A-List: Crispin Porter + Bogusky
Transparency works for an agency in transitionPublished: Jan 21, 2011
Despite a year of revolving doors at Crispin, Porter + Bogusky – goodbye Alex Bogusky, founding partner and advertising legend, hello (again) Ari Merkin, back after five years as executive creative director in Miami – our 2008 Agency of the Year has maintained creative momentum.
With new CEO Andrew Keller and worldwide CCO Rob Reilly at the helm, it continues to produce some of the most innovative, and talked-about, work around. Getting Domino's customers to say its pizza tasted gross, then ripping up the recipe and starting again was one of those knife-edge ideas that's either insanity or sheer genius – and it proved to be the latter, particularly after a taste test that showed customers preferring the new pizza to Pizza Hut's or Papa John's. It all added up to the single best year in Domino's 50 year history – domestic same-store sales soared by 11.7% in the third quarter - and the best growth ever seen by the fast food industry.
Promoting Bolthouse Farms 'Baby Carrots as if they were junk food struck a chord in the national media, in a year that saw childhood obesity climb high on the political agenda thanks to Michelle Obama. The campaign not only sought to dump carrots' veggie status, but also to entertain by overtly mocking and mimicking junk food advertising. Truly integrated, the work spanned junk-food style packaging, vending machines, a video game and online comedy show.
Other creative highlights included work for Kraft Macaroni & Cheese, based around the idea that parents secretly love Mac 'n Cheese just as much as their kids. This led to Kraft's development of a new limited-edition product, Macaroni & Cheese for the Grill, aimed specifically at cook-out loving Dads. Kraft is considering the limited-edition product for wider distribution.
With client wins including Kraft's Milka brand in Europe, and Met Life, it was a solid new business year for CP+B. It also continues to raise its game in social media, where it was named agency of record for brands including Kraft Macaroni & Cheese and Coke Zero and tasked with writing all of Domino's Facebook posts. We'll be watching its evolution under Keller's direction closely in 2011.