Hyundai heads to Boston while Bloomberg and Trump shake the couch cushions: Tuesday Wake-Up Call
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For Super Bowl ad watchers (and we surely are), half the fun is the teasers. And the first one out of the gate this year comes from Hyundai, which is breaking a charming little snippet showing comedian Rachel Dratch trying, with predictable results, to teach Boston Red Sox legend David Ortiz to speak with a Boston accent. The campaign, for the brand’s Sonata automobile, will feature two other celebs with Boston ties, actors Chris Evans and John Krasinski, and was directed by Massachusetts native Bryan Buckley, writes Ad Age’s E.J. Schultz.
But what is the Beantown connection between a Korean-based automaker and its Huntington Beach, California-based agency, Innocean, to a game that will be held in Miami? Hyundai isn’t saying, but it we’d bet money that when the automaker began plotting its ad, it suspected that the New England Patriots would be playing in the Feb. 2 game. (For those of you who truly only watch football for the ads, the showdown at this point will include two of these four teams: The Tennessee Titans, Kansas City Chiefs, Green Bay Packers and the San Francisco 49ers. The Patriots, which have made 11 Super Bowl appearances, according to SI.com, were eliminated January 4. )
"It would have been serendipitous for Boston’s home team, the Patriots, to be in the Super Bowl again this year, but the spot is not reliant on any specific team being in the big game," a Hyundai spokesman told Schultz. "We think the humor will stand on its own and is something that will be enjoyed on a national level."
Or in Bostonian speak, a wicked pissa.
Inquiring minds can ask Hyundai Chief Marketing Officer Angela Zepeda, who will be among the speakers at Ad Age’s Inside Pages on January 28, along with execs from other Super Bowl stalwarts, to talk about the benefits of the Big Game. Among the 24 brands confirmed so far to buy into in the ad world’s biggest event: Olay, Heinz, SodaStream, Budweiser, Michelob Ultra and Michelob Pure Gold, Cheetos and Doritos. Armchair quarterbacks can keep track with our handy dandy chart here.
For all the ink (real and virtual) being spilled on the pending Michael Bloomberg versus Donald Trump ad showdown in the Super Bowl, it’s good to remember that, from a spending perspective, you ain’t seen nothing yet. Ad Age’s Campaign Ad Scorecard has been tracking the presidential race and points out that the estimated $10 million those contenders are each shelling out for a minute of airtime on the Big Game are mere coins shaken out of the brawling billionaires' couch cushions. Or, as Ad Age’s Simon Dumenco and Kevin Brown put it, the buys are equivalent to “for us regular folks, a last-minute impulse buy of an extra bag at Tostitos at 7-Eleven.” Campaign Ad Scorecard finds that Bloomberg, who has so far allocated $153 million on TV and radio and $7 million on Facebook, has outspent the entire budget of the National Endowment for the Arts. We'll expect a suitably arty ad.
“We feel a responsibility to help brands redefine what advertising can be in the streaming era.” That’s Scott Donaton, who has been tapped by Hulu for this rather gargantuan task. Donaton, the former global content and creative chief at Publicis Media’s Digitas, along with Hulu’s Chief Marketing Officer Kelly Campell and Peter Naylor, senior VP and head of advertising, talk with Ad Age's Jeanine Poggi about why Hulu wants to create non-interruptive breaks that can enhance the narrative of its programs. But, as Poggi points out, this grand plan to disrupt advertising comes as Hulu itself is being disrupted. (Click here to read the story; subscribers only.)
It’s only 10 days to Chinese New Year and marketers are ginning up campaigns to celebrate. Among them are Apple, which along with TBWA/Media Arts Lab, is presenting a moving tale of a single mother and her daughter that was filmed entirely on an iPhone11 Pro. As Ad Age's Alex Jardine writes, “the nine-minute film ... casts a big Chinese star, Zhou Xun, as a single mother who becomes estranged from her own mom over her life choices. She works as a taxi driver to support herself, taking her daughter along for every ride—something that caused the final row with her mother, as we see in a flashback.” Wieden & Kennedy Shanghai and Nike, meanwhile, are taking a more humorous approach that, as Ad Age's I-Hsien Sherwood writes, features “a tenacious auntie and her equally determined niece [who] battle through the years over the right to refuse a kind but unnecessary gift.”
What’s Mark’s Read biggest frustration? “It’s still somehow that [WPP is] seen as an old-fashioned advertising agency that’s being disrupted by Google and Facebook,” says the WPP CEO on the Ad Age Ad Lib podcast. “The reality is we’re a modern marketing partner that can help clients answer many of the questions they have as they’re being disrupted.” The holding-company-model-is-broken, of course, is now a familiar trope from his predecessor Martin Sorrell. In a wide-ranging discussion with Ad Age’s Brian Braiker, Read talks about the rationale behind the company’s asset sales and agency brand mergers, and also offers a rather surprising admission: “When I started, I asked how many brands we had and no one could actually tell me the answer. We sort of lost count at four, five hundred.”
Layoffs at Arnold: Boston-based Arnold confirmed it laid off about 5 percent of its Boston staff. The Havas-owned agency said the cutbacks were necessary to align its media and creative functions, but some others blamed client cutbacks.
Flip flops for everyone: Havaianas is remodeling its physical store approach into a testing lab for its famed flip flops, with Havaianas Lab, a new 900-square-foot store in São Paulo, Brazil, with another slated for London. The company worked with Work & Co on the concept.
Four-letter flap: The same group that called on Hallmark Channel to pull an ad showing same-sex marriage (the channel complied and later apologized), One Million Moms, is calling upon Burger King to exorcise the word “damn” from a commercial for its Impossible Whopper. The spot shows a person eating the sandwich exclaiming “Damn, that’s good.” The group damns the word as offensive, according to the Washington Post. See what we did there?