New GEICO Spot Featuring Ice T on Adweek

September 12, 2016

Ice T Talks Lemonade for Geico, and the TV Spot Isn't Even the Best Part Rapper punts 'the milk of the lemons'

By Angela Natividad

Geico has tapped Ice T as the latest cameo in its ongoing "It's Not Surprising" campaign. And while that may be a surprising follow-up to guys like Marco Polo, he breathes comical new life into the ongoing shtick. 

The rapper takes a break from his packed film and TV career to appear as The Martin Agency's latest punch line. The first ad has a pretty basic setup: Neighborhood regulars, passing by a lemonade stand, lean toward the kids and conspiratorially ask, "Is that iced tea?" "Nope, it's lemonade," they reply, with growing frustration. 

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Posted By: The Martin Agency

Creativity Editor's Pick: KAYAK

September 08, 2016

People Outsource Tedious Tasks, Just Like Kayak, in Travel Site's Latest Ads

First Work From The Martin Agency New York

Creativity Online | September 8, 2016 | Alexandra Jardine

In Kayak's first work from its new creative agency The Martin Agency New York, people outsource some of life's more stressful/tedious tasks -- trying on jeans, finding a suitable date,picking the best lunch spot and keeping up with fashion -- to other people, often with a quirky touch. For instance, one woman has an army of body doubles on hand to try jeans, while another has several versions of herself try out different guys before she dates them.

The point of all this? To illustrate that this is exactly what Kayak does -- compares all the different travel options for you, and helps you pick.

Directed by Tool's Benji Weinstein, the work recalls The Martin Agency's Geico campaigns -- short, witty and with an extremely clear message about what the brand does -- and while perhaps not as "out there" as the brand's previous advertising through Barton F. Graf 9000, it does a decent job.

Continue to Creativity Online. 


Posted By: The Martin Agency

Tic Tac Little Adventures on Adweek

August 29, 2016

Tic Tacs Are Little Adrenaline Junkies in The Martin Agency's Charming Ads 

Big excitement for the mini mints 

By Gabriel Beltrone | Adweek | August 29, 2016

They're tiny hard candies that may be small enough to fit between your thumb and forefinger, but they're still packed with adventure, says a fun new campaign from The Martin Agency.

Anthropomorphic Tic Tacs experience Hollywood-level excitement in four 30-second web spots, featuring miniature worlds wherein mints wear human garb and enjoy human experiences, like cage diving with sharks, riding barrels over the top of waterfalls, jumping classic sports cars over the Grand Canyon and piloting rocket ships to Mars.

Part of the brand's clever "Go Little" positioning (almost like a modern-day version of "Think Small"), the clips are completely ridiculous, and thoroughly enjoyable—stupid and carefree, yet somehow on message.

The writing is clear and simple, with appropriately minor bits of suspense built into each spot. (Will the diminutive green daredevil stick the landing, or explode against the cliff face?) The visuals don't disappoint, either, with charming detail on all the bite-sized models and inviting backdrops. (The spots were directed by Jeff Boddy of Martin's production partner Hue&Cry.)

And that's not to mention the cheesy, retro-TV-style intros. "In a big world … dare to be little," barks the voiceover. Meanwhile, even the campaign's name, "Little Adventures," is aptly on-the-nose. (Stories filmed in miniature are often adorable when done well. See also: McCann New York's amusing work for French Toast Crunch.)

Overall, the point is clear, without having to say it in so many words: Tic Tacs, the heroes in these stories, are, perhaps counterintuitively, packed with flavor. The real question, then, becomes: If eating one is tantamount to space travel, what happens when you pour a dozen into your mouth?

Continue to Adweek.

Posted By: The Martin Agency

Martin Welcomes Newest GCD, Jerry Hoak

August 24, 2016

Jerry Hoak of Droga5 Joins The Martin Agency as SVP/Group Creative Director

AgencySpy | Erik Oster | August 24, 2016

The Martin Agency hired Jerry Hoakas senior vice president and group creative director, working across multiple accounts and on new business. He started the new job last week.

This news marks a homecoming of sorts for the 2005 VCU Brandcenter graduate, who comes to the IPG agency from Droga5. He originally joined Droga5 as an art director back in July of 2011 and went on to collaborate with copywriter Ray Del Savio on Prudential and other accounts. The two discussed the client’s “Day One” campaign in a 2014 Creative Interviews Q&A, with Hoak calling the work “unscripted,  completely genuine, and as far from an ad as anything I’ve ever worked on.”

“From IBM to Prudential to Android, Jerry’s portfolio really demonstrates how brands need to behave today,” The Martin Agency CCO Joe Alexander said in a statement. “The Prudential ‘Day One’ campaign is personally one of my favorites. Maybe because I’m really getting a lot of gray hair  — well — what’s left of my hair.”

Hoak, who was promoted to associate creative director, CD and GCD during his five-year stint at Droga5, has also spent time as an art director at Ogilvy & Mather New York and TAXI New York.

Continue to AgencySpy.


Posted By: The Martin Agency

The Big Impact of Small

August 18, 2016

Advertising is an industry of “big.” We’re always on the lookout out for big ideas with big impact. After all, our goal is to get the most attention for our brands. And we have the same mindset when it comes to our causes. We want to do huge campaigns to support marriage equality, wage equity and animal rights. Or whatever cause is in our hearts. Because those kinds of spots have a big message to carry. They reach a big audience. And they can effect change in a big way.

