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Advertising Age - Latest News

Get all the latest advertising & marketing news from Advertising Age - the premier source since 1930! - click to get the breaking news now.


Pellington Joins Washington Square, Furlined Signs Razvi

Wed, 23 Aug 2017 15:31:00 -0400


New York-based Washington Square Films has signed director Mark Pellington for U.S. commercial representation. Pellington's career began as a music video director and he went to work on short films, television, documentaries, narrative features, 3D concerts, commercials and more. He recently directed a series of branded films entitled "Soul of the Machine" for Aston Martin starring Tom Brady. In the past year, his work has included executive producing and directing for NBC drama series "Blindspot" and helming the feature film "The Last Word," starring Shirley MacLaine and Amanda Seyfried, which debuted at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival. Upcoming work includes the feature drama "Nostalgia" starring Jon Hamm.

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Marketer's Brief: Why Panera Put Sugar Content on Cups

Wed, 23 Aug 2017 15:02:00 -0400


Welcome to the latest edition of Marketer's Brief, a quick take on marketing news, moves and trends from Ad Age's reporters and editors. Send tips/suggestions to

So much for grams. In this week's Brief find out why Panera is showing sugar content in teaspoons -- and slapping it on cups. Meanwhile, another restaurant chain is trying to have some fun with protest imagery. Risky? Or smart? Read on to find out more

'We're not here to be the food police'

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Agencies Should Lead the 'Quality Scale' Transformation

Wed, 23 Aug 2017 15:00:31 -0400


In the 2000s, agencies were profitably mastering "quality" niche marketing with "new" media like cable, direct marketing and customized print.

By 2013, ad tech almost wholesale displaced "quality" in favor of "quantity." Clients began to value "predictable scale" more than the unpredictable outcomes of "quality" advertising. In the quality-versus-quantity battle, the quality camp has been on the defensive.

But the real change today is an emerging business model around quality scale.

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#Hashtag10: A Look Back at the 10 Tags That Shaped Advertising

Wed, 23 Aug 2017 14:35:55 -0400


Twitter gave birth to the hashtag, but it has since become part of the broader online vernacular. Hashtags are as essential to advertising as jingles and taglines -- they've jumped from one screen onto the next in TV ads and even appear in print. The hashtag has #transcended. On Wednesday, the hashtag also celebrated its tenth birthday.

In its decade, the humble hashtag has served to chronical our collective pop-cultural memories. If it's trending on Twitter, you can bet it's got a hashtag. What is Charlie Sheen without #tigerblood? Sometimes we still wonder: #hasjustinelandedyet?

Hashtags have proven sticky (and often risky -- we're looking at you McDonald's) for brands too. Just watch Super Bowl commercials to see how deeply hashtags have penetrated marketing, the great campaigns of the past decade almost always have a hashtag. Here are 10 of the most memorable hashtags in marketing from the past decade.

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WPP Will Barely Grow This Year -- Sorrell Points to Packaged-Goods as Culprits

Wed, 23 Aug 2017 13:52:00 -0400


Blaming spending cuts from major consumer packaged-goods marketers who provide 30% of its revenue, the world's largest holding company, WPP, slashed its full-year forecast today to miniscule growth of zero to 1%.

The picture is especially grim in North America, where like-for-like net sales fell by 3.3% in the second quarter, and by 2.2% in the first half of 2017. North America accounts for 38% of WPP's business.

In a call with U.S. analysts, CEO Martin Sorrell cited a "trifecta of digital disruption, zero-based budgeting and active investors" that is pressuring ad spending from major consumer packaged-goods marketers in particular.

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Anomaly Set to Win Carnival Cruise Creative Account

Wed, 23 Aug 2017 13:44:19 -0400


Carnival Cruise Line is set to name MDC Partners' Anomaly its new creative agency of record, following a competitive review, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

The agencies in the final round of the review, which was run by SRI, included Anomaly, Droga5 and R/GA, these people say. Representatives from Anomaly and SRI declined to comment. Havas' Arnold previously handled the account but did not defend the business.

