Chemistry News

Feb 21, 2023


Moms of CMOs offer advice, Goodby exec grabs game-winning ball at the Super Bowl, Smoothie King chooses Barkley, and more.

By Aleda Stam and Brian Bonilla. Published on February 17, 2023.

Motherly advice for CMOs

Chemistry created a series of videos tied to Valentine’s Day.

Valentine’s Day might be over, but Chemistry is still looking for love. The Atlanta-based agency created a series of videos tied to the holiday in which actors portray mothers of CMOs warning that the independent agency is too disruptive.

“I know for a fact there’s a whole bunch of holding companies that could give you a junior team that would make work that is just fine,” says one “mom” in the video.

The videos end with rock music playing and the tagline: “CMO Moms Hate Us. You’ll Love Us.”

The work was posted on the agency’s social channels and website. An agency rep says a few consultants and CMOs have thanked the shop for some comic relief.

“We’re pretty confident the inside joke turns into some work, but honestly we were just going for a laugh anyway,” said Courtney Saul, executive VP, of partnerships and experiments.

The work was created through the agency’s Bomb Squad offering, its project-based hybrid model that works to solve a particular client problem in just six days. 

Smoothie King chooses Barkley 

Smoothie King named Kansas City, Missouri-based independent agency Barkley as its agency of record. Barkley will be responsible for brand and creative strategy for the global franchise company. 

“Barkley thinks about brands in a refreshingly different way–and we love that,” Smoothie King CMO Marianne Radley said in a statement. “There was just so much that really resonated with the way we operate here at Smoothie King.”

Barkley has made a name for itself as a brand-building agency known for its out-of-the-box strategy, design and activation for brands such as Motel 6, Dairy Queen and Planet Fitness, which it won back from Publicis last summer. Barkley’s first project for Smoothie King is expected to launch in April.  

Alaska Airlines hires VaynerMedia 

Alaska Airlines named VaynerMedia Los Angeles as its U.S. media agency of record following a competitive pitch. With a desire to innovate its media strategies in unique ways, Alaska Airlines chose VaynerMedia for its approach that follows market signals to inform media placements. To that end, the agency will work closely with Mekanism, Alaska Airlines’ creative agency of record.  

“VaynerMedia’s approach allows for us to truly understand consumer attention, enabling us to activate in spaces that are most strategic for the brand,” Lisa Buckley, managing director at VaynerMedia Los Angeles, said in a statement. “We are looking forward to bringing our prowess to further drive relevance and business results for Alaska Airlines.” 

The first major campaign, which focused on Alaska Airlines’ Care Coalition, kicked off in the Bay Area during the Super Bowl. The company made a deliberate decision to focus on regional media buys during the Big Game to foster a better connection with its customer base, Eric Edge, managing director of advertising and marketing, told Ad Age last month

Eamonn Dixon wins it all

Eamonn Dixon, a creative director at Goodby Silverstein & Partners, just had a heck of a weekend. First, he was integral in creating the much-lauded “Jack’s New Angle” ad for the Super Bowl, which turned the triangle into a global sensation in a spot featuring Jack Harlow. Then his Doritos client offered him an extra ticket to the Big Game, a seat just behind the end zone. 

But the biggest shock came in the fourth quarter with 8 seconds left on the clock and the score tied at 35-35. Kansas City Chiefs’ kicker Harrison Butker split the uprights on a 27-yard field goal to win the game—kicking the ball right into Dixon’s hands. 

“Watching a Super Bowl ad I made for Doritos inside the stadium was one thing, but catching the game-winning field goal was truly epic,” Dixon said in a statement. 

Dixon has created other popular Super Bowl ads during his five years at GS&P, including last year’s Doritos and Cheetos’ joint “Flamin’ Hot” spot, Cheetos’ “It Wasn’t Me” in 2021 and Cheetos’ “Can’t Touch This” in 2020. 

Johannes Leonardo hires a head of production

Johannes Leonardo appointed Tasha Cronin head of production earlier this week. She will report to agency president Bryan Yasko and Chief Creative Officer Julia Neumann and work across JL’s roster of brands including Kraft Heinz, Volkswagen, IG, Uber and Adidas.

Cronin joins Johannes Leonardo from Mojo Supermarket, where she was head of production. She has more than 20 years of experience in both film and advertising, developing scripts and acquiring films for independent studios before joining Cole & Weber (now owned by Wunderman Thompson) in 2010 and Droga5 in 2015. At Droga, Cronin led the integrated production efforts across Google’s Pixel, HBO’s “Game of Thrones” and Harley-Davidson. 

Just briefly

Cutwater agency named Matt Allen as group account director of its client services department, a new role for a new AOR account it declined to name. The piece of business will be co-managed by fellow Cutwater Group Account Director Courtney Griffin. 

WPP is partnering with Stripe to expand commerce and payments options for joint clients, making the holding company a consulting partner to help brands with initiatives such as product launches, digital transformation and e-commerce design and development. 

Airbus named Crossmedia as its new global media agency of record following a competitive pitch. The account mostly will be handled out of the agency’s London office and cover all of Airbus’ global markets with a focus on strategy, media planning and buying.

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