Fri, 24 Mar 2017 07:00:00 -0400(image)
A decade ago, affluent moms clamored for a Bugaboo stroller, joining waitlists and spending, at the time, unseemly amounts on a what up until then had been considered basic gear for parenthood. The popularity reached a crescendo in 2011, with the debut of the coveted Donkey double stroller, which carried a price tag of a whopping $1,700 and was considered the ultimate status symbol for new moms.
Yet like most "it" brands, the Bugaboo fever gave way to competitors, like Uppababy and Baby Jogger, who parlayed Bugaboo's success into more affordable innovation. Though Bugaboo still remains relevant with the high-minded setKate Middleton, for example, bought a pram in 2013the brand was not included on BabyCenter's list of the best strollers of 2017. Two years ago, the Dutch company stirred up controversy when it posted a picture of a bikini-clad model running with her stroller on Facebook. Sarcastic moms had a field day, and since then the brand has coasted relatively under the radar until now.
This month, Bugaboo aims to get its groove back, and it's not with just strollers. The 18-year-old brand is aiming to position itself as a mobility innovator with the introduction of a wheeled luggage set. Bugaboo is debuting its first global brand campaign beginning March 31 to market both strollers and suitcases.
Fri, 24 Mar 2017 07:00:00 -0400(image)
Last September, Dell made a record-setting tech acquisition when it purchased EMC for $67 billion. The deal brought into the company's fold seven different tech firms, now rebranded under the name Dell Technologies, specializing in data storage, information security, analytics, virtualization and cloud computing. The "Dell" name no longer stands for only that PC on your desk. Dell Technologies is now being billed as an entity that will help organizations "build their digital future, transform IT and protect their most important asset, information."
To get the word out in a more digestible and entertaining way, the brand has debuted "Let's Make It Real," a new brand campaign out of Y&R New York, starring actor Jeffrey Wright and directed by Oscar-winning director Tom Hooper ("The King's Speech") via Smuggler.
It made its broadcast debut this week with an anthem spot, which sees Mr. Wright taking a grand stage to reveal that the "magic" behind Dell Technologies is not magic at all -- it's really the product of a lot of hard work and research. To illustrate this idea, we see the seemingly technologically complex innards of a jet airplane engine and even a cow come alive through dazzling visual effects. Surprisingly, this is not a feat of sophisticated postproduction. Rather, it's captured all in-camera, through stunning projection-mapping artistry.
Fri, 24 Mar 2017 07:00:00 -0400(image)
Smirnoff is going on the attack against what it calls its "fake crafty" competitors -- and the brand has signed up Chrissy Teigen to deliver its punches.
Smirnoff remains the top-selling vodka in the U.S. with a nearly 12% market share and more than $230 million in sales at stores, according to the data from the 52-week period ending Feb. 19 from IRI, which does not include bar sales. But the brand -- whose dollar sales dropped 2.1% in the period -- has lost ground in recent years to Tito's. Sales of Tito's grew 58% in the period to nearly $170 million, ranking it No. 2, ahead of Absolut, according to IRI. The Austin, Texas-based brand is labeled as "Tito's Handmade Vodka" and promoted on its web site as "America's Original Craft Vodka."
Jay Sethi, Diageo's VP of the Smirnoff brand, declined to comment when asked if the ad was aimed at Tito's. But he said: "We fundamentally believe that Smirnoff can stand its own ground and can stand the test of time -- that we don't have to follow trends or follow frills. Those trends and frills may change but Smirnoff doesn't." He added that Smirnoff is still No. 1 because "what really matters is that we are great quality vodka at a really great price -- and that's our position."
Fri, 24 Mar 2017 07:00:00 -0400(image)
Oprah may love bread, but does she love Flatout?
The flatbread brand is getting the Weight Watchers' official seal of approval after years in the diets of many of its followers, a move that may help the flatbread marketer notch faster sales gains. And surprisingly, Weight Watchers came to Flatout, rather than the other way around.
Many of Flatout's products have long been go-to low-points options for those who track points on Weight Watchers. Bloggers and others online share recipes for, say, a flatbread pizza, and call out how many Weight Watchers points the flatbreads contain.
