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McDonald’s promotes ‘Thank You Meals’ for first responders and Earth Day campaigns go virtual: Wednesday Wake-Up Call
McDonald’s promotes ‘Thank You’ Meals
McDonald’s has unveiled its biggest coronavirus pandemic-related marketing move to date, with a two-week blast of advertising to promote its new “Thank You Meals” for first responders. As Ad Age’s Jessica Wohl reports, from today through May 5, healthcare workers, firefighters, paramedics and police officers can show their work ID at any McDonald’s in the U.S. and choose a free meal, which will come in a Happy Meal box with a thank you note in place of the toy.
"Thank You Meals" will be backed by two national TV commercials, created by Wieden+Kennedy New York. One of the two spots goes down the nostalgia route, showing childhood photos of first responders enjoying the PlayPlace, a birthday party or a meal at McDonald’s, before revealing the nurses, firefighters and other first responders in their present-day uniforms. Another depicts a McDonald’s staffer putting the letters up on an outdoor sign to inform first responders about the free meals.
Individuals led the Golden Arches to this corporate effort, McDonald’s USA President Joe Erlinger told reporters on a conference call; it was inspired by franchisees giving food to first responders and doing other community outreach on their own.
Earth Day goes virtual
Earth Day celebrates its 50th anniversary today, and even though most people are inside their homes rather than outdoors celebrating the environment, brands are supporting the cause with virtual campaigns.
As Ad Age’s Ilyse Liffreing reports, organizations getting on board with this year’s theme of “Climate Action" include Greta Thunberg’s Fridays for Future, which places the words from the teenage activist's famous Davos speech, “Our house is on fire,” at the center of an unnerving short film that shows a family calmly getting ready for their day as flames begin to burn down their home.
Other efforts include NASA airing a live Q&A with astronaut Chris Cassidy from the International Space Station; Timberland sharing an emotional letter to nature; and cooler brand Yeti, whose more light-hearted campaign is a “streaming” service called Yeti+ that shows footage of actual streams. Meanwhile, National Geographic is aiming to keep locked-down kids entertained by encouraging them to post animal drawings on social media.
Netflix adds 16 million subscribers
Netflix yesterday revealed what everyone suspected: Since audiences went into lockdown and started watching “Tiger King,” its subscriptions have soared. But the numbers surprised even Netflix, which said it added 15.8 million paid subscribers in the first three months of the year, doubling its own previous forecast of 7 million and analyst predictions of 8.47 million.
In addition to the bizarre zoo documentary “Tiger King,” which attracted 64 million viewers, other shows luring audiences included dating show “Love Is Blind,” with 30 million viewers. And now Netflix customers are tuning into a newer dating show, “Too Hot to Handle,” which launched last week.
Snapchat ad revenue up
Snapchat also had good news to report yesterday. The social media platform revealed that its advertising revenue hit $462 million in the first quarter, reports Ad Age’s Garett Sloane, up 44 percent year-over-year and beating analyst expectations. The news impressed Wall Street; Snapchat shares rose by close to 20 percent in after-hours trading.
So why is it doing so well? Snapchat executives said the company has been able to weather the global shutdowns because more people are spending time on its service and advertisers are turning to its platform to reach those types of viewers. Gaming apps, streaming services and e-commerce brands that deliver are just some of the advertisers targeting its audience.
Winning streak: Colleen DeCourcy, co-president and global chief creative officer at Wieden+Kennedy, which topped the Ad Age Agency A-List for the third year in a row, is the latest guest on Ad Age Remotely. DeCourcy chatted to I-Hsien Sherwood yesterday about the agency’s recipe for a three-peat, creativity’s potential resurgence during the pandemic and how to support clients through challenging times. Listen up here.
Pandemic hurts Coke: Coca-Cola revealed in its earnings statement Tuesday that its volume has declined about 25 percent globally since the start of April. The pandemic has hurt sales primarily outside the home, as stadiums and entertainment centers, where the company gets about half of its revenue, remain closed.
Facebook expands in India: Facebook is to pay $5.7 billion for just under 10 percent of Indian telecom operator Jio Platforms, reports the Wall Street Journal. The deal, unveiled late Tuesday, is Facebook’s largest overseas investment to date and gives it the opportunity to bring WhatsApp into closer partnership with the mobile firm.
Corona with a chance of meatballs: With Ikea stores closed at the moment, its customers are apparently missing not just Billy bookcases but their favorite Swedish food fix—the retailer's famous meatballs. So the company published a recipe on Twitter for how to create the meatballs at home. But this is no ordinary recipe—the black-and-white, line-drawn six-step diagram also mimics its flatpack furniture instructions. (We hope they’re easier to assemble, though.) Check it out here at Creativity Online.
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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