The ad industry is officially ready to rumble, you guys.
Earlier this month, Alex Bogusky challenged Dwayne “no more The Rock, he’s an actor/entrepreneur now” Johnson to a wrestling match at CP+B’s “Holiday on the Ropes” pro wrestling-themed office party. When the more famous of the two shockingly declined, Bogusky decided to challenge Gary Vaynerchuck instead, because why the hell not.
Yesterday, DiMassimo Goldstein founder, CEO and CSO Mark DiMassimo posted a Facebook video parodying Bogusky’s wrestling antics and issuing a challenge to 98-year-old Wunderman founder Lester Wunderman in the wake of WPP’s WT(F) merger. (Sorry, we had to do it.)
DiMassimo explained to AgencySpy that he felt the merger showed WPP “has finally been pinned to the mat and forced to accept the argument that a creative agency ought to be digitally led, direct-economy ready and integrated with the media, data functions.”
“The idea that force-mating fleet and digital with fat and historic can lead to the sort of agency that impatient change agents need is laughable,” he said of the newly formed VMLY&R and Wunderman Thompson. “Fat birds can’t fly.”
At the same time, DiMassimo was thoroughly unimpressed, even “bored” by Bogusky’s antics, despite being a fan of his past contributions to advertising.
He even claimed, “We’ve seen the posts, but mostly couldn’t be bothered to click.”
The fact that he created a parody echoing some of the details of Bogusky’s videos does call that into question, however.
“Our best explanation of our boredom came down to, ‘Bogusky is making this about himself.’ And that doesn’t feel particularly relevant, authentic or interesting,” DiMassimo said. “He’s not a social media star, and the tactic seems to backfire and prove the pretention.”
As to why he didn’t just challenge Bogusky, he said it “didn’t seem interesting,” adding, “It can’t make him any less legendary, nor can it say a word in answer to the question of his current relevance—only his agency’s work and achievements going forward can do that.”
So why challenge Wunderman?
“I thought Wunderman is now the first name of Wunderman Thompson. Wunderman is alive at 98 years old. It would be fun and absurd to challenge a 98-year-old man to wrestle,” he explained. “If the idea is Wrestling Challenge but With A 98-year Old, then we couldn’t run away from the violence, while we needed to project the total parody nature of this. Thus the GIF style.”
While this is clearly a parody, he said it’s one that’s “willing to put its money where its mouth is” by donating $10,000 to a charity of Wunderman’s choosing … should he accept the challenge. Said DiMassimo, “Lester Wunderman’s toughness should never be underestimated. It could happen!”
The CEO guesses that, given his decades of collecting Dogon art, Wunderman would want the $10,000 donated to the Dogon people. As for his own favorite charities, DiMassimo cited National Jewish Health and The Partnership for Drug-Free Kids (for which he serves as chair of the creative development board).
Since this is all for a good cause, let’s go ahead and plan the next round. Who’s next: Hegarty? Levy? Wieden?!