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So, Domino’s decided to continue their truth in advertising and follow up with the people who slammed them in their focus groups. The following spot shows Domino’s (the head chef in fact) visiting some of their harshest critics and making them eat their words… literally. Domino’s demonstrates that they listened to their critics and used the input to make a better product. And who better to tell Domino’s if they had succeeded or not but the very mouths those criticisms came out of. Take a look.

Now, we hope Domino’s didn’t just show the people who loved the pizza and ignore those that still didn’t have a hankering to order their pies… But, either way, Domino’s has demonstrated that they can take it on the chin and come out on top. They’ve shown that they care about their product and what the consumer has to say. It’s Friday, nothing but rain in the forecast…. maybe I’ll call Domino’s for dinner…

Some of you have been asking how we come up with our ads. Well, we just came up with an especially tasty one for Shoe Gypsy Tulsa… Here’s how this 29 Agency ad was born
(step-by-step of course).

Yes, we know that Pants on the Ground, the catchy tune by “General” Larry Platt’s, was first seen on Fox’s American Idol, but it was social media that rocketed him to stardom.

Since the January 13th performance, Mr. Platt’s song has been viewed more than 1 million times on YouTube, been parodied on late night television (Jimmy Fallon as Neil Young singing Pants on the ground is one of the best!) and was used by Brett Favre to get his Vikings going before their game with Dallas.

As fun as the song is, it is more than just that. Pants on the Ground is the most recent example of how viral marketing works (such great oldies as Chad Vader after the dentist and Chocolate Rain should never be forgotten though). Viral marketing relies on the consumer to pass on the message. Here is the equation:
1. Create something that no one has seen before that is either funny or unbelievable (in this case funny)
2. Provide people with a way to share it with their friends (in this case YouTube)
3. Watch the number of viewers grow as the video catches on and becomes Viral (over 1 million viewers)
4. Watch as main stream media picks it up and runs with it (late night TV, Brett Favre, etc.)
5. Become overnight success from writing a song called Pants on the Ground!

So, the next time you pitch a seemingly crazy viral idea to a client, remind them of “General” Larry Platt and his overnight viral success. And clients, the next time you hear a ridiculous idea from your advertising agency, think about how many videos you have passed on to friends and imagine that that video was about your company or product. Hard to ignore the strength of viral when an advertising agency in Dallas, Texas is writing about a 60 year old man singing a song with the word pants in the title – case and point…

Okay… I know our posts are normally humorous but today we are taking a serious note. One of the things you don’t know about 29 Agency is that we are passionate about positive social change and with what is going on in Haiti right now we want to urge our readers to do your part.

Our founder, Tyler Merrick, also founded Project 7, one of our favorite clients. Project 7 is doing their part to support relief in Haiti. Check out their blog post on what you can do to help.

The crust tastes like cardboard…
The sauce reminds me of ketchup…
Worst excuse for pizza I’ve ever had…

These are not selling points, and yet they are. Let me explain.

In a risky and admirable move, Domino’s pizza broadcasts in their latest national television ad the focus group feedback they were getting… and not the positive feedback, but rather the negative. This is the longer version, but you’ll get the picture for what I saw on TV last night.

As you listen to the consumer blast Domino’s and watch the fallen faces of the Domino’s employees you realize the only reason a company would do this is if they feel they can change it. The spot endears you to the people behind the cardboard crust and you pull for them to succeed. What Domino’s has accomplished in this spot is letting the consumer know that they have heard them and that they care, one of the most important things in today’s social media society. There is so much power in the consumer’s hands and they should be respected.

So, to sum it up, I wish I could have been a fly on the wall when Crispin Porter + Bogusky pitched this to the marketing department at Domino’s. I’m sure it was a hard pill to swallow… And while I haven’t ordered a Domino’s pizza since I was in college, I’m truly tempted to test it out on Friday with a good Porter and flick. I guess good advertising works even on those of us jaded industry folk.

We’ve been asked to provide a glimpse into the daily routine at 29 Agency… fortunately there is nothing routine about our days. With so many creative people in the shop each day offers an opportunity for something new.

So what happened this morning at 29?

Jonathan, graphic designer extraordinaire, embraced his need for caffeine.

