For KAYAK, Confidence is king

April 13, 2018

Martin Agency Brings Its Signature Zaniness to Kayak After Years of Tomfoolery for GEICO
Confidence is king in the brand's weird vignettes

It’s been a little more than two years since Kayak decided to shift its creative account from one set of acclaimed weirdos to another, leaving Barton F. Graf for the Martin Agency.

Martin’s first outing with the brand was the “Kind of Like Kayak” campaign,which compared the travel booking aggregator to various other resources, like an army of body doubles to help you try on pants, or a personal style forecaster who’ll tell you when your man bun is past its prime.

The agency’s newest Kayak work is still odd, but this time it’s a bit more in the vein of Martin’s longtime, high-profile client, Geico. Martin has spent decades honing Geico’s ad approach, which typically centers on unexpected situations that fit tightly into a 15- or even 6-second space.

To highlight the idea of being “Kayak confident”—ie, secure in your decisions based on the app’s sprawling amount of travel data—Martin has created a series of short-form spots, including a dentist working on a shark and a snowman hitting the tanning bed.

There’s also a set of ads showing how the app helps you change your scenery, from the drudgery of workaday life and home improvement fails to floating fountain-side at a resort or watching hula dancers on the beach.

Read full article here.

Posted By: The Martin Agency

Why We Signed TimesUp Advertising

April 13, 2018

The Martin Agency’s New CCO and Other Female Leaders on Why They Signed Time’s Up Advertising

Karen Costello, Denise Wong and Renetta McCann got personal at 4A's Accelerate

During one of the last panels at the 4A’s Accelerate conference in Miami yesterday, The Martin Agency chief creative officer Karen Costello gave insight into her shop’s culture, highlighting the changes made since the high-profile ouster of predecessor Joe Alexander over harassment claims made against him.

Costello admitted that “creative departments often represent the worst behavior in agencies.” However, she continued, they can also be “ground zero” for where the most innovative people can be found … and innovation makes way for change.

“My experience at The Martin Agency has been a unique one because that agency was a bit of grassroots for the #MeToo movement in advertising,” Costello said. She added that the agency was “built on people that have raised their families in this community; who have stayed there a very long time. When this happened, so many of the men were horrified and didn’t know how to act.”

She said she was most encouraged by the responses she received from her male colleagues, adding, “They wanted to do something.”

Costello spoke alongside Denise Wong, president of Midnight Oil, and Renetta McCann, chief inclusion experiences officer of Publicis Groupe, on a panel exploring the importance of diverse leadership in the agency world. The panel was moderated by Keesha Jean-Baptiste, senior vice president of talent engagement and inclusion at the 4A’s. Baptiste and McCann were both featured in Adweek’s #MeToo issue cover story.

McCann noted that it’s important when discussing inclusion that men are just as involved in the conversation as women.

As an example, she pointed to a task force at Leo Burnett, where she also serves as chief talent officer. The task force was originally started by a group of Leo Burnett’s female executives to discuss behaviors they want to promote at the agency, as well as problematic issues they want to target. However, McCann said that at a certain point, these women decided, “we need to go get some men.”

“They were invited, and they contribute, and they are the signal that this is important to the broad audience in media agencies,” McCann said. “Part of it is realizing that there are men who want the same things we want.”

McCann added she knows all too well the feeling of being excluded, given that she’s a black woman who was born in 1956 at the height of the Civil Rights Movement. “That gave me the motivation to include others,” she said.

The new face of inclusion will be an important consideration on May 14, when the signees of Time’s Up Advertising’s pledge meet for the first time to discuss goals and action strategy.

Wong and Costello, who both signed the pledge, agreed that this movement in particular is about action. Wong said Time’s Up Advertising was born out of a “crisis” and that the organization needs to be “focused on doing something now,” whether it’s through “task forces or operational teams.”

“Sometimes, it was messy; there was a lot of back and forth, email chains, phone calls,” Costello said when recalling the earliest days of Time’s Up Advertising. “We would share stories and talk about how we can solve things together.”

She added that it was “really invigorating” to witness competing agencies “coming together to solve a much bigger problem” in the industry. “I found that very inspiring to be a part of, and I am very optimistic of what we can do together,” she added.

Costello herself has already started taking action at The Martin Agency. Since Alexander and former CEO Matt Williams were let go following the allegations of sexual misconduct at the shop, Costello said the agency has tried fostering an environment where “everyone feels like they can speak up,” no matter how big or small the issue.

“We have a fun, lightweight word we say if someone feels uncomfortable but doesn’t necessarily want to be a buzz-kill,” Costello said. “We just say ‘ouch.’ And it’s a way for people to say ‘I don’t know what to say anymore.’”

Posted By: Karen Costello

The Club That Won The Masters

April 11, 2018

AUGUSTA, GA - APRIL 08: Patrick Reed of the United States plays his shot from the eighth tee during the final round of the 2018 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 8, 2018 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

It was a good day for our client, PING, when Patrick Reed won The Masters.

Driving the ball well off the tee can be a valuable asset at Augusta National Golf Club, and Patrick Reed upped his game last week with the driver, making it a key club in his first major victory at the Masters.

