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The Boston Red Sox Fenway Collection

For years, Benjamin Moore has been painting The Monster green. And with the new Fenway Collection, you can too. Yea, that includes fire hydrants, satellite dishes, garage doors and swing sets.

And for every gallon sold, Benjamin Moore will help renovate youth league ballparks in the Boston area—bringing the spirit of Fenway to where it matters most.

monstereverywhere.com

The Boston Red Sox Fenway Collection

World’s Largest Wooden Yo-Yo

We wanted to show how Benjamin Moore ARBORCOAT® makes old wood young again. And what better way to do so than to make a yo-yo out of old reclaimed deck wood?

Introducing the world’s largest wooden yo-yo. We even made a site about it: largestwoodenyoyo.com.

World’s Largest Wooden Yo-Yo

Mad Men For Your Consideration

With the 2014 Emmy nominations around the corner, we partnered with AMC to promote the stars of Mad Men. And what better way than to have the stars “sell” themselves? From a hair color bath to precious metals, heels and executive pomade, the sixties-style ads featured the stars promoting fictitious products, while subtly making a case for the nomination of the individual stars.

It’s a vintage campaign that would make the show’s agency, Sterling Cooper and Partners, proud. We think so at least.

Mad Men For Your Consideration

Jorge Calleja Named ECD

Richmond, Virginia – September 4, 2014 – The Martin Agency announced today that Jorge Calleja has been promoted to executive creative director. Calleja joined the agency in 2012 as a group creative director and was immediately instrumental in bringing in the OREO business with the creation of the Wonderfilled campaign.

“Jorge is a world-class combination of talent, brains and passion,” said Joe Alexander, chief creative officer of The Martin Agency. “He’s especially adept at creating iconic campaigns, like Wonderfilled. And on top of it all, he’s a joy to be around. We’re lucky to have him.”

Calleja will remain the lead on the OREO account in the U.S. and across the globe. In addition, he will continue to play a big role in new business. His guidance helped Martin win Chips Ahoy! and Stolichnaya vodka. He will continue to work with these two accounts in his new role as ECD.

Calleja has won every major ad award, including two Cannes Lions and two One Show pencils in 2014. Prior to joining The Martin Agency, Calleja worked on the Coca-Cola “Open Happiness” campaign at Wieden+Kennedy as well as on Honda, Adidas, Nike and LEGO in Europe.

Jorge Calleja Named ECD

The Boston Red Sox Fenway Collection

For years, Benjamin Moore has been painting The Monster green. And with the new Fenway Collection, you can too. Yea, that includes fire hydrants, satellite dishes, garage doors and swing sets.

And for every gallon sold, Benjamin Moore will help renovate youth league ballparks in the Boston area—bringing the spirit of Fenway to where it matters most.

monstereverywhere.com

The Boston Red Sox Fenway Collection

Creativity Pick of the Day: Benjamin Moore’s New Campaign with the Boston Red Sox

Creativity Pick of the Day: Teaming up with the Boston Red Sox, Benjamin Moore launched the "Fenway Collection."  The new paint line, made and sold locally in Milford, Massachusetts, captures the spirit of the legendary team with shades including Green Monster, Boston Red, Boston Blue, Baseline White and Foul Pole Yellow. And for every gallon sold of the new Fenway Collection, Benjamin Moore will help renovate youth league ballparks in the Boston area.

The multiplatform campaign includes TV, a microsite and social integration. Visit monstereverywhere.com for more. 

Creativity Pick of the Day: Benjamin Moore’s New Campaign with the Boston Red Sox

GEICO’s Hump Day Featured on Mad Money

Michael Roth, IPG’s CEO, spotlighted both Hump Day and The Martin Agency in his interview with Jim Cramer on Tuesday.

GEICO’s Hump Day Featured on Mad Money

Adweek Ad of the Day: New Hanes Spot Featuring Michael Jordan

Adweek's Ad of the Day: Michael Jordan Is Back for Hanes. 

