2005. It started with a lot of chatter about two fellas, Lee and Dan, and the now famous VW suicide bomber viral they created. VW promised they’d sue, but the blokes only had to apologize, and then they got signed to Quad Pictures.
Then there was the Ogilvy scandal regarding padded time sheets. After that there was the Saatchi 17 and their "mutiny". And then, of course, the most recent Neil French fiasco, where he spoke at ihaveanidea in Canada, and ended up leaving WWP after Nancy Vonk wrote about it on her blog.
In other agency news, Beattie, McGuinness and Bungay left TBWA to start agency, Andy Law started a new agency, and Mad Dogs went on sale. There were the Donny Deutsch beach shots that got Jeison Rodriguez fired and then hired. And Fred + Farid launch Publicis-backed creative shop, Marcel while Frank Lowe’s startup stole employees and accounts from Lowe Worldwide.
The continued panic over the death of TV caused people to wonder if ads still work, and Bob Garfield to write his "Chaos Scenario". There was also an increase in some new ways to reach consumers. We saw ads on snail mail, more on ads in editorial content, brands like McDonald's product placing its "Big Mac" in rap lyrics. Some companies advertised on homeless people's signs, others used cows. Dish got a town to take their company's name, while in Times Square we saw the first live billboard there followed by Sears putting a family in a snowglobe.
On the web we saw a return to webisodes and that RSS feeds with ads in them (thanks to Google) are here to stay. Although, we are still waiting to see if there will be backlash. Movistar began instant messaging branding and recently Dentsu and TV networks joined forces to create a new online venture. The use of the web and spread of viral advertisements caused us to wonder if non-traditional media going mainstream. Especially as many major ad campaigns debut on the Web not TV.
For TV there was a move in Japan to ban tivoing past the ads while TiVo teamed up with advertising agencies, and the new news was that new ad targeting widget and DVR fears were overblown. There was also a trend towards agencies and clients getting involved in the media themselves with rumors of CP+B to do sitcoms, Nordstrom unveiling their own broadband video channel and even more recently, live ads in video games.
Not surprisingly in this media revolution or chaos, we also saw our fair share of stunts and attempts at publicity in the name of advertising. Unfortunately there were also still plenty of eBay auctions, from Super Bowl Human Ad Space and more creatives for sale to Auctioning off Carrie's colon and other online auctions including Coke debuting their new zero-calorie cola . But thankfully the advertising on forehead hype reached fever pitch and fell, although there were attempts to make new fads like Body Billboardz.
But even through all that, there were some traditional ads that caused a lot of chatter. Hootie singing for BK, Dove’s Embracing of Real Beauty (which sparked some controversy), Stella Artios print campaign, Gene Kelly in VW’s GTI ad, and AIDES The Right One among others. This year also saw the world's longest billboard in Berlin and longest poster in Tokyo.
WOM, buzz, no matter what you call it, it got a good amount of attention this year. WOMMA was criticized most of the year with NIMF attacking them for "buzzploiting" children and teens and an unfavorable response to their ethics draft. There was the partnership between BzzAgent and Creative Commons but it didn't last. In Germany the International word-of-mouth marketing conference took place and Commercial Alert asked the FTC to investigate buzz marketing. The topic was so hot that a new ad mag launched dedicated these topics.
Another topic that was popular was Product Placement. Over the last years this is entering a second Golden Age. We wondered if there was a ceiling for product placement. We saw a FCC member ask the agency to investigate stealth advertising. We heard people say some obvious things like the key to product placement is context. The ASME was not happy about the sponsorship between New Yorker and Target, Writer Guilds call for disclosure in promotions and product placement (and more compensation), while just recently, the EU relaxed rules on product placement.
This year lots of people wanted us ad folk to think of the children. There was of course the fatty/sugary foods issue, and advertising aimed at children. We also saw a call to arms in protecting kids with theVBMA sets 'No Minors Under 16' standard. The UK also passed some interesting regulation about the attractiveness of men in booze advertising, to wit Lambrini was happy to oblige (eventually).
There were a couple of interesting trends throughout the year as well. Every car manufacture jumped on the employee discount bandwagon in the US. We also saw more and more brands get consumers involved in advertising. There was also a return to the ads of yore with Guinness bringing back the Toucan ads, Miller High Life returning to the Girl in the Moon and the Jolly Green Giant came back. There was also cross selling, like Cheez-Its ads with the Maytag Men. Another trend was using David Elsewhere as a dancer, for brands like Heineken and Volkswagen, along with the bedy leg or legs separating from the body. There must be a new filter somewhere for that. ;) One last big trend we noticed was not so much a new one but a well used one. Brands like Volkswagen and Virgin Trains were just two of the brands that used dead celebrities.
And speaking of celebs, they popped up all over during the year. Miss Paris Hilton's
Sidekick account got cracked and we had to wonder if it was a marketing stunt as sales go through the roof.
Jack White will write the next Hilltop song, even after G. Love's rendition of the oldie didn't make us want to chill. Carmen Electra was auctioned off for a date by Tag Body Spray. And Kate Moss got a lot of publicitiy after cocaine shots came out and was pulled from some campaigns.
Although back in February, research was showing that red-carpet walkers aren't making much of a dent in consumer consumption which might explain why we saw that some celebrities were finding new ways for celebrities to advertise.
This year the ad world proved that sex and ads go together like peas in a pod. There was the Advertising Week print ad that caused some noise in the ad world. Ad show call for entries included CP+B gaving us sexified students in risque poses for the Young Guns, and theEffies using a nude model in their banner ads. Then there were others which weren't so caught up in the sex but were strange on their own accord. The ballzy Malaysian Kancil Student Awards 2005 film, the One Show anti-doping campaign and Art Directors Club's weird poster.
And of course there were the awards: the One Show,the bAd Club in Bombay’s
The Shabbies, The British Television Advertising Awards,
The Good, Bad & Ugly, the OBIEs, D &AD Awards, Clio Awards, Cannes , WIN Awards, Kelly Awards,APA's Top 50 British ads , ADDY Awards, Loeries , Golden Drums, 20th London International Advertising Awards, Epica Advertising Awards , and Eurobest. Plus we saw a few new awards popping up, like the new awards popping up like the Zephyr.
There was some sad news this year. Henry Wolf joined Studio in the sky. The creator of 'Charlie the Tuna' drowned. Adman John Elliott Jr. died and the
voice of Jolly Green Giant passed away. Not to mention our "sad news of the year", the passing of Cheif slogan maven - who coined the word "dupliclaims" which we use in Badland - and Rick Eaton.
Rick Eaton joined adlist way back in 1998 and Timothy joined back in
1999. R.I.P. creative guys!
And to end this on an upbeat note, there was the way the creative communities pulled together to help after Katrina with offers for beds & offices for any creatives displaced by Katrina and the Ad Council launches disaster relief PSAs for Red Cross.
Well, folks, that was the year that was (and still is for a few days yet!). It will be interesting to see what unfolds in 2006.
Stick around as tomorrow we plan on posting the best and worst ads of the AdLand Roundup.
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