Thursday, September 24, 2009

The best small agency in America.

This week Barrie D'Rozario Murphy was selected by the Association of American Advertising Agencies as the best small agency in the country.

The O'Toole Award is a top industry honor for overall creative excellence across a range of clients and media platforms. The small agency award specifically recognizes this accomplishment among agencies of less than 100 people. BBDO won the honor for best large agency, and Bartle Bogle Hegarty was selected as the best midsize agency.

Bob, Stuart and I are thrilled. We owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to the people who work at BD'M, as well as to our clients.

The people at our shop all left good jobs at good agencies to run off and join the circus with the three of us. And the blue chip clients who enlisted us -- such as United Airlines, Best Buy, Applied Materials, Compellent -- all took a leap of faith in hiring a new agency. We will never stop working hard to reward the faith everyone has shown.

We will also never stop being cheeky and having fun, as evidenced by the advertisement we ran in yesterday's New York Times. The response has been fantastic. I think it touched a pent-up desire by many in our business to have some fun, have a point of view and be a bit provocative.

But as we've said in interviews, the ad is in good fun. We're simply jealous of those big agencies!

Friday, September 18, 2009

How to provoke reappraisal of your brand.




Time will tell if GM's new corporate campaign featuring CEO Ed Whitacre will work. An advertising columnist recently suggested that "GM out Hyundais Hyundai."

Out Hyundais Hyundai? Really? Hyundai has been on a journey to recast its image for a decade. It's strategy? Bold, bet-the-ranch marketing initiatives:

  • The most comprehensive warranty in the business.
  • A direct appeal to rethink Hyundai, based on fact and accomplishment, not bravado.
  • A buy back program that showed great insight into the real issue facing consumers in the recession (consumers who had jobs but feared not having one later in the year).
  • A risky move into the near luxury sedan market with Genesis.

The result? Year-to-date Hyundai has picked up over a point of market share (source: Automotive News). A Herculean task to be sure. Every GM brand lost share. The proper domestic comparison to Hyundai is Ford, which, like Hyundai, has kept its head down and worked hard to get its quality and design right. Like Hyundai, Ford has also picked up market share this year.

So this begs the question -- where are the facts to support that corporate bravado ("car for car, we win") is fresh or effective?

I have no connection to Hyundai and no axe to grind. I'm simply a fan of smart and brave marketing. (That and about 15 years automotive marketing experience.)