|Original articles from AdAge.|
|Papa John's Gives Middle Finger to Neo-Nazis|
Papa John's made a big statement with a little emoji, 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 John Lewis Christmas Ad is Revealed|
This year's much-anticipated John Lewis Christmas spot is the story of a huge, friendly monster who hides out under a child's bed and becomes his best friend.
|Time's Latest Cover is Depressingly Spot-On|
How, in a (theoretically) civilized society, should the media report about mass shootings?
|Apple and Nike Top List of Millennials' Favorite Brands|
Millennials probably don't care about your brand. But the ones they do care are helping burnish their own personal brands, according to new research.
|Total Eclipse of the Brands|
The rarity of the total solar eclipse sweeping across the central United States means total marketing saturation on social media.
|Target is Winning the Back-to-School Battle|
Target received the most attention among viewers in the study, TVision found. The retailer worked with Deutsch on its current campaign "Ready.Set.Prep!"
|Weight Watchers Keeps Gaining (Because, Well, Oprah)|
Weight Watchers International Inc., reported big gains on Thursday–revenue rose 10.3% to $341.7 million, while profit soared 48.1% to $45.2 million—the first quarter of results announced since its newly appointed CEO, Mindy Grossman, joined the company.
Grossman praised the work done before she joined...
|Can Ken (With a Man Bun) Help Mattel Bounce Back?|
Ken Carson, better known simply as Ken, has spent over 50 years as Barbie’s arm candy. The doll has been a prince and a musician, a doctor and a king.
Now Mattel, the California-based toy company responsible for Barbie and American Girl, among other brands, is finally giving the doll a makeover. Well, quite a few makeovers.
Its new Ken lineup features 15 dolls with three body types (“slim,” “broad” and “original”) and a variety of hairstyles and skin tones.
|Dos Equis Drops Agency That Created Most Interesting Man|
The Most Interesting Man in the World is about to start working with a new ad agency, assuming he survives an account change on Dos Equis. Heineken USA has moved the brand from Havas Worldwide to Droga5, the marketer has confirmed to Ad Age.
Havas Worldwide created the iconic ad character in 2006 and had been handling the account since then...
|Bud Makes Patriotic Play With Camo Bottles|
The brew is getting particularly aggressive this year with limited-edition aluminum bottles draped in a camouflage design. The brand is also bringing back its "America" branded bottles and cans that debuted last summer drawing cheers and jeers.
|Inside the Wienermobile as Oscar Mayer Touts New Dogs|
Oscar Mayer is driving its six Wienermobiles across the country this spring and summer to hype its reformulated hot dogs.
The products now contain no added nitrates or nitrites, no artificial preservatives and no by-products.
|Special K Wants Women To 'Own It' |
Special K is out with a new take on female empowerment through eating, telling women to "Own It" in the brand's first TV commercial since its return to longtime creative agency Leo Burnett.
|Chipotle Running TV Ads For First Time Since 2012|
Chipotle Mexican Grill is running TV commercials in select test markets, its first TV buy since 2012, as it tries to convince diners to come back to its restaurants.
The struggling chain said in late September that it was considering airing the "Ingredients Reign" campaign as TV spots.
|Lady Gaga Signs With Bud Light for New Campaign|
Bud Light is hooking up with Lady Gaga in a new TV ad debuting tonight during "Sunday Night Football," as the nation's largest beer continues its celebrity-driven marketing approach.
The spot is part of a larger deal that also includes a "Bud Light x Lady Gaga Dive Bar Tour," further TV commercials featuring portions of tracks off Lady Gaga's new album...
|Facebook Tells Advertisers to Speed Up Sites or Don't Bother Asking for Clicks|
Facebook wants advertisers to get faster.
The social network is going after one of the biggest concerns in mobile advertising by telling brands to build better mobile web experiences that load more quickly. Facebook has repeatedly found that people don't stick around for pages that take too long to display -- 40% click away...
|McDonald's Win Is Only the Beginning for Wendy Clark and Omnicom|
Wendy Clark was almost speechless. Almost. And only for a minute.
