Welcome to Ad Age's Wake-Up Call, our daily roundup of advertising, marketing, media and digital news. You can get an audio version of this briefing on your Alexa device. Search for "Ad Age" under "Skills" in the Alexa app.
What people are talking about today
Good morning. Are you fully awake? We're having a pop quiz on Super Bowl ad trivia today. It's only three questions. Here goes.
- What product was being advertised in the wacky "Puppymonkeybaby" Super Bowl commercial from a few years back?
- What about the classic commercial about cowboys herding cats -- what brand was behind that?
- It's early, so here's a softball question: What company used talking babies as pitchmen?
We ask these questions because truck brand Ram has an unusual new digital ad out in which two ranchers reminisce about these old Super Bowl commercials, though they can't remember which brand did what ad. (Read more about it by Ad Age's E.J. Schultz.) Do the ranchers have a point -- do brands sometimes get overshadowed by elaborate Super Bowl-worthy creative?
The answers to our pop quiz are here and here and here respectively, in the Ad Age Super Bowl Commercial archive. Or scroll down to the bottom of this page.
In other news about car ads: Hyundai is running a Super Bowl ad, it stars Jason Bateman, and it's funny. E.J. Schultz writes that the commercial "compares car buying to dreaded activities like getting a root canal, taking the middle seat of an airplane, or delivering 'the talk' to your kids." The point is that a new service from Hyundai makes car-buying much less fraught. Watch it here.
Now for some practical info
- The Super Bowl is four days away. Here's Ad Age's constantly updated post where you can watch all the ads as they get released. (And if it seems like there are more messages of female empowerment in Super Bowl ads this year, you're right. Read Jeanine Poggi's take on it in Ad Age.)
- Here's our running tally of who's buying what in the big game.
- We've got a Super Bowl Commercial Archive where you can look up the greatest hits of yesteryear. Because face it -- sometimes you just want to re-watch Britney Spears' 2002 Pepsi ad. It's in there.
Other important info: The game starts at 6:30 p.m. EST Sunday on CBS. It's also streaming free on CBSSports.com. And if you care who's playing, it's the Los Angeles Rams vs. the New England Patriots.
New logo alert
We know, we know, there's always a lot of pushback when brands release new logos. Change is hard. Fast Company writes: "Two weeks ago it was Slack, last week it was Kate Spade, and this week, Zara pulled a logo redesign on us. Cut it out, guys. We already have enough to deal with."
What's odd about Zara's new logo, created by design firm Baron & Baron, is that letters are strangely squished together. "It looks cramped & makes me anxious," someone tweeted. The logo seems like it's sucking in its gut to fit into a too-small outfit -- an interesting look for a fashion brand.
Diet Madison Avenue: Former CPB Chief Creative Officer Ralph Watson has filed a new suit in New York against four people he believes are part of Diet Madison Avenue, an anonymous group that accused prominent ad execs (including Watson) of sexual harassment. Watson says he was falsely accused. Read more by Ad Age's Megan Graham.
$20: Facebook has been offering teenagers and younger adults up to $20 a month to install a VPN that tracks how they use their phones and offers Facebook insights about its competitors, TechCrunch reports.
Bug in the Apple: Apple "was sued by a Houston lawyer who claims his iPhone inadvertently allowed an unknown person to eavesdrop on his private conversation with a client," Bloomberg News reports.
Hidden messages: "Nike is being called upon to remove an Air Max sneaker with a design that some people believe resembles 'Allah' in Arabic," Footwear News reports. A Change.org petition has over 12,000 signatures.
Must-read of the day: A teenager from Michigan who writes BuzzFeed quizzes for fun has been a big driver of traffic and revenue. She was never paid, though BuzzFeed gave her free swag. New York magazine's Intelligencer talked to her, and it's a fascinating conversation. Also, she feels terrible about the BuzzFeed layoffs.
Tweet of the day: Netflix, which is airing a documentary about serial killer Ted Bundy, asked viewers to stop being creepy. It tweeted: "I've seen a lot of talk about Ted Bundy's alleged hotness and would like to gently remind everyone that there are literally THOUSANDS of hot men on the service — almost all of whom are not convicted serial murderers."
Ad of the day: In a new commercial, Domino's CEO Ritch Allison tells everyone that it's OK to eat pizza from Domino's competitors. Domino's will even give you rewards points for doing so, as Ad Age's Jessica Wohl writes. The limited-time offer is an attempt to build brand loyalty right before the Super Bowl, a big day for pizza ordering. The spot is by CP&B; check it out here.
Quiz answers: 1. Mtn Dew Kickstart 2. Electronic Data Systems. 3. E-trade