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If you've ever done any work for anyone, ever, you've hopefully learned a little something about how it works. Inevitably, the person will make your life hell the entire time, and then make it worse-by throwing a million dumb and unrealistic requests at you in the 11th hour.

Folks in the agency world know this all too well in dealing with clients. And the hilarious cartoon infographic below depicts the relationship pretty well.

Meet Frankenagency's Monster. A terrifying beast out of myth and folklore. Or as the cartoon says: "A vile creature spawned from insane client expectations."

Highlights include the "Pixel Monkey," who can instantly make babies cuter, among other asinine last-second changes; the "Viral Wand," which can turn any terrible Web video into an Internet sensation.

Take a look below, and weep.

Via The Agency Post.

Anyone who says flying is a terrible experience hasn't had a missing carry-on item returned by KLM's lost-and-found delivery beagle.

Say what, you say?

It's simple, says KLM: Its trained beagle traces the scent of left-behind personal effects-maybe a pink iPhone, or some headphones-and chases down the owner while he or she is still in the airport. Joy, gratitude and cooing abound, warming even the most frozen and incredulous jet-lagged souls (including more than 9 million YouTube viewers at last count).

Is this an excerpt from a 20th-century movie about a dog with a big heart who teaches people a thing or two about humanity? Nope, this is an ad by DDB & Tribal Worldwide for a Dutch airline, which is shrewd to pretend it employs a dog who will always be more genuinely happy to see you than any bipedal flight attendant, because the dog will hold out hope that you might reward its loyalty with a snack, but forgive you-or at least forget-if you don't. (Before you hesitate to break off a piece of that beef jerky, don't forget that dogs are people, too).

Too bad it's all a sham, if a wildly popular one, designed to promote KLM's obviously inferior humankind methods for returning lost items. In other words, it will leave you feeling cheated and disoriented, which at least is consistent with lots of flying experiences.

We live in what could be called the Age of Distraction. According to Harvard Business School historian Nancy Koehn, our average attention span today is 8 seconds, down from 12 seconds over a decade ago. For comparison, a goldfish-yes, a goldfish-has a 9 second attention span.

Part of this comes from an increasingly complex digital landscape. The proliferation of devices and content conspire to drive consumers to distraction. As a result, many brands have turned to mastering the six second Vine video.

The problem with this approach is that it fails to consider context. Reach and frequency have long been the standard metrics in advertising, despite the fact that devices, platforms and content are not created equal.

YuMe, a multi-screen video advertising technology company, makes a good case that a better strategy for brands is to shift their marketing focus to understanding and harnessing attention to ensure they are reaching the right people at the right time.

In a survey and online virtual lab experiment in partnership with IPG Media Lab, YuMe collected feedback from over 7,000 respondents to illuminate what drives their attention and what influences their receptivity to advertising across multiple categories. Results seen in the infographic below show that while fragmentation is rampant, consumers are watching all forms of digital video content across all devices pretty much all the time.

The difference in a consumer's ability to focus on a message may have a lot to do with where she is when that message is served up. Contrary to conventional wisdom, reaching people at home on a TV isn't necessarily when they're the most attentive. In fact, a smartphone led to greater message recall-41 percent versus 39 percent for tablet and 37 percent for desktop.

Smartphones trump desktop computers for receptivity to ads, especially when the viewer is at school or work (sorry, boss). Overall, a highly attentive audience was shown to boost purchase intent by 23 percent and overall favorability by 14 percent.

This is good news for brands currently struggling with how to boil a message down to a tiny video spot. Succeeding as attention spans dwindle is more about optimizing around attentive audiences, not just by demographics or content genres. To learn more, check out the research in full.

One of the world's largest public relations companies has become embroiled in a controversy surrounding its representation of a Tunisian Islamist political party and is downplaying a report that it refused to work with Israel.

No stranger to taking on controversial clients, American-based Burson-Marsteller is representing Tunisia's Ennahda Party to improve its image abroad, according to the New York Observer.

The Ennahda Party formed a coalition government in Tunisia during the 2011 Arab Spring uprisings. The Party recently handed over the reins of power to a caretaker government after reportedly coming under pressure for failing to stop terrorism and keep the economy on an even keel. Burson-Marsteller is reportedly going to help the once-outlawed group with stakeholder and media engagement.

The Jerusalem Post reports that the Tunisian group was behind terror attacks against tourist hotels in the 1980s while one of the group's leaders called for the destruction of Israel.

The same year that Ennahda came to power, Burson-Marsteller turned down a $3.5 million contract to work on improving the image of Israel. At the time, the head of the firm's Norwegian office was quoted as saying, "If we accept this project, this will create a great amount of negative reactions…Israel is a particularly controversial project."

While the Observer and other publications have since ripped the agency, Burson-Marsteller reps issued a response claiming that the statement by their Norwegian colleague did not represent the firm's position, which is: They have no policy about working with Israel.

Burson-Marsteller, headquartered in New York City, hasn't shied away from controversy in the past. It is the same firm that took on rebuilding Tylenol's brand after the tampering case, worked on helping Dow Chemical weather the Bhopal chemical disaster which killed thousands, and currently represents the Washington Redskins in their battle to keep their name and logo.

Burson-Marsteller isn't the only company to wade into the turmoil of Middle East politics to land business. Brown Lloyd James, another U.S. PR firm, coordinated a Vogue magazine photo shoot for Syria's first lady and worked on improving the image of then-Libyan strongman Muammar Gaddafi.

As social media channels continue to grow, with mobile feeds dominating storytelling, brands like General Electric, Marriott and Conde Nast have had to work out the best way to position themselves on social platforms.

General Electric, for example, needs to feel more tangible and accessible to its consumers. Energy, after all, is an invisible product that consumers don't think about until it isn't there.

