Monday, June 30, 2014

11935: AT&T Calls Up Stereotypes.

This AT&T commercial really supports the argument for rethinking marketing to women in order to end the perpetuation of stereotypes. The depiction of a clumsy, subservient male perpetuates the Stupid Man stereotype too.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

11934: Dismal Diversity In Digital.

The Digiday Agency Innovation Camp held in Vail, Colorado allegedly featured “some of the brightest young minds in the digital advertising space.” Based on the accompanying photo (above), the future of digital is not diverse—perhaps mirroring the top tech companies. However, White female representation appears to be fine, countering the tech companies’ numbers and those who argue there’s a dearth of digital dames.

11933: Hegarty On Digital Taliban.

Campaign published a piece responding to an interview with Sir John Hegarty where the old man remarked, “The new messiahs have come along called ‘digital’…They’re a bit like the Taliban. If you don’t believe in what they believe in, you get taken out and shot.” Nice to see the continuing division between traditional advertising and digital being taken to new heights of ignorance. Comparing digital to the Taliban is old-school shock value at its contrived and clichéd worst. It’s like relating exclusively White advertising agencies to Ku Klux Klan rallies—and Sir John Hegarty to a Grand Wizard. Except the comparisons about White shops and Hegarty are actually pretty accurate, as they’re based in historical fact.

Why Sir John Hegarty is right about the ‘digital Taliban’

By Derek Hill

Derek Hill, founder and designer at digital analytics company eBench, explains why he agrees with Sir John Hegarty’s comment about the aggressive “digital messiahs”.

Sir John Hegarty certainly provoked a response with his “Taliban” remark at the Cannes Lions festival this year. The one that likened the “digital messiahs” so populous with the Taliban. His point was that if “you don’t believe in what they believe in, you get taken out and shot”.

However, Hegarty’s actual quotes from his Cannes interview are easy enough to agree with. In that he doesn’t see many big brand ideas, but instead a focus on “lots of one-offs”. That “at the heart of brands there is a thing called storytelling” but that there’s not sufficient focus on building a relationship between a brand and its audience.

But everything that Hegarty attributes to the “big idea”, apparently best conveyed via TV ads from the likes of John Lewis, is also true of the best digital strategies and content.

Digital is about storytelling and the trick is how you deploy your story and how it unfolds. The big idea that guides a digital brand is a content strategy. And digital is also about building a relationship between a brand and its audience.

Hegarty’s point is that too many people have lost sight of this. This applies to two types of “digital Taliban” in particular:

1) People who say “everything is measurable”

This isn’t true of traditional communications and it’s not true of digital either. It’s always been really hard to know how something will make somebody feel, and that has only become harder with the complexity of digital.

2) People who measure what is in front of them just because they can

Digital is full of metrics that get tracked because they are easy to measure rather than being meaningful (click-through-rates, time-of-day analysis, page views). If you’re not sensitive to what produces a great piece of creative then you’re probably getting measurement wrong.

This data boy agrees with Sir John about the importance of the big idea and storytelling, but this now requires a more enlightened role for measurement where it is like a window to help understand what is happening in the world.

If you need to ask “what does this mean” then the measurement is clunky and is blurring your view.

Instead, great measurement lets you watch stories unfold, just as you’d watch an audience when you tell a real story. It also provides the power of understanding to improve your stories and delivery.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

11932: Bobby Womack (1944-2014).

From The New York Times…

Bobby Womack, Royalty of the Soul Era, Dies at 70

By Paul Vitello

Bobby Womack, who spanned the American soul music era, touring as a gospel singer in the 1950s, playing guitar in Sam Cooke’s backup band in the early ’60s, writing hit songs recorded by Wilson Pickett and the Rolling Stones and composing music that broke onto the pop charts, has died, a spokeswoman for his record label said on Friday night. He was 70.

Sonya Kolowrat, Mr. Womack’s publicist at XL Recordings, said further details about the death were not immediately available.

Mr. Womack, nicknamed the Preacher for his authoritative, church-trained voice and the way he introduced songs with long discourses on life, never had the million-record success of contemporaries like Pickett, Marvin Gaye, Al Green and Otis Redding. His sandpaper vocal style made him more popular in England, where audiences revere what they consider authentic traditional American music, than in the United States.

But the pop stars of his time considered Mr. Womack royalty. His admirers included Keith Richards, Rod Stewart and Stevie Wonder, all of whom acknowledged their debt with guest performances on albums he made in his later years.

Mr. Womack’s 2012 album, “The Bravest Man in the Universe,” is an avant-garde collaboration with a new generation of musicians. It combines old and new material by Mr. Womack, which the British producer Richard Russell and the alternative rock songwriter Damon Albarn mixed with programmed beats, old gospel recordings, samplings of Cooke and other sounds, some played backward or sped up.

The album earned favorable reviews on both sides of the Atlantic. Rolling Stone ranked it No. 36 on its list of the 50 best albums of the year.

“I don’t understand a lot of the things they were doing,” Mr. Womack said of his collaborators in an interview with The Guardian. “I would never have dreamed of doing stuff like that, but I wanted to relate to the people today.”

Mr. Womack had his first major hit in 1964. He was under contract with Cooke’s SAR label when he wrote the song, “It’s All Over Now,” and recorded it with his group, the Valentinos, which consisted of him and four of his brothers. The song was slowly rising on the R&B charts when Cooke told him that a British band called the Rolling Stones had liked it so much that they planned to record it, too.

