KarshHagan’s Wicked Agency Warfare

 

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Check out this sly campaign developed by Karsh\Hagan to try and grab up the Pearl Izumi account when, we suppose, CP+B let go of the Boulder-based shoe brand they’d been working on in exchange for Nike. (See Crispin’s work here as a reminder.) Apparently, the posters were mailed to the client’s offices and the site backed up the messaging.

We love when shops do this kind of thing and we’d love to see more of it out there. It shows hunger, confidence and cut-throat competitiveness. The effort won Bronze at the ADCD show in the Guerrilla / Non-traditional Media / Campaign category. How’s it hit you?

Comments

  1. David Burn October 6, 2008

    Interesting campaign, but I’m

    Interesting campaign, but I’m not sure I’d want to remind anyone that “We are not Crispin.” It’s not exactly a motivational message, given Crispin’s cultural currency.

  2. patrick October 6, 2008

    nice.

    nice.

  3. Michael Wilson October 6, 2008

    Nice job guys. Good luck.

    Nice job guys. Good luck.

  4. larry hinkle October 6, 2008

    good stuff.

    good stuff.

  5. HisFantastic October 6, 2008

    I liked it the first time

    I liked it the first time when it read, “Avis – we try harder.”

  6. Crock October 6, 2008

    I’m with the Egotist: I like

    I’m with the Egotist: I like me some balls.

    Wait, that didn’t come out right.

  7. Commander Zoloft October 6, 2008

    I disagree with David Burn.

    I disagree with David Burn. Given Crispin’s fickleness, self-professed mercenary attitudes and recent stumbles (Miller Lite, Ask.com. Nike — fairly or not, even the Microsoft campaign is widely derided as a flop), it might not hurt to let prospective clients know that you are not just a flash in the pan.

  8. m. westfield October 6, 2008

    if you are a client who would

    if you are a client who would like to form a long term relationship instead of a wham, bam, thank you ma’am, then i think this is spot on. the web site doesn’t load for me though, just get an empty white page, anyone else?

  9. David Burn October 6, 2008

    Clients are people too,

    Clients are people too, people with egos, exp. accounts and so on. As a client, you want to make a splash. Hiring Crispin is the sort of splash you want to make.

    Commander Zoloft’s examples of where CP+B went wrong may or may not be well known outside agency circles. My guess is not.

  10. Daylight October 6, 2008

    I admire the guts it took to

    I admire the guts it took to do this – but it would hit me better if it worked. Anyone know how Pearl Izumi reacted to this (outside of not giving them the business)?

    Here’s a question:
    This campaign ultimately was a failure. Karsh didn’t get the business, and they won an award for it. Huh? SO, would you feel the same way if these ads were for an actual paying client, and that client ultimately had to layoff employees b/c their ads didn’t generate sales and revenue for the company?

  11. Paul Suggett

    Paul Suggett October 6, 2008

    I’m split on this one. I love

    I’m split on this one. I love it when shops show attitude and have “balls” but it seems a little like the Presidential campaign right now. Vote for me, the other guys sucks. And I don’t think it would take Crispin too long to put out some ads with stats that crap all over Karsh & Hagan. Remember the old Avis/Hertz war?

  12. Daylight October 6, 2008

    Never mind 😉

    Never mind 😉

  13. patrick October 6, 2008

    so they didn’t land PI. no

    so they didn’t land PI. no worries, they’re making headlines and getting noticed. one could argue that constitutes success.

    what’s more, it’s good to see a denver agency aggressively pursue a national account. why the hell should denver shops cower in cpb’s shadow?

  14. Commander Zoloft October 6, 2008

    “Commander Zoloft’s examples

    “Commander Zoloft’s examples of where CP+B went wrong may or may not be well known outside agency circles. My guess is not.”

    I wouldn’t be so sure about that. Miller Lite and Orville Redenbacher received considerable coverage. And even though it’s still too early to say whether the Microsoft campaign will ultimately be successful or not, the widespread perception is that the Jerry Seinfeld/Bill Gates commercials were yanked off the air because they were an abysmal failure. And not just in trade publications, but in the pages of the mainstream press such as “Newsweek.”

    While they still do good work, Crispin’s aura of invincibility has been tarnished. That’s something that any competent marketing manager would discover after performing even the minimal amount of due diligence.

    All of which Karsh/Hagen smart to position themselves as a less flashy, more reliable alternative to Crispin. Such an approach won’t appeal to all clients, but it may connect with those who want an agency who won’t toss them aside when a better opportunity comes along.

