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Your Monday Wake-Up Call: Who Wants to Buy Rolling Stone? Plus, Lena Dunham Says Sorry

Mon, 20 Nov 2017 06:00:00 -0500

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Welcome to Ad Age's Wake-Up Call, our daily roundup of advertising, marketing, media and digital-related news. We've got a little news ourselves: You can now get an audio version of this briefing on your Alexa device. Click here, or search for "Ad Age" under "Skills" in the Alexa app.

What people are talking about today: You might have wondered how "Saturday Night Live" would tackle the issue of its star alumnus, comedian-turned-Senator Al Franken, being accused of kissing and groping a woman without her consent. The NBC show didn't let him off the hook, though it didn't totally skewer him, either. (Watch here.) SNL's "Weekend Update" segment broadcast the now-famous shot of Franken placing his hands over radio host Leeann Tweeden's breasts while she slept. "Now I know this photo looks bad, but remember, it also is bad," co-host Colin Jost said. "And sure, this was taken before Franken ran for public office, but it was also taken after he was a sophomore in high school. It's pretty hard to be like, 'Oh, come on, he didn't know any better. He was only 55.'" But did Franken deserve a bigger slap? "Franken himself could have come up with something funnier or more damning than what he got Saturday night," Newsday wrote. Ouch.

On sale now

Continue reading at AdAge.com




Watch the Newest Ads on TV From Apple, Sprite, Toyota and More

Fri, 17 Nov 2017 15:55:00 -0500

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

A few highlights: Apple shows off how its iPad seamlessly fits into one little girl's life (Alexandra Jardine has the backstory: "A Digital Whiz Kid Asks 'What's a Computer?' in Apple's Spot for iPad Pro"). LeBron James (an animated version of him, anyway) hypes Sprite Cranberry. And Subaru promotes its Share the Love sales event with the story of a kid named Matthew who got his wish through the Make-A-Wish Foundation with a little help from Subaru.

Continue reading at AdAge.com




Agency Brief: Socks, Salaries, Students and Starbucks

Fri, 17 Nov 2017 12:00:00 -0500

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Black Friday is officially seven days away get your (physical or digital) shopping bags ready. And don't forget about all those other upcoming days, like Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday and Giving Tuesday.

But before all that, let's get on to this week's agency news roundup.

Media moneymakers

Continue reading at AdAge.com




One to Watch in 2018: Augmented Commerce

Fri, 17 Nov 2017 10:47:46 -0500

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At the start of November, Amazon introduced a new feature called AR View, which lets customers visualize online products in their own living space, using their smartphone camera.

Launched in the Amazon app for iOS devices, AR View offers the ability to view thousands of products for the home, including furniture, electronics, toys, games and decor, in augmented reality.

Amazon isn't the only company riding the AR shopping cart. Ikea and Target have also released AR apps to help customers visualize what their furniture may look like in their own homes.

Continue reading at AdAge.com




Erich and Kallman Wins Fat Tire Beer Account

Fri, 17 Nov 2017 09:30:00 -0500

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At less than two years old, Erich and Kallman has already picked up liquor and wine accounts. Now the San Francisco shop is getting into the beer business, as agency-of-record for Fat Tire. New Belgium, one the nation's largest craft brewers, has chosen the agency to handle strategy, creative and package design for its most important brew. Erich and Kallman will also handle the brewer's Dayblazer golden ale.

The agency, founded early last year by former Goodby, Silverstein & Partners Execuive Creative DIrector Eric Kallman and ex-CP&B President Steven Erich, already handles Astral tequila and Noble Vines wine, in addition to several General Mills brands.

Kyle Bradshaw, New Belgium's director of brands, in an email interview said the agency "displayed a great understanding of our company ethos, which will always be at the heart of any New Belgium creative work. They are small, nimble but also a creative powerhouse, which is exactly what we need in the ever-evolving craft beer landscape." The brewer has used a variety of agencies over the years, as well as relying on what Bradshaw described as "our deep pool of in-house talent."

Continue reading at AdAge.com




When Local Stores Are Digital Too

Fri, 17 Nov 2017 08:00:00 -0500

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Offline retail is finally about to change. But the shift is more subtle than many people think.

The internet has still barely touched how most things are bought. After two decades of the internet and the mobile revolution, 91% of U.S. retail spending still takes place in brick-and-mortar stores. Traditional retail sales continue to grow, exceeding $5 trillion this year. Amazon is growing faster, but is still a drop in the bucket.

