Have you been to a festival this year? Do you have any money left? Music festivals are too much for me to be honest.
Are you old enough to remember mosh pits? Can you tell me what a mosh was? I’ve paid my dues to the mosh gods. Broke my nose in one – 2010. The good ol’ days.
Have you ever had to choose between two favorite bands who were on at the same time? What was were your criteria? Do you use that same criteria in your agency life? I always go with my first instinct.
If you could be any animal, would it be the muppet drummer? No, definitely a bear with chainsaw arms.
Has a guitar ever gotten you laid? What is the best brand of guitar for getting one laid? Asking for a friend. I have never had much monetary success in the music industry, but playing in a band DEFINITELY gets you laid.
Whose Spotify playlist would you rather hear: Kid Rock or Kid Cudi? Kid Rock – American Badass
Are you old enough to remember mosh pits? Can you tell me what a mosh was? Mosh comes from “Nosh” – which is the Yiddish word for “eating” or “hungry”. A mosh pit resembles a traditional dance called “the hora” that is done at bar mitzvahs and jewish weddings. As the dance ends, attendees then “nosh” (eat the meal). At the Rainbow Theatre, London, on December 31, 1977, the Ramones recorded their live record “It’s Alive”. In between songs, Joey Ramone (who was Jewish) can be heard advising the crowd of rowdy punks “Ay youse guys, you gotta be careful in the nosh pit”. On the recording it sounds like “mosh pit”.
What else could the letters EDM stand for? Electro Dynamic Magnets (how do they work?)
Who ripped the holes in your jeans, you or someone in China? My dog ate my homework. And my jeans.
Have you been to a festival this year? Do you have any money left? No and no.
If you went to a festival this year, did you lose anything? Your car keys? Your wristband? Your lunch in a port-o-let? Probably would have lost a little dignity.
How many people in your agency or office play an instrument? Why aren’t they with you onstage? We have 38 guitar players. They didn’t make the cut.
How is a client call like attending a music festival? (You know, crowd too big, people elbowing to get in front, happens over two weekends…) Lots of noise with very little substance until the end of the call.
Are you old enough to remember mosh pits? Can you tell me what a mosh was? Yes. Mosh pit: noun – an area in which purposefully thrust your body into several random, sweaty, overly amped strangers. It’s not as fun as it sounds.
Have you ever had to choose between two favorite bands who were on at the same time? What was were your criteria? Do you use that same criteria in your agency life? No.
What else could the letters EDM stand for? Especially Despicable Mother-In-Law
Why did you choose your festival song? Have you seen it performed live? Is it Haim? ‘Cause Haim is totally way better live, right? Haim makes me more sleepy than turkey
Do you have any reefer? Thanks. Be cool, man.
If you could be any animal, would it be the muppet drummer? I see what you did there, and the answer is yes.
Tits, bits and pits. Discuss. Everyone has them. End of discussion.
Who ripped the holes in your jeans, you or someone in China? We prefer cargo pants and chinos.
Has a guitar ever gotten you laid? What is the best brand of guitar for getting one laid? Asking for a friend. I think I’m beginning to understand the Muppet thing.
Why did you name your band that? Really. Is your mom okay with it? My mom picked it out, and she’s thrilled.
Whose Spotify playlist would you rather hear:
Kim Jong-un’s or Jared Kushner’s? Kim’s because, K-Pop. DUH, Muppet man
Kid Rock or Kid Cudi? Cudi.
Steve Bannon or Pennywise the Dancing Clown? (Or is it the same playlist?) Same playlist, same person.
It’s been 10 years. Is it okay that we are still leaving Britney alone? Yes, leave her in the past (and Vegas).
Have you been to a festival this year? Do you have any money left? Yes, and no. But it’s our fault for splurging on the helicopter.
If you went to a festival this year, did you lose anything? Your car keys? Your wristband? Your lunch in a port-o-let? Our innocence.
How many people in your agency or office play an instrument? Why aren’t they with you onstage? A lot. Clearly we have only the highest and most specific standards. Also they couldn’t get babysitters during practice.
