MDC approves merger with Stagwell, and more consumer predictions for 2021: Tuesday Wake-Up Call
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MDC Partners’ board of directors approved a merger agreement with The Stagwell Group in a deal that has been anticipated since its initial proposal in June.
Stagwell, already MDC's biggest shareholder, would own 79% of the combined company under the deal. The deal is subject to various approvals including approval by MDC shareholders. Stagwell and MDC hope to complete the deal in the first half of 2021.
Stagwell and MDC said the merged business would have estimated 2020 worldwide pro forma revenue of about $2.1 billion.
Before many of you take time off from work (we hope) for the holiday season, join us as we simultaneously look back at this wretched year and ahead at what the new year might offer. According to a new consumer trends report from forecaster WGSN, 2021 might look just as strange as 2020.
As Ad Age’s Ethan Jakob Craft writes, WGSN is predicting 10 innovations and behaviors that will be popular with consumers, including robot dogs, plant-based egg substitutes and the use of VR, AI and robotics to fulfill physical and emotional needs—which the report calls “digisexuality.”
As we count down to the end of one of the worst years in modern history, we also remember news and events that rocked the advertising and marketing industry as it grappled with the pandemic, the nation’s reckoning with racial injustice and an unpredictable economy.
Kobe Bryant’s death stunned us all, in-person events were canceled and brands and agencies cut jobs. Despite the uncertainty, not everything was doom and gloom. We saw people come together in new ways, creativity spike and executives start to make important changes to diversify their leadership and output. Our timeline offers a look back that is both sobering and uplifting.
Over this past weekend, social media was awash with ads featuring a woman wearing one-piece pajamas that exposed part of her bum. Dozens of the ads appeared in multiple locations, even accompanying a popular Elle Magazine online story about a journalist who is dating controversial former pharmaceutical executive Martin Shkreli.
CNBC dug into how the ad suddenly appeared all over the internet. Ad tech experts believe it’s likely that the brand was targeting popular online articles using Google Ads and other options and applying retargeting so the ads can “follow” people online. While brands do this all the time, it was an exposed bottom that caught the internet’s attention.
PepsiCo’s Mtn Dew will be in the Super Bowl for the second consecutive year, reports Ad Age’s E.J. Schultz. The brand will air a 30-second spot from TBWA\Chiat\Day New York. While creative details are not yet known, we can speculate on what viewers can expect. The brand is known for far-fetched plot lines: In 2016 Mtn Dew brought the bizarre, but widely talked about, Puppy Monkey Baby ad to the Big Game.
Mtn Dew’s ad last year was more subdued, with Bryan Cranston and Tracee Ellis Ross spoofing Jack Nicholson’s famous “Here’s Johnny” scene from “The Shining.” Mtn Dew is the seventh advertiser to announce its Big Game plans so far. See which other brands will be in the Super Bowl here.
Hotels.com holds court Hotels.com has a new multiyear global deal with the National Basketball Association, which includes ads on backboards during televised games. Dan Rossomondo, the NBA’s senior VP for media and business development, tells Ad Age’s Mike Juang that the partnership “marks the league’s first with an online travel site.”
Best of Creativity From now until New Year’s, we’re counting down 30 of the top brand ideas and campaigns from 2020. Up first: L’Oréal’s step away from celebrity perfection, with Eva Longoria filming herself dyeing her graying roots, New York Magazine’s covers featuring artists' takes on the “I Voted” sticker and Hellmann’s use of “Animal Crossing” to make a statement about food waste.
Nostalgic for “The Office”? It has been seven years since the American version of “The Office” ended on NBC. Still, the show became popular again in 2020, and is a favorite source of inspiration for ads. Phyllis Smith played her Phyllis Vance character for Panera Bread and Joann, while Steve Carell played a work-from-home Santa for Comcast Xfinity.
Speaking of “The Office” After a seven-month hiatus, John Krasinski’s pandemic baby, the feel-good YouTube and Instagram show “Some Good News," is back with a holiday special featuring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson (dressed as Santa) and George Clooney as a weatherman. In the video, Krasinski announces that sponsor FedEx is donating $5 million to Toys for Tots. It’s the first episode since ViacomCBS bought the show for an undisclosed sum and has already garnered more than 300,000 views on YouTube.
Serving up food and touchdowns Los Angeles Rams’ Sebastian Joseph-Day is trying his hand at a new YouTube food series called “Dine & Bash.” Starting Jan. 1, the football star will share the origins of popular L.A. restaurant dishes. Read more about the venture on our NFL blog here.
That does it for today’s Wake-Up Call. Thanks for reading and we hope you are all staying safe and well.
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