• Behind The Scenes Of Pepsi's Awesome Bus Shelter Ad

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    Gary Lathwell and Richard Peretti are the team at AMV BBDO behind Pepsi's Unbelievable Bus Stop - as well as other executions in the campaign.

    We caught up with them and asked them to give us a bit of background on how the idea came to fruition.

    "As part of our new Pepsi Max campaign, we were tasked to create an unbelievable experience in a public place. The daily commute is one of the most uneventful moments in people’s day and we wanted to change that. Working with OMD and Talon Outdoor we created a first-of-its-kind augmented reality 6-sheet in a bus shelter."

    "A high definition screen displayed a live video feed from an HD webcam mounted on the opposite side of the bus shelter. 3D animations and video were then created at the same perspective as the street and were activated over the live feed. Everything bedded in perfectly to sell the illusion."

    "The public’s reaction has been amazing. The film of the stunt received over 4 million hits in its first week and people are still flooding down to New Oxford Street to check it out for themselves.

    Early concept artEarly concept art

    "Creatively our biggest challenge was how we used the environment outside of the shelter. As you can see from our scamps, we needed  to consider what elements of the street we could use to our advantage. It was a lot of fun coming up with random stuff to shock Londoners, and with a brief like ‘make it unbelievable’ anything goes."

    "Technically, we were worried that the live feed might not match the outside world. Luckily everything lined up perfectly to sell the illusion."

    From the reaction this campaign has had already, it looks set to clean up at the next round of award shows. Great to see a big brand embracing technology, aligned with a great idea.

    We also came across this bus shelter idea from Adobe. Pretty smart too:


    ***RECOMMENDED FOR YOU ***

    Two directions for One Direction: Once you've drunk your Pepsi, brush with Colgate >Two directions for One Direction: Once you've drunk your Pepsi, brush with Colgate >

    Dynamo takes a bus through London. Levitating out the window >Dynamo takes a bus through London. Levitating out the window >

    via: The London Egotist

  • The Toronto Egotist 2014 Memorial Cup Preview

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    The MasterCard Memorial Cup 2014 is just two months away. We’re into the playoffs from March 20th, so here’s a look at the teams that are likely to make it to the tournament and their prospects for success. For news and bonus offers, as well as regularly updated odds of course, don’t forget to check SportsInteraction Canada nearer the time.

    History

    It’s nearly a hundred years since Canada’s Memorial Cup was inaugurated. In that time some of the most successful teams have included the Regina Pats, with four wins (though none since 1974); Oshawa Generals, also with four, the last being 1990; and the Kamloops Blazers, who spent most of the mid-Nineties holding the trophy aloft. The Peterborough Pirates and Gatineau Olympiques deserve a special mention for making 9 and 7 appearances in the tournament respectively, with 1 win each.

    WHL Playoffs

    The 2014 tournament, hosted by Ontario’s London Knights, begins on May 16th with the trophy being awarded on May 25th. Looking good for qualification from the WHL at this stage are the Kelowna Rockets, Portland Winterhawks, Edmonton Oil Kings and Regina Pats. Oliver Bjorkstrand of Portland has 50 goals in 69 games, while Edmonton’s Henrik Samuelsson seemed guaranteed at least an assist every game of the regular season. The Rockets have lost a Western Conference semi-final for the last four seasons and will be desperate to do better this year – maybe even repeat their Memorial Cup victory of 10 years ago. Playoffs commence March 20th.

    OHL Playoffs

    In the OHL, the Generals have taken the Eastern Conference title and will face Mississauga in the playoffs. It looks bad for the Steelheads, as they’ve lost 38 games of 68 this season. Look out for Guelph Storm and Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds of the Western Conference; Guelph take on eighth-seeded Plymouth Whalers, and you’d expect the Greyhounds to get past Owen Sound Attack, who finished the regular season on 70 points.

    QMJHL Playoffs

    Top tips for the QMJHL playoffs must include Cup holders Halifax, Baie-Comeau Drakkar and Val-d'Or Foreurs. Jonathan Drouin and Nikolaj Ehlers of the Mooseheads are among the league’s top scorers, while goaltender Zach Fucale has been heroic this season. Halifax face the Charlottetown Islanders, ranked 15th, while Baie-Comeau take on Shawinigan Cataractes, who won just 20 games in 68 this season. Val-d’Or will be expecting top scorer Anthony Mantha to demolish any remaining hopes that Acadie-Bathurst have of making it through Round 1. Mantha has racked up exactly 1 goal per appearance, with 63 assists as well.

