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The coolest deciduous dude you’ll ever meet, Ticket Oak always has tickets to the hottest games and concerts, is a member of the Advertising Hall of Fame and, in his off-time, loves to ride a Chestnut mare. But for the whole strange story, you’ll have to see StubHub’s just-launched Spring-Summer campaign. Created by agency-of-record Duncan/Channon (that’s us), fresh from its 4A’s O’Toole win for last year’s StubHub media plan, the new spots are focused on concert tickets and running on, among others, Jimmy Kimmel, American Idol, SNL and Mad Men. In addition, StubHub is sponsoring the Billboard, CMT and iHeartRadio awards, summer festival coverage on Pitchfork, and NPR’s First Listen Live, among a variety of rockin’ programming. And print ads will appear alongside music coverage in US Weekly and Entertainment Weekly. StubHub and Ticket Oak, we salute you.

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At the American Association of Advertising Agencies’ annual conference in LA yesterday, Duncan/Channon took home the O’Toole Award for Media Excellence in the Small Agency category for StubHub. In addition to a handsome two-foot-high black statue that would not have been out of place in the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey, the agency receives $10,000 that it is invited to donate to charity (good thing, because otherwise media honcho Leslie Diard might head to Vegas and celebrate by putting it all on black).

In keeping with the mission of the 4A’s O’Toole Awards, the Media Excellence category awards the agency for a body of work. In the past, Duncan/Channon was a finalist three years in a row for the O’Toole Award for Creative Excellence.

“We believe great ideas are as likely to come from media as from creative – that’s why we put so much emphasis on collaboration,” said agency president Robert Duncan. “And this campaign is proof. We couldn’t be more proud of Leslie Diard and her communications planning team. And for me, it was a special honor to accept the award – mostly because it’s the only time they’ll ever let me touch the thing.”

Tying into D/C’s Ticket Oak TV, outdoor and digital campaign, the media campaign honored yesterday involved custom partnerships with FX’s “The League” and with Rolling Stone in a special Venues that Rock program, as well as StubHub-branded food trucks offering Ticket Oak karaoke, free hot dogs and sports- and music-related trivia contests outside football and concert venues. The campaign was designed to counter increasingly aggressive competitors and resulted in dramatic increases in traffic and in StubHub’s brand power index. And special thanks to all our team members at StubHub.

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by Adam Flynn, D/C brand strategist

In a paper for the Nesson Center for Internet Geophysics, Tim Hwang and Adi Kamdar argue that the declining effectiveness of standard online advertising (admittedly a debated topic) will push further market consolidation, encroachment on privacy, and blurring of lines between content and advertising. These trends, hotly-discussed last year, show little sign of abating in 2014. So, if we are where they say we are, how might organizations and brands best navigate this transition in a way that leads to positive results for all concerned?

The first step might be making sure you’re not being creepy.

What do we mean by that?

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The next evolution of the Be Heard campaign begins rolling out in print, out-of-home, digital and primetime TV today, including such shows as New Girl, Brooklyn 99, The Bachelor, American Idol (and in April the Mad Men premiere!). The three new spots (one’s out in June), created by D/C and directed by Aaron Ruell, showcase the delightfully close relationships John Muir Health patients develop with their doctors — relationships so close that an entertaining cavalcade of characters feels completely comfortable asking their most embarrassing health questions.

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With over 200 colors and never-before-seen effects, Formula X for Sephora is a breakthrough nail brand designed to speak to the playful, nail-art-loving, color fanatic in every girl. So when Sephora approached Duncan/Channon to launch the brand, the team proposed equally breakthrough marketing: the first social network devoted to nail fans.

With millions of mani photos and polish pins across Instagram and Pinterest, and no other brand harnessing this active audience of online nail mavens, D/C saw the opportunity to create a branded, social environment where nail fanatics could express themselves, get inspired and shop relevant products.

At FormulaX.com, nail fans can upload their most color-drenched visual inspiration – from pics of electric sunsets to funky nail art – and, based on those images, the site’s color matching provides customized shade and polish matches. Users can create profiles to store their favorite art, inspiration and uploads, and follow their favorite Formula X fans as they explore looks. Social scraping and an in-site uploader keep user content fresh in realtime. FormulaX.com also allows fans to filter content by type or popularity, surfacing popular content through a hearting system. The site is searchable by products, colors, tags and users, weaving color, social engagement, inspiration and product stories together in one visually rich experience.

And not to neglect the physical world, as part of the Formula X launch, select nail artists get a cool train case, designed and produced by D/C, and filled with the cool new product.

View the full case study.

The financial downturn has been even harder on consumers with credit issues. Poor money decisions can strand them in a world of no: no approval, no loan, no hope. So when they go to a traditional car dealership, instead of a new ride, they get runaround and refusal.

Enter the DriveTime Credit Rescue Squad.

Two hyper-enthusiastic, hopelessly dorky young women in a homemade rescue vehicle, they’re the heroes of the new D/C-created campaign for America’s number-one used car dealer for people with credit issues. Now when a credit-crunched car shopper has a problem, the Rescue Squad screeches in to deliver them to automotive salvation. Because, in addition to selling cars, DriveTime is a bank that can provide riskier loans.

Shot by comedic directorial team, Adam & Dave, for production company Arts & Sciences, the commercials borrow liberally from old cop shows and buddy flicks to give what is too often a downbeat credit message a fresh, fun spin. The spots begin running today in major markets across the country.

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After an extensive review, Kona Brewing Company has selected Duncan/Channon as agency of record. D/C will lead all strategic branding and creative efforts with the goal of accelerating the growth of this pioneering craft beer brand from Hawaii. The work will include an integrated national marketing campaign, including TV, digital, out-of-home and other traditional and non-traditional media, that launches in second quarter, 2014.

“We wanted a team that would not only bring the best creative and strategic approach, but also truly understand the Kona brand and where it comes from,” said Robert Rentsch, Senior Director of Brand Marketing, at Kona Brewing. “Duncan/Channon demonstrated a rich appreciation and understanding of Hawaii, along with a deep spirit of collaboration. We’re delighted to find such a strong partner as we put our largest media investment behind this fast-growing brand.”

Said ECD Parker Channon: “With parents in the restaurant business in Hawaii, I couldn’t be more excited about Kona Brewing, a brand I know well and enjoy often – albeit responsibly. Mahalo, from all of us.”

Someone needed a date for Tipmas. Or three.

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Case Studies