The song became the Stones’ first No. 1 single in Britain and their first international hit, while the Valentinos’ version sank.

“I was very upset about it,” Mr. Womack said in an interview. “It was like, ‘They stole my song.’”

Later, he said, as Cooke had predicted he would: “I stopped being upset when we got our first royalty check. That changed everything.”

Many of his songs were recorded by others, often with greater success than his own renditions. Janis Joplin included “Trust Me” on her album “Pearl,” the J. Geils Band recorded “Lookin’ for a Love,” which reached the Top 40 in 1972, and Pickett recorded “I’m a Midnight Mover” and 16 other Womack songs.

In 1971 Mr. Womack played guitar on, and helped produce, Sly Stone’s most ambitious album, “There’s a Riot Goin’ On,” now a soul classic.

Bobby Dwayne Womack was born on March 4, 1944, in Cleveland. His father, Friendly, was a steelworker and part-time Baptist minister. His mother, Naomi, played the organ for the church choir. Under their father’s direction, Bobby and his brothers Cecil, Curtis, Friendly Jr. and Harry formed a gospel group, the Womack Brothers, which began touring in 1953.

Sam Cooke, who spent the early ’50s as lead singer of a gospel quintet, the Soul Stirrers, first heard the brothers sing on a visit to Cleveland, when Mr. Womack was about 7. A decade later, Cooke invited the brothers to join him in Los Angeles, where he had his own record company and was a successful secular pop balladeer.

The Womacks were raised to believe that hell awaited gospel singers who sang pop music, Bobby told interviewers, and at first they resisted Cooke’s summons. They made several gospel records for SAR before changing their name to the Valentinos and recording their first secular songs, a decision that caused a lasting rift with their father, until shortly before his death in 1981.

By 17, Mr. Womack was the lead singer of the new group, the youngest guitarist in Cooke’s touring band, and an emerging hit songwriter. His song “Lookin’ for a Love,” a remake of a gospel composition, became a modest hit for the Valentinos on the R&B chart in 1961 (a decade before the J. Geils version). Royalties from “It’s All Over Now” alone reportedly made him financially secure for most of his life.

Then, when he was 20, Mr. Womack’s career hit a wall. The Dec. 11, 1964, shooting death of Cooke, during a dispute with a Los Angeles motel owner, left Mr. Womack without a mentor or a record label. By most accounts, his decision to marry Cooke’s widow, Barbara Campbell, just a few months after the shooting, made him something of a pariah in the music world.

Unable to land a new record contract, Mr. Womack left the Valentinos and settled into backup work for contemporaries like James Brown, Aretha Franklin, Joe Tex, Joplin and a young, little-known Jimi Hendrix. His solo career began to revive in the late 1960s and early ’70s. Two albums he recorded for United Artists in the 1970s are considered soul classics: “Communication” (1971), which yielded the hit “That’s the Way I Feel About ‘Cha,” and “Understanding” (1972), which included “Woman’s Gotta Have It.”

In 1981 he released two of his most critically acclaimed albums, “The Poet” and its sequel, “The Poet II,” which featured several duets with the soul singer Patti LaBelle. He joined the Rolling Stones to sing a duet with Mick Jagger on “Harlem Shuffle,” on the Stones’ 1986 album, “Dirty Work.”

In 2009 Mr. Womack was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. His marriage to Ms. Campbell, as well as two subsequent marriages, ended in divorce. His survivors include two sons, Truth and Vincent. Although hip-hop stars frequently sampled the soul music of his era, Mr. Womack refused most requests by others to use his recordings in their work, he told a British interviewer in 2004. Despite his well-publicized marital problems and struggles with drugs and alcohol, he said, he remained a gospel singer at heart.

“Me being from the old school, I would not say ‘bitch’ on a record,” he said. “I couldn’t face my mother if I did.”

11931: KFC Cook Is Chicken King…?

Not sure what the hell inspired this KFC commercial—were they attempting to channel Annie the Chicken Queen?

Friday, June 27, 2014

11930: Pitch To Infiniti And Beyond.

Adweek reported seven agencies will vie for the Infiniti account, including incumbent TBWA. The story states that Goodby Silverstein & Partners is in the pitch as a “wild card.” Um, more like Omnicom is stacking the deck by shuffling in a sister shop as an alternative for TBWA. Fathom Communications may yet turn up as a joker.

7 Agencies Chase Infiniti Global Account

Annual media spending totals $450 million

By Andrew McMains

Infiniti Motor Co. will meet with more than a half-dozen agencies before selecting a handful of finalists to pitch its global creative account.

The meetings are taking place this week, with Infiniti now on track to complete its search by August. Global media spending on the luxury brand totals $450 million annually, according to the automaker’s initial request for proposals.

The semifinalists include big shops like Publicis, FCB and Havas Worldwide (which is pitching with sister shop Arnold) and smaller global players, including Bartle Bogle Hegarty, M&C Saatchi and Crispin Porter + Bogusky, according to sources. There’s also a wild card: domestic player Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, which is partnering with incumbent—and Omnicom Group sibling—TBWA to achieve global reach, sources said.

Bottom line: Infiniti vp of global marketing Vincent Gillet has a broad range of options to chose from. Roth Observatory International is helping to manage the search. Roth did not return calls and Gillet declined to discuss specific candidates, though he did characterize them generally as “very strong, highly talented.”

After the meetings, Infiniti executives will narrow the field to three or four agencies, sources said. That cut could come as soon as next week.

