of the year?!”


The unveiling of the new look isn’t exactly a surprise. Cap’n Crunch’s official social media channels have been teasing the new look for a few days, hinting at the addition of the fourth strip that makes him “officially” a captain. The new look will roll out on cereal boxes, treat bars and more in stores nationwide.


Cap’n Crunch getting a new look is just the latest celebration of the cereal mascot’s 60th birthday this year. Earlier this year, the Cap’n celebrated six decades of breakfast adventure by hosting a birthday bash at Coachella.

Monday, July 24, 2023

16328: Antidotes & Anti-DE&I.


Digiday Media’s Worklife published an instructional exposition presenting “5 antidotes to quiet quitting”—which made zero references to diversity, equity, or inclusion, despite current research showing that the majority of employees want to work for a company with DE&I among its core values. Although in Adland, most White advertising agencies don’t view DE&I as an antidote—but rather, a poison.


Here are 5 antidotes to quiet quitting


By Cloey Callahan


Even before it became a buzzword, quiet quitting seeped into workplaces that didn’t care to consider how important employee engagement really is.


The act of quiet quitting, when an employee feels disconnected from the workplace and quits the idea of going above and beyond, gained steam over the past year. And as a trend, it’s very much alive and well. A Gallup study found that at least half of the U.S. workforce is quiet quitting. The report found that the ratio of engaged to actively disengaged employees is 1.8 to 1, the lowest in almost a decade. That decline in engagement is especially high among Gen Z and younger millennials. But these are the same folks who are also the future of the workforce. So what can be done to help revive that interest in the workplace and boost engagement?


After speaking to numerous workplace experts and leaders, we curated a list of the top five antidotes that they say could be the answer to re-engaging employees.


1. Provide learning and development opportunities


This is a global problem. In the U.K., 86% of 2,000 workers said that they would work for their employer for longer if they were given more L&D opportunities, and 94% felt that training would benefit them and the company at large, per a report from e-learning solutions platform imc.


Jeff Dewing, founder & CEO of Cloudfm, a facilities management and consultancy services company, argues that it’s the employer’s responsibility to combat quiet quitting and that L&D can be a significant piece of the puzzle.


“Business leaders must create space for their employees to explore the areas they are interested in,” said Dewing. “Refusing to do so will land your team on the road to apathy and quiet quitting.”


Take Google’s famous 20% rule for example. It suggests that at least 20% of workers’ time should be on a passion project of their own choosing. It’s led to the creation of products like Gmail, AdSense and Google News.


Esther Cohen, director of marketing at Workamajig, recommends that employees ask about career development opportunities directly and to have an understanding of the company’s policies for promotions.


“Work directly with your manager to reach your next desired role, defining clear action steps within an achievable timeframe,” said Cohen.


2. Offer good benefits, fair salary and flexible working


It’s no secret that a fair pair goes a long way. Alongside quiet quitting is the trend of “acting your wage,” where workers only do as much as they feel is appropriate to what they are being paid. With a fair salary, and a full benefits package, it makes a difference in how engaged that worker might be. When a company puts their money where their mouth is, it helps to show just how much they actually do value their employees.


“Keeping employees motivated, productive, and engaged at work requires a combination of factors,” said Danielle Hipwell, director of people experience at automated messaging platform “Comprehensive benefits such as PTO, health benefits, and competitive pay are one piece of the puzzle.”


On top of this, though, is flexibility in work schedules and places. If a company is forcing an employee to return to the office, it might leave them with feelings of resentment and doing less in exchange for removing the benefit of working from home.


“I refuse to force employees back into the office,” said Dewing. “The future of work is about collaboration, not coercion.”


3. Conduct stay interviews and train bosses


Having an annual performance review no longer cuts it. Checking in with employees frequently is extremely important to prevent quiet quitting and to gauge how an employee is feeling. It’s a heavy lift for managers, who might be fighting feelings of quiet quitting themselves, but an important one.


Gallup’s research finds the best requirement and habit to develop for successful managers is having one meaningful conversation per week with each team member that lasts 15 to 30 minutes. At the end of the day, managers are in a position to know employees as individuals, including their life experiences, strengths and goals.


