The Super Bowl is about stories: the big catch that wins the game, the goal line stand that stops a crucial touchdown, the thrilling (and sometime shocking) half time performances. This is what marketers do every day. Little wonder, then, that the Super Bowl has become as much about the advertising as it is about the game…walking hand-in-hand to create to create sports narratives and iconic commercials that will be talked about for years to come.
And so on Sunday night, while an ambitious young quarterback battled a veteran looking to write a final chapter to a celebrated career, 80 ads were seen by 115 million viewers around the world.
What marked 2016’s crop of ads was its decidedly straightforward approach: humor, celebrities and cute animals carried the day. The tone was light and celebratory in keeping with the game’s national status as a quasi-holiday. The price tags were high with the cost of a 30-second spot reaching a new high (a whopping $5 million). We’ve shared some of the most compelling highlights below:
- Cuteness, Canines and Ketchup: If you’re an animal lover you weren’t disappointed – there was an endless parade of animals throughout the game. The Clydesdales made an appearance for Budweiser, as did a stampede of wiener dogs reunited with their ketchup bottles for Heinz, a flock of sheep sang the lyrics to “Somebody to Love” and one of the most buzzed about creatures: the “puppymonkeybaby” – a diaper clad baby bottom, monkey torso, dog head for a Mountain Dew spot.
- Celeb-ration: From Alec Baldwin, Steve Harvey, to Amy Schumer and Seth Rogen, there was an onslaught of famous faces during the commercials. Take this highly-praised spot for Avocados From Mexico, created by Austin-based creative agency GSD&M, which featured “Happy Days” actor, Scott Baio. Another fun spot featured celebrity recording artist Janelle Monae paying homage to iconic songs in this pre-half time show spot for Pepsi.
- Autos in the driver’s seat: It’s no surprise to see car ads during the Super Bowl, but brands like Hyundai and Prius captured the audience’s attention and sent a buzz through social media. Christopher Walken also made an appearance for Kia in this ad from creative agency, David & Goliath.
- New Advertisers Taking the Plunge: As you’d expect, the Super Bowl featured many established brands, Budweiser, Doritos alongside big-name soda brands. What surprised us this year were the first-time brands who paid big dollars to get in front of a huge, captive audience, especially tech brands. From PayPal to SoFi (an online lending start up), to Bai, Amazon, LG Electronics SunTrust Banks and even pharma companies there were many first-timers who entered the game.
We also noted that while the Super Bowl ads certainly entertained, the more lofty commercials that look at the human condition were in short supply. We’ve come to expect these kinds of cinematic and inspirational ads from brands such as Coca-Cola. Instead, the brand ran a commercial featuring the Incredible Hulk and Ant-Man arguing over a ‘mini’ can of soda. A far cry from the rousing ads and motivating messages they’ve typically delivered.
Perhaps one of the most intriguing marketing moments of Super Bowl 50 was not scripted by any adverting agency. When asked what the future held, Peyton Manning replied he was looking forward to drinking, “a lot of Budweiser.” The twice repeated reference was PR gold; a hero’s endorsement in the golden moment.
Today, Madison Avenue, much like the Carolina Panthers and Denver Broncos, will take a collective step back to debate what worked and what didn’t. They’ll go over every move along their journey to discern the right moves from the wrong ones. If there’s one theme they all share – it’s that they went big and gave it their all. Stay tuned…the story continues next year.
Welcoming new talent is an exciting opportunity for any agency. They bring fresh ideas, new perspectives and varied expertise that adds to a team’s collective skills. Every now and then though, agencies have the opportunity to welcome new talent that also knows the inner-workings of the agency. Here at DGC we love when this happens.
Over the course of our ten-year history, we’ve had the pleasure of welcoming back employees who took advantage of new opportunities to spread their wings and fly. We’ve found that these boomerangs come back with more unique insights and a fresher perspective and a host of new approaches to PR and strategic communications. Of course, because they know the inner workings of DGC, they also transition more easily into new roles with new team members, while understanding how their “new assets” can complement the entire organization.
