Electric auto brands stalk Elon Musk’s SNL stint as Dogecoin plummets in value: Monday Wake-Up Call
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Elon Musk’s appearance as host of "Saturday Night Live" made quite the impact this weekend—not least for his revelation that he has Asperger’s syndrome and his attempts to explain his eccentric persona. (“To anyone I’ve offended, I just wanted to say, I reinvented electric cars and I’m sending people to Mars on a rocket ship. Did you think I was also going to be a chill, normal dude?” he asked).
For automotive rivals of Tesla, the show provided a choice advertising opportunity. As Ad Age’s E.J. Schultz reports, upstart electric auto brand Lucid Motors, as well as VW, Ford and Volvo, all ran ads during the broadcast plugging their electric vehicles. The Lucid spot, which the brand shared on Twitter, positioned Lucid as “luxury electric" ahead of the launch of its Lucid Air sedan, which it is promoting as the first electric car with a 500-plus mile range. Volkswagen re-ran an ad for its VW ID4, Ford plugged its Mustang Mach-E and Volvo ran a spot for its XC-90 plug-in hybrid SUV.
The show didn’t prove to be such good publicity for cryptocurrency Dogecoin; its value declined by 35% in 24 hours, reports Bloomberg News, after Musk called it a “hustle” in a sketch. He had previously helped drive Dogecoin to new heights on Friday and Saturday ahead of the episode.
Travel is back, and as travel brands are readying their marketing strategies for a summer of bookings, Travelocity has tapped Doner as its new agency of record.
Ad Age’s Adrianne Pasquarelli reports that the appointment follows a review that began in January. Travelocity most recently worked with Proof, which did not participate in the review. The brand was looking for “a partner that could be very strategic and data-driven in their strategy,” says Laura Molnar, head of brand marketing at Expedia Group-owned Travelocity. The creative message will be seen by consumers in July, when new work rolls out. It has yet to be revealed whether it will include Travelocity’s well-known Roaming Gnome.
Agencies are thinking about returning to the office, but what’s that going to look like? Ad Age’s I-Hsien Sherwood takes a look at what a year of remote working may have done for the future of in-person agency collaboration, and whether it has created any changes for the better.
One change: Geographical location might no longer matter as we’ve all become used to remote working, which can help diversify the workforce. As Sherwood writes, “A shop in Oregon (or Sweden, for that matter) is no longer bound by local demographics—or excused by them.”
However, a completely remote model seems unlikely; creatives warn that for younger workers, spending time with colleagues and collaborating remains a crucial part of the learning experience. “They're not gaining that natural apprenticeship you'd get from being in a live agency with people,” WPP's Global Chief Creative Officer Rob Reilly says. For now, the priority for agencies is to redefine their culture as they assimilate changes from lockdown, including all those new hires who have never seen the inside of their office.
The state of Massachusetts has filed a lawsuit against Publicis Groupe’s Publicis Health for its work with Purdue Pharma from 2010-2019, reports Ad Age’s Brian Bonilla. The suit alleges Publicis Health knowingly deployed “unfair and deceptive marketing schemes,” to help Purdue sell more OxyContin during that nine-year span.
Publicis Health has denied the allegations, with a spokesman calling the lawsuit “completely without basis.” He added: “Publicis Health acted solely as an advertising agency. It was not a drug manufacturer, distributor, or consultant. Our role was limited to implementing Purdue’s advertising plan and buying media space.”
The Week Ahead: It's a week heavy on industry events, with Advertising Week Europe kicking off today as a virtual event, the ANA hosting its two-day in-house agency conference and The Wall Street Journal holding a "Future of Everything" festival. If you’re after something more glitzy, the 2021 MTV Movie & TV Awards telecast, hosted by Leslie Jones, takes place next Sunday.
Jabs with fangs: Visitors to “Dracula’s castle” in Romania can now get the COVID-19 vaccine there, reports the New York Post, together with a fang sticker. The vaccine drive doubles as a travel campaign designed to bring tourists back to Bran Castle after the pandemic.
‘Safe booking’: Hotels.com’s Captain Obvious is reminding you to practice “safe booking” in a campaign that "rewinds all the way back to the days of ‘90s after-school specials," writes Ad Age’s Ann-Christine Diaz. “Listen, we all know you’re going to do it, so you might as well be safe about it,” he begins in one spot in a new campaign from CPB. See more over at Creativity, and don’t forget to catch up with the team’s live review of the Top 5 ideas of the week.
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