Brands Brief: Facebook to Offer Live Streams of MLS Games

Top Stories

  • Facebook Inc. struck a deal with Major League Soccer and Univision Communications’ Univision Deportes to live stream at least 22 matches this season, a move that reflects Facebook’s efforts to beef up its television offerings. (Variety)
  • WPP PLC’s media investing unit, GroupM, is trying to help clients navigate the trickier side of Snapchat by making them aware of how their ads could inadvertently appear next to pornography. (The New York Times)
  • The Mexican Institute of Industrial Property OKed at least four trademarks President Donald Trump filed for last year. This comes on the heels of confirmation of approved Trump trademarks in China. (The Associated Press)

Chart Review

Events Calendar (All Times Local)

MRC Vegas 7:30 a.m.
South by Southwest in Austin 8:30 a.m.
Performance Marketing Summit in Austin 10 a.m.
Adweek webinar on mobile app engagement 1 p.m.
ANA webinar on working with celebrities 1 p.m.
MRC Vegas 7:30 a.m.
South by Southwest in Austin 8:30 a.m.
ANA webinar on user-generated content 1 p.m.
MRC Vegas 7:30 a.m.
South by Southwest in Austin 9:30 a.m.
South by Southwest in Austin 9:30 a.m.
ANA webinar on customer relationships 1 p.m.


Advertising and Marketing

AT&T Signs Mark Wahlberg for Ad Campaign
Jeff Baumgartner, Multichannel

AT&T said it has signed actor and entertainer Mark Wahlberg to appear in an ad campaign that will tout the company’s multiscreen video service capabilities. Under the exclusive deal, the ad campaign is scheduled launch in April, with Wahlberg said to appear in a series of TV and digital ads “celebrating the ways AT&T lets you take your entertainment everywhere you go.”

American Creative Chief, Global CMO Out at Havas as Agency Moves Toward Regional Leadership
Patrick Coffee, Adweek

Havas is shaking things up around the world. This week, the independent network made several key changes to its global structure in a still-developing move designed to create a series of full-service divisions arranged by region.

Heinz Taps Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce for Campaign (Yes, Really)
Jessica Wohl, AdvertisingAge

Don Draper’s ketchup-less pitch for Heinz was rejected by the marketer’s fictional team on “Mad Men,” but now the real-life Heinz team is embracing the idea. Creative agency David is taking only some of the credit for its newest Heinz campaign, which includes three New York billboards and ads in two print publications.

Arnold Palmer’s Legacy Honored in Mastercard Commercial
Matthew Futterman, The Wall Street Journal

Just in time for the Arnold Palmer Golf Invitational at Bay Hill near Orlando, Mastercard is releasing a commercial that shows how valuable a legend can be, even after his death. The ad shows a series of scenes in which one character, from children to touring professional golfers, inevitably gives another a piece of advice and ends it with the phrase “Arnie would.”

How Birchbox uses Facebook Live as an R&D lab
Gracy Caffyn, Digiday

Facebook Live is an experiment for most brands, but for beauty box delivery company Birchbox it also functions as a real-time R&D lab. The brand, which broadcasts live across all of its six markets including the U.K., is using the tool to gain greater insights into what products consumers want to see, and how.

Media and Entertainment

Facebook Scores Major League Soccer Streaming Deal, Continuing Push Into Premium TV Content
Todd Spangler, Variety

Facebook is kicking at least 22 live Major League Soccer matches this season across its video platforms, under a pact with the league and Univision Communications’ Univision Deportes, which owns U.S. broadcast rights to the games. The deal reflects the social giant’s appetite for live sports — as well as other TV-style content, which is set to include original long-form scripted and unscripted shows.

Hulu Adds A+E Networks to Live TV Service, Viacom Out
Etan Vlessing, The Hollywood Reporter

The battle for tight space on Hulu’s upcoming online live TV service has seen A+E Networks edge out rival Viacom channels in the planned package of more than 40 live channels, offering subscribers access to popular shows like History’s Vikings and Lifetime’s UnReal. “As we begin to finalize our new live TV service, we’re pulling together the most valuable, well-rounded package of channels available for under $40,” said Mike Hopkins, CEO of Hulu, on Friday in a statement.

