We’re always skeptical of User-Generated Content campaigns. Very few people contribute to them, they’re often expensive, and they encourage a lot of congratulatory ass-patting from uncreative ad men. So we had our doubts when Leo Burnett’s 4-month old New York Office got in touch with us about New York Writes Itself, “an ongoing series of creative productions fueled [submissions from] by the real people of New York City.”
The basic concept: “Scribes” submit scripts of crazy scenes they see in the city and the best are chosen by a pool of collaborative artists as inspiration for music, creative writing, art exhibitions, and any other crazy idea a New York artist comes up with. It’s like a more artistic version of Overheard in New York. Was this working? And why the hell was Leo’s NY office doing this? Intrigued, we headed uptown to meet with CCO Jay Benjamin and his Aussie right hand man, Creative Director Michael Canning.
Benjamin launched New York Writes Itself with Canning and fellow Creative Director Kieran Astill just a few weeks after landing from Australia. “Agencies like to shout about themselves and we didn’t want to throw out a big press release about ourselves. We wanted to do something in the city that was valuable to people’s lives and become part of the culture.”
So has anyone actually submitted?
“We’re starting to see dozens every day. Some are just a quote, others are like short stories. The full script is in the tens of thousands.”
Whoa. Tens of thousands of submissions? What was the secret? Free porn?
“A lot of times brands ask people to do too much,” Benjamin explained, “And when you can give people something very specific that they need to do that relates to their lives, which is just, ‘Listen to what’s happening on the street or watch what’s happening on the street and put it in there as a scribe,’ that’s for an average person going to be really easy and really interesting. ‘Cause then as a scribe, you’re also going to be rewarded. The piece that you wrote could actually be grabbed by an artist.”
“[When brands ask people] to make a short film, things like that are just a lot of times too hard.”
They also gained serious traction by tapping into NYC’s creative community.
“As the script fills out, more and more creative communities are reaching out to us. When we started, we contacted the Letterpress community and we’re getting ready to do an exhibit with them at the Art Directors Club in December. They came together as a group and said, ‘Let’s all do this together.’”
The Leo crew tabbed The Good Wife’s Kevin Conway—perhaps the most quintessential New Yorker out there—to read scripts in weekly episodesas NYWI's "Chairman." Conway is the perfect choice:
Armed with early success, the Leo crew is starting to think big. “Now as this thing grows up we now have a lot of ideas about things we want to do,” Benjamin said. “We’re hoping to get certain music artists involved and when we can do a big lead up to [an announcement] with one of them and that’s where a lot of interest will draw around. It will drive “Scribe” interaction.
They already see a big payoff for the agency as the project grows and they build a network of creative collaborators. “More than anything, I think it’s demonstrating the way we think,” Benjamin said. “We’ve set ourselves up as a kind of small collaborative model here. We’re not a massive agency, and we don’t’ really intend to be. But everyday, we’re meeting all kinds of people that we’re going to end up working with.”
*Your iPhone is your constant companion, we are looking for a mind that thinks in iPhone Apps & wants to inspire others with their unique ideas.
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RT+P have gone the old fashioned route, channeling a time when companies engaged with their customers through "Truth Tubes" and had an inordinate amount of optimistic enthusiasm for customer service. Today, our Truth Tubes exist through Twitter, Facebook, and apps distributing special offers. While some of them might be better labeled, "We'll sell you the truth for your loyalty" tubes, that's not the case for Citadel's good old Lewis.
Philly-based creative agency Red Tettemer + Partners recently launched a new TV campaign for Citadel banks called “On the Truth Tube Floor," an evolution of Citadel’s 2010 campaign featuring the character Lewis, who communicates with Citadel customers through a pneumatic tube called The Truth Tube. Lewis is earnest, optimistic and has an unbridled enthusiasm for customer service and demonstrating Citadel’s fresh approach to banking.
Last year’s campaign introduced the world to Lewis and this year, “On the Truth Tube Floor” showcases other employees all with Lewis-like zeal and all offering a new banking perspective through their personal Tube of Truth. The TV campaign aims to reach suburbanites from all walks of life and in different stages of their lives, from singles to new families, and even empty-nesters.
There's even a Westchester reference in there. Prime suburban target-marketing. Plus, I'm pretty sure the last time I can remember encountering anything that could be called a Truth Tube was in a subway car where a man shouted apocalyptic predictions at me.
Walmart announced a partnership with Facebook this Tuesday. Even the largest retailer in the world has to break out some big digital moves in order to show up competitors, especially when one of those rivals in Amazon.com.
We're all undeniably proud to live in the homeland of this public multinational corporation. But such an expansive global presence can jeopardize connection with fans on a more personal level. With the help of Facebook, My Local Walmart aims to connect its 9 million Facebook fans with neighborhood stores. This effort covers roughly 3,500 Walmart outlets nationwide. That's 3,500 individual Facebook pages consolidated into one that feeds you local information based on your location.