You'd be forgiven for thinking that offline retail is about to keel over and die. Headline writers attract clicks by proclaiming the "retail apocalypse." There's plenty of material to fuel the narrative, from struggling mall operators to large bankruptcies like Toys R Us. Yet the numbers don't match this gloomy narrative. In 2017, the U.S. will have a net gain of approximately 3,000 new stores. (Apparel is having a tough time, but other sectors are growing strongly.) In total, offline retail sales will increase by about $70 billion, which is equivalent to half of Amazon's annual revenue. Brick-and-mortar will continue to dominate retail for a long time to come.

Continue reading at AdAge.com




Has Marketing Become an 'Island Surrounded by Mirrors'?

Fri, 17 Nov 2017 06:00:00 -0500

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The mission of marketing is to build brands that stand the test of time, not to build brands for the sake of it. By building strong, preferred and differentiated brands, sustainable business results will follow.

But today, I believe our profession must do better and assume a more strategic role within business. We must be responsible for generating revenue and demand today and identifying new opportunities for tomorrow.

Business people first, marketing artisans second

Continue reading at AdAge.com




Your Friday Wake-Up Call: Bad News for BuzzFeed. Plus, the Trouble With Brand USA

Fri, 17 Nov 2017 05:05:43 -0500

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Welcome to Ad Age's Wake-Up Call, our daily roundup of advertising, marketing, media and digital-related news. We've got a little news ourselves: You can now get an audio version of this briefing on your Alexa device. Click here, or search for "Ad Age" under "Skills" in the Alexa app.

What people are talking about today: For digital media companies, the past 24 hours felt like a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. Mashable will reportedly get bought by Ziff Davis for $50 million, The Wall Street Journal says. But that's a "fire sale price," as Variety calls it, because it's just 20 percent of the company's onetime valuation. (There's been no official word yet on a deal.)

Meanwhile, BuzzFeed is set to miss its revenue target of around $350 million this year by about 15 to 20 percent, The Journal says. And the report says its chances of going public next year now look "remote."

Continue reading at AdAge.com




Mr. Mucus Gets a Chatbot Thanks to WebMD, Which Grows Its RB Partnership

Fri, 17 Nov 2017 05:00:00 -0500

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Now you can talk to Mr. Mucus, in a sense, via chatbot, thanks to WebMD and the latest wrinkle in its long-running partnership with RB (Reckitt Benckiser).

The chatbot is part of a growing artificial-intelligence effort from WebMD, an outgrowth of voice programs developed last year to work with Amazon Echo and Google Home. Perhaps sadly, Mr. Mucus doesn't actually engage in the conversation. But folks looking up cold and flu symptoms on WebMD will be prompted by the chatbot to, say, ask any questions they have about the ailments, along with branded Mucinex queries about how to treat cough or congestion symptoms.

While "partnership" gets thrown around too liberally in marketing, what's been going on the past six years between WebMD and RB fits the description. The medical information site is one of RB's original media "joint business planning" partners along with the likes of Facebook, meaning its executives play an integral role in each year's communication's planning process and even retail salesforce planning for brands that also include Lysol, Delsym and Airborne supplements.

Continue reading at AdAge.com




What Brad Jakeman Learned From the 'Gut-Wrenching' Backlash to Pepsi's Jenner Ad

Thu, 16 Nov 2017 20:12:28 -0500

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The harsh response to Pepsi's Kendall Jenner ad was "was the most gut-wrenching experience of my career," Brad Jakeman, the outgoing president of PepsiCo's global beverage group, said Thursday in his first public comments about the ad, which Pepsi pulled earlier this year amid widespread criticism.

In a wide-ranging on-stage interview at the Ad Age Next conference, Jakeman also warned marketers to have compassion for fellow marketing executives who get caught up in similar social media firestorms. He cited the example of Dove, which despite years of progressive female advertising, was put on the defensive last month over a small portion of a body wash ad that some critics deemed racist.

"We are now publishing thousands of pieces of content," Jakeman said. "There are going to be these issues. And when they happen, be the person that reaches out to that company and say, 'How can I help.' Don't be the person that piles on."

Continue reading at AdAge.com




Facebook's New App Connects Creators With Video, Fans and Watch Shows

Thu, 16 Nov 2017 17:38:00 -0500

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Facebook is trying to win over the influencer crowd with an app built just for them, and it connects to Watch for those influencers with an official show on the social network.