Adweek Ad of the Day: New Hanes Spot Featuring Michael Jordan

FWA Site and Mobile of the Day: Design by What Matters

FWA features Benjamin Moore’s interactive web experience, Design by What Matters, as both Site of the Day and Mobile Site of the Day.

FWA Site and Mobile of the Day: Design by What Matters

World’s Largest Wooden Yo-Yo

We wanted to show how Benjamin Moore ARBORCOAT® makes old wood young again. And what better way to do so than to make a yo-yo out of old reclaimed deck wood?

Introducing the world’s largest wooden yo-yo. We even made a site about it: largestwoodenyoyo.com.

World’s Largest Wooden Yo-Yo

Cannes Rosé Report

Volume One

Name: Chateau Rasque, Cuveé Alexandra, Cotes de Provence 2013

Location: Restaurant Bacon, Cap d'Antibes

Color: Coral

Bouquet: Melon, grapefruit, potpourri

Mouthfeel: Crisp, light, subtle, not overly fruit-laden

Finish: Brief but pleasant.

Server's Name: Hector

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Volume 2

Name: Chateau de Selle "Domaines Ott," Cotes de Provence

Location: Carlton Hotel, Cannes

Color: Between yellow and pink.

Bouquet: Papaya, lemongrass, digital strategists

Mouthfeel: Seductive, cedary

Finish: Warmer, especially the bottom 1cm which I forgot about until we were about to leave

Server's name: Alonso

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Volume 3

Name: Whispering Angel, au milieu des stratéges, Cotes de Provence 2013

Location: Carlton Hotel, Cannes

Color: Chinook salmon

Bouquet: Vinegar, water

Mouthfeel: I'd rather not say

Finish: Couldn't arrive soon enough

Server's name: Gregor

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Volume 4

Name: Evian, Eau mineralle naturelle, 2014

Location: TMA apartment, Square Merrimeé, Cannes

Color: Nearly clear. Really clear. Diamond-like.

Bouquet: Trace minerals

Mouthfeel: Cold, watery

Finish: I think this might be water

Server's name: Ian Davidson

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Cannes Rosé Report

FWA Site of the Day: Same Days Forever

The music video for J. Roddy Walston & The Business' "Same Days" explores human experience in all its weirdness. The interactive site reinforces this idea and makes sure you never watch the same film twice. On June 24, FWA named Same Days Forever their site of the day

Credits:
Hue&Cry
The Martin Agency
Running With Scissors
New Object

 

FWA Site of the Day: Same Days Forever

We Are All Human, After All.

I could write pages upon pages of all of the valuable information I learned this past week during my time in Cannes at the Young Account Executive Academy, but there’s one thing that I’d prefer to focus on which really resonated with me. Generosity of spirit.

Our Academy Dean, Kevin Allen, reminded us that true leadership is generosity of spirit. When you reach a certain point in your career you become dinner table conversation. People will go home and talk about how you made them feel and it is up to you to control whether or not those conversations are positive or negative. This doesn’t mean that managers should constantly be petting egos and only teaching through positive reinforcement, but rather it’s about forming a relationship beyond client calls, budget conversations and production meetings. It’s about discovering what actually motivates someone and learning their hidden agenda to truly empower them and help them grow. People are much more inclined to do good work for people they care about (obviously this isn’t new information, but it’s shocking how quickly it’s forgotten.)

Having this ability will create stronger teams and more powerful work. We can all learn to apply natural gifts for human empathy and therefore have the ability to sense what is in the heart of consumers. When you create a profound human bond you’ll win every time, whether it is in a pitch, a meeting with your creative director or everyday life.

It’s a human game and one we shouldn’t forget. After all, we are all human.

 

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My team won! The prize? A Canned Lion, of course. 

 

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The team giving our final presentation to the Facebook clients. 

We Are All Human, After All.

Our Offices in Richmond and NYC Get a New Colleague in London

It's official. We're excited to announce our first international office in one of the greatest cities in the world, London.

 

Official press release below:

The Martin Agency Opens London Office: Agency’s First Office Outside the U.S.

