Sunday, June 30, 2024

16690: SASKO Sandwich Stunt Feels Like Baloney.


Machine in South Africa is responsible for this SASKO campaign celebrating Freedom Day with a limited edition Freedom Loaf—which featured white and brown bread together, prompting people to make Freedom Sandwiches. Here’s the explanation:


Sandwiches have been made the same way throughout the years. It’s always brown on brown, white on white, rye on rye, wholewheat on wholewheat. It’s as if the Group Areas Act* and Immorality Act** were in effect for bread.


On Freedom Day (27 April) 2024, a day commemorating 30 years of democracy in the country, SASKO encouraged South Africans to challenge the norm and free their taste buds. How? By making and enjoying their sandwich using both white and brown slices (or any other kind of bread, for that matter). We revealed a limited edition Freedom Loaf. It got dropped off with influencers and these influencers made Freedom Sandwiches, sharing them on social, encouraging people to make their own. There were 45 pieces of influencer created content, thanks to the Freedom Loaf, helping to increase engagement with SASKO online by 529%. The earned PR was significant and the Freedom Loaf was so well-received, people voiced on social media how they wanted it to become a permanent feature of the SASKO bread range.


*The Group Areas Act: an apartheid era South African law that ensured there were designated areas for a specific race to live and no mixing was allowed with other races.


**The Immorality Act: an apartheid era South African law that made it illegal for whites and people of colour (brown/black) to be in relationships (intimate or otherwise).


Gee, no one thought to create a Nelson Mandeli…?


Saturday, June 29, 2024

16689: It Is Racism, It Is WTF BS.


Estimado in Spain is responsible for this anti-racist campaign for the Ministry of Equality that is explained as follows:


It Is Racism, is a campaign that aims to give voice to people who suffer racial discrimination more assiduously, showing situations of racism and seeking identification and solidarity with the victims.


01. The Challenge


Creation of a Social Awareness campaign against racism and racial discrimination.


With this action we seek to raise awareness towards a message that highlights the fact that many racist excuses are racism.


02. Strategy and idea


Creation of a campaign to disseminate and raise awareness about explicit and more normalized racism to society as a whole.


“I’m not racist, BUUUUUUUT....”, formed by different creative pieces, seeks to highlight what is really hidden behind every “but” and that in many occasions, it is nothing more than a racist attitude. A campaign that allows to label and make visible some attitudes that not all society has established as racism, but that can lead to a real racial discrimination based on the contempt of a person or group of people and that, consequently, means a real difference in treatment towards those who suffer it.
The campaign aims to make visible both situations of the act, empathizing with the victim and the aggressor’s excuse, through 5 different situations in the field of housing, education, health, commerce and employment.


In the process of creating the campaign, neurocommunication techniques have been applied in the agency’s own laboratory in conjunction with the Polytechnic University of Valencia. Applying this technique as a pre-test in the creation process, the campaign has been optimized to generate high attention and high interest and focused on provoking the emotions of contempt and anger, emotional activation necessary to get involved in the social cause. The result, measured with neurocommunication biometrics, corrected possible deviations from the objective, not detected in the usual pre-test, improving objectivity and creative effectiveness.


03. Execution


A real narrative that reflects everyday scenes, the campaign is an appeal to people who suffer from racism, as well as to society in general, to identify and report these situations to the existing service of assistance to victims of racial discrimination.


Don’t mean to be critical, BUUUUUUUT… the concept description demonstrates overthinking can lead to underwhelming nonsense.

Friday, June 28, 2024

16688: IPG – R/GA = WTF + BS.

Mediapsssst at MediaPost reported IPG is poised to prune R/GA from the White holding company. Not surprising, as the White digital agency has been experiencing online connection problems for quite some time.


Based on speculation at MediaPost, The Wall Street Journal, and Advertising Age, the enterprise that once declared it was throwing out the traditional DEIBA+ playbook may soon get thrown out of IPG. Interestingly, the frontrunner in negotiations to acquire the firm is based in Bombay, India, meaning R/GA could soon be a non-White-owned White digital agency.


If IPG dumps R/GA, expect a stripper-filled farewell bash.


Is IPG About To Unload R/GA?


By Richard Whitman


IPG has talked to potential buyers for the holding company’s pioneering digital consulting, design and ad agency R/GA, according to several reports.


Earlier today The Wall Street Journal reported that Tata Consulting Services appeared to be the frontrunner in talks to acquire the agency.


An IPG spokesman declined to comment on the “speculation” that R/GA was for sale. 


The company was founded by brothers Richard and Robert Greenberg back in the 1970’s as a production company that utilized then leading-edge computer technology to help make films.