The Facebook Creator App, announced Thursday, will give internet stars a place to create and edit videos, film live, message with followers and track stats about their videos. The app is for people with a Facebook Page, not just a personal account.

Facebook also announced that it was developing more Watch shows with creators as the stars.

Continue reading at AdAge.com




Comcast Is Said to Approach Fox to Acquire TV, Film Assets

Thu, 16 Nov 2017 17:07:00 -0500

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Comcast has expressed interest in acquiring a big portion of 21st Century Fox's film and TV assets, swooping in after talks with Walt Disney cooled, according to people familiar with the matter.

Comcast, the owner of TV networks such as NBC and the movie studio Universal Pictures, approached the Rupert Murdoch-controlled media group about the assets, said the people, who asked not to be identified discussing private information. Fox shares surged 5.2 percent in late trading after CNBC and the Wall Street Journal reported the news earlier.

Disney had sought a stake in European satellite carrier Sky Plc, the National Geographic, FX and Star India cable networks, and the 20th Century Fox film and TV studio, people familiar with the matter said earlier. Comcast would also be interested in Fox's regional sports networks, one of the people said Thursday. Fox would be left with its assets including its cable news outlets and broadcast channel, including local stations.

Continue reading at AdAge.com




Watch the Newest Ads on TV From Dos Equis, Fruit of the Loom, DirecTV and More

Thu, 16 Nov 2017 15:15:00 -0500

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

A few highlights: Fruit of the Loom really, really wants you to stick "Fruit of the Loom" at the top of your holiday shopping list. Rob Riggle crashes a Most Interesting Man in the World commercial that's part of Dos Equis' continuing Most Interesting Fan of College Football campaign. And two muscle-bound "bros" get very excited about Boost Mobile's "BOGO Free Phone" deal.

Continue reading at AdAge.com




Deutsche Telekom Pulls Back Curtain on 'Radical' New Media Approach

Thu, 16 Nov 2017 14:12:00 -0500

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German telecommunications giant Deutsche Telekom is rolling out a new media operating model in Europe that takes the strategy portion in-house and farms out other media tasks to different agencies, calling it a "radical redefinition" of its media management approach. But it says it won't have any implications on how subsidiary T-Mobile U.S. handles its own media.

The company said it last did a major, open media pitch over a decade ago, and has worked with GroupM agencies in Europe since then. When it decided to run another pitch last year, it realized how much the media world had changed, and decided it would look for a new kind of model, says Christian Hahn, VP of Marketing, Communications Strategy at Deutsche Telekom.

The company has broken up its media processes into five "Lots": media strategy and steering; media analytics services; campaign planning and buying services; programmatic buying operation services; and search advertising and affiliate marketing services.

Continue reading at AdAge.com




Study: Trump Sends Brand USA Down Five Notches to No. 6 Globally

Thu, 16 Nov 2017 13:36:00 -0500

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Donald Trump has hurt the U.S. global brand image significantly, dropping it in a year from No. 1 to No. 6 in the overall ranking of 50 countries, according to the just-released Anholt-GfK Nation Brands Index.

The U.S. was the only country in the study to see its overall Index score decline this year. That decline came mainly from the "governance" ranking in the survey, where the U.S. fell from No. 19 last year to No. 23 this year.

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Continue reading at AdAge.com




So You Think You Know Millennials? Think Again

Thu, 16 Nov 2017 13:09:00 -0500

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Forget what you think you know about millennials -- they are now a group that spans 25 years and the upper tier is reaching adulthood, says Lucie Green, worldwide director of JWT Intelligence, at Ad Age's Next Conference. Here, she discusses some misconceptions and stereotypes about the demographic.

Continue reading at AdAge.com




The Acquisition of Musical.ly Is Either Ridiculously Expensive or Insanely Cheap

Thu, 16 Nov 2017 12:55:00 -0500

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Last Friday, it was reported that Chinese company Bytedance is acquiring social video app Musical.ly for $800 million to $1 billion.

Musical.ly is an app that lets users upload short-form music videos, with reported users ranging from 60 million (TechCrunch) to 200 million (Digiday). Musical.ly has been on my radar as an up-and-comer with potential for being the next Snapchat or Vine. Ask anyone who knows a tween with a smartphone and chances are, they love Musical.ly. So the acquisition news is not a surprise in a space where companies like Facebook often buy or copy their competition.

What caught my attention was the valuation. Musical.ly is not in the same consideration set as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube. On the face of it, this acquisition seems expensive, and my first thought was how crazy that price was.

