It’s official: Advertising is Art

Aug 17, 2017


Division of Labor has launched a new campaign for our new client The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. The campaign pairs popular San Francisco destinations with iconic works of art from the museum’s collection and encourages people to, “See them both.”

For example, the Golden Gate Bridge is juxtaposed against Mark Rothko’s similarly colored painting, No. 14, 1960. While a rainbow flag flying in the Castro sits alongside Ellsworth Kelly’s painting, Spectrum I.

The goal is to inspire the 25 million annual visitors to San Francisco to visit SFMOMA along with the bridge, Alcatraz, cable cars and the like.

When we started the project, our research showed that of the top destinations for tourists coming to San Francisco, museums rarely cracked the top 10. Even though SFMOMA is the largest modern and contemporary art museum in America.

We also found that while the majority of travelers use social media and the internet to plan their trip, 85% of the final decisions are actually made on the ground after people arrive.

So the campaign utilizes a lot of outdoor, along with social, digital and geo fenced mobile to target people while they’re visiting other places around the city.

All the artists’ estates were incredibly generous in letting us use their work. Huge thanks to XYZ who did all final production and helped us ensure that we were reproducing these amazing works of art accurately. And of course, to our amazing partners at SFMOMA. You can check out more of the work here.


B2B? B2C? Both terms need to be retired.

Apr 4, 2017


We’ve all heard more than enough about the consumerization of B2B.

John Becher from SAP said it best when he was encouraging his team to get to know their business customers as individuals and he reminded them that, “Big glass buildings do not buy products. People do.”

It’s a great thought. Yet, consumer brands have arguably taken more cues from business advertising than the other way around. And it’s time for both terms to retire to Florida and play shuffleboard full time.

Afterall, there is no distinction between a person “at work” and a person “at home.” They’re always “at both.” We can’t mange to put our phones down at the dinner table. Or stay off Instagram at the conference room table. Our social feeds are full of work-people looking at pictures of our kids. And our work world is forever co-mingling with our personal world.

But the purchase process is the same no matter how long the purchase funnel is.

People need awareness. People want brand value. People read information and content about a category and products. People consult friends and colleagues. And ultimately, people make emotional decisions based on rational input because that’s the way people are.

Humans are just an emotional bundle of baggage no matter their physical location. They’re distracted and insecure and in need of praise and the feeling that they made the right decision whether their boss is judging them or their spouse is judging them.

SAP, IBM, GE and HP have done some of the world’s best advertising. Is it business to business?

Apple, Nike, AT&T and VW have done some of the world’s best advertising. Is consumer advertising?

Marty Homlish, EVP and chief customer experience officer at HP sums it all up this way: In today’s networked world, terms like B2B and B2C are no longer relevant—it is all about B2C. Whether you are a CEO or a CPA, you can be a consumer anywhere and at anytime. You can window shop, read and write reviews, bargain hunt, or bespoke until you drop. And when you go back to being a CEO or CPA, you want the same always-on, simple experience in your “B2B” world since there is no longer a distinction between what hat you are wearing.”


It’s Easier to See the Puck in Person

Mar 1, 2017

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One of the biggest problems with NHL Hockey is that it’s a tough sport to watch on TV. You can’t see the puck. It moves too fast and it’s just too small.

So this season, we’ve been hiding custom pucks all around the Bay Area that say, “It’s easier to see the puck in person.” Find a puck and there’s a code on the back that gets you free tickets to a Sharks game.

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The whole thing plays out on Snapchat where we give clues to where the pucks are hidden. People who find them become part of the Snapchat story. And their followers get introduced to the Sharks and the whole thing is one big happy social circle. And when people are reminded of how much a better a Sharks game is in person, they’re a lot more likely to go again.


The Oakland A’s star for BART.

May 13, 2016

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Besides being good baseball players, the Oakland A’s are pretty good actors too. A’s pitcher Sean Doolittle and pitching coach Curt Young star in a new spot that has the pitching coach hanging around a BART station with a radar gun clocking the train’s speed. While Sean Doolittle wonders, exactly, what the heck is wrong with Curt?

Both the guys are great on camera and with just 2 hours to shoot the entire thing, they had to take direction really well And they did.

Big thanks to Lou Weinert our DP, Tom Ruge AD and our own Christine Hurty who produced the venture.

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The campaign also includes a new outdoor component that uses BART’s iconic station maps, designed originally in 1956. We used the map artwork, but changed the station names to read as headlines to remind commuters about all they could do on the BART line after work hours.

One reminds people that, “Between work and home there are 5 concert venues to help you forget about work.” While another stays with the A’s theme and asks, “Who wants to work when you could heckle the Yankees?”

The Detour on TBS

Apr 11, 2016

The Detour Social

The Detour on TBS just started and it’s pretty messed up. Written by the husband and wife, comedy superteam Jason Jones and Samantha Bee, the show is about a family road trip gone way, way bad. We worked with TBS to create launch materials, but honestly, the biggest challenge was how do you advertise a show that has strip clubs, menstruation, cocaine and trucker pee in the first episode alone? You animate it! Working with our friends at Oddfellows and Tonefarmer, we had in-depth conversations about proper bong technique, the sound a ball makes when it hits someone in the nuts and how much vomit is too much. Promos just started running last week and have over 1.6 million views in just the first week. This is our fourth project for TBS and we can’t thank the folks in Atlanta and LA enough. Check out some of the work here, but really, watch the show. Just not with the kids.



Who We Are

Division of Labor is an advertising agency, not a government agency. So if your nanny is in the country illegally, we really don't care.

Contact Us

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Sausalito, CA 94965


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Laura McAllister Davis


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