This past month, we have had the chance to welcome two boomerangs back to DGC: Chrissy Perez-O’Rourke and Claire Eisenberg (who rejoined from Big Spaceship and 360i, respectively). Here’s what they had to say about coming back to DGC.
Chrissy: “From intern to Account Director, I learned everything I know about PR from the talented people at DGC, and I’m really excited to start this new chapter at the agency. Being on the inside at Big Spaceship for the past year has been such a refreshing experience – I was able to learn about the industry from the inside and gain a whole new, invaluable perspective. I look forward to what lies ahead – onward and upward!”
Claire: “After spending nearly five years deeply rooted in the advertising space at DGC, it was exciting to gain an inside perspective at 360i, an agency that’s reimagining marketing and pushing boundaries for its clients. It offered a unique opportunity to continue to elevate the high-profile agency, it’s executive and roster of clients. And now I’m looking forward to what’s ahead at DGC!”
Welcome back, ladies!
DGC is all about celebrating our employees, especially the ones who continue to knock it out of the park time and time again! 2015 was a great year for our agency and we’re proud to celebrate and recognize several individuals for outstanding work over the course of the year.
Our 2015 MVP honorees were Sara Ajemian, Bridget Bulters and Lexi Hewitt, who were all recognized for being exceptional in every sense of the word, day in and day out.
Our latest Hall of Fame inductee, Kristen Bryan, has been with DGC since the start of the agency and joins Kendra Peavy and Erin Donahue Tice in the DGC Hall of Fame, a special placefor the best of the best and the consistently excellent.
And last but certainly not least, a spirited shout out to our own Kathleen Ruane who brings a smile to our faces every day and earned herself DGC’s newly-introduced “Spirit Award.”
Congratulations to all of our awesome employees and here’s to another great year in 2016!
As many of you may know, Cindy Gallop, the founder and former chair of Bartle Bogle Hegarty and founder of IfWeRanTheWorld and MakeLoveNotPorn, was invited to speak at an event earlier this week hosted by WPP shopper marketing agency, Geometry Global. The agency’s Executive Creative Director, Heidi Schoeneck, led the talk, which centered on promoting gender-equality in the industry. In case it is news to anyone, Cindy likes to call herself the “Michael Bay of business” for a reason, and a good one at that.
Cindy is known for providing powerful words of wisdom and provocative points of view that truly inspire a larger discussion among her audience. This was true of the crowd in the theater at Geometry. The audience was on the edge of their seats with eyes wide open, and hands were high when it came time for questions. Thanks to Cindy, we found some inspiration as well and we can’t wait to take these insights and apply them to our careers and our daily lives. Therefore, we wanted to share a little Thursday wisdom to take you through the rest of your week and into the weekend so you can #BlowShitUp (the hashtag for the event).
- Change happens from the bottom up, not the top down.It is micro-actions – small, baby steps – that bring the biggest amount of change.
- Say what you think. That is your value.Saying what you think is the biggest micro-action that you can take for success in business. Never be afraid to speak up, even if you are the most junior person in the room. Telling the truth is so endearing because so few people do.
- Be your own filter.If people respond poorly to how you feel and how you express yourself, then they’re not for you.
- Don’t give a damn. Fear of what other people think is the most paralyzing fear in business and in life. It’s important not to pay attention to what other people think of you. Your own sense of value is all that matters. Take a long hard look at yourself and identify what you believe in and what you value. That’s the key to work happiness–not what other people think of you.
For some more fun thoughts, interesting sound bites and/or photos from the talk, search #BlowingShitUp and follow @CindyGallop and @heidischoeneck on Twitter.