Social Media and Technology

Oculus Samsung Gear VR Users Can Livestream Directly to Facebook
David Cohen, Adweek

Oculus VR Friday announced new social features for the Samsung Gear VR: more video content for its Oculus Rooms feature, including 360-degree videos, as well as the launch of the Oculus Events (pictured above) feature, the ability to livestream directly to Facebook and Oculus Voice speech recognition. Facebook’s virtual reality unit said in a blog post that more free video content is available for viewing within Oculus Rooms, including music videos from Vimeo.

Intel Steers Into Self-Driving Traffic
Shira Ovide and Tara Lachapelle, Bloomberg News

Intel’s expensive splurge at the car dealership makes sense, but it’s also clear that hype for the next generation of automotive technology is getting out of hand. Intel Corp. said Monday it will acquire Mobileye NV, an Israeli company whose technology helps self-driving cars “see” their surroundings, for $15.3 billion.

The latest trend in Snapchat ads: 360-degree video
Tanya Dua, Digiday

When the highly anticipated film “Fifty Shades Darker” hit the theaters on Valentine’s Day weekend last month, Universal Pictures took users on a 360-degree tour of a masquerade ball featured in a scene in the movie. But this experience didn’t live on Facebook or YouTube.

PR and Communications

Snapchat Pornography to Test Advertisers’ Tolerance for Risk
Sapna Maheshwari, The New York Times

One of the most powerful advertising-buying firms has been warning its clients about the risks of their corporate marketing inadvertently showing up next to pornography on Snapchat. GroupM, which oversees billions of digital-advertising dollars as the media investing arm of the ad giant WPP, recently sent clients a memo about their ads possibly running before or after “explicit adult content” on Snapchat’s Stories feature, if a user chooses to follow such accounts on the app.

Mexico OKs new Trump trademarks for hotels and tourism
Peter Orsi and Bernard Condon, The Associated Press

On Feb. 19, 2016, at a campaign rally in North Charleston, South Carolina, then-candidate Donald Trump gave a stump speech in which he railed against American jobs moving to Mexico: “We lose our jobs, we close our factories, Mexico gets all of the work,” he said. “We get nothing.”

Ivanka Trump brand in ‘crisis’ mode despite sales spike, Bay Area boycott leader says
Martha Ross, Bay Area News Group

Ivanka Trump supporters must have been celebrating the news late last week that the first daughter’s eponymous fashion brand got a considerable online sales spike in February. A report also popped up that Neiman Marcus was once again selling two Ivanka Trump brand diamond rings on its website after the department store had dropped the first daughter’s products in February, possibly due to pressure from the Bay Area-led #GrabYourWallet boycott movement.

Ghost in the Shell viral ad campaign backfires as fans mock Scarlett Johansson being cast as The Major
Jack Shepherd, The Independent

With Ghost in the Shell reaching cinemas 31 March, Paramount Pictures are attempting to get their viral advertising campaign off the ground. “I am hunted. I am the hunter. I am coming for them. I am Major,” says Scarlett Johansson in a newly released video.

Corporate Social Responsibility

State Farm Wants You to be a Good Neighbor Too
Adrianne Pasquarelli, AdvertisingAge

Not content with being the only good neighbor on the block, State Farm wants its customers and potential customers to volunteer in their communities. The Bloomington, Ill.-based marketer, the largest auto insurer in the U.S., is debuting its Neighborhood of Good platform, which will connect consumers to charitable opportunities in their towns.

Honey Nut Cheerios ‘Disappears’ BuzzBee To Help Save Bees
Karlene Lukovitz, MediaPost

This spring, Honey Nut Cheerios has temporarily changed its box — replacing its normal BuzzBee image with just an outline of the mascot’s image. The move and the PR and social media efforts surrounding it are aimed at getting consumers engaged in helping to address the dwindling number of bees and other pollinators that are crucial to the world’s food supply.

Opinions, Editorials, Perspectives and Research

Amazon, Wal-Mart and Alibaba Jostle for Title of Most Valuable Retail Brand
Arthur Zaczkiewicz, WWD

In its annual report of the world’s most valuable retail brands, consulting firm Brand Finance said Amazon Inc. came in number one followed by Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and then Alibaba Group, which saw the value of its brand rise 94 percent this year. The Chinese online marketplace site watched the value of its brand rise to $34.8 billion from $17.9 billion last year.

Why brand purpose is the ultimate disruptive force
Jason Foo, Campaign

As the “Futurati” descend on Austin this week for SXSW and discuss the disruptions of the future, it’s worth reminding ourselves that the market advantages gained by organisations from these “disruptions” are only temporary. Disruption is not a new concept, either.