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Facebook joins Clubhouse, and behind SheaMoisture's 'ode to Black women': Thursday Wake-Up Call
Plus, Google has a new privacy label; McDonald's Pokémon cards stir craze; and Springsteen arrest taints Jeep ad
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Facebook is known for borrowing ideas, or buying them, whenever a hot new property emerges. This time, it has set its sights on Clubhouse.
Clubhouse is an exclusive app that operates like a private club for people to hold court over a voice chat, kind of like a party line. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg even jumped in a Clubhouse room last week. Now, Zuckerberg wants one. “Facebook executives have ordered employees to create a similar product, known internally as Fireside,” The New York Times reports. “We’ve been connecting people through audio and video technologies for many years and are always exploring new ways to improve that experience for people,” Emilie Haskell, a Facebook spokeswoman, told The Times.
As Facebook explores new places to foster communication, it is cleaning up the old places. On Wednesday, Instagram said it would enforce rules more stringently against people who abuse direct messages. The DMs on Instagram are not public, and they can be used for targeted harassment, but they have been tough to police. Now, Instagram says it will just ban accounts that are the worst offenders.
Also, Facebook is tweaking its main News Feed to clamp down on heated political talk. The News Feed has gotten a bad rap in recent years, because of the charged political discussions that too often veer into objectionable areas. “Making Facebook less political could satisfy critics who blame it for increasing partisan polarization,” The Times reports in another story.
Ad Age continues its series celebrating creative excellence during Black History Month. The latest installment comes from Kristin Tolbert, planning director at BBDO, who was chosen by guest editor Storm Smith.
Tolbert retells her experience jumping into an account pitch within her first days of joining BBDO last year. “It was my third day at BBDO New York, when our chief strategy officer came over and asked me to lead a new business pitch,” Tolbert recounts. “I questioned her judgment—not because I’m not a ringer at bringing home pitches, but because I had barely gotten my BBDO sea legs beneath me.”
The ad pitch turned into a winning campaign for SheaMoisture, “It Comes Naturally,” which BBDO won alongside Joy Collective.
“This campaign couldn’t have been more on time,” Tolbert says. “In a year where Black women bore the brunt of navigating a double pandemic, it meant a lot to do more than just make a cool ad. We created a love letter—an ode to Black womanhood that reminded her that we see her, we care for her and we celebrate her now more than ever.”
Get your shocked Pikachu face on: Pokémon fans are racing to McDonald’s to get newly released trading cards, and the craze has predictably led to the collectibles showing up on sites like eBay for eye-popping prices.
McDonald’s has a new brand partnership selling Pokémon Happy Meals, which come with a pack of special edition trading cards. Now, those cards are getting resold for as much as $1,000 for 100 packs, reports Ad Age’s Ilyse Liffreing.
“In a sign of a great brand partnership strategy, McDonald’s Pokémon Happy Meals are reportedly going out of stock at some locations and people are sharing their efforts to buy as many Happy Meals as they can, just to get their hands on the cards,” Liffreing writes.
Google updated its Chrome Web Store, where people download extensions for their browsers, with new privacy labels. Now, third parties that develop the extensions, like major banks that run shopping programs, have to reveal exactly what they track on consumers. It turns out they track a lot.
Ad Age’s ad tech reporter Mike Juang explores the world of these browser extensions, and why Google had to be more forthcoming about the data they access. There is a growing interest in protecting privacy online, and the extensions are a treasure trove of consumer information for companies like Capitol One and Pay Pal.
“Companies have been turning to browser extensions to collect user data as other sources run dry, fueled by a privacy backlash and recent legislation,” Juang writes.
Jeep pulled its Super Bowl commercial from YouTube yesterday after word emerged that its star, Bruce Springsteen, had been arrested on suspicion of driving while intoxicated back in November. The ad already received backlash because its folksy theme, with The Boss providing narration, seemed incongruous with the general American mood.
“Jeep luring Springsteen for the ad was a big get, considering he has notoriously shunned starring in commercials,” writes Ad Age’s E.J. Schultz. “The ad has gotten mixed reviews, with some critics taking issue with the use of a Christian cross in the ad as not speaking to all audiences. Other people have questioned the viability of people finding a middle ground in the current political environment.”
Last chance for tickets: Ad Age Next: Health & Wellness virtual event takes place later today, featuring insight and discussion from 19 marketing execs on the evolving health and wellness market. Register here.
Smile upgrade: Procter & Gamble is ready to brighten smiles with what it claims is the biggest advancement in teeth whitening in decades, reports Ad Age’s Jack Neff. P&G is set launch Whitening Emulsions with a major campaign, which involves ABC’s “The Bachelor.”
Opening honors: Ad Age is currently accepting entries for Ad Age Leading Women Europe. This annual program recognizes trailblazing women in the industry who reside and work in Europe. Entries are complimentary and are due by Feb. 24.
TikTok block: The Chinese-owned video app has gotten some breathing room in the U.S. as the new administration appears unlikely to force it to sell to an American company. That puts Oracle’s already longshot attempt to buy the app even further away, Bloomberg News reports.