How is a client call like attending a music festival? (You know, crowd too big, people elbowing to get in front, happens over two weekends…) The only way to be heard is to shout as loud as possibly and interrupt whomever is talking. Also the copious amounts of alcohol required to enjoy it.
Are you old enough to remember mosh pits? Can you tell me what a mosh was? Mosh Pits are why Gen Xers never had enough remaining energy to actually do anything with their anger.
Have you ever had to choose between two favorite bands who were on at the same time? What was were your criteria? Do you use that same criteria in your agency life? The one that had the cooler stage to look at.
What else could the letters EDM stand for? Erectile Dysfunction Man, a superhero for the limp and lively.
Why did you choose your festival song? Have you seen it performed live? Is it Haim? ‘Cause Haim is totally way better live, right? One of our people just saw one of our songs performed live at a festival last weekend. Our version is better.
Do you have any reefer? Thanks. Shh. Be cool.
If you could be any animal, would it be the muppet drummer? He’s the only drummer crazier than Keith Moon. He wins.
Follow up, of the members of the muppet band, who us your favorite? It’s Janice, right? Because if it’s not Janice you’re wrong. No, dummy. Animal is the best. See above. Dude needs to be chained up when he’s not playing. That’s a rockstar.
Tits, bits and pits. Discuss. The trick to all three is to let them breathe. And if you don’t mind your pits you’ll never see anyone’s tits and bits.
Who ripped the holes in your jeans, you or someone in China? Holes should be earned, not purchased.
Has a guitar ever gotten you laid? What is the best brand of guitar for getting one laid? Asking for a friend. The best guitar to get you laid is the one you can actually play.
Why did you name your band that? Really. Is your mom okay with it? My mom doesn’t know, nor would she understand the reference. Which is a good metaphor for our relationship.
Whose Spotify playlist would you rather hear:
Kim Jong-un’s or Jared Kushner’s? No.
Kid Rock or Kid Cudi? Kid Cudi is a musician, Kid Rock is like the human version of a cigarette butt floating in an above ground pool. So Kid Cudi.
Steve Bannon or Pennywise the Dancing Clown? (Or is it the same playlist?) Bannon isn’t the same as the Dancing Clown, he just used to work for the Dancing Clown.
It’s been 10 years. Is it okay that we are still leaving Britney alone? I sort of don’t think we ever should have in the first place.
Posted By Emily Hope,
Wednesday, September 20, 2017
Every day, it seems there is a new natural disaster occurring in the world, and companies as close as ground zero to the farthest corners of the country are offering funds, goods, and their own employees and offices to help with disaster relief. Here are a few of the ThinkLA corporate members that are using their advertising skills to help in any way they can!
Wonderful Company Immediately after Hurricane Harvey hit, The Wonderful Company donated $100,000 to the Houston Food Bank to support their most critical inventory needs. In addition, knowing that employees were also moved to support disaster relief efforts, TWC set up a special matching program. Through TWC’s year-round program, employees can already increase their impact through the Wonderful Giving Matching Gift Program. In addition, through September 30, any donation made to support Hurricane Harvey or Hurricane Irma relief efforts will receive an additional match, so – with the two matching opportunities – a $25 donation turns into $75 for the designated relief effort - that's a 200% matching program! Learn more about The Wonderful Company's Social Responsibility programs.
Maxus / GroupM
GroupM made a large donation to the Red Cross, and has also set up a microsite within the American Red Cross to help with access to information and news, donation links, and volunteer opportunities for hurricane aid. Locally, they are also starting a clothing, food, and goods drive.
PopShorts PopShorts has been working with the Ad Council on pro-bono work to support their Smokey The Bear initiative via a custom Snapchat lens, encouraging people to take precautions to prevent wildfires. They have activated many influencers in their network, including Chloe & Christi Lukasiak, Violet Benson, Hayden Summerall, CJ OperAmericano, and more.