    (Images courtesy of zenfs.com, cksn.ca, zenfs.com)

  • "Confessions Of A Placement Virgin" - how getting into an agency is like blagging your way into a club.

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    In the UK, aspiring creative teams cut their teeth in agencies with something called a placement. In the States, you'd call them internships. Typically these run for a fortnight but can run on and eventually your final placement turns into your first job. If you're on the placement trail now, or have been, or occasionally find yourself uncomfortably close to a placement team, this is required reading. Anyway, here are Max and Ran, more commonly known as Ran and Max:

    Max and RanMax and Ran

    "We’re a junior creative team recently released from the School of Communication Arts into the frenzy of young grads scrambling for a chance to get experience (and eventually a job) in London’s top ad agencies. A few weeks ago, The Egotist asked us to write an article about the following…

    "What We learned on Placement."

    Unfortunately, we’d only been on placement for 4 weeks so far. That’s not to say we haven’t learned anything - we’ve learned lots! (including how to poach an egg in the microwave: life-changing) but summing up what we learned on placement demands stories. Armouries of anecdotes. Quivers of quips. And we just don’t have them yet. So instead we have written this:

    "Confessions of a Placement Virgin."

    When we reflected upon our time on placement at our first agency, we were struck by how similar the experience felt to another virginal awakening…

    Being a junior creative team on your first placement is a lot like getting into a nightclub for the first time (when you’re not yet 18).

    Why?
    - You’re chuffed just to get in.
    - It’s really important that you fit in (and you’re trying a little too hard).
    - You don’t know anyone yet.

    Yes, it does sound silly, but after further investigation we discovered there was wisdom to be gained from comparing and contrasting the two experiences. Here’s what we learned:

    Fake IDs and Portfolios are the same thing.

    - Both get you into fascinating new places.
    - The best ones are expertly crafted, and cleansed of spelling mistakes and Comic Sans.
    - You should have the contents and order of each memorized.
    - Both must be presented with confidence and eye contact.

    Learning – Preparation is everything. You can seriously affect your chances of success by the work you put in before turning up and hoping to get a foot in the door.

    Fear follows excitement.

    Once you’ve got past Reception (or the bouncers) your initial excitement is quickly replaced by all-consuming feelings of inadequacy. Suddenly you’re convinced that:

    - You’re wearing the wrong shoes.
    - You’re the most boring and ugly person in the room.
    - Nobody has ever really liked you.
    - They’ve only let you in so they can laugh at you.

    Learning: Paranoia is not your friend.

    Believe in yourself.

    Your fake ID can be flawless… you can even have stubble! But clammy hands, shuffling feet and nervous stutters will betray you.

    The same applies to being a placement team; give people confidence in you and your abilities. Treat yourself like a brand and use your advertising talents to sell the f*** out of it. As our Dean (Marc Lewis, follow him here @sca2dean) used to say: ‘A brilliant pitch is 80% great idea, 80% brilliantly executed, 80% wonderfully sold’.

    Learning: If you don’t believe in yourself, no one else will.

    Sometimes things go tits up.

    Things in life don’t always happen the way you’d like them to. Indeed, sometimes no amount of preparation can immunize you against failure.

    Starting out in this industry is no breeze - things fall through, people break promises, places reach capacity – and sometimes it seems like you’re outside the club when everyone else is in. It’s important to remember that Advertising is subjective and your work won’t hit the spot for everyone.

    As clichéd as it sounds, the important thing to do is keep trying. Perseverance is key. Aside from being admirable, it shows people that you really want it, which might eventually make them really want you.

    Learning: Failure is your friend. It makes you work harder.

    There’s no one-size fits all.

    Every aspiring raver or wannabe placement team has a ‘hit list’.

    We make judgements based on hearsay, where’s currently ‘cool’ and where we think would sound impressive. It’s natural to think like that, after all you have to make decisions based on something, but it’s not smart. Just because you’ve heard The Box is like, ‘so totally cool and edgy’, it doesn’t guarantee you a good night. Just as working at BBH doesn’t guarantee you a career like Hegarty (filled with awards, happiness and sheep).

