Cleveland to drop Indians name, and CES makes virtual pitch: Monday Wake-Up Call
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Following the Washington Football Team’s decision to drop its “Redskins” name, the Cleveland Indians baseball team is also planning on a name change to something less racially offensive, according to the New York Times.
It's thought Cleveland could announce its plans as soon as this week, although it’s not known what the new name would be and it could still use the Indians moniker for the 2021 season. The Cleveland team has used the Indians name since 1915, although more recently it had been phasing out the imagery and logo of cartoon mascot Chief Wahoo.
The move is in line with the efforts of many brands to drop racist names and imagery in the wake of the death of George Floyd, including Aunt Jemima syrup, Uncle Ben’s rice and Eskimo Pie. President Trump reacted to the story by criticizing the move as another example of “cancel culture,” tweeting “Oh no! What is going on? This is not good news, even for 'Indians'. Cancel culture at work!”
CES is taking place next month, but it won’t be happening in Vegas or even staying in Vegas. Thanks to the pandemic, organizers have moved the annual show to a virtual setting and, as Ad Age’s Garett Sloane reports, “there are signs that some of the most prominent companies in tech and advertising won’t be as active.”
Sloane obtained a copy of a pitch deck for CES that asks for up to $25,000 to participate in the “reimagined” program involving a “digital venue.” The cost is similar to past years, when the event was held in person, although as Sloane points out, “the exhibitors save on the significant costs of travel, live installations, and the Las Vegas lifestyle.”
Companies planning smaller footprints at the virtual CES include Facebook and Twitter, according to people familiar with those companies’ plans, while some agencies also see the price as a barrier. Two agency execs also told Sloane that sponsorship packages costing up to $80,000 seemed “steep.”
New broke early this morning that Reddit is acquiring the video-sharing app Dubsmash to expand its presence in user-created video. The Wall Street Journal reports that Dubsmash is the first major acquisition for 15-year-old Reddit, and will let it gain “more sophisticated” user-created video capabilities, meaning it could better compete with the likes of TikTok.
New York-based Dubsmash, founded in 2015, was last valued at $47.5 million in 2016, and its app has been downloaded nearly 197 million times. Its 12 employees will join Reddit’s workforce of around 700 people, says the WSJ.
Netflix’s Chief Marketing Officer Bozoma Saint John has struck a publishing deal for a memoir that details how she learned to cope with the death of her husband seven years ago, writes Ad Age’s Jeanine Poggi.
Titled “The Urgent Life,” it will tell the story of the photos of her husband, Peter Saint John, that she took in his last few weeks and how loss taught her how to live life with urgency. The book, which will be published by Viking in 2022, is described as as “roadmap to navigating struggle, and a touchstone for those enduring their own battles, letting them know that they are not alone, that they can make it through, and that there is light and peace, and even inspiration, waiting for them when they do.”
Taking the pledge: A group of agencies and brand marketers in Atlanta, Georgia have taken a pledge to dismantle systemic racism within their businesses, writes Ad Age’s Lindsay Rittenhouse in this week’s Agency Brief. Read more here.
Grabbing the wheel: Electronic Arts has agreed to buy out U.K. developer Codemasters in a move that could see it wrest control of the racing video game genre, reports The Verge.
The Week Ahead: The Electoral College meets to cast their votes in the presidential election today but President Trump has more ads planned promoting his efforts to overturn the election. Plus, Nike has earnings out this week and the Federal Reserve wraps up its final meeting of the year. Check our weekly calendar roundup here.
Peak weird: A spot from the Philippines from RC Cola takes the prize for the weirdest ad we’ve seen all year. It tells the story of a son who confronts his mother after he suspects he is adopted, and while it starts out as a typically soapy drama, midway it takes a completely unexpected turn. No spoilers, but watch it here at Creativity. And don’t forget to catch up with the livestreamed Top 5 ideas of the week.
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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