Not counting the costs of buying ad inventory, the budget on the account comprises some $60 million, according to people familiar with the business.

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What Trump's Refusal to Stop Using Rolling Stones Songs Says About Him

Wed, 23 Aug 2017 13:00:00 -0400


It seems like it was just a week ago (probably because it was) that President Trump made headlines by going after the Chinese (once again) -- this time in a really specific way. As Variety's Ted Johnson reported on Aug. 14,

President Donald Trump signed an executive order to give the green light to a potential investigation into unfair Chinese trade practices, including the theft of intellectual property, in a move that may eventually lead to tariffs on some imports. "We will combat the counterfeiting and piracy that destroys American jobs," Trump said in brief remarks at the White House.

On the surface ot it, this makes sense. Trump, the master marketer, understands IP. (Much of his success in real estate has involved licensing his brand to other developers rather than putting up buildings himself.) And yet, as the Daily News reports,

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Salesforce Growth Continues Despite Lack of Acquisitions

Wed, 23 Aug 2017 11:39:53 -0400


Salesforce has raised its revenue forecast for the fiscal year, showing confidence that its expanded lineup of cloud-based software will continue to attract new business.

The company projected annual sales of as much as $10.4 billion. Analysts, meanwhile, estiamted on average $10.3 billion in sales.

The San Francisco-based company is pouring money into marketing tools, artificial intelligence and e-commerce services in the hopes of bolstering growth. Chief Executive Officer Marc Benioff -- a longtime advocate of cloud-based software for businesses -- is trying to find new ways to lure customers away from rivals such as Oracle and Microsoft.

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Amazon's Ad Business Is Already (Frighteningly) Big. We Just Don't Know Exactly How Big

Wed, 23 Aug 2017 11:30:00 -0400


Ad Age's Scanner is your mobile-ready executive summary: must-know media and marketing news summed up in 400 words or less.

As Angela Doland noted in this morning's Ad Age Wake-Up Call, WPP is cutting its full-year forecast, predicting 0-1% revenue growth. That news has resulted in the market hammering WPP's share price, overshadowing another striking stat that emerged in the global ad giant's earnings call. Business Insider's Shona Ghosh writes this about something WPP chief Sir Martin Sorrell said this morning:

During WPP's half-year earnings call, he estimated that Amazon had earned $2.5 billion (1.95 billion) from digital advertising. He didn't give a time frame, but the wider context of his remarks was digital ad spend in 2016.

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CP&B Taps Forsman & Bodenfors Leader as Next Global CEO

Wed, 23 Aug 2017 10:00:00 -0400


CP&B is naming Erik Sollenberg, CEO of Swedish agency Forsman & Bodenfors, as global chief executive. He will share the role with current Global CEO Lori Senecal until she retires at the end of the year.

The appointment comes about a year after MDC Partners acquired Forsman & Bodenfors, an agency known for strong creative shops, and forged a global partnership between it and CP&B.

Sollenberg will relocate from Sweden to CP&B's Boulder headquarters in early September to take on the new role. Forsman & Bodenfors Art Director Silla Levin succeed him as CEO of the Swedish shop.

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Ad Age Wake-Up Call: Google and Walmart Partner Up, While WPP Cuts Its Forecast

Wed, 23 Aug 2017 06:00:00 -0400


Good morning. Welcome to Ad Age's Wake-Up Call, our daily roundup of advertising, marketing and digital-related news. What people are talking about today: Google and Walmart are teaming up on an online shopping partnership, forming a united front against Amazon. Or as The New York Times puts it, "Google and Walmart are testing the notion that an enemy's enemy is a friend." Google Express, the internet giant's online marketplace, will offer Walmart products. And shoppers will be able to voice-order Walmart products using Google's virtual assistant, The Wall Street Journal reports. Amazon controlled almost 45 cents out of every dollar spent online last month, according to data from Slice Intelligence, the Journal says. For Walmart, the figure is 2 cents.

