The Lowdown is Ad Age's weekly look at news nuggets from across the world of marketing, including trends, campaign tidbits, executive comings and goings and more.
Condom ads have been on TV a long time, and Trojan has spent more than $15 million over the past year on such cable programming as the Cartoon Network's Adult Swim, according to iSpot.tv. But now a condom ad is about to be allowed on a broadcast network for the first time, said Church & Dwight Co. CEO Matthew Farrell in a speech to the Consumer Analyst Group of New York conference in Boca Raton, Fla., last week. He showed a relatively tame-for-condoms ad, which a spokeswoman for the brand from Edelman later said isn't set to air until April. It's for a new Trojan XOXO line aimed at women, who actually purchase one in three condoms, Mr. Farrell said. XOXO condoms come in a travel pack discreet enough to look like a travel compact, and apparently to get past network standards monitors.
If Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett learned one thing from the rejected Kraft Heinz takeover of Unilever, it's that no means no. Mr. Buffett explained the odd three-way courtship on CNBC Monday, noting that he and Kraft Heinz Chairman/3G Capital Co-founder Alexandre Behring agreed to make an offer to Unilever "if they were open to it." Mr. Behring first contacted Unilever CEO Paul Polman shortly after his fourth-quarter earnings report in January, and didn't get an immediate rejection, so he returned with an outline of an offer two weeks later, according to Mr. Buffett's description. "It reminds me of that old story about the difference between a diplomat and a lady," Mr. Buffett told CNBC's Becky Quick. "If a diplomat says yes, he means maybe. If he says maybe, he means no. If he says no, he's no diplomat. And if a woman says no, she means maybe. And if she says maybe, she means yes. And if she says yes, she's no lady." (The Huffington Post was among those calling out Mr. Buffett for the objectional quote, noting that it comes amid "heightened sensitivity to sexual harassment in the business realm.") Mr. Buffett said Mr. Behring "probably got a maybe, and he didn't know if it was coming from a diplomat or a lady." Mr. Polman apparently was being diplomatic. In direct discussions the day after the Feb. 17 news of the offer, Mr. Buffett said Unilever made clear the deal was unwanted, and he made clear he never intended to back a hostile offer.
Tempur-Sealy lost around 20% of its business when Mattress Firm terminated its contract in January after the company wouldn't agree to economic concessions. Now, the company is coming off the mat, stepping up national advertising, with a new "This Sleep Is Power" campaign for Tempur-Pedic from Hill Holliday Boston that takes breaks with category norms by talking about the deeper benefits of a good night's sleep. The campaign will follow nine real people, some with their own comeback stories, talking about how restful sleep on Tempur-Pedic mattresses has fueled their achievements. The first two include a testimonial from former Navy Seal Andy Stumpf, who took 30 pieces of shrapnel in his leg, but still says he gets a comfortable sleep from his Tempur-Pedic. Another spot shows Michelle Salt, a Paralympian who battled back from a nearly fatal motorcycle accident in part with help from restful sleep on one of the brand's mattresses.
Diageo's Buchanan's Scotch Whisky has tapped SoundCloud for help on a consumer contest that continues the brand's multicultural marketing push. The brand partnered with Hispanic star J Balvin to record a new track called "Es Nuestro Momento," which "celebrates the Latino community and their positive influence on American mainstream culture." With SoundCloud's help, the brand plans to make vocals of the unreleased track available to aspiring musicians to integrate into their own songs. Buchanan's plans to allow consumers to vote for their favorite version among finalists.
Tauck, the 92-year-old personalized travel and tour guide company, has selected Firstborn as digital AOR, following an RFP that was sent to 10 agencies and had six present for the business. Firstborn will first redesign Tauck's online presence, helping make the website easier to navigate. The shop will also work with Tauck on exploring digital product innovations to improve curated travel experiences for guests.
Culver's named Julie Schaubroeck as VP-marketing for the ButterBurger chain. She was most recently associate VP-brand and consumer marketing at American Family Insurance, and she also has years of food experience, including a decade at Kraft Foods working on brands including Oscar Mayer. Ms. Schaubroeck replaces David Stidham, who left Culver's in 2016.
Contributing: Jack Neff, Lindsay Stein, Jessica Wohl, E.J. Schultz