“Use regular one-to-one’s to check that your workers are engaged with their position and together agree on goals that stretch their abilities together,” said Jill Cotton, a career trends expert at classifieds site Gumtree.


Recent research from U.S. software firm UKG found that people managers have more impact on employee mental health than even our doctors and therapists do, and the same impact as our spouses and partners.


“We have to lean in with our managers, helping them with their responsibility to create engaging work cultures and help people find purpose at work,” said Pat Wadors, UKG’s chief people officer. “Investing in your people managers to provide the training and resources they need to be strong, agile leaders is how to ensure employees find their purpose – and deliver results – is key to preventing quiet quitting.”


She suggests that it’s time for managers to throw out the script and to just be human and act with authenticity.


4. Build a culture of psychological safety to build strong teams


Those one-to-one conversations require a lot of trust between the manager and the employee so that it goes past just the surface level.


“Quiet quitting can be resolved by creating an environment underpinned by psychological safety, where encouraging employees to speak up and giving them the reassurance that they will be listened to restores engagement and motivation,” said Dr Alexandra Dobra-Kiel, innovation and strategy director at Behave Consultancy. “It’s not about always being comfortable, but about fostering the ability to face difficulty head on.”


Creating that environment means having established formal and informal feedback channels to share ideas, lending ears, and having mechanisms to show that the suggestions are then implemented. That aspect of listening might seem like common sense, but it isn’t always.


“It’s time for leaders to start listening, and managers and business owners should show their employees that they are valued members of a team by expressing appreciation, listening to their needs and addressing their concerns directly when they can,” said Nick Shah, CEO and Founder of Peterson Technology Partners, an IT recruiting and consulting firm based in Chicago. “Today’s workers value empathy, and a leader who can share their emotions with their team is more likely to create a responsive, emotionally clued-in and productive workplace.”


Barnaby Lashbrooke, founder and director of virtual assistant company Time Etc, believes that if someone has clearly checked out and enthusiasm levels have dropped below their baseline, there is likely a good reason.


“It might be something going on at home that’s stolen their focus, in which case, you’ll need to offer space and emotional support,” said Lashbrooke. “Or the problem could be internal. Perhaps that person is feeling underwhelmed by the response to their previous efforts of going above and beyond. In which case you, as an employer, need to get better at recognition and reward.”


At Time Etc, they start every day with a short huddle where people in the team are invited to thank others for help and support they’ve given, or for exceeding expectations on a task or project.


5. Come together for company offsites or retreats


Whether you’re working remotely or in the office, an offsite can serve as the perfect opportunity for teams to reconnect in a new way that’s different from their usual space. It helps create a change from the daily routine and offers a space for workers to come together, which can boost engagement in both the short and long term.


“It doesn’t depend on virtual or not,” said Marco Zappacosta, CEO at home management platform Thumbtack. “It’s management effectiveness, organizational effectiveness and how impactful your cultural norms are like getting together in person and having events to bring about the environment you want. That’s why we’re seeing the lowest attrition rate this half in years. That’s no accident.”


Thumbtack’s new employee sentiment data found that more than 91% of team members who attended global offsites in the first half of 2023 reported leaving with deeper relationships and found it to be a valuable use of their time.


“It’s necessary to invest in curated, thoughtful, purposeful events to bring people together, which don’t take that many calendar days but have a huge impact on engagement, excitement and connection,” said Zappacosta.


Alysia Young, head senior director of employee experience at Thumbtack, doubles down on the importance of connection. “It all boils down to connection, and humans need and want to connect with each other. There’s only so much we can do on Zoom.”


“Being intentional about this time that we bring people together has allowed us to achieve such great results in a short amount of time,” said Young.

Sunday, July 23, 2023

16327: Bimbo Is The Bread Of Life…?


Does this Bimbo campaign from McCann Colombia preach that eating the toast is a spiritual experience? It’s a conceptual disaster of biblical proportions.


Saturday, July 22, 2023

16326: Vaginal Vandalism…?


Boost Brand Accelerator in Peru is responsible for this Nosotras campaign titled “Uterus Invasion”—which is explained as follows:


Our streets are full of representations of penises and phallic imagery, but why don’t we ever see the women’s side?