RICHMOND, VA. June 12, 2014 — The Martin Agency announced today it is officially becoming a part of the London advertising community and is moving into 3 Grosvenor Gardens this month.

“Our London office is part of our strategic growth plan, and we’re delighted that it represents our first expansion into international markets,” said Matt Williams, CEO of The Martin Agency. “Several factors combine to make the timing right for our entry into the London market. We have an exciting new global assignment for a client we hope to be able to announce soon and having a London office will help in our management of both our ManpowerGroup and Education First accounts. We also have several projects in the new business pipeline that have the potential to help us grow this new office quickly.”

The agency is currently in discussions with top candidates for our executive creative director and other management team members to lead the London office. Ian Davidson, Martin’s Managing Director – International, and longtime London resident, will lead the office in the meantime. Additionally, the agency will be relocating award-winning creative director Brian Williams from the Richmond headquarters to London.

“London is obviously one of the world’s great creative markets,” said Joe Alexander, chief creative officer for The Martin Agency. “Personally, I’ve long admired the care and craftsmanship that goes into every aspect of the work here. The design, the type, the copy, the art. It’s something we’ve always prided ourselves on, as well. But the proof will be in the size of our ideas and the quality of the execution. Those are the only things that matter.”

The office address is 3 Grosvenor Gardens, London SW1W 0BD and will accommodate about 15-20 employees.

Our Offices in Richmond and NYC Get a New Colleague in London

Mad Men For Your Consideration

With the 2014 Emmy nominations around the corner, we partnered with AMC to promote the stars of Mad Men. And what better way than to have the stars “sell” themselves? From a hair color bath to precious metals, heels and executive pomade, the sixties-style ads featured the stars promoting fictitious products, while subtly making a case for the nomination of the individual stars.

It’s a vintage campaign that would make the show’s agency, Sterling Cooper and Partners, proud. We think so at least.

Mad Men For Your Consideration

Jimmy Kimmel Integration

Put Jimmy Kimmel and Penélope Cruz in a room together and it is sure to be entertaining (or at least easy on the eyes). Add a Nespresso VertuoLine machine, and who knows what will happen. Like maybe the whole crew will take a coffee break. And maybe Jimmy will join them. And maybe, just maybe, Jimmy will hand the show over to Guillermo. Maybe. You may just have to watch to find out.

Jimmy Kimmel Integration

The Light of Human Kindness

An interactive mural, powered by kindness.

In 2013, local Richmond artist, Patience Salgado, wanted to create a wall made of kindness. It started with simple human stories and a mural painted on a 110-ft wall of an old bus depot by Hamilton Glass. Then, in true techy spirit, a few guys from our Martin Lab installed 1,000 LED lights, programming them to light up one-by-one in real time as people around the world submitted acts of kindness to the mural’s website. To add an element of interactivity, the team also wired the mural with conductive paint, allowing visitors to change the configuration of the lights by simply touching the wall.

It’s part art, part technology and full-on kindness.

The Light of Human Kindness

Pinocchio Yours Truly

He’s still not good at motivating others, but he could be good at writing books on crafting. 

Pinocchio Yours Truly

Summer 2014

Gunshots, explosions, shackling the kids in the street and sending an innocent woman to prison for being a witch. It was the perfect vacation.

Guess you had to be there.

Summer 2014

J. Roddy Walston and The Business

Directed, produced and edited in-house, the music video for J. Roddy Walston and The Business’ song “Same Days” explores the weirdness of seemingly monotonous human experiences. Yes, we also stood in that frozen lake for two hours and, in the spirit of honesty, one boat was harmed in this process.

J. Roddy Walston and The Business

If I Were Going to Open an Agency in Yemen

If I Were Going to Open an Agency in Yemen
By Joe Alexander, Chief Creative Officer

I would be up against a lot of odds.

I would be one of the first agencies. Period.

There would be no ad infrastructure in place – editing suites, art supply stores, good coffee houses to snag free Wi-Fi.