But according to the DDB North America CEO, she and Omnicom staffers who'd been working on the pitch for the McDonald's creative review had arrived for a Monday morning meeting with the "understanding it was going to be a commercial terms discussion."
|Sarah Jessica Parker Quits EpiPen Campaign|
Add another voice to the outrage over the soaring cost of Mylan's EpiPen: Spokeswoman Sarah Jessica Parker.
The "Sex and the City" star, who was part of the company's "Anaphylaxis: For Reel" effort in May that brought attention to allergic reactions via a media tour and social campaign, took to her Instagram account to denounce the company's price hikes on the device, which now...
|How Brands Can Use Empathy to Connect With Millennial Moms|
Millennial moms are a cross between "Leave it to Beaver"'s June Cleaver and "Odd Mom Out"'s Jill Kargman: They want to do the best for their families while embracing the imperfections of parenting (and life). They also represent the greatest lifetime monetary value of any consumer segment in the history...
|McDonald's Pulls Happy Meal Fitness Bands Due to Skin Irritation|
McDonald's latest attempt to promote exercise with Happy Meal toys has apparently irritated some people. Literally.
The Golden Arches, long criticized for marketing what some say is unhealthy food, has been giving out activity trackers in Happy Meals in the United States and Canada in recent days.
|Pinterest Says It's Making a 'Bigger Bet on Video,' Debuts Promoted Videos|
Image-first platform Pinterest is making a big move into video.
The company on Wednesday introduced Promoted Video ads, allowing users to expand its existing, animated Cinematic Pins to access a full auto-play video with sound. Brands can display six Buyable Pins beneath each video as it plays.
|Why P&G Decided Facebook Ad Targeting Often Isn't Worth the Money|
Why is the world's biggest advertiser, Procter & Gamble, changing its Facebook ad strategy? Although it's not cutting back on advertising with Facebook, it plans to buy highly targeted Facebook ads less often.
Targeting to super-specific audiences was expensive but didn't result in a big difference to its business, P&G CMO Marc Pritchard told The Wall Street Journal.
|Thanks, Zika: NBC Hits Record $1.2 Billion in Ad Sales for Olympics|
NBC hit a new record for Olympic advertising – securing $1.2 billion in national ad sales for the upcoming games in Rio.
"We surpassed what we thought was an unattainable threshold," said Seth Winter, exec VP-advertising sales, NBC Sports Group.
This puts NBC about 20% ahead of ad sales for its 2012 London games.
|McDonald's Nostalgic Love Story May Make You Feel Good About Eating Chicken McNuggets|
McDonald's is taking a nostalgic and heartfelt look at a pair of Chicken McNuggets fans to promote the removal of artificial preservatives from one of the chain's best sellers.
A new commercial from Leo Burnett Chicago and directed by Story Films' Blair Hayes uses a split-screen technique...
|Saatchi Chairman Kevin Roberts Asked to Take Leave After Gender Comments|
Publicis Groupe has asked Saatchi & Saatchi Chairman Kevin Roberts to take a leave of absence following controversial remarks he made suggesting that the ad industry's gender diversity debate is over.
"It is for the gravity of these statements that Kevin Roberts has been asked to take a leave of absence from Publicis Groupe effective immediately," Publicis Chairman...
|Ralph Lauren Comes Back to TV With Olympic Spot|
Since 2008, clothing retailer Ralph Lauren has been an Olympics sponsor and is the official outfitter of Team USA for the opening and closing ceremonies of the Olympics and Paralympics. But it's never run a TV spot on the Olympics -- until now.
In fact, the commercial is the first TV ad for Ralph Lauren's apparel business...
|Booze Brands Rush to Snapchat While Contending With Age Risks|
Here is the surest sign yet that Snapchat is growing up: Alcohol brands are starting to advertise on the mobile app in significant numbers after overcoming fears of marketing on the teen-friendly platform.
Anheuser-Busch InBev broke the seal in May 2015 when it ran ads in Snapchat's "Stories" section that were tied to...
|Verizon's New Ads for Data Plan Overhaul Star LeBron James, Yo Gabba Gabba|
Verizon is overhauling its data plans, adding 30% more data it said yesterday. The change comes as more and more people consume video on their mobile phones.