Walton Isaacson For Hurricane Harvey, Walton Isaacson started a fund drive that lasted through Sept. 15. The agency also matched 100% of employee donations to Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund, created by the mayor of Houston, Sylvester Turner, as a direct response to individuals and corporations. The organization will connect donors with a network of nonprofits and innovative solutions in the social sector. Walton Isaacson will continue its' efforts in the near months, and are actively searching for other opportunities to support employees that want to be involved in disaster relief efforts.
In the spirit of philanthropy, RPA flaunted their mad kitchen skills and hosted a bake sale to benefit victims of Hurricane Harvey. 100% of the proceeds were sent to several charities who are helping on the ground in Houston.
TBWA\Chiat\LA / Omnicom Media Group Omnicom did their part in hurricane relief by creating an employee giving microsite to support The American Red Cross relief efforts. The company matched two-for-one employee donations.
Jukin Video made a donation of $25 for every video added to their library week-of Sept. 11 to M&M's Southern Creole Kitchen. M&M's Kitchen is a local Houston restaurant that has been pitching in to feed hundreds of evacuees and volunteers in the Houston area every day since the storm hit.
KTLA raised more than $1 million to provide relief to victims of Hurricane Harvey. 100% of the funds raised by KTLA will go directly to the Salvation Army and their response teams from across the country. The station-wide effort included a dedicated text campaign along with a continuing on-air and social media drive for donations, with day-long coverage from the Salvation Army shelter complex in Bell, CA. “It’s great to know how generous our viewers are to the people of Texas and Louisiana and I am very proud of the KTLA team’s efforts to assist in these communities. ” said Jason Ball, VP/News Director.
MullenLowe MullenLowe showed their support by shipping gently-used clothes to Southside Skatepark.
*If your company has supported Disaster Relief recently and you'd like to be included in this list, let us know!
Posted By Emily Hope,
Wednesday, September 20, 2017
It's big (ad) world, but we aim to make it feel even smaller by highlighting inventive, global ads, monthly, that are breaking the mold from the mundane.To capture that global spirit, we will feature inspiration from outside of the U.S., and sometimes from brands that we've never even heard of!
ThinkLA couldn't be more grateful for Luis Camano, ThinkLA Board Member, and Head of Innovation and Brand Activation LC/BA, for being our Global Warrior, and bringing these to our attention! We hope that Global Wednesdays will inspire our members as much as it does us!
1. PR stunt, from Tesco in China. This supermarket chain has been at the forefront of innovation and 'retail-tainment' for some years now.
This is a perfect example of a company totally committed for the benefit of its customers. A difficult subject to address, with a disarming execution.
2. Sampling at its best. Yes, a really good sampling idea that doesn’t rely on those annoying brand ambassadors.
Asics Brazil is helping runners find their perfect shoe. How? Step on our ad, please!
3. Changing behavior.
How many times we've heard the phrase “think differently”? Easy to say, difficult to obtain.
In a very unglamorous category, this Swedish chain of hardware stores did it. Magnificently.
Commentary by David Measer, Senior Vice President, Group Strategic Planning Director at RPA
Ever notice that farm-to-table restaurants are all the rage in big metropolitan cities? Or that guys in your office love dressing in work boots, denim, and flannel? They may seem unrelated, but they add up to a larger question — where do trends originate these days? And how can we capture and stay ahead of them to better connect with our audiences?
Most marketers tend to focus on the coasts when trying to forecast what’s next for customers. But the answers may lie more in the Heartland than in the urban centers of cool. Earlier this year, we teamed up with the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School of Communications to undertake a major research project studying the values, attitudes, and behaviors of the small cities between the coasts. After the derisively called “flyover states” jolted the political climate in the 2016 election, we wanted to better understand the culture behind the shockwave. We conducted ethnographic research in Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota, focusing on cities with between 100,000 and 750,000 people.
The insights were illuminating, and came with a big, unexpected twist. First, social media isn’t replacing face-to-face interactions in the heartland. “Social media feels like a gateway drug, but it doesn’t replace real connection,” one Nebraskan put it. Genuine, human conversations remain the most effective way to build relationships.
