News

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For yesterday’s midterms, a big chunk of DCers added the title poll worker to their already sparkling resumes. Spearheaded by our own J. Moe who worked the polls in 2016, employees volunteered for training and were assigned to precincts across the Bay Area. The persuasive Ms. Moe even convinced the crotchety old partners to pay for the time off, striking a blow for democracy everywhere. And the fine folks at MediaPost were kind enough to cover the effort.

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DriveTime was purpose-built to be the auto dealer for all those with bad credit. Because it not only offered credit-crunched customers much-needed cars, but also acted as the bank extending loans where other financial institutions wouldn’t. Its proprietary algorithm evaluated consumers in a more holistic way, put tens of thousands behind the wheel and grew the company to a billion-dollar market leader.

But it was that algorithm, along with a suite of other consumer-focused technological innovations, that propelled DriveTime to consider a new, wider audience. The innovative online services they provide, like knowing your down and monthly payments on a particular vehicle in just two minutes, are valuable to any consumer and really represent a smarter car-buying process.

That new direction is front and center in a new $50 million campaign launching today. Shot by the Perlorian Brothers with stunning visual effects by Freefolk, the spots ask the all-important question: if you’re not buying your car at DriveTime, how smart are you?

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We were all touched by the devastating fires and did what we could in the moment, but what about now? With the holidays approaching and media attention turning elsewhere, how can we still help and what are the best places to focus our resources and time?

A group of concerned DCers created the following resource for our people to refer to, but we thought we’d publish it for anyone out there looking to help, too.


Donate money

The easiest way to help is simply to donate money, and there are many legitimate ways to do that. We made our donations to Tipping Point Emergency Relief Fund and did so through Google.org’s fundraising campaign that matches donations up to $1 million.


Donate things

Here’s a link to a community-generated document that outlines household items that are most needed.

The Redwood Empire Food Bank continues to help the community by accepting and distributing non-perishable food donations. You can drop non-perishable food (no glass) at their location at 3990 Brickway Blvd. in Santa Rosa. You can also donate gift cards to Hands on Bay Area.


Donate time

A lot of companies, ours included, offer employees a day (or days) of service option. If yours does, helping out in the North Bay would certainly be a great use of that time. Because while it’s going to take years to recover, a willing pair of hands, even for a day, will help the work go faster. It should be noted that they don’t want people, no matter how well-intentioned, just showing up. Here’s a current list of organizations looking for volunteers.

Together, we can make a real difference. Happy holidays to you all.

Google Analytics map, Mongolia

A quick shout out to the D/C fan (or fans) in Mongolia that visited the site last week. We see you.

Every so often, when heads hang low and the direction forward seems uncertain, our Executive Creative Director emerges from his sanctum sanctorum with an important message on the state of advertising. Whether it’s the entropic role of cognitive dissonance in the brand relationship or the blurring modalities of modern media, his sage words act as a shining beacon lighting the way toward a new dawn of understanding. Please enjoy this latest dispatch. Here’s hoping its wisdom will help us all weather the stormy seas of 2009.

D/C monkey love

Parker, Anne and Joe are out of the office today. We’ll go ahead and assume there’s a good reason.

Cheney, that is. Our esteemed VP was the subject of a recent ad, postcard, DM package and email for CREDO Mobile, created by D/C. CREDO’s mission for the last 22 years has been to support progressive causes, in part through donating a percentage of revenues to progressive nonprofits (ACLU, Doctors without Borders, Greenpeace, etc.). And what they wanted to point out to progressive folks still using other mobile phone companies is that this may not actually be the neutral choice consumers think it is, that some of those other providers are in fact sending political donations to crazy right-wingers — including the aforementioned Dick. Of course, there was no other way to approach this topic but with humor, and today CREDO received the following missive from one of their long distance customers:

To whom it may concern:

As a long term Working Assets (now CREDO) customer, I just have to send you a note to tell you how much I love, love, LOVE your new ad campaign. I received the “Did your phone help elect Bush/Cheney” postcard mailer and not only laughed for 10 minutes, but took the thing to a party this afternoon and shared it with a large group of friends. I’ve worked in marketing for 15 years and never worked for a company that had the you-know-what to send such an honest, irreverently funny, and effective marketing piece. Your marketing department should be commended as should the people that supported using this campaign. BRAVO, BRAVO, BRAVO!!!

Signed a happy, loyal customer!!

P.S. Keep up the great work!

THIS JUST IN: Cheney postcard earns big ups at big marketing website.

St Petersburg lecture poster

D/C’s own rock ’n’ roll expert, Robert Duncan, has just returned from St. Petersburg, Russia, where he delivered a two-hour multimedia presentation on the history of rock to a full house of students and professors. The former managing editor of Creem and author of The Noise: Notes from a Rock ’n’ Roll Era was invited to speak by St. Petersburg State University’s Smolny College, where pop is part of the curriculum. His lecture, titled “The Noise: Notes from a Rock ’n’ Life,” was a 25-year update of his book, covering his experiences with music and musicians from the ’50s to today.

It is probably no happenstance that Duncan’s son, a Russian language major, attends the school, the first liberal arts college in Russia. But when the faculty heard that dear ol’ dad, a widely published critic and scrivener of three books on rock, was coming for a visit, they asked the son to sign him up.

According to the utterly unbiased Duncan, the lecture was a smashing success, with much furious note-taking by the mostly Russian crowd (who are required by the college to learn English) and rousing applause to cap it off. During a Q&A session at the end, one professor politely protested Duncan’s dismissal of prog rock and the band Emerson, Lake and Palmer. Otherwise, controversy was kept to a minimum.

Though Duncan had been counseled that the young audience might be naive about both historical and contemporary rock, there was surprisingly broad recognition when the discussion turned to punk pioneer Patti Smith. And one young Russian, an aspiring rock critic, his blond locks combed over one eye, collared the errant D/C ECD after the lecture to talk about Sufjan Stevens. Another student sporting a jam-band beard danced vigorously in his seat through every song of the presentation, from Elvis’s “Hound Dog” to the Hold Steady’s “Chips Ahoy.” Duncan was later informed that said student usually just talks to himself.

The complete playlist and text of the lecture is posted in the Noise column on this site.

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