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1st time advertisers gamble on Super Bowl ads

More Super Bowl ad rookies will be trying to score a touchdown this Sunday.

There will be 15 new Super Bowl advertisers this year, the most since 2000, before the economy fell into what would be the first of two recessions since. Advertising experts say the rookie interest in Super Bowl ads is a positive sign that companies are feeling good in the most recent economic recovery.

 New advertisers like Carnival cruises and Skittles candy are hoping to capitalize on the massive size of the Super Bowl audience: The game is advertising’s greatest showcase, with more than 110 million people expected to tune in to watch to the Seattle Seahawks and New England Patriots. And more than the sheer size of the audience, ad experts say new advertisers also are hoping to draw from the goodwill people feel toward Super Bowl ads.

But at about $4.5 million for a 30-second spot, advertising during the Super Bowl is a huge gamble too. Some first time advertisers succeed in becoming a household name: established itself with a racy Super Bowl spot 11 years ago. But others misfire: Groupon’s first and only Super Bowl effort in 2011 aimed to be a tongue-in-cheek take on public service announcements, but was criticized for being insensitive  Read the rest of this entry »

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Audi Won’t Return to Super Bowl This Year

For the first time since entering the game in 2008, Audi will not appear during Super Bowl XLIX, which will air on NBC on Feb. 1, according to a company spokesman.

“The Super Bowl has been a valuable part of the Audi marketing plan for nearly a decade,” spokesman Andrew Lipman said via email.

Mr. Lipman added that Audi’s Super Bowl commercials have increased awareness and showroom traffic post-game, but declined to provide further insight on why it chose not to air a commercial in this year’s game.  Read the rest of this entry »

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Y&R California Names Ronny Northrop Chief Creative Officer

Y&R California has named Ronny Northrop its new chief creative officer.

The San Francisco office of the WPP network is the latest Y&R shop to make creative executive changes at the top in the last week. Earlier this week, Y&R’s New York office named Leslie Sims chief creative officer, and last week, the agency confirmed that Bill Cimino was leaving his post as the top creative in the Chicago office. Rather than being replaced by one chief creative, Mr. Cimino is being replaced by co-executive creative directors Pam Mufson and Jeremy Smallwood.  Read the rest of this entry »

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Puppies, Clydesdales again star in Anheuser Super Bowl ads

The puppies and the Clydesdales are coming back.

Anheuser-Busch is bringing back its canine and Clydesdales combo this Super Bowl, hoping to top last year’s “Puppy Love” spot that showed a cute puppy bonding with a Clydesdale and topped most advertising polls as the best commercial in advertising’s biggest showcase.  Read the rest of this entry »

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5 things we learned about native ads in 2014

According to the Association of National Advertisers, “programmatic” was the word of the year. It wouldn’t be surprising if “native” demanded a recount.

Sure, any discussion of native advertising, which takes the look and feel of the placement’s environment, will immediately bring out the “But it’s nothing new!” crowd. Maybe, but the shift to native digital formats became a full-blown phenomenon in online publishing in 2014. Still, despite its seeming ubiquity, even those who run native ads disagree on how to label them, who should create them — and even how they’re defined. That’s not stopping anyone from embracing them, though, as they attempt to move beyond the sagging banner ad. Here, then, are five big trends in native advertising that emerged this year.  Read the rest of this entry »

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New Owners for an Agency That Markets for a Cause

ONE of the first agencies devoted to handling communications efforts for causes, nonprofit organizations, charities, foundations and activists seeking social change — a specialty that is now thriving — is being sold by its founder and longtime leader, David Fenton, to investors who are forming a holding group for agencies of that kind.

The agency, named Fenton, is getting new leadership along with its new ownership; the changes are to be announced on Wednesday. Mr. Fenton, who was chief executive, is taking a different role, as chairman, and he plans to devote more time to working on efforts to counter global climate change. To succeed Mr. Fenton as chief executive, the agency is hiring Bill Werde, who was most recently editorial director of the music trade publication Billboard.   Read the rest of this entry »

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Ad agencies get serious about diversity

Two years ago, Courtney Buechert, CEO of Eleven, Inc., realized he had a problem. Sure, his San Francisco-based agency had great clients, including Apple  APPL , Facebook  FB  and NetApp, but among a staff of 150, there were no female creative directors and not a single woman in senior management.

The four partners? All men.

“We think of ourselves as enlightened, but despite all our good intentions and stated commitment to equality, we weren’t walking the talk,” says Buechert. “We had to rethink everything.”  Read the rest of this entry »

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Are People Finally Sick Of Black Friday Insanity?

Despite much crowing by retail watchers about how well the retail sector is expected to do this holiday season, Black Friday weekend proved to be a major disappointment, with overall spending down significantly over last year. Has the message about the idiocy of this consumer holiday finally reached the masses, or have people just wised up about the fact that the discounts start a week early now and only get better as Christmas gets closer?  Read the rest of this entry »

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Toshiba to Launch Global B-to-B Campaign Next Month

Toshiba Corp., a $63 billion Japanese company best known for laptops and consumer electronics products, next month will roll out a global integrated campaign to raise awareness of its b-to-b solutions, which account for 84% of total sales.

The campaign, called “Bring Life Forward,” was created by Gyro San Francisco and promotes Toshiba’s Smart Community business, which provides technology for electric buses, wind power, solar energy, water and environmental solutions.  Read the rest of this entry »

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Fitbit Starts First Global Campaign

Fitness-wearables company Fitbit is launching its first campaign as the fitness-wearables category gets more crowded.

Up until now the brand hadn’t advertised much, and it didn’t need to. It has an overwhelmingly large market share in the activity-trackers category, and it’s available in 40,000 locations in 48 different countries. Fitbit’s unit share of the Full Body Activity Trackers at the end of third quarter 2014 was 69%, according to NPD Group’s Retail Tracking Service. The No. 2 brand, Jawbone, had 14%.  Read the rest of this entry »

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