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Q&AA: Ted Danson is in his good place

7 hours ago

Ted Danson has made a career out of being comfortable in his own skin. But a recent interview with Ad Ageranging from his iconic role as Sam Malone on "Cheers" to his current work on "The Good Place" and a slate of new ads for Smirnoffgot him blushing.

"You just caught me watching one of the spots," he says, after picking up the phone. "It's always embarrassing when you're caught watching yourself."

In the vodka campaign he condenses his wit and charm into bite-sized chunks of six- and 15-second ads, sharing the stage with Jonathan Van Ness of Netflix's "Queer Eye" and actress and LGBT activist Laverne Cox, among others.

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City Spotlight on Paris: An eclectic ad scene thrives

7 hours ago

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VML London hires four senior women, The One Club goes international

15 hours ago

VML London has hired Senior Creative Team Eve Kemanes and Andreea Nedelcu, Senior Copywriter Paula Hochberg and Senior Designer Athina Collaro, bringing the office's creative department to 64 percent female. Kemanes has worked for agencies including Ogilvy, VCCP and Digitas. Nedelcu trained at Miami Ad School Europe and worked for Leo Burnett, JWT and Jung von Matt. Hochberg most recently worked at Senora Rushmore in Madrid. Collaro has worked at companies including Jo Malone, Avon, Hunter Boot and GlossyBox.

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Levi's promotes the vote in new campaign

15 hours ago

Levi's is going all in to get voters out -- casting their ballots on Election Day. Ahead of National Voter Registration Day on Sept. 25, the 165-year-old denim brand is debuting a new TV spot encouraging voting. It will also host voter registration booths in select stores and sell a limited edition "Vote" T-shirt.

The Levi's push is a concerted effort from a brand that hasn't shied away from controversial issues. Earlier this month, Chief Executive Chip Bergh penned a letter in Fortune magazine pledging the brand's support in ending gun violence. "As a company, we have never been afraid to take an unpopular stand to support a greater good," Bergh wrote.

Taking a stance on voting could help the San Francisco-based apparel brand connect with younger consumers, experts say. Larry Chiagouris, professor of marketing at Pace University's Lubin School of Business, notes that voting registration campaigns can help a brand appeal to a certain group of consumers without "antagonizing other segments." He notes that it's an issue that appeals to all.

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Apple, Salesforce join forces to boost mobile business apps

15 hours ago

Apple Inc. and Salesforce.com Inc. announced a partnership Monday that aims to increase the number of mobile applications for businesses available on iPhones and iPads.

As part of the agreement, Salesforce is updating its app with Apple's latest features, including integrating it with digital voice assistant Siri, Face ID security and Business Chat, an iMessage customer service function. The companies are also working on a software development kit that will more easily allow businesses to write apps for iPhones and iPads that run on the Salesforce platform.

"Einstein could not be more excited to be friends with Siri!," Salesforce Chief Executive Officer Marc Benioff tweeted. "This is the best of both worlds."

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Snapchat, Amazon team up to form mobile-commerce power duo

16 hours ago

Snapchat can now link shoppers directly to Amazon in a partnership that could help upend the mobile commerce space, and take on rivals like Instagram and Pinterest.

Snapchat's new visual search feature means users can take photos of products out in the world or in stores and be linked directly to Amazon for price comparisons and purchase. Snapchat's visual search also works by scanning barcodes.

"It's extremely smart for Snap and a potential first step for Amazon in their quests to be the masters of e-commerce," says Noah Mallin, head of experience, content and partnerships at Wavemaker. "It's also a potential disaster for brick-and-mortar retailers who sell products available on Amazon and already have to deal with consumers who research in person and then buy online."

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Watch the newest ads on TV from FedEx, Levi's, T-Mobile and more

19 hours ago

Every weekday we bring you the Ad Age/iSpot Hot Spots, new TV commercials tracked by iSpot.tv, the real-time TV ad measurement company with attention and conversion analytics from more than eight million smart TVs. The ads here ran on national TV for the first time over the weekend.