We teamed up with 3 urban artists to show us that it shouldn’t be a taboo.


Who’s the dick that viewed this as gender equality?


Friday, July 21, 2023

16325: The Latest 4As Survey In Black & White Shows More Whites & Less Blacks.


Advertising Age reported on a 4As survey that exposed the obvious: White advertising agencies owned and/or operated by White people elevated to 90.2% in 2022—an increase of over 20% versus 2021. It’s a safe bet the figure was sparked by shops owned and/or operated by White women under the legal smokescreen of diversity vendors. Additionally, multicultural marketing—which typically offers minority-owned opportunities—is diminishing.


Considering how Adland’s latest faux DE&I dedication was ignited by milestones and movements like Black Lives Matter, it’s worth examining the survey results pertaining to the historically underrepresented group. While there was a bump in entry-level hiring—undoubtedly fueled by embryo recruitment schemes—the number of senior-level Blacks declined. However, Blacks led with 52.94% of Chief Diversity Officer positions. Of course they did.


Although not officially recorded, the 4As survey ultimately measured the rise of systemic racism—which probably jumped to well above 100%.


Agencies Owned Or Run By White Execs Jump To 90%, 4A’s Diversity Report Finds


Survey shows diversity actually worsened in some areas, such as creative, last year


By Lindsay Rittenhouse


Despite all the talk about improving the industry’s diversity problem, a new report from the 4A’s finds not much progress has been made, especially at the leadership level.


The number of agencies owned or run by white CEOs jumped to 90.2% in 2022 from 73% in 2021, and representation for owners and CEOs across other ethnicities dropped, according to the Diversity in Agencies Survey for 2022.


According to the report, 1.5% of CEOs or agency owners were Asian in 2022, a significant falloff from 12% in 2021; 0.75% were Black or African American, down from 5% in 2021; and 5.26% were Hispanic, Latino, Latina or LatinX, nearly half the 10% reported in 2021.


Of agency owners reporting in the survey, 1.5% were of two or more ethnicities, up compared to none in 2021.


If the percentages are going to be improved, 4A’s CEO and President Marla Kaplowitz said the industry will have to do more to help underrepresented ad professionals “start those new agencies,” and get the capital to do so.


The survey found that some progress has been made in certain areas, including in Hispanic representation, and there remains strong female representation across the industry. But advertising remains predominantly white and some underrepresented groups declined in numbers across certain disciplines.


The 4A’s received staff diversity data from 116 agencies for the survey; 34% were holding company-owned and nearly 66% were independent.


Kaplowitz said the survey is “fairly representative,” but added, “I was disappointed we didn’t have more agencies participate." She noted that some holding companies said they would report their own data on their own time, while others simply said they were too busy to collect the data. “Even at the end, I was putting out notes to agency leaders asking them to participate.”


The number of female ad professionals rose slightly to 61.01% in 2022 from 60.36% in 2021, with the number of male employees at 38.7% in 2022 and 38.8% in 2021.


“Women have been inching up in terms of being much more dominant,” Kaplowitz said. She noted that the number of women decreases at the leadership level, but said the survey did not break down seniority by gender.


The total employee population of the agencies surveyed broken down by race and ethnicity in 2022, per the 4A’s, was as follows: 0.3% were Native American and Pacific Islander; 11.33% were Asian; 6.99% were Black or African American; 64.63% were white; 12.41% were Hispanic or LatinX; 0.18% were Middle Eastern; 2.88% were of two or more ethnicities; and 1.27% were from “other, not specified.”


Kaplowitz said these numbers should serve as a reminder to agency leaders that they need to drive change rather than treat diversity as a conversation to be had at industry conferences and awards shows. “I worry we’re having the same conversation and not moving it forward,” she said.


“The goal of this is to make sure our industry is representative of the communities we serve,” said Tahlisha Williams, executive VP of the 4A’s talent, equity and learning solutions, adding that the industry’s greatest growth opportunity is to unify around advancing DE&I and making it a business imperative.


Race and ethnicity by level and discipline


The survey also broke down various levels of seniority and disciplines within agencies by race and ethnicity.


