Facebook pitches brand-safe video ad buys for $750,000, but lack of control irks buyers
Tim Peterson, Digiday
With advertisers clamoring for uncontroversial environments, Facebook is pitching a brand-safe program to advertisers, but the black-box nature of the proposal has some ad buyers balking. Facebook is offering the chance to buy ads against what it considers its most brand-safe videos, according to four agency executives that have been briefed on the pitch.
Honda shifts its media buying to pay only for in-store visits
Seb Joseph, Digiday
Honda is paying for mobile ads that drive people into showrooms rather than impressions or clicks. The car manufacturer has been targeting mobile ads in the U.K. to boost showroom visits for some time, but those ads have always been bought on impressions or click-throughs.
Coors Light Makes Marketing Shift After Ads Got Too Serious
E.J. Schultz, Advertising Age
Coors Light will talk more about its beer and less about human achievement as it seeks to reverse a sales slump. The ad shift—which includes more emphasis on its classic “World’s Most Refreshing Beer” tagline— is another sign of a burgeoning backlash against highbrow ads that have very little to do with the products marketers are trying to sell.
Media and Entertainment
Oscars 2018: 15 things to know, from the awkward red carpet to the ‘Lady Bird’ snub
Emily Yahr, The Washington Post
For the second year in a row, Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway arrived on the Oscars stage to present best picture. This time, the results were a little less exciting.
The Little Movie Studio That Could
Brooks Barnes, The New York Times
At the Sundance Film Festival here in January, executives at A24, the upstart movie and television studio, stood in the back of a makeshift theater looking as if they were about to be physically ill. A24’s latest offering, “Eighth Grade,” an intimate coming-of-age dramedy set for release in theaters on July 13, was minutes away from its festival premiere.
A journalistic fix for fake news? A new venture seeks to take on the epidemic.
Paul Farhi, The Washington Post
Media entrepreneur Steven Brill thinks there’s something missing from all the efforts to separate fake news from the real kind: Some smart and discerning humans.
Social Media and Technology
Advertisers flee InfoWars founder Alex Jones’ YouTube channel
Paul P. Murphy and Gianluca Mezzofiore, CNN
Last week, YouTube reprimanded the conspiracy theory site and Jones for violating its community guidelines after a video posted to The Alex Jones Channel, InfoWars’ biggest YouTube account, claimed student anti-gun activists were actors. Now YouTube and Jones’ channel on it are in the spotlight again.
Twitter makes Oscars ad debut with female empowerment tribute
Sara Fischer, Axios
Twitter debuted its first-ever television commercial during the Oscars Sunday, prominently featuring the hashtag #HereWeAre to spark a conversation about female empowerment. The ad and hashtag were lauded on Twitter by Hollywood and media executives alike Sunday night.
Facebook’s branded content program loses its luster
Tim Peterson, Digiday
Three years ago, Facebook rolled out its Anthology program, an attempt to pair brands and publishers to produce branded content to distribute on its social network. But brands have increasingly bypassed Facebook to do their own matchmaking, as the value of Facebook’s program has faded and its relationship with publishers has gone south.
Snap to Release New Spectacles This Year
Alex Heath, Cheddar
Snap Inc. plans to launch a second version of its Spectacles glasses this year followed by a more ambitious third version equipped with two cameras in 2019, Cheddar has learned. The second version of Spectacles is currently being manufactured with the goal of shipping by this fall, according to people familiar with the matter.
Why Snapchat won’t listen to user complaints about its redesign
Ilyse Liffreing, Digiday
Snapchat began rolling out its redesigned app in February, only to face a barrage of backlash. People voiced their discontent on other social platforms, complaining that Snapchat’s new layout makes it harder to find friends and messages, and 1.2 million people have signed a petition to get rid of the redesign. Even Maybelline asked followers via Twitter whether it should delete its Snapchat account.
PR and Marketing
The number of Delta Air Lines passengers who bought tickets with NRA discount: 13
Bart Jansen, USA Today
How many airline passengers does it take to kill a $40 million tax break for Delta Air Lines? Only 13.
Marriott Employee Roy Jones Hit ‘Like.’ Then China Got Mad
Wayne Ma, The Wall Street Journal
Roy Jones, 49, never thought a $14-an-hour job running social-media accounts for Marriott International Inc. MAR 1.48% would require him to know global politics. That was before he used an official company account to like a post on Twitter Inc.