A few highlights: Papa John's serves up a fresh 30-second cut of an ad in which its diverse employeesas opposed to its controversial, now-departed founder and CEO John Schnattertalk up the pizza chain. (Ad Age's Jessica Wohl gave the backstory on the campaign and shared a 60-second web version last week: "Papa John's ad puts real employees to work repairing its brand"). Levi's also offers a diversity-themed commercial that encourages viewers to head to the polls in November ("It's your voice, it's your vote"). And FedEx presents a cinematic period piece of an ad that dives into the history behind a treasured family photo (one that, in present day, gets shipped by FedEx).

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Chipotle says it's for real in new campaign from new CMO

19 hours ago

Another points out that there are no heat lamps, freezers or microwaves.

Online efforts include a second Instagram account, @ChipotleForReal, where it offers descriptions of each of its 51 ingredients. Even tapioca starch gets a post.

Chipotle hired Venables Bell & Partners for its creative work and MullenLowe Mediahub for its media business in early 2017.

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'Facebook is a toilet': Watch John Oliver's hilariously harsh PSA for developing nations

19 hours ago

On Sunday's edition of HBO's "Last Week Tonight," John Oliver devoted his signature extended rant to Facebook's international expansionand, more specifically, some of the many ways the social network has screwed up on the path to global domination.

In the nearly 20-minute segment (which, as always, features strong language, so wear headphones if you're watching this at work), Oliver says that "for years, Facebook's founder Mark Zuckerberg pushed his utopian idea that all connections are good connections with feel-good ads," and then shares clips from those ads. "Unfortunately, thinking things through has never really been Facebook's strong point," he continues, before drilling down on what he calls the company's "hugely consequential mistakes" in foreign countries.

"For the worst distillation of what Facebook can do to a country," he says, "just look at Myanmar." Oliver details the country's "long history of religious and ethic tensions" and the military's "ethnic cleansing" of the Rohingya, which has caused an estimated 725,000 of them to flee to Bangladesh and a "conservative" death toll of 10,000. "By all accounts," Oliver statesciting various news reports and a U.N. study"Facebook absolutely did inflame preexisting tensions there" and was woefully ill-prepared to deal with the rise of hate speech on its platform Myanmar.

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The 3 types of IoT data that retailers can really use

20 hours ago

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After 49 years, the Ad Council has a new logo and a new look

20 hours ago

From Smokey the Bear and "Keep America Beautiful" to "Love Has No Labels," the Ad Coucil has created some of instantly recognizable campaigns. The organization itsef, though, has been less visible. So, for the first time in nearly a half century, it's switching things up with a rebrand.

In the last few years, cause marketing has become a crowded space. "As this industry has grown and diversified, there are many, many new players that didn't exist even five or 10 years ago. They don't necessarily know who we are or what we do," says Lisa Sherman, president and CEO of the Ad Council.

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Is the grass really greener? A creative's take

21 hours ago

Two years ago I decided to leave the agency world behind and begin a new chapter on the brand side. The decision wasn't easy, nor quickly made, but I'm glad I did it.

Starting out our careers on the agency side is what most creatives do. It can be a truly fantastic experience. Agency life is fast-paced. You learn from top-notch creatives and gain exposure to amazing brands. The highly transferable nature of your creative skills may take you to several countries. You probably work on blue chip clients at blue-blooded agencies. You win your share of the "chrome." You get to make an impact on the work.

Yet times are changing. The heyday of the agency world is seemingly over. We've all read the headlines, a litany of sins and reasons why the outlook appears so bleak. Declining budgets, agency mergers, splits and fiascos, the rise of social, the pace of digitalthe list is endless. To add insult to injury, you're asked to make your video vertical.

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Here's why SiriusXM is purchasing Pandora for $3.5 billion

22 hours ago

SiriusXM said Monday that it is acquiring Pandora in a $3.5 billion deal that aims to create an all-encompassing digital audio offering that will reach some 100 million users in their vehicles, in homes and on mobile devices.

During a call with investors this morning, Jim Meyer, chief executive at SiriusXM, said many potential new listeners try out the satellite radio service when they get a new or used vehicle, but often do not become paying subscribers.

On that score, the company sees some 23 million trial customers each year, but it only has 36 million paying subscribers. When coupled with Pandora's 70 million monthly active users, however, the company feels it can win even when listeners don't subscribe. The combination will also help Sirius expand beyond an audience that largely listens while driving.