Continue reading at AdAge.com




Watch: Here's What You Should Be Focused On Instead of the 'Pivot to Video'

Thu, 16 Nov 2017 12:50:00 -0500

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Complex CEO Rich Antoniello is tired of talking about the pivot to video.

During the Ad Age Next conference today, Antoniello said that a more productive conversation would be about ways to become more effective for advertisers in driving sales and adding value to the end consumer. "People get lost in optics-driven metrics rather than meaningful metrics," he said.

Continue reading at AdAge.com




Watch: A Robot May Have Your Job By 2035

Thu, 16 Nov 2017 12:15:00 -0500

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Forty percent of you will be "robo-replaced" by the year 2035, according to Tiana B. Holt, principal at Faith Popcorn's BrainReserve, citing an Oxford University study. Holt, a panelist at Ad Age's Next Conference, advises that rather than fear this, people should make peace with technology as "the evolution of humanity."

In addition, Holt says that marketers are so focused on millennials that they are missing the boat with 50-plus consumers, who "control most of the wealth," but "we just want to sell them pharmaceuticals."

Continue reading at AdAge.com




Watch: When It Comes to Innovation Just Do It, Says Dana Anderson

Thu, 16 Nov 2017 10:48:35 -0500

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MediaLink's Chief Transformation Officer should know a thing or two about transforming. At Ad Age's Next conference today, Dana Anderson advises marketers and agencies to avoid freezing up when it comes to innovation, and instead just do it.

"The stakes feel so high that people do not want to animate on big-scale stuff, so they do pilots and go slow," she says. But now is not the time to hang back, she says. "If your partners aren't innovating, take the lead and you do it."

Continue reading at AdAge.com







The Disruptive Agency Model

Thu, 16 Nov 2017 10:00:00 -0500

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In a recent Ad Age post, I heralded a new era for agencies where "quality scale" was new revenue created through the design of trusted user experiences that can be deployed at scale. This level of sophisticated marketing design is beyond the scope of ad tech platforms or management consulting firms with their limited executional, real-world experience; presenting agencies with a potent new growth area.

That vision set the stage so now let's turn our attention to the practical details which will require, perhaps, challenging almost everything we think we know about how agencies are run today.

Align to clients' new "trust" value equation

Continue reading at AdAge.com




This Holiday Season, Make Your Marketing Merry and Personalized

Thu, 16 Nov 2017 08:00:00 -0500

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Customer expectations will be at an all-time high this holiday season, which means marketers must work harder than ever to deliver bottom-line cheer. But there can still be good tidings for retailers (including brick and mortar).

To meet customer expectations and overcome obstacles like increased competition from Amazon, deep holiday discounting and oversaturation of brand communicationsmarketers need to hone in on customer insights, digital marketing effectiveness and loyalty to understand what their customers really want.

Don't let steep discounts alone be the determining factor for your success. Instead, consider these four strategies, supported by findings from Epsilon's 2017 Holiday Shopping Survey, that will help you know your customers better and reach them in the channels where they interact online and offline to drive meaningful customer engagement that lasts throughout the holiday season and beyond.

Continue reading at AdAge.com




Makeover Ahead for Ulta Beauty With New Agencies

Thu, 16 Nov 2017 06:53:00 -0500

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The beauty landscape may be more competitive than everearlier this week, Spotify raised a few carefully plucked eyebrows when it began selling lipstickbut there's also massive opportunity for beauty retailers to personalize their products and offer virtual help with cosmetics. That's what Bolingbrook, Illinois-based cosmetics seller Ulta Beauty is going after by revamping its marketing with new agency relationships in a bid to attract more loyalists.

After issuing requests for propoals for both its creative and media accounts in July, Ulta has chosen McCann New York to handle creative and MullenLowe's Mediahub for media duties. The brand formerly worked with MullenLowe on creative and Mediahub on media, but the latter's new relationship will include a revised strategy and team.

"They're creative powerhousesthey understand brand-building from a true emotional level and they both have digital and social at their hearts," says Shelley Haus, who joined Ulta as senior VP of brand marketing three years ago. "We want to complete this transformation to make sure we are reaching our beauty enthusiasts in ways that connect with them like no one else."