Secondly, heritage really does matter. Origins are valued and a deep respect for both ancestry and current geography are prized. This point has been frequently interpreted as prejudice or racism. We found the opposite to be true. The great majority of people we talked to reacted with consternation to the Trump administration’s proposed “travel ban,” citing both their local church’s activity with refugees, as well as their connection to their own immigrant forebears. Instead of being an excuse for exclusion, heritage can act as an invitation toward more inclusion.
Finally, gone are the days when trends appeared in Omaha and Kansas City only after they’d run their course in New York and L.A. Today, places like Fargo and Sioux Falls are moving at the speed of the Internet, aware of what’s happening not only in Brooklyn and Silver Lake, but also Tokyo and Buenos Aires. And they’re eager to put their own spin on it.
Midwesterners feel less like they live in a flyover city and more like they reside in a new kind of epicenter. But an even more profound insight occurred when we used these observations to better understand our big-city bubbles. Up and down both coasts, from San Diego to Seattle and Miami to Boston, we noticed downtown revitalizations, and a real population movement from the suburbs to urban centers. Was it possible that people in the big cities are seeking more face-to-face interaction, as we learned from our friends in the Heartland?
We also saw the huge movement toward local products and artisan goods all around us. Locally made crafts (Pickling! Butchery!) bore the distinctive influence of Midwest authenticity, challenging the assumption that coastal coolness gave birth to these trends. And we saw around us a real desire to get closer to the land. Whether it’s in our culinary trends (farm-to-table restaurants), our new hobbies (backyard vegetable gardening), or our spins on traditions (farm destination weddings), big cities are looking for Heartland realness.
Is it possible that the Coasts are looking toward the Middle for inspiration? Is the Heartland now America’s trendsetter? It’s time to consider whether our small cities are more influential on our overall attitudes and behaviors than we might think.
Perhaps influence is emanating from the inside out, and marketers should take a much closer look at the Heartland.
What’s the biggest challenge or opportunity facing the ad industry right now? The challenge: Margins are the biggest challenge facing the industry right now. There is simply more competition in almost every industry. Our clients have slimmer margins, our vendors have slimmer margins, and we have slimmer margins. Obsession with efficiency and cost cutting have us all chasing incrementally cheaper solutions. That combined with the multi-agency model has caused an erosion of the relationships between clients, agencies and their partners. The hunt for revenue has led to price cutting and fee slashing. In the end, that hurts margins even more.
The opportunity: Continue to evolve the agency business to maintain the highest-quality work while reducing the cost and effort to get there. The solutions are out there. We are excited about some we’re already pursuing.
What is the single most significant change you need to make in your agency in the next 12 months?
We need to reduce the effort required to make great work. Our clients have never been happier with our work, but today everybody needs things cheaper and faster. Improved workflow and technology will greatly aid efficiency.
What products/services/unique skills do ad agencies offer that guarantee the industry’s survival for another 100 years? I’m not sure there are products and services that agencies will still be providing in 100 years, but a truly objective perspective and cross-client experiences are agencies’ greatest assets. It’s hard for in-house teams to maintain objectivity, and creativity is greatly aided by a variety of experiences that come from working with other clients in other industries.
What attributes do you look for in your next generation of leaders/managers?
Curiosity and a collaborative spirit. The industry will continue to evolve. The people most able to evolve are those who embrace change instead of resisting it. The curious. Collaboration is critical in the agency business today. There is no place for “rock stars” who go away and work in isolation. The solutions and executions are so interrelated and complicated that we need people who welcome subject-matter experts to make their ideas better. Award-show credit sheets are getting longer and longer. It takes a village to make a great holistically integrated campaign. I want a village where people complement each other instead of competing.
If you weren’t working in advertising, what would you be doing as a career?
I’d be a sports talk radio host. I love sports, and my opinions are just as valid as the people I spend way too many hours listening to on my L.A. commute.
How did you get started in advertising? What's been your career road-map?
I was a journalist to start my career until I landed a creative role at a social media start up in San Francisco. That turned into a traditional agency creative.
What excites you most about this industry?