In its RFP, Infiniti, a unit of Nissan, identified its priority markets as the U.S., China and Hong Kong, though the brand also is sold in Europe, the Middle East, Russia, South Africa, Mexico, Canada and seven other countries in the Asia-Pacific region. So, having a global footprint is key to servicing the business.

Overall, the document stressed that Infiniti needs a “foundational” creative idea that can work across all media channels and consumer touch points. Indeed, while TV ads remain important, “alternative approaches are paramount as Infiniti cannot outspend its competitors in broadcast,” the RFP noted. Experiential marketing, for example, may also play a role.

Infiniti’s goal, the RFP added, is to be the “provocateur that owns the future of the premium car category by winning the hearts of young-minded premium consumers [by] featuring seductive styling, attitude, exhilarating performance, emotive design and intuitive technology.”

11929: Smalling Mistake On World Cup.

From DiversityInc…

World Cup: Obama Confused With English Defender

By Chris Hoenig

Talk about a “World Cup”: a souvenir mug celebrating the English soccer team includes the American President’s face on it.

UK discount company Wholesale Clearance UK ordered 2,000 of the mugs from an unnamed supplier, according to the UK’s Metro. Each was to include the picture of one member from England’s World Cup squad.

When they opened up the shipment, they were surprised to find President Barack Obama’s “mug” on the outside of the mug labeled for England defender Chris Smalling.

“The Dorset company in question was given the seemingly easy job of sourcing royalty-free pictures of each England squad player to use on the England mugs, along with other accompanying items such as England coasters, England mouse mats etc.,” Karl Baxter of Wholesale Clearance told the newspaper.

“They passed this onto to their young, bright eyed and bushy tailed new apprentice. The designs were proofed and signed off by their boss, who had clearly had a heavy night with the lads playing poker and before he’d had his first vat of coffee the following morning.

“They immediately contacted us and 2,000 of the England items was dispatched to our warehouse. We eagerly unpacked them and, indeed it turned out that the Chris Smalling cup had Barack Obama’s head on instead of Chris’s.”

While the President is athletic, standing 6’1” and regularly playing basketball, it would seem an intern and a late-night poker game don’t stand up as the greatest of excuses for confusing the most powerful man in the world and the 6’4” Manchester United player.

“The comment “Ooops” does not even come close to describing the reaction to the insult, the idiocy and the stupidity of the mistake,” Peter Fay commented via Facebook.

Other readers enjoyed some jokes at both the souvenir company and English national team’s expense.

“They have a better chance of shifting the Obama mugs than the actual England team ones,” Ruari Thomson joked, referencing England’s first-round exit from the tournament. “Better luck in 2018 lads!”

11928: Perfectly Exclusive Matches.

Considering the recently revealed pathetic exclusivity at technology companies, is it any wonder that the failed attempt by Omnicom Group and Publicis Groupe to create the planet’s largest White holding company was almost immediately followed by Omnicom inking a $230 million partnership with the diversity-averse Twitter and Publicis signing a $500 million deal with the Whitefaced Facebook? Clearly, the tech enterprises’ lack of inclusion made matching up irresistible to the historically discriminatory advertising giants.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

11927: Lévy Is Laughable.

Campaign published an interview excerpt featuring Publicis Groupe CEO Maurice Lévy complaining about WPP Overlord Martin Sorrell’s comments on the failed merger between Publicis and Omnicom. “The only thing that is disappointing me is that I have not seen a hint of British humour in what [Sorrell] has said,” whined Lévy. “I was expecting something witty, something funny—and the only thing he has been able to do is bashing, which was so easy. I thought he would resist to go the easy train.” It’s tough to take Lévy’s humour critique too seriously. After all, the French consider Jerry Lewis to be a comedic genius.

Sorrell taunt not ‘witty’, Lévy says

By Maisie McCabe

Maurice Lévy, the chairman and chief executive of Publicis Groupe, has told Campaign he was disappointed that Sir Martin Sorrell’s comments about the failed merger with Omnicom were not “witty”.

Last week, Sorrell, the chief executive of WPP, said he found it “bizarre” that Lévy had not chosen a chief financial officer before the deal was announced and warned his rivals not to “climb the backstairs of the Carlton in Cannes”.

Lévy admitted he and John Wren, the president and chief executive of Omnicom, gave Sorrell “the opportunity to laugh” at them but added: “The only thing that is disappointing me is that I have not seen a hint of British humour in what he has said.”

Lévy continued: “I was expecting something witty, something funny – and the only thing he has been able to do is bashing, which was so easy. I thought he would resist to go the easy train.”

After finalising details at Cannes in June 2013, Omnicom and Publicis confirmed the merger the following month. The deal fell through in May after costing more than $100 million.

11926: Lévy’s Lovelorn Lament.

Adweek reported Publicis Groupe CEO Maurice Lévy continues to display heartache over his broken engagement with Omnicom CEO John Wren. Lévy confessed the proposed merger was “the dream of my life.” Holding company CEOs really need to have their dreams professionally interpreted and evaluated. Wonder if the ex-lovers decided how to handle the $500 million termination fee for their last tango in Paris. Hell, the final bill will far exceed WPP Overlord Sir Martin Sorrell’s divorce settlement.

Maurice Lévy Says Omnicom Merger Was ‘Dream of My Life’

Publicis Groupe boss acknowledges loss of face

By Noreen O’Leary

Publicis Groupe CEO Maurice Lévy opened up today at a conference in Paris about the dashed hopes he had for his company’s merger with Omnicom Group—a failed initiative that could have been the pinnacle of his well-regarded career but, with its collapse, tarnished that reputation, he suggested.

When Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff asked Lévy whether innovation comes from taking risks, the holding company chief admitted that “one of the problems I have to fix in my company is to take more risks.”

Lévy added: “You must be open to changing every single day, not hesitating to question yourself and to reinvent everything. Also don’t hesitate to stop. I stopped a merger, which was the dream of my life, because we were derailing and not going where we wanted to go. You can take huge risks and sometimes you can also accept to lose face, which I did, because I thought we were going in the wrong direction.”

Perhaps reflecting on the nine-month long process of trying to reach consensus with Omnicom through intermediaries like lawyers and investment bankers, Lévy continued: “In growing and following the rules, and becoming more compliant we encounter hurdles, we take less risks. We give the lawyers and these compliant people the power which gives a deceleration on the risks that you can take. I think that innovation is state of mind.”

At the Salesforce1 World Tour Paris event today, the world’s largest provider of CRM software unveiled a new French headquarters and revealed plans to open a new data center in France.

11925: No Talent Required.

AgencySpy is seeking “the next great AgencySpy contributor” to join its staff. Um, wouldn’t the “the next great AgencySpy contributor” technically be the first? The blog continues to be unique in that its user-generated content is more interesting—and certainly better written—than anything offered by the contributors. Without the comments, AgencySpy wouldn’t even be a poor man’s Egotist.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

11924: We’re Mostly White—Yahoo!

DiversityInc reported Yahoo! released its workforce diversity statistics and wound up looking like Google.

Yahoo! Is Latest Tech Company to Release Workforce Diversity Stats

By Julissa Catalan

On Tuesday, Silicon Valley-based technology company Yahoo! released its workforce diversity stats. What it revealed is unsurprising to most, as the numbers mirror the lack of diversity that seems to be a trend in the tech industry.

The report showed that out of Yahoo!’s 12,000 worldwide employees, 50 percent are white and 39 percent are Asian. Latinos make up 4 percent of the workforce and Blacks account for 2 percent. Undisclosed and mixed race make up 2 percent each.

Asians make up the majority of “tech” workers at 57 percent, with whites at 35 percent in this area.

When it comes to “leadership” (vice president and above) positions, however, Asians only make up 17 percent, while nearly four out of five are white.

Yahoo!, which is run by a woman, former Google executive Marissa Mayer, overall has 37 percent women employees. These women hold 23 percent of the leadership positions.

The company declined to release a gender breakdown for its U.S. workforce.

See Yahoo!’s EEO-1 Report for 2013.

The Yahoo! report comes one month after Google’s own workforce diversity report was released. The two reports tell a very similar story.

Google has 46,170 employees worldwide. The gender data released reflected that total while the race/ethnicity data were only compiled from the U.S. workforce.

The company’s numbers showed that 70 percent of all Google employees are male, and 62 percent of its U.S. workers are white.

Like Yahoo!, the Asian community makes up the second-largest ethnic group for Google employees at 30 percent. Mixed race makes up 4 percent, while Latinos account for 3 percent and Blacks for 2 percent.

Google has 19 offices around the country, while Yahoo! has 25.

Google and Yahoo! have always declined to participate in the DiversityInc Top 50 survey.

To give some perspective, below is the workforce-representation data for the 2014 DiversityInc Top 50 companies:

11.9% Black, 9.8% Latino, 9.8% Asian, 46.2% women

For years now, tech companies have been fighting to keep their EEO data a secret. Now that the results are becoming public, we can see why.

Monday, June 23, 2014

11923: High Infidelity At Cannes.

This photo features two guys responsible for a $500 million non-marriage, a recording artist whose split with his wife was linked to extramarital cheating, another guy behind arguably the worst coupling in adland, and a Napoleonic nitwit who paid one of the largest divorce settlements in British history. Now that’s rich.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

11922: Real Truth In Advertising.

What makes this award-winning campaign so annoyingly obscene is the concept was hatched by an advertising industry that marginalizes and discriminates against women, gays and Blacks. And that’s the truth.

11921: Sex Slaves to Fashion.

From The New York Post…

‘Sex slave’ led to ouster of American Apparel CEO

By James Covert

American Apparel moved to fire CEO Dov Charney over allegations related to the 2011 case of Irene Morales, a former employee who accused him of making her his “sex slave,” The Post has learned.

The clothing retailer’s board, which said in a public statement earlier this week that it was investigating unspecified “alleged misconduct,” resurrected the case in its surprise move to fire Charney at a Wednesday meeting, sources said.

Specifically, the board this week accused Charney of allowing an employee at the Los Angeles clothing chain to post nude photos of Morales on a blog that was purportedly authored by Morales, insiders said.

The board’s concern, according to sources, is that the blog not only harassed and defamed Morales, but also ran afoul of certain California laws that forbid falsely impersonating others online, as alleged in a suit at the time by Morales’s lawyer Eric Baum.

By knowingly allowing the blog to be posted, the board charged that Charney exposed the company to liability, according to sources close to the situation.

The lawsuit brought by Morales, who had sought $260 million, was thrown out by a Brooklyn judge in 2012 and sent into arbitration.

The suit appeared to have been complicated after The Post revealed in an exclusive March 25, 2011, report that Morales had allegedly sent dozens of nude photos of herself to Charney after she stopped working for American Apparel, coupling them with saucy come-ons.

“Daddy’s got a little naughty girl waiting for him,” Morales allegedly wrote, according to Charney’s lawyer Stuart Slotnick.

