Ad Age A-List winners revealed; Wieden+Kennedy is Agency of the Year: Monday Wake-Up Call
Welcome to Ad Age’s Wake-Up Call, our daily roundup of advertising, marketing, media and digital news. If you're reading this online or in a forwarded email, here's the link to sign up for our Wake-Up Call newsletters.
W+K is Agency of the Year as Ad Age reveals A-List
Good morning, and if you’re gearing up for more pandemic headlines, you can take a temporary break. This morning Ad Age reveals its 2020 A-List and celebrates the best our industry had to offer in 2019.
Our Agency of the Year, Wieden & Kennedy, takes the top honor for the third consecutive year—unprecedented since Ad Age began awarding Agency of the Year in 1974. Among its achievements: 21 new business wins including the U.S. creative business for McDonald’s; W+K's Portland office evolved its “Dream Crazy” work for Nike into a brand platform celebrating women in sport; and its New York office grew the Ford account into one of the agency’s largest clients. As Ad Age’s I-Hsien Sherwood writes, “Few agencies have shown that they can iterate and reevaluate and continue to deliver culture-leading creative better than Wieden.”
Other top winners honored in the A-List include Droga 5, which takes the accolade of Agency of the Decade for its "big, brave ideas," while TBWA/MAL is named as Creativity Agency of the Year for work including its "What happens on your iPhone" billboard campaign at CES. Meanwhile, adam&eveDDB is our International Agency of the Year after netting big name clients on both sides of the Atlantic, and Fernando Machado of Restaurant Brands International is named Brand CMO of the Year for his transformational work for brands including Burger King and Popeyes. Check out the full list here. If you’re a subscriber, you can download a PDF of the magazine here.
Brands raise $127 million for 'One World Together at Home'
A different kind of “event TV” took place on Saturday night, with Global Citizen’s “One World Together at Home” coronavirus relief effort airing on ABC, CBS and NBC. The broadcast, co-hosted by Jimmy Fallon, Jimmy Kimmel and Stephen Colbert, featured performances from the likes of Lady Gaga, Elton John, Jennifer Lopez and the Rolling Stones in their own homes.
Unlike the big telethons of the past like “Live Aid,” which asked viewers to donate to a charitable effort, the broadcast was supported by brands donating directly to the WHO's COVID-19 Solidarity Relief Fund. Coca-Cola, GlaxoSmithKline, IBM, Johnson & Johnson, PepsiCo, Procter & Gamble, State Farm, Target and Verizon were among those lending their support. The L.A. Times reports that after the concert, Global Citizen said it had raised $127 million. Meanwhile, according to reports including by Mail Online, the broadcast attracted 14 million viewers across U.S. network television.
Reviews, however, were mixed: while the LA Times said the broadcast “offered a novel mix of coziness and splendor,” writing in the New York Post, reviewer Johnny Oleksinski commented that it “made us feel even worse about our already miserable circumstances” adding: “Nearly every musician opted for the saddest, most obvious tune they could muster, while—lucky us!—giving a shaky tour of their fabulous homes that would make Robin Leach scowl.”
Esports attracts marketers
With advertising across the board thrown into turmoil by the coronavirus, many sectors of media are suffering. But one has seen an uptick: esports. As Ad Age’s Ilyse Liffreing reports, “With people confined to their living rooms, coupled with the absence of live sports on the air, the competitive gaming sphere is seeing increased interest from brands, both large and small.”
Brands pivoting their marketing dollars into esports include BMW, which is teaming up with five esports organizations for a multiyear partnership that includes sponsored content creation, social media campaigns, its logo on jerseys and its vehicles to transport players to future tournaments.
Meanwhile rival automaker Subaru also partnered with sim racing platform iRacing to sponsor a racing championship, and Nissan has doubled up on sponsored content with esports partner FaZe Clan. As Liffreing writes, at a time when car sales are tanking, “the fact that big-spending auto brands are still moving forward with esports campaigns is notable.”
Keeping track of agency layoffs and furloughs
It’s a sad sign of the times, but after in week in which a series of networks and agencies announced furloughs and layoffs, Ad Age has launched a new blog to help navigate developments. The most recent agencies to announce cuts include MDC's CPB, which confirmed on Thursday that it has furloughed and laid off some staff; and IPG's McCann Worldgroup, which said its measures include salary cuts, freezes on hiring and temporary labor, major cuts on nonessential spending, and furloughs in markets where those are available. The blog, which will be continually updated as the situation develops, can be found here. And, if you have news to share on this topic, get in touch with Ad Age’s Lindsay Rittenhouse at [email protected]
Facebook plugs Portal: Facebook is taking the fight to Zoom as it releases a new TV commercial for its videoconferencing device Portal. Ad Age’s Garett Sloane reports that the spot is "heavy on the emotional appeal to families at home, saying they can still feel like they are in the room with loved ones while talking over Portal video.” The tagline, “If you can’t be there, feel there” was used in a previous Portal ad that featured the Muppets.
ICMYI: Sir Martin Sorrell discussed the coronavirus effect on global marketing and advertising with Ad Age’s Jeanine Poggi on Friday. Sir Martin, ensconced in his London home surrounded by cartoons (and a curious figurine, his birthday present from MediaMonks’ Wesley Ter Haar), talks about the situation in the U.K., his hopes for the recovery and fears for the second wave. Also, hear his views on the future of business travel—and what he thinks about a virtual Cannes. Catch up here.
A cynical take on corona creativity: Since the pandemic began, brands’ heartfelt ads that cut together uplifting and tragic images from the coronavirus crisis have been pouring in. But if you're starting to become weary of efforts so far, or even a little cynical, Ad Age's Ann-Christine Diaz writes, “here’s one that drops the mic on all of them.” A film by New York-based copywriter Samantha Geloso, titled "Hey, we're a brand," cleverly pastiches the coronavirus "montage" and takes a swipe at brands' sentimental spots, with delicate piano music accompanying footage of empty supermarket shelves and the obligatory shot of an old person in front of a birthday cake. Check it out here.
That does it for today’s Wake-Up Call, thanks for reading and we hope you are all staying safe and well. For more industry news and insight, follow us on Twitter:@adage.
From CMO Strategy to the Ad Age Datacenter Weekly, we’ve got newsletters galore. See them all here.
Subscribers make the difference. Individual, group and corporate subscriptions are available—including access to our Ad Age Datacenter. Find options atAdAge.com/membership.