I appreciate that nothing is off the table, at least in the first round of creative. You can invent wild concepts, and maybe, just maybe, they’ll move on. Innovation and creativity is fun, and we’re fortunate we get to play with them.
Why are you involved with ThinkLA?
BarkLA was my first foray into ThinkLA, and I haven’t looked back since. I like working with people from other agencies and companies to help out furry kiddos like my own.
What’s the best advice you’d give to someone interested in a career in advertising? Are there any written materials you suggest to read?
Don’t take advertising personally.
In the times of horse warfare, some soldiers didn’t name their horses, because one day they would ride it into battle and the horse might die right under them. They thought if they named it they would become attached to it, and then lose their focus and mourn their friend when they should be looking out for the next spear or arrow. This is terrifyingly apt for advertising. Don’t become emotionally attached to your ideas or projects, because they could die under you for any number of reasons. Work hard, push your idea to be incredible and be proud when it’s built, but don’t beat yourself up if its scrapped.
The one book I recommend for anyone moving into advertising is Ogilvy on Advertising. A book I recommend to writers is Save the Cat! It’s a movie screenwriting book that’s notorious in the industry, but it has insights on organizing your concepts and scripts that are refreshing and very helpful.
The more I play and work with VR, the more I’m awed by its potential. But my awe cuts both ways. I’m excited by what we can do with VR but worried about the unintended impact it could have on society and marketing.
VR redefines what an immersive experience can be, reshaping how we interact with people online. VR is inspiring a new generation of games, operating systems, and interactive tools, to the point of defining a completely new vernacular of digital interaction. And VR is driving the creation of virtual marketplaces for niche audiences (Facebook will undoubtedly be a huge player here) that represent treasure chests for brand connection. This will only spread as the cost differential — a Google Cardboard costs about $10 while an Oculus Rift setup costs over $2,500 all in — comes down.
Here’s the rub: The more we feed technologies that encapsulate people and allow us to hyper-profile them, the more we risk isolation and regulation.
VR represents a quantum leap in withdrawal from the physical world. We already divide our attention with smartphones and count checking up on the activity postings of our Facebook friends (who we haven’t seen or talked to in over 10 years) as maintaining relationships. And we compulsively maintain virtual connections while doing other things. I mean, who doesn’t watch TV with a phone or tablet handy these days?
Now we can retreat into a bubble that replaces our reality altogether. You can’t multitask when you’re doing VR. You cut off all contact with your immediate surroundings and sensory perception attached to them, not realizing that time in corporeal reality is critical to honing your skills at interacting with other people (read: being in the world).
Meanwhile, marketers can record every granular micro-touchpoint from your stay in a branded virtual world, and build predictive personas that will make today’s targeting look like foggy glasses. That’s an invitation to regulation which could close off the marketing opportunity altogether.
Now is the time for marketers to put guardrails on VR — to protect the vehicle before we lose the keys. We need to pause and consider the potential ramifications of the plunge into VR marketing, including the risk of cannibalizing attention. Marketing depends on people being available and emotionally receptive — neither of which extended VR engagement promotes. The dystopian future that science fiction writers paint of entire societies hooked into virtual worlds is starting to look eerily accurate.
Technology moves exponentially faster than our ability to know how best to use it responsibly. And every new platform hits the boundary harder. As marketers, we share a responsibility for the impact of our work, so we need to think through how we use the wondrous technology taking shape before our eyes. Before we get around to some sort of industry standard, we can all do the world a favor by asking ourselves why we’re using VR and whether we’re prepared for the tradeoff. Not every occasion will pass that test.
Phelps creates and delivers integrated messaging and media campaigns for category leaders such as Bosley, City of Hope, Dunn-Edwards Paints, Learn4Life schools, Natrol vitamins, Panasonic, Public Storage and SunPower Corp. Founded in 1981 and 100% employee-owned, Phelps ranks as one of the largest independent agencies on the West Coast, and is regularly listed among the Best Places to Work in Los Angeles. Phelps is a member of the ICOM global network of agencies. www.phelpsagency.com