This spring, however, the blog postings became a key sticking point in settlement talks, exposing American Apparel to damages, according to sources.

According to one source, a settlement was recently in the works for a dollar sum “in the low six-digits,” well short of the judgement Morales had sought. It wasn’t immediately clear whether a settlement has been finalized.

Nevertheless, the case has come back to haunt Charney, who was abruptly stripped of his chairman title and suspended from his CEO post for 30 days, pending a permanent ouster following the Wednesday board meeting in New York.

Reached Friday, American Apparel co-chairman Allen Mayer declined to discuss specifics of Charney’s alleged misconduct, but did say the board recently got new information that spurred the surprise coup.

“We have heard for years allegations and rumors in newspaper stories that were not sufficient to take action,” Mayer told The Post. “But what came to our attention was not allegations and rumors but established fact.”

On Friday, a Web video surfaced of Charney dancing nude in the presence of two alleged female employees.

The board also raised concerns about certain severance payments to former female employees that were authorized by Charney without the board’s consent, according to sources close to the case.

In addition, the board alleged that Charney improperly used company funds to pay for air travel for his mother, according to a source.

11920: One Percent’s Cannes Complaints.

The New York Post reported WPP Overlord Sir Martin Sorrell chastised Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman for partying too much at Cannes; additionally, Sir Marty “further complained that the Cannes Lions festival has turned into a superficial bash that has gotten away from its roots as an agency ad competition and turned into a crass show of wealth.” Um, Sorrell’s 2013 income of $50 million makes him among the biggest crassholes at Cannes. Here’s a man who literally bought his way into the industry. Additionally, Sorrell’s money-driven thinking and tactics—where billable hours trump big ideas—have helped the ad game get away from its roots in the worst ways imaginable. Sir Marty whines about the degradation of Cannes, yet he doesn’t realize the obscenity of the 2011 introduction of a special trophy saluting holding companies—especially since corpulent WPP has become a routine winner of the award. If Cannes has indeed become “a crass show of wealth,” it’s because narcissistic One Percenters like Sorrell consistently crash the party.

Sorrell chastises Dauman for too much partying

By Claire Atkinson

While the sessions at the Cannes Lions were all about native advertising, or sponsored content, it was perhaps appropriate that Robin Thicke sang “Blurred Lines” at Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman’s party on Thursday night.

Dauman, who invited the crooner to entertain advertising bigs, revealed at a session that Sir Martin Sorrell had been dancing to the song at the Château de la Napoule event.

But while Sorrell may have had fun, he further complained that the Cannes Lions festival has turned into a superficial bash that has gotten away from its roots as an agency ad competition and turned into a crass show of wealth.

“There should be less partying and more working,” he said, to which Dauman responded: “How about partying while we work?” Whoever accused Dauman of being dull clearly has never seen him in the south of France.

11919: Reflecting With The Robinsons.

The Los Angeles Times published a photograph submitted by a reader depicting the Robinson Memorial in Pasadena.

Reader Photo: Moment of reflection at the Robinson Memorial in Pasadena

By Jason La

Cindi Kauffman photographed the Robinson Memorial in Pasadena on Sunday.

“It’s such a peaceful place that I just felt I had to take [this photo] and was lucky the gentleman decided to sit there and take a rest at the same time,” she said.

The pair of bronze statues, located across from City Hall, depict iconic baseball player Jackie Robinson and his older brother, Olympic medalist Matthew MacKenzie “Mack” Robinson.

11918: Epic Crap Battles.

Can someone please explain Epic Rap Battles of History? Is it a twisted spin-off of Stuff White People Like? Or rejected sketch ideas from cancelled late-night talk shows? Having trouble finding any redeeming entertainment value here.

11917: Lupita Nyong’o Is In Vogue.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

11916: Run DMC Adidas Ad Tops.

Campaign reported the 1985 adidas spot starring Run DMC was named the best music ad of all time—demonstrating once again that adpeople love hip hop.

Run DMC Adidas spot named best music ad of all time

By Ian Griggs

Adidas’s “my Adidas” ad from 1985 featuring music by Run DMC has topped the list of the greatest ads of all time featuring music, according to a study

The ad tops a list compiled by the global music-licensing platform Synkio.

At number two on the list is the 1991 Chevrolet ad with music ‘Like a Rock’ by Bob Seger.

At number three is the 1971 Coca-Cola advert featuring ‘I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing’ by the Hillside Singers and at number four is the iconic 1989 British Airways ad using Lakme’s “Flower Duet”.

Many of the campaigns on the top ten are 20 years old or more, such as the 1987 Pepsi ad, in seventh place, featuring David Bowie and Tina Turner singing ‘Modern Love’ and the ninth-placed 1995 ad for Microsoft Windows 95 featuring ‘Start Me Up’ by The Rolling Stones.

The most recent ad on the list is the 2012 cartoon ad for the Melbourne Metro, featuring the song ‘Dumb Ways To Die’ by Tangerine Kitty, which went viral on social media after its release. The 1965 jingle for the American hot-dog brand Oscar Meyer is the oldest ad and is at number ten.

Synkio compiled the list using research and in conjunction with a panel of expert judges from the advertising and music business, including Ricki Askin, the music supervisor from Vice, and the rap artist Ko: The Legend.

It spent 18 months investigating top ads, based on its criteria of brand message, context of imagery and lyrics and composition, as well as considering the impact of the advert on a music artist’s career or vice versa.