Thu, 23 Mar 2017 19:00:00 -0400(image)
Every weekday, we bring you the Ad Age/iSpot Hot Spots, new and trending TV commercials tracked by iSpot.tv, the real-time TV ad measurement company with attention analytics from 10 million smart TVs. The New Releases here ran on TV for the first time yesterday. The Most Engaging ads are ranked by digital activity (including online views and social shares) over the past week.
Among the new releases, Philadelphia 76ers' Joel Embiid shows how "being a rookie sucks" -- as an announcer jokes about his rookie year "lasting longer than a Jolly Rancher" -- in the candy brand's latest. Actor Jeffrey Wright shares how Dell Technologies is making digital transformation happen, including turning cows into data centers and hospital rooms into global diagnostic networks. And MetroPCS demonstrates the power of a good first impression, via a complimentary makeover for one customer.
Thu, 23 Mar 2017 16:02:00 -0400(image)
The move by major marketers like AT&T, Verizon, Johnson & Johnson and GlaxoSmithKline to halt spending on YouTube due to ads running next to unsafe content is pushing media agencies to pressure Google to create a safer environment for advertisers.
The biggest concern is over Google's self-policing process and at least several agencies are reviewing how they are working with Google moving forward.
"Brand safety is a critical factor across all channels that we manage for our clients. Our immediate priority has been to work with Google to address our concerns and hold the organization accountable for any questionable activity," a Horizon Media spokeswoman said.
Thu, 23 Mar 2017 16:00:00 -0400(image)
True confession: I am a shopaholic.
By the time I was old enough to be strapped into a stroller, I spent every Saturday bathed in fluorescent lights and muzak at the mall. In my family, one did not just shop simply for practicality or pleasure: it was a competitive sport. To this day, if you compliment my shoes, I am likely to blurt out: "DSW, $49.99."
So naturally, we spent a lot of time at Sears. It was truly where America shopped. In the "Brady Bunch" era where I grew up, there was no other place to buy your bell bottoms or maxi dresses. Even Gap had not become a thing yet -- the concept of finding all kinds of jeans in all sizes was still a mind-boggling concept as futuristic as a self-driving car. We spent our youth clad in Toughskins and wore "husky" sizes with impunity before body shaming became a thing. I distinctly remember the thrill of buying my first dress from Sears' Lemon Frog Shop, a tween in-store boutique, which was as much a rite of passage for me as my first pair of pantyhose or heels.
Thu, 23 Mar 2017 15:30:00 -0400(image)
Restrictions on ISP data sharing and use lauded by privacy advocates and bemoaned by ad industry trade groups just got even closer to kaput. The Senate today passed a bill sponsored by Republican Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona to invalidate the Federal Communications Commission rule which, had it gone into effect as originally planned for earlier this month, would have blocked internet service providers from activities like using and sharing data on location and web-browsing habits unless consumers explicitly opted in.
There is a companion bill sponsored by GOP Rep. Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee that if passed, which is likely in the majority-Republican body, would seal the fate of the controversial rules.
Today's vote earned praise from a supporter of other digital privacy initiatives, former Federal Trade Commission chairman Jon Leibowitz, who while serving as FTC chair stunned the ad industry when he called for a do-not-track mechanism for online ad privacy in 2010.
Thu, 23 Mar 2017 15:10:00 -0400(image)
Political unrest has seeped into everything from the Super Bowl to the Oscars, but when it comes to TV's annual upfront haggle, the consensus is the debate incited by Donald Trump's presidency will largely remain out of it.
The election cycle has surely resulted in a meaningful shift in the types of content people are watching, having been credited with essentially rescuing a cable news business that was at death's doorstep. And while cable news programming, along with late-night comedy, will likely garner more attention in the minds of advertisers, overall politics aren't making media buyers reframe where marketers should place their ad dollars.
"This election cycle -- before, during, and post-election -- has had some significant impact on the ways people are consuming media, which contributes to the continued evolution of the media landscape," said Neil Vendetti, president-investment, ZenithOptimedia. "Strategically, though, unless a client's business is directly impacted by policy decisions, politics likely won't play a role on our media recommendations."