By The Hit Board
Another Advertising Week has come and gone! This year proved to be just as eventful as years’ past. Our team on the ground seemed to have do and see it all (although we know that would be impossible…)
The UCB Comedy: Seriously Funny session was hosted by none other than the Upright Citizens Brigade comedy theater. For those not as familiar with the New York comedy scene UCB is one of the most notable and prestigious theaters in the city (and country) and was the starting place for many famous actors in the industry, not to mention launched by Goddess Amy Poehler. This session was run by UCB Director/Producers Nathan Russell and Julie Gomez and covered the business side of the theater. Some may be surprised to learn that in addition to their hilariously innovative shows the organization also works with both brands and marketing/advertising agencies to create unique branded content that breaks through the clutter by way of comedy. Some takeaways? Collaboration is key, and when pressured about ROI metrics make the brand/product seem as approachable as possible. — Emily Donoho, Junior Designer
I attended a few sessions over the week, but there were two that really stuck out to me. On Thursday, I attended the ‘From Minibar to Megahit’ panel, where Partners + Napier’s CEO and Associate Director, Marketing & Business Development were on stage with the Co-Founders and leading lady entrepreneurs of on-demand, alcohol delivery service, Minibar. The four ladies led a compelling conversation, on what the road to success looked like for Lara Crystal and Lindsey Andrews, as they took on the challenge of opening their business. One of my favorite moments of the session, were when the ladies admitted that the challenge of opening an app in the alcohol space is often intimidating to business people, but Lara and Lindsey saw it as intriguing and took the industry by storm. Check out their app and get your drinks for tonight ;) — Peyton McCarthy, Account Executive
At Project: WorldWide’s “Stories of Creative Invention” the audience was exposed to a wide breadth of innovation from engineering blocking with Little Bits’ founder, Ayah Bdeir to street art with Bradley Theodore to fitness-like business clothing with Aman Advani. It became abundantly clear that creative invention is around us more than we might have originally imagined. Each speaker radiated inspiration; each story just as captivating as the last. Advertising Week is programmed with many sessions that discuss the future of advertising, the problem with ad-blocking, the new creative talent, and so on and so forth. That said, to attend a session that put pure creativity and inventive spirit on the stage was a breath of fresh air to say the least. Leaving the session you couldn’t help but think, “What am I doing wrong with my life?” — Jackie Berte, Senior Account Executive
The political season was alive and well at Advertising Week. During the panel on how technology is shaping political advertising, panelists explained that too often, we frame how we see politics through the lens of the presidential campaigns themselves which includes advertising. It’s all about the messaging during these campaigns and the media serves as the most popular delivery mechanism. Speaking of media, Facebook is making a name for themselves on the media side with 61% of millennials consuming their political news on the platform. “The Donald” was a hot topic. Thoughts from the panelists across the board? When we call Trump a master of social, we’re doing a disservice to those who are doing it right and that we “confuse noise with signal.” And who is doing it right? All panelists agreed that Ben Carson has a strong presence across the board on social platforms. But what is king during ads in this election season? Creative. The quality of creative is key to delivering the message that will ultimately win voters over. — Ali Colangelo, Account Director
My other favorite panel of the week was the ‘Creative & Technology: Lorraine Twohill & David Droga in Conversation’ on Wednesday. From the Google side, it was super interesting to hear from Lorraine, the tech company’s SVP of Global Marketing on the brand’s recent logo change, especially since she was a leading force behind the change. The audience learned a few fun facts about the change, like the ‘e’ is tilted, simply because the guy behind Google’s doodles every day, asked for it to look like it was smiling. The conversation was also centered around Droga5’s relationship with Google as a client, and the work that the agency has done of late, including the adorable ‘Friends Furever’ spot which came out earlier this year and took a different and more loving approach for a tech company ad. David also discussed some of the agency’s other famed work, like the Under Armour spots with Misty Copeland, where he dug deep on the ways that Droga5 thinks about advertising and looking beyond just content itself, but looking to when and where consumers will be consuming the content before creating an ad. As a lady who was inspired by the spots, learning more about the creative strategy was a huge takeaway for me. — Peyton McCarthy, Account Executive
Our team was both inspired and awed at Sheryl Sandberg’s poise, knowledge and overall demeanor during her fireside chat with Bloomberg’s chief content officer, Josh Tyrangiel. Sheryl’s session touched on a variety topics, including the risks people take in business, why Facebook is the place to be for television advertisers, feedback within the work place, leadership and talent. In a moving moment towards the end of the session, Sheryl discussed how expressing herself on Facebook helped her in the days and weeks after her husband’s death, stating “when we know and understand each other, the world becomes smaller and more peaceful.” She cracked jokes, rattled off impressive facts around mobile and advertising, and discussed navigating Facebook’s role in the rest of the world, including India and China. The session was an-hour long, but it was packed with information and inspiration. Our team sat in awe as we watched Sheryl, and left ready to tackle our own jobs with the same fire that Sheryl tackles hers. — Lexi Hewitt, Account Executive
We’ll soon be preparing for next year, but until then…adios!