Ben Perreau, chief executive of Synkio, said: “Music can make or create an ad – behind that is always a talented artist and brand team.

“We’re spending time with agencies and artists, to learn more about what will make the best great ad of tomorrow.

“The combination of great music and powerful, iconic brand messaging creates an impact nothing can compete with.”

Friday, June 20, 2014

11915: New CD Coming To Pornhub.

Pornhub announced a winner in its search for a creative director, choosing a jerk-off copywriter from Istanbul. Ironically, the Turkish government inspired violent protests earlier in the year after introducing legislation designed to restrict public access to Internet pornography. So maybe the contrived, victorious idea depicted above is actually revolutionary. “The concept is smart, relatable and it has potential to work across all advertisement platforms,” said Pornhub VP Corey Price via a press release. “We’re thrilled to announce…the winner and are looking forward to working with him to roll out the industry’s first mainstream ad campaign.” Damn, the guy is an ignorant dick. And he didn’t realize the highly qualified Dov Charney is actually available for the position now.

11914: 15+ Racist Brand Mascots.

Business Insider presented 15 Racist Brand Mascots And Logos That Make The Redskins Look Progressive. Notably absent from the list: Annie the Chicken Queen, The Pine-Sol Lady, Chad and Ranjit, Ancient Chinese Secret Lady, Honey Bunches of Oats Woman and Talking Vaginas.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

11913: Cannes Invents New Clichés.

Cannes broke away from the clichéd convention of only spotlighting Black recording artists by featuring Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson in an Ogilvy & Mather-sponsored lecture. It was probably an OgilvyCulture initiative. Look for the agency to turn the event into a Black inventors ad next February.

Neil deGrasse Tyson: We Must Celebrate Innovators or ‘Move Back Into the Cave’

Cannes creatives challenged to be part of the solution

By David Griner

CANNES, France—He is one of the world’s only household names in the field of science, but Neil deGrasse Tyson definitely wishes that weren’t the case.

Standing before an audience of global creatives today, the astrophysicist and host of Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey told Cannes Lions attendees that the world needs to return to the time when it valued great thinkers and honored them as national heroes.

Instead of showing slides of star maps or X-ray images of distant galaxies, Tyson chose to feature pictures of money in his appearance at the festival’s fourth annual Ogilvy & Mather Inspire lecture. He presented slide after slide of international currency that featured and honored scientists as cultural icons. Today, few such bills can be found, and Tyson fears the world is losing its admiration for science.

“Somebody cared enough about it to put it on the currency. These are the things that affect your culture. A whole culture can be given to problem solving simply by the forces operating within it and around it, forces you might not even be aware of while you’re in the middle of it.”

Instead, Tyson cited his home nation of the United States as a place where politicians, media and pop culture are often scientifically ignorant or even hostile.

To highlight how nations and cultures can lose their focus on science, he gave the example of the Islamic world around 1000 AD, “one of the most intellectually fertile periods in the history of the human species.”

“Mathematics, agriculture, engineering, medicine, navigation—all of that happened while Europe was disemboweling heretics at the same time. So what happened? Well, it wasn’t forever.”

The rise of one influential philosopher, Al-Ghazali, early in the 11th century popularized the idea that “manipulating numbers was outside your spiritual accountability.” The result, Tyson said, was a centuries-long evaporation of scientific emphasis in Muslim culture.

“If something falls, and you say, ‘Allah did that.’ If you’re content with that, you will not be the one who discovers gravity. If you’re content with everything you see as being the will of a divine force, you have been removed from the equation of all those whose curiosity leads to solutions to problems.”

Today, Tyson told the audience, the United States and many other nations are in danger of similarly losing their appreciation for “scientific creativity.” The solution he proposes is not just to be more respectful of science, but also to be more respectful of creativity.

Speaking to Adweek after the Cannes Lions session, Tyson said the stakes are incredibly high—up to and including our own species’ destruction.

“I’m an acute observer of trends in cultures, because some trends are away from innovation. And if it’s away from innovation and creativity, then problems you already know exist, and especially problems that you don’t know will yet arise, can be the unweaving of your civilization, and I don’t want to be in that world.”

Reversing the trend, he said, is partly the responsibility of marketers and media influencers, many of whom are in attendance here at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity.

We must return to celebrating those who combine creativity with science and discovery, Tyson said, or we risk falling into an intellectual tailspin that might prove irreversible.

“Their activities should be cherished These are the people we should hold up high. We should build statues to those people. We used to. Those are the folks who advance frontiers. The inventors, the explorers, the discoverers, the innovators,” Tyson said.

“These are the people who shape civilization. If you don’t cultivate and nurture that, you might as well just move back into the cave, because that’s where we’re going to end up without it.”

11912: Donald Sterling Is Jerky.

The Los Angeles Times published voicemail recordings left by former L.A. Clippers owner Donald Sterling for psychiatrists who ruled he was mentally incompetent. As if Sterling’s original infamous recording wasn’t proof enough. Sterling should apply for a job with The Jerky Boys.

11911: This Dov’s No Real Beauty.

George Zimmer. Chip Wilson. Mike Jeffries. And now, Dov Charney. These guys are the Four Horsemen of the Apparelocalypse.

American Apparel boots CEO for being a pervert, stock surges

By James Covert

Dov Charney’s luck has finally run out — and American Apparel is likely headed for the sales block.

The controversial founder and CEO of American Apparel was ousted Wednesday by the retailer’s board, paving the way for a potential sale of the company, insiders said.