Smith & Wesson gunmaker cuts jobs as sales plunge
Nathan Bomey, USA Today
Gun sales plunged for the Smith & Wesson firearm maker in its most recent quarter, and the company slashed manufacturing jobs amid signs of a downturn. But the company, American Outdoor Brands Corp., also signaled that it’s not concerned about big-box chains such as Dick’s Sporting Goods taking action to limit gun sales following the Parkland, Fla. school shooting.
Have a Drink on Us. And Tell Your Friends.
Jane L. Levere, The New York Times
During Prohibition, tourists arriving at the Havana airport were often greeted by Rafael Valiente, a popular bartender in Cuba and the first brand ambassador for Bacardi rum. Mr. Valiente, known as Pappy, would frequently take them to Bacardi’s private bar in its Havana office building and treat them to a rum cocktail.
Why More and More Brands Are Catering to Country Music Fans
Kristina Monllos, Adweek
Reba McEntire had to get used to the feel of a mustache on her face to play Colonel Sanders. The first woman and first musician to embody Colonel Sanders, as part of Wieden + Kennedy’s ongoing celebrity colonel campaign, McEntire put on the spokescharacter’s famous white suit, mustache and goatee this past December to film a 60-second spot and sing a honky-tonk song to promote a new BBQ chicken dish.
Sustainable, plant-based Legos are coming. They’ll still hurt when you step on them
Brett Molina, USA Today
They’ll still hurt when you step on them, but botanical elements featured in future Lego sets will be sustainable starting this year. The Lego Group announced pieces such as leaves, bushes and trees will be made of a plant-based plastic using sugarcane.
Opinions, Editorials, Perspectives and Research
Publicly slighting millions of NRA members isn’t good for business – or America
Megan McArdle, Bloomberg
Remember when companies tried to stay out of politics? I’d imagine Delta Air Lines is recalling those days very fondly.
Oscar’s more woke — but winners still so white
Gene Seymour, CNN
There were politics, of course. But it was, for the most part, an Academy Awards ceremony that seemed determined to be as cozy, bland and free of surprises as a stay at a suburban chain hotel (which host Jimmy Kimmel offered — along with a JetSki — to winners who kept their acceptance speeches short).
Your Location Data Is Being Sold—Often Without Your Knowledge
Christopher Mims, The Wall Street Journal
As location-aware advertising goes mainstream—like that Jack in the Box ad that appears whenever you get near one, in whichever app you have open at the time—and as popular apps harvest your lucrative location data, the potential for leaking or exploiting this data has never been higher. It’s true that your smartphone’s location-tracking capabilities can be helpful, whether it’s alerting you to traffic or inclement weather.
A New Business Takes On Fake News
L. Gordon Crovitz, The Wall Street Journal
The internet broke down barriers by enabling everyone to become a publisher. The unintended consequence was the fake-news epidemic. Teenagers in Macedonia discovered they could make a small fortune from online advertising by concocting outlandish clickbait stories.
We Got Rid of Some Bad Men. Now Let’s Get Rid of Bad Movies.
Lindy West, The New York Times
The Oscars are here: the first Oscars since powerful men started falling to #MeToo, a Trump-era Oscars, a #TimesUp Oscars, an Oscars in the shadow of “Black Panther.” Some big chairs will be empty.
Take Your Daughter to the Movies, Not to Weight Watchers
Jennifer Weiner, The New York Times
Confession: I am suffering from fury fatigue. I’m exhausted by the daily scandals of the current administration, ground down by the school shootings, by the government’s inaction and by pictures of our empathy-free commander in chief grinning during his visits to the wounded, thumbs lifted, as if he had just cut the ribbon on a used-car sales lot.
A Brand Safety Analysis of Top YouTube Influencer Channels
Last month, Unilever CMO Keith Weed addressed the IAB Annual leadership conference and urged brands to work with digital platforms to ensure messaging happens in a “brand-suitable” environment. And with 2017 was the first time that digital ad spending collectively surpassed TV, according to Recode, brands need innovative solutions to surface safe spaces to align their messaging in a changing digital video ecosystem.