IPG acquired the company in 2001 as part of its M&A deal for True North Communications. By then R/GA was a leader in digital marketing and IPG used it to help forge a path in that fast-growing sector.


Richard Greenberg left the firm in the 1980s to pursue other interests. Bob Greenberg stepped down from the CEO post in 2018.


The agency excelled in reinventing itself often to keep pace with the fast-changing digital marketing landscape.


However, over the past couple years the firm has struggled to meet changing client needs, a similar problem for IPG’s other well-known and long-held digital agency, Huge.


Both agencies were cited last year as part of the reason for IPG’s dwindling organic revenue growth, along with sharp client cutbacks in the technology sector.

Thursday, June 27, 2024

16687: General Motors Rides Into General Market With New White Advertising Agencies.


MediaPost reported General Motors is driving with new White advertising agencies, including Anomaly, Mother, Preacher, and 72andSunny. The content did not feature any mention of non-White advertising agencies in the revised roster—or color commentary from Byron Allen.


General Motors Chooses New Agency Partners


By Tanya Gazdik


General Motors is switching up its agency roster in what it says is a quest to develop creative that prompts the automaker to rise to the top of vehicle purchase consideration lists.


“GM is building a modern global marketing model to ensure customers consider GM vehicles first, today and in the future,” says Molly Peck, global chief transformation officer at General Motors.


The model includes a mix of current and new agencies.


This includes a new relationship with agencies “designed to deliver fresh, breakthrough creative” including Anomaly, Mother, Preacher and 72andSunny, the automaker said in a statement to Marketing Daily.


They will be supported by MediaMonks “which will bring a modern approach to real-time, efficient content development.”


These agencies will be joined by Omnicom Precision Marketing Group, which will serve as GM’s lead agency for CRM, and Dentsu, which will remain the automaker’s lead media agency.


Chevrolet’s incumbent is Interpublic’s Commonwealth/McCann, while Publicis Groupe’s Leo Burnett has handled creative for Buick, GMC and Cadillac. Both holding companies remain on the automaker’s agency roster.


Leo Burnett will continue to support pieces of the GM business (customer care and after sales and some global work), as will Commonwealth (continuing at a reduced scope for 2024) and McCann (GM brand and corporate), according to a GM spokesperson.


Anomaly will have lead duties on Chevy, Mother will lead Buick, 72andSunny has Cadillac and Preacher gets GMC.


While the agencies have some brand duties, GM is moving away from an AOR structure.


“The agencies above will support those specific areas of the business while Media.Monks will work across agencies and brands to support day-to-day operations and helping brands connect with customers faster and more efficiently with their messaging/creative,” according to the automaker.


Mother called the review “one of the hottest pitches of the year.”


“From the start of the pitch process, we shared a similar energy, ambition and collaborative spirit with the Buick team,” the agency said in a statement. “Together, we hope to create a fresh and vibrant platform, for a fast growing brand that operates by a different marketing playbook and exudes a deserved confidence in their vehicles. It feels like an assignment that was made for Mother.”


These changes conclude a review that began in January under Global Senior VP and Chief Marketing Officer Norm de Greve. GM worked with SnapPoint on the review process, a GM spokesperson confirmed.


Last month, GM selected Stream Companies as an approved digital advertising and SEO partner in GM’s Dealer Digital Solution Program, servicing more than 4,000 Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, and Cadillac dealerships.


The automaker is extending the opportunity for all eligible dealerships to leverage matching funds for covering the expenses of Stream Digital Advertising and SEO services. The program offers dealers access to a collection of digital products and services aimed at driving sales and service business.


The program allows retailers to better identify website visitors, market to past clients and future shoppers and measure advertising in new ways.

Wednesday, June 26, 2024

16686: Adland’s Systemic Racism Repeats In New York, New York.

Mediapsssst at MediaPost spotlighted a report from the Center for an Urban Future (CUF) in New York City, presenting proposals to expand access to careers in Adland for New Yorkers of color.


Has this organization contacted the New York City Commission on Human Rights for a few pointers?


With all due respect, the CUF report reads like a student essay compared to the work done by the New York City Commission on Human Rights, along with Cyrus Mehri and the Madison Avenue Project.


Hard to imagine CUF will fare better than the aforementioned entities—who only achieved temporary success at best—as systemic racism has proven to be a powerful force in Adland. Plus, CUF is not being nearly as assertive in its ambitions. Time will tell.


Report: How To Fix Madison Avenue’s Diversity Problem


By Richard Whitman, Columnist


A new report from a New York City thinktank indicates that the advertising industry remains one of the least diverse sectors in the city.