    *On a side note, what is it with the acronyms and weird names that clubs and agencies alike opt for? It’s like they want something exotic sounding enough to cover up the smell of vomit and desperation. Why the fuck is it called ‘Tiger Tiger’!? Was one ‘Tiger’ not enough?)*

    Placements can be exasperating, but they’re great for helping you and the agency find the right fit. You want to be somewhere that will get the best out of you, because making brilliant advertising is more important than the initials on the door of your workplace.

    Learning: Don’t limit your options. Great work is made by more than just a handful of companies, and snobbery isn’t cool. Overlooking somewhere because it isn’t a household name could seriously be shooting yourself in the foot.

    To conclude, we’d like to polish off our list of ‘dos’ with a short list of ‘don’ts’, which we may or may not be affiliated with. Enjoy:

    - Don’t call a Creative Director on their private mobile when they’re on a family holiday.
    - Don’t make highly sexist jokes about your partner in front of female Creative Directors.
    - Don’t joke about your Creative Director being short, to their face, on your first day.
    - Don’t send ‘reply all’ emails containing nothing but ‘A thought’ as the subject heading.
    - Don’t get drunk with the senior creative teams and call the agency website ‘shite’.

    Best of luck to all advertising grads past, present and future.

    Follow us @ranandmax to hear more of our misdemeanours.

  • Egotist Interviews: Designer's Philipp Boltz and Sascha Hass Founding Partners of Graphic Design Studio Boltz&Hase

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    Meet the German born Philipp Boltz and Sascha Hass, founding partners of the Toronto-based graphic design studio Boltz & Hase. Our interview with the young dynamic duo was insightful and entertaining, pay attention all you young designers at their emphasis on education.


    Who are Boltz & Hase? What brought two talented German designers to Toronto?

    P: Sascha and I met in university at Bauhaus and became instantly friends. We took a couple of projects together and independently decided to move to Toronto after we went to York University as exchange students. We loved the vibe of the city, it has a great underground art scene and we met some amazingly talented people. After each of us worked as freelance designers for a few different clients we came up with Boltz & Hase (fun fact: Hase is German for bunny, Sascha’s nickname since kindergarden) to establish a more professional image. We received a lot of positive feedback, which got us some exciting new projects to work on.

    You mentioned being strongly influenced by education, can you elaborate on that more for us?

    
S: There are a few things associated with the Bauhaus movement – aside from spheres, cones and cubes. Our education taught us to be critical to what is on trend and to be conscious to what is needed. When you combine those two elements (loosely related to the early 20th century form-follows-function principle) you are able to make your clients happy without having to compromise yourself.

    Walk us through a typical day in life at Boltz & Hase

    P: I usually get up first and make coffee for Sascha. All jokes aside, we both have day jobs. Sascha works for a great branding agency and I work in publishing. Boltz & Hase is our baby. We take care of it, we love to watch it grow and are excited to see what the future holds.

    How do you approach a new project? What is your design process like?

    S: We open a bottle of wine and start brainstorming. Let’s be real, that is how all of our university projects succeeded. Philipp and I work great together, we would normally decide on a strategy, refine our ideas on our own, then re-connect and talk about our results to find the best solution – or a few different ones. Clients love options.

    What design tools could you not live without?

    P: Pencil and paper.
    S: My Wacom tablet.

    What tips would you give to anyone who is looking to start a career in design?

    P: “Make the logo bigger!” A lot of us can be artists, or at least have artistic ideas, but not everyone can be a designer. If you have a problem with authorities, long hours and a low salary, this industry isn’t for you.

    S: Be yourself. Have an opinion. Be up-to-date on what is happening in the design scene but don’t feel obliged to adapt everything. And never send your resumé as a Word document.

    And finally, if for some far out crazy circumstance you guys didn't get into design, where would we find the two of you?

    P: I love to cook and bake. I would probably have my own café. With an impeccable corporate identity of course.
    S: I always wanted to become a pilot. I failed the athletic test, although I have been a professional gymnast in my teens. Oh well…

    See more of their work at Boltz&Hase.

