Honda's new voice is less Savage, and FCB NY gets another chief creative: Friday Wake-Up Call
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Say goodbye to quirky Honda ads. The carmaker is swapping out Fred Savage, its voice since 2014, for John Cena, a staple of campaigns trying to cultivate a tougher image.
“The new ad takes pains to portray Honda in a more masculine light, with a heavy emphasis on demonstrating the mud-splattering off-road capability of the 2021 Passport and Pilot SUVs and the redesigned Ridgeline pickup,” writes Ad Age’s E.J. Schultz. Savage was apparently too nice-sounding (though Cena fans may recall that the wrestler holds the world record for most Make-A-Wish visits, so it’s not like he’s not nice).
Even the tone of the ads is getting an update—literally. Rather than the friendly doorbell sounds that accompanied the brand name, the new spot kicks off with a double-thump of a drum.
Michael Aimette is FCB New York’s newest co-chief creative officer, a role he shares with Gabriel Schmitt, who was promoted to the role in February. “The duo will have oversight of the agency’s entire client portfolio that includes AB InBev, GSK’s Centrum, Lincoln Financial and the FDA’s teen anti-tobacco brand, The Real Cost,” writes Ad Age’s Lindsay Rittenhouse.
The pair say they click, and they did have a couple of months to work together in the office before everything went remote. Aimette joined the agency in January from McCann New York, where he led the Microsoft work.
Schmitt led the “Whopper Detour” work for Burger King that was the talk of Cannes Lions in 2019, as well as both of Michelob Ultra’s Super Bowl spots earlier this year.
Brands are scrambling to put distance between themselves and a consultant allied with President Trump after he tweeted sexist criticism of Senator Kamala Harris after the vice-presidential debate. “Kamala Harris comes off as such an insufferable lying bitch. Sorry, it’s just true,” tweeted Harlan Hill, the head of PR and political consulting firm Logan Circle Group.
Hill claimed he has previously worked with American Airlines and AT&T, though both companies denied having records of such a relationship. Still, they both said they asked Hill to cease using their names after Lincoln Project co-founder Steve Schmidt brought Hill’s tweet to their attention.
Fox News also banned Hill from appearing as a pundit on its shows, where he has been a frequent guest over the last few years.
Erich Joiner, the founder of Tool of North America, is also a professional race car driver.
Currently, he drives a Porsche 911 GT3 R in the Trans-Am Series. "What you have to realize but you cannot see on TV," Joiner says, "every time that vehicle is going around a turn of any kind, that car is sliding." The driver's job is to try to push the car to go around the curve as quickly as possible, just shy of spinning off the track. "You're trying to get the balance of that car correct for that set of conditions," he says.
The straightaway is a different matter, and he can hit 170 mph before slamming the brakes for another turn. Joiner also talks about the benefits of learning filmmaking before digital, running a coffeeshop and crashing into a concrete wall at 120 mph.
Fake crews: Facebook banned marketing firm Rally Forge for using more than 300 fake accounts to criticize Joe Biden and the Democratic Party on behalf of conservative advocacy group Turning Point USA. The accounts had been commenting mostly on news stories from mainstream outlets like the Washington Post, Fox News, MSNBC, CNN and the New York Times.
Ride along: Google-owned Waymo is, well, test-driving its driverless car ride-hailing service. Riders in Phoenix, Arizona can now hop into one of Waymo several hundred cars—alone—with no driver to potentially spread the coronavirus. The company will still have cars in its fleet that use human safety operators who don’t drive but act as a backup for the AI.
It's TikToks all the way down: TikTok’s latest ad is a recursive loop, inspired by a video that went viral on the platform that featured Ocean Spray, which has seized on the unexpected attention with its own PR moves. “The new 15-second spot highlights the original video from Nathan Apodaca, known as 420doggface208 on TikTok, who filmed himself sipping Ocean Spray while skateboarding and grooving to Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Dreams,’” writes Ad Age’s Garett Sloane. Surrounding Apodaca are viewers who made their own versions of the video, including Mick Fleetwood himself.
VP debate ratings up: Wednesday's Kamala Harris-Mike Pence clash drew more than 57 million viewers, up from the 37 million people who watched the 2016 debate between Pence and Tim Kaine, according to CNN.
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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