"For us, for Thomas Edison's brand, it makes sense to be [one of the] first [brands] on a new platform," said Linda Boff, executive director of global brand marketing for GE, at Advertising Week's digital storytelling panel. "We experiment on new platforms, and it's OK if something doesn't work....It's about finding a great way to use that tool."

According to Boff, GE was one of the first brands to use Vine when it launched in January 2013.

"It's important for consumers to be able to feel that they are engaging with brands," said Marla Kaplowitz, North American CEO of MEC.

As for Marriott, the brand aims to reposition itself as the world's largest travel company that just happens to sell hotel rooms, according to Marriott's vp of creative, content marketing and global marketing David Beebe. In fact, the brand just launched a creative and content marketing studio.

"We're selling an experience, and we have to balance what our consumers' real experience is with our marketing [message]," says Beebe, who explained that Marriott wants to own the travel journey on social platforms. "The future of digital storytelling is to use it in a way that adds value to the consumer."

Condé Nast, according to vp of partnerships Josh Stinchcomb, is leveraging its photography heritage on increasingly popular image-based digital platforms. The brand is also betting big on video content, as that is the preferred method of content consumption for younger consumers, according to Stinchcomb.

text It's What You Do With Big Data That Counts
Mon, 29 Sep 2014 15:04:40 PDT

Big data can inform creativity but is no substitute for the human ingenuity.

To illustrate that point during an Advertising Week panel discussion today, Crispin Porter + Bogusky's Chuck Porter quoted everyone from Disney's Michael Eisner ("In any new medium, a great story is the killer app") and DDB's Bill Bernbach ("The memorable never came from a formula") to Albert Einstein ("Imagination is more important than knowledge").

Of the last quote, Porter said, "This is on the wall of my office. I think it ought to be on the wall of everybody's office."

Bartle Bogle Hegarty's John Hegarty used ads-from his agency, of course-to show how creative minds interpret data. In one case, the agency found in research that Johnnie Walker drinkers are successful but concluded that success, for them, is a journey, not a destination. That insight gave rise to the brand's long-running, "Keep Walking" campaign.

"Data stimulates insights," Hegarty said, simply.

Similarly, Ogilvy & Mather worldwide creative chief Tham Khai Meng cited Unilever research from 2004 that showed only 2 percent of the women the company polled considered themselves beautiful. That finding inspired one of Ogilvy's most heralded efforts in recent years: the "Campaign for Real Beauty" for Unilever's Dove, which continues today.

Porter, Hegarty and Khai Meng also agreed that data is nothing new and need not be feared. But again, it's what you do with it that counts. As Khai Meng said, in closing, "Don't worry. We will still be the masters of the universe."

These agency tours of The Barbarian Group are pretty impressive. But you know who's not that impressed? Fellow New York agency Barton F. Graf 9000.

When Barbarian Group released its Vimeo video showing off its giant, snake-like, resin-poured "Superdesk," Barton F. Graf responded with its own video about its own enormous piece of continuous furniture-called the floor.

Last week, Adweek went into the Barbarian offices for a closer look, and got to see the agency's waterless hot tub (see below). But once again, Barton F. Graf ups the ante with a waterless kiddie pool. Look at how childlike and playful it is. Clearly it must produce better ideas than the hot tub does.

Obviously Barbarian is cool, but it will never be the coolest.

Corona Beer is coming to Brazil, courtesy of Crispin Porter + Bogusky. The global agency's new São Paulo office, which opened in February, has been chosen by AmBev/InBev to handle the product launch.

Creative team André Kassu and Marcos Medeiros will manage the launch, overseen by CEO Vinicius Reis. The shop will also manage a special projects account for AmBev with a global collaboration from AB InBev.

CP+B in Brazil has also been tapped to handle a new product for Mondelēz International, as well as two new magazines from Brazilian publisher Editora Abril: Quatro Rodas and VIP.

"We are moving much faster than we imagined, considering we were born only seven months ago," said Reis in a statement. "In addition to these clients, we have several other projects that are being developed, as well as collaborations with CP+B London. Over the coming weeks, we plan to announce two additional major brands."

The agency works for global clients like Kraft, MetLife and Applebee's, among others.

"These guys embody the best things about our business-curiosity and passion and just the pure joy of creating something great and memorable," said Chuck Porter, chairman of CP+B.

GE has been doing a lot of poignant ads through BBDO New York lately-the dreamy fantasy world of "Childlike Imagination" (an Emmy nominee this year); the haunting dystopia of "Ideas Are Scary"; the adorably odd science fiction of "The Boy Who Beeps."

So, obviously it was time to completely change things up-and hire Tim & Eric (aka, Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim) to direct a barely clothed but great-haired Jeff Goldblum in this totally bonkers fake infomercial for the GE Link lighting solutions.

It's kind of all over the map, but the two-minute spot has lots of enjoyable over-the-top moments-particularly the peppy transitions from super-suave Goldblum to the "unremarkable nobodies" who deliver the testimonials.

A fake infomercial isn't the route you'd typically choose for explaining new technology like GE Link. But this seems to be more of an awareness play. We'll find out later whether it really does make everyone look like a cocky, raven-haired movie actor.

Credits below.