The increasing amount of data, of course, means the plans will cost more. But Verizon is also letting people carry over unused data for a month and is also introducing "safety mode," a feature that will throttle people's connections...
|How Dove and Axe Got Into Alignment, and Why They Still Need Digital Specialists|
For Keith Weed, advertising that takes progressive stances on gender issues is like spinner luggage: It makes perfect sense when you see it, but took far too long to happen.
|Grocery Brands Flock to Ads Informed by Your Real-World Shopping|
From toothpaste brands to lipstick makers, marketers of consumer packaged goods are jumping at the chance to target consumers based on what they've bought before.
It's historically been a challenge for CPG marketers to know exactly who their customers are, and thus difficult to aim ads at them.
|Five Ways Agencies Can Dismantle Systems Keeping Diversity Out|
I'm grateful to those taking up the charge to build an industry reflective of the world we live in, though we would be remiss to talk about the progress we're working toward without addressing the most pressing and uncomfortable issue keeping diversity out of agencies. I'm talking about white supremacy -- a core component of inequality most ad agency folks are reluctant to acknowledge.
|Crystal Pepsi Is Coming Back to Stores Nationwide|
Aspartame-sweetened Diet Pepsi is not the only soda coming back. PepsiCo is also returning Crystal Pepsi to store shelves nationwide in a retro play. The 1990s-era clear soda will go on sale in 20-ounce bottles for a limited time at major retailers starting July 7 in Canada and Aug. 8 in the U.S., according to PepsiCo.
|Bud Light Tackles Gender Pay Equality in New Ad|
Fresh off a gay marriage-themed ad, Bud Light is using its marketing budget to spotlight another progressive issue: Equal pay for women.
In a TV spot debuting today, Seth Rogen says "women don't get paid as much as men and that is wrong." Amy Schumer, who is co-starring with him in an ongoing campaign...
|KFC Brings in an Extra-Bronzed George Hamilton to Play Extra Crispy Colonel|
KFC has welcomed a very sunkissed George Hamilton to the ranks of its Colonel Sanders actors.
Mr. Hamilton, who will star in four new nationally-aired TV spots, is specifically the Extra Crispy Colonel, promoting the chain's Extra Crispy chicken, making him KFC's first product-specific Colonel.
According to KFC Chief Marketing Officer Kevin Hochman, Mr. Hamilton is a "natural fit"...
|McWhopper Wins Print, a Category 'Trying to Find Its Feet'|
Burger King's McWhopper effort, created by WPP's Y&R New Zealand, bagged the Grand Prix in the Cannes Lion International Festival of Creativity's Print & Publishing category.
The campaign, which invited Burger King's archrival McDonald's to make peace by uniting a Big Mac and a Whopper, eventually spread around the globe and involved six other agencies.
|Soda Under Attack: Can Ad Industry Save One of Its Most Important Clients?|
Here's a challenge for all the creative heavyweights swanning around Cannes next week: Come up with a campaign to save soda.
Granted, there are many other things worthier of saving: whales, seals and other cute mammals. Perhaps trees and wetlands too.
But I'm rather a fan of soda. Soda tastes great and brings me joy, until the carbonation starts backing up half an hour later.
|Stephen Colbert Takes on New General Mills Cereal|
General Mills is out with its first completely new cereal brand in 15 years called Tiny Toast. And according toStephen Colbert, it might be the "biggest breakfast news since Sonny the Cuckoo Bird finally went into rehab." Mr. Colbert dedicated four minutes to the cereal during his "Late Show" monologue Tuesday night, noting that General Mills "finally found a new way to combine sugar and corn." Skrillex and Chance The Rapper even joined Mr. Colbert on stage to rap about the new brand.
|Saved by the Max Sells Out With No Real Marketing|
"Saved by the Bell" still has such a following that a show-themed restaurant sold three months of reservation in minutes, with no traditional marketing.
Saved By The Max, which opened in Chicago's Wicker Park neighborhood in early June, was an idea cooked up by local promoter and events manager Derek Berry...
|Walmart Brings Back the Smiley Face in Ads and in Store|
The Walmart smiley face is making a comeback, CEO Doug McMillon told a gathering of the company's employees today.
