Posts Tagged ‘business’

Breakthrough Agency of the Year: Venables Bell Is the Next Great Creative Shop

December 5, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Cultural relevance can be bittersweet, as Venables Bell & Partners learned in 2016. Just as the agency and client Audi were negotiating to use David Bowie's "Starman" in a Super Bowl ad, the rock icon tragically passed away at 69. Then the independent agency scored a chance to work on Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign, only to see her lose in what founder and chairman Paul Venables calls a "heartbreaking" election. But it was, in all, an astounding 12 months for the San Francisco-based agency, which came into 2016 buoyed by global acclaim for its work on REI's " #OptOutside " Black Friday campaign and then quickly set the stage for a strong year with its "Commander" Super Bowl spot, Audi's tender tale of an aging astronaut who relives his glory days during a night drive with his son. "There were no gimmicks: no dancing Chihuahua, no talking privates, no breakdancing babies," explains Venables. "We did it in our style, which is craft and storytelling. It was an exciting way to start the year." The Big Game appearance marked a high point for a shop whose namesake entered the ad industry in that most humble of roles: Madison Avenue receptionist. Venables says he knew from his first days behind a front desk in Manhattan that he eventually wanted to launch his own agency, and he left his job as a creative director at Goodby Silverstein & Partners in 2001 to do just that. After struggling to stand out in the early years by focusing on every detail of his creative work, Venables had an epiphany: If he could attract and retain the right talent, everything else would eventually fall into place. It paid off. This year, VB&P was one of the few truly independent agencies to consistently generate stellar creative, public attention and critical acclaim. For the eye-catching caliber of the agency's work throughout 2016, Adweek has named VB&P its Breakthrough Agency of the Year, an award honoring shops that have exploded beyond their previous expectations and reached dramatic new heights of creative achievement. The art of good timing In the midst of a 2015 holiday marketing brainstorming session, outdoor retailer REI's head of merchandising had a big idea: "We could never do it, but what if we close on Black Friday?" The rest, as they say, is history. "['#OptOutside'] is the antithesis of a Super Bowl spot," says Venables, adding, "Every single client and/or new business prospect that has come in the door since then basically said, 'We want some of that.'" The agency doubled down on this calendar-centric strategy in 2015 and 2016

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Presenting the Hot List—the Year’s Top Magazines, TV and Digital Media

November 28, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

It was the year that Donald Trump dominated and demonized the media. That magazines built around news and analysis (New York, The New Yorker, Time) made the greatest impact, and produced the most eye-catching covers. That The People v. O.J. Simpson, Stranger Things and Samantha Bee ruled the tube—and that Megyn Kelly found herself on both sides of the news. This was also the year that digital platforms, players, obsessions and innovations—from Snapchat to Pokemon Go to Facebook Live, DJ Khaled to Chrissy Teigen—commanded our attention. Here, we present Adweek's annual Hot List, featuring our editors' picks for the year's top magazines, television and digital media, and the executives and content creators who dictate where the business is and where it's headed. Take Amazon's Jeff Bezos, our 2016 Media Visionary, who not only has changed the way we shop but, via his ownership of The Washington Post, is helping to save journalism in a perilous time of real-vs.-fake news. Here, we also present the winners of our annual Hot List Readers' Choice Poll, which this year generated more than 1.2 million votes at Adweek.com. As ever, all the terrific content being produced out there is made possible by the smartest, most creative leaders in the business—aside from Bezos, individuals like Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg, FX's John Landgraf, and Hearst's David Carey and Michael Clinton. It is on them that we cast praise, and on them that a vibrant, forward-leaning media industry depends. Check out all this year's honorees: Hottest Magazines Media Visionary: Jeff Bezos Magazine Executive Team: Hearst's David Carey and Michael Clinton Magazine Editor: New York's Adam Moss Hottest TV Shows and Networks TV Executive: FX's John Landgraf TV Creator: Full Frontal's Samantha Bee TV News Anchor: Fox News' Megyn Kelly Hottest Digital Brands and Products Digital Executive: Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg Digital Creator: Casey Neistat This story first appeared in the November 28, 2016 issue of Adweek magazine. Click here to subscribe.

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Ad of the Day: Homebuyers Start Turning Into Their Parents in Progressive’s New Ads

November 22, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Some serious Mommy and Daddy issues are amusingly on display in Arnold Worldwide's latest campaign for Progressive insurance. Homebuyers assume the most annoying traits of their parents in the ads, based on the insight that folks change in weird ways when they buy their first home. "It's as if you flip the 'grownup switch,' " Cat Kolodij, Progressive's business leader for marketing strategy and innovation, tells Adweek. "For many of us, the first time we realize we are grown up is when we catch ourselves doing something our mom or dad always did." The spot below shows a young wife acting like her father, with a gruff attitude, manly mannerisms and, worst of all, a taste for watching golf on TV: Honey, let's get divorced. You can keep the house! Next, a husband takes on the fuss-budget traits of his mother, right down to obsessive vacuuming and serving deviled eggs at all hours of the day: "Daughters are influenced by fathers as much as mothers," Kolodij says. "Sons are influenced by mothers as much as fathers. We didn't think the story had to conform to a traditional 'daughter-becomes-her-mother' paradigm. Since the insight is so true, we find people quickly get the idea." Too bad the characters didn't start dressing up like Flo and chasing each other around with name-your-price tools. (We're assured the iconic ad character will return for Progressive in the near future.) The new work trades in sitcom-y cliches, but director Roman Coppola keeps the material from lapsing into complete absurdity and coaxes spirited performances from the cast. "Roman is very good at identifying what's funny in an idea or a scene, and then nurturing that thing without overdoing it or pointing at it too hard," says agency executive creative director Sean McBride. "He told us from the beginning that he wanted to create moments that looked and felt like they were lifted from these people's lives." On set, improvisation was strongly encouraged.