Client: GE
Spot: "Enhance Your Lighting"

Agency: BBDO New York
Chief Creative Officer, Worldwide: David Lubars
Chief Creative Officer, New York: Greg Hahn
Executive Creative Director: Michael Aimette
ACD/Art Director: Anne Lac
ACD/Copywriter: Judd Counsell
Group Executive Producer: Anthony Nelson
Senior Integrated Content Producer: Darbi Fretwell
BBDO Music Producer: Rani Vaz

Worldwide Senior Director: Brandon Fowler
Senior Director: Peter McCallum
Account Manager: Gabriela Benitez
Account Manager: Sam White
Assistant Account Executive: David Slifer

Production Company: PrettyBird
Director: Tim and Eric
Director of Photography: Andrew Wheeler
Line Producer: Hillary Calhoun

Post Production Company: Prettybird
Editor: Kyle Brown
Assistant Editor: Joe Carugati
Executive Producer: Kerstin Emhoff
Producer: Karl Reid
Visual Effects & Animations: Makana Sylva

Additional Visual Effects: Skulley VFX

Music/Sound Design: Beacon Street
Mix House: Heard City
Mixer: Cory Melious

Graphic Designer: Anthony Madlangbayan

Telecine: Company 3
Colorist: Tom Poole

Ask anyone you know how they feel about boobs, and I'm pretty sure it will be positive. Indeed, you'd have a hard time finding anyone hesitant to sing their praises.

Below is a fun series of ads from DDB Singapore timed to Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October. They'll hit close to home for anyone who regularly uses social media and happens to have breasts, or knows anyone who has them (and wants them to be healthy). The familiar logos have been redesigned to anatomically pay homage to breasts and remind you to perform an exam-on yourself, or someone you care about-as frequently as you check your social feeds.

The ads, for the Breast Cancer Foundation, also point to an online petition urging social media giants Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to actually change their logos temporarily for the cause. So, check out the ads below, and consider a screening so you can live longer to keep liking and faving.

Via Design Taxi.

People love anything personalized, particularly from major marketers, and Coca-Cola smartly played into that this summer by importing the clever "Share a Coke" campaign to the U.S.

Personalized bottles and cans buoyed a decade-long sales decline for Coke-sales are up more than 2.5 percent, according to the Wall Street Journal-and though the campaign is ending, executives are strongly considering bringing it back next summer.

The packaging idea, which started in Australia in 2011, certainly seemed to reinvigorate Americans' love for all things Coke. People hunted on eBay for names. They hacked the campaign endlessly. One couple even used it to announce a new member of the family.

But it wasn't just the 250 popular names on cans and bottles that endeared consumers. Plenty of media supported the packaging idea, from roving kiosks to interactive billboards to an interactive site (see below). And the list goes on.

The video above is an example of the "Make a Dancing Bottle" portion of the interactive site, which also allowed consumers to search for their names, browse photo galleries and find a Coke in stores near them.

Social Media Profile (as of 9/30/14)
Facebook Likes: 88.9 Million
Twitter Followers: 2.6 Million
Instagram Followers: 318,231

The brand posts regularly on all of its social profiles and usually creates new assets for specific days, like the one above. The brand is still using its "Open Happiness" slogan, which it adopted in 2009.

Recent Advertising

Ads for the "Share a Coke" program showed that when customers drink Coke they are making memories and having fun with friends. This message meshed easily with the millennial target.

Fast Facts

  • Coca-Cola was created in 1886 by Atlanta-based pharmacist Dr. John S. Pemberton. Pemberton didn't name the beverage, though. That credit goes to his partner and bookkeeper, Frank M. Robinson.
  • Pemberton died in 1888 but not before selling the majority stake of his business to businessman Asa Candler.
  • When large-scale bottling was made possible in 1899, Candler sold the rights to three entrepreneurs-Benjamin Thomas, Joseph Whitehead and John Lupton-for just $1. They created the Coca-Cola worldwide bottling system.
  • The first marketing for Coca-Cola was done through coupons and free samples in 1887.

In its first global campaign for Volvo, Grey London strives for a "quietly epic" tone to position the Swedish nameplate more firmly in the premium auto space. Director Marcus Söderlund, working through Academy Films, delivers the goods with a visually compelling minute-long film called The Swell.

We open on a moonlit beach, where a Volvo XC60 sits in the sand, the hum of its radio melding with the sounds of the sea. "To feel, to really feel, is a rare thing these days," a voiceover says. We watch a woman paddle her surfboard through dark, choppy water as a huge wave rises with thunderous force … and the tagline, "Seek feeling," flashes on screen.

The Swell weaves its tale in moody hues, offering glimpses of the car as it focuses on the lonely surfer and approaching wave. (Söderlund also directed Grey London's fiery Vodafone ad about emergency responders.)

It's an unexpected approach, and the first campaign from global creative director Hollie Newton, who joined Grey last year from Wieden + Kennedy, where she contributed to award-winning efforts for Lurpak butter. For Lurpak, she designed sensory experiences with cheeky, playful subtexts that reminded viewers not to take the ads too seriously.

The Swell shares this "sensory" sensibility, but ratchets up the intensity to a point where I imagine some viewers might be put off. Even so, Grey deserves credit for making a commercial that ripples with energy without drowning in car-ad clichés.

Credits below.

Client: Volvo
Vice President, Brand Marketing: Tomás Caetano
Marketing Communication Director: Ingela D'Angelo
Marketing Content Director: Magnus Brodd
Project Leader: Anna Wirsen
Spot: The Swell
Agency: Grey, London
Executive Creative Director: Nils Leonard
Global Creative Director: Hollie Newton
Creative Team: Hollie Newton, Jamie Starbuck, Howard Green
Managing Partner: Nick Dutton
Business Director: Camilla Ashenhurst
Account Manager: Mel Caplan
Agency Producer: Harriette Larder
Creative Producer: Glen McLeod
Planning Director: Matt Buttrick
Planner: Hayley Cannon
Production Company: Academy Films
Director: Marcus Söderlund
Editor: Tom Lindsay, Trim
Producer: Medb Riordan
Executive Producer: Lizie Gower
Directors of Photography: André Chémétoff, Allan "Willy" Wilson
Colorist: Aubrey Woodiwiss
Postproduction: Yourick Van Impe, Aubrey Woodiwiss, Electric Theatre Collective
Audio Postproduction: Aaron Reynolds, Wave
Photographer: Gian Paul Lozza

Few things are as evocative of memories as music and Spotify is using that emotional connection in a new online and social media push that invites Spotify users to share their songs and the real stories behind them.