Well, technically, the smiley face never went away. He was just "behind the scenes" as Chief Marketing Officer Tony Rogers explains it on the Walmart blog.
|Take a Look at Jim Beam's New Bottle|
Jim Beam is changing its package design -- but Mila Kunis isn't going anywhere. The actress will remain the face of the bourbon in ads, as the bottles get a new look.
The update marks the first significant change to the bottle design in decades, according to the brand. The goal is to use the same design in the more than 100 markets where Beam is sold across the globe. Previously, different designs have been used in different regions.
"Being a truly global iconic brand, with packaging obviously being our most visible..."
|Beware the Siren Song of Marketing Automation|
The ancient legend of the sirens who seduced sailors with their enchanting song -- only to result in often catastrophic shipwrecks -- is an apt metaphor for today's marketing automation adoption journey.
Since the beginning of marketing automation time -- from the sales automation of the 1990s to inbound marketing automation platforms of the 2000s -- today's solutions struggle to balance the delicate tension between serving the art of marketing within the tight construct of marketing automation.
|Kohl's Chewbacca Surprise Leads to Record Engagement|
It was the laugh heard round the world. Late last week, shopper Candace Payne posted a Facebook video of herself wearing the new Star Wars Chewbacca mask she'd bought at Kohl's, and viral stardom ensued. But rather than just chuckling and moving on, Kohl's reacted quickly by creating its own video response...
|Don't Blame Bad Creative on Your Client|
One of the most common excuses I've heard in my 20-plus year career as a creative in advertising is "the client picked the safe idea" or "the client watered the idea down too much." From my perspective, these excuses are mostly caused by three things: 1) a poor client/creative relationship and mistrust; 2) an unstructured creative process and meeting infrequency...
|Why Advertisers Should Break Up With Google's 'Time Spent' Measure|
In the advertising world, Google is the default for almost everything: search, display, video, ad serving, analytics. The products we know as DoubleClick, YouTube, Google Search and Google Analytics are ubiquitous for a reason -- they're damn good. But over time, damn good can turn into average and eventually degrade into bad. For publishers and marketers relying on Google Analytics "time on page" metric, we've moved past bad toward just plain wrong.
|Hulu Will Deliver Interactive Ads Built Specifically for the Living Room|
Hulu is looking to improve the ad experience on its service and help marketers better measure the effectiveness of their media buys on over-the-top devices.
The company announced at its NewFront presentation at Madison Square Garden on Wendesday morning that it has partnered with BrightLine to deliver...
|NYPD and BBDO Try Mannequins Instead of Milk Cartons to Find Missing Boy|
The New York Police Department and BBDO New York are taking the search for missing persons beyond the milk carton. In a project called "Invisible Faces," the face of a boy who disappeared six years ago will now appear on a store window mannequin in an effort to reinvigorate the search and possibly lead to his return. BBDO created the concept, and worked with the NYPD...
|McDonald's Puts U.S. Creative Account Into Review|
McDonald's is issuing a request for proposals to three major holding companies to find a single creative agency to work on its massive U.S. business.
McDonald's currently has Omnicom's DDB and Publicis' Leo Burnett handling the bulk of its national advertising. Both Omnicom and Publicis are part of the RFP process that begins Monday, along with WPP.
|'Saturday Night Live' Will Cut Ads by 30% Next Season|
NBC's "Saturday Night Live" is paring down its commercial load, with plans to cut about 30% of ads out of the sketch comedy show next season.
It will do this by removing two commercial breaks per episode, giving viewers more content, said Linda Yaccarino, chairman-advertising sales and client partnerships, NBC Universal.
And for advertisers, NBC will also be offering a limited opportunity...
|Ad Buying on Facebook Just Got More TV-Like|
Broadcast advertisers will now find familiar terminology when making video ad buys on Facebook.
That's because Facebook wants to make ad buying on its platform more TV-like for broadcast advertisers. The company said Wednesday that target rating point video buys on Facebook or Instagram can now leverage day-parting and Nielsen DMA targeting, two features that were previously unavailable. DMA targeting allows marketers...
|How Marketers Can Win the Great Emoji Arms Race|
In November, Elissa McGee was excited to text and tweet about the public opening of the Guinness Open Gate brewery in Dublin. But the Guinness senior brand manager soon realized a little social media snafu: There was no dark beer emoji for her to include in those messages.