Continue reading at AdAge.com




Q&AA: SNL's Sure-Shot Photographer

Thu, 16 Nov 2017 06:00:00 -0500

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Mary Ellen Matthews has put some of the biggest celebrities in the world in some strange situations. She's wedged Andy Samberg into an olive in a martini glass, dressed up Sarah Silverman as a chambermaid and had real-life Donald Trump spritz ersatz Trump hairspray on his coif. It's all part of her job as lead photographer for "Saturday Night Live," where her portraits, including those iconic bumpers that appear before and after the commercials, are as integral to NBC's sketch comedy show as Kate McKinnon's Kellyanne Conway impersonation.

Matthews celebrates her 25th anniversary with the show this year, having joined as an assistant photographer in 1992 and rising to lead photographer in 1999, succeeding the great Edie Baskin.

Now in its 43rd season, "SNL" is arguably more relevant now than in Matthews' earliest days at Studio 8H, where the show broadcasts from inside 30 Rockefeller Center. "SNL" is enjoying its second-most-watched season in 23 years, just behind the previous one, which averaged over 11 million viewers per episode.

Continue reading at AdAge.com




Your Thursday Wake-Up Call: Time Inc.'s Future Might Involve the Koch Brothers. Plus, P&G's Surprise

Thu, 16 Nov 2017 06:00:00 -0500

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Welcome to Ad Age's Wake-Up Call, our daily roundup of advertising, marketing, media and digital-related news. You can now get an audio version of this briefing on your Alexa device. Click here, or search for "Ad Age" under "Skills" in the Alexa app.

What people are talking about today: The Koch brothers -- the billionaire industrialists and champions of conservative causes are reportedly offering financial support to Meredith Corp.'s bid for Time Inc. The New York Times, citing unnamed people involved in the talks, says Charles and David Koch "have tentatively agreed to back Meredith's offer with an equity injection of more than $500 million." Meredith, whose titles include Better Homes and Gardens as well as Family Circle, has tried before to take over Time Inc., which publishes Time, People, Fortune and Sports Illustrated. But this time Meredith is reportedly back with big money.

The Times notes that the Kochs spent $720 million ahead of last year's election to support conservative policies and candidates, adding that it's not clear how much influence (if any) the brothers would have on the publications if the deal happens. But if it does go forward, every word from the legacy publishing empire will be scrutinized for potential signs of the Kochs pressuring coverage. Incidentally, here's a Bloomberg News headline about the Kochs' influence, from a few hours before the Times published its scoop: "Koch-Funded Group Prods Trump's EPA to Say Climate Change Not a Risk." These are interesting times.

Continue reading at AdAge.com







'46 Days Left': P&G's Marc Pritchard on the State of His Digital Ultimatum

Wed, 15 Nov 2017 17:20:26 -0500

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Time's almost up for major digital ad sellers to show that they've improved, Procter & Gamble Chief Brand Officer Marc Pritchard said at Ad Age Next on Wednesday. And that includes big-time players such as Amazon. Hear his take as a year-long ultimatum nears the deadline as well as P&G's latest acquisition in this interview with Jack Neff, following their talk onstage.

Continue reading at AdAge.com




Peltz Wins P&G Board Seat in Recount By Slimmest of Margins

Wed, 15 Nov 2017 17:14:14 -0500

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In a move reminiscent of the hanging chads of Florida, Nelson Peltz appears to have won a recount by 43,000 votes, according to a report by CNBC, which would give him a victory in a bitterly contested board seat at Procter & Gamble Co., the world's biggest marketing spender.

Peltz's Trian Partners confirmed the report in a statement. P&G in a statement said the recount by IVS Associates had Peltz leading former Mexican president Ernesto Zedillo for the final board seat by 0.0016% or 43,000 votes. Those resulst are "preliminary" and subject to a "review and challenge period," P&G said.

The move has no immediate effect on the company's direction but deals a significant defeat to a management team that did everything it could to stop Peltz, who runs the Trian Partners hedge fund. He's only one vote on a board that opposed him.

Continue reading at AdAge.com




Papa John's Gives Middle Finger to Neo-Nazis

Wed, 15 Nov 2017 16:05:00 -0500

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Papa John's made a big statement with a little emoji on Tuesday, posting a middle finger graphic targeted at neo-Nazis. The brand wants to make it clear that it does not support racism or prejudice.

The tweet comes after Founder, Chairman and CEO John Schnatter blamed its weak sales on the NFL during an earnings call and criticized the league's response to player protests. This led to American neo-Nazi site The Daily Stormer creating an image of a swastika out of a pepperoni pizza, which included the line "Papa John: Official pizza of the alt-right?"

Since then, the pizza chain has been trying to recover from Schnatter's statements.

Continue reading at AdAge.com