Archive for January, 2011

Meet the new boss, creative collaborator and hair-apparent to the Alex Bogusky throne

andrewKellerblog 5 Questions With CP+B’s Andrew KellerNot too many creative shops could convince a client to craft a campaign around the concept that customers think their pizza sucks. But Crispin Porter + Bogusky isn’t your average ad agency: It’s sort of a think tank that’s really great at making TV commercials. And 13-year vet Andrew Keller is more than newly minted CEO of the Boulder, Colo. and Miami-based shop—he’s the heart, guts and creative soul behind memorable campaigns for, yes, Domino’s Pizza, but also Burger King, Microsoft, MINI, Volkswagen, Hulu, Coke Zero, Bolthouse Carrots, Kraft Macaroni & Cheese and a bunch of other brands.

As a creative director, Keller’s work has been bait for both buzz (just try to dislodge that Subservient Chicken or Creepy King from your brain…) and sales spikes (Domino’s experienced a 14.3% jump in same-store sales the quarter after it rolled out its new recipe). Keller takes the reins of the MDC Partners’ shop with his CP+B creative counterparts,  Rob Reilly (Partner/WorldWide Chief Creative Officer) and Jeff Benjamin, (Partner/Chief Creative Officer), filling a void that’s been vacant since principal and creative visionary Alex Bogusky left the agency unexpectedly last summer. But Keller and Co. are doing so much cool work, their FearLess leader’s name never came up in this interview with the Yahoo! Advertising Blog’s Becky Ebenkamp.

Yahoo! Advertising Blog: You’ve been a co-chief creative officer with Jeff and Rob for awhile. Then, last fall, you were all promoted. What’s different in terms of your role at the agency and your relationship with the other guys?

Andrew Keller: I still don’t have a good answer for that question… We’ve always been a creative-driven agency. For this generation [of CP+B], it made sense to officially make a creative person the CEO, responsible for our vision. I still do a lot of work on creative. When a CEO gets further away from operations people and the business and more into the financial world, there can be a disconnect in how a company moves forward. There’s also an added element to my role that has to do with what’s next? What are we looking to do? As a creative person, I bring a creative problem-solving attitude and a willingness to collaborate and a belief that vision can grow a business—where finance may only know how to cut.

We all share a giant office—which is kind of fun—myself, Rob and Jeff. We have these sliding doors between us, but that’s only because Jeff doesn’t keep his space tidy and he often works out in the middle of the day [laughing]. But the sliding doors are usually open and they’re completely glass so we all share that same space. Jeff has really been the digital and invention visionary within the place. While we split creative duties, Rob has always led across all accounts, so we work together as well.

domino1 5 Questions With CP+B’s Andrew KellerYAB: CP+B developed a new product idea for one client (Kraft Macaroni & Cheese for the Grill) and advised another that it should use media to confess its sins and pitch a better-tasting product (Domino’s). What, exactly, is a modern creative agency?

AK: As CEO, I’ve been trying more and more to put my finger on what makes us unique. I think it’s about using creativity to drive business success, period, whether that means an ad, a website, a mobile app… With Domino’s, this was a fundamental change in how the company does business and goes to market wrapped in a creative execution.

We’ve always said, “Pretend it’s your business. What would you do?” We [apologize to clients up front] that we’re going to stick our noses into places they don’t belong, and then suggest what actions need to be taken. We’ve always come to clients, brands and products and problems that way, and then been able to apply creativity on top as a solution. That’s been our underlying philosophy: We apply our creative ideas and problem solving abilities to [more than advertising] to drive business success.

