The Most Innovative, Idiotic, Hated, and Envied Ad Agency Today

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Many of the most recognizable, creative, inane, offensive, and juvenile ads today come from one advertising agency: Crispin, Porter + Bogusky. In the latest issue of Creative Review, Eliza Williams looks at what makes the agency so widely popular and intensely reviled at the same time. Here are a few of their recent ad campaigns:

— Innovative: Whopper Sacrifice Facebook application, written about on this website.
— Sophomoric: Whopper Freakout Ads, where surly Burger King customers, deprived of Whoppers, threaten employees on hidden cameras.
— Funny: Hulu’s ads starring Alec Baldwin.
— Confusing: The Microsoft ads starring Bill Gates and Jerry Seinfeld.
— Culturally insensitive (and borderline imperialistic): Whopper Virgins ads, which feature taste tests given to people supposedly untouched by fast food advertising.

The company’s mastery of digital advertising began back in 2004 with the Subservient Chicken website, a collaboration with the Barbarian Group marketing firm. Now the CP + B “has been heralded by many as representing a model for the ad agency of the future,” according to Creative Review. The root of their success may lie in the offense people seem to take at their advertising. Williams writes, “Its work may not be pretty, and it may at times centre on a certain style of frat boy humour, but it will always get our attention and get us talking.”

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