Brunch Forum: Volkswagen’s Truth Problem, Critical Mass, Beto Nahmad, Snoop Dogg’s Weed, Ad-Blocking Results & More

by James Thompson

Enjoy AdForum’s daily roundup of the latest news, trends, and notable work in the advertising industry.

Ricardo Bilton Breaks Down the Winners and Losers of the Ad-Blockalypse

“The rise of ad blocking marks either a bitter end or a new beginning, depending on which side of the fence you’re on. Ad-dependent publishers almost universally dread it, while vocal ad blockers applaud it as the inevitable hastening to a flawed, dying business model. In other words, no one is impartial. Here’s who will come out on top, and who is likely to get buried.” Read the full article at Digiday

Snoop Dogg Takes Weed Biz Higher with “Merry Jane” Ad-Supported Social Network


“Snoop Dogg is launching an ad-supported social network called Merry Jane for users and sellers of cannabis products. The rapper announced the move at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference this afternoon, saying the platform would launch next month with the perfect number of beta users—420… Actor Seth Rogen will contribute editorial content for the website, which will also include cannabis-based edible cooking classes and depend on ad dollars for profitability.” Read the full story at Adweek

AdForum Exclusive: 5 Questions for Beto Nahmad on Creativity, Fatherhood, and Multiculturalism


AdForum caught up with creative force and ad industry veteran Beto Nahmad to learn more about his artistic sensibility, love of film and fatherhood, technology, and how multiculturalism informs his work.

AdForum: Creative professionals must be adaptable, nimble, and embrace the chaos of the creative process. You’ve worked with every type of brand and product, from shoes and bananas to basketball teams. When you first encounter a creative challenge, what is the first thing you think of?... Read the full interview at AdForum

Critical Mass to Partner with Quinnipiac University on Digital Transformation


Quinnipiac University hired Global digital experience design agency, Critical Mass, to deliver a new Quinnipiac.edu experience that exemplifies the university’s commitment to excellence while serving its audiences through simple and intuitive interactions across devices. In addition, the partnership includes a major platform consolidation (Adobe Experience Manager).

Quinnipiac consistently ranks among the top regional universities in the North in U.S. News & World Report’s “America’s Best Colleges” issue and, in 2014, was named top up-and‐coming school with master’s programs in the Northern Region. Quinnipiac also is recognized in Princeton Review’s “The Best 380 Colleges.” Read the full story at AdForum

Job of the Day: Interactive/Rich Media Developer at David&Goliath

D&G is looking for a talented Interactive /Rich Media Developer experienced working in interactive media campaigns and social marketing programs. The right candidate will play a key role in developing display media and interactive advertising work. The ideal candidate’s development experience must be able to demonstrate animation and interactive functionality built using both timeline and object oriented methodologies. For more details, visit the D&G website

That's Awkward: Recalling Volkswagen Audi’s “Truth in Advertising” Campaign


It’s not ironic. It’s beyond surreal. It’s advertising that is so boldly dishonest and hypocritical that owners of Volkswagen vehicles have to feel betrayed on two levels: the first being lied to about emissions data, the second being subjected to an ad campaign that doesn’t tout automotive innovation or safety, but honesty in advertising. Yikes. That’s a recipe for blowback. Read more at Ad Age

World’s First Five Second Ad Agency Set to Launch


September 28 marks the launch of Five Seconds: the world’s first agency specialized in five-second communication. This can be a cool animation, a teasing headline, a funny visual, or even a simple clever idea. There are literally millions of examples of short GIFs and films on sites like Vine, Vimeo and YouTube, which are viewed by billions of people. Big brands like Coca-Cola, Adidas and Audi are already using marketing plans that for a large part involve short content. To learn more, visit the Five Second website

How Creative Agencies Are Helping Disruptive Brands Go Mainstream

“Those who follow tech startups may have noticed a peculiar trend lately: traditional ads created by traditional agencies to promote some of Silicon Valley's favorite "unicorns." In May, wearables pioneer Fitbit launched a campaign from San Francisco's Argonaut just weeks before filing its IPO. Over the summer, Airbnb's "Is Mankind?" from TBWA\Chiat\Day brought its first wide-scale TV effort, while retail site Jet.com launched not one but three distinct campaigns from Circus Maximus, SS+K and R/GA, one featuring Kumail Nanjiani of HBO's Silicon Valley. Even entrepreneurial darling Uber stepped into the fray with a PSA-style missive railing against New York Mayor Bill de Blasio's plan to cap the number of drivers it has on the streets. “ Read the full article at Adweek.

Agency of the Week


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. Learn more about the creative culture and folks at Critical Mass in their AdForum profile

Because it is Tuesday and you desperately want to travel, check out this Airbnb ad (below) by TBWA titled "A Different Paris."

(Bloody Mary photo courtesy of Anthony. Thank you! It looks delicious!)