Thu, 23 Mar 2017 13:48:00 -0400(image)
It's a somber day in London, where the city's Mayor Sadiq Khan is dealing with the aftermath of yesterday's terror attack and had to cancel his eagerly-awaited talk at Advertising Week Europe today.
Earlier in the morning, the event's organizers who today conducted bag searches of delegates for the first time -- had still expected him to appear. But later Advertising Week's executive director, Matt Scheckner, encountered in a hallway at the venue at about noon, said Mr. Khan had been called into a British government cabinet meeting. Mr. Scheckner said Mr. Khan's theme, in a Q&A session with a London newspaper editor, was going to be that London is open for business. (Actually, that usually is Mr. Khan's favorite topic, particularly post-Brexit).
In his introduction to Advertising Week Europe's 2017 program distributed at the venue, Mr. Khan, who was elected mayor last year and is the first Muslim to hold that post, wrote, "London is one of the most diverse cities on the planet. This event is a chance for the best international creative minds and global brands to talk about the future of this industry I hope you make the most of your time in London and all that our city has to offer."
Thu, 23 Mar 2017 12:35:00 -0400(image)
Localizing a brand name for China is a mind-boggling challenge. Ideally, the name should convey the brand's story, set out its local positioning and be memorable. It should sound similar to the original, and have a good ring to it. It shouldn't evoke unintended meanings in Mandarin or major dialects.
That's why brand consultancy Labbrand tested over 1,000 possibilities to come up with a Chinese brand name for Airbnb. The name the company settled on, Aibiying, involves three characters meaning "love," "each other" and "welcome," and it sounds vaguely similar to the original.
But there was a backlash on social media, with critics saying the new name is hard to pronounce and doesn't make sense. Among the nastier commentary, one said the name sounded like a "copycat porn company." (The second character of the name sounds similar to slang for a female anatomy part.) One user of microblogging platform Weibo wrote: "My god. Better to have no Chinese name at all."
Thu, 23 Mar 2017 11:57:00 -0400(image)
AT&T and Johnson & Johnson are the latest big advertisers to halt YouTube ad buys, but the problem of ads and offensive content extends way beyond Google and Facebook, according to a session on terror funding led by The Guardian at Advertising Week Europe.
In the context of yesterday's terror attack at the Houses of Parliament in London, Hamish Nicklin, chief revenue officer at Guardian News and Media, suggested that the debate, originally titled, 'If advertising is funding terror, what should we do differently?" should instead ask how advertising and the internet can create a safe, premium environment for marketers.
Blaming the big players for everything is clearly not the answer. Mr. Nicklin suggested that Google and Facebook are just "the tip of the iceberg," while Anthony Katsur, president of Sonobi, a direct audience platform that works with media companies and not through exchanges, said the issue is about the whole ad tech industry, which, he claimed, is supported by "layers of obfuscation between the brand and the consumer Suppliers supplying suppliers, supplying suppliers."
Thu, 23 Mar 2017 11:40:00 -0400(image)
McDonald's Corp. said Bob Rupczynski has joined in the newly created role of Global VP-media and customer relationship management, as the world's largest restaurant company sharpens its focus on connecting with its customers.
Mr. Rupczynski's move to McDonald's comes just four months after he joined Mondelez International Inc. as VP-head of global media and digital, after years at Kraft Heinz Co., where his last role was VP-media, data, and CRM. His move to McDonald's was first reported by the Wall Street Journal.
Mr. Rupczynski reports to McDonald's Exec VP and Global Chief Marketing Officer Silvia Lagnado. McDonald's said he will work on accelerating the company's push to "target, personalize and optimize its marketing effort."
Thu, 23 Mar 2017 11:30:00 -0400(image)
Droga5 founder David Droga has a simple formula for an agency to keep current: Move at the speed of your clients' demands.
Droga5 is on Ad Age's Agency A-List, and will be among those honored at the Ad Age Agency A-List and Creativity Awards on April 19 in New York.
Thu, 23 Mar 2017 09:30:00 -0400(image)
A few years ago, Netflix accomplished an unprecedented feat: It deconstructed Hollywood. Through a painstaking reverse-engineering process of meta-tagging every movie and TV show imaginable, Netflix developed some 76,897 "altgenres," give or take.