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Weight Watchers changes its name and pivots to wellness

52 minutes ago

Weight Watchers is taking its biggest step yet to alter people's perceptions about the brand: It's changing its name.

The company announced Monday that it's now called WWwhich it says pays homage to the brand's heritage (it was founded 55 years ago by Jean Nidetech as a weight-loss company) but shifts the focus from dieting to wellness. Its new tagline: "Wellness that Works."

People no longer need a weight loss goal to join up, for one. And starting Oct. 4, the company's app will be updated: A new program, WellnessWins (there's that double W again), will reward WW members for things like tracking their meals and attending wellness workshops; the FitPoints algorithm will be more personalized and encourage high-intensity and strength-training exercises; and new groups are being added for people with common interests (think: vegetarians, new moms, yoga fans). WW is also partnering with meditation app company Headspace on customized content that comes out later this fall (first in English only, and later German and French).

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P&G's 'The Talk' wins top honor at AdColor Awards

4 hours ago

Procter & Gamble's "The Talk," a sobering look at the difficult conversations African-American families have about racism and police violence, won Ad of the Year at the 12th Annual AdColor Awards in Los Angeles on Sunday.

"The Talk" is part of P&G's long-running "My Black is Beautiful" campaign, which seeks to connect with black women and girls. BBDO New York created the spot, which was directed by Malik Vitthal of The Corner Shop. In it, mothers must explain the realities of racial bias to their children: being called "pretty for a black girl" is no compliment; good driving is no protection from getting pulled over; being out after dark can be dangerous no matter how innocent your actions.

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The Top 5 most creative brand ideas you need to know about now

6 hours ago

Welcome to the Creativity Top 5 most interesting brand ideas of the week.

5. Denny's: 'Mobile Relief Diner', EP & Co

Denny's is taking its grill on the road to provide food to people affected by natural disasters. After a trial run feeding victims of California wildfires, the Mobile Relief Diner is headed to North Carolina, with free pancakes, bacon and coffee for people hit by Hurricane Florence. The chain's creative agency of record, EP & Co, is getting the word out.

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Watch these siblings savage their brother in this jaw-dropping political attack ad

2 days ago

"Paul Gosar, the congressman, isn't doing anything to help rural America," says Grace, identified on screen in a new 60-second political ad as a rural physician.

"Paul's absolutely not working for his district," says David, a lawyer.

"If he actually cared about people in rural Arizona, I bet he'd be fighting for Social Security, for better access to health care," says Jennifer, a medical interpreter. "He's not listening to you, and he doesn't have your interests at heart," says Tim, a private investigator.

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What's next for MDC? The industry weighs in

3 days ago

Now that MDC Partners has said it's exploring options, including a potential sale, the industry is speculating about what happens next.

The possibilities are many: MDC agencies might buy themselves back from the holding company. Consultancies like Accenture Interactive or Deloitte Digital could swoop in and purchase the whole thing or cherrypick shops. Private equity could come in and restructure MDC's operations. Or other holding companies might consider snatching up some MDC agencies, which include 72andSunny, Anomaly, Crispin Porter & Bogusky and Forsman & Bodenfors.

Major agency holding companies have gone on the block only a handful of times in recent years. Last year, Vivendi bought Havas, formally bringing together two firms that already were connected through the Bollore family's share holdings. U.K.-based Aegis Group, parent of Carat, was acquired for $4.9 billion in 2013 by Dentsu Inc., forming what is now the Dentsu Aegis Network. Back in 2001, IPG acquired True North Communications, parent of FCB.

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Agency Brief: Choo choo trains and glittering unicorns

3 days ago

Somos sociales

Social-led creative agency We are Social is opening a new office in Madrid, the shop's 12th office, led by managing director Alberto Pachano. The move follows We Are Social's purchase of a majority stake in Socialize, the Middle East's largest indie social media agency.

On the move

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Agency Brief: Choo choo trains and sneezing unicorns

3 days ago

Somos sociales

Social-led creative agency We are Social is opening a new office in Madrid, the shop's 12th office, led by managing director Alberto Pachano. The move follows We Are Social's purchase of a majority stake in Socialize, the Middle East's largest indie social media agency.

On the move

Continue reading at AdAge.com

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