Brunch Forum: NFL's Ugly Truth, John Oliver vs. Divine Fraud, KFC’s New Colonel, Rdio, Charitable Facebook & More

by James Thompson

Enjoy what’s left of your morning with AdForum’s daily round-up of the latest news, trends, and notable work in the advertising industry.

NFL Star’s Incident Reveals Ugly Truth about All of Us

Cris Carter, please tell us you didn’t really do that. Please. Did you really tell rookie NFL players, at an official NFL symposium – surrounded by other NFL personalities, where everyone has the latest digital device – to secure the services of a “fall guy” to take the heat for you when you break the law? And did Warren Sapp, sitting right next to you really LOL – perhaps thinking of his 2010 domestic battery charge and 2015 arrest for assault and soliciting a prostitute?

As the NFL increasingly becomes an unstoppable juggernaut in our complex and often hypocritical culture, the league stands poised to begin yet another season plagued by an epidemic of crime and controversy followed by the proverbial damage control efforts. But does it really matter? The fans and their money – and therefore the advertisers – are happy to pretend this is simply the natural state of affairs when dealing with the billionaire industry of professional sports. At some point, however, the public and advertisers may finally turn on the NFL. Not because Cris Carter lied, but because he told the truth. Carter is not an anomaly, but a product of the NFL culture – which is our culture. This is on us.

John Oliver Is Comedy God’s Answer to Religious Advertising Scams


Advertising and religion both offer promises of a better life. For centuries fraudulent representatives of religion have used the power of advertising for personal gain. It’s an occupation almost as old as the oldest occupation and with advent of television and other technologies, spreading the false word became easier – and more profitable – than ever before. Today, criminals masquerading as televangelists have made fortunes exploiting the pain and naivety of society’s more vulnerable members.

Enter John Oliver, the quirky Englishman uniquely qualified to make fun of – and expose – our culture’s most inexplicable flaws and demons. In a recent episode of “Last Week with John Oliver” the Brit hilariously called out and parodied the evils of televangelists who use advertising to manipulate people into surrendering their money – and most of these people do not have much money to begin with – so these crooks can buy multi-million dollar private jets and sprawling estates with swimming pools the size of moon craters. And – here is the kicker – it’s all perfectly legal. So Oliver started his own legit religion – yes, well within the parameters of the law – called Our Lady of Perpetual Redemption. And the result is hilarious.

Rdio’s New Native Ad Product Touted as Hybrid of Pandora, Spotify

“Rdio has a new native advertising product called Promoted Music Experiences, which the music streamer believes will offer brands something its competitors haven't. It has partnered with Hard Rock Hotels and Casinos for the launch. ‘Streaming services thus far have had a difficult time introducing native advertising into its platform,’ Jared Heiman, head of Global Advertising Partnerships for Rdio, told Adweek. ‘Nobody is offering all three components in one ad package.’” Full story at Adweek

Cheryl Giovannoni Departs Ogilvy & Mather

Cheryl Giovannoni, the chief executive of Ogilvy & Mather London, is leaving the agency after two years. For more details visit BrandRepublic.

Facebook Advertising Gets More Charitable with “Donate” Buttons

“Facebook has introduced a new call to action to encourage users to donate to non-profit organisations and charities. The social network is helping to connect the site’s extensive user base with good causes by giving Pages the ability to run fundraiser efforts directly to their website through the 'Donate Now' button. A Facebook statement read: ‘Every day, people use Facebook to raise awareness and support for causes they care about and to motivate others to do the same.’” Additional information at TheDrum. 

KFC’s Modern Depiction of the Colonel Evokes Multiple Personalities


In an effort to create a more dynamic and fluid personality for the iconic Colonel Sanders, KFC is implementing a strategy – that has notably starred comedians Darrell Hammond and Norm Macdonald – into an evolving campaign that features “a James Bond character where you flow in different characters.” Read more at Ad Age. 

Job of the Day: Senior Designer at VCCP, London

The role entails:

• Working closely with creative teams under the direction of a Interactive Creative Director to conceptualize projects including but not limited to web sites, online advertising, apps, interface design, presentations and other animations
• Leading project teams and pushing ideas forward, while maintaining passion around your own work and executing it to a perfect finished product
• Working on and leading multiple projects concurrently, demonstrating a mature ability to handle many things at once
• Working with Producers to advise on time estimates and project approach
• Collaborating with the technical team to incorporate new and emerging technologies
• Handling changing priorities and other duties as assigned
• Keeping up to date with current design trends and industry best practice methods
• Working within one of London’s friendliest and creative digital departments
For more details about the qualifications this position and the corporate culture at VCCP, visit their job page

User-Generated Content: You’re Using Your Digital Camera’s Flash Wrong

“YOU JUST SPENT $750 on a fancy digital camera, so why does the flash turn your beautifully lit living room into a haunted cavern every time you photograph it? The culprit is most likely that cheap flash setup that came with your otherwise quality camera. The inexpensive built-in flashes on compact cameras are notorious for giving subjects harsh shadows, pale blue-white skin, and shiny faces. Even a really nice flash can cause problems if you don’t learn how to use one—few things scream amateur as loudly as ‘flash-wash.’” Learn more at Wired

Agency of the Week


Critical Mass: Critical Mass is a global experience design agency with a relentless focus on the customer. We’ve been doing digital for nearly two decades, but we still meet every challenge head on, with the same tenacity as we have since day one. Today we’re 750 people in 10 offices on 3 continents. We’re thinkers. Tinkerers. Makers. Do’ers. We speak a dozen different languages and are inspired by a million different things. But no matter our discipline or where we are in the world, we’re united by a common excitement for digital that’s absolute and contagious.

Because it’s Tuesday, and you’re probably not at an awesome music festival, enjoy this Pepsi Max ad that address an important festival-going issue: “1/3 Of All People Lose Their Friends At Festivals.”

(Coffee photo courtesy of bark.) 

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