After Day 1 of Advertising Week, DGC pulled together our top picks from the first sessions of the week. Check back here each morning for some of our favorite content from the day before.
At the “Breaking Down Social and Mobile” Mobile Media Summit session with Bob Hall (SVP of RadiumOne) and Shenen Reed (President, Digital, MEC North America), both offered unique insights. Shenan shared that positive brand association, rather than number of shares, is a strong indicator of campaign success. Bob spoke about how 72% of sharing happens on a desktop, but 54% of viewing is happening on mobile. — Scott Berwitz, VP
During the “Impossible to Ignore” panel with DDB New York’s CCO Icaro Doria, there was an insightful discussion around how advertisers and marketers should always stay on top of what’s current and culturally relevant to create content that’s ‘impossible to ignore’ by the audience. Icaro said, “When it comes to ad blocking, Apple just made bad advertising go away really fast so only good ads with a compelling message can stay.” — Sylvia Zhou, Senior Account Executive
“The Power of Sports: The How and Why of Fan Passion” took a look at the sports stories that often get overlooked in mainstream news coverage. Ryan Eckle, VP of Brand Marketing for Dick’s Sporting Goods talked about some of Dick’s original content and “building brand through cause.” — Ali Colangelo, Account Director
Deep breath in, deep breath out. As odd as it seemed in the midst of the craziness of Advertising Week, that was how this reflective session started. In this session, MEC’s Global Chief Talent Officer, Marie-Claire Barker and panelists explored mindfulness in the workplace and how companies can use it to improve overall employee happiness and workplace culture. Panelists agreed that it’s not about the industries, but about the human beings in these industries, and that the people are what companies need to focus on if they truly want to be “mindful” in the work place. — Lexi Hewitt, Account Coordinator
At the Cross-Screen Summit: Why Does Context Matter? Because Context Matters! session with Hulu, ESPN, @radical.media, Olson and TubeMogul, there was a lot of discussion around how marketers now must produce multiple creative executions of a campaign around a unifying theme to better meet the needs of today’s multiplatform and multi-device audience. With the industry’s focus on using data for its targeting abilities, Hulu’s SVP Advertising Sales Peter Naylor remarked on the necessary components for ad effectiveness, saying, “Marketers have to have a healthy dose of data and context.” There was agreement among panelists that data needs to be used to inform creative, but that telling a relevant story for the target audience still has to be the primary foundation of any campaign. — Lauren Leff, VP
There was no shortage of amazing content on Day 1, but for me the main highlight was definitely Margaret Gould Stewart, Facebook’s Director of Product Design at IAB MIXX. Margaret discussed the importance of maintaining humility in design, and following “desire paths” to design not only for people, but with people as well. A great example she shared was the “Missed Call” product Facebook developed in India to meet the demand of how people throughout the country were calling each other and hanging up, to avoid being charged. Different numbers of missed calls mean different things, almost like a modern day Morse code. Facebook recognized this and incorporated it into their features, allowing people to connect more easily to the people who matter to them. — Megan Sweat, Senior Account Executive
One of the first sessions of the day was the unveiling of new research by Ogilvy & Mather. The session titled, “Do Brands Still Matter”? was posed to the audience before diving into the findings from the study. Colin Mitchell, Ogilvy & Mather’s Worldwide Head of Planning discussed the research findings which revealed that brands do still matter… just not like they used to. It’s an interesting topic they tackled that also engaged in further discussion with guest speakers, Jennifer Healan of Coca-Cola and Hope Cowan of Facebook — both very different, but extremely relevant brands in the lives of consumers today. Both Jennifer and Hope shared various examples of how and why their brands are successfully mattering to their targets today – from happiness to helping people stay connected – it was evident that they were hitting home on the top factors of mattering in the lives of today’s consumer. — Kelsey Merkel, Account Director
Enjoy Day 2 – it’s already off to a great start!