  • The Egotist Interviews: Rising Star Jordan Foster of Studio six01

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    Since its creation in 2011, the full service production company six01 has completed work for a long list of clients including Samsung, BlackBerry, Taco Bell, SunnyD, KIA, DTS, and Virgin Mobile. The Egotist sat down with Partner/Creative Director Jordan Foster to get an inside look at the downtown Toronto studio and where this young shop is headed.


    ___

    Q: Tell us about Jordan Foster, what is it about making commercials and films that inspires you?

    A: I was drawn to filmmaking as a way of combining a background in visual arts and an interest in theatre. I was painting pictures and writing plays then one day it clicked that video was the perfect way to bring them together. I focused on visual effects and motion graphics, that was my way into the business. After a few years I got the chance to start directing and producing my own projects. We created six01 in 2011, Kyle Griblin and I run it today. The challenge of engaging an audience, of pulling them into another world is what inspires me. A successful project creates a world that you want to escape to for a little while. We created six01 to do work like that.
    ___

    Q: Does six01 have a motto/mission?

    A: No official motto yet, but we’ve learned a lot about ourselves over the last couple of years. When we first got started we were eager for projects and everyone seemed to be looking for post-production vendors. So, we did post work on feature films, music videos, and commercials. By the end of our first year we were a busy post-production vendor. But we didn’t want to be a vendor, it wasn't us, we wanted to be a production partner. We wanted to be providing direction, concept development, and project management – not setting up assembly lines and selling hours. So, we started hunting down projects we could art direct, then projects we could direct in-house, and then eventually projects we could produce ourselves. If we did have a motto it might be something to do with not waiting around, we’ve always been quick to take on a new role. We started out as a post shop working on the end of the assembly line for other people’s projects and after saying ‘we can do better than that’ enough times we decided to stop talking about it and do it.
    ___

    Q: Yourself and partner Kyle Griblin opened shop in early 2011, what do you attribute your quick success of landing big name clients?

    A; Hard work and a bit of luck always help but I think we also came along at the right time. We opened up shop at a point when visual effects work was becoming accessible to mid-sized budgets and everyone wanted computer-generated elements in their videos. Then, we moved into live-action production when broadcast quality cameras were becoming available for a reasonable price. Timing’s been on our side but we can also take a little credit for being quick to take advantage of those opportunities when they appeared.
    ___

    Q: Tell us a bit about the working environment and your shop?

    A:We’re a small crew but we have high expectations of ourselves and demand a lot out of each other. There’s a lot of brainstorming and heated debate. We go through a lot of dryerase markers. We have a handful of staff for day-to-day studio management and when we need to scale up we have access to a roster of amazingly talented local freelancers. Depending on the needs of a production we call in the specialized skill sets for the job. We don’t have endless rows of desks, we’re not a shot factory. Everyone is very hands on with everything, playing with cameras and lights at the studio. In a perfect world we’d have a whole sound stage connected to the office so we could be trying things out on a whim. But even in an imperfect world there are lots of experiments going on. We create content for traditional mediums like television and theatre screens but we also create video for live events and projection mapping onto buildings and custom made stages. So, at the moment there are also some big pieces of sculpted Styrofoam around the studio and on occasion the space is darkened for projection tests. We never wanted to be limited to a specific set of tools or just one medium. We love the idea of making content for the places you don’t expect to see it. We want to create the sort of work people would stop to watch if they were walking down the street regardless of whether it’s on a cell phone or the side of a building.
    ___

    Q: As you continue to grow, what do you guys look for in new hires?

    A: We’re not a big shop so we don’t need anyone who’s looking for a spot on the factory floor. We need creative problem solvers and storytellers, people who are flexible, independent, pick up new skills quickly, and are ready to wear a couple of hats.
    ___

    Q: Not to put you on the spot, six01 creates films, music videos and commercials, which do you prefer creating?

    A: I’d be lying if I said that I dreamt of making commercials as a kid, I wanted to make movies. With a few exceptions everyone hated the commercials we saw growing up. The exciting thing about getting into commercials now is that we started a studio on the cusp of a huge shift in how companies market themselves because of a shift in how people consume entertainment. People don’t have to watch the ads that interrupt their favorite TV shows anymore; they don’t have to watch anything that they don’t find engaging. That means we all have to work harder and the ads themselves have to be entertaining enough to stand on their own. Maybe if the bar had been set that high when I was a kid I would have dreamt of making commercials.
    ___

    Q: Can we safely say that six01 is Cheil's go to production company yet?