The #thatsongwhen campaign, from Ogilvy & Mather in New York and sister shop David in Miami, is the initial part of a larger marketing effort for the streaming music service. It begins in the U.S. and will subsequentially roll out to the U.K. and Germany, with localized content in each market.

"Music has always been a huge part of our users' lives," said Erin Clift, Spotify's vp of global marketing and partnerships. "Our consumers' love of music and their telling other people about that passion has helped fuel our growth. We were looking for a way for our users to not just be spectators of the stories but to be creators of the stories."

Three of the millennials' stories were made into online videos. In one clip, a young woman describes the time she and her teenage gymnast friends formed a secret committee to paper trees with toilet tissue, as Ludicrous' "Roll Out" plays in the background. In another video, a guy tells the story of an unrequited crush he had as a 9-year-old to the tune of TLC's "Waterfalls." The final video features a hipster recalling that when he was laid off from his job, he heard White Snake's "Here I go Again" as he exited the building. The campaign also features Vine celebrities Vincent Marcus and Kenzie Nimmo.

"The realness of this campaign is the key point," said Ogilvy New York president Adam Tucker. "We wanted to tap into the truth about music and it was really important to tap into real people and their feelings and the songs that inspire them."

Corinna Falusi, the ecd on the effort, added that Spotify is "more of a technology company. Other music companies use big celebrities and big shiny stars. With Spotify and its Swedish heritage, music is a very personal experience."

Adweek responsive video player used on /video.

Adweek responsive video player used on /video.

Adweek responsive video player used on /video.

Need a place where you can audition someone for your band? Where you can haul your giant computer equipment for a geeky meeting? Where you can fuel up with your fellow bikers? Where you can celebrate a birthday, reconnect with a long-lost friend or just engage in a little PDA?

There's a Starbucks for that.

The coffee giant rolled out its first global brand campaign on Monday. And the focus is very much not on Starbucks (well, kind of not on Starbucks) but on the millions of people who get together at its stores every day-and the stories they have to tell.

The feel-good theme is "Meet me at Starbucks," and the centerpiece-a five-minute-plus mini documentary by 72andSunny-shows people doing just that. It was culled from 220 hours of footage filmed in a single 24-hour period in 59 Starbucks stores (including the one I visited this morning, on Astor Place in New York) in 28 countries by 39 local filmmakers and 10 local photographers.

We get to visit everywhere from Rio de Janeiro to Bogota, Singapore to Beijing, Mumbai to Toronto, Paris to Berlin to Istanbul. And the bonhomie-like your latte-appears to be much the same wherever you go.

Last week we posted some new Starbucks work by BBDO New York that was very minimalist-images of text-message conversations cleverly showed how meeting people face to face is better than communicating virtually. The new campaign has the same message, but the style is sprawling by comparison.

On YouTube, the five-minute film is interactive, giving you options to watch eight other films that tell the stories of different eclectic groups who regularly get together at Starbucks. We meet scrapbookers in Long Beach, N.Y.; postcard-sending fanatics in the Czech Republic; women practicing the art of knot tying in Japan; a hearing-impaired group meeting weekly in Honolulu; and more. (The film was cut into 30- and 60-second TV ads.)

If that's not enough, you can click on "Gallery Mode" and get a whole screen full of smaller screens-with little films and vignettes everywhere you look. If this smorgasbord of virtual content doesn't convince you to stop consuming virtual content and go meet someone face to face, nothing will. (Actually, it's not that easy to embed anything except the main film, and perhaps that's a way to prevent virtual sprawl.)

Rather than make any real argument for getting together at Starbucks specifically, the campaign assumes you probably already do. (It takes a brand of Starbucks' size to say things like, "It's never been just about the coffee.") And so the brand happily blends into the background. It's so ubiquitous, it's almost invisible. It's the happy host. And it lets the consumer be the hero.

What the campaign does suggest about Starbucks, though, is that it's not just the unthinking, inevitable choice. Indeed, everyone here is thinking, and feeling, very deeply indeed. It's not just what everyone does. It's what interesting, passionate people do-and it's what they choose to do.

"Good things happen when we get together. See you tomorrow," says the copy at the end. It's hard to argue with the first statement. The second, despite the phrasing, is actually up to you. And if the campaign does what it's supposed to, it will feel like a real choice-and one you'll gladly make.

Agency: 72andSunny
Glenn Cole, Chief Creative Officer
John Boiler, CEO
Grant Holland , Group Creative Director
Chiyong Jones, CD/CW
Gui Borchert, CD/Designer
Jc Abbruzzi , Lead Writer
Warren Frost, Lead Designer
Martin Schubert, Jr. Writer
Natalie Viklund, Jr. Designer
Aaron Tourtellot, Jr. Designer
Matt Swenson, Creative Technologist
Matt Jarvis, Chief Strategy Officer
Kelly Schoeffel, Co-Head of Strategy
Elisha Greenwell, Strategy Director
Chris Kay, Managing Director, LA
Josh Jefferis, Brand Director
Celeste Hubbard, Brand Manager
Alex Belliveau, Brand Coordinator
Tom Dunlap, Chief Production Officer
Sam Baerwald, Director of Film Production
Dominique Anzano, Calleen Colburn, Ellen Pot, Sr. Film Producers
Peter Williams, Film Producer
Heather Wischmann, Director of Interactive Production
Ruben Barton, Sr. Interactive Producer
Adrienne Alexander, Interactive Producer
Jason Heinz, Sr. Analyst
Melissa Bell, UX Design Director
Chip Davis, UX Designer
Michelle McKinney, Business Affairs Director
Christina Rust, Business Affairs Manager
Jesse Sinkiewicz, Business Affairs Coordinator