YAB: You must have dream clients. I can’t imagine many marketers would allow an ad guy to tell them, “The emperor is wearing no clothes!” and live long enough to suggest a smarter strategy…

AK: Well, it’s not THAT easy. We like a good discussion. The client is critical in how you go about something, and it’s not like we’re 100% right—we need that tension from them. We should have to prove why we think something’s going to work, over and over again. I think we get the benefit of the doubt [because] they sense that we’re knowledgeable and passionate about their business. They know we’re not just out to create some piece of art, that we’re here to do something spectacular that drives success.

subservientChicken05 225x300 5 Questions With CP+B’s Andrew KellerHere’s a classic example: Clients used to say, “Where’s my Subservient Chicken?” [CP+B teamed with The Barbarian Group to create the freaky poultry viral project for client Burger King in 2004.] When people read about its success in an Ad Age or Adweek, everyone wanted that, but tough decisions had to be made. It wasn’t the easiest thing to concept or buy. Everybody wants to green-light success, but what generates success isn’t always so obvious.

You can look back at the Domino’s decision and say, “We should do something like that…” but are you prepared to take the risks that Domino’s took? They had their concerns, and the issue with any large company is you’ve got so many stakeholders—and shareholders, frankly. The genesis of that idea was when I heard they were doing focus groups with Domino’s executives behind glass listening to people talk about their pizza. The Domino’s people actually started crying because it hurt them so much what the [subjects] were saying. Most large companies are like, “We make a product, we sell it at this amount…” but these people really took pride in what they do and they took these customers’ comments really personally. Our [initiative] was really about revealing who they truly are; other companies could potentially adopt that strategy, but when you pull back the curtain, it might not be true.

YAB: CP+B is pitching much more business in 2010. What’s driving that?

AK: I love new business, and pitches have always proved to be sort of the R&D of the agency. It’s problem-solving on such a big-picture level. And you’d be surprised—people at the agency love the pitch process, too: Everybody wants to participate. We have a lot more creative leaders today, and all of them want to flex their creative muscle and get involved. [New business is] obviously important because we want to grow revenue, but it’s a source of joy, too. We are people who want to make things and solve problems, and those are great opportunities for us.

YAB: Yahoo! is extra-especially interested in digital marketing, naturally, and the creative canvas is one of our favorite topics. Is the ad community getting excited about any particular emerging technology? Any guesses on what will be the next Subservient Chicken?

AK: Everyone suspects that interactive TV will be the next thing. Great digital work offers brand an opportunity to engage consumers in a way that other, less-interactive media forms don’t. Our creative work has always been interactive, literally: stickers as a magazine insert that you could pull out to detail a Mini, or stencils that people could use to participate in the Truth [anti-tobacco] campaign. We’ve never been interested in creating a piece of content that you just view.

minivendgood 225x300 5 Questions With CP+B’s Andrew Keller

Digital’s so broad now—whether it’s social, or it’s mobile—it’s not about sites any more. You have to keep learning and evolving and saying, “How do we engage people in all these formats?” A big evolution for us has been [moving] digital technologists in-house. These folks have changed the dynamic around what we can do. We no longer need to work with vendors who might not share our culture in terms of “anything’s possible.” Domino’s is now the Number 4 retailer online. That means we have to be as good at creating a digital retail environment as Amazon is. We don’t get a break because people think of us as [Domino’s or Best Buy’s] advertising agency.

Also, having all these different people working together on a project has had huge implications. A developer’s brain works differently than a graphic designer’s brain, which works differently than a copywriter’s brain, and we have all those brains within these walls. Everyone’s ability to communicate on the same terms—while bringing their own perspective to a problem—creates a lot of interesting solutions.

—Becky Ebenkamp

AS+f%26f AdSense Facts & Fictions Part VI: User Generated ContentFiction: I shouldn’t be held responsible if users post content on my site or network that violates AdSense policies.

Fact: You are responsible for ensuring that all of your content, including user-generated content such as forum posts, blog comments or outside feeds, is in compliance with AdSense policies on any page or site for which you’ve enabled AdSense ads.

As we’ve discussed in previous posts in this series, we regularly review the content in the AdSense network to ensure that it’s safe for advertisers, users, and publishers, as network quality is of premium importance. Just as you, our publishers, expect us to do all we can to remove undesirable ads, our advertisers expect high standards to be maintained; for example, a company using AdWords to market baby clothes doesn’t want their ads to appear next to violent or mature content. In order to be transparent about what kinds of content violate our policies, we’ve published a complete list in our Help Center.