The board of directors cited “an ongoing investigation into alleged misconduct” that it initiated earlier this year, announcing that it had voted unanimously after its annual meeting Wednesday to fire Charney for cause.

While the board didn’t elaborate, sources said Charney’s personal conduct with women, which had been the subject of a string of sex-harassment suits by former female employees, was among the longstanding issues. The issues didn’t appear to be criminal or related to troubles with the company’s operations, sources said.

Shares of the struggling clothier surged as much as 22 percent to trade as high as 78 cents in early trades Thursday. Recently, the stock was up 7 percent at 69 cents.

Prior to the announcement on Wednesday afternoon, 45-year-old Charney didn’t respond to repeated messages from The Post, as unconfirmed speculation spread among insiders that a brewing conflict between him and the board might end with his ouster.

Another possible bone of contention, according to one source, was that Charney recently had been seeking ways to reverse the dilution of his ownership stake in the company, which had resulted from a March stock offering of $30.5 million to cover near-term debt payments.

“He was asking for advice on what to do about the situation,” according to one source, noting that the recent equity raise had diluted Charney’s stake in the company to about 27 percent — well below the minimum of 35 percent generally seen as necessary to retain control of a board.

Indeed, Charney’s dilution from the equity deal appears to have left him vulnerable in his final defeat after a string of close calls during previous liquidity crises for the company.

Charney, who founded American Apparel in 1998 as a T-shirt supplier, in some ways had been a retail visionary.

Courting controversy with smutty ads that featured young, scantily clad women in compromising positions, Charney produced his fashions at a factory in Los Angeles, championing “Made in the USA” clothing.

While Charney campaigned to legalize Mexican workers at his LA plant, the rest of the US clothing industry had moved its manufacturing to sourcing overseas.

But he was continually dogged by operational disasters, even as consternation about his personal behavior grew.

In 2009, American Apparel was forced to fire 1,500 undocumented immigrant workers at its Los Angeles factory following a federal raid, spurring manufacturing shortfalls that led to a major cash crunch. In 2013, the company’s loss widened to $106 million from $37 million a year earlier, partly because of software glitches at a new manufacturing facility.

“We take no joy in this, but the board felt it was the right thing to do,” said American Apparel director Allen Mayer, newly appointed as co-chairman. “Dov Charney created American Apparel, but the company has grown much larger than any one individual and we are confident that its greatest days are ahead.”

Firing Charney for cause will require a 30-day period to resolve under his contract, and could trigger defaults on debt obligations that could, in turn, force a sale of the company, insiders said.

Financial chief John Luttrell will serve as interim CEO while the company hires a search firm to replace Charney.

American Apparel only narrowly escaped getting taken over by lenders this spring, as a group of debt holders including Goldman Sachs demanded a $13.6 million interest payment on more than $200 million in obligations.

The racy clothing brand is now expected to attract a bevy of suitors, including private-equity firms as well as competing retailers.

“The only thing that’s been standing in the way of a sale has been Dov Charney,” according to one banker close to the situation. “People love the brand, and they hate him.”

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

11910: Redskins Lose Trademarks.

From Politico…

Redskins stripped of trademarks

By Jonathan Topaz and Lucy McCalmont

In a major blow to the Washington Redskins, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on Wednesday canceled six federal trademarks of the team name because it was found to be “disparaging” to Native Americans.

“We decide, based on the evidence properly before us, that these registrations must be cancelled because they were disparaging to Native Americans at the respective times they were registered,” the Patent Office’s Trademark Trial and Appeal Board wrote in a 2-1 decision.

The Redskins’ team name has become a divisive political issue over the past few years, with even President Barack Obama saying the club should consider changing it. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Senate Democrats also have pressed owner Dan Snyder to change the name. On the other side, conservatives have either defended keeping the name, arguing that it isn’t a slur, or been silent on the uproar.

The trademark attorney for the Redskins, Bob Raskopf, downplayed the ruling and vowed the team will win an ensuing appeal.

“We’ve seen this story before. And just like last time, today’s ruling will have no effect at all on the team’s ownership of and right to use the Redskins name and logo,” he said in a statement, citing rulings in 1999 and 2003. “We are confident we will prevail once again, and that the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board’s divided ruling will be overturned on appeal.”

Reid lauded the trademark decision on the Senate floor Wednesday, saying it reinforces the push for the Redskins to change the name.

Reid called the name a “sad reminder” of the bigotry Native Americans have faced and said the issue “is extremely important to Native Americans all across the country.”

“Daniel Snyder may be the last person in the world to realize this, but it’s just a matter of time until he is forced to do the right thing and change the name,” he said.

“The writing is on the wall,” Reid added. “It’s on the wall in giant, blinking, neon lights.”

The majority leader also praised the work of Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), the former Senate Indian Affairs Committee Chairwoman who has been a major leader on the issue. She spoke on the Senate floor to hail the “landmark decision.”

“This is not the end of this case, but this is a landmark decision by the Patent Office that says that the NFL team here in Washington, D.C., does not have a patentable name, and that this is an offensive term not patentable by the Patent Office,” she said.

Senate Indian Affairs Committee Chairman Jon Tester (D-Mont.) also hailed the ruling, saying on Twitter: “This decision is a step forward for Indian Country & for all Americans who champion tolerance.”

Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.), a vocal critic of the team name, slammed Snyder for trying to have the decision overturned.

“I don’t know how many times he needs to be told that the name is disparaging. I understand he says he’s going to appeal. Shame on him,” she said in an interview. “I mean, does he like losing?”

