Category Archives: wieden and kennedy

search is powerful

Search is powerful…if you think about it, the purchase process for most items above a certain price is advertising for awareness, Google to learn the truth, reviews, etc about the product and the store to purchase it. If positive information – or any information – is not available on the first page of Google your brand is in real trouble.

It is harder and harder these days to make it to the top of Google and other search engine lists organically, partially because blogs are such SEO machines.

I have had some pretty funny search terms that led people to my blog over the past week and had tucked in to type up a (hopefully) amusing post about the disappointment that searchers would have when they were looking for, say, “fat sex” and ended up at the daily (ad) biz blog. Those who searched for “dress code” would be disappointed but presumably less so (unless they were looking for the dress code during fat sex in which case their disappointment surely knows no bounds). The surprisingly large number of people who searched for “greatest pickup lines” need more help than this blog is capable of.

While I was cataloging the funny search terms for this post, I noticed that I was getting a lot of hits for “jenna fischer.” Also a lot for “Jenna Fischer naked.”

[ There is always room for a Jenna Fischer image. And besides, it’s clearly what my readers want.]

Apparently, if you were to Google just about any Jenna Fischer term and decide to, you know, take a closer look at the suggestive picture that pops up in Google then you would be looking at said picture on this humble blog.

The point isn’t to brag. Nor is it to find a weak excuse to search for and post a picture of the Official Hot Famous Woman I Would Marry In A Second Even Though I Don’t Know Her (OHFWIWMIASETIDKH for short).

Rather, the point of bringing this up is to marvel at the power of a blog to shoot up the Google rankings. And to use that to mention that, you know, maybe ad agencies ought to think about what that might mean for the brands they are building…specifically that they should probably get their act together (Wieden, I’m looking at you) and stop ignoring it because it will only result in an EFFIE and the ECD thinks that EFFIES are for “fucking douchebag accountniks” and he would rather pitch TV so he has a shot at a free week in Cannes.

If this blog can do it without trying very hard, one would think that a brand could do it with a little help from their agency.

Right? Eh? Oh.

the advertising ivy league

There is an Ivy League in advertising. That is, there is a small group of shops that if you happen to get a job at one you will be shopping that experience and using it to open doors the rest of your career.

The Ivy League group does change from time to time as shops fade and upstarts blow past the competition, but a shop’s reputation counts for a lot and even if it’s fallen on hard times it still means something to say “I was at Fallon when Pat Fallon was there (or, even better, when Tom McElligott was).”

My number one piece of advice to newbies, be they creative, planning or account, is to get an Ivy League shop on your CV.

Like now.

The advertising Ivy League is a lot like Premier League soccer in that there is relegation – poor performance and you will be replaced – and a lot of people who start to hate you if you’re on top of your game for too long.

The current Ivy League is:

Crispin, Porter + Bogusky:

This agency is so hot, they could take a crap, wrap it in a ’64 Beetle, put a German accent over it and sell it to Volkswagen as advertising. Which they just did.

Goodby, Silversten and Partners:

Adweek’s Agency of the Year has a long history of top drawer work, San Francisco is a great location and when I was last there everyone seemed to drive a Mercedes. So…yeah.


Lee Clow, the work for Apple and a bunch of really good looking employees sort of sum up the positives of this Ivy Leaguer.

Wieden + Kennedy:

Best known for their Nike work and for Dan Wieden’s principled refusal to join the 4A’s, they have faced recent encroachment on their key account by CP+B but are still a place with “wow” factor.


This may be a contentious one (and they are in danger of falling out of the Ivy League) because of the recent account losses and other upheaval…but Fallon is still a place that opens doors because of its history of greatness.

There are a lot of agencies that are hanging around just on the outside of this select group. Shops like Arnold (which was recently in the Ivy League on the strength of their better-than-Crispin VW work), The Martin Agency and Butler, Shine, Stern need only that iconic campaign to be in with a shout while other, larger places like your DDBs and BBDOs are places where you can collect awards and do great work…they just don’t have the same cachet.

Though, to be fair, a Pencil looks good no matter which shop you won it at.

spanning the globe with a single brand message

Two agencies are better than one, at least that is what the Wall Street Journal is reporting about Nokia’s decision to utilize creative hotshop Wieden & Kennedy as the lead creative agency with JWT (and their 196-office global network) adapting Wieden’s work internationally.

I know that it is padding the bottom line, but that arrangement can’t make the creatives at JWT all that happy.

And it doesn’t really burnish their brand.

At any rate, the major challenge with a shop the size of the House of Biz is that we do not have the institutional credibility of a bigger name place (not to mention a global reach). There is something to be said about the comfort that bigness gives to clients, especially clients that are big themselves, and Nokia has found a way to feel good about that while harnessing the creative abilities of a smaller, more creative-driven agency.

The Nokia arrangement bodes well for shops like mine.

The real question is the need for global advertising of the type that looks to adapt core creative to different markets around the world: it’s not a good idea.

The difference between the positioning and communication needed to succeed in 3G South Korea, for example, is different than in 2G America and different again for sub-Saharan Africa. The consumers are different, the marketplace is different, even the products offered are different. Something more than mere adaptation is needed.

Even though something more than mere adaptation costs more money.

office pep talks will pump you up

There is a big presentation today here at the House of Biz and nervous tension is high as we wait for the actual presentation to commence.

Luckily, we had a nice little pep talk from Bozo the Clown, the lead CD here at the agency, who informed us that we had all worked hard, had great work and that if we gave it 110% in the presentation we would bring it home. Boilerplate stuff. But since it is so boilerplate, what if the other agencies are also going to give 110%? We won’t have that 10% edge!

So I suggested that perhaps we give 111%…and it’s odds even that Bozo the Clown kills me in my sleep tonight.

To really get the adrenaline pumping I have been watching old Nike commercials:

But even these pose a bit of an issue because if we leave nothing but are expected to have leave-behinds and…oh wait, I get it.

Go team.

old spice slides in with another good spot

When I was first getting into the business my aunt, a planner at a big Chicago agency, always delighted in telling me that I couldn’t judge an ad until I considered the target. It didn’t matter if I didn’t like it if the target did.

Of course, she cared about effectiveness. And, as Ad Broad correctly states, there is often a reason that ad awards are not tied to sales.

Effectiveness should mean more than pure sales results and my aunt makes a good point about judging advertising. Your gut reaction is important, but if you are not the target it is critical to understand what they are looking for and seeing if the ad has it.

In the case of the Old Spice work by Wieden & Kennedy, they are spot in hitting the target and I just love the work. It is a classic send-up of traditional advertising for products in the category, is humorous, well-written and visually arresting:

This spot was easily the crowd favorite at the bar during the Giants game yesterday and, from having been in the middle of the bar crowd all game, I can confidently say that the men there were Old Spice’s target consumer.

A good ad and well targeted. Thank you Old Spice.

coke strikes the right tone for 2008

It’s a new year and (despite the gray, rainy day in New York) that means it’s all hope and blank-slate possibility for what could happen this year. For all I know, I could clean up at Cannes, strike it rich, and marry The Pretty AE.

This great spot for Coca-Cola by Wieden & Kennedy catches my mood perfectly:

It’s all to do yet, but it’s all to happen as well. Happy 2008!