Making sure content complies with our policies can be complex when factoring in user-generated content. Keeping tabs on the hundreds (or even thousands!) of videos, blog posts, photos, tweets, and comments that can come in every day is a massive undertaking. However, you are ultimately responsible for all sites on which you have placed your ad code, regardless of whether you own or have produced the content. This blog post provides a few suggestions to help you prevent and monitor potential content violations.

In most cases, our first step after a policy violation is found is to issue a policy notification for the site. Exceptions include DMCA and egregious policy violations, more details here. After the initial notification, you need to take action, not simply respond to the warning, but implement solutions to proactively ensure that violating content is removed and new content added to the network or site complies with our policies.

We understand that it can take time to find the best solution to prevent problematic content from appearing on your site and we want to work with you to give you the time needed to find a fix. If it becomes evident that a publisher is unable to do so, or if the violation is continuing or egregious, then we will disable an account. We offer an appeals process, but the bottom line is, we can’t partner with publishers that pose a risk to our advertisers (just as we won’t partner with advertisers that could compromise you).

We know how hard you work to make sure that your sites are of the highest quality and free of adult content, unoriginal content, or anything else that may violate policies and we thank you for your efforts. When advertisers, publishers, and users know they can trust the integrity of our advertising environment, everyone wins.

Posted by Hannah Schlesinger – AdSense Policy team

Editor’s Note: An earlier version of this post implied that an AdSense publisher has to proactively screen all content on his or her site. While publishers are required to take steps to keep the pages on which ads appear free from content that violates our policies, there are various methods that publishers can take to do this (see here for tips).
5576995 2496558881408736474?l=adsense.blogspot AdSense Facts & Fictions Part VI: User Generated Content
 AdSense Facts & Fictions Part VI: User Generated Content

 AdSense Facts & Fictions Part VI: User Generated Content


Enhancing the creative canvas for online advertisers 

More space to tell your brand story. Interactive creative that engages, entertains and drives sales. Social, branding and content solutions that will edge out competitors. Yahoo! delivered all this and more to advertisers in 2010.  

With the launch of 12 ad formats in one year alone, Yahoo! is helping brands and agencies deliver experiences that engage online consumers. Take a look at last year’s ”dynamic dozen,” and consider taking advantage of one or more in 2011:  

1. The Login Page

12new1 12 New Ad Formats Available on Yahoo!  

Placement: Exclusive placement on—visited by one in 10 Americans every day. Creative can be static or interactive. The interactive version may include a button that opens a 450 x 450 Flash experience or plays a video.  

Size: 1440 x 1024 max (The whole page!)  

Bottom Line: Bigger canvas, bolder creative and massive reach (more than 26 million daily users) with 100% mindshare.  

Creative Examples: Malibu, Traverse, Equinox, Cruze, Volt  and details on the branding success GM found with the Yahoo! Login Page


2. Mag Ad

cbs 12 New Ad Formats Available on Yahoo!

Placement: Available on Yahoo! TV, omg!, Music, Movies, Sports  

Size: The ad starts with an auto-expand panel that displays the full ad and then contracts to the default ad position. The user can control what level of product detail is displayed in the ad.  

Bottom Line: This is the best choice for advertisers who want to showcase their products and their brand with big, gorgeous photography, in a format that allows customers to interact with their products.  

Creative Example: CBS

3. Yahoo! Mail Pullover

12adformats2 12 New Ad Formats Available on Yahoo!  

Placement: Available on Yahoo! Mail  

Size: Once the user clicks on the smaller ad unit, the ad ”pulls over,” canvassing an area of 750 x 750.  

Bottom Line: This is the perfect opportunity to reach a massive audience with a flexible creative canvas that goes beyond traditional ad sizes and allows the user to interact with product information via rich media and video.  

