Welcome to Ad Age’s Wake-Up Call, our daily roundup of advertising, marketing, media and digital news. If you're reading this online or in a forwarded email, here's the link to sign up for our Wake-Up Call newsletters.
Michael B. Jordan and Wayne’s World featured in Super Bowl teasers and brands prepare for Black History Month: Monday Wake-Up Call
Good morning and welcome to what’s set to be a busy week in the advertising world as marketers ramp up for next Sunday’s Big Game.
Super Bowl ad teasers are now arriving thick and fast, giving us a glimpse of some potential talking points for this year's ad-fest. Over the weekend, Amazon teased its ad on social media, and it looks like the commercial will feature actor Michael B. Jordan, reports Ad Age’s Jeanine Poggi. “Try not to stare,” Amazon posted on its Instagram account on Sunday along with a clip of the actor and #AlexasNewBody. (We’re not sure exactly where they’re going with this, but Amazon’s 2018 commercial, you may recall, featured various celebrities taking over as Alexa’s voice.)
Meanwhile, Uber Eats resurrected “Wayne’s World” for a teaser that appeared in the guise of a Saturday Night Live skit. Ad Age’s Ann-Christine Diaz writes that Wayne Campbell and Garth Algar, played respectively by Mike Myers and Dana Carvey, re-emerged during SNL “still broadcasting their local access show as if they hadn’t left the basement of Wayne’s parents' house for decades.” The pair discuss how 2020 was a great year—"NOT"—before hinting at something big to come.
Hungry for more Super Bowl fare? More ads and teasers are set to break today and to see one of them, you can watch live at 10 a.m. ET when Jeanine Poggi will be talking to Duncan Bird, VP, brand marketing and digital at Fiverr, to see what the online freelance platform has in store. Elsewhere, E.J. Schultz reports on how Molson Coors' Miller Lite is using the old-school medium of print for a Super Bowl jibe at rival Anheuser-Busch InBev, which holds exclusive alcohol TV ad rights for the game. It all revolves around a ridiculously long URL.
You can watch all the Super Bowl ads so far here. Plus, don’t miss our Ad Age In Depth: Super Bowl event on Tuesday; register here to hear how brands, agency leaders and creators discuss how they navigated the pandemic and prioritized diversity in preparing for the game.
Black History Month kicks off today, and this year February will have special resonance: As Ad Age’s Adrianne Pasquarelli writes, “following the social unrest of 2020 as a result of the deaths of countless of Black victims including George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, marketers are paying even more attention than usual.”
Several brands are planning campaigns “purposely designed to exist as a permanent part of the brand rather than just a one-off for February.” They include Bombas, the direct-to-consumer apparel brand, which is using its own Black employees as a design resource to create a new collection. And Under Armour partnered with its own photographer, Devin Allen, on a collaboration that features Allen’s photography of young athletes in Baltimore (see some of the designs over at Creativity.) Meanwhile, Banana Republic and Gap have special editions out for Black History Month, while Mattel is honoring Maya Angelou with a new version of Barbie, and it’s already sold out.
Facebook Groups were heralded as the platform’s new big focus when it emphasized them in a 2019 redesign; but now, reports The Wall Street Journal, it’s clamping down on them in the wake of their role in America’s polarized politics and the Capitol riots.
The move comes after its own research revealed the role that U.S. Facebook Groups played in the calls for violence that happened after the election. Guy Rosen, Facebook’s VP of integrity, told the Journal that the company has canceled plans to resume recommending civic or health Groups, and will also disable certain tools that facilitated the growth of Groups.
A U.K. government ad urging people to stay home in the pandemic has been pulled after going viral amid complaints of sexism. The social media ad with the caption "Stay home, save lives," shown here by The Guardian, featured an illustration of four small houses. In three of them, female stick figures were depicted homeschooling, cleaning and ironing. In the other house, a man did appear, but sitting comfortably on a sofa with a woman and child.
The image was withdrawn on Friday after much social media outrage, with the government saying it did not reflect its views on women. It’s not clear which agency created it, although Campaign has linked it to digital agency Topham Guerin. MullenLowe London, which creates much of the government coronavirus advertising, was not involved. (And nor, it seems likely, were any women.)
The Week Ahead: Unilever and Scotts Miracle-Gro are reporting results and TikTok is holding a virtual summit for brands and agencies. Plus, Black History Month begins and we're all getting ready for the Super Bowl. Check our weekly calendar roundup here.
Blading up: Dollar Shave Club is pushing its six-bladed razor in its biggest ad campaign in years, reports Ad Age’s Jack Neff. New 30-second and 15-second ads highlight a pack that lets people try the six- or four-bladed version to see which they like best.
Merry men: The Daily Mail reports that a U.K. society promoting Robin Hood, the Sherwood Forest outlaw, gained more than 33,000 new Twitter followers after people confused it with the Robinhood trading app in the wake of the GameStop share-buying rage. The society uses the Twitter handle @RobinHood.
Monster makeover: Apple gives a cuddly makeover to the Nian, the terrifying monster from Chinese mythology, in a touching Chinese New Year spot this year, reports Ad Age’s I-Hsien Sherwood. You can watch the short film, beautifully filmed on iPhone 12 Pro Max by director Lulu Wang, over at Creativity. And don’t forget to catch up with Creativity’s livestreamed review of the Top 5 ideas of the week.
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. From CMO Strategy to the Ad Age Datacenter Weekly, we’ve got newsletters galore. See them all here.
Subscribers make the difference. Individual, group and corporate subscriptions are available—including access to our Ad Age Datacenter. Find options at AdAge.com/membership.