    A: We have a great relationship with Cheil. We connected with them almost a year ago now and started out with a few internal videos. Since then there’s been a long list of projects and this summer we received a lot of positive attention for the ‘Tabitiat’ campaign spots we produced. Cheil Canada and six01 actually have a lot in common. I think we’re both known for a specific thing that we’ve done well (Cheil is Samsung’s agency and six01 with post-production) but we’re eager to demonstrate our lesser-known strengths and we’ll continue to help each other do that in the near future.
    ___

    Q: What is six01 working on right now?

    A: It’s been a busy summer and it’s looking like an even busier fall. We have lots of new Samsung projects on the way so keep an eye out for those. We’re excited to be part of Cheil’s work with Samsung and to play a part in shaping the company’s image in Canada. We’ll have camera crews at the Tough Mudder obstacle event this September and we’re casting Vikings soon for a video that will appear projected onto the side of a museum in the UK. On top of that we’re preparing for a move to a new office space in the next couple of months, somewhere with a little more room to grow.
    ___

    Q: Where do you see yourself and six01 five years from now?

    A: A background in post-production gave us a unique perspective on production work and now coming from the production world gives a unique perspective on the advertising industry. So far an outsiders approach has worked well for us. We’ll keep carving out a place for ourselves and hopefully keep getting opportunities to try new things. We'll continue to align ourselves with companies and individuals who we find innovative. We’ll stay focused on quality work and use whatever tools we have to tell stories well. It's important to focus on the fundamentals because the formats will change; the medium that everyone will be obsessing over in five years probably hasn’t been invented yet.
    ___

    Q: Any advice for young creatives just building their portfolios?

    A: I think the future is in smaller studios that provide a wide range of services and they'll need a highly versatile and adaptable staff. So it’s a good idea to avoid limiting yourself by focusing exclusively on the things that you think will prepare you for that one dream job. Categorizing yourself is risky because as the industry evolves some categories will disappear. Try projects in mediums you’re not comfortable with and experiment constantly. For every project that I’m proud of there’s also a huge pile of experiments that got me there. Personally, I’d rather see a bunch of incomplete tests that show some innovation rather than the same thing, perfectly refined, over and over again. Of course that’s just my opinion.

  • Toronto Edition: In 20 Words or Less What's Your Creative Philosophy

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    In 20 words or less, what's your creative philosophy? What a great question that surely would generate some very creative responses. The SF Egotist first took to asking San Francisco based creatives that very question, the response was a wonderful glimpse into the thought process of some very talented creatives.

    We decided to take the very same question to Toronto creatives, in 20 words or less, what's your creative philosophy? What they shared gives us a look into the thought process of some extremely talented individuals. Take a look - tell us what you think and if you have a creative philosophy of your own share it in the comments.

    "Love what you sell.
    Then be honest with yourself about
    the human emotion why you love it (greed, lust, etc). "

    - Kevin Drew Davis
    Chief Creative Officer at DDB Canada
    ,


    "Don't be bitter.
    Be
    Better."
    - Andrew Simon
    Chief Creative Officer at Cundari Advertising


    "Exhaust all possibilities when you create and craft.
    There’s no worse feeling than, in hindsight,
    wishing you’d done things differently."

    - Allen Oke
    Executive Creative Director at TBWA\Toronto


    "Read everything. You'll find what you need when you need it.
    Travel everywhere.
    It's a great punch in the perspective."

    - Barb Williams R.G.D.
    Creative Director at RAPP Toronto


    "2 litres of magic,
    1 cup of cultural tension,
    1 cup execution."

    - Carlos Moreno
    SVP, Executive Creative Director at BBDO Toronto


    "Outrun doubt
    and
    fear."

    Pat Pirisi
    Creative Director at patpirisi.com


    "Put energy into work that you believe in;
    find collaborators to vibe with,
    then believe in those people over product."

    - Kai Exos
    Executive Creative Director at SPOKE Agency


    “If you throw someone ten tennis balls,
    they’ll likely be able to catch only one.
    Throw one. Make it count.”