There would be no schools cranking out kids with skills that I could use right away.

There wouldn’t be art directors around who idolize the graphic design genius of John Jay.

There would be no sage ad veterans nearby to emulate, no ad books to stick my nose in and steal from.

There wouldn’t be ad reporters calling up looking to write up my latest campaign or sites like Agency Spy spreading juicy rumors about me.

Even Martin Sorrell wouldn’t be eyeing the next great Yemen creative startup to buy.

There wouldn’t be a Yemen Ad Club where speakers from other countries would come in and share cool case studies.

There wouldn’t be CMOs ready to make a mark and do the bravest campaign in Yemen history.

The government would restrict me from showing any number of images, including women drinking alcohol.

I would have to run all my work by a censor.

My father-in-law would probably wonder what the hell his daughter was thinking marrying an ad guy. “What’s wrong with a shop in the souk?” he’d ask.

All of this – and more – would be stacked against me.

Yet, still.

Still I’d have the one thing all the ad guys in New York, LA, London, Paris, Hamburg, Tokyo, Stockholm and Richmond have.

I’d have my imagination.

I’d have the same ability to think up big ideas as everybody else.

Just like Rubicam and Burnett and Bernbach and Ogilvy and Wieden before me, I’d still have to figure out how to pay the bills and keep the lights on.

I’d still have to go back and make the logo bigger.

I’d still run out of printer ink and 11x17 paper.

I’d still have sleepless nights and weekends trying to win new business.

And I’d still get the phone call that makes it all worthwhile: “Congrats. You got the business.”

Last week at Dubai Lynx, I ran into two young professionals from Yemen who run their own tiny, 5-person agencies. Ibrahim and Abdulrahman.

They had their books and business cards and couldn’t wait to ask me questions about The Martin Agency.

They wanted to know how we did it and all I could think was “How do you do it?”

How do you do it, the Lewis and Clark of Yemen advertising?

So to you, Ibrahim and Abdurrahman, my hat’s off.

I hear a lot of complaining in our business. That it’s brutal. And tough. A churn.

Sure, it can be hard some days.

But really, is it?

Maybe not – if you put yourself in someone else’s shoes.

 

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Joe speaking on The Craft of Copy and Building a Compelling Brand Story at Dubai Lynx 2014

 

If I Were Going to Open an Agency in Yemen

Move Over Architects, Today’s Brands Need The Brain of a Biologist

My oldest brother is an architect. Early in my career, he would smirk when I talked about brands as if they were buildings – that classic Parthenon-looking thing with a foundation, pillars and such. He gets the metaphor of course – the idea of a solid base, structural integrity, and a need for a unifying design idea. He can even empathize with the struggles we have as “brand architects” in trying to bring clients around to our vision of what this creation of ours could be. 

What puzzles him is what happens after the building is done. He gets to walk away. His work is done. The building is finished and can only be changed through demolition or massively expensive remodels.  Oh sure, you can make some superficial changes after the fact. Alter the paint scheme or swap out the window coverings, but think about it: Can you grow the building? Can you move it if there is a better opportunity elsewhere? Can you protect it if the neighborhood goes south? What my brother found most bizarre was that the analogy was in direct opposition to everything I had ever talked about when we discussed my favorite clients and the brands I respected most. The problem with using a building as our metaphor is that it is a static, inert object with limited growth potential and almost no ability to adapt. 

My view of most brand architectures is probably considered heretical because I believe they do more harm than good.

Here are some reasons why:
1. Like a drug, they are addictive and while at first they might make us feel powerful and euphoric, will ultimately lead to our demise. We become dependent upon them and soon the drug is in control. I have seen great ideas killed because the concept doesn’t have a place in the structure. It is not that the idea violates the brand values, it is just that no one ever thought about it that way before and so a brilliant and potentially effective concept dies due to a lack of imagination and creative freedom.

2. Brand architectures are fool’s gold. They trick us into thinking we have actually created something. In reality they are paper tigers into which we somehow invest a false sense of accomplishment and completeness. 