That’s not new. The city has been complaining about poor Adland diversity numbers for decades.


What’s interesting about the report is some of the ideas it offers to improve the situation.


The report, from the Center For An Urban Future, recommends that city and state leaders expand access to advertising careers in New York City through a series of investments, including an “Advertising Talent Pipeline,” modeled on the successful Tech Talent Pipeline.


And the report also gives a shoutout to some programs that appear to be working like the 4A’s Foundation’s Multicultural Advertising Internship Program and “promising steps” taken by Horizon Media to combine career exploration in high schools with paid internships that lead to jobs.


The city and the industry should redouble efforts to “promote, replicate, and scale up industry efforts that are already working,” like the above-referenced efforts, per the report.

Tuesday, June 25, 2024

16685: A Guide To Understanding Exclusivity At Cannes.


Campaign published a performative PR perspective on a ‘difficult yet essential subject’—sexual harassment at Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity.


Seems White women are damsels in distress at the iconic awards soiree. Although their alleged trials and tribulations pale in comparison to the bullshit thrown at women of color.


A couple of advocacy groups teamed up to create a guide to understanding sexual harassment. Yeah, that should solve matters. Expect opportunistic morons to submit the heat shield for a Glass Lion.


To underscore how White women are prized and prioritized over racial and ethnic groups, it should be noted that no one has volunteered to publish a Green Book for non-White festival attendees.


Oh, and security should’ve kept an eye on all FCB and former DraftFCB visitors.


Sexual harassment at Cannes: a ‘difficult yet essential subject’


By Karen Stacey


There are a lot of inspiring lessons to be learned at Cannes, but we shouldn’t ever let the hectic schedule and fun make us lose sight of what is truly important; taking personal responsibility for our actions, and taking responsibility for those around us.


So, before we all get our delegate badges and start scheduling talks and seminars, it’s vital that we’re all fully educated about this difficult yet essential subject. This isn’t just for visitors and managers on the ground, it goes for senior leaders back home, too.


We know that, sadly, sexual harassment still exists and it can happen anywhere, but the risks rise when alcohol is free-flowing and people are away from home. We also know that what starts as a fun trip can quickly become a nightmare for anyone who experiences sexual harassment.


That’s why this year, Cannes Lions has teamed up with TimeTo and Wildstorm PR to create an invaluable guide to understanding the issues around sexual harassment. Not just in Cannes, but anywhere outside of the office where the drink is flowing and the inhibitions are dropping.


The move is designed to create and foster a supportive environment of respect and accountability, where anyone attending in any capacity feels secure and empowered to enjoy themselves safely and to speak up about sexual harassment, should they need to.


The onus shouldn’t solely be on individuals. People need to trust that employers, event organisers and others with a duty of care are looking out for them. Everyone attending must play a part in addressing this issue – either by stepping in if they see it happening, or stopping if they are perpetrating it.


That is what this guide does so well. It helps navigate the grey areas around sexual harassment by splitting its core messaging into three distinct sections tailored to employers, employees and delegates. Each section offers a specific focus for that audience and provides guidance for before, during, and after the festival.


Examples of guidance include advice before Cannes for senior leaders, managers and HR to establish and make clear policies and procedures; ensuring policies including anti-harassment guidance; outlining what constitutes harassment; the consequences for engaging in such behaviour; and the procedures for reporting incidents.


It also offers helpful advice for all attendees at Cannes, including connecting with others and having a support system for uncomfortable situations. This year, the WACL Empower Café provides a safe space for those affected by sexual harassment, offering guidance on the next steps alongside the guide’s information.


Additionally, it addresses the barriers to reporting sexual harassment. Incidents that occur at the event may not be reported until participants have returned to the UK, highlighting the importance of creating a supportive environment in the moment for any disclosures.


If you notice a friend or colleague behaving in a way that’s offensive or inappropriate, and you feel safe addressing it, speak up. You can let them know that their behaviour isn’t acceptable and point out the impact. Sometimes, people need a new perspective on their actions.


So, when you’re packing your slides or flip-flops and sunscreen or picking up your lanyard, grab the guide as well.


But if you really feel you won’t get anything from it or that you don’t have the time, then maybe just take a few seconds while you’re at passport control or queueing for croissants and think about these things:


• Take the safety of your team seriously


• Lead by example


• Put guardrails in place


• Take your own safety seriously


• Treat people politely and like human beings


• Don’t make people feel awkward – don’t force them to have another drink, listen to what they are saying and read their responses.


It’s basically as simple as treating everyone you meet with respect.


