An Advertising Tribute to Abe Vigoda

January 29, 2016

By: Bob Meagher, SVP/Associate Creative Director

Monday Abe Vigoda died. I started getting a flurry of emails from co-workers past and present alerting me of the news. The reason was immediately obvious. Anyone who has known my work and me for some time knows that in 2007 I wrote a campaign when we were pitching an account for a product that had potential health benefits. I used Abe Vigoda as the Spokesman. This was pre Snickers. So I went to my old hard drive and found the scripts.

People magazine had mistakenly referred to Abe as being deceased in 1982. Being somewhat of a health product, I thought Abe would be the perfect spokesman. So here’s how the first script went. Unfortunately our lawyers are requiring that I disguise the name and product of the actual client. So for the purposes of this article we will refer to the product as “Health Product.”

“ABE VIGODA INTRO”

:30

OPEN ON ABE VIGODA IN A CASKET. HIS EYES ARE CLOSED.

SUPER: Abe Vigoda. 1921-2007

VO: Ladies and gentlemen, the late Abe Vigoda.

ABE OPENS HIS EYES.

ABE: I made this commercial in anticipation of my death to tell you about living a healthier lifestyle. There’s only one problem. I can’t seem to die. So we’ve decided to run this commercial now to tell you about Health Product. Health Product comes in several delicious flavors. I like strawberry. It’s packed with loads of healthy nutrients. So take my advice. Don’t smoke. Eat right. And whatever you do, take plenty of Health Product.

ABE FAKES A HEART ATTACK AND THEN CHUCKLES

ABE: Just kidding.

CUT TO PRODUCT

VO: Health Product. It works.

Now this was a nice idea at the time and all, but where I thought the campaign really took off was the three following scripts. In these, we would film the spots while Abe was still living and only air them after he actually died for real. Which was Monday. The only thing I have changed on the following scripts is the name of the product, the flavors (Thank you lawyers) and the year 2016.

“ABE VIGODA/TASTE”

:30

SUPER: Abe Vigoda. 1921-2016

VO: Ladies and gentlemen, the late Abe Vigoda.

ABE: Okay, so it finally happened. I’m really dead. We all have to go sometime. I just want you to know that my passing had nothing to do with Health Product. Now there will be some of you that will see this message as being tasteless. In that case I would suggest you try the chocolate, kiwi or the mango strawberry. Your taste buds won’t know what hit them.

CUT TO PRODUCT

VO: Health Product. It works.

“ABE VIGODA/LETTERS”

:30

SUPER: Abe Vigoda. 1921-2016

VO: Ladies and gentlemen, the late Abe Vigoda.

ABE: Well it was just a matter of time before Health Product started getting angry letters. Here’s one.

READS LETTER

ABE: Dear Health Product. How dare you use that poor deceased Abe Vigoda to sell your product. Your tactics have hit a new low. Signed, Barbara Hamilton. Well Barbara, don’t be angry with Health Product. I am doing this of my own free will. It’s not like they’re holding a gun to my head. It’s way too late for that.

CUT TO PRODUCT

VO: Health Product. It works.

“ABE VIGODA/FINAL THOUGHT”

:30

SUPER: Abe Vigoda. 1921-2016

VO: Ladies and gentlemen, the late Abe Vigoda.

ABE: Hello. The past couple of weeks have been very hectic. What with the controversy of these Health Product commercials and the funeral arrangements, I haven’t had time to breathe. So before I go I would like to leave you with one final thought…

DIRECTOR: Cut! Okay, we’re breaking for lunch!

ABE: Lunch? What? But I…

DIRECTOR: Sorry union rules.

CUT TO PRODUCT

VO: Health Product. It works.

So there you have it. We didn’t win the “Health Product” account, but if we had, I think the great Abe Vigoda would have loved these spots, even if it meant waiting another nine years for them to run.

By the way, that hard drive is chock full of other great ideas that have never been made. Would be really easy to change the client name like I did with “Health Product.” Just call The Martin Agency and tell them you want that old quirky writer with all the great ideas that no one ever buys, and the agency lawyer on your account.

Posted By: Bob Meagher

Ad Age's Campaign of the Year

January 25, 2016

Thrilled to share that Advertising Age has created a new accolade to their 2016 A-List.

Campaign of the Year: GEICO, 'Unskippable'

Continue to Advertising Age.

Posted By: The Martin Agency

Ad Age's 2016 Creativity Innovators List

January 25, 2016

At the heels of our 50th anniversary, we have been named on Advertising Age's Creativity Innovators List.

What a year. Here's to the next fifty.

Continue to Advertising Age.

Posted By: The Martin Agency

Oreo Wants You To Open Up

January 19, 2016

Oreo and Adam Lambert Kick Off the Cookie's Campaign About Diversity and Tolerance

'Open Up' and Be Childlike Again, Says the Brand | By Tim Nudd | Adweek

Oreo is the latest brand to take a stab at making the world a better place, as it launches a global campaign urging people to "Open Up" to new people and experiences—a message of diversity and tolerance delivered first in a 30-second spot with vocal by Adam Lambert.

That spot, called "Rolling Wonder," broke Monday. The campaign, which includes digital content, point-of-sale and global prizing, will roll out to more than 50 countries worldwide during the first half of 2016, Oreo tells AdFreak.

The idea of "Open Up with Oreo," created by The Martin Agency, is to urge people to open their hearts to those who are different and discover the similarities. The campaign is part of the larger global "Wonderfilled" platform that launched in 2013. (It's also slyly product focused, as many people "open up" their Oreos before eating them.)

The work follows last year's "Play With Oreo" campaign, and retains similar themes about being childlike. "Open Up with Oreo" is based off the idea that children are naturally open, and only as we get older do we close ourselves off.

Also on Monday, the brand introduced the Oreo Wonder Vault, a fancifully imagined place where new Oreo flavors are dreamed up and stored. Two U.S. flavors of Oreo are being released this month: returning flavor Red Velvet, and new flavor Cinnamon Bun. A third limited-edition flavor is expected shortly that Oreo promises will be "unlike anything we've done before."

Continue to Adweek.

Posted By: The Martin Agency

Martin NY Continues to Grow

January 14, 2016

The Martin Agency Expands Its New York Creative Team

By Patrick Coffee | January 14, 2016

It’s not just GEICO…or Richmond.

The Martin Agency has gradually been building its Manhattan-based operations over the past few years, and the agency tells us that 2016 should be the office’s biggest yet.

Back in June, Martin hired twofifteenmccann co-CCO James Robinson as its first New York-based ECD, and in recent weeks the creative team continued its expansion with several new hires.

Those include (pictured above):

  • Copywriter Daniel Aguinaga, former freelancer with DDB, Mekanism and Cramer Krasselt as well as Y&R and Geometry Global
  • Senior copywriter Jamie Umpherson and senior art director Marie Richer, both of whom previously worked at Toronto’s john st. and Rethink
  • Art director George Widodo, former intern at Mother New York, Mullen and David&Goliath
  • ACD Heather Schmitz, formerly senior copywriter at EnergyBBDO Chicago and Sid Lee
  • ACD Marysia Makowska, who freelanced at Sid Lee, BBH, Publicis and Michael Kors

The real story here, if you see it as such, is the establishment of New York as a crucial part of the Martin network. Quite a few agencies’ Manhattan outposts have proven short-lived in recent years, but the slow-and-steady approach seems to be working for Martin.

Martin New York collaborates with the agency’s Richmond and London offices on various accounts while also running the Optimum and Sunglass Hut business.

Creative is currently its largest department, and we expect more hiring news to come over the next few months.

Continue to AgencySpy.

Posted By: The Martin Agency