    - Fabio Orlando
    Chief Creative at Tag Idea Revolution


    "Spend weeks researching, experimenting,
    agonizing over an idea...
    then tell everyone it just popped into your head."

    - Jordan Foster
    Creative Director / Partner at six01


    "If the brief can't be
    Delivered in haiku form
    The suits must go back."
    - Suzanne Pope
    SVP, Creative Director at Sudler & Hennessey


    "Think with the mindset of a consumer
    and create
    with the imagination of a child."

    - Gary Watson
    Executive Creative Director at Capital C


    "Make sure your work has a pulse,
    and always remember,
    lions don't lose sleep over the opinions of sheep."

    - Anthony Wolch
    Executive Creative Director at Entrinsic


    "Make sure you have a clear understanding
    of what the ask is,
    if you do - go nuts and have fun doing it."

    Natasha Romanelli
    Associate Creative Director at TRAFFIKGroup


    "Simplify the complicated."
    - The Toronto Egotist

  • Google Launches "Think Insights" In Canada, Finally!

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    By Fab Dolan, Product Marketing Manager, Google Canada

    With all that changes in the marketing industry, one thing remains the same: great marketing delivers breakthrough ideas built on deep insights. And thanks to digital technology, marketers have never had better resources to gather and bring those insights to life.

    Today, we’re a launching Think Insights for Canada - a place to go for Google trends and research, be inspired by the some of the best digital campaigns around, and for useful tools to drive insights. You’ll also find industry-leading case studies and interviews with innovators and experts from Canada and around the world—all to help you make the most of the web.

    Every month, we’ll publish content across industries and address topics on the minds of marketers. Here’s a taste of what we’ll be sharing:

    Insights: we'll share Google search trends, consumer insights and our latest research on the Canadian consumer. Take a look at Our Mobile Planet to learn how smartphone use is changing shopping in Canada, and how marketers can take advantage.

    Perspectives: In our Perspectives section, we tap our own experts for example Tara Levy on the Engagement Project - as well as digital visionaries like Mitch Joel and Jonathan Macdonald—to lend their insights and analysis on the topics that marketers are talking about.

    Tools & Case Studies: we have data to help generate insights to drive great creative - consumer barometer, the Full Value of Mobile calculator, Real-Time Insights finder. You can learn from other brands too -- for example Hudson’s Bay Company is sharing insights applicable to any size of business.

    Digital Creative Gallery: get inspired by the industry's best creative, and add yours to the collection, we’re just starting to collect the best of the best -- help us make this a resource to show and share.

    Think Insights will also be the new home for the Canadian YouTube Ads Leaderboard showing which YouTube ads most moved audiences this month, through a winning combination of savvy promotion and smart creative strategy.

    Stay Connected
    We built google.ca/think to help you stay up-to-date on the latest thinking in marketing, and arm yourself with data to gain insights for your business. Explore the site and if you like what you discover, subscribe to Think Letter for a monthly round-up of our most popular content or circle us on Google+.

    I hope you find something useful for your own unique challenges -- we’d love to hear from you with suggestions -- you can share or request topics here.

    Happy Thinking!

  • Omnicom and Publicis are Merging. Fuck.

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    That news seemed like as good a time as any to return to my column, for the foreseeable future.

    I’m sure you’re all way more informed than I am. No doubt, I am coming very late to this party. But when I heard the news that those two giant ad groups were merging, the only word I could bring forth from my filthy mouth was the four-letter one I so heavily rely upon. Day in. Day out.

    Fuck.

    It can mean many things. Just like “fuggedaboutit” in Donnie Brasco (a vastly unappreciated movie) means everything from “Raquel Welch is one great piece of ass” to “a Lincoln is better than a Cadillac,” fuck can mean many things to me.

    And in this case, it means, “well, there goes the fucking industry.”

    The healthy spirit of competition is one of the factors that drives people to do great work. It’s not the only reason, but it’s out there. “Christ, we have to do better work than Dipshit, Dickhead and Douche or we’ll never win this account.”

    It’s also a way to encourage differing perspectives and creative approaches. Some agencies thrive when they're working on certain accounts, like booze or cars. Others, they’re more into health-conscious clients and environmentally friendly products.

    Now, with Omnicom and Publicis merging, there is even less choice out there.