The entertainment giant had realized that merely dividing content into big buckets like "comedy" and "adventure" didn't tell them much about what people were watching. Instead, Netflix needed to divide it into "African-American Crime Documentaries" and "Scary Cult Movies from the '80s." Doing so helped the company figure out what viewers were watching. Netflix used that data to create shows like "House of Cards."
Brands exploring influencer marketing similarly have a golden opportunity to deconstruct social influencers across the entire web. By reverse-engineering robust profiles of influencers and their followers using increasingly micro-focused sets of demographic, behavioral and engagement data, digital marketers simultaneously improve their abilities to create the most effective campaigns and to connect with the most relevant followers.
Thu, 23 Mar 2017 09:30:00 -0400(image)
Every March, we welcome the madness of the National Collegiate Athletic Association's Division I Men's Basketball Tournament. No matter if you're a die-hard hoops fanatic or you are simply picking teams based on your favorite college mascot, we turn into a nation of "bracketologists" whenever it's March Madness time.
Brackets provide a convenient, intuitive heuristic for evaluating teams on a 1-to-1 basis, making it simple work to go from 64 teams down to the ultimate winner. However, the simple framework hides the analytical complexity. The odds of you successfully picking the full 64-team bracket are 1 in 128 billion!
The good news is a marketer has much better odds successfully using analytics to pick the right metrics to better understand and engage your customers.
Thu, 23 Mar 2017 08:34:31 -0400(image)
Coca-Cola Co. Global Chief Marketing Officer Marcos de Quinto, who led a significant marketing overhaul of the company's flagship soda brand with the 15-month old "Taste the Feeling" campaign, is leaving the company as the beverage giant overhauls its marketing leadership structure under its new CEO.
The changes, which were announced Thursday morning, include consolidating marketing, customer and commercial leadership strategy into one combined function led by a chief growth officer that will report to James Quincey. Mr. Quincey is currently Coca-Cola's chief operating officer but will assume the CEO role on May 1, replacing the retiring Muhtar Kent in a succession plan that was announced late last year.
The chief growth officer role will be filled by Francisco Crespo, a 28-year company veteran who currently serves as president of Coke's Mexico business unit.
Thu, 23 Mar 2017 07:44:54 -0400(image)
Anheuser-Busch InBev has begun a global media agency review, putting in play planning and buying duties for the world's largest brewer. The incumbent on the U.S. business is WPP's MediaCom, which has held the account since late 2014.
Globally, the goal is to consolidate the business with potentially as few as one or two agencies, although the final number has not been determined, an AB InBev spokesman said. At present, the brewer uses eight agencies spanning all major holding companies to handle media operations in more than 50 countries. Every agency holding company has been invited to pitch, the spokesman said. The brewer is using Media Link as its search consultant, while Media Path will handle auditing. The process is expected to formally begin in April with the decision coming by the second half of this year.
The review comes several months after AB InBev's $103 billion acquisition of SABMiller, which closed late last year. It is common for companies to seek media efficiencies via agency consolidations in the wake of major mergers and AB InBev is no different. The brewer wants to "drive consistency in our media rates and ways of working," the spokesman stated in an email.
Thu, 23 Mar 2017 07:00:00 -0400(image)
There's been a lot of talk in the past few weeks about electronic appliances capturing data for surveillance purposes. But can marketers access this type of data?
In an interview published March 12, Kellyanne Conway, counselor to President Donald Trump, suggested that his campaign may have been spied on via televisions or microwaves. Her comments alluded to baseless accusations by President Trump himself that the Obama administration "wiretapped" his campaign. Also this month, documents about CIA hacking practices exposed through Wikileaks have raised questions about the spy agency using Samsung televisions to gather room audio through a TV-remote microphone.
While the concept of microwave oven-as-snooping-device has been debunked, the swirling rumors do prompt questions about what types of audio data-capturing capabilities televisions have and whether marketers have access to such TV audio data. It turns out a massive amount of TV audio data is made available to marketers, but not necessarily the kind we'd read about in a modern day Ian Fleming novel.
