The Year in J. Walter Thompson

By Erik Oster 

JWT reminds us that “Santa Had Help” with its holiday card, a mobile effort which allows viewers to scan the bar code of items and meet the elves who made them. The elves in question seem to love their puns (as you can see in the video below), such as the elf who laments the “Old Nick pics” Santa sends the elves or the one who brags that her dress was made by “Coco Chanelf” (am I spelling that correctly?).

The “Santa Had Help” holiday card arrives with JWT presumably in good cheer after its New York office won lead creative duties on Cobra Puma Golf at the beginning of the month. That account win followed the agency parting with its chief creative officer after less than a year, as Adam Kerj left to join McCann Stockholm. He was replaced by Brent Choi, who also currently holds the position at JWT Toronto. 

JWT opened the year with a pair of promotions, naming Lynn Power the president of JWT New York and appointing Claire Capeci to the newly-created role of global president, retail. Later that month Mike Geiger, president and chief integration officer of JWT North America, confirmed that he would be leaving the agency, with JWT, in a strategic shift, deciding not to replace Geiger in the role. In May, group creative director Jill Applebaum, who worked on the agency’s Tylenol and Nestle Toll House accounts, left to join The Barbarian Group. That same month JWT New York welcomed Jennifer Usdan McBride from Deutsch as director of digital production

Back in February, JWT London won lead creative duties for the U.K.’s largest bottled juice brand, Ribena, and launched its first effort for the client in August. The agency’s biggest account win, however, came in June, when Kellogg named JWT U.S. lead creative agency for Special K.

On the creative side, JWT New York continued its “What Matters Most” campaign for Tylenol with a series of ads celebrating “How We Family,” including a spot launched in June for Pride Month. The agency’s Brazil office got in on the celebration of the centennial of the Coca-Cola bottle and also followed up its interactive cookbook The Bible of Barbecue with a signature iron for Tramontina. Its Singapore office, meanwhile, turned dogs into photographers for Nikon. JWT London’s “Feel Every Smile” for Listerine was something of a highlight, while JWT New York’s musical “Ready, Shave, Shine” for Schick was a clear low point.