CIA’s ‘hip’ rebrand panned and Facebook loses one of its fiercest advocates: Tuesday Wake-Up Call
Good morning! It might be a new year, but that doesn’t mean social media will be any kinder to brands. The internet tends to be harsh with new logos and redesigns, but when a storied governmental institution tries to act hip, like a d-to-c brand, all is fair in love and memes.
On Monday, the Central Intelligence Agency introduced a new logo and website in a push to attract younger and more diverse recruits but was swiftly mocked on Twitter. Many users criticized the CIA for being too obvious with its youthful, minimalist redesign, comparing the branding to that of an Urban Outfitters’ pop-up shop, a music festival or techno party. Our favorite observation comes from Zachary Roif, creative director at advertising agency R/GA, who tweeted: “The CIA just rebranded to look like “hungry independent ad agency focused on their culture as much as their work.” In fact, there are more than a few similarities between R/GA’s website and the new CIA.gov.
Facebook’s head of business integrity, Rob Leathern, is leaving after four years at the platform. As Ad Age’s Garett Sloane writes, Leathern was a fierce defender who publicly advocated for Facebook last year when the social network was the subject of an advertising boycott to force it to do more to combat hate and harassment. To anyone who would listen, Leathern would explain how the network was cracking down on bad actors. Leathern announced he was leaving on Twitter, where he was known to clash with reporters and defend Facebook.
Social media was busy on Monday. As many workers came back to their virtual offices after holiday vacations, Slack was there to meet them with a massive outage. According to the website Downdector, more than 15,000 people, from Texas to Ukraine, complained of connection issues and Slack was giving updates every 30 minutes. By late afternoon, most users could access the service again, but by then several brands and marketers got in their fun. Some called for another day of vacation.
#Traitor Just ahead of Georgia’s runoff election, conservative PAC The Lincoln Project introduced a new ad that uses Trump’s own words against him. The ad features audio from Trump’s Jan. 2 call to Georgia’s Republican secretary of state, trying to convince him to reverse the state’s election results. The ad carries a simple statement: “Donald Trump is a traitor.” Watch it here.
Meteor as metaphor Ikea is continuing its sustainability push into 2021 with a new U.K. and Ireland spot from Mother London that shows a meteor of waste hurtling toward earth. Luckily, it seems the earth is safe as people make efforts (including upcycling furniture) to keep the meteor at bay.
More Ikea The Verge pointed out that Ikea now stocks mock consoles of the PS5 and Xbox Series X to help consumers buy media cabinets to fit around the massive devices.
From hoops to tunes Portland Trail Blazers Point Guard Damian Lillard stars in a new music video for Hulu in which he performs an original song. This isn’t just a one-off, though. Lillard is an actual rap star, with three albums released under his stage name, Dame D.O.L.L.A. The effort is part of Hulu’s campaign to remind viewers that its live sports coverage is ongoing despite the pandemic.
That does it for today’s Wake-Up Call. Thanks for reading and we hope you are all staying safe and well.
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