Oreo Wants You To Open Up

January 19, 2016

Oreo and Adam Lambert Kick Off the Cookie's Campaign About Diversity and Tolerance

'Open Up' and Be Childlike Again, Says the Brand | By Tim Nudd | Adweek

Oreo is the latest brand to take a stab at making the world a better place, as it launches a global campaign urging people to "Open Up" to new people and experiences—a message of diversity and tolerance delivered first in a 30-second spot with vocal by Adam Lambert.

That spot, called "Rolling Wonder," broke Monday. The campaign, which includes digital content, point-of-sale and global prizing, will roll out to more than 50 countries worldwide during the first half of 2016, Oreo tells AdFreak.

The idea of "Open Up with Oreo," created by The Martin Agency, is to urge people to open their hearts to those who are different and discover the similarities. The campaign is part of the larger global "Wonderfilled" platform that launched in 2013. (It's also slyly product focused, as many people "open up" their Oreos before eating them.)

The work follows last year's "Play With Oreo" campaign, and retains similar themes about being childlike. "Open Up with Oreo" is based off the idea that children are naturally open, and only as we get older do we close ourselves off.

Also on Monday, the brand introduced the Oreo Wonder Vault, a fancifully imagined place where new Oreo flavors are dreamed up and stored. Two U.S. flavors of Oreo are being released this month: returning flavor Red Velvet, and new flavor Cinnamon Bun. A third limited-edition flavor is expected shortly that Oreo promises will be "unlike anything we've done before."

Continue to Adweek.

Posted By: The Martin Agency

Martin NY Continues to Grow

January 14, 2016

The Martin Agency Expands Its New York Creative Team

By Patrick Coffee | January 14, 2016

It’s not just GEICO…or Richmond.

The Martin Agency has gradually been building its Manhattan-based operations over the past few years, and the agency tells us that 2016 should be the office’s biggest yet.

Back in June, Martin hired twofifteenmccann co-CCO James Robinson as its first New York-based ECD, and in recent weeks the creative team continued its expansion with several new hires.

Those include (pictured above):

  • Copywriter Daniel Aguinaga, former freelancer with DDB, Mekanism and Cramer Krasselt as well as Y&R and Geometry Global
  • Senior copywriter Jamie Umpherson and senior art director Marie Richer, both of whom previously worked at Toronto’s john st. and Rethink
  • Art director George Widodo, former intern at Mother New York, Mullen and David&Goliath
  • ACD Heather Schmitz, formerly senior copywriter at EnergyBBDO Chicago and Sid Lee
  • ACD Marysia Makowska, who freelanced at Sid Lee, BBH, Publicis and Michael Kors

The real story here, if you see it as such, is the establishment of New York as a crucial part of the Martin network. Quite a few agencies’ Manhattan outposts have proven short-lived in recent years, but the slow-and-steady approach seems to be working for Martin.

Martin New York collaborates with the agency’s Richmond and London offices on various accounts while also running the Optimum and Sunglass Hut business.

Creative is currently its largest department, and we expect more hiring news to come over the next few months.

Continue to AgencySpy.

Posted By: The Martin Agency

Fifty Years of Martin

January 12, 2016

Explore Fifty Years of Martin Agency Work on Its Anniversary Website

Responsive Design Leads to a Treasure Trove of Ads

By Alexandra Jardine | January 12, 2016

The Martin Agency has created a beautifully designed website to celebrate its 50th annniversary. The site lets you explore the agency's work, origins and history using a responsive timeline that expands when you click on a key period.

The clever design is based on the insight that a thread runs through everything it has done, from its early years as a local Virginia shop to national success and then global expansion. From its first ever ads for clients like Virginia Tourism to its recent famous work for the likes of Geico, this is a treasure trove of Martin history -- and a snapshot of the history of the industry too. The "thread" theme follows that also featured in a 50th anniversary book the agency also created.

Continue to Creativity.

Posted By: The Martin Agency

Martin at #CES2016

January 11, 2016

We sent a group to the 2016 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas to get our hands on the latest gadgets, hear talks from leading thinkers in the industry, gamble with agency money (kidding), and debate about the future of our civilization.

We’ve summarized our takeaways from the show below. Now that we’ve gotten some key themes on digital paper, we’ll shift our attention to take action and apply these insights to shift how our brands leverage trends and technology to create more meaningful connections with consumers.

Let’s do it.

The value of innovation

There’s a clear tension underwriting most innovations and enhancements: Is it necessary? Is an innovation solving a real problem and adding value into someone’s life, or is it further removing us from our own reasoning skills and ability to make independent decisions?

Being connected doesn’t make something smart or helpful. True connectivity is leveraging technology to enrich someone’s life. The same filter can be applied to how brands think about designing their own footprint in the world. Are you existing just to exist or have you created a distinct value proposition? Are you creating content because you think you should or because you understand how people are engaging with it and why they care?

Let’s make sure we never let the pursuit of a smart thing overshadow a smart story.

Convenience vs. Character

There’s a sliding scale that defines experiences, with convenience and character at opposite ends of the spectrum. Convenience promises standardization. Character doesn’t. How powerful is the pull of unpredictability in an experience? How much do consumers desire that uncontrollable “character” and how comfortable are you with it as a marketer?

This got us thinking: do decisions about where your brand or products fall on this spectrum define disruption? Is doing something unexpected simply a function of changing the perception of where on this spectrum your customers predict your next innovation to land?

Maybe. Or perhaps each product, touch-point and piece of content can dial up different elements based on why you’re creating it. Thinking about this issue will be at the center of how brands connect with people in 2016 and beyond.

VR: The brave brands will win.