There are well over 1,000 emojis on a standard smartphone keyboard, but the beer ones have a distinctly...
|Pepsi's New '1893' Soda Further Blurs Booze, Soda Marketing|
The line between soda and booze marketing is getting about as blurry as a Sunday morning hangover. Witness the debut ad for Pepsi's new 1893 premium soda brand, which uses a sommelier character who peddles the beverage like a fine whiskey or wine.
The ad is meant to be humorous. But it underscores a serious marketing strategy by PepsiCo...
|Coke Slaps More Than 70 Song Lyrics on Cans and Bottles|
This summer, Coca-Cola will again try to teach the world to sing -- this time with a little help from its bottles and cans.
In the next phase of its "Share a Coke" campaign, the cola giant starting in April will put song lyrics on packaging pulled from more than 70 popular songs. Lyrics cover a range of music, from rock 'n' roll classics like Queen's "We are the Champions"...
|FTC Charges Volkswagen With Deceptive Advertising|
Volkswagen Group of America deceived consumers with advertising that promoted "clean diesel" VWs and Audis that were later discovered as being fit with illegal emission defeat devices, according to the Federal Trade Commission.
The FTC alleges in a complaint filed in federal court that Volkswagen...
|Blue Moon Has New Campaign, Tagline: 'Something's Brewing'|
Blue Moon has long portrayed itself as an artsy craft beer, most recently with stop-motion ads that show the brew's ingredients being painted into a picture.
But that approach has apparently gone stale with the newest generation of drinkers, prompting the MillerCoors-owned brand to update its marketing.
|Dos Equis Will Swap Actor Who Plays Most Interesting Man|
Dos Equis is replacing the actor who plays the Most Interesting Man in the World as the beer brand makes major changes to what is widely viewed as one of the best ad campaigns of the 21st century.
Jonathan Goldsmith, who has played the character since the campaign launched in 2006...
|Why the 'Enthusiasm Gap' Is Basically Nonsense|
Of all the maddening terms of art that political pundits and reporters are bandying about this election season, the most maddening might be "enthusiasm gap."
It's hardly a new phrase, of course; it was widely used in the last presidential election too. But it's had a resurgence this year, particularly on the Democratic side of the race, and specifically in regard to what wags say Hillary Clinton needs to narrow.
|Boy Scouts 'Ambush' Girl Scouts in Sneaky Stunt From 'Got Milk?'|
Goodby, Silverstein & Partners has gotten into a fun groove with its most recent work for "Got Milk?" which goes back to the campaign's roots and reminds consumers that (beyond being good for you) milk just helps food go down — way better.
In its latest effort, GS&P decided to "hijack" one of the season's most popular events — Girl Scout cookie sales.
|Burger King Teases Product With Full-Page Newspaper Covers|
Burger King is taking out full-page cover ads Tuesday featuring its king character to promote its new Grilled Dogs. The latest addition to the chain's permanent lineup was announced earlier this month and officially launches Feb. 23.
Burger King plans to cover the NY Post, NY Daily News, Chicago RedEye, Metro Philly, San Francisco Examiner, Houston Chronicle and Express DC with its advertising. The text next to the king character reads: "THE KING'S GOT A WHOPPER… and we're not talking about burgers."
The print marketing is the latest way Burger King is trying...
|Pepsi Preps Global Emoji Can & Bottle Campaign|
Love them or hate them, emojis are not going anywhere anytime soon because marketers just can't seem to get enough of them. Witness Pepsi, which is the latest big consumer brand to make the wordless icons the centerpiece of a campaign.
The soda brand is planning to market specially designed emoji cans and bottles in more than 100 global markets this year...
|Marketers Keep Spending on Social Despite Lack of Results|
Marketers are expected to nearly double their social media spending in the next five years even though most can't show the impact of social on their business, according to the biannual CMO Survey released Tuesday by Duke University's Fuqua School of Business, the American Marketing Association and Deloitte.