Agency Spy, that central hub of industry gossip dogged by a very un-user friendly new site, has taken the traditional end of the year list gimmick and given it a new twist by inviting “a bunch of big deal advertising shop owners, ECDs and a-plus bloggers to answer a series of questions” and then posting their answers without attribution…just in case things got a little, um, off the record.
I am not a-plus enough to have gotten the questions sent my way, but that doesn’t mean that I won’t be answering them.
Please feel free to email me (dailybizblog, yahoo, you know the drill) or leave a comment if you too have the inclination to make your own end of year list. And who doesn’t really? These things are always interesting, at least in passing.
1. What was the worst campaign of the year?
Without a doubt, it is the new Subway campaign featuring Peter Griffin from Family Guy. Not only is this campaign the only possible way to make Peter Griffin unfunny, but it takes a brand that is perfectly positioned to take advantage of that whole wellness trend thing and goes off into irrelevance:
2. What was your favorite campaign of the year?
This is sadly unoriginal, but Mac vs PC is the best campaign of the year. From the casting to writing to the art direction, everything about it is perfectly tuned to build the Apple brand while pulling a strangely pleasant hit job on PCs. Usually comparison ads like this do not result in a brand halo and goodwill for the attacker, but when they are done this well they are.
3. Which client is the worst to work on (can be one yours, was one of yours or someone else’s)?
Cadbury Schweppes. Not only are they smart enough to come up with great ideas on their own, but they will hold your feet to the fire if you underestimate your costs and overestimate your capabilities. Oh, and they are also de-merging beverages from confection and have their media agency in review so this is probably the year to stay clear of them.
4. Which CMO deserves being whacked for his work this year?
It has got to be the CMO of Ford. Finally, the marque is building cars of (and above) Japanese-quality, their designs are contemporary and appealing and I have actually overheard people who are surprised to learn that the car they saw was a Ford and yet a huge swathe of consumers, especially younger consumers, has no interest in purchasing a Ford simply because it is a Ford. That is a branding issue. While it is an issue for all of the Big Three, this year Ford actually had the products to change perceptions, but kept rolling out the usual dreck. That has gotta change.
5. Which ECD has the biggest ego of the year?
Though I considered David Lubars because I am convinced that he keeps Googling his name, he at least has the work to back up his ego where as Bozo the Clown, lead CD at the House of Biz does not. Yet he still thinks that he is David Droga or something. Gotta have the work first, douche.
6. Which brand should fire their ad agency pronto and why?
BMW. I know that the new CMO wanted his own guys and all that, but the dichotomy between the quality of the work from Fallon and the mediocrity from new agency GSD&M is embarrassing. It’s time to bring in someone who can get it done.
7. Which advertising agency should consider firing its top level management?
Y&R. That agency is just a random assortment of accounts housed under one roof. There is nothing that sets them apart, nothing that makes something “Y&R work” and no real reason for them to be around.
8. Which agency is likely to suffer (losses, employees jumping ship, revenue slides) the most next year?
Zipatoni. I fully expect that they will lose all employees and revenue by the end of 2008.
9. What shop has done the best work in 2007 (other than your own of course)?
If “best work” means best new breakthrough idea and not most advertising that matches the style and tone that I like, then clearly the winner is Droga5. Sure, I panned their Honeyshed idea, but nobody had yet thought to bring QVC online just like nobody thought about selling books online before Amazon. The idea is simple, but if it works it is a completely out-of-the-box idea for an ad agency, and if it works like Amazon’s did then some people are gonna get rich.
Honorable mention goes to Anomaly for their new look at agency compensation. Gotta get paid.
10. Which broadcast spot made you want to hurl?
Burger King’s “Sponge Bob No Pants” spot. Let me get this straight…to sell food, you are going to show a shirtless man wearing a sponge on his head talking about how he has no pants on?
11. What was your favorite spot (that your shop did not create)?
Dr Pepper’s “Cherry Chocolate Rain” viral video. It’s a viral video that actually went viral using a guy, Tay Zonday, who is really funny and Y&R must be red in the face because their client is more creative than they are. Win, win, win.
12. Who is the most underrated planner around?
13. If you had to work for any agency, but your own – which would it be based on their performance in 2007?
Olson + Company, Minneapolis.
14. Which agency do you think will have a turn around in 2008?
Fallon. They have the talent, are making good hires and, let’s face it, can hardly fall much further.
15. If you could steal one talent from another agency based on their work during 2007 (creative director, planner, etc.) who would it be?
Zara Gonzalez, interactive designer extraordinaire from Periscope, Minneapolis.