WPP shares plummet

WPP cut its full-year revenue forecast, predicting revenue growth between zero and 1% this year. Previously, it had predicted 2% growth. WPP's share price fell up to 12% after the company released its first-half earnings, and Bloomberg News said it was the biggest drop in 17 years. Agency holding companies have been hurting as some clients trim advertising budgets. UK-based WPP, the biggest agency company by revenue, singled out "pressure on client spending in the second quarter, particularly in the fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) or packaged goods sector." WPP also says it bought independent brand design agency, Design Bridge, which has about 400 people in London, Amsterdam, New York and Singapore.

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Why Progressive CMOs Are Already Testing VR

Wed, 23 Aug 2017 02:00:00 -0400


Creating more immersive experiences has been the goal of storytellers since humans first gathered around the campfire and added a lion's roar to their tale of the hunt. The stunt-loving film director William Castle electrified seats in the '50s for "The Tingler" to literally add extra shock value! John Waters infamously included "Odorama" scratch and sniff cards for screenings of his 1981 cult classic, "Polyester." More recently, 4D theaters have been offering wind, water, smells, jostles and even pokes in the back to make sure we are transported beyond the humdrum.

Not to be left behind, brand storytellers are joining this "experience rush" by testing relatively new media platforms like virtual reality. Recognizing this trend, Zoo, the creative think tank at Google, initiated an anthropological study on VR 180-degree and 360-degree video. Zoo is now working with brands to capitalize on its findings. To understand what all this means for CMOs, I interviewed Abigail Posner, head of strategic planning at Zoo. A student of anthropology herself, Posner's insights reveal a world of opportunity, especially if marketers are prepared to approach these channels with open minds.

What were some of the key findings from the study?

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London Calling For Brexit Fix: Ad Trade Fights Back

Wed, 23 Aug 2017 01:00:00 -0400


There is a huge client in dire need of marketing in the U.K., and the stakes couldn't be higher for advertisers. That's because the brand most in need of a good solid pitch is U.K. advertising itself.

Britain officially voted to leave the European Union on June 23, 2016. Since the Brexit vote, the pound has collapsed, inflation has shot up, and a new prime minister has taken office. But as the country negotiates its March 2019 departure from the EU, the true consequences of Brexit are still unknown despite much speculation and controversy.

As one ad exec says, "We've jumped out of the 54th floor and we've gone past the 32nd, but we've not hit the ground yet."

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Trump Won't Be Pleased By His Latest TV Ratings

Tue, 22 Aug 2017 18:46:16 -0400


If recent history and his Twitter feed are any indication, President Trump may respond to his latest ratings stumble with the all-purpose invective "Fake News!" But the fact of the matter remains: As with the turnout for his inauguration, the Donald can't seem to muster the big TV crowds his predecessor commanded.

According to Nielsen live-plus-same-day data, the president's 9 p.m. EDT address to the nation on Monday averaged some 27.7 million viewers across the top broadcast and cable news networks, 32% fewer than the 40.8 million viewers who tuned in for President Obama's analogous Afghanistan speech in December 2009.

Trump's final numbers may inch upwards by a few million viewers once deliveries from smaller networks are tossed into the final mix.

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Out of Print: A Look Back at Iconic Village Voice Covers

Tue, 22 Aug 2017 17:09:10 -0400


Yuppies, bankers, vampire politicians, Republicans, and any number of New York poseurs can sleep a little easier tonight. The Village Voice is ending its print run.

The progressive free weekly has been a dying a medium for years, strangled by Craigslist and put out of its misery by Google, Facebook and, well, internet porn. But this feels like a final blow: Now even the Voice -- an icon of New York culture -- has been silenced on sidewalks.

The historic alt-weekly pioneer has been a free fixture in New York media since 1955 (though it wasn't always free), co-founded by Norman Mailer, Ed Rancher and Dan Wolf. It was home to journalists like Jack Newfield, Nat Hentoff, Tom Robbins, Ken Auletta and too many to name.

