Kraft Heinz to break up with shops and Absolut wants you to sex responsibly: Friday Wake-Up Call
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“Knowing you have problems is the first step,” said Kraft Heinz CEO Miguel Patricio in yesterday’s earnings call, in which it was disclosed that the marketer will cut the number of creative and design agencies it works with by nearly half. Kraft, which also reported its fourth consecutive decline in quarterly sales, will boost media spending by 30 percent. Though no shops were mentioned by name, Jessica Wohl writes that a presentation slide revealed that Kraft has relationships with 36 creative and design agencies, which will drop to 19. Patricio said that on the call that the company will be “redirecting dollars disproportionately toward support of our flagship brands,” but did not identify which ones.
Absolut unveiled its latest campaign just in time for Valentine’s Day as the Swedish vodka maker seeks to remind consumers about the importance of sexual consent—even after they’ve had a drink—via its new “Sex Responsibly” initiative. From BBH Singapore, the campaign will incorporate a series of clever slogans to clarify what some might perceive as gray areas around consent, such as “Making out in the cab doesn’t make it a yes” and “Buying someone a drink doesn’t buy you a yes.” The campaign, writes Ethan Jakob Craft, was created in conjunction with the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network, an anti-sexual violence organization.
Jennifer Lopez cut a deal with Designer Brands, parent of DSW, for a branded line of footwear in a joint venture that goes well beyond just licensing. “It will give Lopez the chance to earn shares in the company based off of her products’ performance,” Bloomberg News reports. “The deal is structured in a way that puts no cap on how many shares Lopez can own—so if the project pays off, the entertainer could end up becoming an important stakeholder.” DSW is struggling with competition from e-commerce and insufficient brand awareness. “It really is to get people who frankly know us but don’t shop us, or have never heard of us or shopped us, to learn what we’re doing with our brand,” CEO Roger Rawlins told Bloomberg News. Still it’s hard to imagine Lopez perusing the aisles of a warehouse store.
Lately it seems a growing number of ads are getting a lot of traction from being “rejected” by the broadcast TV networks. Jeanine Poggi looks at this phenomenon from the lens of Frida Mom, a postpartum products marketer, which says its spot was shunned by ABC for its Oscars broadcast when the marketer declined to make modifications. The frank commercial shows a young mother on a toilet, pulling down her mesh underwear and changing a pad. Poggi examines how networks are trying to adhere to broadcast guidelines in a world where advertisers are striving to push creative boundaries. And in some cases, points out Poggi, ads are deliberately designed to be rejected, so that brands can “leverage the news of the ad being ‘banned’ to garner publicity without actually having to shell out the millions of dollars it costs for commercial time on the networks.”
Dentsu reports earnings: Dentsu Group showed an organic revenue decline of 1 percent for the full year, influenced by underperformance in Australia, Brazil, China, France and the U.K. North America was its best-performing region and “the U.S. specifically delivered 3.8 percent in organic revenue growth in the fourth quarter,” writes Lindsay Rittenhouse.
Reunited: Hope Hicks, Fox Corp. executive VP and chief communications officer, is returning to the White House as senior adviser to the president, Bloomberg News reports. Among her projects will be coordinating White House staff with Donald Trump’s re-election campaign.
New Starbucks CMO: Starbucks has tapped the aptly named Brady Brewer as its executive VP and chief marketing officer, reports Jessica Wohl, succeeding Matthew Ryan, who is leaving.
Roku rocks: Roku’s ad revenue reached $740 million last year up 78 percent year over year. The streaming service also said its fastest-growing channel was its own, The Roku Channel, which could be give some partners cause for concern. "Roku has spooked some of its media partners because of how it promotes The Roku Channel to advertisers at the expense of partners’ apps, according to a recent Digiday report," writes Garett Sloane.
Fade to black: Walmart is discontinuing its experimental upscale personal shopping service, called Jet black, reports TechCrunch. “The service had allowed New York-area customers to text message orders for home delivery,” the publication wrote. “According to its website, Jet black will now no longer accept new orders and will refund its customers their most recent $50 monthly membership fee.”
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