Facebook fans who sign up to Walmart's new page will initially receive about two messages a week from their local store, alerting them of new products, discounts, and local events.
"A national message is sometimes not relevant," said Stephen Quinn, chief marketing officer of Wal-Mart. "We can now say we have sunscreen in the south and snow boots in the north."
My Local Walmart will also invite shoppers to download maps of their local stores from the Facebook pages, highlighting where specific merchandise will be in the stores. This will play a big hand in the upcoming holiday shopping season, especially for those insane hordes of Black Friday shoppers.
Walmart wants to give you a head start on outlining that warpath and looting the store, all with the personal attention that you, as a loyal shopper and Facebook Like-er deserve. Just always be on the lookout for things like this.
Don't believe what you hear; there are still places that will hire you if you've got the "skillz." If you're in Missouri or Colorado (or are interested in heading in that direction!), give these positions a look-see.
HDIS Marketing Intern
HDIS is a medical supply company in need of an involved marketing intern. As with most internships, you should be familiar with Microsoft Office, speaking to people, and doing multiple things at one time. HDIS describes themselves as a "business family." Check out the full job posting here.
Sr. CrazyMadSkillz Developer for Wired World Media
Digital ad agency Wired World Media is looking for a "maniac developer looking for an extraordinary gig." As you can guess from the job title, the main point is that you know what you're doing on a computer--and you love your work. If you're down with Denver and development, get details on the opportunity here.
The Hamptons has its own magazine (feat. the trendiest purple watches and Alec Baldwin), its own bus and its own film festival. If you're on the list, go to see and be seen. Otherwise, just watch the ad and take pride in knowing T+F's inside perspective:
Now entering its 19th year, The Hamptons International Film Festival was founded to celebrate independent film, and to introduce a unique and varied spectrum of international films and filmmakers to its audiences. Set for October 13-17, the festival is committed to exhibiting films that express fresh voices and differing global perspectives, aiming to enlighten audiences, provide invaluable exposure for filmmakers and present inspired entertainment for all.
For this year's festival, T&F was responsible for the design and production of promo spots which began airing widely last week. T&F also did a tremendous amount of editorial work on its original live-action content -- and audio, leveraging original music and sound designs donated by Copilot.
"The Hamptons International Film Festival has been going strong for many years, and for good reason," T&F partner and director Scott Matz says. "Though we had a relatively clean slate to build upon, we were tasked with remaining loyal to the brand equity of the HIFF established last year by Greenfield & Co. We originally pitched a great deal of creative. Some was driven by graphic animation and some by live-action storytelling. Our team ultimately landed on a mix of both for the festival.
"Our team continues to be incredibly passionate about what we do and is growing in inspiring ways," Scott adds. "Our work for the HIFF is yet another testament to the fact that we never compromise great creative vision, and we firmly believe in only the highest production value."
Think social media savvy High School Musical mashed up with the dancing football player number from Glee. Or at least, that's what I imagine the winner of RT+P and Under Armour's new contest to deliver. Hopefully the challenge--surfacing as the most "undeniable" school in the nation--will unite the nerds, thespians and LAX bros in order to not only protect this house, but also shout its presence to the world. Here's the pitch:
Fresh off the heels of the juggernaut social initiative for Under Armour, “The Ultimate Intern Team”, the digital team at the top performance apparel brand is launching a massive UGC competition for US high schools called “Undeniable.” Red Tettemer + Partners are behind the concept, creative and development of the inaugural program. Essentially, schools are going to have three months to compete and upload proof of pride and performance, by completing a variety of challenges and acquiring votes, all played out on a socially-charged microsite.
The challenges will range from uploading a video of students performing an original cheer to featuring the town mayor speaking on behalf of the school’s Undeniable. Each school’s page will become a living scrapbook of that particular school’s Undeniable spirit. The winning school will be awarded $140k worth of uniforms, footwear and accessories to outfit their athletic teams.
THE TEAM (CREDITS)
Chief Creative Officer: Steve Red Executive Creative Director: Steve O’Connell Creative Directors:Bill Starkey, Todd Taylor Tech Lead:Aaron Grando, Eston Bond Editor:Vic Carreno Account Executive(s): Carla Mote, Uri Weingarten Social Media: Annie Heckenberger, Ryan Olah
My only wish is that there were an art school version of this. Where is Bic, donating money to schools for cool pens? Or Sculpey, going all social with sculpting? The fact that I had to rack my brain in order to think of art brands probably means something. Conversely, the intersecting U and A are becoming as ubiquitous as Nike's swoosh (or getting there, at least. That's a large cushioned shoe to fill). The power of sports is just, well, undeniable.