    For the record, Omnicom owns:

    BBDO Worldwide
    DDB Worldwide (including Tribal Worldwide)
    TBWA\ Worldwide (which in turn owns Integer, Being, DAN, Tequila and a bunch more)
    Arnell
    Element 79
    Goodby, Silberstein & Partners
    GSD&M
    Martin | Williams
    Merkley & Partners
    Roberts + Langer
    Zimmerman Advertising

    Plus dozens of customer relation management firms, media firms and more.

    They own a fucking lot.

    Now, they’re merging with Publicis. They own over 1,200 agencies around the world including:

    Leo Burnett Worldwide
    Publicis Worldwide
    Saatchi & Saatchi
    Bartle Bogle Hegarty
    Fallon Worldwide
    Burrell Communications Group
    Bromley Communications
    Rosetta
    Digitas
    Razorfish

    And again, another bunch of agencies too numerous to mention here.

    Anyone scared or dismayed, yet?

    With one group controlling so much of the advertising, marketing and media in the world, where will the diversity come from?

    Where will we see the new ideas? The ones that challenge convention and break with the established order of things?

    Where will real creativity emerge?

    The simple answer is, it won’t. Or at least, it won't have the same chance.

    As the advertising world becomes more and more homogenized, the solutions offered will become just as bland.

    Big companies will not see the need to shop around for the best digital agencies, the best media, the best public relations, and the best advertising shops. Why should they? Now, in the MegaOmniPubliCom Advertising Warehouse, it’s all under one enormous fucking roof.

    It’s like the Costco in Mike Judge’s Idiocracy, where you can buy shit sofas, Starbucks handjobs and law degrees without ever venturing past the broken front door.

    Want media? We got it. Want digital? We got that too. Advertising? No problem. Events? Easy. Want to spend less time assembling a diverse, creative and powerful network of agencies to service your corporation? No problem. Just give the MegaOmniPubliCom Advertising Warehouse your business, and go play 18 rounds of golf. We’ve got your back.

    This is just what the agency world didn’t need. The smaller, more creative shops still managing to scrape a living will be hard-pressed to offer the range of services that the MegaOmniPubliCom Advertising Warehouse can offer. They will have a difficult time matching responsiveness and price, too.

    Just like conglomerates pushed out small businesses in our towns and cities, so too will this massive merger spell the end for the boutique shops who cannot compete with this kind of assault.

    All we need now is for WPP to join the party, and we can pack up everything and go home. A bunch of rich fat cats will get richer, ad agencies will report to the same overpaid bosses, and the chance to do some breakthrough work will dry up faster than Paris Hilton’s pussy at a World of Warcraft convention.

    With all the agencies out there, it may seem like we have a ton of choices. But with so few people actually pulling the strings, all we really have is the illusion of choice.

    The advertising industry will pump out the same controlled messages that the media currently dishes out from just a few outlets.

    And before you know it, we’re all insignificant cogs in one enormous advertising machine. Its only goal…to mass-produce mediocrity and reward those at the top with paychecks they couldn’t spend in ten lifetimes.

    Fuuuck.

    Felix is a site contributor, ranter and curmudgeon for The Denver Egotist. He’s been in the ad game a long time, but he’s still young enough to know he doesn’t know everything. If he uses the f-bomb from time-to-time, forgive him. Sometimes, when you're ranting, no other word will do. In his spare time, he does not torture small animals. He's been known, on occasion, to drink alcohol by the gallon. Do as he says, not as he does.

  • When Brand Building Becomes Personal

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    Jared Dunten is a lot of things. Copywriter. Artist. Father. Husband. Paraplegic. Fighter. That last one probably should have come first.

    In 2000, Jared dove into the Rio Grande, on the Texas/Mexico border. He woke up days later in a hospital 400 miles away. He’d broken his neck and injured his spinal cord.

    Doctors said he’d be lucky to breathe on his own again. Walking? Best to forget about that. But the doctors underestimated him.

    In the 13 years since the accident, Jared has been fighting his way back, starting with breathing on his own. Then months of rehabilitation. He returned to Austin, resumed his job as a copywriter at GSD&M. Became an accomplished painter using only his mouth. Got married. Had twins.

    All the while he’s been fighting paralysis, and fighting the notion that he and others with spinal chord injuries will never walk again.