Creative Example: Macy’s and check out the successful results of the retailer’s Yahoo! Mail Pullover campaign over Memorial Day   

4. omg! Mosaic

tangled 12 New Ad Formats Available on Yahoo!

Placement: Exclusive to omg!  

Size: The top nine modules on the omg! page will combine to feature one large branded message. A custom animation tied to theme can simulate the glitz and glamour of the red carpet and the paparazzi, with a sequence of flashing bulbs leaving a portion of the branded message in its wake.    

Bottom Line: You can reach 19 million unique users per month and integrate your brand into the star-studded world of omg!.  

Creative Example: Disney’s Tangled

5. OPA Pushdown
samsung 12 New Ad Formats Available on Yahoo!  
Placement: North roadblock, plus LREC and wallpaper units
Size: Begins as a 970 x 66 ad that auto-expands into a preview panel of 977 x 418 and auto closes. At any point, the user can open, close or further engage with the ad. This flexible format can accommodate a variety of content, including video.  

Bottom line: This offers a rich opportunity for branding, since the ad auto-expands, invariably capturing user attention.  

Creative Example: Samsung


12adformats31 12 New Ad Formats Available on Yahoo!  
Placement: Available in Yahoo! Mail.  

Size: Begins at 468 x 648 and expands to a large 936 x 648 that can include different kinds of content, including video. Controls on the unit allow the user to further engage by opening and closing the ad unit.  

Bottom Line: It’s ideal for advertisers interested in massive reach (Yahoo! Mail has 32 million users), a massive canvas and a deeply immersive user experience.  

Click here for a creative example.  

7. Video Traffic Driver

Placement: Repurpose your existing video/TV assets or have Yahoo! deliver brand-aligned content.  

Bottom Line: Engage users with your brand through great content, and drive traffic to specific locations and product offers. Plus, increase your reach with social sharing of content and deals via Yahoo! Pulse, Facebook, Twitter or Email.  

8. Deal Driver

Placement: Engage online visitors with compelling and redeemable offers.

Bottom Line: Incorporate coupons that are printable directly from the ad.  

9. Content Mashup 

Placement: A customized content ad that pulls in your existing content or brand-aligned RSS feeds to present the information you want your customers to have—all within the ad unit!

Bottom Line: Engage consumers with your brand within the context of meaningful content. Plus, we make it easy to share that information with contacts in Yahoo! Pulse, via email, pushed to your Twitter and Facebook news feeds, and even on select mobile devices.  

10. Living Movie Poster

Features: This is a rich, fully immersive experience that highlights the official theatrical one-sheet and marries it with a vivid animated overlay.

Size: 300 x 500 base ad. The maximum width of the overlay is determined by the width of the page; typical Yahoo! Property Front Pages are 980 pixels wide. Recommended height is 600 pixels.

Bottom line: Movies are dynamic and compelling, and Yahoo! can bring them to life.

Creative Example: Cats and Dogs   

11. Digitorial

12adformats4 12 New Ad Formats Available on Yahoo!
Features: This customized content ad offers a complete microsite within the creative canvas that provides a brand experience, direct response capability and the sharing options of social media. Size: An OPA Pushdown format is just one example of how Yahoo! deploys this creative experience. For example, an advertiser can also, , choose a 300 x 250 unit that sits on the right rail, or just about any another format. It’s entirely portable.

Bottom Line: This is a highly flexible, creative experience that brings audiences and advertisers together by combining interesting, relevant content with brand messaging. It offers advertisers unprecedented control of what content surrounds their brands, and offers users control of the content that they consume.  

Creative Example: J.C. Penny  

12. Brand Wrap

Features: A tab format with a large ad that expands over the page, literally wrapping your brand around the content experience. Both the unexpanded tab and the expanded “wrap” are persistent—they stay overlaid on top of content as the user scrolls through the page.  

Size: The default tab is 120 x 330. The expansion panel size (including tab) is 780 x 575.    

Bottom Line: Brand Wrap is a persistent page takeover that engages users with rich media, allowing the advertiser to highlight detailed product information.  