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Lyft’s New Device Aims to Increase Safety and Eliminate Awkwardness With Drivers

November 15, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Do you even Lyft, bro? Lyft, a ride-sharing service, is shaking things up in a major way. The young company, which was launched in 2012, has already gone through a few identity iterations. The most recent one is sort of a cool-older-sibling vibe. Today, the brand announced a new part of it's in-car experience: the Amp. What looks like one of those fancy Bluetooth speakers everyone has at pool parties is actually a cool new way for drivers to communicate with riders. By day, the Amps will be the signature Lyft pink/magenta color. But when it's pulling up to a Lyft user who has ordered a ride, the display will turn green, thereby eliminating the awkward moments that plague a lot of ride-share app users. Bonus feature: if multiple people in a specific area all order a Lyft, their cars will each display a different color, as specified in their app. "We've seen three times our typical growth in the last 18 months," said Melissa Waters, Lyft's vp of marketing. "And we want to expand as we grow." Getting into someone else's car means agreeing on a shared assumption of safety.

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GoPro Launches Its First Scripted TV Ad, Part of Its Biggest Global Campaign to Date

November 10, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

For years, GoPro has taken a user-centric approach to its advertising, packaging submitted content for TV spots that have run everywhere from YouTube to the Super Bowl. But today, it's launching its first scripted TV spot, which is part of its largest campaign yet that's rolling out on a global scale. TV spots will run in the U.S., Spain, Germany, France, Korea, Australia and other markets. And there's an accompanying global campaign aimed at creating around 1.4 billion impressions. The campaign is a combination of regional and national ad buys, with the first spot airing today before ramping up Friday and then airing in prime time during Sunday Night Football. According to GoPro svp of marketing Bryan Johnston, the campaign is meant to reflect the diversity of the brand's users over the past few years, as its core user base grows from being adventure-seeking people documenting the great outdoors to a camera that can be used by anyone. "If we succeed, then we create thousands upon thousands upon millions of 21st-century storytellers," Johnston told Adweek

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The Trump Phenomenon Delivered Massive Ratings for Cable News Throughout

November 9, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Say what you want about the outcome, but the 2016 presidential election cycle was unlike any the news media has ever experienced. As you might expect, cable news reaped significant benefits from the volatility of the race in the form of huge ratings. Fox News beat CNN in total audience on election night 2016 during the full coverage block, from 7 p.m. to 3 a.m. Per Nielsen data, FNC delivered 12.2 million viewers compared to CNN's 11.2 million. Fox News' viewership climbed on an hourly basis through midnight, while both CNN and MSNBC peaked at around 10 p.m. The ratings trends seem make sense considering now President-elect Donald Trump gained momentum as the night went on, while Hillary Clinton steadily lost steam. Fox News also beat CNN in the all-important 2-3 a.m. time period, when the race was called.

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The Trump Phenomenon Delivered Massive Ratings for Cable News Throughout

November 9, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Say what you want about the outcome, but the 2016 presidential election cycle was unlike any the news media has ever experienced. As you might expect, cable news reaped significant benefits from the volatility of the race in the form of huge ratings. Fox News beat CNN in total audience on election night 2016 during the full coverage block, from 7 p.m. to 3 a.m. Per Nielsen data, FNC delivered 12.2 million viewers compared to CNN's 11.2 million. Fox News' viewership climbed on an hourly basis through midnight, while both CNN and MSNBC peaked at around 10 p.m. The ratings trends seem make sense considering now President-elect Donald Trump gained momentum as the night went on, while Hillary Clinton steadily lost steam. Fox News also beat CNN in the all-important 2-3 a.m. time period, when the race was called. CNN did make some ratings history in prime time, as 13.3 million total viewers tuned into the network's Election Night in America coverage

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This Online Estate Sale Site Has Digs as Cool as the Virtual Auctions It Hosts

October 18, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

For all those estate sale lovers who have a penchant for, perhaps, a seat from Crosley Field or a set of bronzed baby-shoes bookends, online auction site Everything But The House provides a sort of instant gratification that was once only found on lucky Saturday mornings in posh suburbs. The Cincinnati-based retailer launched in 2008 and has grown substantially in the past four years since scaling the business, opening 21 offices around the country. The company’s 16-person Los Angeles outpost needed digs to reflect its brand’s mission. “At the project’s outset, I worked with interior designer Peter Dolkas to conceptualize an open space office where there would be moments throughout that would inspire our team,” said EBTH merchandising vp Michelle Lee. “Peter’s vibe is a little more traditional, California contemporary, and mine is more midcentury, eclectic and vintage, so it was a great balance. Ultimately, we wanted to make sure the office felt authentic—filled with the kinds of pieces that are discoverable on our site.”

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Brands Are Throwing Out Gender Norms to Reflect a More Fluid World

October 17, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

James Charles may not seem like the typical ambassador of a beauty brand—and he's not. Meet CoverGirl's first CoverBoy. No doubt the half-century-old brand raised a few eyebrows last week when it introduced its latest model. But this was no mere stunt. Coty's CoverGirl says Charles will be an important part of growing the brand moving forward. At a time when gender identity and the turning on their head of gender roles are dominating the conversation, the move shouldn't seem so controversial. "We're more in the gender fluid space," explains Samantha Skey, president and chief revenue officer of SheKnows Media. As gender stereotypes lose favor culturally, marketers would be wise to promote that a "product is for a certain kind of hair or a certain kind of body type," says Skey, because "you can subscribe to that hair or that body type regardless of who you are." Demographic insights support that thinking

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