Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Where does your brand draw the line?

If you've read my earlier posts on brand narratives then you know I believe brands should invest as much time defining what they oppose as they do defining what they stand for.

Knowing what you stand for provides a clear sense of true north.  Knowing what you oppose keeps brands focused, aligned and authentic.  (Michael Porter has written that great strategy not only tells you what to do, but should also tell you what not to do.)

That's why I applaud Abercrombie's decision to pay the Jersey Shore to stop dressing its "stars" in A&F garb.  Whether or not this is a genuine offer or merely a PR stunt is beside the point.  What Abercrombie is doing is drawing a proverbial line in the sand so that its customers know the brand's point of view, taste and values.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Why we declined United's invitation.

United Airlines announced yesterday that it selected McGarryBowen as its new agency of record after a lengthy review.  We're happy for our friends at United and wish MB great success.

Many people are asking us why BD'M declined to participate in the review.  After all, BD'M created for United arguably the category's most distinctive and effective advertising (continuing the great work my partners Bob and Stuart led at Fallon).  The animated Rhapsody campaign has won nearly every international creative award through the years, and last year won an EFFIE for the effectiveness of our Travel Options campaign.

After United and Continental merged, with the inevitable management shuffle, the three of us came to the sober conclusion that incumbents seldom prevail in a post-merger environment and declined United's invitation to defend the business.  We decided it was smarter to invest our time and money, as well as the talents of our employees, doing great work for current clients while pursuing new opportunities.

Granted, it's easier to make a bold, principled decision after you've just prevailed in a major pitch to win a global AOR assignment from Dell, besting a range of multinationals for the computer giant's Public Sector business.

Did we make the right decision?  We think so.  While we miss our friends at United, being on offense instead of defense helped BD'M win a second global AOR from Dell, this time winning its Large Enterprise assignment, as well as the recent AOR assignment from Wagner.

I suppose the moral of this story is that sometimes in life you need to step back in order to move forward.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Wagner selects BD'M.

Our world just got more colorful with the news that Wagner Spraytech has chosen BD'M as it agency of record for its full line of power paint sprayers and power rollers.  The assignment spans all channels, from print to online to in-store, and all points in between.

I've long enjoyed working on DIY-targeted assignments because these consumers are extremely engaged and open to new ideas. It was easy to measure the entire agency's passion for this assignment by our willingness to finally allow a splash of color on the pristine white walls of BD'M.  (An agency with "no walls" finally paints its walls.  Ironic.)

This year is shaping up to be one of momentum and diversification for BD'M.  In addition to Wagner, BD'M has won two global AOR assignments from Dell (Public Sector, followed by Large Enterprise), a corporate branding assignment for Medtronic, and global AOR responsibilities for Chamilia jewelry.