3. As soon as the building is finished it starts to decay. Our function, our goal, is to guide and grow something much more organic, a brand that can mutate with a better future than being knocked down by a wrecking ball.

4. We need to stop kidding ourselves into thinking anything we do can be as rigid or stable as a building ¬– it implies that we can relax and trust in the structure. Our goal should be instability because instability equals nimbleness.

5. Even the greatest, most enduring buildings have one fatal flaw. People have to go to the building; the building can’t go to the people. The old metaphor worked when brands were in control and it was a one-way relationship. The world just doesn’t work that way anymore; it is too fluid.


The best strategists I know operate like biologists and environmental scientists. They bristle at being forced to operate in an engineer’s world. They can’t afford a static and myopic view of the world because the interrelations of ecosystems, survival of the fittest and adaptation are what really matter. Resilient brands are living things, not static, dead buildings.

Being a good biologist requires some important traits. First, they are curious, looking for linkages between things that on the surface do not seem entwined. Looking for why things are the way they are, how things can be manipulated, why some things thrive and others die. 

Second, they are comfortable with chaos. They know that in a complex system it is impossible to predict what will happen next. Externalities, strange attractors, mutations and migrations all impact the success or failure of an organism in any environment. 

They understand that things at a microscopic level can have mass impact, and how global shifts will have an effect on the smallest organism, how macro- and microelements interact.  Strategists who fall in love with tactics don’t see the ice caps melting and those living in the clouds don’t see the bacterial infection killing the trees. We need to know what is ailing our brands and what makes them great, but we also need to step back and see the bigger picture. 

Finally, biologists worship at the altar of adaptation. They know that adaption never stops. All strategists who are halfway decent at their jobs never stop watching, digging, investigating and looking for clues. The job doesn’t end once the brief is delivered, but all too often that is the perception and planners are faced with the daunting task of tearing down a structure they helped build. Worse still is the idea that once the strategy is set, the planning job is complete. Nothing is further from the truth – the hard work for the strategist has just begun.

Our goal for brands is that they become successful species propagating like crazy, spreading seeds across a wide swath of geographies by adapting to new environments. Like humans, cockroaches and weeds.

The big advantage brand builders have over biologists is that we get to create and modify our organisms while they tend be observers. It is this act of creation and, more specifically what we create, that most concerns me.

Look, I can knock out a brand architecture with the best of them, and I know they serve a purpose for getting everyone on the same page and cataloging important aspects of what the company or brand is all about TODAY. They keep people from drifting off into territories where the brand can’t survive.  However, in the wrong hands, they are deadly. They become an inviolate, unwieldy, dumping ground for everything anybody wants to say about the brand, and then become, at best, useless. At worst, they become a checklist for creative and then the well-intentioned structure is downright damaging. 

A more organic model is one based on a single core belief at the cellular level that can guide decisions as the need to make those decisions arises – an internal guiding spirit, not an immutable structure. 

At Martin, we spend a lot of time understanding the nucleus of a brand and use that to determine what we think the brand should look like in the future. It is a loose and open-ended construct that looks like something you’d see in a textbook on cellular biology (by the way, so does Sinek’s golden circle). 

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This is not so much about swapping one metaphor for another as it is a caution about becoming a slave to them. We need to continue to build stuff, we just have to make sure we’re building launch pads and not prisons. We should keep it simple, and then start monitoring our environments. Look out for things that are altering the ecosystem around us – there could be new competitors for scarce resources, changes that create new threats and opportunities. We have to be ready to move, adapt and mutate or risk extinction. 

— David Griffith, SVP/Group Planning Director

 

 

 

 

 

Move Over Architects, Today’s Brands Need The Brain of a Biologist

Shades of Life

We believe there are colors attached to the most meaningful moments of our lives. With Benjamin Moore, that story is told like no other: with gorgeous detail, surprising depth and unique nuance. The Shades of Life campaign utilizes paint colors and the unique Benjamin Moore paint names to tell a story, showing there truly is a color For Everything that Matters.

Shades of Life
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