  15. Chris Reinhard October 6, 2008

    Gotta give them credit for

    Gotta give them credit for taking a shot; but I think it’s always hard to get completely behind something when it even hints at this kind of cattiness (nice call, Paul Suggett).

    Shouldn’t we be looking at the quality of the design and copy, though? Those are both pretty decent and edgy in the right ways.

  16. kyle October 6, 2008

    pretty lame if you ask me.

    pretty lame if you ask me. I’m sure no one will ever mix up the 2 agencies, or one agency and one little shop. just an example of an annoying little fly trying to get some attention of the big boys. try harder

  17. Chris October 6, 2008

    Didnt Pearl Izumi go with

    Didnt Pearl Izumi go with Goodness MFG, essentially still Crispin, just people that left? I guess CPB still wins there too.

  18. kyl3 October 6, 2008

    “Shouldn’t we be looking at

    “Shouldn’t we be looking at the quality of the design and copy, though? Those are both pretty decent and edgy in the right ways.”

    pretty crappy if you ask me

  19. comparison man October 6, 2008

    It would have been more

    It would have been more impressive if the design and typography was as nicely done as the original campaign. The way it was reproduced here looks amateur, and doesn’t help amplify the concept. Take the site comps, for example, which are trying to match what “texuremedia” did, and not CPB (btw). The callouts, buttons, and typography all feel a little clunky and not polished…
    anyway…

  20. madwoman October 6, 2008

    I’m Karsh/Hagan and I’m a PC.

    I’m Karsh/Hagan and I’m a PC.

  21. B. Suter October 6, 2008

    I give them props for taking

    I give them props for taking a chance.

    I think the type isn’t the best, and the letter spacing & line spacing could be better… but the idea behind them is good – especially the first ad shown.

  22. Paul Suggett

    Paul Suggett October 6, 2008

    Crispin could use almost the

    Crispin could use almost the same line in fact: “WE ARE NOT KARSH & HAGAN” and then say why. Something tells me they have bigger fish to fry though. How many times have they won agency of the year?

  23. patrick October 6, 2008

    yeah, screw it. really, what

    yeah, screw it. really, what kind of agency would want crispin’s sloppy seconds anyway? shit, most brands probably just give up advertising all together after getting dumped by such a great fuck, i mean shop, i mean agency.

    lesson here is don’t challenge CPB – every sycophant looking for a gig there will crucify you.

  24. Ben LaGrone for Petty Dictator October 6, 2008

    Seeing how the Crispin

    Seeing how the Crispin campaign was such a dog:
    I can see why they quit the client; I would have too, in shame.
    It deserves to be mocked.
    Their campaign was a little bit catty…

    There are simply too many design firms.

  25. Tyler G October 6, 2008

    lame. the link on the bottom

    lame. the link on the bottom doesn’t even work

  26. Chris October 6, 2008

    maybe when karsh/hagan gets

    maybe when karsh/hagan gets even close to competing on crispins level, they should consider doing this. until then, i think its bold -give em credit for that, but not the best move.

  27. James Gardiner October 7, 2008

    The link may not work… but I

    The link may not work… but I love it!!!

  28. stevehappens October 7, 2008

    Karsh/Hagan = OOOOOH SNAP!

    Karsh/Hagan = OOOOOH SNAP!

  29. Marvin October 7, 2008

    If you rip off someone else’s

    If you rip off someone else’s campaign, the rule is, you have to do it better, not worse.

  30. harry October 7, 2008

    All’s fair in love and war,

    All’s fair in love and war, but who the fuck set that type? Sweet Jesus.

  31. kyl3 October 7, 2008

    If you’re to rip you must do

    If you’re to rip you must do it better. Must. And texture executed the design/concepts, then later did enhancements to the site.

  32. Schwaggen October 14, 2008

    “Anyone can write a few

    “Anyone can write a few breakthrough ads. Creating breakthrough brands requires a different level of commitment.”

    1.) Sorry-Not anyone can write a few breakthrough ads. It’s harder than that

    2.) Truth. Shimano. IKEA. Mini. Virgin. Molson. BK. VW.

    Just a few of the CPB breakthrough brands.

    K/H’s list?

    PS: your typography blows overall. And the bad mid 90’s photoshop distressed type, well – I liked it the first time I saw it in your ad-school grad portfolio.

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