Thu, 23 Mar 2017 07:00:00 -0400(image)
The U.K.'s Marketing Society gathered chief marketing officers together to discuss what they regard as the elephants in the room that make for uncomfortable conversations. Here's what they talked about at an Advertising Week Europe panel:
"Stop using the word digital," said Zaid Al-Qassab, chief brand & marketing officer of telecommunications group BT. "The word is causing enormous problems in clients and agencies and the work we're getting."
Mr. Al-Qassab said that in the old days when he did print and billboard ads, he wasn't called a "paper marketer" as he is called a "digital marketer" today. The word digital moves the focus to clicks and likes, rather than customers, and is used heavily in briefs sent to agencies, he said, leading to 300 social media ideas from the agency, and clients asking for something that will "go viral."
Thu, 23 Mar 2017 07:00:00 -0400(image)
Virtual reality is being held back from the marketing mainstream by a skeptical public and reluctant advertisers, according to speakers at an Advertising Week Europe session on VR and branded content.
"We're not even at VR 1.0. It's more like VR 0.7," said Nokia's head of VR technologies, Tarif Sayed. He added, "It's a chicken-and-egg situation. Content creators say it's too expensive and you're not going to shift headsets if there's no content."
Examples of VR marketing from the Abu Dhabi tourist board (for which CNN created a virtual trip to the city) and Jaguar Cars (who worked with Mindshare to create an immersive experience of the Wimbledon Tennis tournament), were presented as best in class, but even their creators admitted that there is still a long way to go.
Wed, 22 Mar 2017 19:05:00 -0400(image)
Johnson & Johnson has suspended its YouTube advertising globally, joining a growing group of advertisers and agencies stepping back from the dominant video platform over ads' proximity to hate speech, terrorist propaganda and other objectionable content.
"The Johnson & Johnson Family of Consumer Companies takes this matter very seriously, and we have made the decision to pause all YouTube digital advertising globally to ensure our product advertising does not appear on channels that promote offensive content," a spokeswoman said in an e-mailed statement. "We will continue to take every measure to ensure our brand advertising is consistent with our brand values."
Spending wasn't disclosed, but digital video is a substantial portion of the $2.4 billion in global advertising spending J&J reported last year. The Ad Age Datacenter ranked the company as the 35th largest global marketer last year.
Wed, 22 Mar 2017 18:56:04 -0400(image)
Months after kicking the tires on a modest reduction of in-game commercial stoppage, the NFL on Wednesday said that it is working with broadcasters on a scheme to restructure the ad pods in all future televised contests.
In an email to fans dated March 22, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said the league is looking to cut down on some of the more egregious instances of "dead time" that have contributed to football's recent broadcast bloat. Last season, the average running time for an NFL game was three hours and 12 minutes, which marked an increase of five minutes per game compared to the 2014 average.
To that end, the NFL hopes to put the kibosh on one of football's most exasperating disruptions, which arrives whenever a post-scoring kickoff is sandwiched between two ad breaks.
Wed, 22 Mar 2017 18:30:00 -0400(image)
Brinker International Inc., looking to spark a rebound at Chili's Grill & Bar, named Steve Provost as exec VP-chief marketing and innovation officer of the casual dining chain, which has been posting weak results as fewer patrons dine at its restaurants.
Mr. Provost joins Chili's from Brinker's much smaller chain, Maggiano's Little Italy. At Chili's, he will oversee the consumer insights, culinary innovation, and marketing teams for the chain, which has roughly 1,606 restaurants.
Results at Chili's have been discouraging. Same-store sales at company-owned locations fell in each of the first two quarters of fiscal 2017, continuing a trend after such sales declined 2.6% in fiscal 2016.
Wed, 22 Mar 2017 17:00:00 -0400(image)
The end could finally be near for long-struggling Sears and Kmart. Sears Holding Corp., parent company of the two brands, issued a warning in its annual 10-K filing Tuesday evening that noted the chain could be in trouble with generating additional liquidity.
"Our historical operating results indicate substantial doubt exists related to the Company's ability to continue as a going concern," read the filing.
