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Friday Wake-Up Call: Rihanna's lingerie line launched (and shoppers are annoyed)

By Published on .

From the Savage X Fenty lingerie line
From the Savage X Fenty lingerie line Credit: Rihanna Twitter

Welcome to Ad Age's Wake-Up Call, our daily roundup of advertising, marketing, media and digital news. What people are talking about today: Rihanna's new lingerie line, Savage X Fenty, went on sale online overnight. It's affordable (bras start at $39), body-positive (bra sizes range from 32A to 44DD) and rather cheeky (she's reportedly selling handcuffs, people!) As Rihanna told Vogue, "I want people to wear Savage x Fenty and think, I'm a bad bitch. I want women to own their beauty."
But when Ad Age tried to have a look at the website, a message popped up saying there would be at least an hour wait to access it. This appeared to happen to most people. On Twitter, where the launch was a top trending topic, people posted memes about endless wait times. Some people who managed to get on the site had technical problems. "THIS IS HELL," someone wrote. To sum things up: A whole bunch of people queued up in the middle of the night to look at a web site. What's the deal?

Pepsi generations
Pepsi's new cans feature images of two late, great musicians, Ray Charles and Michael Jackson, along with another former Pepsi ambassador, Britney Spears. As E.J. Schultz writes in Ad Age, the brand is "reaching back once again to its pop culture glory days in an effort to boost sagging sales." Will the retro touch appeal to consumers, including people too young to remember the long-ago ads they're referencing? For the occasion, Spears gave People an interview reminiscing about her 2002 Pepsi commercial, in which she is quoting saying things like: "That was like 15 years ago. Goodness! I'm like, 'Wait a second!'" (Guess there weren't many scintillating sound bites from People's exclusive interview with the pop star.)

Klout
Remember Klout, the service that purported to measure your star power on social media? Refresher: An Ad Age story from back in 2011 noted that Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi of "Jersey Shore" had a Klout score of 92, while Jesus Christ (to be more specific, @jesus_m_christ) notched a mere 83. Anyway, Klout is closing down, as Ad Age's Garett Sloane writes. The Klout score, invented 10 years ago, simply became less relevant. For a while, some people had taken it really seriously. As Sloane writes, "Britney Spears once went to the company's headquarters in San Francisco demanding to know why her score was lower than Lady Gaga's."

Facebook, Russian trolls and ... Beyonce
Finally, we're getting a look at the full trove of about 3,500 Facebook ads bought by Russian agents before and after the 2016 U.S. election, after Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee released them to the public. The ads tried to exacerbate divisions among Americans over issues like immigration, racism and … Beyonce. As The Washington Post writes, Russian trolls used ads to try "to fuel rallies and protests, endeavoring at one point in 2016 to pit Beyoncé fans and critics against each other in New York City."
Also: Facebook's stock price has now fully recovered from the Cambridge Analytica scandal. Axios writes: "Wall Street is no longer worried that the privacy scandal will either diminish Facebook usage or lead to costly U.S. regulations."

Just briefly:
Going up:
Digital ad revenue totaled $88 billion last year, up 21 percent from 2016, the Interactive Advertising Bureau says. Read more by Ad Age's George Slefo.

Going down: MDC Partners' stock dropped 29 percent Thursday after the company reported weak financial results, Ad Age's Bradley Johnson writes. MDC is the parent company of agencies including 72andSunny and Anomaly.

Upfronts: Ad Age's Jeanine Poggi looks at how networks are trying to cut down on ads to be more Netflix-like; watch the video here.

Vanishing act: Cisco's CMO, Karen Walker, wrote an unusual blog post saying the company was pulling ads off YouTube to avoid a "brand-tarnishing experience," Business Insider writes. But when a reporter asked the company about it, the post disappeared.

Tidal: A Norwegian magazine says Jay-Z's music streaming app Tidal inflated the number of Beyoncé and Kanye West streams, but the company calls the report "a smear campaign." Read more by Garett Sloane in Ad Age.

Apple Pay: Apple and Goldman Sachs are working together on a credit card, The Wall Street Journal says. The cards will bear the Apple Pay brand.

Number of the day: To watch all of Netflix's original programming so far from 2018, it would take you 27 days, Indiewire says.

Creativity pick of the day: For an ESPN ad, Skee-Lo updates the lyrics of his 1995 single "I Wish," the one that goes, "I wish I was a little bit taller, I wish I was a baller." It's an ad from Droga5's first effort for ESPN, "Life Needs Sports." Read more by Ad Age's Anthony Crupi, watch the spot here, and be prepared to have the lyrics stuck in your head for the rest of the day. Happy Friday.

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