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Watch the Newest Ads on TV From Starbucks, Marriott, Walmart and More

Tue, 22 Aug 2017 15:55:00 -0400


Every weekday, we bring you the Ad Age/iSpot Hot Spots, new TV commercials tracked by, the real-time TV ad measurement company with attention and conversion analytics from 10 million smart TVs. The ads here ran on national TV for the first time yesterday.

A few highlights: The world's most famous gecko visits Coney Island in a Geico ad that slyly references his TV career. The Youngbloods' "Get Together" serves as the soundtrack for a feel-good Walmart commercial about diversity. And a spot that calls attention to the 10,000-plus veterans and military spouses hired by Starbucks shares some of the (jarringly) pointed questions that people ask of veterans -- including "Have you ever killed anyone?"

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Facebook Lets Publishers Put Logos Next to Headlines

Tue, 22 Aug 2017 14:55:00 -0400


Facebook, giving back publishers a piece of their identities, is letting them display their logos alongside headlines. It's a move meant to appease media partners that feel they've lost the power of their brands when posting articles to social media.

On Tuesday, the social network released new tools for publishers to show their logos next to headlines in the trending and search sections so readers know the source of the information. Brand recognition is no small issue for publishers, who have been lamenting the loss of their brands in social media news feeds, where all headlines and story layouts tend to look the same.

The uniformity of Facebook's style has absorbed the distinct newsroom styles of classic publications ranging from The New York Times and Washington Post to Vanity Fair and Sports Illustrated.

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Why AT&T Could Put the TV Advertising Revolution on Hold

Tue, 22 Aug 2017 14:24:37 -0400


Like an army amassing troops on the border, AT&T is inspiring a lot of speculation about what it plans to do next. Once the Time Warner merger is complete, will the company sell CNN, forever altering the cable news landscape? Will it snuff out the creative spark at Time Warner, forcing HBO to produce short, mobile-friendly episodes of beloved shows?

Most urgently, will it revolutionize TV advertising?

Because, yes, with the pending acquisition of Time Warner, AT&T is well-positioned to fundamentally change how television ads are bought and sold. Take the content from Time Warner and DirectTV, combine it with AT&T's ever-expanding trove of subscription data, then add Brian Lesser -- the former GroupM CEO who joined AT&T this month to lead a mysterious new advertising division -- and you've got a solid blueprint for disruption.

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Making Sense of the Dramatic Purge at the LA Times

Tue, 22 Aug 2017 13:45:00 -0400


Props to the Los Angeles Times for a story about its internal drama that's as blunt as what just happened: "Ross Levinsohn is named the new publisher and CEO of the L.A. Times as top editors are ousted."

Times reporter Meg James writes,

In a dramatic shake-up at the Los Angeles Times, the Chicago-based parent company has installed new leadership ... Ross Levinsohn, 54, a veteran media executive who worked at Fox and served as interim chief of Yahoo, was named publisher and chief executive of the 135-year-old news organization. The move was announced Monday by Justin C. Dearborn, chief executive of Tronc, the parent company of The Times and eight other daily newspapers. Jim Kirk, 52, a veteran Chicago news executive, who was publisher and editor of the Chicago Sun-Times until last week, was named interim executive editor of The Times.

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The Village Voice Is Killing Off Its Print Edition

Tue, 22 Aug 2017 13:15:00 -0400


The Village Voice, the legendary New York alternative newsweekly, announced today that it's killing off its print edition. It will continue to publish online. Per a statement issued by the paper:

The announcement comes as part of the ongoing effort by owner Peter Barbey, who purchased the Voice in October 2015 from Voice Media Group, to revitalize and reimagine the Village Voice brand. "When The Village Voice was converted into a free weekly in an effort to boost circulation back in 1996, it was at a time when Craigslist was in its infancy, Google and Facebook weren't yet glimmers in the eyes of their founders, and alternative weeklies -- and newspapers everywhere -- were still packed with classified advertising," Mr. Barbey said.