Creative director, Darren Dunham, created a custom piece of chalk art for a photoshoot.

And our director of accounts, Jeanne Ryan, almost went missing behind a stack of paperwork.

Thank goodness she called for help.

As tradespeople in the wonderful world of advertising we never know what our day will hold. In the past year we’ve had days that included the following:

• Recording an entire answering machine tape with messages for a prospective client and mailing it to them (they were slightly creeped out)
• Hanging out with the mechanics of the City of Orlando’s bus crew on a video shoot
• Going to the Dallas Children’s Museum for inspiration
• Flying on a red eye to Vegas for a tradeshow to ensure that the client’s product gets there (no room needed, we didn’t even stay over night)

We so look forward to the next year and what it will hold. Bottom line, we love what we do and enjoy each and every day we get to do it… whatever it may be.

Advertising’s love affair with the movies runs deep. And, like most people in advertising, I love a good movie promotion – the awesome commemorative cup, witty ad or perfect Happy Meal toy. However, there are moments when there just isn’t a way to combine the latest potential blockbuster with your product.

Case and Point – a convenience store that shall remain nameless (because we actually love them and their brand) and the coming soon, feature length film Sherlock Holmes (starring the very talented Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law…)

This was too priceless not to share…

We’ve all had to do it at one time or another.
Of course we aren’t proud of it and try to disavow any knowledge of our involvement.
But, there it is, staring you in the face – the stock photo that you used in some creative project.

Don’t get us wrong, some stock photography is great, shot with good lighting, a deft eye and wonderful composition. But, what is the negative value assigned to an image used in a billboard that could quite possibly be used in another billboard right down the street? How much of a black mark on your creative prowess is it to let someone else concept, direct and touch up an image? On the flipside, what is the value of creating a brand using an image that you know no one else will ever have? We say totally worth it.

We all know the reasons for using stock photography.
• Budget constraints
• Time constraints
• It just seems plain easier

All right, no more excuses. Darren Dunham, our creative director, never uses stock photography, unless threatened with certain death… and even then not normally. Darren has become the MacGyver of imagery. And low and behold, due to this, his photoshop skills are unmatched and his make shift studio shoots are the things of legend.

The result? An image that is totally custom, rave worthy and dripping with creativity. Don’t believe us? Check out the image Darren shot with a tiny hand held digital camera for our client Shoe Gypsy Tulsa.

Bottomline – stock photography limits your creativity. And yes, you may be limited in the equipment you have, but from limitation comes great creative invention. The next time you have an ad to design and you reach for your good old stock photography book take a step back and try to come up with a way to create the image yourself. We bet it will be a stronger, more branded creative piece.

P.S. – To those stock photography sites that we may have offended we meant no harm. You definitely serve a wonderful purpose helping those hindered by a lack of visual creativity.We’ve even been known to frequent your sites every now and then.

So who doesn’t seem to be on the caffeine band wagon? Did you guess correctly?
With no further ado we would like to introduce you to…

Here’s a little bit more on Jeanne.

Name: Jeanne Ryan
Occupation:
Director of Accounts
Sign:
Taurus
Favorite Color: Blue

Strategic Weapon of Choice
Data. The more information I can find the better the information I will give.

Where do you get inspiration from?
Running, my brain seems to work best, while my body is trying to give out. That and my friends, family and the world wide interweb.

Favorite project you’ve worked on while at 29:
I love all of my projects equally (she said like a good parent), but I loved working on Germ Ninja. I’ve never witnessed a creative pitch that included beat boxing, a ninja and a client laughing so loud. Pretty awesome. Check out the making of if you don’t believe me… and yes, that is me, doing the “running man.” I miss you Lil T!

If you weren’t director of accounts, what other occupation would you have?
Is this what I want to be? Or what I would most likely be? If it is what I want to be then HGTV’s next design star… if it is what I would most likely be… a college professor (don’t ask, it’s true)

Stay tuned for our next “Who We Be” Profile.

Welcome to our second installment of “Who We Be.” Our previous employee profile was one of our intrepid and talented designers – Jonathan Rollins. And while we know his photo makes him look a little scary, he is a true teddy bear (with a beard) at heart, just don’t take his Swedish Fish!

So, with no further ado…

Which 29er is this?

Check back tomorrow for the answer.

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