It can be all too easy to lose sight of the big picture in our “have to,” ultra-packed, always-connected day-to-day workflow that has the power to both energize and tire out the average advertising executive. Where is the industry going? What are the key issues that are re-shaping the business?
Enter Advertising Week, the industry’s once-a-year, week-long event that brings together the brightest minds from brands, agencies, tech companies, startups, etc. to take that much-needed step back and have the broader, high-level conversations that are as needed as they are rare. Next week kicks off the 12th Advertising Week, and it will no doubt continue to spark the exciting conversations and ideas that have made it the coveted tent pole industry event it has become.
As always, DGC will be on-site, supporting a vast array of clients at this year’s festivities and tweeting, Instagram-ing, Facebooking and Hit-Boarding (read: blogging) about the most exciting news and insights offered by this year’s incredible roster of speakers – which includes Sir Martin Sorrell, Gloria Estefan, Elizabeth Vargas and Ryan Seacrest, to name just a few.
Here are some of the sessions we will be attending:
- Do Brands Still Matter — Monday, 10:00am at the Liberty Theater
- Capitalizing on Mobile Video — Monday, 10:00am at Times Center Stage
- Breaking Down Social and Mobile — Monday, 2:05pm at the Grand Hyatt New York
- Connecting in a Mobile World: A Conversation with Sheryl Sandberg — Tuesday, 10:00am at Times Center Stage
- Frito Lay: The Intersection of Marketing & Technology — Tuesday, 10:15am at Liberty Theater
- People, Not Pages: What Does “Buying Audiences” Mean for Media and Marketers — Tuesday, 2:00pm at the Metropolitan Pavilion
- Stories of Creative Invention — Tuesday, 3:00pm at B.B. King
- Getting Away: Inside the Vacation Mentality — Wednesday, 3:00pm at B.B. King
- Are We On Target?: Making The Most Of Mobile’s Unique Power — Thursday, 9:15am at the Metropolitan Pavilion
- The Instagram Effect — Thursday, 10:00am at Times Center Stage
- WIRED CMOs — Thursday, 12:00pm at the NASDAQ
- Two Start-Ups, One Mission — Thursday, 4:30pm at Times Center Hall
Party’s over. Such is the sentiment of many people this time of year. As we kick off the first official day of fall, our fun-in-the-sun vacations, weekend shares/getaways come to a close. For me personally, the moment my Mom starts talking about the Jewish holidays and all the kugels that go along with them, I know it’s back to the grind for me. Oy vey.
So, I’m taking a new line on the beginning of fall – and giving you five reasons why the changing of the seasons is something to welcome rather than dread. Here goes:
- Everyone’s Back! – You know that close friend you haven’t seen since May since she/he has been away every weekend you’ve been in town and vice versa? Well now you’re both in the city again and can finally catch up, go out, reconnect, etc. The city feels more like home when it’s fully re-populated with your favorite people.
- Find Your Center (again) – It’s difficult to find your center and get into a routine – with work, gym, family, etc. – when every week is different than the one before. With summer’s end comes a return to more normal schedules that bring with them a feeling of ease, zen and productivity.
- It’s Beautiful Out There – The beginning of fall brings gorgeous sunsets, changing leaves, warm days and brisk nights. In my opinion, the Northeast is never more beautiful than it is in September and October.
- Food, Glorious Food! – With the beach behind us and our bathing suits neatly tucked away, feel free – even entitled – to dive into that bowl of pasta, slice of pizza, steak, etc., you’ve avoided like all summer. Enjoy – next summer is never farther away than it is right now!