Production Company: m ss ng p eces, in collaboration with Co.MISSION Content
Josh Nussbaum, Director
Kate Oppenheim, Ari Kuschnir, Brian Latt, Executive Producers
Dave Saltzman, Head of Production
Mike Prall, Producer
Harrison Winter, Co.MISSION Content Group EP / CEO
Kris L. Young, Co.MISSION Content Group President

Ideas United
David Roemer, CEO
Tammi Montier, Business Development
Aaron Azpiazu, Partner Manager

Editorial: Cut & Run, Los Angeles
Michelle Eskin, Managing Director
Carr Schilling, Executive Producer
Remy Foxx, Post Producer
Lucas Eskin, Stephen Berger, Isaac Chen, Sean Stender, Kendra Juul, Editors
Brian Meagher, Christopher Malcolm Kasper, Assistant Editors

Editorial: 72andSunny Studio
John Keaney, Director of Operations
Nick Gartner, Editor
Becca Purice, Producer

VFX: Jogger
David Parker, Creative Director
Matthew Lydecker, Artist
Megan Kennedy, Producer
Liz Lydecker, Sr. Producer

Telecine: CO3
Sean Coleman, Colorist

Mix: Play Studios
John Bolen, Ryan Sturup, Mixers
Lauren Cascio, Executive Producer

Keith Kenniff, Unseen Music
Jóhann Jóhannsson
Youth Faire
Andrew Simple

Interactive: Stopp/Family
CEO/Executive Producer: Fredrik Frizell
Executive Producer: Eric Shamlin
Producer: Callan Koenig
Creative Director: Zachary Richter
Associate Creative Director: Abe Cortes
Junior Designer: April DiMartile
UX: Wai Shun Yeong
Junior UX: I.K Olumu
Technical Director: Ola Björling
Backend Developer: Mattias Hedman
Frontend Developer: Jin Kim
Subtitle Developer: Brian Hodge

By now, you've probably heard the back story behind Steve Ells' vision to shake up the traditional quick-service restaurant industry with fresh food inspired by gourmet dishes when he opened the first Chipotle location in 1993. The concept has spawned countless business models for other small restaurants but is now moving into retail strategies from quick-serve restaurants (QSRs) like Taco Bell and Wendy's.

Chipotle spokesman Chris Arnold suggested that little of the company's success can be credited to marketing. The Denver-based chain only spends 1.75 percent of its revenue on advertising compared to the category average of 5 percent. Marketing spend is split equally between local, traditional and brand-building (like this year's Farmed and Dangerous Hulu series) programs.

"Our approach to marketing in many ways is oriented around storytelling, and we find that traditional advertising isn't always ideal for us," he said. "Chipotle's brand is rooted very heavily in this bigger picture mission to change the way people think about and eat fast food. Many of the things that make Chipotle different have to do with nuance around our food culture-those don't necessarily lend all that well to traditional advertising."

That same emphasis on fresh ingredients and different types of food have led both Taco Bell and Wendy's to mix up their approaches, especially in terms of targeting millennials who increasingly favor fast-casual food over typical fast-food grub.

Moving Fast Food Upscale
The retail idea takes advantage of the foodie craze that's turned practically everyone into a cuisine connoisseur. For example, Taco Bell has opened a string of concept stores that break out of the chain's reputation for cheap and quick Mexican food. In August, the brand opened a restaurant called U.S. Taco in Huntington Beach, Calif., to test out a new upscale Mexican food concept.

"It's sort of a sandbox for us to make sure that we get it right before we get into that true expansion phase," explained Jeff Jenkins, co-founder of U.S. Taco. "There's been a proliferation of the amateur foodie-people [who] are not necessarily foodies by trade, but they come to love food and really want to explore food. Their expectations coming into the restaurant are about experience whereas I think it's not about necessarily the value and convenience of the QSR category."

U.S. Taco's menu consists of 10 American dishes with a Mexican twist-including Maine lobster rolls, Philly Cheese steaks and brisket from Texas-that try to break out of its traditional grub.

Food is also prepared with smartphone-toting diners in mind, who have a tendency to take pictures of their meals at higher-end restaurants. Open-face tacos are served on soft tortillas with ingredients piled on top, and plates sit on aluminum platters. "We know that people eat with their eyes in today's world, but they also actually eat with their cameras," Jenkins said.

To set up the restaurant as an experience that is about more than food, glass walls let consumers see how the food is prepared. In lieu of the traditional numbers that are placed on tables, diners set a physical license plate on their tables. Pictures of these license plates are also posted on U.S. Taco's Instagram account, which has more than 720 followers.

In addition to leaning on social media for marketing, U.S. Taco also works with local organizations and events. For example, the restaurant partnered with surfing website Surfline at this year's Vans U.S. Open of Surfing to cater an event.

Taco Bell is also experimenting with two other concept stores besides U.S. Taco-a Vietnamese sandwich shop called Bahn Shop and Super Chix, a chicken restaurant.

Feeding the Millennials
As sales continue to dip for standard QSR chains-particularly from younger consumers-one of the biggest appeals of fast-casual restaurants is millennials, said Bonnie Riggs, restaurant analyst at NPD.

Per NPD, sales within the restaurant industry are down overall but revenue from fast-casual restaurants is up. Seventy-eight percent of restaurant visits come from QSR chains, meaning that fast-casual restaurants are stealing visits from QSRs.

Riggs argued that the food in fast-casual restaurants is more important than the in-store experience for millennials. And, the higher prices at fast-casual restaurants are not steering young adults away, likely because many still rely on their parents for money.