"Clearly a lot has changed since then. That business has moved online -- and so has the Voice's audience, which expects us to do what we do not just once a week, but every day, across a range of media, from words and pictures to podcasts, video, and even other forms of print publishing. This decision will allow us to move forward more freely in our pursuit of all of those avenues so that The Village Voice brand is not just once again viable, but vital."

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Revealed: What Sofia Vergara, Jim Parsons, Mark Harmon and Other TV Stars Make

Tue, 22 Aug 2017 12:30:00 -0400


Variety is out this morning with its annual TV talent salary survey and it's really good news for the 86 drama, comedy, reality and news stars on the list.

Some of the dollar signs attached to names won't be a surprise, as they've been reported elsewhere; e.g., Stephen Colbert and Jimmy Kimmel are each paid an estimated $15 million per year to host their respective late night talk shows, while Jimmy Fallon edges them both out with a $16 million paycheck. But it turns out the really big money (at last for effort expended) is going to a late-night retiree. Per Variety:

How badly did Netflix want David Letterman on its platform? Enough to pay him an estimated $2 million per episode for a six-episode commitment for an in-depth interview series. That number has sent jaws dropping throughout the unscripted TV community.

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LinkedIn Debuts 'Native Video,' Looks More Like Facebook

Tue, 22 Aug 2017 08:45:00 -0400


LinkedIn will start to look even more like Facebook as the business networking site rolls out an option for the sharing of videos on mobile phones. The feature, dubbed "native video" by LinkedIn, will be integrated in the coming weeks.

Videos will autoplay without sound and the company hinted it may ultimately offer brand's the option to promote video posts. Meanwhile, pre- and mid-roll advertising is also on the table and users shouldn't be surprised if they're eventually greeted with something called "LinkedIn Live."

"Live video is an interesting possibility down the road because it helps people add a whole different dimension," says Pete Davies, group product manager at LinkedIn. "There aren't plans today, but there are a lot of interesting features that we're going to look at."

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Snapchat, Instagram Lure Teens Away From Facebook at Increasing Rate

Tue, 22 Aug 2017 08:30:00 -0400



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Analyze This: How Brian Wieser Got To Be the Most-Quoted Man in Advertising

Tue, 22 Aug 2017 07:00:00 -0400


When Brian Wieser strolls the Palais during the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, he flies under the radar. "I'm not a celebrity in the industry. I'm definitely B-list," he says.

While he may go unnoticed at industry events, his analyses are anything but unheeded. When Pivotal Research analyst Wieser speaks, everyone from small investors to holding company titans like WPP's Martin Sorrell listen. His recommendations and reports can lift or sink an advertising or media company stock.

Just ask Snap. When the company launched its initial public offering on March 2, trading opened at $24. That very day, Wieser valued the stock at $10, saying it was "significantly overvalued given the likely scale of its long-term opportunity and the risks associated with executing against that opportunity." Poof went the price: Snap shares as of mid-August traded around $13, down nearly 46% from the opening.

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Kind Isn't Playing Nice as it Bashes Sugary Fruit Snacks

Tue, 22 Aug 2017 07:00:00 -0400


If you're passing by Times Square today, don't be surprised to see statues of kids made of sugar -- well, something that looks like sugar, and it's to make a point. Kind wants you to know kids are taking in too much added sugar -- while also promoting one of its products, Kind Fruit Bites.

Kind's installation is meant to highlight that the average U.S. child consumes about 64 pounds of added sugar a year in foods and drinks, roughly the weight of an average nine-year-old. Along with the statues that resemble children is a temporary art installation that looks like 45,000 pounds of sugar, "the amount that U.S. kids eat every five minutes," says Drew Nannis, head of integrated communications at Kind. (The statues have the look of sugar without the actual sugar so that there's not a swarm of insects.)