Click here for a creative example.  

For more details on creative canvas opportunities, check out the Yahoo! Media Kit.

—Dianne Molina   


Back story of “golden voice” announcer Ted Williams makes this straightforward spot one of January’s hottest viral ads

Dumb husband brings home a business client unannounced for dinner. Wife improvises by serving macaroni and cheese. Wise kid provides a couple of beyond-his-years snarky remarks. As TV ads go, it’s fairly predictable and pedestrian. So why does this Kraft ad have more than a million views on YouTube?

It’s due to the circumstances behind a member of the production—who usually couldn’t be more anonymous in a commercial—but in this case, has garnered national attention. The ten-second voiceover during the spot’s conclusion was provided by formerly homeless man Ted Williams, a true product of the YouTube Era. Williams went from giving a deep-voiced radio-style announce in exchange for a buck on the side of an Ohio highway to a gig with a major CPG company in a matter of days.

Online videos featuring Williams (including this one offering a behind-the-scenes glimpse at the Kraft recording session) have been viewed more than 31 million times this month, and he’s attracted the attention of media mainstays from Dr. Phil to Howard Stern. Sadly, Williams’ story hasn’t found its ultimate Hollywood ending yet, as he recently had some trouble with the law and is apparently heading to rehab. We wish Mr. Golden Voice luck in dealing with his demons, and hope to hear from him again.

— Jeff Hecox


This week: Social unrest, #SOTU, your so-called sponsored life, paying for Hulu and a ridiculously good-looking old friend 

1egypt 300x200 5 Best Things in Social MediaBest political use of social media by a people: the citizens of Egypt

This week, the world once again witnessed the power of social media to organize, mobilize and document political movements. Inspired by the successful revolution in Tunisia, Egypt has been using social networks like Flickr to share images and videos of protests against the regime of President Hosni Mubarak. In the last day, the government has forced an unprecedented Internet and mobile network shutdown on its people. Earlier this morning, Twitter responded to the act of censorship on their blog


Best political use of social media by a government: the Obama Administration

In stark contrast to the political melee in Egypt, American leaders leaned heavily on social media this week to get their agendas out. The White House not only live-streamed but tweeted the State of the Union address in real time. While the President answered questions on YouTube, the Vice President did a virtual Q&A with Americans via Yahoo!. No matter what your political leanings, as an American, you have to feel heartened by the willingness of our leaders to engage in a two-way conversation. 
Best new way to lose friends: Facebook’s Sponsored Story Ads

This week, “The Social Network” was nominated for several Oscars, Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook page was hacked and the social network announced that its users’ activities are getting turned into advertising. We hit the “like” button on two of the three. Here’s how the new “sponsored story” ads on Facebook will work: if you check in, like or post about The Gap, the retailer could pay to use that action, as well as any associated comments in an ad on the side of the page, which all of your friends will see.

Best online service with an unsure future: Hulu
Confession: I love the hysterics on “The Bachelor.” And thanks to Hulu, the melodrama is at my fingertips whenever and wherever I want. I’m not the only one loving free Internet TV: The number of videos viewed on Hulu doubled last year. And yet, if the buzz this week is true, Hulu’s free business model may need to shift to look more like an “online cable provider.” I’ll draw the line at paying to watch network TV online…well, depending on how crazy the contestants on “The Bachelor” are that season. 

Best return by a social media god: The Old Spice Guy
He’s baaaaaaaaaaack. A new video starring The Old Spice Guy made the rounds this week. While his one-liners weren’t quite as funny as we remembered (ah, how quickly we become jaded), we were intrigued by the marketing message of the video. Old Spice will hand a new commercial over to one lucky Super Fan several days before it premieres nationally on February 7. That fan will decide how and when the public sees the new ad for the Old Spice Fresh Collection. Here’s hoping that the super fan turns out to be as ridiculously good looking as Mustafa. Meow!  

—Dianne Molina

image courtesy of Sara Carr via Flickr.