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Lady Gaga's Oreo collab predicts a brighter 2021, and the Super Bowl is selling out slowly: Thursday Wake-Up Call
Lady Gaga has a prize for anyone who actually makes it to 2021: pink-and-green Oreos themed for her album Chromatica, which was released right in the midst of the pandemic. “To start, the cookies will be sold in six-cookie packs at convenience stores, beginning in January,” writes Ad Age’s Jessica Wohl. “A full-size pack is also planned, and fans who sign up at LadyGagaOREOStanClub.com will get a reminder. The first 1,000 people who signed up get a free pack.”
The singer promoted the snack with a social post revealing the look of the new cookies. “This collab is inspired by the world of Chromatica, where kindness rules all things,” she said in a statement. “I love these pink cookies with green creme, and hope they brighten your day as much as they do mine!”
Beginning Dec. 15, fans will also be able to send musical “Oreograms” to friends for a chance to win a meet-and-greet with Gaga herself (assuming it’s safe enough, the brand is careful to add). Twist and dunk are fine; lick, not so much.
Brands that want to snag a spot on one of the largest stages of the year still have a little time to make up their minds. CBS says 75% to 80% of its commercial time for the Super Bowl has already been sold, leaving between eight and 10 spots free.
“While CBS is lagging behind Fox’s sell out levels of the 2020 game—they announced they were sold out of ad inventory before Thanksgiving—the eye network is currently ahead of where they were when they last aired the game in 2019,” writes Ad Age’s Jeanine Poggi. First quarter slots are gone, as are the first and last slots in each ad break in the first half.
Longtime Big Game staples like Hyundai and Kia are still making up their minds, and Avocados From Mexico has already passed on it. Most years see some scrappy startup try to make a big splash, but there’s no pandemic discount, so it could be a bigger risk than usual, especially with the date of the game in flux. If the game doesn’t run as planned on Feb. 7, there’s a makeup date three weeks later.
Oscar nominee Elliot Page came out as trans this week, and Netflix is fully on board. Page stars as Vanya Hargreeves in the network’s popular show “Umbrella Academy,” and Netflix confirmed he will continue to do so. The character is a cisgender woman, and there are no plans to alter that, according to Variety.
Netflix is also in the process of updating all of Page’s credits on movies and TV shows streamed on the service, including hit films like “Juno” and “Inception,” where he was originally credited as “Ellen Page.” The “Umbrella Academy” IMDB page has also been updated to reflect Page’s new name.
It’s a strong show of support from a big brand, and one that would have been unimaginable just a few years ago. And as the number of openly trans actors increases, the casting options for trans and nonbinary parts multiplies. While Hollywood has been enamored of trans stories for more than two decades, those roles are often played by straight actors, which can be problematic and does little to improve representation in the media.
Applebee’s isn’t just the home of the $1 margarita (Dollarita doyen, at your service), it’s also a chain that’s been open to changing long-standing practices to stay afloat during the pandemic. Gone are the dollar drinks at the bar, replaced by $5 to-go cocktails.
“Before the pandemic, off-premise sales such as to-go and delivery accounted for about 15% of Applebee’s business,” Chief Marketing Officer Joel Yashinsky says on the latest episode of the “Marketer’s Brief” podcast. “After its dining rooms reopened in July, with seating restrictions in place, off-premise is now upward of 30% to 40% of the business. And offers are valid both in the restaurant and for to-go orders, which wasn’t the case before COVID-19.”
And while the restaurant’s sales were still down more than 13% in the third quarter, that’s better than many other chains, including IHOP, also owned by parent Dine Brands.
Think of the children: If you think 2020 is hellspawned, you’re right. Ryan Reynolds and his agency Maximum Effort reimagined the year as a potential romantic partner in an ad for dating site Match. And who better to take selfies in front of a dumpster fire with and watch the world end than the Prince of Darkness himself?
Next up: Join Ad Age and a host of CMOs and top marketers at brands including PepsiCo, Lowe’s, Adobe and the NBA for insights and advice to make 2021 successful. Ad Age Next: CMO is a Dec. 8 virtual event free to subscribers. RSVP here.
Pictures to prove it: Giphy’s top gifs of the year are like a peek inside the psyche of the internet. And it’s kind of sappy. Two “grateful” gifs head the list, followed by an “I love you” and a “virtual hug.” But don’t worry, there’s a happy dumpster fire, an “over it” and some quarantine eating in the mix for everyone else.
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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