Intel Makes 2006 a ‘Leap’ Year With Massive Rebranding

Los Angeles Intel today is launching a broad rebranding campaign crafted by IPG’s McCann Erickson, New York. The global effort includes a revamped logo, fresh iconography for Intel’s platforms and processors, and a new tagline, “Intel. Leap ahead,” replacing the 15-year-old “Intel Inside.” Initial consumer-focused work, a full-page print execution topped with the text, “Why 2006 will be a leap year,” is meant to recast Intel as a consumer-focused electronics company from a computing powerhouse. The first spots appear in The Wall Street Journal, the Financial Times and The Economist, among others. Additional print, online and TV components are expected to follow.

Ogilvy’s Piliguian Shifts to New COO Post At Parent WPP

NEW YORK Tro Piliguian, North American chairman of Ogilvy & Mather, is leaving the agency this month to become the first chief operating officer at Ogilvy parent WPP. The shift comes four months after Piliguian, 58, handed his North American CEO duties to Bill Gray and Carla Hendra. “Tro will work with me and the WPP management team to help improve the operational performance of all our companies across geographies and across our communications services,” wrote WPP CEO Martin Sorrell in an internal e-mail. “His international operational experience and his fluent command of five languages make Tro uniquely suited for this new global role.” Piliguian’s position at Ogilvy will not be filled.

GSD&M, R/T collaborate on AT&T’s $500 Mil. Rebrand

DALLAS Omnicom’s GSD&M and independent Rodgers/Townsend worked in unison on the relaunch of AT&T, formerly SBC, with a $500 million global campaign that kicked off New Year’s Eve. AT&T split credits on the first TV spots: GSD&M created the inaugural spot “Eclipse,” launched on New Year’s Eve, while R/T produced “Spread the Word,” about the combination of SBC and AT&T into one telecom giant. Nearly 500 people from the two agencies worked on the campaign in unison, according to Roy Spence, president of Austin, Texas-based GSD&M. Print, TV and outdoor work are set for the first quarter.

Berlin Cameron Picks up $40 Mil. Heineken Light Launch

NEW YORK Heineken USA has awarded creative chores for the launch of Heineken Premium Light brand to WPP’s Berlin Cameron United here after a review. Sources estimated a 2006 media spend of more than $40 million. The product will be available exclusively in North America starting in March. Other finalists were Publicis’ Fallon in Minneapolis and Publicis in New York. Publicis continues to handle the Heineken and Amstel Light brands in the U.S.

Burnett Wins $100 Mil. Washington Mutual Work

LOS ANGELES Leo Burnett won Washington Mutual’s ad account in late December following a review. Billings are estimated at $100 million. Washington Mutual split with IPG’s Sedgwick Rd. of Seattle in September. The selection of Chicago-based Burnett capped what was called a frequently confusing review process that saw several shops move in and out of contention. Both Burnett and Publicis were reinstated after initially being eliminated in the semifinal round [Adweek Online, Nov. 1]. Their reinstatement followed the withdrawal of IPG’s Deutsch/LA in Marina del Rey, Calif. [Adweek Online, Oct. 26]. Deutsch/LA pulled out of the Washington Mutual review to absorb work from General Motors’ Chevrolet and mobile communications startup Helio, sources said. Burnett sibling Publicis in Seattle was the runner-up.

Chevy TV Commercials Tout Fuel Efficiency of SUVs

Los ANGELES Chevrolet is trying to stem falling full-size SUV sales with two 30-second spots from IPG’s Campbell-Ewald touting the Tahoe’s best-in-class fuel efficiency. The ads, which broke on New Year’s Eve while two of the vehicles hung above performers in Times Square, highlight the 2006 Tahoe’s fuel economy as well as other attributes, said Mike Albano, communications manager for Chevrolet, Detroit. “We’ve been tracking more consumer awareness of [gas economy] since the natural disasters in the Gulf,” he said. Chevrolet spent $20 million on the Tahoe through September 2005, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus.

