Venables Bell & Partners advertising & marketing assignments

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Venables Bell & Partners is an independent creative agency headquartered in San Francisco, best-known for its often inspired work on the Audi of America account, which forms the bedrock of the business. Another cornerstone advertising client Intel - for whom the agency had also produced a series of creatively brilliant ads - departed at the end of 2014 but Venables Bell bounced back from that blow with a string of account wins, as well as some superb creative work for other clients. It enjoyed a triumphant session at the Cannes Lions advertising festival in 2016, taking home two Grand Prix and a shelfload of metal awards for its #OptOutside campaign for retailer REI. That triumph earned it the title of Breakthrough Agency of the Year from Adweek for 2016. Yet the agency was no newcomer to the industry. Paul Venables and Greg Bell, former colleagues at cross-town rival Goodby Silverstein, jumped ship in 2001 to launch the shop. Bell left in 2009 though his name remains above the door. Venables took on a less day-to-day role of chairman in 2015, passing over the role of chief creative officer to another alumnus of Goodby Silverstein, Will McGinness. Bob Molineaux retired and was succeeded as president by Paul Birks-Hay. Kate Jeffers is partner and president. The agency also operates inhouse units offering production services, social media and customer experience. AdAge estimated revenues of $51m in 2018.

Capsule checked 23rd November 2019

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Recent stories from Adbrands Update:

Adbrands Update 27th Apr 2021: "Goodness From Grit". Wine companies don't generally spend much on advertising, but Constellation Brands' SIMI Winery has forked out top dollar for this origin story. Wisely too, rather than make the film inhouse, they consigned it to Venables Bell & Partners, an agency with plenty of creative imagination. As a result, what might otherwise have been slightly pedestrian hagiography becomes a Sergio Leonesque cinematic epic, complete with mock-Morricone musical score. Despite its length - it's a touch too long at four minutes thirty - its high style and witty script should retain your interest throughout.

Adbrands Update 25th Jan 2021: "Can A Burrito Change The World?". Here come the Super Bowl ads! It's a little under two weeks till the first big advertising event of 2021... and its sporting equivalent of course. As you might expect, this year will be quite a bit different. No crowd for example; also the absence of multiple Super Bowl stalwarts like Coke, Pepsi and Budweiser, who are being supplanted by a plethora of first-time Big Game advertisers. One such is Chipotle Mexican Grill whose admirable spot from Venables Bell & Partners is the best of the early releases so far. It's almost a live action reprise of Chipotle's much loved 'Back To The Start' animation from a whole decade ago. This time, instead of an animated Willie Nelson there's an idealistic kid and his snarky big sis, debating the possibilities of mass-market foods derived only from sustainable methods; that's an issue that has long been close to Chipotle's heart.

Adbrands Daily Update 14th May 2020: Classic Ads: Intel "The Chase" by Venables Bell & Partners (2011). It's one of the inevitable quirks of the industry that the appointment of a new marketing director often (or even usually) leads to a shake-up of the marketing agency roster, and not always for the best. The arrival of Deborah Conrad and Johan Jervoe in Intel's marketing department in the late 2000s resulted in the appointment of Venables Bell as the chipmaker's agency in 2009, and a string of superb campaigns followed....[Story continues here].

Adbrands Social Media 11th Jul 2019: "Back To School". Something about the nature of Post-It Notes just seems to inspire stop-motion animation. It's the idea of those multiple individual frames of course. Venables Bell & Partners have crafted four superb shorts with the help of animation specialist Gentleman Scholar, all designed to highlight the many uses of those ingenious pads for school. All four spots are technologically astonishing.

Adbrands Social Media 12th Mar 2019: "Storm the Court". Venables Bell & Partners' final campaign for soon-to-depart client Reebok is either a work of genius or a bizarre satirical in-joke. To be honest we can't decide. We wondered at first if we were watching a trailer for Jordan Peele's new movie. It's certainly creepy enough for the first half of its running time, before it somehow morphs into a K-Pop music video. Unexpected is right. Still, the client clearly loved it. It will be interesting to see how newly appointed Deutsch build on the Reebok brand once they get their hands on it.

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