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Ad Age Wake-Up Call: A Millennial Dilemma. Weepy Ads. And an Eclipse Marketing Blitz

By Published on .

Good morning. Welcome to Ad Age's Wake-Up Call, our daily roundup of advertising, marketing and digital-related news. What people are talking about today: It's finally time for that solar eclipse. For people who didn't buy viewing glasses, it's not too late: Here's an Instagram tutorial from Corona beer about how to make a pinehole camera out of 12-pack packaging, as spotted by Creativity Online's Alexandra Jardine.

Sadly, though, for '80s afficionados who dreamed of watching Bonnie Tyler sing "Total Eclipse of the Heart" during a Royal Caribbean cruise, that ship has sailed. The cruise liner departed Sunday from Florida in what was probably the most on-the-nose of the many, many eclipse marketing stunts. (Ad Age's Garett Sloane compiled a handy list here, ICYM.) The eclipse is viewable this afternoon across a swathe of North America and a few other locales. For anybody feeling guilty about ditching work to watch the heavens align, don't, says Recode: "Go ahead and watch the eclipse! You're not going to cause a productivity crisis."

On that note, here's a link to NASA's live broadcast.

Generation generic
This week's Ad Age cover story unpacks a problem that has established brands very worried: Millennials just aren't so attached to them. "While it is perhaps a fool's errand to paint an entire generation with the same brush, just over half of millennials, 51%, have no real preference between private-label and national brands, according to a study by Cadent Consulting Group," writes Ad Age's Adrianne Pasquarelli. No industry is immune, and as one expert says, "we're going to see more and more of this."

Brands vs. Trump
Columnists in a few publications offered their take on CEOs stepping up last week while President Trump floundered in his response to the violence in Charlottesville, Va. As Steven Pearlstein wrote in The Washington Post, "It took Donald Trump to convince corporate leaders that maximizing profits for shareholders is not all that matters ..." Meanwhile, the headline on a Financial Times column put things succinctly: "Business can fill the Trump leadership vacuum."

No more tears
Ad Age's Simon Dumenco is declaring a moratorium on "cry before you buy" commercials. A Windex ad about a father and daughter is what apparently pushed Dumenco over the edge. After all, it seems terribly unfair of Windex to use "an emotive coming-of-age tale to market a proprietary blend of water, 2-hexoxyethanol, isopropanolamine, sodium dodecylbenzene sulfonate, lauramine oxide, ammonium hydroxide, fragrance and Liquitint sky-blue dye." We won't spoil any more of his one-liners; read his hilarious column here.

Just briefly:

Looking ahead: Samsung Electronics will be in the news a lot this week, as The Wall Street Journal notes. On Wednesday in New York, the company launches the Galaxy Note 8 as it tries to bounce back from its big recall. And in South Korea on Friday, a court will rule on a bribery case against Samsung heir Jay Y. Lee.

Low-key: Electronic Arts and the NFL are going to work together on a video game tournament where gamers can play from their couches, as opposed to in the huge venues where many e-sports competitions take place, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Patagonia: The outdoor gear company's first-ever TV ad is aimed squarely at U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke, and it's about the need to protect public lands, Fast Company reports.

A curious void: Pop star Taylor Swift has wiped her social media accounts clean with no explanation. The Boston Globe lays out three possible explanations. Maybe she just wanted a fresh start, or she was hacked, or she's going to drop a new album.

ICYM: Atari and Kit Kat are having a spat. Atari says Nestle's Kit Kat copied its hit 1970s game for a UK ad campaign, and it filed a suit in the U.S, The Hollywood Reporter says. Nestle, meanwhile, says it will "defend itself strongly" against the allegations.

Campaign of the day: The Washington Post has a handy tool for decoding President Trump's worldview, as Ann-Christine Diaz reports in Creativity Online. The newspaper created @Trumps_Feed to let you see what the commander-in-chief sees when he opens his Twitter app.

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