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.
Nike honors Kobe Bryant in powerful ‘Mamba Week’ spot, and influencer marketing is back: Monday Wake-Up Call
Nike honors Bryant in 'Mamba Week' spot
Nike dropped a powerful new spot featuring the late Kobe Bryant last night as it launches "Mamba Week" on what would have been the basketball legend's 42nd birthday. The 90-second spot not only honors Bryant but urges us all to be “better,” not just as athletes but as people. Narrated by Kendrick Lamar, it includes footage of Black Lives Matter protests as well as other nods to the fight against racism, and features athletes like Megan Rapinoe who have also spoken up for social justice, as well as several female NBA stars including Diana Taurasi and Sue Bird. It was created by Wieden+Kennedy Portland and directed by Melina Matsoukas of Prettybird.
As well as the ad, Nike has planned a slew of events and programming around Mamba Week, which kicks off as Orange County, California, marks “Kobe Bryant Day” today (the date, 8.24, matches the two jersey numbers he wore.) It's the first time Nike has released his signature sneakers and jerseys since his death in January. As well as further videos featuring famous sports stars, dubbed “Mamba Mentors,” everyday athletes can join in the campaign, too, with a number of “Mamba Mentality” branded workout challenges they can follow via Nike.
For more on the Week Ahead, which includes WPP earnings and the opening of the new “Bill and Ted” movie, check out our roundup of events here.
When the pandemic first hit, many wondered if the era of influencer marketing was over, at least for the time being, with the often self-indulgent tone of the practice feeling all wrong for a time of crisis. But, reports Ad Age’s Jack Neff, that was short-lived: now, “influencer marketing appears to be bouncing back nicely from its early pandemic dip—and far faster than the broader marketing and media economy.”
Branded content from influencers was up 21 percent in July from March across Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, and engagement with branded influencer posts is also up. In fact, it more than doubled to 57.2 million total actions in July compared with March, rising five times faster than the posts themselves.
Marketers getting back into the influencer game include Clorox, which generated nearly a million organic views with a video featuring YouTubers the Try Guys subjecting themselves to some of the world’s smelliest foods. (Not everyone’s happy with the influencers, though. Last Wednesday saw L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti cut the power to “Sway House,” rented by the TikTok stars Bryce Hall, Noah Beck and Blake Gray, after they refused to stop partying.)
Some big Facebook news broke late on Friday as chief marketing officer Antonio Lucio announced he will depart the social network after less than two years. As Ad Age’s Garett Sloane writes, Lucio revealed his resignation in (naturally) a Facebook post, saying: “It is a time for reckoning for the nation and my industry and it is time for me to play a more active part in accelerating change.”
Known as a fierce advocate for diversity, former HP marketer Lucio had been largely absent from Facebook's public response to the boycott that came in the wake of the mass protests in support of justice over the killing of George Floyd. In his resignation post, he nodded to his interest in seeing more representation in the industry, and said he would devote the remainder of his career to the subject.
The groups behind the Facebook boycott have made a demand that Facebook hire a new Black executive with strong civil rights experience. So far, Facebook has declined on comment on that.
Meanwhile, in other Facebook news, the Wall Street Journal has an interesting delve into the suggestion that Mark Zuckerberg helped to stoke the Trump administration's fears about TikTok's Chinese ownership, including at a private dinner with the President.
Brian “Bwrightous” Wright and Desmond Attmore, founders of Atlanta-based creative agency Six Degrees, had Wiz Khalifa endorse their clothing brand while still in college; not many can lay claim to that kind of early success. The pair spoke with Ad Age’s Luke Guillory about leveraging their work in clothing and music, managing a Black-owned small business, and global brand responses to Black Lives Matter.
Among their achievements, Wright and Attmore have used their music industry experience—they have worked with Mike WiLL Made-It, Rae Sremmurd, Future, Drake, Gunna and Meek Mill—to help tap into “cool” and create live events for brands including Google, A24, YouTube Music and Puma.
Hagedorn, Remotely: Scott Hagedorn, CEO of Omnicom Media Group, will be speaking to Ad Age’s Lindsay Rittenhouse at 11 a.m. EDT today in the latest episode of Ad Age Remotely. Hagedorn will be discussing the post-pandemic role of agencies, Omnicom's efforts around diversity and inclusion and his outlook for advertising in the second half of the year. Tune in here.
'Publicis 57': Kraft Heinz is keeping its U.S. media business at Publicis Groupe, led by longtime agency partner Starcom, after a review. Publicis is calling its winning model Publicis 57, a name that plays off of Heinz' traditional “57 varieties” slogan. More from Ad Age’s Jessica Wohl here.
‘Tart Tycoon’: Fortnite will reward players in an upcoming video tournament with anti-Apple prizes including the “Tart Tycoon,” a playable character that portrays the iPhone maker as a villainous executive, in its latest salvo against Apple, reports Ad Age’s George P. Slefo.
Creativity of the Day: Capri Sun is “pranking” kids by filling its trademark juice pouches full of water, writes Ann-Christine Diaz. The video by Greg Hahn’s new agency Mischief is funny but it has a serious point; it highlights Capri Sun’s pro bono effort for kids in the Chicagoland area, where it shifted production to package filtered water in its pouches. It will be donating five million of the H20 packs, labeled “We’re sorry it’s not juice,” to the area’s schools, so that kids can stay hydrated while water fountains are switched off due to COVID-19. Watch it here, and if you missed it on Friday, don’t forget to catch up with up with the Creativity team’s live review of last week’s Top 5 ads.
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.