Dunkin’ in sale talks, and Fox News wins election ad spend race: Monday Wake-Up Call
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Dunkin’ Brands is in talks to be acquired by Inspire Brands, the private equity-backed group that owns Buffalo Wild Wings, Arby’s and Jimmy John’s.
The move, first reported by the New York Times, could see Inspire take the parent company of Dunkin’ and Baskin-Robbins private at $106.50 a share. It has been publicly traded since 2011. A deal could be announced as soon as today, said the Times. However, Dunkin’ Brands only confirmed that it has had “preliminary discussions” with Inspire, which is backed by Atlanta-based private equity group Roark Capital.
According to Bloomberg News, shares of Dunkin’ Brands have more than doubled since March on investor optimism that its mobile ordering app and loyalty program boosted sales during the pandemic. Despite announcing the permanent closure of more than 800 restaurant locations in July, the company—which dropped the name “Donuts” in 2018 to emphasize a broader focus on beverages—has also benefited as customers come to its stores later in the day and buy more-expensive items like espresso.
With the presidential election little more than a week away, the winner of the advertising spending race has already been declared: Fox News.
As Ad Age’s Simon Dumenco and Kevin Brown report in a pre-election day edition of Ad Age Campaign Ad Scorecard, Fox News has roundly beaten its national TV rivals when it comes to campaign ads, pulling in a total of $26.3 million in presidential campaign ad dollars in the space of six months. In second place was its sibling Fox Broadcasting Company, at $13.3 million, followed by CBS with $12.6 million.
Fox News benefited from both the Trump and Biden campaigns, as well PAC money. While the president spent $19.5 million on the cable network, the Democrat contender spent $6.1 million on Fox News during the post-primary season, almost as much as the $6.6 million his campaign spent on CNN.
However, some of the most astounding windfalls have come at the local level. For instance, Orlando ABC affiliate WFTV has pulled in a total of $17.8 million for airing ads from Team Biden, Team Trump, and pro-Biden and pro-Trump PACs during the post-primary season.
For a comprehensive breakdown of the data and trends, read on here.
As the election draws nearer, get-out-the-vote initiatives are reaching fever pitch and, as Ad Age’s Ilyse Liffreing reports, one area that has attracted a lot of effort is gaming.
High-profile examples include representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ilhan Omar joining two top Twitch streamers to play the popular game “Among Us” on the platform last week. And, this weekend, in recognition of the inaugural “Vote Early Day” on Oct. 24, MTV partnered with gaming organizations in a multi-hour streaming competition called “Fall-o-Ween” as part of its “Vote For Your Life” campaign. Even kids are being targeted in the hope that they will vote in future elections; creative agency Sid Lee worked with Rock the Vote to craft voting houses within Minecraft.
The efforts recognize the importance of young people in the election, but have also been propelled by the coronavirus as the number of people staying home and playing video games during the pandemic has skyrocketed.
The ANA’s virtual Masters of Marketing event came to a close last week and, in case you missed it, Ad Age’s reporting team rounded up some key takeaways from the annual confab.
They include: ensuring you market to real, live human beings; hating on hate speech; boosting minority-owned media; and the need for speedy brand pivots during the pandemic. On the latter, Molson Coors Chief Marketing Officer Michelle St. Jacques introduced the phrase “fastmessyawesome” to coin the brewer’s new marketing philosophy.
Agencies, however, were somewhat MIA at the event. Read more here.
The week ahead: Ad Age’s latest Town Hall takes place from 11 a.m. EDT tomorrow, bringing together leaders in multicultural marketing. Plus, Kraft Heinz, Kellogg and Under Armour all have financial results out. See what else is going on in our calendar round-up here.
Samsung chief dies: Lee Kun-hee, the former Samsung chairman, has died at the age of 78. Lee “built Samsung into the global giant of smartphones, televisions and computer chips” that it is today, reports the New York Times, although he was twice convicted, and pardoned, of white collar crimes.
Politeness wins: Among all the vitriol of the election, one political campaign is setting a positive example. In the Utah governor’s race, Republican candidate Spencer Cox and Democratic candidate Chris Peterson appear in a series of ads together, finishing each other’s sentences and saying nice things about one another. Ad Age’s Ann-Christine Diaz goes behind the scenes of the campaign, by agency Boncom, here. It's also No. 1 in Creativity’s 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. For more industry news and insight, follow us on Twitter: @adage.
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