"Millennials of today are eating differently than millennials of 10 years ago," Riggs said. "For them, it really is about freshness and quality of product. It's all about the food."

Following the trend of marketers becoming publishers, Marriott International is launching a global creative and content marketing studio to handle internal work for its portfolio of 18 travel-related brands.

"We view this as the opportunity to be the world's largest producer of travel-related content," said David Beebe, Marriott's vp of creative, content marketing and global marketing. The former Disney-ABC Television executive and producer will lead the new initiative.

As the largest hotel chain in the world, Marriott aims to leverage its expertise on travel, according to Beebe. Similar to the approach that Red Bull and GoPro take with action sports, Marriott wants to own the travel entertainment space-and, in turn, gain the recognition as a trusted source for all travel needs.

"You're most likely to remember something if a friend recommends it," Beebe said. "We want to take that same approach as a brand through building engaging content communities through social platforms."

The in-house division will have three parts: content development, which will be the personal creative agency; production, or the entertainment division responsible for video content ranging from Web clips to TV shows; and distribution, a real-time marketing group that will monitor social media to ensure immediate interaction with trending topics. Marriott will continue to work with external agencies and other production companies as needed.

Marriott has signed a stable of exclusive talent from the online space, including Sonya Travel's Sonya Gil, stunt team Substance Over Hype, social media news purveyors What's Trending and comedian Taryn Southern. Shows in development include Renaissance Hotels' indie music performance series The Navigator Live; action-comedy stunt show Two Bellmen; and Web series Marriott Rewards' Year of Surprises, which will honor people in the community for their contributions to society. Online series will be broadcast on Marriot.com and Marriot Mobile and through Marriott Rewards and other media channels like YouTube.

Gartner's Andrew Frank said Marriott's in-house approach reflects a general trend in the industry that meets the increasing demand for content marketing, particularly ongoing interactions for long-term campaigns. It can be a risky move, however, because brands can be less experienced in creative and media strategy compared to agencies, but widening media access has made it easier. "Since most agencies are not organized to support content marketing engagements, at a certain scale it can be more cost-effective to bring it in house," he said.

Larry Woodard of digital advertising Graham Stanley Advertising added that brands like Pepsi and Nike have had internal resources for years, and it can be a smart way to create a following and get in touch with your consumer base. "Things are growing so fast and are so divergent from traditional marketing that you need to cast a wide net just to stay relevant," he said.

Still, Frank noted that it isn't easy to become a global entertainment entity. Marriott, in particular, has an uphill battle considering how many travel programs are already established online and offline.

"For every brand do-it-yourself content publishing success story, there's a much larger number of failed attempts. Brands that lack creative core competencies may be surprised at the costs and cultural challenges involved in building a world-class in-house capability," Frank said.

Woodard was skeptical as well. "Neither Marriott nor any other travel giant will be able to own travel entertainment online. For the foreseeable future consumers will be the leading edge of content creation," he said.

Kudos to Dole and Denstu Y&R for making what might be the coolest bananas in the world.

At this year's Tokyo Marathon, 200 runners received personalized Dole bananas with information like finish times and praise from Facebook friends all printed in edible ink (though hopefully nobody tried to eat the peels).

The idea manages to be pretty sweet, even if it is a little silly … not altogether unlike a banana. It aimed to amplify Dole's broader role of handing out some 91,000 bananas to participants in the race, and by the agency's measures, it was a roaring success, earning some $1.1 million in media coverage.

Dole determined the winners of special trophy bananas by lottery, but even the boring, textless bananas available to all the runners were still "Gokusen," or the high-end kind that can cost $12 a bunch-or as much as $6 per banana with special gift packaging.

Then again, in a culture where gift giving is prevalent, and where supermarkets therefore tend to carry $300 cantaloupes-and where even more special melons have sold for $16,000-a pricey banana starts to sound like a total steal.

Via Design Taxi.

Hockey is part of the fabric of Canada where for the past eight years Kraft has spent $1.6 million to refurbish local rinks and turn them into showcases for televised, preseason NHL games. Now, the food giant is taking its grassroots push to America.

And while football is king in the U.S., there are still plenty of hockey-hungry towns-particularly in the Midwest and Northeast. So, naturally, Kraft will seek participants from those regions in particular, according to Dino Bianco, evp and president of Kraft Beverages.

The makeover takes the form of a contest called Kraft Hockeyville in which towns nominate rinks for refurbishing. The winner gets a top cash prize, with several runners-up getting lesser amounts. For the first U.S. contest, the winner will get $150,000 to upgrade its rink and the chance to host a preseason game next fall.

As with the Canadian contest, the U.S. initiative involves the NHL, the NHL Players Association and NBC Sports. USA Hockey is a partner as well. For Kraft, the goal of the program is simple: reach families where they live and in turn, burnish its corporate image.

"This is about building stronger communities, obviously community values, community pride," Bianco told Adweek. "One of the things we learned in Canada was there's such a connection within the community and that connection within the community also connects around food."

As such, Kraft's U.S. debut of Hockeyville will include in-store promotions around brands such as Planters, Oscar Mayer, Mac & Cheese, Cracker Barrel, Maxwell House and Jell-O. TV and digital advertising also is planned-from Anomaly-with public relations and event support from Edelman and Mosaic, respectively, a Kraft representative said.

With the expansion of Hockeyville, Kraft, a 30-year sponsor of the NHL in Canada, becomes a sponsor in the U.S. and accordingly, a partner in NHL events such as the All-Star Game, Winter Classic and Stanley Cup Playoffs. NHL chief operating officer John Collins described Kraft as an "instrumental partner in our efforts to grow the game."

