Coronavirus hits Nintendo and Domino’s channels ‘Cheers’: 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.
Coronavirus hits Nintendo
Nintendo is the latest company to be affected by the coronavirus outbreak, with reports that a production bottleneck will likely delay shipping of its Switch consoles to U.S. and European markets. Bloomberg News reports that, according to unnamed sources, “limited component supply coming out of China is affecting output at a Nintendo assembly partner’s factory in Vietnam, which the gaming giant primarily uses to build consoles for the U.S.”
This would affect Switch units scheduled for arrival in April, which would be a major blow for the gaming giant, because it’s preparing to release a new installment in its “Animal Crossing” game franchise Mar. 20. The U.S. is the company’s biggest market, accounting for 43 percent of its core business, while Europe and Japan account for 27 percent and 21 percent, respectively.
It's the latest warning shot for global tech which, along with the luxury market, is being hit hard by the outbreak. The New York Times reports this weekend that the lack of Chinese tourists in luxury stores is leading to a "heavy toll" on the luxury sector, which could be facing its worst meltdown since the 2008 financial crisis.
Domino’s channels ‘Cheers’
Following all the nostalgia we saw at the Super Bowl, another big U.S. brand is delving back into the last century for inspiration. Domino’s is channeling hit sitcom “Cheers” in its latest campaign, writes Ad Age’s Jessica Wohl, to promote its new name recognition service.
Tapping into the idea that Cheers is the place where “everybody knows your name,” a new ad by CP&B features George Wendt, who played Norm Peterson in the series, walking down the stairs of the famous Boston bar and announcing he’s there to pick up a pizza. The commercial includes actual footage of Wendt from “Cheers” and the show’s theme song, plus a current recording of the actor’s voice. The footage was mixed in to make it look like he’s Norm in a current-day Domino’s, even though “Cheers” ended its run in 1993.
The campaign promotes Domino’s Pie Pass, which asks people who placed online carryout orders to tap the app when they arrive at the store. Clicking “I’m here” alerts the Domino’s staff that a customer has arrived so that they can get the order ready and greet the customer by name.
HQ Trivia ends with ‘insane’ drunken broadcast
HQ, the company behind the once hugely popular live mobile trivia game HQ Trivia, shut down on Friday, but it didn't go quietly. It ended with what some are calling an “insane” broadcast by drunken hosts.
On Friday, CNN reported that HQ was to close with the loss of 25 jobs after that CEO Rus Yusupov said in a company-wide email that "lead investors are no longer willing to fund the company.” The game show was huge in 2017 but had suffered a number of setbacks.
Then, on Friday night, as TechCrunch reports, host Matt Richards kicked off the game by saying: “Not gonna lie. This f*cking sucks. This is the last HQ ever!” After that “the hosts cursed, sprayed champagne, threatened to defecate on the homes of trolls in the chat window, and begged for new jobs.” You can watch some of it on YouTube here. One comment on the video reads: “This entire experience was worth it, the wasted time, the broken app, the losing, all of it, just for this glorious drunken disintegration. If they gave awards for falling apart, ya'll would win the Nobel.”
Univision sale talks: Univision is in exclusive talks with a bidding group that includes former Viacom executive Wade Davis for a sale that could value it at close to $10 billion, reports the Wall Street Journal.
Data management decline: Data management platforms are facing an uncertain future after Google said it will kill third-party cookies in Chrome by 2022, reports Ad Age’s George P. Slefo. Other threats to the platforms, which use third-party data to allow marketers to target existing and new audiences, include a crackdown on data privacy, consumers who delete cookies or use ad-blocking software and other browsers that block third-party tags.
XFL numbers: Ratings for the rebooted XFL’s opening weekend were encouraging, with 22.5 million viewers on ABC, Fox and ESPN, writes Ad Age’s Anthony Crupi, and the average XFL viewer tuning in for 61 minutes according to Nielsen data. Read more in Sports Media Brief.
Unexpectedly SFW campaign of the week: Valentine’s is over for another year, but this year saw Pornhub promoting its Premium subscription service with a Valentine’s Day pop-up store and social campaign in New York City which wasn’t “quite what you would expect,” reports Ad Age’s Ilyse Liffreing. The experience sold last-minute Valentine’s Day gifts, but Liffreing, who went down to take a look, writes that it was unexpectedly “tasteful” with soft, feminine touches such as baby-pink balloons and a pink suede couch for Instagram selfies. There were also teddies and chocolates—and not a vibrator in sight. Who knew?
That does it for today’s Wake-Up Call, thanks for reading. 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.