Reed, who came into the tournament ranked 52nd in driving distance and 193rd in accuracy, turned things around by averaging 299.3 yards off the tee (ranked sixth in the field) and hitting 73.21 percent of his fairway, ranked T-13 with his Ping G400 LST driver. The LST is Ping’s low-spin version of its G400, and Reed has always preferred a low-spin driver, having used a Callaway Big Bertha Alpha 816 Double Black Diamond during his last win at the 2016 Barclays.

Even with the assist, Reed still tends to battle high spin, although he is getting better. In 2016 he average 2,950 rpms, which was fourth-highest on tour. This year he is down to 2,769 rpms, which is closer to the tour average of right around 2,600 rpms.

Reed decided on the G400 LST at the Waste Management Phoenix Open earlier this year after testing it on Monday of that week, and the club has been in the bag ever since. Reed’s G400 LST is 44.5 inches in length with the shaft tipped one inch and D-2 swingweight.

Read full article here.

Posted By: The Martin Agency

Martin Creates Open Format Typeface to Honor Equal Pay Day

April 10, 2018

The Martin Agency is spelling out the significance of April 10thEqual Pay Day in the United States, quite literally. Today represents how far into the year the average woman must work to earn what the average man did the previous year, so Martin created an open-format typeface with each angle slanted at 22.7 degrees, and all spacing set to 22.7, to visualize the current 22.7% pay difference between men and women in our country. 

Over time, as the pay gap closes (or sadly widens) the font will dynamically shift to reflect the change.

Martin welcomes the public to download and use these assets to promote what Equal Pay Day stands for:

To download font, click here.

To download .gif, click here.

“We’re motivated to create positive change. [Chief Creative Officer] Karen Costello’s daughter is almost 13 and mine is 14-years old. At the current pace, my daughter won’t see pay equity until she’s about 115 years old. Karen’s daughter will be nearly 244 because she’s Hispanic. What can we do about it? Something. Our mantra is ‘actions over words,’” said Kristen Cavallo, CEO of The Martin Agency. 

“In transparency, we did an analysis of our own staff salaries – and then engaged an outside firm to do it again. Where there were opportunities to make improvements, we did. It’s that important. It’s never too late to do the right thing.”

The agency screen-printed the font onto t-shirts and onesies for employees, and their daughters. The photo series will be posted to their Instagram, @martinagency. 

Posted By: The Martin Agency

Martin's Musical Expertise Featured in New York Times

April 06, 2018

Selling Products With a Swelling Score

When the figures on a graffiti mural came to vibrant life in a Coke commercial that debuted during the Olympics last month, they leapt, rolled and scaled buildings to the accompaniment of “In the Hall of the Mountain King,” a movement of Edvard Grieg’s “Peer Gynt” Suite.

A Chevron commercial about the efficacy of drones gets a shot of adrenaline from that bane of piano students, Rimsky-Korsakov’s “Flight of the Bumblebee.” Tchaikovsky’s “1812” Overture, once used to sell Quaker puffed cereal, is now featured in an ad for Myrbetriq, a drug for treating an overactive bladder. Meanwhile, a Geico ad makes its point with an assist from Bach’s “Brandenburg” Concerto No. 3 — and a clueless percussionist shredding a triangle solo.

Classical music has long had a place in commercials. The Western canon’s aura makes it just the thing for pitching luxury brands like the Lincoln Motor Company, whose 2017 holiday ad unfolded over a track of Shostakovich’s swoony Waltz No. 2.

And just as Looney Tunes cartoons used chunks of Brahms, Rossini, Smetana and Chopin as oh-so-civilized foils for the mayhem of Bugs Bunny and associates, commercials have often juxtaposed “this supposedly educated music with foolishness and tomfoolery,” said David Muhlenfeld, vice president and creative director of the Martin Agency.

But these days, ad agencies are using classical music as more than a jokey device or a signifier of wealth and sophistication. A snippet of Arvo Pärt’s “Spiegel im Spiegel” threads through an ad for the rugged but hardly luxe Jeep Cherokee. And Coke, while a classic, is the most democratic of beverages.

It may have something to do with pop fatigue.

Agencies also benefit from what the composer and arranger Robert Miller calls the recognition factor.

The risk for advertisers is turning off the audience. “People could be intimidated by classical music or feel they’re out of their depth,” Mr. Muhlenfeld of the Martin Agency said. There’s also a hazard of being just a bit too obvious: reflexively trotting out Delibes or Debussy to provide the soundtrack for a scene that shouts “tuxedo territory.”

Read full article here.

Posted By: The Martin Agency

Karen On Why Industry Changes Need To Go Beyond Gender

April 06, 2018

Powerful Female Creatives Are Challenging Representation on Screen and in the Boardroom
Women are rising up as CCOs and changing how they appear in ads

Putting the CCO title next to more women is important, but just one step in a broader process. The Martin Agency’s Karen Costello says all marketers, on the brand and agency side alike, need to embrace change and break stereotypes, and not just those related to gender. In January, Costello was promoted to chief creative officer at The Martin Agency.

“It’s about showing what America really looks like,” Costello says. “Show people of color, people with disabilities, etcetera. Sometimes change feels too slow, but I feel that [the industry is] going there. It’s exciting.”

Read full article here.

Posted By: Karen Costello