The news caps years of sales declines and losses, and, more recently, January's announcement of the closures of 150 stores. Earlier this year, Sears sold its Craftsman tools brand to Stanley Black & Decker, ending decades of exclusivity.
Wed, 22 Mar 2017 16:30:00 -0400(image)
The deadline for entries has been extended for the Wave Festival, a leading ad festival for Latin America that includes the U.S. Hispanic market and Puerto Rico.
The final deadline to enter the Wave is Friday, March 24, 2017. See the Wave's 15 categories and enter here.
Advertising Age is partnering with the Wave, to be held April 5 and 6 in Rio de Janeiro. The regional Wave Festival is organized by Meio & Mensagem, Brazil's top advertising and marketing publication and events organizer, and Ad Age's longtime partner in Brazil.
Wed, 22 Mar 2017 16:00:00 -0400(image)
The Lowdown is Ad Age's weekly look at news nuggets from across the world of marketing, including trends, campaign tidbits, executive comings and goings and more.
E-commerce is big in beauty, but not so much yet in personal care, according to research by Tabs Analytics. While e-commerce is now 9% of the beauty market, per Tabs, it's still only 3.1% of personal care, which they define as haircare, deodorant, personal wash, toothpaste, mouthwash, feminine care and adult incontinence. Amazon, Walmart and Target combine to control a massive 82% of online personal-care sales. That's a lot more concentrated than offline, where Walmart still leads the much bigger market substantially with a 19.4% share, followed by Target at 12.1%. All food stores combined had a 16.6% share. Drug and dollar stores combine for a 24.7% share.
Leave it to the Advertising Research Foundation to experiment with a radical new viewer-engagement strategy during lunch at its own annual conference. Marketers who've been to conferences are familiar with sponsored lunches unless they entirely missed the sponsored part because they were eating and chatting too much to notice. Of course, the speakers don't appreciate the din. The ARF and serving crew at the New York Midtown Hilton had a clever solution during a March 20 lunch session involving the Alliance for Family Entertainment on its #SeeHer gender-equality program: Serve salads first, remove the plates before the presentation, and serve nothing else until it's over. Lowdown hesitates to share this dastardly strategy, because we were hungry. But it did work.
Wed, 22 Mar 2017 15:10:00 -0400(image)
MillerCoors is giving lazy beer drinkers another excuse to stay put: The option to order beer with the touch of a button or a simple voice command.
The brewer and IPG Mediabrands today announced a new suite of connected home services called "Miller Lite On-Demand" that will allow consumers to stock their fridge using a voice-activated Amazon Alexa command, or by using a programmable button known as AWS IoT that is based on the Amazon Dash Button hardware. The delivery requests will be fulfilled within one hour by Drizly, an online alcohol ordering platform, according to the agency and brewer, which have partnered on an incubator program aimed at testing such technologies.
Drizly currently serves more than 40 cities, according to MillerCoors.
Wed, 22 Mar 2017 14:59:14 -0400(image)
AT&T has halted its advertising with Google for anything but keyword search, becoming the latest major marketer to pull back after an uproar over ads running beside offensive videos on YouTube.
"We are deeply concerned that our ads may have appeared alongside YouTube content promoting terrorism and hate," a spokeswoman for AT&T said in a statement. "Until Google can ensure this won't happen again, we are removing our ads from Google's non-search platforms."
The controversy erupted last week after the London-based Times newspaper reported that some ads were running with videos that promoted terrorism or anti-Semitism. The U.K. government and the Guardian newspaper pulled ads from the video site and Havas, the world's sixth-largest advertising and marketing company, pulled its U.K. clients' ads from Google and YouTube.
Wed, 22 Mar 2017 13:57:00 -0400(image)
For all the talk about how data's role in the TV upfronts will continue to be more pronounced, two cable networks reminded media buyers and advertisers that TV is more than just buying audiences.
"Environment matters," said Jon Steinlauf, president-national ad sales, Scripps Networks, at a press breakfast ahead of the company's upfront presentation on Wednesday evening. "Where the ad lives is just as important as who it reaches, maybe more."
Mr. Steinlauf went on to say that advertisers who limit themselves just to audience buying run the risk of placing ads in front of people at a time when they aren't engaging or responding.