Forbes' Top 5 Ads of 2016

December 27, 2016

In A Year Of Great Storytelling, The Top 5 Ads Of 2016

Will Burns , Contributor

I'm sure I didn't see every single video ad in 2016. But, being in the industry, the good ones tend to quickly bubble up and catch my attention. And the best ones - the ones we can all learn from, good or bad - are the ones I write about. Today, I went back through all of my posts in 2016 - nearly sixty of them - and chose my favorite five ads that I reviewed this year.

My criteria is not purely based on "creativity," but that's an important component. It's based on creativity and strategy. Because a creative film without a strategy is not advertising, it's just entertainment.


#2 Donate Life "The World's Biggest A**Hole"

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.

The ad is well cast, well shot, very well written, and builds from an emotionally satisfying insight. So good.

Here's the full review: Donate Life Boldly Launches Powerful Film About 'The World's Biggest A--hole'

Any other year and this Donate Life spot would have been my #1.

Click here for full article.

Posted By: The Martin Agency

Purina Mills New Ad "Sam" Featured on Adweek

December 16, 2016

Sam the Horse's Wish to Be Adopted Comes True in Purina's Tearjerker of a Holiday Ad

From The Martin Agency 

By Katie Richards

Prepare to ugly cry at your desk or shed a few slow rolling tears, all because of a horse named Sam.

In a holiday ad from Purina created by The Martin Agency, Sam the horse is desperately waiting for someone to come and take him home. All the other horses at the rescue and adoption stable find new owners, but not Sam.

After another Christmas comes and goes, the stable owner says to Sam, "Maybe next year" and cuts to an incredibly sad close-up shot of the horse alone in the dark. He's been stuck in a stable for far too long and is looking for the perfect owner. Then one morning, something changes.

A little girl comes to visit the stable with her family, and the magic unfolds right before our eyes. Everyone's wish comes true in the end with the old man seeing a horse go to a good home, a little girl finding a new best friend, and Sam getting a new family.

"Purina asked us to tell a holiday story about a horse looking for a home, something emotional, and they needed a final film in just a few weeks," Andy Azula, ecd at The Martin Agency, said. "The client said, 'Make sure you get a close-up of the horse's eyes. They say so much.' He was right."

With the latest campaign, Purina wanted to share its belief that there is greatness in every animal, but in order for that greatness to come out, each animal needs a great place to call home and of course great food to keep it healthy and strong.

Click here for the full article.

Posted By: The Martin Agency

New Holiday Spot for Purina Mills Featured on Fast Company

December 15, 2016

Bet This Is The First Horse Ad That Ever Got You Emotional

Just in time for the holidays, animal feed brand Purina Mills introduces us to the sweet, soulful eyes of Sam the horse.

JEFF BEER 12.15.16 

WHAT: An adorable horse named Sam hope to find a human family in this heartwarming holiday ad for Purina Mills.

WHO: Purina Mills, The Martin Agency

WHY WE CARE: And you thought only dog adoption ads could make you cry. The market for horse feed may be somewhat limited, but the YouTube audience for animal stories that will give you the feels is MASSIVE. Purina Mills, the animal feed division of Land O' Lakes (which acquired it from Ralston Purina in 1986), obviously knows this, and decided to use a wee bit of emotional manipulation, some expert casting (that Farmer's face...), and a super weepy instrumental of "Auld Lang Syne" to boost its brand awareness.

The spot ties into the brand's ongoing sponsorship of A Home for Every Horse, an organization that helps bring together horses in need of a new home together with people who can provide them with a safe and caring environment. The folks over at Ralston Purina should send over some holiday treats to say thanks for the unintentional brand halo Sam will surely give them.

Click here for full article. 

Posted By: The Martin Agency

ECD Andy Azula's Favorite UK Holiday Ads

December 07, 2016

Check out the top creative work picked by The Drum UK and US readers, our sponsor, Workfront, and this issue's creative directors Andy Azula, executive creative director, The Martin Agency, and John Treacy, executive creative director, Proximity London who have reviewed the Christmas ads from the UK and US respectively.

US Creative Director's Choice (from UK ads)

In the glut of emotional Christmas films reminding us that the best gifts don’t come wrapped in boxes, Heathrow’s ‘Coming Home For Christmas’ stands out. I love that this was Heathrow’s first attempt and it’s a good one. The storytelling, animation and craft are great. Every shot was well executed, without feeling gratuitous. The interaction between the actors and the animation was seamless and perfectly charming. And the music was spot on, making the whole story seem almost real. In fact, probably the most unrealistic part of this film was how easily the bears went through customs. - Andy Azula, executive creative director, The Martin Agency

Continue to The Drum..

Posted By: The Martin Agency

Taylor Wiegert Nominated for The Drum's Young Innovator Award

December 05, 2016

Young Innovator Nominee: Taylor Wiegert, The Martin Agency

Taylor Wiegert

Current gig: planning director, UX strategy, The Martin Agency

Why he is nominated: As planning director, UX strategy, Taylor creates brand experience plans, ecosystems and consumer journeys through customer analytics, profiling and segmentation. Working across and with all agency disciplines, Taylor is the mastermind behind developing online and mobile user experiences for our clients. In this role, Taylor collaborates and concepts with creative teams to develop experiences that consumers want to spend time with and deliver on brand objectives. He leads a team of digital and social media marketers across The Martin Agency’s social clients.