    He’s become an advocate and activist by doing what he knows best – building brands – taking the skills he learned in the advertising world and applying them to his fight. He started with Will Walk www.willwalk.org, a foundation which uses art and film to create awareness about paralysis.

    And he’s not doing it alone. He’s pulling in people from other areas of the industry to help him create and promote this “brand.” The Butler Bros., Marty and Adam, are longtime friends of Jared. They both had large-agency gigs but left ten years ago to explore more innovative ways to tell brand stories. www.thebutlerbros.com

    They’ve applied their unique approach to a film that uses Jared’s story to encourage people to be more vocal about spinal injury research. See the trailer here: http://bbros.co/willwalk

  • Oh, The Infantilization of it All! Or, I’m An Old Grump

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    By Cameron Reed

    I’ve been kicking around this thought lately. It’s not a profound one, and it’s most certainly something that’s been written about at length, only I haven’t read it yet. Anyways, I was thinking about two things, really:

    1. Growing older on the Internet / Social Media, and

    2. Adults unwittingly acting like children by mimicking Internet / Social Media trends.

    1. Growing older on Social Media

    I’d argue that I’m part of the first generation that has to consider what it means to grow older on social media. Since I was 20, I’ve been on message boards and proto-social networking sites like Makeout Club (shouts!), then LiveJournal, then Friendster, and then Myspace, and then… oh god this is actually just really sad. Ten years later, I’m starting to wonder whether if, or when, this is a thing to grow out of. This is not something that other generations have had to consider.

    I think it comes down to whether it’s something you value or not. Recently, I’ve found that I do not and this is obviously a personal choice. Don’t get me wrong, I have no problem with someone who stays on Facebook until they die. I don’t really care. Rest in peace.
    My question is: Should we grow out of social media? As adults, do we really need this weird instant gratification? Shouldn’t we be more confident? We probably don’t need to check in on our friends and acquaintances every single day. It’s the difference between keeping “in touch” versus keeping “up to date.”

    For example: my brother told me that his friends announced via Facebook that they were having a baby. Their plan was to sit there with a glass of wine to watch the likes and congratulations roll in. Alternatively, a friend told me that someone they went to high school with announced they had a miscarriage via Facebook. In my opinion, this represents a very bizarre transformation of the public and private spaces. And, this certainly isn’t something that an adult should engage in.

    If all the trend pieces are to be believed (and these “trends” don’t extend outside of our privileged Western view of the world), there’s a new phase in life known as “extended adolescence.” This generally takes place during the ten years between high school Graduation until your late-20s/early-30s. If this is a real thing (it’s not), maybe social media is facilitating this phase and quitting these sites is part of growing up and moving on.

    I started thinking about this because I noticed…

    2. Adults unwittingly acting like children by mimicking Internet / Social Media trends

    This is a half-assed theory, but I think that most Internet trends come from teens. From Tumblr to 4chan, teens rule. Exactly how many online platforms are used is shaped by the early adopters (see: Teens.) And so it follows that our behaviour and the way we engage with each other online is largely determined by people still going through puberty.

    After an acquaintance of mine, feminist writer Meghan Murphy, wrote about the absurdity of the “selfie,” I started thinking about how the selfie became a thing and what taking one actually means.

    I think taking a selfie reflects the worst part of us and social media. It speaks to both our own insecurities and narcissism. You post a picture of yourself, you get likes, and then you feel better. Except that it’s fleeting and meaningless and both superficially inflates one’s self-worth while also ignoring the roots of an insecurity.

    It makes sense for a teen to do this. Teens are idiots and still trying to figure out who they are. They’re still forming an identity. Building the confidence needed so they eventually won’t require Likes to feel good about themselves. Grown-ass adults shouldn’t be feeding their egos the same way that teens do. In fact, when adults mimic these types of behaviours it shows teens that this type of instant gratification is enough.

    It’s not. Stop it.

    * I should note that I’ve been guilty of everything I’m mentioning here. I’m not some old man (I hate the term “digital immigrant”) that’s never fully embraced social media and doesn’t get why these kids waste so much time on it. I have been one of those kids for a decade, I’m only now starting to reflect on it more.

    Originally appeared on Cameron Reed's Tumblr.

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