IPG Vests $28 Mil. in Stock Options to Avoid Expensing

NEW YORK IPG has accelerated the vesting of about $28 million worth of stock options to eliminate a future compensation expense and “alleviate certain administrative burdens,” according to an 8-K filed last month with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Some of the options otherwise would not have vested until 2010. Still, the options to purchase about 8.3 million shares of common stock are currently “under water”; the weighted average strike price is about $18 a share, and IPG traded last week between $9 and $10 a share. The vesting does not include options granted during 2005 nor those held by IPG CEO Michael Roth, CFO Frank Mergenthaler and all non-management directors.

Snapple Breaks 2 New Spots Urging ‘Baby Steps’ to Health

NEW YORK Snapple debuted two new 15-second spots for its diet drinks on Jan. 1 that seek to capitalize on consumers’ new-year zeal for self-improvement. Both spots, created by New York-based Cliff Freeman and Partners, feature ordinary people taking “baby steps,” such as walking through a gym’s revolving door for exercise, to improve their health after drinking a Diet Snapple. Cliff Freeman won the account in May 2004 from Deutsch in New York. Snapple spent about $10-15 million in measured media in 2004 and nearly $30 million from January to September of 2005, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus.

Kaplan Nabs $85 Mil. Office Depot Creative Chores

NEW YORK Kaplan Thaler Group won the $85 million creative duties for Office Depot following a review, sources said. Estimated billings are $85 million. Kaplan Thaler here outpaced Publicis sibling Leo Burnett in Chicago and The Martin Agency, an IPG shop in Richmond, Va., in the final round. The incumbent, Omnicom’s BBDO in New York, did not participate. Joanne Davis Consulting in New York oversaw the process. Neither the agency nor the consultancy could be reached. A client rep declined to confirm the win.

TBWA\C\D Retains Creative on Ask Jeeves Following Review

NEW YORK The San Francisco office of Omnicom’s TBWA\Chiat\Day last month retained U.S. creative duties on Web portal Ask Jeeves after a review, sources said. Ask Jeeves parent IAC/ InterActive Corp. is expected to spend up to $30 million to relaunch the brand this year —a substantial uptick from the $5 million annual spend of recent years, said sources. IAC CEO Barry Diller has suggested that Ask Jeeves may be renamed with an emphasis on its “ask” capabilities. The client talked to several shops before narrowing its search to TBWA\C\D and Hanft Unlimited, a New York independent that handles IAC’s, said sources.

Starcom Retains Kellogg’s $500 Mil. Media Buying Duties

NEW YORK Kellogg has retained Publicis’ Starcom to handle buying chores on its U.S. account. Estimated billings exceed $500 million. Starcom, which already handles media planning and was the incumbent buyer, competed against Aegis’ Carat and WPP’s MindShare, which both handle planning and buying assignments for the cereal maker in markets outside the U.S. The contest was procurement-based, according to sources, as Kellogg is said to be looking to streamline its costs and improve its profit margins.

News Roundup

WPP Group’s relationship-marketing shop Wunderman in New York on Wednesday acquired Bridge Worldwide, an interactive agency in Cincinnati. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. … Cereal Partners has expanded its relationship with McCann Erickson, shifting creative chores on its Cheerios brand for markets outside North America to the IPG agency. McCann’s London office took over Jan. 1 on the estimated $15-20 million assignment from Publicis’ Saatchi & Saatchi. … Omnicom’s TBWA\London won creative duties on a new global account from Adecco, the Swiss job recruitment firm, sources said. Billings are about $30 million. … Pier 1 will seek out creative resources beyond its lead agency, IPG’s Deutsch in New York. A joint statement read, “Pier 1 Imports and Deutsch have mutually agreed to a non-exclusive creative arrangement.” … Michael Vale, the actor who portrayed Fred the Baker in Dunkin’ Donuts ads in the ’80s and ’90s, died on Dec. 24 due to complications from diabetes. He was 83. Originally from Brooklyn, Vale portrayed the baker from 1982 to 1997.