Big is important. We need it. We need even more of it. But there is a lot to be said for small, too.

Small like an Instagram post for a 30% off sale at Old Navy featuring an interracial couple. Which you probably only heard about because it caused a big controversy this May among people who still haven’t come to terms with the 1967 Supreme Court decision or the concepts of love and equality. 

And I say that it is a small thing not because it’s unimportant. Rather, it’s small because it wasn’t meant to be a statement. It’s not part of a bigger campaign for equality. There’s no angle, no agenda. It was simply a casting decision. They didn’t cast an interracial family. They cast a family

We need more of that. More “small” things like a Target catalog with a child in a wheelchair. Or a Swiffer commercial with an amputee. Or a Lowe’s commercial where a little girl is interested in tools and woodworking.

Big says, “This is a problem that needs to be fixed! It’s a cause you need to notice!” But small says, “This is normal. This is what life looks like.” And that difference is exactly why it’s so important to do the small things along with the big. To cast a woman as the boss. To show same-sex parents. To include other religious and cultural celebrations in our holiday commercials. To let little boys be ballerinas and little girls be action heroes. It’s time to stop seeing diversity as a box we have to check, but as a reflection of real life. It’s time to push our clients to start making choices out of conviction instead of fear.

So let’s keep doing the big things. But start doing the small things as well. You’ll be surprised what a big impact those small statements can actually make.

Posted By: Sara Kuhs

Forbes Applauds World's Biggest A--hole

August 07, 2016

Donate Life Boldly Launches Powerful Film About 'The World's Biggest A--hole'

Forbes | August 5, 2016 | Will Burns, Contributor

I have a treat for you. It’s a new film from Donate Life America with the mission of convincing Millennials to become organ donors. Not a small challenge, but one met with a controversial, compelling, creative and strategically brilliant film. And a film that took real guts to approve.

Give it a watch and I’ll break it down. 

A strategy of contrast.

What I love most about this film is the strategy. By exaggerating how bad a person can be in life, yet still be considered a hero by donating organs, Donate Life dramatically magnifies the appeal of organ donation.

It’s this contrast between Coleman Sweeney’s “asshole-ness” and his supremely kind act of donating his organs that makes the film so compelling and watchable.

Further, this same contrast makes the viewer more open to the well-trodden altruistic message of donating organs. To think that this “asshole’s” liver is now allowing that nice father, Stan, to be around for his wife and kids. To think that this “asshole’s” heart is now allowing that teacher, Miranda, to teach for 25 more years. To think that this “asshole’s” tendons went to a wounded warrior, Sgt. Donahue, allowing him to walk again.

To think.

I suspect it would have been tempting for the client to start the argument with the altruistic message. That donating your organs can breathe new life into people. Even use examples like the ones above. But it just wouldn’t have been as compelling as having viewers ponder this “asshole” now living inside all these good people, allowing them to continue to live.

Even an “asshole” can be saved.

There is a subtext to this film that I believe makes it even more powerful. That is, no matter how bad you are in life, you can still be saved. Donate Life positions organ donation as at least a form of character-salvation, if not spiritual.

And let’s admit it. There’s a little Coleman Sweeney in all of us, right?

Consider Millennials. They’re out of school, they’re finally free, they’re having fun, sometimes too much fun, relationships, regrets, craziness, learning, cheating, growing, everything.

We’ve all been there.

Of course, no one (including Millennials) has ever been quite the “asshole” that Coleman Sweeney was, but we can still relate. We have all made mistakes, sinned, or done thoughtless and stupid things we regret.

And it’s in that emotional empathy that this film swirls.

If “the world’s biggest asshole” can be redeemed by donating his organs, then just imagine my redemption, being only some small percent of the ”asshole” Coleman Sweeney was.

The film’s final super says, “Even an asshole can save a life.” But to me the subtext is, “Even an asshole can be saved (if he donates his organs).”

A much bigger and more motivating message. But there’s one more question.

Would you have approved this film?

To me, the real lesson here for CMOs is this: if the creative idea is on strategy, then by god approve it no matter how uncomfortable it makes you feel.

This film says “asshole” five times. Six if you count the super at the end. The name of the spot is “The World’s Biggest Asshole.” We’ve got a main character who steals candy from kids, throws coins at strippers, beeps at old ladies crossing the street, and countless other offenses.

Plenty of reasons to kill this puppy (literally). And I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that Donate Life is getting piles of complaints from offended folks with too much time on their hands, donors, maybe even board members.

But this client believed in the strategy and wisely saw it through. Yes, I’m sure there were discussions about how important it is to be edgy with Millennials. But that’s not the only reason this particular film is this kind of “asshole edgy.” It’s edgy because the film needed massive contrast (from “asshole” to “hero”) to magnify the message of organ donation for Millennials.

Took courage.

Fortified likely by this client’s belief that this film, with this strategy, would motivate people to save lives through organ donation.

Hats off.

Will Burns is CEO of Ideasicle - see our new divisionIdeasicle: She for marketing to women. Will is also the owner of Tini Grails, an online martini store. Follow him @Twitter @WillOBurns.

Continue to Forbes.

Posted By: The Martin Agency