- Two Words (well, letters): TV – Your favorite shows (and some soon-to-be favorites) are back on with new episodes. For me, that means Homeland, Modern Family, SNL, and a disturbing amount of reality programs and cooking shows. I fully admit my entertainment tastes are not universal, but no matter what programs you enjoy they are back in full force during the autumn season.
It’s true that summer is officially over, but the party isn’t. This is a beautiful time of year – and we haven’t even discussed all the wonderful times to be had with family and friends during Thanksgiving and the December/January holiday season.
And just when you can’t take it anymore – the freezing cold, jackets, scarves, gloves, snow, sleet and pale skin – next summer will be upon us once more.
By Scott Berwitz
At DGC you might say we have an unhealthy obsession with one of our favorite fast-causal restaurants, Chipotle. It isn’t uncommon to run in to colleagues while in line, or take trips together for the sweet meal. So, because our obsession runs so deep, we each decided to let the world in on our sacred Chipotle orders – of course each of us thinking our own is, by far, the best.
If you’re in the mood for some mouth-watering content, continue to scroll down and decide for yourself what the best order of the bunch is.
- Steak burrito bowl: Extra white rice, Light black beans, Fajita stuff (if I remember), Corn, Mild salsa, Cheese, Sour cream, Lite lettuce, GUAC!!!! – Peyton McCarthy, Account Executive
- Steak burrito bowl, brown rice, black beans, mild salsa, corn, sour cream, cheese, guac (don’t be stingy with the guac) and a whole lot of happiness. – Gab Berman, Senior Account Executive
- Hard shell barbaco tacos and an iced tea. Makes me feel like I’m eating healthy despite the sour cream and cheese. – Kathleen Ruane, Vice President
- Two chicken tacos with chips and guac. Gets the best of both worlds. Add in some hot Chipotle sauce on all parts and it’s a terrific, well balanced meal. – Pat Wentling, Senior Account Executive
- I love the burrito bowl with chicken, black beans with all the salsas, lettuce & guacamole plus a TON of Tabasco Green Sauce. – Theresa Piti, Office Manager
- Chicken burrito without rice. – Bridget Bulters, Senior Account Executive
- Black bean burrito with pork and guac. – Kathy Sampey, Vice President
- My go-to is a veggie burrito bowl – extra guac, extra cheese – Soraya Hanzus, Senior Account Director
- Salad, no dressing, a little brown rice, black beans, chicken, fajita veggies, mild salsa, medium salsa, corn, a little sour cream, and guac if I’m feeling crazy (I usually am.). Mmmmm Chipotle. – Claire Higgins, Account Executive
- Oh em gee, the chicken bowl dude. No problems exist when you got yourself a chicken bowl. – Emily Donoho, Junior Designer
- My go-to staple at Chipotle lately has been to get 3 flour tortilla tacos with white rice, pico de gallo, cheese and sour cream. The taco option allows me to get a variety of the meat options…I typically get two steak tacos and one chicken taco. I usually walk into Chipotle with the intention of getting the salad but that quickly goes away once I get up to the line. I should just say, “carbs please!” – Marielena Santana, Vie President
- Gotta go burrito – white rice, steak (because anything else is child’s play), mild, corn (a little more than a spoonful), cheese, sour cream (extra, obvi) and guac (because you’re doing it wrong if you don’t get guac) – Jackie Berte, Senior Account Executive
- Chipotle is rare for me but WHEN I go it’s almost always a salad bowl with rice, black beans, tomatoes, cheese and extra guac (obvi). Occasionally I’ll throw in a side of chips – Kelsey Merkel, Account Director
- My absolute favorite is a burrito bowl with chicken, white rice, tomato salsa, sour cream, cheese, and if I’m feeling really fancy, I’ll top it off with some guacamole. – Yana Berliner, Office Administrator
- So many great options, but my go to is definitely the chicken salad bowl. With guacamole, if I’m feeling fancy. – Megan Sweat, Senior Account Executive
- Steak bowl with brown rice and EVERYTHING on it… – Sylvia Zhou, Senior Account Executive
We did have one outlier though…
- I have 99 vices, and Chipotle ain’t one. Judge away. – Scott Berwitz, Vice President