Hollywood couple gets real about plant-based burgers and Sir Martin buys Firewood

Kristin Bell and Dax Shepard the honest truth for Lightlife

Celebrity couple Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard are brutally (and hilariously) honest with their children in a new campaign for Lightlife‘s plant-based burger.

Developed by Endeavor Global Marketing, “A taste of honesty” features the Hollywood actors giving their children the hard truth about everything from a “sleeping” goldfish and what they were doing in their bed (complete with diagrams), to why Santa can’t be real and how they let them win at games because they’re not good.

The spot concludes with them bringing a similar amount of candour to discuss Lightlife burgers. “They taste just like regular burgers, but they’re made from plants. And they’re delicious,” says Shepard. When a child asks if they’re telling the truth, Bell responds “would we lie to you?”

Michael Lenahan, vice-president of marketing at Lightlife parent Greenleaf Foods (a division of Maple Leaf Foods) called the partnership with Bell and Shepard a “significant moment” for the Lightlife brand. “This campaign underscores our commitment to empowering families and inspiring honest conversations about food around the dinner table,” he said.

S4 acquires San Francisco digital shop Firewood

Martin Sorrell just went shopping again for S4, this time acquiring Firewood—a 300-person digital specialty shop based in San Francisco.

According to a statement announcing the deal, Firewood hit most of Sir Martin’s sweet-spots for S4: digital first, data-informed creative, performance media employing an “embedded” model—agency staff who “work as extensions of their clients’ internal marketing team.” The trend toward in-housing agency services led Sorrell to buy media firm MightyHive last December.

The cash-and-shares deal values Firewood at $150 million. Firewood revenue for 2018 was $56.8 million, up 71.6% from the year before. The agency has offices in San Francisco, MountainView, Sandpoint, New York, Dublin, London and Mexico City, with clients including Google, Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, Salesforce and Vmware.

The agency will be merged with MediaMonks, Sorrell’s first major acquisition when he launched S4 in May 2018. —D.B.

FCB pulls out of London International Awards after Ted Royer appearance

The London International Awards (LIA) is embroiled in controversy after inviting former Droga5 creative Ted Royer, who was fired last year amid allegations of sexual misconduct, to speak at a recent event in Las Vegas designed for up-and-coming creatives.

FCB subsequently ended its association with LIA, saying that Royer’s presentation was “deeply upsetting” to team members in attendance.

A report in AdWeek said that his unannounced appearance was met with disbelief, while AdAge reported that Royer told the audience “I’m here because I believe in face-to-face communication and I don’t want to hide any more.”

Explaining the reason for giving Royer a platform to speak, LIA founder and president Barbara Levy said: “We live in a country that has due process and laws that allow an accused the right to face their accuser.

FCB said the explanation was “very disappointing and unsatisfactory.” The network has been unapologetically outspoken on its stance around social issues, including retiring the Nivea account earlier this year over allegations of homophobia.

The Glenlivet’s whisky pods cause outrage among Scotch snobs

The Glenlivet had whisky enthusiasts around the world crying into their snifters last week, with the introduction of what it described as “an original whisky drinking experience” called The Glenlivet Capsule Collection.

Made from seaweed, these edible capsules housed drinks made with the whisky brand—essentially turning what has historically been a sipping drink into a shot. The whisky world, though, is big on heritage and formality, so it’s not surprising that drinkers reacted with horror.

Scotch enthusiasts claimed that it was bad for the drink’s image and cheapened The Glenlivet, with one person on Twitter claiming that it was “the New Coke disaster [x] 100.” Not surprisingly, there were also lots of references to Tide Pods.

You might also argue it was a brilliant PR move, with the attendant media coverage putting The Glenlivet on people’s lips the world over. In a tweet earlier this week, The Glenlivet stressed that the capsules were a limited edition for London Cocktail Week, and not available anywhere else.

Your move, Johnnie Walker.








Chris Powell