Holy $#!+ -- this space is ready for the mainstream and poised to explode. We saw some incredible demos of how VR and AR are evolving to provide immersive, transcendent experiences for the user. Most importantly, the need for content on these platforms is striking.

Creating branded narratives or integrations in this world is a massive opportunity for marketers to tell stories in new ways and stack talk-value experiences with innovative tech. Even if it doesn’t feel right for a brand strategically, the need for content in this new media is so big that consumers and platforms will welcome experimentation. Who will have the balls to make something awesome?

The pervasive question is around the weighted value of an interaction with a product that is unlike anything a consumer has seen before. How much closer do they feel to your brand after touching it in a fake world with hands that look and feel like their own? Much closer, we assume.

From NO to NOT YET

After the initial geeking out subsided, you overhear a lot of people at CES saying “is that possible?” Or “do we have the technology (camera/software/bandwidth) currently to support that?” A lot of times the answer is some version of yes. It’s a work in progress. It’s not a hard NO just a NOT YET. So in short (and for the sake of our work) let’s always assume anything is possible.

Remember to consider if the way we’re utilizing these endless possibilities is the best way to tell our brand’s story. Because while these technologies, innovations, and products may be shiny, they’re all serving a quite antiquated purpose. To ensure our brands remain relevant, useful and enjoyable in a world moving so fast we can barely keep up.

What is content?

Any touch-point where a brand can add value is content. TV spots are content as much as a customer service agent’s script. Unifying your voice and POV is a key aspect of making your content fulfill its potential and truly understand user experience is at the center of this planning/execution.

Customer + user experience is how you do things -- not what you make for them to experience. This concept has leaped out of the digital space and is now being applied to how we design everything that a brand does, both online and offline.

This can seem overwhelming, but the opportunity for differentiation lies in consistency with scale. To do this, we can start with establishing proper consumer journeys to identify the best places and ways to speak with our customers that makes the most impact. And of course, data is a major key to helping validate these journeys and communication touch-points. Use data to understand that some decisions may go against the trend and intuition, but will help validate the end result.

=====

For more content and observations from our time at #CES2016, visit: http://martinwhatstrending.tumblr.com/

Onward!

Posted By: The Martin Agency

Best of 2015: Creativity Names GEICO's Unskippable #1 for TV/Film

January 04, 2016

Best of 2015 No. 1 TV/Film: Geico's Pre-Roll Ads Are Literally Unskippable.

Link to Full Story.

Posted By: The Martin Agency

CCO Joe Alexander Named to Creativity 50

December 21, 2015

Creativity 50 2015: Joe Alexander

Chief Creative Officer, The Martin Agency

By: Ann Christine Diaz

Virginia-based The Martin Agency turned 50 years old this year but proved to be as creatively sharp as ever with campaigns that won consumer hearts and industry respect. The shop turned out more charmers for Oreo, Walmart, Benjamin Moore and longtime client Geico. For the latter, along with funny spots starring Dora the Explorer and the Kraken, the agency accomplished the remarkable feat of making pre-roll advertising totally watchable with the"Unstoppable" campaign, which nabbed the 2015 Cannes Lions Film Grand Prix.

Such highlights during the landmark anniversary year are bittersweet given the passing of the agency's creative soul, Mike Hughes, two years ago, but fortunately, he left the shop in the able hands of Chief Creative Office Joe Alexander. The 25-year industry vet has helped usher the Martin Agency into a new era of creativity, having overseen 2015's efforts and previous digital feats for the JFK Library, although he shies from taking ownership. "The CCO gets way too much credit for the actual work," he said. "I'm lucky to have a great staff. So that's what I'm trying to do -- recruit and retain the best talent. Everything else falls into place after that."

Ad Age: In your opinion, after 50 years, what does the Martin Agency represent today?

Joe Alexander: An agency that's just starting to realize our full potential to grow into an important global creative agency competing against the very best.

Ad Age: What's been the biggest challenge in terms of filling Mike's shoes?

Mr. Alexander: Well, it would be impossible to try to fill Mike's shoes. They were size 14. Seriously, Mike was a storyteller. He loved words. And so we were a strong copywriter's shop for the bulk of Mike's tenure, and that served us well as we did mostly TV and print. Now we do so much more, obviously. Design has become a huge part of our capability across everything we touch. When we take that storytelling and marry it with UX design or motion graphics or packaging, we make something special.

Ad Age: Where do you see the agency going in the next 50 years? What do you think its biggest challenge will be?

Mr. Alexander: Our ambition is to grow a robust global agency, serving brands on every continent. Our challenge will be to do that without losing our very unique culture. We call it "good and tough." Good to each other, tough on the work.

Ad Age: What's your definition of creativity?

Mr. Alexander: Doing something that scares the crap out of you, in a good way. That's when you know you have a big idea.

Ad Age: What's the most important lesson you've learned in terms of fostering creativity and success with your team?

Mr. Alexander: Keep a gentle hand on the rudder. Let your leaders lead and be there to help when they ask.

Ad Age: What are you most inspired by?

Mr. Alexander: The people at the agency. The hard work they put into everything is astonishing, The talent they show every day just blows me away. That gets me up in the morning to make sure they have everything they need to succeed.

Ad Age: What's been your favorite work of your career? Of the past year?

Mr. Alexander: My favorite body of work in my personal career is for the JFK Library. From the early print to wechoosethemoon.org and cloudsovercuba.com, I hope the work has lived up to his great legacy. This year, the Geico "Unskippable" campaign—great disruption but even better execution.

Ad Age: What's been the biggest challenge of your career? What did you learn from it?

Mr. Alexander: Learning to be vulnerable. For many years, I tried to be perfect, above reproach. Taking on this job changed that. It can be humbling. Now I know there is strength in being who you are, warts and all.

Link to full list.

Link to story.

Posted By: The Martin Agency