Reality show ‘Introvert Island’ goes viral (kinda), and Starbucks’ TV advertising surges: Datacenter Weekly
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Less (data) is more
Big (data) news from Google: The company just “tweaked its privacy policies to set data to automatically delete after 18 months for new accounts and will notify its billions of existing users that they can delete their data too,” Bloomberg News reports (via Ad Age).
Why now? “The announcement comes just a week before enforcement under a new California privacy law comes into effect,” Bloomberg notes.
The coronavirus gap
“New federal data reinforces the stark racial disparities that have appeared with COVID-19,” NPR reports. “According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Black Americans [who are] enrolled in Medicare were hospitalized with the disease at rates nearly four times higher than their white counterparts. Disparities were also striking among Hispanics and Asian Americans. Hispanics were more than twice as likely to be hospitalized as whites, while Asian Americans were about 50 percent more likely.” Keep reading here.
The definitive look at the agency ecosystem
Ad Age Datacenter subscribers get access to all the exclusive competitive intel tucked into Ad Age Agency Report 2020, including:
• Agency Family Trees 2020, a database of the world’s 25 largest agency companies with profiles, agency holdings, financial facts and links to related content.
• Expanded rankings of agencies by discipline, downloadable in Excel.
• Fast facts and figures on more than 400 agencies and networks.
We published our first Agency Report in 1945, and in the decades since then, this annual deep dive into the advertising and marketing-services agency ecosystem has become an industry must-read. You’re already a Datacenter subscriber, right? You’re really missing out if you aren’t.
Let’s all move to Introvert Island
“How you really watched 20 hours of ‘Introvert Island’?” an announcer says in Taco Bell’s latest commercial (above), as a Netflix-like grid of TV shows appears on screen and the camera zooms in on an “Introvert Island” title card.
Spoiler: No, you really haven’t binge-watched “Introvert Island,” because the show doesn’t actually exist—although a lot of people clearly would like it to. The ad is actually a plug for Taco Bell’s $5 Chalupa Cravings Box.
The faux reality show ad debuted on TV on June 14, but Taco Bell only got around to posting the spot this past Monday on its official YouTube channel—and the results so far have been delicious.
As of this writing, “Introvert Island” (the 15-second ad, not the non-existent show) has racked up 7.3 million views on YouTube. Tubular, the social video analytics company, tells Ad Age Datacenter that that’s an impressively fast run-up, even for Taco Bell, whose YouTube channel tends to do very well in general (e.g., so far 10 different Taco Bell YouTube videos posted this year have each earned more than a million views). In less than five days since getting posted, “Introvert Island” is already one of the top 10 Taco Bell YouTube videos by views so far this year, and it’s a top 5 Taco Bell video by Tubular’s V3 metric (which measures views within the first three days of publishing).
Many of the comments on the YouTube posting of “Introvert Island” give a pretty clear picture of why this particular ad has gone viral. For instance, a comment posted three days ago reads, “I really searched introvert island because of this commercial, I thought it was a real show.” To which someone else responds, “So it’s not a real show?” To which someone else responds, “I was sort of hoping it was a new show.” To which someone else responds, “Same I was so interested.” To which someone else responses, “same broooo.” To which someone else responds, “Introvert gang.”
Followed by, just this morning, “Why they play us like that lol.”
Note to Taco Bell: Ad Age Datacenter Weekly would like to order a $5 Chalupa Cravings Box, please—and a 20-episode first season of “Introvert Island” on the side. To go. Thanks.
Bigger than Samsung (in Africa)
Ever hear of Transsion? If you’re in the West, probably not. But it’s a household name to millions of Africans, as Andrew Deck explains in “Africa’s phone phenom: Your guide to Transsion,” a fascinating deep dive from Rest of the World (“Reporting Global Tech Stories”).
“In 2008,” Deck writes, “Transsion Holdings sold its first mobile device in Nigeria. Within a decade, the Chinese company, which has virtually zero name recognition inside China, had expanded across Africa. In 2017, it overtook Samsung as the continent’s number one mobile phone supplier. ... Transsion recorded over 40 percent of smartphone sales in Africa in the last quarter of 2019, according to research firm IDC. For the past three years, Transsion has led Africa in market share.” Keep reading here.
Last week we kicked off a regular look at marketers that have actually been increasing their TV ad spend lately. The first installment covered Headspace, the self-described “guided meditation and mindfulness” provider/app.
The subject of today’s close-up, with TV ad spend shared exclusively with Datacenter Weekly by iSpot.tv, is Starbucks. To wit:
• Starbucks spent an estimated $312,000 on TV advertising from March 1 through May 19 as many of its locations shut down or shifted to limited service (with closed seating areas, reduced hours, drive-thru-only service, etc.).
• From March 20 through June 23, Starbucks spent an estimated $19.8 million on TV advertising. The coffee chain has been placing a lot of its ads in entertainment programming on cable networks such as Bravo and E!, as well as the traditional broadcast networks’ late-night talk shows, according to iSpot.
• From June 1-23, Starbucks spent an estimated $12.9 million on TV advertising, which puts it in 29th place among all brands tracked by iSpot so far this month.
• Among the Starbucks ads getting major airtime lately: this one, promoting Starbucks Nitro Cold Brew.
• “Voter Registrations Are Way, Way Down During The Pandemic,” FiveThirtyEight reports.
The newsletter is brought to you by Ad Age Datacenter, the industry’s most authoritative source of competitive intel and home to the Ad Age Leading National Advertisers, the Ad Age Agency Report: World’s Biggest Agency Companies and other exclusive data-driven reports. Access or subscribe to Ad Age Datacenter at AdAge.com/Datacenter.
Ad Age Datacenter is Kevin Brown, Bradley Johnson and Catherine Wolf.
This week’s newsletter was compiled and written by Simon Dumenco.