Pantone’s color of the year is a safe (and reassuringly boring) blue: Thursday Wake-Up Call
The trend forecasters at Pantone just picked their color of the year, and they know just what we need for 2020: soothing, safe Classic Blue. It’s a color we can count on, one that offends nobody. All kinds of brands use something like it, from Pepsi to Ford to Visa to Facebook. It’s totally unflashy, unlike 2019’s color, Living Coral, and 2018’s hue, Ultra Violet. As Pantone writes in a press release, “Classic Blue symbolizes protection, stability, peace, and confidence, as well as encouraging deep thinking, open mindfulness, and communication.” Sounds nice. We’ll take it.
Not your usual Christmas ad
A commercial for Norway's postal service offers an unexpected twist on the Christmas story; as Ad Age’s Alexandra Jardine writes, the ad “reveals the role the postal service might have played” in the Virgin Mary’s mysterious pregnancy. To be more specific, it’s about the role a certain postman might have played.
The goal is to create brand awareness in a “warm, humorous and surprising way," says Posten Norge Marketing Director Monica Solberg. And yes, it’s certainly surprising (though some might say sacrilegious). The social media outrage machine hasn’t kicked into gear over this ad from Posten Norge and Oslo agency Pol, but give it a few days.
It’s official: CBS Corp. and Viacom are back together again. The deal closed yesterday, bringing together assets including the CBS broadcast network and Viacom’s MTV, Nickelodeon, BET and Paramount Pictures. The New York Times writes that the “combination brings together a set of businesses that once dominated the media and entertainment industries but are now fighting to stay relevant in an increasingly digital world.” Both were already controlled by the Redstone family’s media empire, National Amusements, but now they are uniting into a single entity called ViacomCBS. (They are reuniting, actually, since they were already together from 2000 to 2006.) This deal was about scale, but is the new company vast enough in this era of the-bigger-the-better media companies? Variety writes, “ViacomCBS still faces plenty of skepticism in the marketplace about whether it has the size and scale to compete with behemoths such as Disney, Comcast, AT&T, Amazon, Apple and Netflix.” Today, anyway, ViacomCBS is celebrating, and the combined company’s shares start trading on the Nasdaq this morning.
Campaign trail: “Billionaire Democrat Michael Bloomberg is putting tens of millions of more dollars behind a new television ad casting himself as uniquely qualified to defeat President Donald Trump,” The Associated Press reports.
Meanwhile in California: “Although California’s Consumer Privacy Act is just 28 days from taking effect, uncertainty surrounding specific portions of the law remain, including one provision that might prompt major retailers and airlines to end loyalty reward programs in the Golden State,” George P. Slefo writes in Ad Age.
Uh oh: “M&C Saatchi’s share price suffered its biggest fall since its 2004 listing, after the advertising agency issued its second profit warning in less than three months and said previously announced accounting errors could stretch back five years,” The Financial Times reports.
On the move: Jeff Brooks, recently CMO at mattress brand Casper, becomes the first-ever chief marketing officer at insurance startup Lemonade, Ad Age’s Adrianne Pasquarelli reports.
New tagline alert: Home Depot is changing its tagline. “How doers get more done” will replace “More saving. More doing.” Read more from Ad Age’s Adrianne Pasquarelli.
On-brand quote of the day: “We believe that we are the curly fry in a world of regular fries,” says Adrienne Ingoldt, Jack in the Box’s senior VP, chief brand and experience officer. Listen to her conversation with Ad Age’s Jessica Wohl on this week’s Marketer’s Brief podcast (available on iTunes and Spotify.)
Product of the day: “Mattress company Serta teamed up with hip hop musician DJ Clark Kent on a limited-edition sneaker with Serta cooling technology,” according to the Ad Age Marketer’s Brief. Huh.
Headline of the day: “Question: is Baby Yoda wearing Margiela?” British style magazine Dazed asks. (This story prompted Ad Age’s Tam Nguyen to proclaim that we’ve hit peak Baby Yoda coverage.)
Ad of the day: The British press is paying rapt attention to a very low-budget ad made by a family-run hardware store in Wales. The family (including their toddler) stars in the heartwarming spot, which the hardware store says only cost $130 to make. The Hafod Hardware ad “blows John Lewis out of the water,” The Guardian proclaims. Watch it for yourself.
Friendly reminder: Dec. 19 is the deadline to enter the Ad Age A-List Awards for forward-thinking leaders, top agencies and creative innovators in advertising today.