The expansion represents a double-down by Kraft, as Canada will continue its version of Hockeyville as well. This year's winner was the Sylvan Lake Multiplex in Sylvan Lake, Alberta, which hosted a game between the Calgary Flames and Arizona Coyotes last week.

From left, Meredith EICs Lauren Purcell of EveryDay With Rachael Ray, Cheryl Brown of Allrecipes and Jessie Price of EatingWell enjoy cocktails at an agency mixer on the rooftop of Chicago's Tanta restaurant.

Knowing and trusting a brand is a prime consideration for penny buys while good reviews top the list of criteria for expensive purchases. Here's how the buying journey differs for a small purchase of less than $10, compared to a large purchase over $1,000.

Infographic: Carlos Monteiro

Out-of-home experiential advertising can be a boon to brand awareness, but recent campaigns from Coca-Cola and Jimmy Dean show how marketers are trying to magnify the effect of these efforts through connected digital activations.

Coca-Cola recently worked with Clear Channel Outdoor on an interactive billboard as part of the bigger #ShareACoke campaign. In exchange for sending a text message, a billboard displayed a bottle of Coke with the consumer's name on it in real time. The campaign generated 110,000 submissions and 820 million impressions, which measures how many consumers saw the ads.

On a smaller scale, Jimmy Dean and TBWAChiatDay in Los Angeles have seen 6,000 impressions so far from an activation that rolled out on Sept. 8 along Hollywood Boulevard. The campaign centered around a sculpture that used sunlight to create GIFs of brand images, which were then uploaded to social media. The brand is now using the idea to drive a bigger user-generated content push based on the same theme.

"Experiential out of home has not been part of our plan in recent years, but we felt with this big announcement and launch that there was a real opportunity to do something different," said Karmen Conrad, director of marketing at Jimmy Dean Frozen.

Research from BIA/Kelsey backs up the move toward digital out-of-home activations. Out-of-home spend will hit $7.8 billion this year, with $3.3 billion coming from digital. By 2019, digital will make up $4.4 billion of a $9.2 billion industry. "It probably makes sense for brands to be pushing it a little bit to see what works-you have to break through the clutter somehow," said Rick Ducey, managing director at BIA/Kelsey.

Advertising Week kicks off in New York today, as does one of the most ambitious weeks in Adweek's history. Along with the jam-packed agenda of the annual industry gathering-the panels, the parties, the coffee meetings and, yes, the cocktails-we mark the 25th anniversary of Brand Genius Tuesday evening with a ceremony honoring the year's 10 best marketing executives and hosted by MSNBC anchor Mika Brzezinski. The following night, we will celebrate our sister brand, the Clio Awards, at its annual gala, hosted by the incomparable Whoopi Goldberg.

To be as ambitious, as vibrant and as hard- charging as the businesses and the people we cover is a mission of ours at Adweek. The Brand Genius profiles and portraits in this, our biggest issue of the year, prove that out.

A few people are key to Brand Genius, beginning with senior editor Robert Klara, who each year trains his considerable research and reporting talents on the pursuit of the year's standout marketing achievements and the individuals behind them. Once we select our honorees, the execution-the assigning, editing, shooting and designing-fall to executive editor Tony Case and executive creative director Nick Mrozowski. I think you'll agree that their work on this year's profiles and portraits is truly exceptional.

This year, we expand the Brand Genius franchise with Brand Save, which spotlights the best in cause marketing. By way of a yearlong program, the award aims to marry brand innovation with the goals of the worthy recipient. This year, we honor (RED) and its remarkable quest to end HIV/AIDS in eight African countries.

The notion of Brand Save was born last year at a panel I moderated during Creative Week in New York that focused on (RED)'s AIDS-free generation initiative and included (RED) CEO Deborah Dugan, Bank of America head of brand marketing Meredith Verdone and Hill Holliday evp, group creative director Spencer Deadrick.

As a child of the '80s, I can well remember the pervasive fear and sense of helplessness as the AIDS epidemic devastated communities in every corner of the world. I remember walking off the stage after the Creative Week panel completely stunned that (RED) really believed ending HIV/AIDS was possible, and soon.

All I could think was: How can I help?

Fast-forward to the Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity this past summer and a panel featuring (RED) co-founder Bono. He made an impassioned call to marketers to lend their creativity and innovation to help (RED) achieve its goal. Sitting in the audience, I was struck that I could, in fact, help by finding a way to bring (RED) and Brand Genius-an aggregation of the best minds in marketing and the very people Bono was eager to reach-together.

Back in New York, I mentioned my idea to Adweek's vp of marketing, Liza Kirsh. Through her enthusiasm and tenacity, Brand Save quickly, with the great support of Dugan and her team at (RED), became a reality. It'll be a proud moment indeed when we launch it tomorrow night.

As the conversation around digital advertising focuses around the shift from desktop to mobile, and more recently the supposed promise of the wearables/ Internet-of-things/insert-buzzword-here revolution, a quiet theme is emerging that shouldn't be overlooked or underestimated: the device-agnostic relationship consumers have with digital services.

This device agnosticism is establishing the foundation for a more unified consumer experience, one that is contextually aware to your needs and preferences, enabling advertisers to finally move beyond owning a fuzzy relationship with devices and into more personal experiences.

In the '80s, when boom boxes and VCRs were all the rage, we had 30 devices to do 30 different things and were none the wiser to how the world could get better until we were introduced to the iPhone. Then, all of a sudden, those 30 devices were magically transported into one device. Let's call this the great device consolidation, an era that saw desktop and mobile come into their own and advertisers awakened to the compelling proposition that they could capture a consumer on a unit that had a one-to-one relationship with its owner, creating the opportunity for a consistent story to be told to the same person via the same device.