Since he arrived at Martin, Taylor has stewarded the growth of the agency’s social media marketing practice taking it from zero to 12 social clients in two years. He has developed and implemented the agency's social processes, which has proven to improve client social content performance and delivery of brand objectives. He also developed our influencer marketing capability. An asset to not only his team and current clients, Taylor has been directly involved and part of the leadership team for five new business wins in the past two years.

A thought leader with a passion for tech and the ad industry, Taylor created Brave Ad World, a blog and podcast covering digital and social media marketing.

Client-specific experience:

  • Led the experience and development for Land O’Lakes’ Delete-to-Feed social media marketing program that led to consumers donating more than 320,000 meals to Feeding America through social actions.

  • Implemented influencer program for Land O’Lakes giving third-party credibility to the brand and building affinities among influencer audiences.

  • Instituted editorial planning program to ensure client messaging and content across all touchpoints is relevant to the consumer and aligns with brand POVs.

  • Oversaw digital and social campaign launches for Norwegian Cruise Line, Sabra, Tic Tac, Land O’Lakes and Kozy Shack.

  • Executed SMS and social promotion for Hanes to extend Disney partnership, generating 4.3 million video views, 175,000 participants and an increase in Hanes social mentions of 1200%.

  • A 2016 recipient of The Martin Agency’s Good & Tough Award for providing excellence in creative collaboration and execution.

The Young Innovator Award celebrates excellence and innovation by young professionals. See the other nominees and their backgrounds and check back to learn who has won this prestigious honor from The Advertising Club of New York and Google, with support from The Drum.

Vote HERE!

Posted By: The Martin Agency

EVP/MD Chris Mumford Talks "Good & Tough"

November 30, 2016

Martin Agency exec explains how to be 'good and tough' in the ad industry


November 29, 2016

Chris Mumford, executive vice president and managing director of The Martin Agency, recently spoke at the Newhouse School as part of the Eric Mower Advertising Forum about the current and future state of the industry. The Martin Agency, with offices in Richmond, Virginia, New York City and London, is a full-service agency with more than 500 employees. The agency is responsible for creating the GEICO insurance company’s award-winning caveman and gecko campaigns. Before his talk with students, Mumford answered questions about how to stay competitive in an evolving industry.

What do you feel is most important for maintaining an environment where great ideas are continuously born?

I’d say it begins with a cultural commitment. Everyone is so different in this business. I’ve had a lot of luck being around great people where a lot of great work happens. I’ve found patterns that I’ve followed, and it has been very messy to get to this point. Usually that’s what makes it so rewarding. We’re a company full of love and caring. But we have huge accounts with massive budgets and high expectations, so we’re also managing a lot of tension. You really have to love all aspects, and then it feels like anything is possible. The old ways of making things happen are gone. Frankly we’re in a marketing industry that’s like the Wild West, and you’ve got to embrace it. 

Chris Mumford, of The Martin Agency, recently spoke at Newhouse as part of the Eric Mower Advertising Forum. Photo by Saniya More

The Martin Agency has worked with GEICO for 25 years, and in that time has created infectious campaigns like the cavemen and gecko campaigns. How did these come to fruition?

It’s really easy to come up with ideas that have been done before. Imitating is not hard to do, but what’s hard to do is come in and do something that’s never been done before, and share it with a bunch of people who can build on that idea. Then, you watch the collaboration happen. The key to all this is creating a safe environment, where people can do this and feel great about coming up with new ideas.

These campaigns were the first of their kind for many reasons, one of which was the multiple story lines. Can you talk about that?

You just don’t have this kind of client agency relationship long-term, so it’s quite remarkable. Our relationship with GEICO is different than with most accounts. The way we got to the work that we do for them comes from a very strategic and tactful decision. There were several big decisions over the years that made us innovate in the space.

We were trying to create the personality of the brand, something that differentiated GEICO from other insurance companies. We had four or five story lines running at once, and other agencies would ask what’s up with that? We did it purposefully. One, we had a very large media budget. Second, we realized that the shows people were consuming had multiple story lines. We took advantage of this media trend and started using different story lines in our commercials to create message tweaks. We may have the gecko talking about the fact that GEICO’s been here for 75 years and we may have another campaign that talks about saving money. They all feel like a family of commercials, but they all do different things for us. 

How has the Martin Agency changed in the time you’ve been working there?

The reason I think the Martin Agency has been so successful over the past 50 years and will continue to be successful in this era of high change is our culture. Our culture is built on a set of values and a set of behaviors. Our behaviors are creativity, which means world-class creativity. It’s about collaboration and bringing the right chemistry together to solve problems. It’s about agility and the ability to adapt, and it’s about courage and being able to take risks as human beings but also as marketers.

The way we describe our culture is ‘good and tough’; good to each other but tough on the work. It’s the juxtaposition of really great people that care about each other, but want to come together and do something that’s never been done before. We didn’t call our culture good and tough 15 years ago—but I started almost 20 years ago, and we were good and tough then, too. We’ll keep on being good and tough in the future, but with an emphasis on using cutting-edge creativity to solve problems.

Lauren Renz is a junior advertising major at the Newhouse School. 

Photos by Saniya More, a sophomore broadcast and digital journalism major at the Newhouse School. 

Link to article.

Posted By: The Martin Agency