The snack bar company has long relied on fruits, nuts, and seeds for its products, but it too is no stranger to sugar. Many of its snack bars contain sugar and some also have glucose syrup. "We have nothing against sugar," Nannis said.

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Ad Age Wake-Up Call: Will a Chinese Car Company Buy Jeep? and Other News to Know Today

Tue, 22 Aug 2017 06:00:00 -0400


Good morning. Welcome to Ad Age's Wake-Up Call, our daily roundup of advertising, marketing and digital-related news. What people are talking about today: Ad Age's must-read interview with the enfant terrible of advertising, Jason M. Peterson, who is Havas' co-chairman and chief creative officer, not to mention an Instagram photographer with 1 million followers.

In a Q&A with Ad Age editor Brian Braiker, Peterson aims some zingers at the industry ("advertising right now is in this creative fucking nowhere's land") and predicts where things are going. "Unless a brand really has a social voice, unless they stand for a set of beliefs, unless they're a social brand, they're not going to exist two years from now. Most CMOs are scared. Most CMOs are admitting to us that they don't know what the fuck they're doing." (Not that anyone's counting, but he dropped the f-bomb 13 times in the interview.)

Great Wall

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Behind Della Femina's Funnyman Facade: 'I Want to Be Known as Somebody'

Tue, 22 Aug 2017 02:00:00 -0400


Jerry Della Femina's reputation as a funnyman and a wiseguy have made it difficult for the ad industry to take him seriously. "I think about that all the time," Jerry admits to me in a video interview prior to his induction into the Advertising Hall of Fame.

"I'm working on my speech and I'm working very hard not to say just three words -- 'It's about time,'" he says with a laugh. "Actually, most people thought I was in the Advertising Hall of Fame. ... Yes, I want to be known as somebody."

Jerry points to the fact that he's been connected to many marketing and client successes, such as Isuzu, Meow Mix, Air Wick, Beck's beer and Blue Nun wine as a reason for the assumption. "You don't get these accounts and you don't move these accounts where they went and where they are by being just a funny guy. There had to be some thinking behind it. And I had wonderful people. I had the best staff anyone has ever had."

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With CNN Show, Snapchat Continues Push To Be New Hub For Young People

Mon, 21 Aug 2017 18:00:00 -0400


Snapchat is rapidly becoming home to news for the teen and tween set. CNN is the latest news organization working with the chat platform on a daily news show.

"The Update" will debut on Monday and air daily at 6 p.m. ET, delivering at least five stories from CNN's news teams around the world and updating with breaking news segments. The show will run about three minutes and CNN promises it won't be dumbing-down the news for the platform.

As Snapchat continues to push into original, TV-like content, it's beginning to find its footing in the news space. NBC News' twice daily show "Stay Tuned," has been watched by 29 million unique viewers since it debuted in mid-July, and Snapchat's first original in-house show, "Good Luck America," saw its viewership climb 53% from its first to second season. Snapchat also airs the pop-culture news show "The Rundown," produced by E! three times per week, and has partnerships with The New York Times, The Washington Post and The Economist, among others, to curate news content.

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Watch the Newest Ads on TV From Geico, Jeep, Wrangler and More

Mon, 21 Aug 2017 16:55:00 -0400


Every weekday, we bring you the Ad Age/iSpot Hot Spots, new TV commercials tracked by, the real-time TV ad measurement company with attention and conversion analytics from 10 million smart TVs. The ads here ran on national TV for the first time over the weekend.

A few highlights: Discount supermarket chain Aldi serves up another one of its comparison-shopping ads -- this time pointing out how much cheaper its house-brand K-Cup coffee pods are versus the Dunkin' Donuts pods sold at other supermarkets. Jeep tells us that "You don't have to be the CEO to enjoy the amenities of the VIP suite" (just climb into your Jeep Compass). And Geico dispenses with its usual comedic tendencies in an ad for its motorcyle insurance set to the Strange Weather song "Little Bit of Light" that simply celebrates the pleaures of "great rides" -- and "great rates."

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