Monday, July 28, 2014
Sunday, July 27, 2014
Saturday, July 26, 2014
Advertising Age reported White Castle is placing its account in review, and incumbent Zimmerman from Omnicom will compete to hold the business. Should be a fierce showdown between Zimmerman and Fathom Communications—like watching Curly and Shemp battle for the role of the third stooge.
White Castle Begins Agency Review
Omnicom’s Zimmerman Has Handled Account Since 2009
By Malika Toure
Burger chain White Castle is conducting an agency review, the company confirmed Friday.
The incumbent, Omnicom’s Zimmerman, has led the fast-food brand’s creative and media efforts since 2009. Prior to that, JWT spent 15 years as White Castle’s agency of record.
“We always look at all of our partners on a regular basis, every five to seven years,” said Kim Bartley, White Castle VP-marketing and menu development. The marketer issued a request for proposals to agencies in June and has seven shops in the running, she said. It plans to make a decision by October.
“Zimmerman is one of the agencies being considered,” she added. “It’s a very good partner.”
Zimmerman called the review normal procedure for White Castle. “We’re very proud of the work our companies have done together,” a Zimmerman spokesman said in a statement, “and we’re happy to go in and present additional work, confident that our successful partnership will continue.”
White Castle spent more than $9 million in measured media in 2013, according to Kantar Media. The company has no plans to increase its ad spend in the short term, according to Ms. Bartley. “But we’re long-range planners,” she said. “This year, we are 93 years old.”
The review comes five months after Zimmerman lost the much larger Papa John’s business to Grey.
Part of the criteria will be plans to broaden White Castle’s appeal and contemporize the brand, Ms. Barley said. “It’s about showing business acumen, combining traditional and digital,” she said.
Rojek Consulting Group is assisting the effort, the third White Castle review for Rojek President Lorraine Lockhart. “What used to be a more operationally-driven company is now more marketing and brand driven,” Ms. Lockhart said.
Sunday, July 13, 2014
Adweek reported on the trend of advertising agencies showing interest in cause marketing. Apparently, “the emergence of the millennials”—an audience with do-gooder tendencies—helped motivate the integration of cause marketing into agency service offerings. Popular causes include environmental affairs, feminist issues, and LGBT rights. Now, what makes this all so despicable is Madison Avenue’s historic willingness to service clients who have hurt the environment (e.g., Dow, BP, Monsanto, etc.). More outrageous is the industry’s continuing discriminatory practices—especially against women and minorities. To top it off, advertising agencies have admitted cluelessness when trying to insert millennials into their ranks. Any agency selling expertise in cause marketing should first be required to publicly display their records regarding any of the topics above. Otherwise, clients should have a cause for concern.
Agencies Increase Focus on Cause Marketing
Young & Rubicam’s Inspire practice is latest example
By Erik Oster
Cause marketing is a growing trend in advertising, as agencies seek to align the brands they represent with social causes customers care about. The growing agency focus on cause marketing is now larger than ever, as evidenced by WPP’s Young & Rubicam Group’s decision to open a practice called Young & Rubicam Group Inspire entirely devoted to advertising with a cause.
Young & Rubicam Inspire is “drawing upon employees at several of the more than a dozen units of the Young & Rubicam Group, among them the public relations agencies Burson-Marsteller and Cohn & Wolfe, the branding agency Landor Associates, the public affairs agency Penn Schoen Berland, the digital agency VML, the direct marketing agency Wunderman and, of course, the advertising agency Y&R,” reported The New York Times. The new practice already has a presence online and on Twitter, and Young & Rubicam has been considering forming such a practice for three years, according to chairman and CEO Peter Stringham. Stringham told The New York Times that the realization that such a practice was necessary was accelerated by “the emergence of the millennials,” now seemingly advertising’s favorite target demographic, adding that “what the younger generation does washes back into the general population.”
He pointed to Trish Wheaton, managing partner for global new business at Y&R, as the principal advocate for forming the new practice. Wheaton identified the goal of the organization as meeting consumers’ “high expectations about the companies they do business with and the brands they will be loyal to,” while offering “a multidisciplinary approach that is unique, powerful.” While the practice is starting small in its early stages, Wheaton is hopeful that it will grow over time. “Right now, we’re pulling together teams that have expertise to work on a given initiative,” she said. “In due course, we would hope we will be successful enough to have some dedicated full-time employees.”
Young & Rubicam Inspire is the latest example showing that cause marketing can no longer be ignored. Others include Havas PR’s recent Havas Worldwide Climate Practice and Publicis Groupe’s recent acquisition of Salterbaxter, which The New York Times describes as “a consultancy that specializes in advising marketers and brands on sustainability.”
Popular causes in advertising include environmental concerns, feminist issues, and LGBT rights. Pride month saw a wealth of campaigns from brands including Burger King, YouTube and Lucky Charms. Female empowerment campaigns included Dove’s award-winning “Real Beauty Sketches” campaign and Always’ recent viral success “Like A Girl.” Criticism surrounding another Dove campaign, “Beauty Patches,” demonstrates the hazards of cause marketing: appearing insincere, or even tone-deaf and offensive.
Consumers have a natural skepticism about brands allying themselves with causes, and it takes tact to appear to not be using the cause solely for financial gain. Environmental ads are routinely labeled “greenwashing,” with Coca-Cola a notorious offender in the eyes of many groups. The terms “pinkwashing” and “rainbow washing” have also sprung up, to describe ads that capitalize on women’s issues and LGBT issues. As cause marketing becomes more prevalent, consumer skepticism will only increase and such campaigns will need to be handled with expert care on the part of advertisers, and backed by meaningful initiatives from brands.
As Stringham put it, “People trying to pull the wool over shareholders’ eyes or consumers’ eyes is not something we want to take part in. There is nothing we can do that masks the truth.”
Saturday, July 12, 2014
Friday, July 11, 2014
Wonder if Anthony Cumia—formerly of The Opie & Anthony Show on SiriusXM—will be asked to serve as a character witness for Donald Sterling. Gawker posted samples of Cumia’s Twitter rant, and it’s not pretty. Gotta believe even Don Imus would shun the shock jock. The culturally clueless, misogynistic moron deserved to get bitch slapped—and pink-slipped.
Thursday, July 10, 2014
There’s something about this Australian campaign against sexual harassment that doesn’t feel right. It’s trying too hard to be clever with an unfunny subject. Plus, advertising people creating messages to fight sexual harassment demonstrates hypocrisy of the highest order. What’s next? Diversity recruitment ads?