The numbers on entry-level employees by race and ethnicity in 2022 were as follows: 0.5% were Native American and Pacific Islander, compared to none in 2021; 15.82% were Asian, an increase from 14.17% in 2021; 11.38% were Black or African American, up from 10.49% in 2021; 48.46% were white, down from 55.77% in 2021; 18.96% were Hispanic or LatinX, up from 15.01% in 2021; 0.23% were Middle Eastern, compared to none in 2021; 3.81% were of two or more races, compared to none in 2021; and 0.83% were reported in the “other, not specified” group, compared to 4.56% in 2021.


The numbers on VP, senior VP, managing director or equivalent by race and ethnicity for 2022: 0.07% were Native American and Pacific Islander, compared to none in 2021; 8.71% were Asian, slightly up from 8.4% in 2021; 3.32% were Black or African American, a decline from 3.65% in 2021; 77.56% were white, compared to 79.49% in 2021; 6.9% were Hispanic or LatinX, up from 5.48% in 2021; 0.04% were Middle Eastern, compared to none in 2021; 1.84% were of two or more ethnicities, compared to none in 2021; and 1.55% were “other, not specified,” compared to 2.99% in 2021.


The majority (80.7%) of C-suite and executives in 2022 were white. The survey did not have stats from 2021 to compare, because this category in last year’s survey included stats on owners and CEOs that are now broken out separately. Only 0.64% of executives in 2022 were Alaskan Native, Hawaiian, Native American and Pacific Islander; 7.64% were Asian; 2.97% were Black or African American; 5.41% were Hispanic, Latino, Latina or LatinX; 0.21% were Middle Eastern; 1.38% were of two or more ethnicities; and 1.06% were “other, not specified.”


Black or African American professionals held the most diversity and inclusion officer titles (52.94%) in 2022, per the survey, while 5.88% with the title were Asian; 29.41% were Hispanic, Latino, Latina, or LatinX; 11.76% were of two or more ethnicities; and none were white.


Kaplowitz said it shouldn’t be “incumbent on people of color to have to drive that change.”


The survey showed that representation across certain groups, most dramatically among Asian employees, declined in certain disciplines.


The numbers for creative roles by race and ethnicity for 2022 were as follows: 0.27% were Native American and Pacific Islander, compared to none in 2021; 8.79% were Asian, compared to 8.55% in 2021; 4.68% were Black or African American, compared to 4.4% in 2021; 68.04% were white, down from 73.2% in 2021; 13.75% were Hispanic or LatinX, up from 9.54% in 2021; 0.27% were Middle Eastern, compared to none in 2021; 2.9% were of two or more ethnicities, compared to none in 2021; and 1.29% were “other, not specified,” compared to 4.31% in 2021.


The numbers for social media roles by race and ethnicity for 2022 were as follows: 0.29% were Native American and Pacific Islander, compared to none in 2021; 12.1% were Asian, down from 16.16% in 2021; 7.12% were Black or African American, down from 7.96% in 2021; 62.83% were white, up from 59.59% in 2021; 11.9% were Hispanic or LatinX, up from 10.25% in 2021; 0.2% were Middle Eastern, compared to none in 2021; 4.59% were of two or more ethnicities, compared to none in 2021; and 0.98% were “other, not specified,” down from 6.03% in 2021.


LGBTQ+ data increases


The number of agencies that reported data on LGBTQ+ representation increased to 33% in 2022. The data is difficult to report because many LGBTQ+ professionals choose not to self-identify.


Kaplowitz said the uptick in that data is a promising sign that agencies are creating cultures where LGBTQ+ employees feel comfortable and safe self-identifying.


The numbers may not be truly representative, as only 33% of agencies disclosed the data on LGBTQ+ staffers, but the report found that the number of bisexual professionals rose to 4.65% in 2022 from .10% in 2021; gay professionals rose to 11.52% in 2022 from 0.50% in 2021; 0.09% identified as transgender in 2022 versus 0.04% in 2021; and 5.54% identified as lesbian in 2022 versus 0.21% in 2021.


The full report is free to access for the 116 agencies that participated, but all other agencies will have to pay to get a copy.