Karen Stacey is the chief executive of Digital Cinema Media, and outgoing vice-president and incoming president of WACL


Monday, June 24, 2024

16684: Detecting BS—And Deflecting Accountability—At Publicis Groupe.


As part of its coverage for Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, Campaign published perspectives from holding company CEOs on making the business case for creativity investment in the wondrous age of AI.


The series reads like essays drafted by the holding companies’ respective PR departments—although it would have been more appropriate to generate the corporate content via AI.


Regardless, Publicis Groupe Chairman and CEO Arthur Sadoun leveraged the opportunity to create shameless self-promotion for his White holding company, unveiling a “BS detector bot”—while opening and closing by declaring, “Imagine what we could achieve if we all took the BS out of AI.”


For starters, if the BS detector bot were to directly engage with Publicis Groupe, it would explode from being overloaded by the endless bullshit that the White holding company excretes.


To make a sloppy segue, Sadoun’s declaration—Imagine what we could achieve if we all took the BS out of AI—must be explored through the lens of AI standing for Artificial Inclusivity.


Imagine if Adland—or even just Publicis Groupe—took the BS out of DEIBA+ commitments. Envision the elimination of performative PR, heat shields, Human Heat Shields, underfunded diversity budgets, crumbs, delegating diversity, diversity committees, embryo recruitment, ERGs, broken promises, faux dedication, outright lies, and more.


Indeed, it’s impossible to consider such a scenario, as the foundation of AI is BS.


Hell, Publicis Groupe absolutely prioritizes Artificial Intelligence well ahead of diversity, equity, inclusion, belonging, allyship, justice, etc. Technology trumps responsibility, accountability, and respect.


Systemic racism is the ultimate achievement.


Imagine what we could achieve if we took the BS out of AI


By Arthur Sadoun


“In reality, it is not creativity that evolves: it stays the same. It is everything else that grows around it.”


Those words are as true today as they were in 1958 when Marcel Bleustein-Blanchet, the founder of Publicis, first said them.


Creativity, its power and its importance at our group has never changed. And neither has the case we make for investing in it: creativity is the added value that we bring, which has the ability to transform the future of our clients’ businesses.


It is how a small hotshop, created in Montmartre almost 100 years ago, became the market leader on every front today.


What does change, as our founder said, is how we anticipate and adapt to everything “that evolves around” creativity. It won’t come as a surprise when I say that, right now, this means artificial intelligence.


It’s everywhere in our industry. We’re all caught up in announcing the same “exclusive” partnerships, everyone is obsessed by generative AI content, and each prediction and promise around AI seems more overblown than the last.


The AI revolution has created some hype, a bit of fear, and – excuse my French – a lot of BS. And you don’t just have to take my word for it, you can click here to see what I mean.


On one side you have the Sam Altmans of the world, who are prophesying that AI will kill off our entire industry. That’s BS.


Anyone who thinks AI will take our jobs or replace human creativity is lacking in imagination, foresight or both.


At Publicis, we have been putting AI at the heart of our operations and into the hands of our people since 2017.


In that time, we’ve gone from a 70,000-strong organisation to 100,000, with several thousand more people set to join us this year.


Then you have those in our industry who position AI as the great saviour of all their business challenges and organisational woes.


Let’s be honest, AI is not the solution to siloed legacy structures and a lack of capabilities. So that’s BS, too.


The truth is AI can only be fully leveraged if you have unique proprietary data, a single infrastructure and tech innovation expertise.


At Publicis, when others were buying back shares, we were buying technology and data, investing more than €9bn in the acquisitions of Sapient and Epsilon.


We also did the hard work of simplifying our organization, putting into place the Power of One.


And we can’t forget how we radically changed our culture, implementing AI for all of our people with our Marcel platform, long before AI was de rigeur.


Today, seven years after we launched Marcel in Cannes, we’re back on the Croisette to take the BS out of AI.


To hold ourselves accountable, we have created a BS detector bot that will translate the AI hype and jargon clients encounter into straight-up refreshing talk, while also prompting critical questions to ask themselves and their partners – starting with us.


We are also holding 30 closed-door sessions for clients to share real AI apps, customised to their specific industries, driving to real business outcomes, not cute gen AI output.


Everyone talks about investing in creativity. In Cannes, we all dedicate a lot of time, money, and carbon emissions to celebrate it. But, so far, we haven’t been having the right conversations about what it takes to get the best out of AI for creativity that drives business.


So let’s check ourselves, get off the AI hype loop and imagine what we could achieve if we all took the BS out of AI.


Arthur Sadoun is the chairman and chief executive of Publicis Groupe