After years of working with social media specialist shops, Chrysler is moving its global social business to its media agency group, IPG Mediabrands, according to a memo to staff at the agency.The automotive giant has tapped the media agency network to support social strategy, creative, analytics, and community management across eight Chrysler Group brands globally, including Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge, Ram and Fiat, the memo said. The account will sit within Mediabrands Publishing, a year-old content division meant to "help brands act like publishers."Social shop Ignite took over the Chrysler account in 2011, after an employee at Meredith Xcelerated Marketing's NMS accidentally fired off an f-bomb tweet from Chrysler's Twitter handle. At the time, North Carolina-based Ignite said it would hire as many as 40 new staffers to support the account.Continue reading at AdAge.com
Unilever has begun a formal global digital agency review, according to industry executives.The London-based packaged-goods giant has enlisted MediaLink to aid in the search, which appears to be an effort to revamp its global digital roster across brands and digital practices, including creative, web development, online marketing, mobile, social media and data and analytics, people familiar with the brief said.The agencies invited to participate include incumbents and non-incumbents across various agency holding companies. They will present capabilities in mid-August, beginning a long process that's not expected to wrap up until the end of the year.Continue reading at AdAge.com
German compact-car maker Smart is so smart, it's playing dumb. And that, as it turns out, makes for some pretty entertaining marketing. A new deadpan prank campaign rests on the premise that it's time for the brand—known for small, fuel-efficient, city-friendly two-seaters—to get into the big car game. The really, really big car game, that is. Not so different from the cab of a tractor trailer, or maybe a Sherman tank. Definitely a ride Andre the Giant might actually find comfortable. One of two spots features Smart executives talking about the giant new vehicle. It's blisteringly well written, dripping with snark in all the right places. The second video features a Smart rep doing hidden-camera-style interviews (never entirely convincing) with consumers, who, after seeing a video introducing "the prototype" and handling an enormous to-scale wheel, offer reactions ranging from surprisingly agreeable to entirely incredulous. In a sense, it could seem too much to ask of viewers that they track the sarcasm as a critique of real, oversized gas guzzlers, and follow through to the point that Smart's cars are the opposite. On the other hand, it's a message much of the brand's target will probably already find sympathetic. And sanctimonious as it may be, it's grounded enough in practicality and pop consciousness to serve its purpose as a sales pitch. (But it is hard, at times like these, not to think of South Park's take on hybrid cars).as a Pong controller.
Activist investor Elliott Management Corp. is pressing Interpublic Group of Cos. to put out the for-sale sign, with hopes the agency company will get a deal done as early as this summer or fall. So how probable is that? Not very, according to the market: IPG stock has risen less than 2% since Elliott disclosed its interest in Interpublic, one indication investors are skeptical any deal is imminent.Elliott, a hedge-fund venture run by billionaire investor Paul Elliott Singer, on July 24 disclosed it had amassed the equivalent of a 6.7% stake in the world's fourth-largest agency company through shares and options. The firm said it is seeking "constructive dialogue" with Interpublic's board on "steps to maximize shareholder value."Interpublic last week released this statement: "We have strong, positive relations with the investment community. As such, we meet with shareholders regularly and are open to engaging in dialogue with Elliott Management to assess their perspectives. Above all, we remain focused on adding value to our clients and further enhancing shareholder value."Continue reading at AdAge.com