But just like the technology that increasingly governs it, marketing's obsolescence cycle is speedy and already shifting away from the great device consolidation back into single-purpose device fragmentation. Only this time it's different. This time each device serves a single purpose but is aware of the devices within the same network. Let's call this the great device disaggregation.

In this era, consumers are going to use your service or content on multiple devices, but expect to get the same experience on each one. This is fundamentally different from the traditional media models we've been trained to think through. Watching a movie in a theater creates one set of advertising opportunities, while showing that same movie on cable TV creates a more receptive interruptive advertising opportunity.

That's not how the world works anymore.

When viewing or listening to media, consumers expect the same experience regardless of device, in addition to the expectation that the content will be tailored to their needs. And we no longer live in a world where advertisers can create medium/ device-specific advertising campaigns and experiences because consumers are consuming the same media across multiple devices that cross-communicate.

When I log into Netflix, I expect to get the same personalized recommendations, whether it's through my TV, iPad or Xbox. When I'm listening to Pandora (where I work), I expect to get the same personalized radio, regardless of whether it's being managed via my computer or through my Pebble watch. When I'm opening Amazon, I want the same recommendations, regardless on which device I ultimately make my purchase.

Netflix is available on over 100 devices. Amazon is building its own unified media platform. This is the future of fragmentation. This is the way our new Internet-enabled future will emerge. This is the consumer expectation for their media.<

It will further become their expectation of advertising, too. The consumer doesn't care which device they're using when they turn to their favorite media source, because there is an expectation of consistency.

And new devices will continue to proliferate. While the excitement around the Apple Watch may prove to be more hype than real value, the natural utility of Internet-enabled devices is based in their ability to have an awareness of the other devices within the network of your presence.

Ubiquity is the new data plan. Your car, your phone, your toaster will all deliver content and collect data. The services most poised to win are those that can ensure they pick up where they left off on the last device.

So while consumers become agnostic to their devices, how will your marketing plan follow suit? How will you meet their fragmented demand?

Jack Krawczyk (@JackK) is director of product management at Pandora.

Every day, millions of people walk into any of 20,519 Starbucks in 65 countries, and most walk back out with the same thing: a white cardboard coffee cup. Do you know the one? Of course you do. "Starbucks cups have become part of the cultural backdrop, an unconscious reminder that the brand exists," observed management consultant and business speaker Can Akdeniz. "It's an extremely powerful piece of packaging."

Photo: Nick Ferrari

And every year, Starbucks sells somewhere around 5 billion of them.

The story of how a simple paper cup got to be the most recognizable to-go container in the world is a strange one, and it's about to get even stranger. Because, before we talk about the cup, we have to talk about breasts-a mermaid with breasts, actually.

In 1971, Starbucks (then a mere fledging coffee shop on the Seattle waterfront) was looking for a logo, something that would embody the seafaring history of its home city. The three founders hired a consultant named Terry Heckler. According to CEO Howard Schultz, Heckler "pored over old marine books until he came up with a logo based on an old 16th-century Norse woodcut: a two-tailed mermaid." (Medieval-minded blogger Carl Pyrdum has pointed out that there were no Norsemen left by the 16th century, but let's just move on.)

The mermaid was exotic. She was also topless. At first, and despite some complaints, Starbucks just rolled with it. As Schultz later explained, "Bare breasted and Rubenesque, [the mermaid] was supposed to be as seductive as the coffee itself." But then the time came to put the logo on the delivery trucks, and that was problematic. "The logo was huge," Heckler's website relates, "-and so were the mermaid's breasts."

Starbucks solved the problem by restyling the mermaid's hairdo so it draped over the trouble spots. Then, in 1986, entrepreneur Schultz bought out the original Starbucks partners and modified the logo by placing the mermaid in the center of a green circle, a striking and memorable badge for that white cardboard cup.

The resulting device became an icon nearly overnight. Bryant Simon, author of Everything but the Coffee: Learning About America From Starbucks, relates the folklore of how Madison Avenue interns used to splurge $5 on a Starbucks latte, drink it and then carry the empty cup around for the remainder of the week. "They wanted people to see them with the cup," he said. "Through the intervention of users, Starbucks was able to make that cup shorthand for someone who was discerning, sophisticated and had enough money to waste on coffee."

1. In 1971, the first Starbucks opened its doors in Seattle, featuring a sign made of painted cedar planks. When the building was demolished in 1974, the company moved the furnishings to a new "original" location at 102 Pike Street. This store (where the wallpaper is made from old burlap coffee sacks) is still open today.

2. Starting in the ‘90s, the Starbucks coffee cup enjoyed cameos in both TV and film. Carrie Bradshaw took a stylish sip in this 1998 episode of Sex and the City. In 2006's The Devil Wears Prada, tortured assistant Andrea buys Miranda her coffee each morning, bringing it in those perennially fashionable white cups.

3. The original mermaid, au naturel from 1971 (top), and just below, her contemporary counterpart.

Who Principals Shannon Slusher (l.), CEO, and Darryl Cilli, CCO
What Agency focused on sports, lifestyle and higher-education projects
Where Philadelphia

When 160over90's founders opened their shop in 2001, they knew right away this wasn't going to be one of those let's-smash-our-names-together agencies, given that the result would have been Cilli Slusher-which conjures up an image of county-fair Slurpees. Rather, the independent agency's name is tied to something more human: elevated blood pressure. "Why would anyone come to us for just TV spots? They want human reaction," explained chief creative officer Darryl Cilli. Using teenage consumer insights gleaned from its core higher-education clients, 160over90 has added marketers like American Eagle Outfitters, Under Armour, Nike and the Miami Dolphins pro football franchise. A labor of love is the hometown team Philadelphia Eagles: An online film the agency released featuring a John Legend and the Roots soundtrack got more than 1 million views in just two days.