Monthly Archives: December 2015

The Best of 2015

UnknownWhat is it about life that keeps us coming back for more? Since Genesis in the Garden of Eden, man is doomed to living by the sweat of his brow. We are gluttons for punishment. Still, in the face of a meaningless existence, “we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.”  

Why? Because it is both a sad and beautiful world at the same time. It’s incumbent upon us to extract the beauty. Our duty is to seek out and savor satisfaction. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, yes. For some, a liverwurst sandwich is repulsive. To others, like me, it is an art form accompanied by raw onion, rye bread and Düsseldorf mustard.

So here is my take on the best and wurst of 2015. These are the reasons I’ll be coming back for more:

Best Campaigns:

  1. Arby’simages-2
  2. DirecTV ( Rob Lowe)
  3. DirecTV (Cable World)
  4. Geico
  5. Honest Tea

Wurst Campaign: Obviously, Volkswagen

Best Agencies:

  1. BBDO/NYUnknown-1
  2. David&Goliath/Santa Monica
  3. 22squared Atlanta/Tampa
  4. Made Boulder, CO
  5. Droga5 NY

Wurst Agency: CP+B for the way they whacked Andrew Keller

People of the Year:242243bb59ac0c2e71897dd0db1cfdf4

  1. Pope Francis
  2. Jimmy Fallon
  3. Amy Schumer
  4. Raul Castro
  5. Lorne Michaels

Wurst Person of the Year: Donald Trump

Best Tech Toys:

  1. VisiblUnknown
  2. Sprinklr
  3. Zoove
  4. Uber app
  5. MLB At Bat app

Wurst Tech Toy: The Apple Watch

Best Comebacks:

  1. Arby’simages-3
  2. Sinatra
  3. Springsteen
  4. Sarge’s Deli
  5. ARod

Wurst comeback: Tiger Woods

Best Restaurants:

  1. Marcel Atlantaimages-1
  2. Eventide Portland, ME
  3. Nebo Boston
  4. Milo’s Birmingham
  5. Kimball House Atlanta

Wurst restaurant: Village Tavern, Winston-Salem, NC

Best Bars:

  1. Manuel’s Tavern Atlantaimages-4
  2. The Pittsford Pub Rochester, NY
  3. Fanelli Cafe NYC
  4. Carnegie Club NYC
  5. Jimmy’s Corner  NYC

Wurst Bar: Ink & Elm Atlanta (closed)

Best Albums:

  1. Ryan Adams 19891401x788-d'angelo-121514
  2. Taylor Swift 1989
  3. D’Angelo Black Messiah
  4. Bob Dylan Bootleg Series #12
  5. Adele 25

Wurst Album: The Ties That Bind: The River Collection  Bruce Springsteen

Best Cigars:

  1. Ramon Allones 2014 Specially SelectedHUP_Monarcas_TUB_OUT
  2. Juan Lopez Selección #2
  3. H. Upmann Sir Winston
  4. Cohiba Behike 52
  5. Herera Esteli Piramide

Wurst Cigar: Any fake Cuban your golf buddy hands you

Best Wines:

  1. Sea Smoke Ten 2013Unknown-2
  2. Produttori del Barbaresco 2010
  3. Melville Pinot Noir 2012
  4. Cornerstone “The Cornerstone” 2009
  5. Il Poggione Brunello di Montalcino 2010

Wurst Wine: Most Chiantis and Cabernets

Best Fried Chicken:

  1. Publixthe-colonnade-restaurant
  2. Church’s Chicken
  3. The Colonnade Atlanta
  4. Mary Mac’s Tea Room Atlanta
  5. K&W Cafeteria NC

Wurst Fried Chicken: KFC

Best Sandwiches:

  1. “The Stack”  Marcel AtlantaUnknown-3
  2. Lobster Roll Eventide Portland, ME
  3. Roast Beef  The General Muir Atlanta
  4. Double Filet-o-Fish McDonalds
  5. Smokehouse Brisket  Arby’s

Wurst Sandwich: Corned Beef The General Muir (too fatty)

May the Schwartz be with you in 2016





2015 Review: Agencies of the Year, MVP’s, etc.

That was the year that was

Another year over. Another year gone. So what have we learned? Nobody asked me, but I’ve learned there is nothing more valuable in our industry than the impeccable execution of brilliant creative ideas.

There was a lot of noise. But, in the end it’s all just a whimper. It’s advertising. There are only two guarantees: accounts and people will come and go. What seems to matter most is that the line coming in the front door is longer than the one leaving out the back. Here’s a recap off the top of my head:

10 big wins & losses:

  • Subway boots MMB in Boston and signs on BBDO/NY
  • Olive Garden relieves Grey/NY and signs on McGarryBowen
  • Applebee’s departs CP+B and signs on Barkley
  • Bank of America abandons the Holding Company formula; ditches WPP for Hill Holliday
  • Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines bumps JWT for Mullen Lowe
  • Norwegian Cruise Lines ousts The Martin Agency for BBDO/Atlanta
  • Jack in the Box relinquishes Secret Weapon for David&Goliath
  • Priceline bumps Butler Shine for BBDO/NY
  • Bud Light whacks BBDO/NY for Wieden+Kennedy
  • Weight Watchers sheds Wieden+Kennedy for Havas

6 big hires:

  • Tor Myhren leaves Grey Global for Apple
  • Joe Tripodi lands at Subway
  • Wendy Clark blows off Coca-Cola for DDB
  • Simon Bond ditches BBDO for IPG
  • Susan Credle leaves Leo Burnett, joins FCB as Global CCO
  • Brad Brinegar named as Cheil CEO

The Palma Awards

Okay, you don’t need me to tell you what you already know. Sure, Wieden, Martin, Crispin and Fallon are hot stuff. BFG9000, Butler Shine and 72 & Sunny are the rising rockets (I already told you that 3 years ago). But who made the biggest breakthroughs in 2015?

Agency of the Year: 22squared (Atlanta & Tampa)

Eight account wins in 18 months, including Mizuno, The Home Depot, Krystal & SunTrust. Also named Ad Age’s Top 50 Places to Work. They are no longer the best-kept secret in advertising.

Small agency of the year: Made Movement (Boulder)

Bogusky investment pays off with the Made Men on a mission…this is the best story in advertising. When someone tries to guilt you about our industry, send them here:

Big agency of the year: BBDO/NY

Hard to call BBDO a breakthrough agency. But what John Osborn did out of NY this year was heroic. These are the NY Yankees of advertising.

FullSizeRenderMVP: Joe Alexander, The Martin Agency

Tough call with Gerry Graf and Ted Royer in the mix. Joe gets the nod. Amazing reel from what
was once known as a regional print agency.

Rookie of the Year: Perry Fair, J. Walter Thompson (Atlanta, Dallas, Houston)

Only one guy in the Southeast was named to Ad Age’s Top 40 Under 40: Mr. Fair. He’s the Andrew Wiggens of advertising. Watch out for great things to come in 2016.