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Digital Marketing & Ad Tech News
Snapchat's dancing hot dog rocks the vote and Richards Group identity crisis revealed: Tuesday Wake-Up Call
Plus, Amazon launches new API, Facebook gets into gaming and kid influencers promote junk food
Snapchat’s dancing hot dog is making a lovable comeback just in time for the election. The augmented-reality rascal first made an appearance in 2017 as a filter within Snapchat that bopped along in people’s videos. Now, the dancing dog has a “get out the vote” message and a cute little Uncle Sam get-up. It’s part of Snapchat’s push to register voters and get them to the polls, writes The Verge.
Facebook, too, has been conducting a digital voter registration drive since summer. The social network now says it reached its goal of signing up more than 4 million new voters, according to USA Today. And on Monday, Twitter also had an election message to spread—or not spread, rather. The platform wants to debunk election-based misinformation before it is shared, NBC News reports.
Meanwhile, Twitch also is doing public service announcements. In a new campaign with The Ad Council, Twitch is running a spot called “My Mask Is My Cheat Code,” a plea to gamers on taking proper COVID-19 precautions, writes Ad Age’s Ilyse Liffreing.
“It appears that there are two Richards Groups,” reports Ad Age executive editor Judann Pollack, who for the past several weeks has been chronicling the fall of Stan Richards. In her latest exposé of the tarnished ad exec and the agency he founded, Pollack delves into a troubling history at the firm that foretold its current trajectory. Richards precipitated his own demise earlier this month with a blaringly racist remark on a call with a client.
Pollack talks with clients and employees, who say the agency has fostered long-simmering insensitivities, including a lack of representation and diversity. “I don’t ever remember seeing any people of color or diverse talent when visiting their Dallas office,” says Christopher Parr, a longtime client. “While they are an amazingly talented agency, they have significant diversity issues. It is indicative of their culture.”
And there’s much more. Read it here.
Ad Age reports on the latest developments coming out of Amazon’s advertising partner program and the new capabilities that will help brands make sense of the service—which can be quite confusing. “Amazon advertising partners say that changes are in store within Amazon that will make it easier for brands at a time when e-commerce marketing has become a vital lifeline for businesses in the COVID-19 economy,” Ad Age writes. “One of the most anticipated changes just dropped when Amazon released a DSP API.”
Facebook released its new cloud gaming portal with a smattering of titles that will be available at launch. The gaming hub won’t be available on iPhones or in the Apple App Store, because Facebook is making a statement about fees that Apple charges developers, which has also been the center of a court battle between Apple and Epic Games, the maker of “Fortnite.” “The exclusion of Apple devices from Facebook cloud gaming is the latest shot fired in a long-running feud between the companies,” CNBC reports.
Meanwhile, games are an entryway for Facebook to deliver more interactive ads, reports Business Insider. “These aren't your standard video advertisements, but playable ads that offer interactivity with whatever game is being advertised,” Business Insider writes.
YouTube is feeding kids a steady diet of junk food, according to a new study in the journal Pediatrics. Researchers looked at more than 400 videos on YouTube that were geared toward children, starring some of the most popular video creators known as kid influencers. It found references to brands like McDonald’s, Carl’s Jr., Hershey’s, Chuck E. Cheese and Taco Bell. “About 90 percent of the foods featured in the YouTube videos were unhealthy items like milkshakes, French fries, soft drinks and cheeseburgers emblazoned with fast food logos,” The New York Times reports.
Kazakhstan no longer wants to fight the fake journalist Borat, and instead will make the most of the attention his latest movie will bring. The New York Times looked into a new Kazakhstan tourism campaign that even borrows Borat’s catchphrase, “Very nice.” Yermek Utemissov pitched the tourism board on the idea and told The Times: “It’s a newer generation. They’ve got Twitter, they’ve got Instagram, they’ve got Reddit, they know English, they know memes. They get it. They’re inside the media world. We’re looking at the same comedians, the same Kimmel show. Kazakhstan is globalized."
Fresh food-prints: Bill Nye the Science Guy is working with Chipotle in a new ad campaign to promote the restaurant’s “Real Foodprint” tracker. Chipotle joins the ranks of fast-food restaurants using social media to highlight responsible food management and the benefits to the environment, reports Ad Age’s Ilyse Liffreing.
McDonald’s fest: “I’m Lovin’ It Live,” McDonald’s first branded music festival, is coming to the UK, reports Business Insider. The show streams Oct. 30 to Nov. 1 to people with the My McDonald’s app in the UK and Ireland and will feature acts including Lewis Capaldi.
Coming together: Ad Age Town Hall starts streaming today at 11 a.m., bringing stakeholders from across the industry to debate multicultural marketing. To attend, visit here.
Digital edition: Ad Age looks at this haunted Halloween season and how candymakers are keeping the holiday spirit alive despite the challenges of the pandemic. Meanwhile, Quibi’s demise offers lessons for streaming advertisers. These are among the stories in Ad Age’s latest digital edition, available exclusively for subscribers to download here.