Norton had co-sponsored a bill last year to amend the 1946 Lanham Act, the law that prohibits the registration of trademarks that disparage any group. Her legislation would include “redskins” as a disparaging term if it is contained in a trademark with connotations to the Native American community.

A National Football League spokesperson said the league would not be issuing a separate statement from the team.

Five Native Americans in 2006 brought the petition Blackhorse v. Pro Football, Inc., aimed at stripping the team’s half-dozen trademark registrations for the term “Redskins.”

“I hope this ruling brings us a step closer to that inevitable day when the name of the Washington football team will be changed,” said plaintiff Amanda Blackhorse. “The team’s name is racist and derogatory.”

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

11909: Kanye At Cannes.

Adweek highlighted Kanye West’s perspectives at Cannes, which included comparing himself to the late Steve Jobs and his mandate “to work with the No. 1.” As always, West is only looking out for No. 1. Also as always, our industry is only interested in hearing from Blacks who are award-winning recording artists—or who have access to such celebrities as Steve Stoute does. Hiring Blacks is another story.

Monday, June 16, 2014

11908: The Tanning Of Cannes.

A Cannes seminar slated for Tuesday will feature Translation Founder and CEO Steve Stoute and Kanye West. Not sure which of the two is less qualified to be participating in a Cannes seminar.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

11907: Pornhub Review Obscenely Bad.

MultiCultClassics is a little tardy on this story, but Digiday spotlighted Pornhub’s search for a new creative director. The competition took the form of a crowdsourced endeavor, and Pornhub whittled down the submissions to 15 finalists. Viewing the top-selected entants really underscores two things: 1) Crowdsourcing leads to shitty work and; 2) There are lots of hacks in the advertising industry.

For starters, all the concepts look like stuff done by portfolio school students—and bad students at that. The thinking is crude, sophomoric and clichéd. Did anyone even try to consider the audience? The contrived attempts at humor ultimately insult the site’s users. That Pornhub deemed the finalists as viable only shows the client is idiotic too.

The entrants represent the worst of our ranks—people desperately attempting to gain notoriety by excreting dreck that the creators probably consider “edgy” and cool. These clowns have undoubtedly already drafted ADDY and Cannes entry forms. Save your money, dudes. Buy yourselves some porn instead.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

11906: Why We Sold…Out.

Aren’t all mergers and acquisitions ultimately about the agency leaders getting paid?

11905: Four Stooges On Cannes.

Campaign let the four stooges in charge of the major holding companies—Publicis Groupe, Omnicom Group, IPG and WPP—share their thoughts on Cannes. Maurice Lévy whined over the failed merger between Publicis Groupe and Omnicom Group, while John Wren made zero mention of the event. Michael Roth opened with a thinly veiled reference to the non-marriage, segueing to brag about his company’s focus on doing award-winning work. Gee, it seems like only yesterday when Howard Draft admitted that 80 percent of his agency’s output sucked, arguably quite an underestimation. Sir Martin Sorrell offered the best commentary:

This year’s event will, no doubt, be the biggest yet and I have some sympathy for those who worry if it has become a little too corpulent. How long, they wonder, before it collapses under its own weight?

Where I part company from the detractors, though, is the point at which they begin to pine for the “glory days” of advertising.

Ask them to describe those days and they will wax heroic with tales of creative derring-do and epic lunches. But listen closely and, all too often, what you hear them describe is essentially an exclusive club: Euro-centric, male and mono-medium.

Today’s Cannes may be big and brash, but it’s also emphatically open, diverse, international and multidisciplinary (extending even to areas such as healthcare communications and data). In other words, it’s a reflection of our modern industry and society.

Um, somebody tell Sir Marty that women comprise 27 percent of this year’s Cannes judges. And minorities are even more underrepresented at the gala. Indeed, Cannes 2014 is an accurate reflection of our modern industry—which continues to not reflect our society at all.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

11904: Rick Perry’s A Confused Drunk.

From The New York Post…

Rick Perry: Homosexuality is like alcoholism

By Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO – Texas Gov. Rick Perry, during a visit that focused primarily on economic issues, drew on a reference to alcoholism to explain his view of homosexuality.

Perry’s comments to the Commonwealth Club of California came after Texas’ Republican Convention on Saturday sanctioned platform language allowing Texans to seek voluntary counseling to “cure” being gay.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports that in response to a question about it, Perry said he did not know whether the therapy worked.

Perry, a former and potential future GOP presidential candidate, was then asked whether he believed homosexuality was a disorder.

The paper says that the governor responded that “whether or not you feel compelled to follow a particular lifestyle or not, you have the ability to decide not to do that.”

He said: “I may have the genetic coding that I’m inclined to be an alcoholic, but I have the desire not to do that, and I look at the homosexual issue the same way.”

The Texas Republican platform stand on the issue is in contrast to California and New Jersey, which have previously banned licensed professionals from providing such therapy to minors.

During the bulk of his talk, Perry held up his own state as a model for responsible energy production and economic growth in California.

Perry said he believes Texas is leading the way in achieving energy independence by producing crude oil and electricity in many forms, including solar power.

Perry also suggested that deregulating electricity had started a boom for renewable energy in Texas, which he called the nation’s leading developer of wind energy.

Perry said shale drilling techniques had doubled oil production in Texas, and he urged Californians to tap the full energy potential in its Monterey Shale.

On Tuesday, Perry drove up to California’s state capital of Sacramento in a Tesla Model S electric car — underscoring his desire to lure a Tesla battery factory to Texas.