Friday, September 26, 2008

It's a great place to start. Sadly.

Earlier this month, an Army Experience Center (AEC) opened in the Franklin Mills Mall. Yeah, you read that right. Experiential marketing at its best, where aimless youth can experience — virtual-style — what it’s like to fly a Black Hawk chopper or cruise in a Humvee.

When I was sixteen and feeling full of angst, I would head over to a music store and plug in some electric guitars. Today’s teen can do that, too — but when HE leaves Sam Ash, the AEC will be waiting for him just across the way. And when he’s done playing in this dubious virtual arcade, he’ll be invited to hang out in the AEC CafĂ© and have a mochaccino with some big-toothed Army recruiter in a Polo shirt, who raps with him about how awesome military life is.

Sound like a place you’d want YOUR kids to hang out? Me neither. (Oh, the kicker: the AEC cost $200M in taxpayer — i.e., YOUR — money to build. I didn’t even know this shit was going on, did you?)

McCann-Erickson spearheads this military branch’s “Army of One” branding. Far as who handles the direct and interactive marketing ... it’s pretty hush-hush. Guess no agency wants to assume that polarizing identity. I’ve heard various rumors: one pins the account to Avenue A/Razorfish, another has it at Gillespie, another slates Roska as the owner.

Anyone know for certain?

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Genuine disdain for Art.

A certain well-known creative guru from a certain well-known agency in the 19102 zip code was overheard saying this at Audrey Claire the other night:

“Let’s face it, any creative director worth his salt comes from the copy side. Artists like pretty pictures; they don’t think conceptually.”


I hope none of the art directors who work at the “blue egg” agency have any hopes of ever becoming CD. That well runneth dry.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Worst. Agencies. EVER.

Hot off the news wire:

Andrew Fishman just jumped to the Archer Group (Wilmington, DE) as their new VP of Client Services. He had been at Digitas for all of two years. And before that, a short stint at Refinery.

Michael Scott -- no, not the idiot from The Office; I’m talking ‘bout the local pharma CD -- jumped from Digitas (where he’d been for about a year) to Refinery (ditto)...and then back to his old job at Harte-Hanks.

I can name about four or five similar scenarios featuring these two agencies. As if they each have an enormous revolving door on a well-greased axle.

So my question: Are Digitas and Refinery, like, officially the two worst fucking places to work if you’re an area pharma marketer?